Tuesday, 26 February 2013

New User on my "Shit List"!

Now here's an example of another shitty user I came across today.

She had a problem and I looked into it.

She's sitting there, huffing and puffing away as I do a little research (i.e. googling!) and reading Microsoft tech documents. This is the kind of user who expects you to instantly know the solution to the millions of different possible IT problems that exist.

I start explaining the reason why the error message. She starts to moan and moan. Jeez, I'm helping her here and she nags me like this.

I have to actually cut her down a little, and asset myself.

Finally, I explain what she can do. The problem is not a bug, but is actually caused by an interaction between her and her co-worker. It is to do with the settings that they are each using. There is no other solution other than this modified way of working.

The whole time she has been nagging me about needing to get this done by today and as I leave she says something like "well, it will have to wait till tomorrow" because her co-worker won't return till tomorrow. In a blaming type tone.

As if it is my fault. Jeez, some users are so unappreciative. I went down there to help her, she expects a miracle solution and blames me when she doesn't get one. This user is on my shit list for sure!

Let me add further why such attitudes annoy me. When someone huffs and puffs almost in your face, doesn't thank you, sees you as having failed them when you did your best - they are treating you like dirt, like a slave. They would never treat anyone else like this. They would not treat non-IT co-workers like this. I talked about this earlier here: Being Treated Like A Slave In IT Support.

It's a nasty attitude to have and such people are forever on my shit list.

Cannot RDP To Server 2003 Blue Screen No Desktop

Cannot RDP To Server 2003 Blue Screen No Desktop

Had this today when trying to rdp into one of our domain controllers.

I couldn't reset or log off the connection via Remote Desktop Services Manager (like tsadmin).

I saw a suggestion to do Ctrl-Alt-End, Task Manager, kill explorer.exe and then run a new task.

But in the end I RDP'd with a second session and it worked. The server only showed the latter session.


Monday, 25 February 2013

access 2010 "compile error" "the code in this project must be updated for use on 64-bit systems" declare ptrsafe

access 2010 "compile error" "the code in this project must be updated for use on 64-bit systems" declare ptrsafe

Had this problem when someone went to Office 2010 64-bit version after a PC rebuild.

Luckily all I had to do was edit a single line of code in the VBA function in the database:


So where it says: Declare Function

you just edit it to: Declare PtrSafe Function

It can get more complicated but luckily that was all I had to do!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

server 2008 r2 disk cleanup

server 2008 r2 disk cleanup

Our server ran out of space and we couldn't find this. You have to add a Feature via Server Manager called "Desktop Experience". It requires a reboot.

We managed to clear out a folder called "winsxs" in the Windows folder. It contained a ton of updates. You shouldn't go deleting files manually out of here but instead use a tool, here's the command I ran:

DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded

Apparently you can do much the same within Disk Cleanup.

Excel Compare Two Columns Strings

Excel Compare Two Columns Strings

This isn't really an IT problem per se but I do a lot of work in Excel and knowing a few tricks can save you a hell of a lot of time.

I am making a report and there are multiple fields that look the same in Active Directory. But in actual fact, we have two that usually are identical except for when someone changes name (e.g. getting married) we only change the one of them.

Now I went and created a report and put in the wrong column. I needed another column. So I wanted to find out where they did not match i.e. the exceptions when someone has had a name change.

To compare two columns that contains strings (text), you can use the exact function:



This will return "TRUE" if a1 and b1 are the same.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

PC Keeps Looping Startup

PC Keeps Looping Startup

I had a PC recently that kept looping at startup. I would see the Dell screen and then just a blinking cursor, white on black for a second, and then back to the Dell startup scree...again and again and again.

I ran the diagnostic and nothing was wrong with the PC, including the hard disk.

I suspected it may not be a drive failure at all but something to do with the partition.

I put a Windows 7 install disc in to see how Windows would display the hard disk - would it show the partitions?

But Windows 7 asked to "Install" and I didn't want to risk it. I was tempted to click "Repair" but didn't know which (32 or 64 bit) Windows was installed on the machine.

At this point, I was instead going to use Hiren's or Ultimate Boot CD to run TestDisk and view (and possibly repair) the partition table. But upon rebooting, the machine went straight into Windows 7, it was fixed!

Seems that the Windows disc automatically repaired the MBR or partition table on the hard disk without even asking me!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Accidentally Deleted Partition FDISK - How To Recover Deleted Partition In Windows 7

Accidentally Deleted Partition FDISK - How To Recover Deleted Partition In Windows 7

So here we build machines using Norton Ghost images saved on a removable hard disk.

Now I only went to use fdisk to erase the partitions on the system disk in the PC and went and wiped out the entire removable disk too!

I broke a sweat! Up to 2TB of images down the pan!

If you've come here and done the same then this is the tool for you. I looked around, some are paid, some are horribly outdated, but this baby does the trick and it's free: TestDisk.

Just download and run it, it's pretty self-explanatory. It basically detects any connected disks and then you can run a quick search for partitions. It found the one I had deleted and then I wrote the new partition back to the drive. edit: here is a great tutorial with screenshots.

All appears to be fine. I won't know until the disk owner returns though! But so far, this tool, TestDisk  looks to have been a life saver.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Being Treated Like A Slave In IT Support

It's true that I'm very sensitive to how people treat me (what they say, their attitude etc.). I sense the meaning in everything that people do, I'm a very justice orientated person and believe in being treated fairly. This is definitely not the job for me.

Today was typical of how some users can be.

I built a laptop for someone, put on Windows 7 and tons of drivers and apps, took me half a day.

I took the laptop to them this morning and said "here's your laptop, let's run through it" and she said "oh, can you wait 10 minutes".

You see, people treat IT like we are waiting staff. Like we should wait on them till they're ready. It's a master-slave attitude and I hate it. And at the same time, we must normally dress like white collar workers, while still getting paid barely a touch above blue collar wages.

And that is why IT Support is a crap job.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Citrix termservice cannot load illegal module rdpdd.dll

One of our Citrix servers had no connections on it. Found a Terminal Services error in eventvwr:

Citrix termservice cannot load illegal module rdpdd.dll

Went to tsadmin, reset the ICA session and all now working.

More info here:


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sophos Greyed Out Update Configuration

Sophos Greyed Out Update Configuration

When installing Sophos, I entered the account details (to get updates) in the wrong format. You need to explicity state the full username i.e. including the domain.

Try to change it and you will see that it is greyed out.

You can uninstall it and reinstall it but there's a quicker way, just replace the file:

C:\ProgramData\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Config\iconn.cfg with a known good version.

Note: to do this, you will need to stop the Sophos Update Service.

I had trouble doing this so I had to log off and log on and quickly stop the service.

Friday, 1 February 2013

How To Kill Remote Desktop Sessions Remotely

How To Kill Remote Desktop Sessions Remotely

Windows lets you connect with only 2 admin licenses to a server and 1 to a desktop.

If you connect with the same username, it will disconnect the other person. But if you connect with a different username and the other person has disconnected without logging off then the system won't let you on.

UNLESS you disconnect the session remotely. There are two ways to do it.

First way is to use the command line, programs query.exe to view the sessions and reset.exe to kill them (sometimes also known as qwinsta.exe and rwinsta.exe).

A good article on this here: http://support.ihsystem.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=60

Alternatively, you can install Remote Desktop Services Manager (formerly Terminal Services Manager) a.k.a. tsadmin.msc.

To do this you need to install Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) from the Microsoft site. Then you need to go into Control Panel to enable these newly installed "Windows features".

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