Thursday, January 31, 2008

Embedding video into a Powerpoint

I already know how to embed an audio file into a Powerpoint (see previous blog entry) - but I had never needed to put video into a Powerpoint until today. I wasn't successful in making this work right - but it seems sound. Here are instructions for embedding a video into Powerpoint:

–Save video or video segment to your computer
–View > Toolbars > Control Toolbox
–Click on More Controls (hammer and wrench icon)
–Scroll down to Windows Media Player
–Draw a box that will become the image below
–Right click on the media player > Select properties
–Click on the empty cell next to “Custom”
–Browse for your video > Click OK
–In slideshow mode, you will be able to play the video embedded with controls like rewind, fast forward, sound, etc.
–You can also right click to open more menu controls, like View > Full Screen

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Outlook not opening with "the operation failed due to an installation problem"

Interesting issue today . . .

I had a user who logged into a Win XP computer (with Office XP and Outlook 2003). When the user logged in and opened Outlook, he got this:

The weird thing is that all users (I tried several others, all local administrators) got this same error. But I know that I set up a user on Outlook about 2 months earlier. When looking in the application event log, I saw this:

After some research, it turned out that I had to add a DWord key of UserData with a hex value of 1 in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook. So it looked like this:

And then it worked. I feel like I'm going to have to keep creating this key for all users in the future. Perhaps, I should uninstall and reinstall - but not today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WLAN driver causes BSOD only on WPA network

I ran into something very strange today. I had a ThinkPad T41 that was getting intermittent blue screens of death. I ran hardware diagnostics, and they all came up with no problems. To make a long story short, I took it home and reformatted it. No more BSODs. Then I brought it back to my client's office, and I got a BSOD every time I booted up the computer - just after I logged in.

It seemed that whenever the wireless LAN card saw a WPA encrypted network (not even connecting to it - just seeing it), it would give this BSOD - about IRQ_less_or_equal (or something like that). I had to disable the WLAN card with the hardware switch (in this case Fn + F5). Then everything worked fine. In the end, I upgraded the driver for the Intel Pro 2100 3B driver (I think that was the model or something close to it). And after that, all was normal. Very strange.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Windows XP slow on Preparing Network Connections

I've seen this many times, but never gotten a solid resolution. A laptop takes a long time to process "preparing network connections" on bootup - before you even get to the login screen on XP. I troubleshot this today for a user who said it took 5 minutes to go through that when she was off-site. I timed it, and it was really only one minute and 47 seconds, but that's still an eternity.

Then I tested it when she was on-site. IT TOOK EVEN LONGER.

Then I went into Network Connections Advanced Settings (Network Connections -> Advanced -> Advanced Settings) and moved the IEEE 1394 connection below the LAN and WLAN connections. For some reason, it was at the top. Then on the next reboot, it was less than 20 seconds for preparing network connections.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

upgrading Quickbooks file to 2008

I've done two upgrades to Quickbooks 2008 from 2006. Both times, the QB file was on the network. In order to upgrade the file - you have to install QB 2008 on a machine and open then file. When I opened the file when it was located on the network, it gave me an error about permissions each time. Then I had to restore the QB file from backup. In short, in order to upgrade the file - I had to bring the file down local and open it there and then copy it back up to the network.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Out of Office Assistant says "Command not available" when you try to acitvate or deactivate autoreply

I came across this issue for the first time two weeks ago when someone was setting an autoreply and again today when someone was deactivating an autoreply. When you go to Tools -> Out of Office Assistant, it tells you "Command not available."

To fix it, you go here for Outlook XP:

or here for Outlook 2003:

and rename the Resiliency key to Resiliency.old

Microsoft does not say why this is the case, but their KB article on this is here: