Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Change default Save As location in Microsoft Office

How to configure Microsoft Word or Excel to save to your U: drive (or other location) by default:
1. Open Word and choose the Tools menu at the top.
2. Choose Options… from the drop-down list.

3. Click on the File Locations tab.
4. Highlight the Documents file type and click Modify.
5. Navigate to your U: drive and click OK.
6. Click OK to close out of the Options dialog box.

You will need to do this again within Excel and any other Office product you use.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

PDF Documents in SharePoint

If you are a user of Microsoft SharePoint Technologies, you may notice that Microsoft only supplies icons for Microsoft or generic products in their Document Libraries. For instance, PDF documents show up with the default windows icon and the extension is hidden. So any user hasn't a clue what type of file it is until she clicks on it. I found this site to be informative and accurate to add the PDF icon into a location on your server hosting SharePoint and where to edit an XML file to add the file to SharePoint. This fix will work for any document extension you wish to add an icon to SharePoint. Once the changes are added you will need to restart your IIS services or reboot the server.

The site also includes an icon and batch file to automate the process, but use at your own risk.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

ActiveSync SYNC_5

On a Verizon Pocket PC with Windows Mobile installed I was getting the error SYNC_5 when I was trying to sync up with the Exchange Server. This problem started after we changed the ISP service. All I did to resolve it was go into the AciveSync > Options > Server Tab and uncheck the calendar, contacts, and mail items. Close out of Active Sync then open again and re-check those items. Now Syncing works. Of course I had to resync everything again because by unchecking ActiveSync deletes all sync items.

I found my answer at:

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Verizon Wireless WAN Card

If you have misplaced your Verizon Wireless WAN card software you can go here to download it again.

I needed it for a client's PC 5740 PCMCIA card.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Changing the default font in Microsoft Word 2003

Have you ever asked yourself, "How do I change the default font in Microsoft Word 2003?"

To adjust the default fonts within word follow these 5 steps:
1)Make sure all programs are closed
2)Open Word
3)From the top bar, click on Format > Font
4)In the window that pops up make changes to the font information you want to adjust:

5)Click on the Default button and then OK to save your changes.

This will make changes to the main Word default document. If you use other templates such as Fax coverpages, you will need to load those templates and perform steps 3-5 again.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

CHM file won't show correctly

I've had problems on my Windows XP machine viewing html help files with the *.chm extension. Also it only happened on files that I downloaded from the internet. When opened, the file has the tree structure on the left and in the right-hand pane says "Action Cancelled"
To resolve this issue, right click on the filename or icon and choose "Properties." Under the general tab you will see a section called "Security" under the "Attributes" section. Click on "Unblock." Now you should be able to open up the file.

If This doesn't solve your issue click here to view how others have solved their problem. This is the site that helped me to fix my problem.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My New Computer

Well, for the first time in five years I'm building a computer again. I swore I wouldn't do it and just get an HP or DELL, but they just didn't have what I wanted. Plus, it's fun to assemble. When searching for the parts I wanted I found that was the best computer store ever. Eat your heart out, Fry's. Below is the list of items that I chose to use for my multimedia master:

ViewSonic VA1912wb 19" DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor. It doesn't tilt to portrait, and the speakers aren't great, but I wasn't going to use those features anyway. It has a crisp clean color and is BIG!

Antec P-160W Silver Case with Side Panel Window, big and easy for part installation. It even has a thermometer inside the case for temperature readings: Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Antec TruePower 2.0 480 Watt Power Supply, quiet and powerful.

Intel D945PVS ATX Media Series Motherboard with Onboard SATA RAID, digital sound, and more USB and Firewire Ports than you can shake a stick at.

Intel Pentium D 930 800MHz FSB, 2 x 2MB L2 Cache, 3.0GHz; Dual core, put XP x64 on here and also another heatsink and fan. The fan it comes with is LOUD!

ATI All-In-Wonder 2006 Edition 256MB DDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16. This bad boy has a TV Tuner, FM Radio, remote control, and so much included software features there's no need for Media Center Edition.

Antec 120mm Ball Case Fan. With all the hard drives I'm putting inside I needed a way to put more cool air inside the case... quietly.

Hitachi Deskstar 250GB 7200RPM SATA II 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive. Four of these puppies in a RAID 5 configuration gives me 750GB of data storage that keeps my data intact in case of a hard drive failure.

Cooler Master CPU Fan/Heatsink. I want a quiet machine, Intel's included heatsink and fan were just too loud, and this one keeps the dual cores cooler too.

In the end I think I should've gone with Microsoft's Windows 64-bit version over the Media Center Edition. But who really knows if it would be any better. People ask me why I didn't put Linux on it instead, but that's because my wife will be using this computer too. And she only wants to know how to use Windows.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Global Address List (GAL)

I had a customer call me because he added a new user to his Small Business Server and wanted to see them in the Global Address List in his Outlook. Exchange doesn't automatically update the GAL upon user creation in Active Directory. I think it's strange that Exchange doesn't automatically update the GAL when it creates a mail box for the user. Instead Exchange is set up to update the GAL once a day. If you want that person to be listed immediately you will have to manually start the update.

