Windows 7 – Outlook/AD Password Lock Issues

I sure hope there is better information out there than this, but I am documenting a nagging problem for us here with Windows 7 and Exchange 2013.

Once we rolled out Windows 7 we started having multiple calls in to the helpdesk about accounts randomly locking out and AD passwords not working. We have a 3 month password change GP setup, so about 3 months after the conversion the calls started rolling in.

We would reset passwords and delete user mail profiles with some limited success, but we did have some stubborn issues. A search on Google turns up lots of advice, but for us, clearing out the stored credentials is the only lasting fix. Here’s how to do that:

Go to Control Panel
Click User Accounts
Click Credential Manager
Look under Generic Credentials
“Remove from vault” all credentials listed here

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

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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.

Personal Help Desk Tips

It’s a new year, a new day, and I’m feeling fine.  So I am going to start posting here again and use this space as a personal help desk of sorts.  Some of my help tips seem to really help people, so I am going to jump in and start posting again at least once a week.  I will post helps and fixes and general PC help tips.  At my current day job, we are on Windows 7 using Office 2013, so most of my tips will focus on that general area of helps.

I am a second level support person, so I will also share programming and network tips as I discover them.  .so stay tuned and welcome aboard!

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.

Moving Over – DBA

The progression of my IT career has been awkward, strange, and amusing altogether. I find myself now transitioning from doing mostly desktop support and user administration along with network support to full blown DBA.  Given, I am starting small with a few fairly complex Access Databases, but the company has big plans to move those all to SQL and web applications. YIKES!

So, here I go again on my own. . .jumping into Access, VBA, SQL and .NET, it sure is a good thing I like to learn, teach myself and go through trials by fire!  I am trying to start slow. . but am already getting questions and having to fix things. . .surely this is madness and there are more “traditional” ways to advance my career?!  “Thank you sir, may I have another” seems to me by MO.

If anyone has any great learning resources or recommendations on any or all of the above, please feel free to share!

My Relationship with Dell is Ending

I am mourning the loss today of a very nice relationship.  I used to be a HUGE Dell fan and customer. . .but that will end today.  After what has to be the strangest interaction with the company, I am done with them.

I had a server die on Thursday morning. . .it is a production server and the power supply died.  I should have had redundant power, but this is a little server that sits in the Graphics department, maintained by a very capable man there, and went under my radar. . until now.  Our whole production process has halted because this computer is out of commission and not only won’t Dell ship me the part. . .they don’t know when or if they can!  They have one in stock. . but they can’t release it to me!!  I have a server down. . did I mention that?  Unbelievable.  I used to tell every and anyone who would listen to get a Dell, their service rocks!  No more.  Bye bye Dell.  I think I hear HP calling. . .

Replacing a Laptop Hard Drive

I have purchased several Dell Latitude D630s for folks here in the office, and without fail, eventually the hard drives on these have to be replaced.  I am replacing one now, and thought it might be helpful to someone out there to see pictures and get a walk-thru.  It is very easy actually, and I am fairly confident that anyone can do this.  For better pictures and guide, check out the quickguide online.

This is a 250GB, 72KRPM replacement drive, part number 341-7743 from Dell, by the way.

1.  Back up all data and make a note of all programs that will need to be reinstalled.

2.  Shutdown your laptop and remove all power sources (not a bad idea to remove even the battery).

3.  Make sure you have a small Phillips screwdriver and that your laptop is securely lying upside down.

4.  Remove the two screws from the top left portion of your laptop.DSCF1626

5.  Carefully pull out the hard drive.

DSCF16206.  Remove the single screw that attaches the hard drive to the bay.

7.  Attach the new drive to the bay and secure the same screw.

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8.  Put new drive and bay back into the side of the laptop.

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9.  Reattach the new drive to the laptop with the same two screws taken out minutes ago.

DSCF162510.  Turn laptop right-side up and and boot laptop with an OS disk in the CD Drive and begin formatting your new drive.

I told you anyone could do it!

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.

Installing a New Tivo Hard Drive

So, I had this really crappy week a while back where my ipod, my Tivo and my laptop all died on me.  The ipod I fear is toast, as the connector won’t connect to a pc anymore no matter what I try.  It is two years old, so I think I will have to suck it up and buy a new one.

The laptop needed a new battery, easy to buy and fix.

The Tivo though, that was interesting.  It basically started spontaneously rebooting itself.  If you have ever had to sit through this, you will understand how quickly this becomes painful.  After several calls to tech support and trying different variations on a reboot. . they determined what I already knew to be true, my hard drive was gone.  Their recommendation, a refurbished unit for $160.  A new unit, with about 160 hours of space, is about $299.99 . . . so I figured I would look around a bit and see what I could find on my own.

I did find a couple of sites that sold replacement 160GB drives for about $100, so I decided to give that a shot.  Since it was a hard drive, I figured even if my Tivo never works I can reuse the drive in one of my PCs.  I purchased my drive from DVRUpgrade since they are somewhat local for me, and did the swap last night.  My Tivo was still working on getting all of the programming last night, but it appears to work just fine.  The swap was simple, made even simpler by the Torx driver they sent with the replacement drive, and their instructions are right on the money.

I am still bummed about the iPod, but at least I won’t have to miss any more of my favorite shows.  I have missed Grace, Brenda, and Dr. Brennan, not to mention all the new greats like Leverage, Lie To Me and Dollhouse!   Thank goodness for Hulu.

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.

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