Outlook 2013 2016 Starts Disconnected with Outlook.com & Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) Accounts

In Microsoft Outlook 2013 & 2016, when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) account such as Microsoft Outlook.com (Hotmail, Windows Live, etc.) some users are reporting that the accounts are disconnected when you open Outlook or after a certain period of time. A workaround is to put Outlook in offline mode and then return so you are working online, but this is quite an annoying solution to have to do this everytime you open Outlook.


Read more to get the details and resolution...

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Windows 8 Tips: Close the Active App and More

Playing around with Windows 8 RTM has been quite an adventure! I tried working without the Start Menu for a few weeks, but the new Start Screen was usually such a horrible productivity sink that I ended up installing one of the 3rd party Start Menu add-ons (Stardocks's Start8). Most of my usual programs worked fine, though I did hit some walls on a couple forcing me to migrate to alternatives until Windows 8 compatibility is added. The Metro style (or Windows 8 style, now that MS can't use "Metro" anymore) apps.... some are good, but the majority are quite horrid and this unfortunately includes most of the default apps that come with Windows 8. For example, the Mail app doesn't allow you to adjust the three panes' column widths. Everything Metro is dumbed down to the point of being unusable. Also I've hit my share of bugs, even with the RTM release. For example, I added my Google calendar to the Calendar app and it loaded it without issue, but when I try adding events after hitting save everything I type in just goes into oblivion. Nothing shows up, yet no error message or anything else. Hopefully most of the worst show-stopper bugs will be fixed once the October release hits and since the apps are all on the App Store you can get updates quite easily. As for the back-end of things... beautiful. So many great features and improvements that I wish everything except the Start Screen (and the fact that they took away most of the old Desktop/Taskbar customizations) was simply part of a Windows 7 service pack. It's just that good from the Task Manager to the Copy/Move file dialogs.


Finally, the most absolute worst part of Metro is from a usability perspective. Absolutely nothing is intuitive other than tapping the tiles to open apps. Microsoft is trying to get us to learn this new environment that will be on all their device types, but throws you in without much of a tutorial at all. Here's my initial list of tips... I'll edit this post as I come across new ones. 


  • Tip 1: if you aren't sure how to do something in an app, do one of two things -> (1) Right-click or (2) Move your mouse to the upper-right corner and move the mouse down or the lower-right corner then move it up. This will bring up other menus. Don't always expect left-clicking on things to do what you expect it to do or give you all the available options.
  • Tip 2: To close the currently opened Metro-style app, grab the top of the app and drag it all the way down to the bottom of the screen.
  • Tip 3: To view all the opened Windows 8 apps (Metro apps) move your mouse to the upper-left corner and move the mouse down or the lower-left corner then move it up. Right-click on any of them to get an option to close them.
  • Tip 4: On the Start Screen, click the little minus "-" symbol in the lower-right corner to zoom out. Now you can more easily group tiles and even title the groups by giving them a name.
  • Tip 5: Right-click on any Start Screen tile to Run as Admin, Uninstall, Resize the Tile, etc. You can right-click on multiple Start Screen tiles to select more than one so you can unpin multiple tiles at once.

Hope this helps!

WinRM Has Connection Issues When Using a Custom HTTP.sys Inclusion List

If you've ever set your Internet Information Services (IIS) to only bind or listen on certain IP addresses using the httpcfg set iplisten command (e.g., to have Apache & IIS running on the same server), you may have inadvertently caused an issue for yourself if you want to use Windows Remote Managment (WinRM) from the command line or using PowerShell. A good idea of whether or not you have an issue is if running commands using WinRM (e.g., "winrm quickconfig") fail with the following error:


Message = The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests.

Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service,

run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".

Error number:  -2144108526 0x80338012
The client cannot connect to the destination specified in the request. Verify that the service on the destination is running and is accepting requests.

Consult the logs and documentation for the WS-Management service running on the destination, most commonly IIS or WinRM. If the destination is the WinRM service,

run the following command on the destination to analyze and configure the WinRM service: "winrm quickconfig".


To get WinRM to start working again, continue on reading...

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Webmin and Virtualmin FTP Backup Deletion Fails

Anyone who's used Webmin or Virtualmin knows what wonderful tools they are for managing a Unix or Linux Apache web server. One issue that some have run into is that when scheduling backups to an FTP server, and in particular a Microsoft Windows FTP server, if you've configured Webmin/Virtualmin to delete backups older than a certain number of days those backups sometimes don't get deleted. Continue reading for the cause and the solution to this issue...

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The AutoPlay Window Pops Up and Closes Right Away When Media is Inserted

I recently ran into an issue where a user would insert an SD card, CD, or other removable media and then the AutoPlay (note this is different from, though related to, AutoRun) dialog window pops up briefly for a split second and then closes itself automatically. At first I though the ESC key or something was stuck down, but that wasn't the case this time. In addition, it would even automatically exit the AutoPlay control panel window as soon as that opens.