First you need to open up the Exchange System Manager and navigate to Recipients > Offline Address Lists

Second, double click on the Default Offline Address List

Third, under update interval click the Customize button.

From there, select a time that is closest to your current time and wait for it to pass. Outlook should update automatically. And your employees won't have to manually type in the new users full email address.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Remote Computer Access

I had a need to remotely access a Windows 2000 Professional computer, but Microsoft didn't have Remote Desktop capabilities built into it. I found TightVNC which is a free program protected by GPL licensing. You can set it up as a viewer, or to control a remote computer based on password access. It operates on ports 5900 and 5800. However I wouldn't recommend it for using over the internet because of weak encryption. I first remote into another machine before I use this program, or you could use OpenSSH to secure it. The website to download it can be found at

Outlook 2003 not default email handler

This article is a re-posting of some help I received from google groups:

UaHardwick wrote -
Let me rephrase that title. Outlook 2003 is the default email handler, yet it won't respond when I click on a mailto: someb link. In my start menu (WinXP) the e-mail Icon is an envelope not the Outlook 2003 icon. If I right click on the start menu > Properties > Start Menu - Customize; the email option is Microsoft Outlook, not outlook express.

In Internet Explorer I go to tools > internet options > Programs(tab) Microsoft Office Outlook is already chosen for email.

In Outlook 2003 I go to Tools > options > other(tab) the checkmark box next to "Make Outlook the default program for E-mail, Contacts, and Calendar." is greyed out.

Also note that I am running a small business server 2003 domain with Outlook 2003 installed as an assigned application through Active Directory.

How can I really make this program my defalult email handler? Or at least show the Outlook icon on the start menu.

Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook] wrote -
It's a Windows setting. You can change the icon on a per shortcut basis or change the default in Control Panel-> Folder Options-> tab File Types-> URL:MailTo Protocol

UaHardwick wrote -
Thank you for the reply, I actually installed the service pack 2 for office 2003 and it resolved the problem for me.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Windows Small Business Server 2003 Migration

This weekend I, along with a couple of coworkers, performed a migration of a customer's network from Windows 2000 server to Windows Small Business Server 2003. I didn't realize it would be so complicated at first, but SBS 2003 wants to be the Primary Domain Controller. I thought PDC's were out the door since Windows NT. So instead of just installing a new server in the environment and promoting it to domain controller status, we needed to create a whole new network. SBS' features are cool and cheap, but are they worth the price? In my test network of the migration I ran into a few false starts, but the migration went as planned.
During our actual migration things didn't go quite so smoothly, but nothing disastrous. First we needed to demote one of the current Domain Controllers so I could be migrated to the new network. Upon demotion we had our first casualty, ePolicy Orchestrator. ePO was running on MSDE but it could no longer read from the database. It gave suggestions to log in as the local administrator, but that didn't help. We decided to scrap it and install it fresh on the new server. Besides McAfee had updated the software since it was initially installed.
Users and groups migrated just as they should've. The computers were giving us some trouble, but I think it was because we had to wait for DNS to update all the computers. For the most part all computers migrated with only two needing to be done manually.
Exchange was the easiest part of the migration, although I wish the migration tool included public folders (there were so many of them!). We started the migration and left for the weekend. I think that it took at least 16 hours to complete. It took 30 minutes to bring over 8,000 messages and we knew it was time to leave it alone.
Monday morning, preparing for the users: Exchange Migration 0 errors! However the discovery of our biggest headache: Roaming Profiles. It started with the server that roaming profiles was stored on. The permissions to the drive they were on didn't migrate over, so I had to take ownership of the drive and files. This created a bigger problem, Administrator was the owner of the network file and not it's respective owners. We did not know this was the problem for a long time. Every time the user would log she would get an error saying that the roaming profile could not be loaded and that a local copy would be used. I found that it was also creating an event log application error: userenv 1000. Upon research we found there was a solution. Lo and behold, Group Policy could solve our ails. What was the group policy setting?
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > User Profiles > Do not check for user ownership of Roaming Profile Folders = Enabled

After solving that problem the rest was downhill. All the clients' Line of Business Applications worked as normal with little quirks and hickups.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Disable Hidden Windows XP Programs

Here's a useful tool if you want to disable certain features hidden within the Windows XP operating system quickly and simply. Items such as Windows Messenger, Automatic Updates, Balloon Tips, and Sending Error Reports are among some of the items that can be turned off with this free utility. The website where it can be found is:
This site can be trusted, but, however, there are some that have created similar sites that end with .de that contain malware that will download to your PC if you happen upon them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Exchange Logs

