Category Archives: Information Technology IT

All things IT that we encounter and sometimes solve!

Apple Remote App not working with Apple TV?

Apple Remote App not working with Apple TV?

We had this very issue this week!

The trusty iPad could throw YouTube clips to the Apple TV but we could not use it to control the Apple TV itself using the Apple Remote App.

250px-Apple_TV_2nd_Generation[1]

Strange goings on

Answer, we had used the wired only connection to connect the Apple TV to the network (naturally we thought this would result in a faster more reliable connection), when we made the Apple TV use the wireless network the problem went away. Strange!!!

Cloned Workstations Not showing in WSUS? Troublshooting WSUS

Did you clone some machines?

You may find that some of the machines that do not show up in Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) just happen to be machines that you cloned? Or a machine broke and you recreated it by cloning another machine?

Other Sympthoms You May Get which have the same fix.

  • Computers randomly disappearing – reappearing into the WSUS console.
  • Computer will receive updates, but not report into the server properly (if at all!).

Why does this happen?

Each computer on a network requires a SID (Security IDentifier), which uniquely describes that computer account to the rest of the Windows network resources – supposedly not as big of an issue with computers in a domain environment as it is with workgroups.  However, it is best to avoid this issue at all costs.

If you clone a PC the OS and such is copied to the new PC, and you change the windows product key, office ect.. The windows SID used by WSUS DOES NOT CHANGE WITH THE PRODUCT KEY CHANGE! :(

The PC you just cloned now has the same SID for WSUS as the original PC, so you can now see why you may be getting any of the afore mentioned sympthoms.

Do I have this Problem? :)

The Microsoft team have a tool called “PsGetSid” the link is below.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/bb897417.aspx

Run this on the machines you have an issue with and comfirm that you are running duplicate keys first.

It is a great tool to verify the issue.

Run it from CMD Prompt to see the result.

One or Two Machines Cloned?

Just delete the following keys in the registry and reboot the PC

  • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAccountDomainSid
  • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdatePingID
  • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateSusClientId

Then run “PsGetSid” to confirm the SID has changed.

Lots of Machines Cloned?

To get round this you will need to run a script for each machine at logon, there is a guide here http://www.petri.co.il/setting-up-logon-script-through-gpo-windows-server-2008.htm on how to run logon scripts.

 

Once you know how to run a script at logon you will need to compile a script to perform the changes needed to the registry automatically at login by deleting the following keys

  •  HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAccountDomainSid
  • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdatePingID
  • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateSusClientId

Using a script when the PC is at Logon means that you will also need to stop services, then delete the keys then start the services again.

Therefore, the script will need to be a little more complex than just a bunch of REG DELETE commands.

I first did a lot of reading up on the issue on various “quality websites” (not everything on the web is useful! or true!)

In the end I used a modified login script per below which I copied into a .txt file and then changed the .txt suffix to .bat which was subsequently ran at logon.

Any way you run the below script at you own risk, no warranty is given or implied for the below script in any way or form!

Please read this script and get an understanding of each stage of the process that the bat file goes through and you will see how it works and so you can even write your own solution, my BAT file was called “FixMy_WSUS.bat”

 

REM ** Start FixMy_WSUS.bat script  Echo This little bat file will stop services, delete the required REG keys, re-register the windows update components, restart the required services. Then initiate windows update detetction cycle.

@echo on

echo stopping Windows Update cpmponents and deleting logs..

net stop wuauserv /y

net stop bits /y

rmdir c:windowsSoftwareDistribution /S /Q

del C:WindowsWindowsUpdate.log /S /Q

echo deleting the registry keys..

REG DELETE “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate” /v AccountDomainSid /f

REG DELETE “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate” /v PingID /f

REG Delete “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate” /v SusClientId /f

REG Delete “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate” /v SusClientValidation /f

REG DELETE “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAuto Update” /v LastWaitTimeout /f

REG DELETE “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAuto Update” /v DetectionstartTime /f

REG Delete “HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAuto Update” /v NextDetectionTime /f

 

echo re-resistering Windows Update cpmponents..

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wuapi.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wups.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wuaueng.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wucltui.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32msxml3.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wuaueng1.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wups2.dll /s

regsvr32.exe c:windowssystem32wuweb.dll /s

 

net start wuauserv /y

net start bits /y

 

echo Initiating Windows Updates detection cycle…

wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization

wuauclt.exe /detectnow

wuauclt.exe /reportnow

@echo off

REM **End FixMy_WSUS.bat script

 

Excel Crashes everytime you data sort, data filter in Office 2010

Symptom

Excel crashes when a particular spread sheet is being used, the spread sheet is a 2003 or 2007 version (or any spread sheet created before December 2010) the crash happens consistently when using a specific function such as Data Sort, Charting, Data Filters etc..

