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  • Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper Has Stopped Working

    I was trying to install Office 2013 Pro Plus recently and was getting this error message

    “Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper has stopped working”

    bootstrap

    If you put that error message into your favourite search engine there are a variety of suggested solutions, the most popular ones seemed to be.

    Use Microsoft Fixit Tools to completely remove Office 2013.

    Backup and then delete the AppCompatFlag registry key

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags

    In my case it wasn’t any of those.

    Looking at the application log in event viewer showed what the problem was straight away.

    We have a software restriction policy in place that’s used as part of some prevention measures for malware such as Cryptolocker.

    OfficeError2

    In this scenario the options are to either create an exception on the policy or to temporarily stop the Group Policy that applies the restrictions from applying.

    It’s also possible some anti-virus could do this too.

    Once I’d taken the policy into account Office installed without issue.

  • Sync Text Messages To Your Mailbox

    File this under “I didn’t know it could do that”

    Using your smartphone to connect to your work email is a pretty standard thing nowadays.

    They just about all support ActiveSync so your iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry will all do email, calendars and contacts to an Exchange server without much fuss.

    However, the bit makes all this work, i.e ActiveSync, has some features that aren’t implemented on all devices. Some features will also be reliant on the version of Exchange server the mailbox is on.

    One of those is the ability to have your phone sync your text messages with your mailbox.

    Screenshot_2015-03-18-17-14-15

    I spotted the option for this a little while back and initially didn’t see the point of it but I thought I’d turn it on and see how it worked out.

    I’ve been using it for a few months now and there are two main things I’ve found useful

    Sending text messages directly from Outlook

    When a text message comes into your phone it’s copied to your mailbox.

    image

    This means that if your phone is your pocket/bag or on silent you can read it on your PC without having to get the phone out. More importantly you can reply from Outlook too. Hit reply, type your message and when you press send the message is sync’d back to your phone where it sends the messages on your behalf.

    Yes that’s the “magic”. Your phone is still sending the message.

    You even get little smiley icons to use and it’ll tell you how many text messages will be needed.

    image

    It’s something I found useful as I can type much quicker on my keyboard than on my touch screen!

    I also find it less disruptive when I’m at work to not have to go to my mobile to view and reply to any messages.

    Having a deaf wife does mean I send a lot of text messages so this is one of the things I’ve particularly found useful.

    Backing up your messages

    Depends on how much importance you place on your SMS I guess but because a copy is added to your mailbox if your phone dies, falls in a toilet or is crushed/smashed/whatever then your text messages are easily retrievable.

    You can file them exactly the same way as you would any other email.

    I’ve got an Outlook quick step I use to drop any want to keep into a “text messages” folder once I’ve read them.

    image

    As mentioned above not all clients support all features so most notably this doesn’t work on iPhone.

    Also as already mentioned it’s reliant on Exchange server so if you’re using Google Apps/Gmail, POP or IMAP for email this specific method isn’t applicable.

    There a good list of features and what is and isn’t supported on this Wikipedia article.

    Can you think of any other uses for this?

    it’s also probably worth knowing about for the inevitable support call where someone has setup their own phone and want to know when their text messages have turned into emails. 

  • OneNote Sync Error 0xE000003D

    I’ve had a problem recently trying to sync some OneNote notebooks.

    The error message I get when checking the sync status is:

    An error occurred while attempting to sync this section or notebook. (Error code: 0xE000003D)

    image

    Looking closer it’s specific parts of the note book that have the problem. They are easy enough to spot. The tab goes a white colour and you get the ever so helpful message.

    “An unknown error occurred while opening this section”

    image 

    A common suggestion with OneNote sync problems is to clear the local cache and download the whole thing again. You do this by starting OneNote in safe mode and press the “clear cache” button.

    OneNote.exe /safeboot

    image

     

    I wasn’t expecting this to work however as I’m getting the same problem on my laptop and my desktop machines so I the problem seems to be with the note book itself.