Here's an interesting thing I learned about exchange logs. You know that you shouldn't be deleting them because Exchange should be taking care of that for you. But what if Exchange isn't clearing the logs for you? I have one customer that hasn't done a backup in over a year. We're going to install a new server on his site because a)the email server is at it's storage capacity, and b)he's still on Windows 2000 Server. In preparation for the new server I need to back up his current server. I bring the tape drive from my office and install it on his server and perform a full backup using ntbackup. Today he has over 40GB of storage space available on his harddrive. What happened? Did simply clearing the archive bit on all those log files give Exchange the okay to delete them? All my other customers do a daily backup so I've never seen this behavior before. I'll definitely have to keep this in mind for the future.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Google Mail Hosting

I'm very excited this weekend. Why? Because I just moved my website over to a much cheaper hosting provider: My previous hosting was $10 a month and I wasn't even taking advantage of all its features. GoDaddy has double the storage space for less than $3 a month. I purchased my domain through them anyway so the transition was easy. Mail was included in GoDaddy's hosting plan but I wanted to use GMail services.

I signed up for Google's Domain Mail Hosting service. It's free if you don't mind harmless text adds next to your messages. I love how it groups email messages together that are replys back and forth. I always wished Outlook would do that. Google calls them conversations, not email messages.

Another great feature is I can add in all my friend's blog feeds to show up as a headline ticker just above my message window. The page will refresh itself to display any new emails arriving, and I can stay logged in all day without being kicked off because of this refreshing (double entendre) feature.

With all the storage space they provide for you, Gmail reccomends you to archive your messages instead of deleting them, so they'll always be there to search for; google search 'em. Like when somebody sends you their new address in an email, but you're too lazy to update their contact info. Just search it, you'll find it. I love it!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Improve Security of your Home Computer

I worked for a small Optometrist office that had only two computers, and no server. Windows XP makes it easy to share files between to computers as peers without any kind of authentication other than you are part of the same workgroup (which is typically called WORKGROUP). They have a son that would like to come in and play on the computer, and mess around and perhaps delete important files. XP in workgroup mode had a very slight way of blocking his access to company files, but if those files were in a shared folder, he had complete access.

After searching around I found I could increase the security options on files like that of a domain. In Windows Explorer click on Tools > Folder Options and click on the View tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page and uncheck Use simple file sharing (recommended), and click OK. Now you can right click any folder and choose to set sharing and file permissions. Remember to create additional usernames and passwords for people on other machines that will be accessing the data on this computer.

If you combine this tip with my previous blog you have set up for yourself the poor man's domain, and put off buying a server for much longer.

Saved User Passwords

Do you connect to several different machines in your workgroup and are required to enter a username and password every time you log on to the remote computer? Or are you running a Windows XP Home edition on a Domain network? Microsoft has included a little known tool on all editions of it's XP Operating System (I say little known, because I've only now just discovered it.) called "Store User Names and Passwords". It's a perfect way to secure your home computer network without the hassle of entering another password. To start the program click on Start > Run and type rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr into the Open field.

When it opens up, click Add. In the new window type in the information pertaining to the computer you want to connect to. If you are connecting to a domain just type an asterisk for the computer name followed by the domain name. ie. *

For full details on this tool check out Microsoft's website:;en-us;306541&sd=tech

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hello RSS, Goodbye Newspaper

How do you get your news? From that large awkward paper that gets black ink everywhere? From the TV? What a waste of time! Why do I want to wait around for the 11 o'clock news just to find out about the new weightloss study? I want my news now, when it's published. And I'd like to check up on my blogging friends too.

RSS is a standard for organizing headlines. It stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is the coolest way to get the latest information. How you use an RSS feed is you install an RSS feed reader on your machine. My favorite one is RSS Bandit. Super cool. It already has a few feeds automatically installed, and from there you right click on any category and choose Subscribe to new feed and it will walk you through the process of setting up new feeds. For example you can subscribe to this blog as a feed. It's address is Once you put that address in it will find the RSS feed and load it into your reader. Check it out!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

How to change a taillight on a New Beetle

This isn't a computer tip, but after searching online for hours on how to change the light in my beetle I decided once I found out how to do it I would put it online to help someone else. Our Beetle is a 2003 model convertible, but you may find that these instructions will work with any beetle from '98 to 2005.

1. to remove the tail light you must first unscrew the wingnut on the backside of the light. This is located behind what appears to be a plastic ventcover inside the trunk.

2. to remove the cover take an ordinary butter knife and slip it between the car body and the rubber lining at 4 or 5 o'clock (driver's side) and pry open enough to get your finger underneath. Pull the cover up diagonally toward the side of the car, it is only held in by a simple spring catch.

3. rotate the light socket 1/4 turn to remove from the cover, and ta-da you're done! Take the bulb to Pep Boys (or your auto parts store of choice) and ask them to match it for a replacement.

Two bulbs cost $5 but VW service wanted to charge me $45 for just the one.