Often this suddenly happens to an old spreadsheet you have had a few years say from an older version of Office XP, 2003 and Office 2007.

Solution

1  Open the 2003 or 2007 file in 2010, then save it as a 2010 “Excel Workbook” (Select ‘Save As’, then under the filename select ‘Excel Workbook (*.xls)’).

This will save it in Excel 2010 format (However, this is not enough.  If you look at the top of the screen (in the middle  ) near the file name, you will see ‘[Compatibility Mode]‘, indicating that you are not working on a pure Excel 2010 file yet, but a sort of hybrid version.

2  So, after saving the file, close it, then re-open it, and you will see that [Compatibility Mode] is now gone, and data sorts (and filters) now work!

This fix seems to work with any old .xls (2003 2007 Office Excel) files which occasionally crash.

Cause

I’m pretty sure there is a problem in Microsoft’s handling of the old Excel file format (.xls) and the newer XML file format (.xlsx).

For other issues which are more random run the Microsoft Office Repair in Control Panel (programs and features)

 

Second mail domain on Exchange 2007 MX Records the setup.

At work everybody has a primary email address tied to the domain, which for us is CrownSpaHotel.com.

However, some users need a different primary domain (eg. ScarboroughHotel.com) this used to be easy to do in the old days of SBS2003, in fact we had around 7 domains in exchange as secondaries.

1. Make the changes in Exchange

With Exchange 2007, this all changed with a tightening up of security and a change in processes, anyway I searched everywhere for an answer and I found an easy step by step guide here http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/10/hosting-multiple-domains-on-sbs.html by Sean Daniel.

2. Make the changes on your new secondary domain

Plesk Panel

You will then need to make changes in your MX records, which for me was in a plesk panel.

In plesk you need to go to the DNS settings (in the website settings bit), here is a quick guide to the settings.

http://www.digitaldreamsinc.net/plesk/ch03s16.html

As a quick rule you should have:   (in my case) mail.ScarboroughHotel.com pointing to primary IP and mail1.ScarboroughHotel.com (notice the 1?) pointing to secondary IP then create two MX records

 

priority 10 = mail.ScarboroughHotel.com
priority 20 = mail1.ScarboroughHotel.com

3. PTR Records

What is a PTR Record

You can think of the PTR record as an opposite of the A record. While the A record points a domain name to an IP address, the PTR record resolves the IP address to a domain/hostname.

PTR records are used for the reverse DNS (Domain Name System) lookup. Using the IP address you can get the associated domain/hostname. An A record should exist for every PTR record.

The usage of a reverse DNS setup for a mail server is a good solution. Some external mail exchange servers make reverse DNS lookups before accepting messages originating from your mail server

So basically unless you want your mail getting flagged as SPAM, you need a valid PTR record on the static IP’s you use to send mail on.

Having set all this up – it all started working! :) But I then had a panic attack, PTR records!

You normally setup PTR records when you first setup your SBS system – this is so everyone in the internet world knows who you are – otherwise your mail might be classed as SPAM!

I had already set these up for the primary domain, so I naturally though I would need to set them up for the secondary domain, in fact you can only have one PTR per broadband line (with static IP) or internet IP!

However, as long as the IP you are sending from has a valid PTR record and it is corresponding to a valid A record you are fine, it validates the IP, so you do not need to set up another PTR record.

Now this bit was good to read of, but I have to admit it took me ages to find this very simple fact out!

Open multiple Instances of Excel in Office 2010 and 2007

After over 2 years of using MS Office 2007 and now 2010 (a couple months),  I have become really frustrated with Excel opening in the same instance, especially when I now have two excellent monitors.

 This single instance “feature” was implemented in Office 2007 to save memory, and is a great feature if you are working on alike notebooks, but bloody pointless when you have two monitors and 4GB of RAM and 4 CPU’s in your work PC!

But I now have a solution!

This fix works by adding certain keys into your registry.

It will not only allow you to double-click on an icon and have it open in a separate window, but also adds a neat little Right Click dialog that reads “Open in New Excel Instance”, when you right click an excel file.

 Pop over here and download the  zip file

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Excel/A_1007-Option-to-open-excel-2007-documents-in-a-new-instance.html

Running Compatibility Mode on remote .exe's, Impossible not!

I love W7, but sometimes things still go wrong. We have an acient program that runs the .exe from a network source using a VisualFoxPro DB.

