Blog

We see a huge variety of problems on a daily basis, from the trivial to the complex. Some of the more challenging and interesting ones get written up here, both as a reference for our technicians, and for anyone else struggling with the same issues.

25.04.2014 - Registry Tricks – Editing another user’s registry entries

Here’s a trick that some people don’t know about.  You can load a registry hive of an offline user for editing in regedit.exe.  This lets you look at another user’s registry without having to change their password and log in as them.  It’s also commonly used to edit the Default User’s registry when setting up a remote desktop session host ...
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20.03.2014 - MS SQL Server Setup Support Rules Failed – Restart Computer

When installing Microsoft SQL server the installer runs through a series of checks before installing to make sure that all the required components are present and the server is ready for the install..  A couple of times recently I’ve received the following error: Setup Support Rules – Restart Computer – Failed This is because there is a pending restart – ...
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12.02.2014 - Create Migration Endpoint for Exchange Online Staged Migration

In this blogpost we’re setting up to migrate from SBS 2008 / Exchange 2007 to Office 365 / Exchange Online.  This involves what is called a Staged Migration using Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP) to transfer the actual mailbox data.  At a high level, the process involves creating a ‘Migration Endpoint’ for Office 365 to connect to your on-premises Exchange ...
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30.01.2014 - IIS Logs Growing Excessively (SBS)

Another common Small Business Server problem is that disk space on the main system partition gets consumed until there is very little free space available, leading to performance degradation.  (This also causes a number of other alarming problems, such as failure to boot, email services shutting down due to ‘Exchange Back Pressure’ and false warnings of disk corruption).  There are ...
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20.12.2013 - Repairing Email Accounts in Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013

In Outlook, open the “File” ribbon menu, in the top-left. Click on “Account Settings”, then select “Account Settings…” from the dropdown list:   In the “Account Settings” window that pops up, make sure your account is highlighted then click “Repair…” at the top of the window:   Check your name and email address are listed correctly in the following window, ...
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18.12.2013 - The Case of the Click-Happy User

This will probably be a familiar tale for any IT support tech and hopefully a cautionary tale for others.  This incident started with a support ticket indicating that one user was getting a variety of unusual error messages, including “Trust Relationship between Workstation and Primary Domain failed”, which is fairly unusual on windows 7 machines and never good. On contacting ...
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03.12.2013 - Adding backup drives in Windows Server Backup

AKA How to fix “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.” There’s a little bug in Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 that prevents adding a backup drive to an existing backup schedule unless you have all of the existing backup locations online.  What that means is that if you have, say, 5 USB drives that are used ...
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18.11.2013 - Configuring and Troubleshooting the Windows Time Service

In a Windows domain it is important that all computers have an accurate clock and that these clocks are (more or less) in sync across the domain.  The main reason for this is because the Kerberos security mechanism that provides authentication requires an accurate time source, and without it users and computers will be unable to authenticate one another across ...
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30.10.2013 - Windows Image Backup in Windows 8 and 8.1

Microsoft, having with Windows 7 finally provided a decent integrated image-based backup and restore system, decided in Windows 8 to essentially deprecate it in favour of File History (for restoring older versions of deleted/broken files) and a new trinity of system restore esque features: Restore, Refresh and Reset. More on those in a later post; for the moment I’m trying ...
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28.10.2013 - Deploy Printers Automagically Using Group Policy

In Windows Vista, 7 and 8 we can deploy printers to client workstations automatically using Group Policy Preferences (GPP).  This allows us to assign printers to users based on department or group membership and update printer drivers etc. without having to reconfigure client computers.  This blogpost will illustrate a basic deployment of a shared printer from a Windows 2008 print ...
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