    To fix the problem here’s what I did.

    I opened the Web version of the OneNote. The section that was having the problem opened just fine here.

    Then I created a new section.

    Then I drag and dropped each page from the old section to the new section.

    I then deleted the now empty damaged section and renamed the new section.

    Once all this had been done the changes sync’d down to my devices and all is good.

    I’m not entirely sure what caused the problem in the first place. I had opened the note book in OneNote 2013 at some point so maybe I’d caused a problem there but that’s just a guess. Thankfully all my data was still intact.  

  • Dealing With Email Stuck In The Outbox

    Everyone once in while when using Outlook you’ll get messages that just refuse to send.

    Looking down the folder list you see the dreaded number next to the Outbox that lets you know something isn’t quite right

    image

    Clicking on the folder shows the message just sitting there.

    image

    You try double clicking the message and pressing the send button again, you’ve pressed the “send/receive” button, you’ve restarted Outlook but it just sits there.

    The Outlook blog has a decent post with some things to try to help shoo the message along. But I thought I’d share one of the tricks that generally works for me.

    What can sometimes be frustrating is that everything otherwise appears fine. Outlook is reporting as connected (you have checked that’s not the problem though?) and inbound messages are still coming in

    .image

    When it’s really trying to mock you other messages actually send ok!

    So my “tip” is actually pretty simple

    Drag the message into your Sent Items folder.

    image

    Open the message from there and press the send button again.

    image

    Message gone.

  • Word 2010–Double Sided Printing Option Missing

    I’m failing at blogging big time at the moment. I’ve had several ideas for posts recently but I seem to start them and can’t finish them.

    Anyway, this one seemed to write itself so hopefully it’ll be a bit of a kick start!

    I took a call earlier in the week as someone wanted to print on both sides of the page while using Word 2010.

    This is what she was expecting to see in the print options.

    image

     

    As you can see there are options to flip on either the long edge or the short edge.

    This is what she was seeing instead.

    image

     

    My first thought was that the duplex option hadn’t been enabled on the printer driver but this wasn’t the case. Clicking through to the printer properties allowed the user to choose double sided printing which came out as expected.

    image

    I’d like to say I could take the credit for figuring this out but a search helped me out.

    I found this thread on a Microsoft support forum which detailed the same problem.

    It suggested the cause was down to a missing DLL

    c:\windows\system32\prntvpt.dll

    It was indeed not the system.

    I upgraded the .NET framework on the PC to version 4 but this still didn’t solve the problem

    The thread suggested two other options,

    1) Uninstall .Net Framework and reinstall.

    2) Copy the dll from another PC.

    I went for option 2.

    I found a PC that was on the same .NET version, copied the DLL and ran the following from a command prompt

    REGSVR32 c:\windows\system32\prntvpt.dll

    I reopened Word 2010 and the double sided options reappeared.

    This was a Windows XP system but I’m pretty sure the same thing would apply for Vista/Windows 7.

  • Outlook 2010 – Auto Complete Files

    Just a quick one as a reminder as it caught me out!

    You’re probably aware that Outlook stores the names that appear when you type a mail recipient in an .NK2 file.

    image

    In the past when moving a user between PCs all we needed to do with grab the .NK2 file from the old PC and copy it to the new PC.

    Turns out Outlook 2010 doesn’t use an NK2 file anymore!

    If you’re using Outlook 2010 look at your contacts folders. You should see a folder called “Suggested Contacts”

    image

    This where the names are now stored.

    The idea is that you can easily manage them and more importantly because the names are stored in your mailbox they will follow you around on different PCs.

    So the main thing is how do you transfer them across from an old PC running an older version of Outlook?

    There is a Microsoft Knowledgebase article detailing the whole thing here.

    Simply put,

    Outlook has a command line flag “/importNK2”.

    Grab the NK2 file on the old PC from one of the following locations.