It kept having occasional crashes, which is very anoying when in a reception enviroment and live production enviroment.

The answer is to run the .exe in compatability mode, but the .exe is on a romote network resource, caqn it be done?

Fortunately, W7 proves it is up for the job;

Follow the steps below:
1. Click Start.
2. Type in Troubleshooter in the Start Search.
3. Click on Programs.
4. Click on Program Compatibility.
5. Click Next.
6. Click Not Listed.
7. Enter the .exe file path in the location (this should be \remote-driveancient-softwareancient.EXE)

8. Click Try Recommended Settings

9. Settings should apply Windows Compatibility Mode: Windows XP

10. Click Next

11. Click Start the Program button, it will error as its not passing a start in location for our application

12. Click Cancel on the error messages from the premier software

13. Click Next

14. Click Yes, save these setting for this program

15. Click Close

16. Close and re-open the Ancient-Program shortcut. :)

Lost your homepages? Why not create a backup (of sorts!)

This happens to my profile alot, no body elese just mine, very irratating.

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Your home page is displayed when Internet Explorer first opens or when you click the Home button , and it can consist of either a single page or a set pages. Saving your current collection of home page tabs as favorites lets you keep them even if you reinstall Internet Explorer, delete the home pages, or reset Internet Explorer to its default settings.

To save home pages as favorites

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Internet Explorer.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • If you’re using Internet Explorer 8, click the Favorites button, click the arrow next to the Add to Favorites button, and then click Add Current Tabs to Favorites.
  • If you’re using Internet Explorer 7, click the Add to Favorites button, and then click Add Tab Group to Favorites.
  1. Type the name you want to give to the tab group (for example, Home page backup), pick the folder you want to create the backup in, and then click Add. Your home pages are now saved as favorites.

To restore your home page tabs

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Internet Explorer.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • In Internet Explorer 8, click the Favorites button.
  • In Internet Explorer 7, click the Favorites Center button .
  1. Point to your home page backup folder, and then click the arrow to the right of the folder name .
  2. Click the arrow next to the Home button , click Add or Change Home Page, click Use the current tab set as your home page, and then click Yes.

Sending Hyperlinks does not always work as a hyperlink should! Why?

 

I have listened to a few users at work and noticed that some people are having problems sending hyperlinks within emails.

This is often due to links for files or folders having spaces in them, I have tried to eliminate spaces in the file structure on the new server but this is not always possible when it comes to file names made by users.

A simple fix is available for this issue, simply enclose you hyperlink which is not recognised in speech marks (“  “).

E.g.

You need to send a hyperlink to a hypothetical document we will call “sample document.doc” stored on say a share directory.

\shared-directoryFilessample document.doc                                           may not always go blue with an underline (i.e. Windows does not recognise the full-link as a hyperlink)

Simply adding the speech marks as prefix and sufffix.

\shared-directoryFilessample document.doc

will sort out the spaces messing up the hyperlink for you, it also makes the speech marks disappear ( I have re-added them for clarity as you can see the link has gone blue).

Print previw in IE8 is blank, why?

When a user tries to print (or preview) they get “Page 1 of 1″ at the header and

file://C:Users(username)appdataLocalTempLowWZWRJKBX.htm” and the date in the footer. (The rest of the page is blank.)

THE FIX!:
Looking in the localprofile you will notice that there was no folder “Low” in that “Temp” directory, so I made an empty one (called “Low” of course, in that “…Temp” directory.). It’s all good now…hope this helps anyone else who has that problem.

The open command prompt and enter the below replacing (username) with the username.

ICACLS C:Users(username)AppDataLocalTempLow /setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)low

Temporary user profile loaded instead or roaming profile

Temporary user profile always loaded or user profile was manually deleted, yep! I did this alot with XP (Server 2003) and always got away with it; not

  • Backup the registry using ccleaner first or export function from regedit.
  • reboot log on as local administrator on the loacl machine (not as a domain user if you do then reboot)
  • delete all domain profiles on the computer (not your local PC domain profiles though!)

then check in C:users that they have gone.

  1. To resolve this problem yourself, follow these steps:
    1. Delete the profile by using the Computer Properties dialog box. To do this, follow these steps:
      1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
      2. Click Change settings.
      3. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
      4. Under User Profiles, click Settings.
      5. In the User Profiles dialog box, select the profile that you want to delete, click Delete, and then click OK.
    2. Click Start in run box type regedit in the Start search box, and then press ENTER.
    3. Locate and then expand the following registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList

  1. Right-click the SID that you want to remove, and then click Delete. (basically delete all the domain ones)
  2. Reboot then Log on to the computer and create a new profile.