Archive for Microsoft

Printers disappear randomly on Windows7

I have a user who called in because her printers keep disappearing.  They are still installed on her pc (I can see them all via the control panel) but in some programs there are none listed, and the spooler keeps going on and off.  A quick google search turned up this article about this print spooler issue.

This was the fix that did it for me:

Clear Printer Spooler Files and Enable the Spooler Service


1. Click Start, type “Services.msc” (without the quotation marks) in the Search box and press Enter.

2. Double-click “Printer Spooler” in the Services list.

3. Click Stop and click OK.

4. Click Start, type “%WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers” in the Start Search box and press Enter, delete all files in this folder.

5. Click Start, type “Services.msc” (without the quotation marks) in the Start Search box and press Enter.

6. Double-click “Printer Spooler” in the Services list.

7. Click on Start. In the Startup Type list, make sure that “Automatic” is selected and click OK.


Windows 7

We finally have a licensed copy of Windows 7 that I can install and use, and I have to say that I really like it so far. I know I am behind the curve a bit, but better late than never!

We never really embraced Vista, so most of our systems have remained on XP. And while I am a bit nervous about moving everyone to Windows 7, and having to answer tons of questions about where everything has moved to, I have LOVED installing it so far.

I am finding that even on my really old systems most of the drivers installed by default work quite well and I haven’t had to use multiple computers yet to track down, download and then upload a network driver. A common problem on an XP install.

I have yet to use it a ton. . .but so far I really like what I see. It seems quick, responsive, and much less bulky than Vista or even XP.

Internet Explorer 7 Issues – Can’t Use Text Boxes

I have a user who suddenly was unable to type anything in her text boxes in IE 7 a while back.  We were in the middle of a big move and my time was so limited that we just installed Firefox for her and she was fine, for a while.  It wasn’t until we started rolling out Microsoft Office Communicator and Microsoft Office Live Meeting this week that I was reminded of the issue because she was unable to type new messages or respond to messages sent her in Communicator.

I did all of the normal things we do, I think.  I cleared out all cookies and temporary internet files, I ran antivirus and ad checking and spyware programs.  I even uninstalled Java and reinstalled it and nothing worked.

Finally, I reinstalled IE 7 as a last resort before just doing an upgrade to IE 8, and after a reboot . . . walla . . . she is able to type in text boxes in IE 7 and Communicator now.

Smartphone won’t sync with Exchange 2007

I really like Exchange 2007.  My most active smartphone user has a Motorola Q that uses ActiveSync and he called in a panic the other morning because for about 12 hours his phone would not sync with the server.  He could send mail out, but he couldn’t get anything new in.

My first response was to have him reset his device, but that didn’t help.  So I went to the server, not really expecting to find anything there.  What I found were two consistant error messages in the Event Logs:  Event ID 1008 and Event ID 4999.

Here is the exact error for MSExchange ActiveSync Event ID 1008:

An exception occurred and was handled by Exchange ActiveSync. This may have been caused by an outdated or corrupted Exchange ActiveSync device partnership. This can occur if a user tries to modify the same item from multiple computers. If this is the case, Exchange ActiveSync will re-create the partnership with the device. Items will be updated at the next synchronization. . .

So I went back to the server to check the settings under Manage Mobile Device and noticed that I could “Remove Mobile Device Partnership.”  Since it wasn’t working anyway, I gave it a shot.  What do you know, after the users next sync he was ready to go.  Seems the partnership had corrupted and removing it and forcing a new one fixed our issue. . for now.

MSXML 6 Service Pack 2 Failed

Good night!  It took me several hours and lots of frustration today just to get Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007 installed.  Actually, to be most accurate, it took me that long just to get SQL Server Express Edition installed.  I would get almost done and then get a failure message.  The logs would indicate that

MSXML 6 Service Pack 2 (KB954459) 6.20.1099.0 Failed.

Ok, seems easy enough, uninstall the darn thing and try again, right?  WRONG.  It gave me the same darned error message when I tried to uninstall it to.

A quick Google search had me installing and using the Windows Install Cleanup Tool to completely remove MSXML 6 Service Pack 2 and a quick reboot had me back on track with the contact manager software installed in no time.  I had never heard of this program before, but I will be adding it to my list of tools.