    • Windows XP
      Drive:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    • Windows Vista and later versions
      Drive:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

    Browse to the folder “%appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook”

    Make sure the NK2 file is in that folder and the filename matches your Outlook profile name.

    e.g Andy.NK2

    Run Outlook with the switc

    Outlook.exe /importNK2

    Done!

    The KB article says that the import process renames the file with a .file extension but this didn’t seem to happen when I did it. (though it might have just been me!)

    Note if you perform an upgrade from an old version of Outlook to Outlook 2010 this should have been done for you automatically

  • Andy and SharePoint @ June AMITPRO Meeting

    Yeah i know….me again.

    We’ve had a speaker drop out at short notice so I’m going to speaking at AMITPRO this month. The topic is one you’ll probably know is something I quite like talking about – SharePoint!

    My presentation will be titled – SharePoint as a Helpdesk

    I’ve had the idea for the while so it’s something Guy and I have been sort of keeping in reserve just in case we had any issues with speakers so I finally get to roll it out this month.

    So what exactly do I mean by SharePoint as a Helpdesk?

    One thing I’ve found when talking to other partners is that because SharePoint is such a flexible (large?) product is that many of them find it difficult to get into quickly. I can understand this as it can be an awful lot to take in.

    However, I really do think many partners are missing out on revenue opportunities because of this! Now that don’t necessarily mean you need to instantly became a master in SharePoint but if you have a basic understanding of what it can do then you can always partner with a company that does if you have a client who might benefit from such a solution.

    Partnering with other companies is something SBSC partners are good at!

    So….what I’m going to try to do in the time I’ll have is to create a basic helpdesk. All IT companies know what a helpdesk is and what sort of functionality it needs so we can create a quick and dirty SharePoint application that showcases what SharePoint can do.

    I’ll be touching on,

    Lists and Libraries.

    Columns and Views.

    Content Types and E-mail Integration.

    Web Part Pages and Web Parts.

    SharePoint designer and Workflows.

    Office integration and Mobile access

    And if there is time another topic I like to shout about…InfoPath 🙂

    Time depending of course!

    Our other speaker is Dell Quinn from Microsoft.

    She’s going to talk about the changes to the Microsoft Partner Network and how it’ll impact Small Business Specialists.

    All this as well as the usual pre and post event banter that goes on at any AMITPRO event!

    As always guests are more than welcome. If you’ve never attended a user group event we’ve love for you to come along.

    If you’d like to know more than leave a comment here, visit the AMITPRO site or get in touch with me directly (or on Twitter)

    Look forward to seeing you there!

  • SharePoint as a Twitter Client. Sort of – Part Five

    In part four I mentioned that there would be a problem in the future with this solution.

    In the second part of this series we created a simple function that generated a HTTP request to send to the Twitter API.

    As part of that request we sent a username and password.

    This known as “basic authentication”

    Unfortunately just after I got this working the Twitter development team announced on google groups they are dropping support for basic authentication.

    our plan is to turn off basic authorization on the API by june 30, 2010 — developers will have to switch over to OAuth by that time.  between now and then, there will be a *lot* of information coming along with tips on how to use OAuth Echo, xAuth, etc.  we really want to make this transition as easy as we can
    for everybody.

    Twitter even created a site called “Countdown to oAuth”

    image

    I can understand why Twitter have done this as it’ll make the system far more secure.

    Unfortunately this breaks my solution so I’ll need to take a look to see how i can use a different authentication method.

    I’ve got till the end of June so hopefully I’ll get something sorted soon!

    Just one final post on the way to wrap this up.

  • SharePoint as a Twitter Client. Sort of – Part Four

    In part three I said there was bit of functionality left to clear up.

    We have to run the process manually.

    We actually did a little bit of the ground work in part two.