It turns out that there are a number of software programs that could conflict with Windows AutoPlay. Examples include some virtualizing software and even some CD burning/CD writing software. In our case, it turned out to be an issue with a Motorola phone driver, of all things, that was loaded in the system (Motorola MotoHelper Driver). If that fits what is happening to you, you would want to uninstall the driver from the Programs and Features control panel.

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Administratively Create and Modify Windows 7 Libraries

Libraries are one of the cool new things about Microsoft Windows 7. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't included any administrative tools for the handling of them so system administrators can't easily configure or create them using logon scripts. In addition, at the moment there are no Group Policy settings (or Preferences) that can let admins set up libraries. Hopefully these features will be added in the future, but until then there are still a couple ways to customize and deploy custom libraries. Continue on for a review of the most promising options and also grab a couple of our downloads to assist you...

[Note: Download links are at the end of the article]

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Orca MSI Editor Crashes When Deleting Rows from a Transform

Orca is Microsoft's database table editor for directly creating and editing Windows Installer (previously Microsoft Installer) packages and merge modules. You are most likely familiar with these installation packages as MSI files.


You may have noticed, though, that Orca would freeze when you dropped a row at times. This is because the version that comes with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SDK (and Vista Platform SDK as well, I believe) would crash if you deleted some rows from a transform, such as registry entries. The newer versions of Orca seem to fix this, beginning with the version from the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008. Last I checked, there's an even newer version - version 5.0 - included in the Windows 7 SDK.


Well, that's the answer to your crashing issue, but there are more questions that now arise:

  1. The Windows 7 SDK is huge. Where exactly can I find the Orca.exe program in it?
  2. How do I go about downloading just the portion of the SDK that contains Orca?
  3. Are there any good alternatives to using Orca to edit MSI tables directly?

Read on for the answers to these questions!

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20 Apple Snow Leopard Annoyances (and their solutions)

Luis Villazon has submitted an article at TechRadar UK that outlines some of the more annoying issues that people may run across while using Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system (next to the issues with NTLM, of course). It's a nice compilation with some of the solutions being the harder ones to figure out (e.g., tracking down a corruption issue with Smart Groups in Address Book). The annoyances:


  1. Exposé leaves windows in the background
  2. Can I stop the screensaver from closing?
  3. I can't log in as root user when using Terminal
  4. My Time Machine backups are broken
  5. Files don't open in the right application
  6. How can I change the Stacks display?
  7. How do I get a Stack's items to be highlighted on mouseover?
  8. Can keyboard shortcuts open applications?
  9. Address Book and Mail crash at the same time!
  10. Exposé doesn't work on the Dock when I'm using Spaces
  11. Where have some of the preferences gone?
  12. How can I find and open a single hidden file?
  13. How do I get rid of the blue glow in Exposé?
  14. The icons from the menu bar have vanished
  15. Snow Leopard won't install on the hard disk
  16. Can line breaks be added in Text Substitution?
  17. I can't change application icons
  18. QuickTime X won't auto-play
  19. I can't run Windows apps via Parallels
  20. QuickTime videos simply refuse to play

 If you want the solutions, you'll have to head on over to techradar.com and read the article 20 Snow Leopard annoyances solved.

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30 Second Delay During Windows 7 Logon When Using a Solid Color Background

[Update: Microsoft has released a fix in the Windows 7 April 2010 stability/reliability update. Link: KB980408]

Those who prefer performance & productivity over eye candy will often eliminate anything that could distract them or take up [what used to be] precious RAM. If you're one of these enthusiasts you may even choose not load a desktop wallpaper and have only a solid color as your background. No one could have guessed, though, that if you are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, by doing so you would be reducing your performance by introducing a 30-second delay to your logon time.


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Easy Custom Address Lists in Exchange 2003

So, you need to make a custom address list (address book) for your Microsoft Outlook users with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This is one of those things where it's pretty easy to get what you want until you need a list with more than just one object type (users, contacts, groups, etc.). If you want an address list to include more than just one type, you'll have to do a custom LDAP query. Another reason you may have to do a custom LDAP query is if you want an "OR" in your conditional statement; in other words, you need to have an "either/or" condition (e.g., you want users who are part of either Group A or Group B).

Most of you probably don't want to have to learn all about LDAP query writing just to get the right items to appear in your Outlook address list. This article should get you going quickly by showing you a couple shortcuts to getting the query you want. We will outline:

  • Where & how to create custom address lists in Microsoft Exchange 2003
  • How to quickly get a basic outline for your LDAP query
  • A couple basic LDAP query syntax rules to make the changes you need

Read on for the tutorial...

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