Archive for software

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.


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.

Firewall video and software – Systm and IPCop

I was surfing around looking for tools to help me learn more about networking and TCP/IP packets and I came across Systm.    It is a DIY show for geeks that has a bunch of shows on how to setup “geeky” stuff, like a home NAS and Media Center and yes, Firewall.  So after listening to the show on firewalls I decided that my very next project will be to setup an IPcop firewall system at home for testing and learning.  I understand from the show and by looking online that there are many people out there using it, so I should be able to setup it up and get help and learn a few things as well. 

Now if I can just dig out a complete system from my closet at home I will be all set. . .

Malware Fighting Fun – IE-AV

Have spent a full day this week tracking down and getting rid of some crap one of my users got while watching videos online.  I wanted to document where I found help for this as it may help others and I don’t want to forget what I did.

The problem was that everytime my user (let’s call him John) went to the internet. . he could get a site, but if he tried to click on a second link, he was directed to a bogus website that told him he needed to install the ie-av program.  John had Norton, so I ran that and it found nothing out of the ordinary, so I then did a quick install of Ad-Aware and Spybot.  They found lots of things, but didn’t really help my problem much.  So it was off to Google and a search for IE-AV which led me to a great site where there was ample information and instructions.  NOTE:  I found the comments at the end of this blog most helpful in getting this off John’s PC.

It turns out, that all I really needed to do was uninstall the .dll files that had been dumped in the WINDOWS\System32 directory.  Now, an interesting if not disturbing sidenote is that, when I went into the \WINDOWS directory and the \System32 directory it popped up IE and the same annoying site.  For me, I had three files (g2tool.dll, gtool~1.dll and Gtool.dll) that I needed to delete, and I did have to go into Safe Mode to delete one of them.  A reboot and all was good.

I still want to rebuild that computer, as I am not at all convinced it is “clean” but for now, John is happy and thinks I do great work. . .today a Hero. . .tomorrow?  Who knows?

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.

Adding a Secondary Server to Symantec Corporate Version 10

Someone mistakenly made one of our oldest, most ready-to-die servers the Secondary Server at our location a year ago, so I needed to rectify that quick this week since that server is really ready-to-die now.  I could not find any great documentation really on how you go about doing that, but was able to get it working anyway.

I logged into the Symantec System Center that installed on my main server and really did almost everything from there.  I first had to unlock my server group, and then I chose Tools -> AntiVirus Server Rollout.  I followed the wizard that came up, basically I had to choose my new server, identify the group I wanted to associate with it, and then install it on the new server.  After restarting the server it was installed on, I only had to drag and drop my clients from one server to the other.  It couldn’t have been more simple.

Based on some instructions I found, I could have also installed it from a CD, but since I don’t have those here at our location, this was the way to go for me.  I am off now to disable the old server and then uninstall Symantec from that system.

Backup Exec and Exchange 2003

So I had a bit of a panic attack over the weekend after our VP of IT called Friday to ask me to send him over a copy of our backup procedure.  I had the procedure ready (in my head at least, just needed to put it to keyboard and paper) but I also realized that in our backup of our Exchange server, we were not doing mailbox backups.

We use Backup Exec version 9, and we are backing up the drives and the Information Store and the Shadow copy Components, but not the mailboxes and public folders.  So, I started worrying and reading as frantically as I could.  What I found after reading quite a bit and trying (and failing) some test backups was that I didn’t need to backup the mailboxes.

According to the Help, “mailboxes and public folders are already included in the Exchange server database backups, but if you want to make the restore of a mailbox or folder easier, you can also select one or more mailboxes or public folders for backup seperately from the database.”  Now, ideally, I do want to backup the mailboxes seperate.  However, until I get that figured out, I am still backing up the data and can restore it in the event of a failure.

Now, back to getting the account setup correctly so I can backup the mailboxes individually. . .more on that later.

Symantec System Center Console

Pushing NAV to client PCs

I don’t have to go into SSCC too often, and I tend to forget from time to time exactly how to push the client software to new computes, so I thought I would document it here and then if it helps someone else, well great.

After opening SSCC and unlocking my server group, I need to choose my server from the left hand pane.  Once I have done that, I go up to Tools -> ClientRemote Install and accept the default option for the Location, then in the next box, I need to choose the PC names from the left box and move them to the right box.  Once I have picked all the new PCs, I can click on the Finish button and NAV will install on the PCs that I chose.

The next step is to figure out how to add computers that aren’t on the list. . .

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.

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