Friday 30 November 2012

Windows 7: Find Computer Name At Ctrl-Alt-Del Logon Screen

To find the computer name of a Windows 7 domain workstation at the Ctrl-Alt-Del logon screen:

Type .\ in the User name field and the computer name will be displayed instead of the domain.

User name: .\
Log on to: computername

  • Type Ctrl-Alt-Del
  • Click Switch User
  • Click Other User
  • Click How do I log on to another domain?
The computer name is displayed within the message box.

VMware ESXi 4.1: Find Hardware Serial Number

To find the hardware serial number

  • Enable Tech Support Mode within the vSphere Client
  • SSH to the ESXi host
  • Login as root and run the following command:

esxcfg-info | grep "Serial Number"

For example:

host> esxcfg-info | grep "Serial Number"

      |----Serial Number............................................ABCDEFGHIJ

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Sophos Anti-Virus: Installation Error 3051 - an error occurred while trying to create the user account SophosSAU

Sophos Error 3051 during installation.

Run Sophos install and note user name that is expected.

Create local user account to match in Computer Management - Local Users and Groups or Control Panel.

Create the following registry keys:

DWORD: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Service] "ObfuscatedPassword"=0x00000000

String: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Service]
"Download User"="SophosSAUCOMPUTERNAME”

String: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Service]
"Download Password"="[enter Sophos Download password]"

Re-run the installer and the user account should be deleted once the installation completes.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Adobe Reader: An Error Occurred While Sending Mail

Adobe Reader - An Error Occurred While Sending Mail

This error can occur when trying to attach a PDF file to an email from within Adobe Reader and may be caused by an installation of Mozilla Thunderbird.

Check the default E-mail editor is set correctly in Control Panel > Internet Options > Programs

Amend the following registry key:


From Mozilla Thunderbird to Microsoft Outlook

Also amend the following key for new users on the system:


DFS Replication: Not replicating some PDF files

DFS Replication not replicating some PDF files - issue likely to be caused by PDF application saving the file with a TEMP attribute.

The issue is explained in more detail here:

This can be caused by PDF Complete Special Edition, preinstalled on HP desktops.

To fix, start by using the following PowerShell command to scan the replicated folder to see affected files:

Get-ChildItem "X:\Directory" -Recurse | ForEach-Object -Process {if(($_.attributes -band 0x100) -eq 0x100) {Write-Output $_}}

Save a copy of the output to txt file using the following PowerShell command:

Get-ChildItem "X:\Directory" -Recurse | ForEach-Object -Process {if(($_.attributes -band 0x100) -eq 0x100) {Write-Output $_}} | Out-File X:\file.txt

Clear attribute on all affected files using the following PowerShell command:

Get-ChildItem X:\Directory -Recurse | ForEach-Object -Process {if (($_.attributes -band 0x100) -eq 0x100) {$_.attributes = ($_.attributes -band 0xFEFF)}}

Monday 9 July 2012

Bloomberg: Excel 2007 Add-in Error - An error has occurred during Hotkeys

A Bloomberg error message is displayed at launch of Excel 2007:

"An error has occurred during Hotkeys"

Check user has full permissions over Bloomberg install folder

Eg: C:\blp


Consult Bloomberg Minimum File & Registry Rights document:

Monday 2 July 2012

Exchange 2007: Duplicate Mailbox Contacts

Exchange 2007 and duplicate contacts, possibly caused by iPhone synchronisation.

Duplicate remover tools may fail due to the sheer quantity - in my case I had approximately 177000 contacts.

1. Temporarily disable ActiveSync on mailbox
2. Export entire Contacts folder in Outlook to temporary PST file - this is your backup
3. Create new PST file, examine date modified / date created fields of the contacts, create new Contacts folder in temporary PST file and copy
4. Run the following PowerShell command on the Exchange server to delete the contents of the Contacts folder:

Export-Mailbox -Identity USER -IncludeFolders '\Contacts' -DeleteContent

- This may take some time - be patient and monitor progress using the following PowerShell command:

Get-MailboxFolderStatistics -Identity USER -FolderScope Contacts

5. Restore the contacts from the temporary PST file

Monday 18 June 2012

ADSI Edit: msExchQueryBaseDN Attribute Missing

msExchQueryBaseDN attribute missing in ADSI Edit.

Click Filter and untick "Show only attributes that have values".

Blackberry Enterprise Server: Failed Forwarding Message

Mail delivery from Blackberry Enterprise Server to one Blackberry device delayed with the error message:

"failed forwarding message".

If only one user affected look to replace the SIM card and check the contract hasn't recently changed.

VGA: Unable to Set Native Resolution

Unable to set native 1920x1080 resolution on Samsung SyncMaster 2243 when using 3m VGA cable.

Check all pins on VGA are connected - "fully wired" - this issue can be caused if one pin, pin 9, is missing.

Pin 9 is used to power the DDC and EDID circuits that tell the computer what resolutions the monitor supports.

When replacing original cables with longer VGA cables, reboot the machine to ensure the native resolution is held.

Friday 11 May 2012

Outlook: Recover Hard Deleted Items

Items deleted from the 'Deleted Items' folder can be retrieved by using the 'Recover Deleted Items' option in the Tools menu.

However, you can this on other mail folders as well including Drafts and Inbox. It is enabled by creating the following registry key:

1. Start Registry Editor
2. Locate the following key:


3. Click Add Value on the Edit menu. Add the following values

Value name: DumpsterAlwaysOn
Data type: DWORD
Value data: 1

4. Close Registry Editor

Thursday 10 May 2012

Bloomberg: Bloomberg Excel Tools is either corrupt or missing

“Bloomberg Excel Tools is either corrupt or missing. Please contact your administrator.”


You need to install (or reinstall) the Bloomberg Excel Add-In.
To do so, perform the following steps (these are for Excel 2010):

1. Open Excel, and select File > Options > Add-Ins
2. On the bottom of the screen, where it says “Manage”, make sure “Excel Add-ins” is picked, and click Go.
3. Click Browse and browse to: C:\blp\API\Office Tools\BloombergUI.xla
4. Click OK.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Sophos Anti-Virus: Amend AutoUpdate Configuration

To amend Sophos Anti-Virus AutoUpdate configuration:

1. Close Sophos
2. Browse to %ProgramFiles%\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Config
3. Open iconn.cfg with a text editor, change AllowLocalConfig value to be 1 and save
4. Launch Sophos and configure as required

Thursday 12 April 2012

Windows Server 2008: Terminal Services "an error occurred while an initial user program was starting"

"You are connected to the remote computer.  However, an error occurred while an initial user program was starting, so you are being logged off."

1. Open the following registry key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options
2. Right click on Image File Execution Options and select Permission
3. Ensure System has Full Control permission
4. Ensure SERVER\Users group has Read permission

Click OK and logon as the user. If the problem persists, check the following:

1. Locate the Registry Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. Make sure the value of Shell is explorer.exe
2. SERVER\Users group should have "Read & Execute" and "Read" permission on %windir%\explorer.exe file
3. Test turning off antivirus