Desktop Support – Linking Contacts in Office 2007

When working for a small company, I am finding that it is often necessary for me to be the desktop support  technician as well as the backup gal, server dudette, and network wirer.  I guess this is perfect for me, since I have always been more of a jack of all trades, master of none type of person anyway.   I can also usually track down the answer to any question, if given enough time and resources (usually 2 minutes and Google).

That is what it took to find the answer to the question for today.  I had a user ask me today how to link contacts in Office 2007.  He said he had done it in the older version, but could not find any information on how to do in 2007.  I personally have never linked contacts, so I had no idea what he was talking about, but as he seemed quite distressed, I jumped on Google to see what I could find.  Thankfully, this article by Jennifer Kershaw was just what I needed to be the hero today.

Here is the quick rundown; Open Outlook 2007, go to Tools –> Options –> Contact Options –> check the box next to “Show Contact Linkin gon all Forms” and wallah!  Now each contact has a box at the bottom right allowing you to link contacts to other contacts in your list.

Exchange Trouble Leads to Learning

Why is it that I always learn best by fire?  Why can’t I sit down with a tech book and read about issues, problems and tools BEFORE I have a fire to put out?  Oh well, I don’t.  I usually only learn tech tricks by  having to put out fires on the job.  This was the case last week when our main Exchange server stopped sending mail and started to hold all the messages in the queues. 

I had not had to track anything in the queues before this, so looking at and using the Message Tracking Center Tool was new to me.  I found some useful information on how to do this at two sites; Computer Performance and

But for quick information on how to get to your queues, what you should see, and some quick troubleshooting tips I recommend these sites to get you started.  And by all means, check out you queues, see how messages normally flow so that when you do  have a problem you will know how things should work and may just be able to quickly resolve your trouble.

Hard Drive Fun & Vista Service Pack 1

Hard Drive Fun 

I read an article today over at TechRepublic about how to build and configure an external hard drive enclosure that was really well done.

Greg Shultz not only goes through how to set one up, but he also explains how to properly set the jumpers on the drive, and what the different settings mean.  I enjoyed this article quite a bit, and thought that the information was pesented in a way that was very easy to understand.  I will be purchasing one of these for myself.

Vista Service Pack 1

I am installing it right this minute for the first time, so I will post updates here as I go today.  Hopefully this SP will fix all my issues with Vista (yeah right, and monkeys may fly out of my butt today).

Ok, here is the update, it took me about an hour to update my PC early in the morning.  It went smoothly and I had no download or update problems.

I have not seen any improvements or changes, other than now everytime I remotely connect to my servers at work I get a security message.  Nothing seems faster, it still takes MINUTES to open my network connections, and basically all annoyances are still present. 

I will be installing spk 1 on my laptop today, that may be a better indicator, as I use it much more often than I do my desktop.

iPhone and Exchange

It only took a few days to find what I needed to know about Exchange and the iPhone.  I guess in all fairness, I was not looking super hard, but still it seems like it was hard to find information about this.

Anyway, it seems that ActiveSync will not be available until June for the iPhone.  That is not a big deal to me, I have a Blackberry.  But, for our graphics guy here who just got his cool new iPhone, it is a bit disappointing to have to wait so long just to check his work email account.

According to a blog by Peter Cohen over at Macworld ActiveSync, which is software that is used by Exchange to push email to mobile devices, will be released in June during a major software update.  We are already using ActiveSync here to push e-mail content to our Treo users, so I know this will work, but JUNE?  Wow.  I wish I would have known this when my user first came to me asking about whether or not he should get an iPhone.  Again, sure they are cool and all, but come on, if I am paying that much for a “smartphone” it darn well better be smart enough to deliver my mail.

Ah well, June it is.

Exchange Note To Self – Contacts

I came across a new thing today in our OU and I wanted to document both what I found and how I changed our settings.  I came across a few contacts, where all other listings are Users or Groups.

We had three “contacts” setup in our list of users who have email accounts outside of our mail system.  As far as I could tell, they had no account or email with us, but they were members of two internal distribution groups.  The only options I have with these contacts is to add to a group, move, delete email addresses, open home page or send mail.

My boss asked me to delete these accounts today and forward the mail to him.  I couldn’t forward their mail, as it existed off our server, and I couldn’t disable the contacts as far as I could tell either, not did I really want to do this.  Instead, I simply removed the two group memeberships from these accounts.  Which actually achieved his goal, they will no longer get mail from us. 

« Previous entries