    One of the pieces of code was the main function that brings all the bits and pieces together – it was called “Fetch_Tweets”

    Public Function Fetch_Tweets() As String

    Dim strID As String
    Dim strXML As String

    If Get_Settings = False Then
        Debug.Print "Couldn’t get settings"
        End
    End If

    strID = Get_Last_Tweet_ID
    strXML = Get_Latest_Tweets(strScreenName, strUserName, strPassword, strID)

    SaveTmpXML strXML

    Application.ImportXML strTempFile, acAppendData

    Tidy_User_table

    End Function

     

    Take a look at the first word of this code block.

    PUBLIC

    By adding this we can reference the function outside of Access so I put together a vbscript to run the function. (essentially…programmer types will argue this isn’t what Public means but for the layman it’ll do here!)

    Dim TweetDB

    TweetDB = "C:\TweetPoint\Twitter.ACCDB"

    Dim myAccess
    Set myAccess = CreateObject("Access.Application")

    myAccess.OpenCurrentDatabase TweetDB, False
    myAccess.AutomationSecurity = msoAutomationSecurityForceDisable

    myAccess.Run("Fetch_Tweets")

    myAccess.CloseCurrentDatabase
    myAccess.Quit acQuitSaveNone
    Set myAccess = Nothing

     

    So just breaking this down.

    The vbscript is essentially doing exactly the same as if you were running this manually.

    First we create an instance of Access. (The same as opening the application)

    Then we open the database we need.

    Then we tell Access to run our “Fetch_Tweets” function.

    The we close the database and close the application.

    Simple!

    The only caveat here is macro security. If you have your security in Access set to high or prompt then the vbscript won’t work.

    Since I’m just doing this a proof of concept I turned the macro security off.

    You’ll need to make your own decision about how to deal with this.

    One suggestion though is to look at something called “Trusted Locations”

    This article explains how to set that up.

    We can then take this vbscript and run it as a scheduled task to run as often as you need.

    The major downside to this is that the system that will run the vbscript will need to have Access installed.

    I don’t think the Access runtime would be enough (I only tried it very briefly)

    So that’s all of our basic functionality problems sorted

    We can ask Twitter to return the tweets for a given person, have them displayed in a SharePoint list automatically and it will be intelligent enough to not give us duplicates.

    I’ll follow this up with a couple of posts that shows how to add a little more polish and cover a problem that I’ll need to look at going forward. I haven’t figured out what to do about it yet though!

  • SharePoint as a Twitter Client. Sort of – Part Three

    Following on from part two I commented that there were a couple of issues outstanding,

    1. It doesn’t automatically update the SharePoint list. We have to repeat the list creation process every time.
    2. We have to run the process manually. 

     

    This post will cover the first item on the list and is really straight forward.

    Go back to the first post and make sure that you have created your list on your SharePoint site by exporting it. (Go now, I’ll wait).

    Once it’s done in the Access Database delete the “status” table (or rename it if you want to play it safe).

    Then from the “External Data” tab select the option to “Import SharePoint List”.

    image

    The wizard will start – enter your site name and select the option.

    “Link to the data source by creating a linked table”.

    image

    Click Next to display the lists you can import.

    Choose the list (I’ve called mine “TweetPoint” – think it’ll catch on?)

    image

    Click OK to link the list.

    You’ll then see the SharePoint list alongside the other Access tables.

    image

    User Information List is also linked as this holds user information which will be entered onto the list for things such as the “Created by” field.

    Now the clever bit to hook it up to our Twitter API calls.

    Bear with me because this is really complex 🙂

    Right click on your newly imported list and select the rename option

    image

    Change the name to “status”

    image

    Done! (ok I may have exaggerated how difficult this was)

    So what’s actually happened here?

    We’ve changed the name that Access uses to reference the table.

    In the background it’s still hooked up to SharePoint via it’s URL so any changes we make on the table will automatically be updated on the SharePoint side!

    The import process we created in the first post is expecting to append the data to a table called status (since that is what the Twitter API returns) so that is exactly what we’ve provided!

    Only one thing left to clear up in the next post!