Showing posts from December, 2009

Stop the Exchange account getting set as default in Outlook

By default in a Microsoft Small Business Server environment, every time a user logs into their client PC a script is run which (among other things) changes their Outlook profile, setting their default account to the Exchange server. This can be a major pain for users who have a POP account(s) setup as default in their Outlook profile.  It means that each time they login they must go into Tools | Accounts and set their POP account to be default. There is thankfully a fairly straightforward fix… Open REGEDIT on the client computer (Start | Run | regedit) and navigate to HKEY Local Machine\Software\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\ClientSetup. Create a DWORD entry here named “NoTransportOrder” and give this a value of “1”. The transport order will not be changed next time the user logs in. In my opinion it’s way better to have your clients setup to use Exchange and have Exchange send and receive email for them.  Having clients collecting POP is messy.  But in the real wor


I sometimes have to deal with customer computers whose Outlook PST or OST files have become corrupted.  Very often the fix is to run SCANPST.EXE on the offending PST/OST file.   However, every time I go to do this I forget where the two executable files are.  Here is where they are on a Vista machine running Office 2007: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 I hope this helps.

I won’t be buying a Seagate product for a long time

I’ve been in the IT business for over 10 years now and for a long time regarded Seagate as brand to be relied on.  They seemed to have a high level of design integrity and quality.  The FreeAgent Pro external drives were fantastic – fast, quiet, reliable.  The 750GB ST3750640NS internal drives were solid and speedy.  But things have changed. I have never been so singularly disappointed with any IT products as I have with the hard drives Seagate has produced this year.  Apparently they have shifted their production facility to the far east.  Whatever the reason, there is absolutely no excuse for the staggering level of shoddy build quality of their current crop of hard drives. I would say that in the last year approximately 80% of the PC’s, Servers, and NASes I have re-sold with Seagate hard drives and upgraded with Seagate hard drives have had drive failures.  The figure may even be bigger. To make matters worse, their RMA policy requires they receive the faulty drive before they

Using VoIP with SmoothWall

I’ve been playing with SmoothWall Express (Polar) recently and am generally pretty impressed.  However, my Linksys SPA921 IP Phone hadn’t been working.  I decided to turn my attention to it today. The phone wouldn’t give a dial tone at all unless I used the “SIP Proxy” option in SmoothWall, however, that wouldn’t allow any outgoing calls.  I tried creating various exceptions in the firewall, even setting the phone to be an “always allowed machine”, all to no avail. Then I hit on the solution… I had a BT ADSL router connecting to the internet performing NAT, the SmoothWall connected to this performing NAT, and the IP Phone connecting to the SmoothWall as shown in the diagram below: SIP doesn’t appear to play nicely with this double-NAT arrangement.  So I changed the WAN configuration on my BT ADSL router to run in “Bridged” mode and then configured the “Red” (internet) interface on the SmoothWall to run in PPPoE mode.  This required configuring the BT broadband username and pa

Steve Ballmer is completely sane

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is a genius.  You think I’m exaggerating?  Take a look at these videos. Actually, to be fair, I find watching these and anything to do with Steve Ballmer completely fascinating!  He really is larger than life and a force to be reckoned with. Ladies and gentlemen, STEVE BALLMER! Developers, developers, developers, developers…! I’m a PC and I love this company! Selling Windows 1.0 Selling Windows XP

Burn ISO files in Windows 7

Just discovered a great feature in Windows 7, thanks to ...  Rather than having to install dedicated burning software, you can now burn an ISO file directly to disc from within Windows 7.  To do this just double-click on the ISO file and the following window will open: After popping in a blank disc, choose the drive to which you want to burn, opt for verifying the file after burning if you require… Windows takes care of the rest.  It’s certainly basic but it’s perfectly functional and does everything I need it to.  Nice one Microsoft!