Monday, August 31, 2009

using group policy to make office 2007 programs save with office 2003 formats

By default Office 2007 programs save in the new Office 2007 format, which several years after its release is still a problem for clients/users who haven't installed the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack for the older Office programs.

So for years I've been manually setting up each program to save in the old format each time I logged into a laptop as a new user. Here's the method for using group policy to make office 2007 programs save with office 2003 formats:

open Group Policy Management
Expand the forest
expand domains
expand your domain
right click on default domain policy and click edit
right click on administrative templates and choose add/remove templates
add the templates that you downloaded and unzipped from here:
alter the save settings as necessary there in group policy

if necessary run gpupdate /force on the client machines

Friday, August 28, 2009

getting "access denied" when adding printers to Windows 2008 SBS

Mark this up as the dumbest thing I've seen in a while.

If you log in as an admin on a Windows 2008 SBS box and add a printer, you get an access denied. It looks like this:

Instead of clicking "add printer" - which is available to you - you HAVE TO right click in the open space in the printer window and choose run as administrator -> add printer. What a joke. So stupid.

XP downgrade process for Thinkpad T61

The ThinkPad T61 downgrade process isn't entirely clear, but here's the easy way to do it . . .

In my case, I received 8 CDs from Lenovo/IBM. Six were labeled as recovery CDs, one a supplemental CD, and one was a "rescue and recovery" CD.

I was able to do the downgrade from Vista to XP by this process:

Put in rescue and recovery CD (not disc 1 of 6)
Hold down F12 on bootup (this gets you the boot options screen)
Boot to the CD
From the rescue and recovery manu, choose "restore your system"
choose "restore my hard drive to the original factory state"
choose "I do not want to save any files"
Choose all the obvious options

It'll ask for each of your six CDs, and that's it. It takes forever, but it works.

instructions for sharing a calendar and viewing a shared calendar in Outlook (on an Exchange server)

For an employee to see another employee’s calendar the person sharing the calendar must set up permissions on his/her calendar. Then the person viewing the calendar must configure his/her Outlook to view the other employee’s calendar.

To share your calendar:

1. View your calendar, and on the Navigation Pane, under the Calendar folder, click Share My Calendar.

2. Next, add the name of the person you want to share with, and set permissions. Permission levels that you would be likely to use for calendar sharing include:

Reviewer—Can read calendar entries but cannot create, modify, or delete them.
Author—Can read or create calendar entries, and can modify or delete only entries that the author has created.
Editor—Can read, create, modify, or delete all calendar entries, whether or not the editor has created them.

To view another person’s calendar:

When viewing your calendar, you'll see a link in that pane called Open a Shared Calendar. To open the shared calendar, you would click this link, click the Name button, and select or type the name for the person sharing with you. Right away, you'll see the name listed under Other Calendars.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Office 2007 Classic Menu Add-on

Here's an interesting free option I came across for adding the traditional menus to Office 2007.

storing product key in Office installation files

If storing the Office installation files on a network share - and using an open license for all your installs, it's prudent to store the product key in the install files so you don't have to enter it each time.

In Office 2003, it was stored in setup.ini - but in Office 2007, it's stored in config.xml in either a Enterprise.WW/ Standard.WW/ Pro.WW or ProPlus.WW folder - based on what version you're installing.

More info here:

mail enabled external contacts in SBS 2008

Adding mail enabled contacts in SBS 2008 is not the same than SBS 2003.

Here is the process in 2008:

Open Exchange Management Console.
Expand receipient configuration
Click Mail Contact
On the right click new mail contact

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

setting up shadow copy of folders to enable previous versions for users

One thing added to Windows 2003 was "previous versions" which allows users to retrieve old copies of files on network shares that they had deleted or saved over. In the old days, you had to go to backup (and still do if you haven't set up shadow copies on your network shares - which is not done by default).

Here's a good page on enabling shadow copies on network:

Monday, August 24, 2009

removing hard drive from Sony Vaio VGN-SZ series

Twice in the last month I've had to remove the hard drive from a Sony VGN-SZ series laptop. The user guide doesn't help, but this web site does - it's beneath the keyboard which is relatively tough to get to.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

creating new profile for existing user on Vista

Every now and then you want to create a new profile in Vista if the original has become corrupt or you feel it has become problematic. In XP, you just had to rename the folder with the user's name in c:\documents and settings.

With Vista, you also need to alter a registry record. You'll need to alter one of the S-15 entries from here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

One of the folders there will be for the user profile in question. You need to reboot after making the registry changes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

removing metadata from Office documents

Metadata is information stored inside an Office document about the document's history. It includes data like who edited the document and for how long. It includes old file names, paths, and accepted track changes. You can see this metadata by clicking File -> Properties in Word 2003 or 2002. For a number of reasons, people like to remove metadata before sending files to clients - especially in the legal setting.

There are a number of pay tools that can remove metadata (you can just google metadata removal) in bulk from files, but Microsoft has a tool that can remove metadata from one file at a time. The Microsoft tool is free. You can obtain the free tool here:

Run the file your download and it will install an add-in to your Office programs. Here are Microsoft's instructions on using the tool:


After you install the Remove Hidden Data add-in, open the document you want to review then, on the File menu, click Remove Hidden Data.

Note: If you do not see the Remove Hidden Data command on the File menu, check the following:

1. On the Tools menu, point to Options, and then click the Security tab. 2. Under Macro Security, click Macro Security.
3. Click the Trusted Publishers tab.
4. Select the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box, and then click OK twice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

fixing zip associations in Vista

I had a computer where the zip file got associated with some program other than the compressed file and folder thing. But I wanted it associated it back.

I found these good instructions:

which asked me to run this from a command prompt with admin privilages:
assoc .zip=CompressedFolder

but it didn't work, and then that link led me to these registry fixes, which did work.

Thursday, August 6, 2009