Author Archive

Ewww Drive Mold

July 9, 2009 Leave a comment

mouldy drive

Amazing that mold can grow on a laptop CD rom drive.  Guess you shouldnt underestimate what a car technician can do to a laptop!

So there are limits to Outlook storage

July 6, 2009 Leave a comment

outlook full So I never thought I would see this one.  Tried to delete an e-mail this morning in outlook 2003 and I got this message.  So I checked my deleted folders and lone behold there is a limit to the amount of items you can have in a single folder in Outlook 2003.  I knew of the limitation, but never thought I would reach it.  Crazy

Oh, if you are wondering the limitation is 65,535 items

Categories: Windows

Add a sidebar to windows without extra software

April 7, 2009 Leave a comment

sidebarToday’s post is another organization tip, this one for your desktop.  I have tired a lot of desktop management software / toolbars and I always have issues with the amount of resources that they use.  Many desktop customization apps have a sidebar or quickbar application launcher that lives on either the left or right side of your screen, which is really what I was looking for.  So today I will show you how to create this nativly in Windows.

1) Add a folder to c: called shortcuts
2) Right click on your taskbar and click on “Toolbars” –> “Add New Toolbars”
3) Browse to your shortcut folder on C and press ok.  This will create a shortcuts toolbar on your taskbar.
4) Drag the “shortcuts” toolbar off of the taskbar and drag it to the far side of your monitor.  This should automatically mount the toolbar.

This is the basic toolbar setup.  I tweaked it to my liking by adding auto-hide, always on top and large icons (these options are avaiable by right clicking on the toolbar and all the options are avaliable).  You can add as many shortcuts and folders as you would like to the toolbar by adding such contenc to the c:\shortcuts folder on your computer.

Mount your ISOs without rebooting using Magic Disc

April 6, 2009 Leave a comment

magic-discI hate carrying around CDs at dealerships I support.  Its cumbersome and I always end up leaving CDs in the drives, never to be found again.  Its also a pain when the CD you didnt think you needed, but now do is in another binder.  As a solution I first tried copying the contents of CDs to network shares, but later found some discs that work better as CDs.  So my next solution would be making an image and mounting it to a virtual CD drive.

Now just about every system admin has mounted at least 1 ISO to in their lifetime, be it Windows, Office or the latest pirated game they just downloaded.  There are many available software packages out there that do a great job of mounting ISOs from built in shell extensions to full out burning suites which include an ISO mounting add-in.  So what makes Magic Disc so special?  The ability to install and mount an ISO without having to reboot.  This was the decision making factor  for my choice in mounting software.  As an added bonus the install is pretty minimal, so I just leave it on the root of the ISO network share that is in each branch.

So throw your old scrateched up CDs back in their binder and give Magic Disc a try.  Oh and did I mention its FREEWARE ?

Outlook Organization Tip

April 3, 2009 Leave a comment

outlookEver set a reminder flag on your outlook and then through the flood of e-mails, have that flag slowly make its way down to the bottom of the inbox, never to be remembered again? This has been an issue with me for a while. So when I got another repeat e-mail requesting some function access to our server, I sat down and really started looking at my Inbox. To my surprise, there is quite the easy solution to this problem

Order by Flag

This is more stupidity on my part, but I figured I’d post this in case anyone else out there may have overlooked this Outlook must! And dont worry about not keeping up on your latest e-mails, it still orders the incoming e-mails by date, but just below your flagged e-mails, which really should be on top anyways

Cisco Console Madness!

April 3, 2009 Leave a comment

patch-pannelRecently I did some hardware upgrades to our backbone, replacing aged 2600 routers with 2800 series.  Durring this process, I re-arranged our VLANS a bit and concequently had to move our Cisco WAPs to the new VLAN.  Now with 8 APs spread across a building and some high enough to need a SkyJack to access the console this could have beena  time consuming process.  Luckly I had an ace up my sleve.  Durring the initial install of the APs, I had our wireing company run 2 drops per device, one for Ethernet, the other for the console.

Long story short, I was standing next to the patch pannel programming each AP and thinking this would be a great standard practice for all of our CISCO devices.  Food for thought~

Automated inventory care of SIW

April 2, 2009 1 comment

Due to a recent change in software, I needed to upgrade RAM in all of the older machines in the organization.  To aid me in upgrading 300+ PCs I thought it prudent to make a list of what hardware each PC had.  I have used many inventory tools in the past (the most prominent being SpiceWorks) but by far the best inventory tool I have used is SIW.  This software comes in both free and paid versions, the paid having more features.  The feature that caught my eye for the paid version was the ability to use command line to control SIW.  After reading through the documentation, I made this small script that will e-mail the results of the scan to a inventory e-mail address.remote-inventory-siw

set INPUT=
set /P INPUT=The owner of this PC is: %=%
echo Creating and sending %INPUT%’s System Report.  Please Wait
siw /log=”%INPUT%” /email=INVENTORY EMAIL ADDRESS/subject=”%INPUT%’s report” /smtp=EMAIL SERVER /silent /nologo
ECHO %INPUT%’s Report is sent

This script allows the user to input their name, which in turn becomes the name of HTML file containing system specs along with the subject of the e-mail.  This batch file also requires the SIW.exe and SIW.lic file along with it to work.  So I threw it all togeather using freeextractor and created an install file.  Keep an eye out on making install files with freeextractor soon!

References: – SIW – FreeExtractor

Clearing out corrupt print jobs REDUX

April 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Batch IconQuick update to clearing out print jobs.  Got a call this morning from a user who repeatedly gets jobs stuck in their print queue.  To help reduce his calls, I wrote this quick batch and put it on his desktop.

ECHO Repairing Printer… Please wait….
Net stop spooler
del /Q c:\windows\system32\spool\printers\*.*
net start spooler
ECHO Please powercycle your printer
ECHO Printer is repaired

Try it out!

Chris Control

March 31, 2009 Leave a comment

chriscontrolChris Control was the answer to my Prayers when I had a PC that would not connect through RDP.  ChrisControl is an all in one client that uses both RDP and VNC.  The neat thing about ChrisControl is if you know the admin account, it can remotely connect to the PC, install a VNC server and connct to it… No configuration Required!  And to complete the puzzle it also removes VNC from the remote PC when you close the session, making your PC secure once again.  This works great in our environment where not every PC is on the AD, and has the advantage both the tech and user to access the same screen at the same time.

Oh, and did I mention it also does WOL for those PCs who are powered down?

Heres the download link!

Gotta small HDD? Running out of space? Spacemonger to the Rescue!

March 30, 2009 2 comments


Ever have a clien that complains about running out of space on their Hard drive?  Instead of spending all that time going through directories and finding out where the junk is, check out Spacemonger.  This tool will scan hard drives on your PC and display it in a nice graphical fashion.  As you can see in the screenshot, I took a quick scan of the recovery drive on my laptop.

Spacemonger comes in 2 versions, the Paid and free version.  Personally I like the free version better.  Its small and does everything I need it to.  As an added bonus, it dosnt require an install, so I can take it along with me on a USB key or leave it up on the tools shared drive at the dealership.

Heres the Product link

You may have to do some digging around for the download link.  Its on the download page, under free software at the bottom of the list.