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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Microsoft Word, Excel crashing while connected to Internet and VPN

another frustrating issue for those working on our laptops away from the office or at home where we need to work on a large microsoft excel spreadsheet as well as being connected to the internet network or vpn.

Basically excel will just crash when trying to save / open documents or randomly stop responding and leave you with no option but to crash your spreadsheet.

Possible Solutions

Bandwidth - this one is a bit of a no brainer, make sure that you have a steady connection between you and your network files otherwise you will working very slowly constantly waiting for files or pages to load. usually it wont be a bandwidth issue if it is , copy the files to your local computer first.

Disable Network Printer

this solution is the most common, go to your devices and printers and set your default printer to a local printer on your machine such as a PDF writer or Microsoft XPS writer, this way your Microsoft document won't be taking forever trying to communicate with a network printer you regularly use when in the office. 

For windows XP users you can try

  • Click Start > My Computer.
  • Click on Tools > Folder Options.
  • Click on View tab
  • Uncheck the first checkbox Automatically search for network folders and printers
Disable Offline Files and folders ( Windows 7 )

having offline files enabled while on the internet / vpn will use a huge amount of bandwidth especially if you didn't finish synchronizing in the office, goto control panel - sync center and disable offline files  

Turn off Network Discovery

Navigate to Control Panel - Network and Sharing Center - Click Advanced Settings on the left

here you will see a list of network profiles, expand them out to disable

- turn off network discovery
- turn off file and printer sharing
- turn off public folders

remember to select this under the type of profile selected for your internet connection , either home/work , public etc..

Disable Recent Files in Excel

this usually wont do much , but it wont hurt to speed up your excel a bit

goto TOOLS - > OPTIONS  -> General  and Uncheck “Recently use file list”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Open Multiple Excel Sheets - MIcrosoft Excel in Seperate Windows

What an annoying issue, For some reason you can't open multiple excel sheets in different windows, they keep popping up in the same window making dual screens totally useless. Here is the solution.

Open the Registry

Start -> Run -> type regedit then hit enter
for Windows 7 type regedit in search and hit enter

Navigate to

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> Excel.Sheet.8 -> Shell -> Open         (do the same for excel sheet .12 for xlsx)

here you will see 2 folders , command and ddeexe

1. Rename or Delete the ddeexe folder

2. Under the command folder, you will see two values for (default) and command, Modify the data by removing the exisitng /e or /dde on the end and replace with "%1" as shown below. Repeart on excel.12

there you have it , all fixed. any questions comment away

Lazy Man's Method

Open 1st excel file by double clicking the file
Open 2nd excel file by double clicking Microsoft Excel then opening the file within excel

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Installing Sickbeard on Synology NAS - Newbie Guide

** Please Note , SickBeard is now available through the SynoCommunity under the other sources tab**

Sickbeard has become very a popular PVR application to help you organize and mange your TV show.  It has the ability to grab your favorite shows as soon as they are available. For more info on sickbeard visit

This is a step by step guide on how to install Sickbeard for your Synology NAS ( this example was performed on a Synology DS211J 2-Bay NAS)

* Important to note that Sickbeard won't work on its own its more like an addon for Sabnzbd and helps to organize your TV shows and makes it hassle free. In this guide I am assuming that you have installed Sabnzbd successfully. If not I will hopefully get around to writing a walkthrough later on but if you do a bit of googling you will see that it can be done quite easily through package management.

Installing Sickbeard

the very first step is to login to your synology NAS, via the IP address example (my ip is visit in your browser where you will be asked to login to the Synology web interface

Login with the account you created when you setup the NAS, Goto Control panel and under Terminal Make sure that SSH is enabled.

Now you can login to your server using a SSH client such as (Putty) connect to the ip address of your server. When prompted for username/password , enter the username as root and password as the password you used when first setting up your synology. **Important -- if you don't login as root user you will have permission errors when trying to compile packages later on.

Step 1. Install IPKG Bootstrap

the first step is to install the boostrap on your system,  you will need to get the correct boostrap that corresponds to the kind of CPU your NAS has.

you can find out which CPU your nas has at

Find out which Bootstrap my NAS uses

Once you've found the one you need , download the boostrap file in .xsh format from

Download your Bootstrap

Once you've identified which bootstrap you need , copy the link to the boostrap download jump onto putty and login to the server. Navigate to a temporary folder so that you can unpack and install the boostrap. (remember these instructions are specific to the ds211j so remember to double check the boostrap you are installing)

mkdir -p /volume1/@tmp
cd /volume1/@tmp/




ipkg update
ipkg upgrade

You will need the git package to install updates for Sickbeard as they are released.

ipkg install git

Now navigate to the directory you wish to install SickBeard in 

mkdir /volume1/@tmp/Sickbeard
cd /volume1/@tmp/Sickbeard

Download and install the latest version of Sickbeard

git clone git:// sickbeard

Now you need to edit the start up script to set SickBeard to start automatically 

vi /var/packages/sab2/target/scripts/

This is where a lot of people get stuck using the linux vi editor , the above line will get you into the config file.  If you use the down arrow to get to the very bottom and start typing you can hit enter to reach the next line.

  Add the following line to the file 

$DIR/utils/bin/python /volume1/@tmp/Sickbeard/ --quiet & 

Once you have typed the above line into the file press the ESCAPE key, Hold Shift and Press :

to save and exit type wq and hit ENTER
to exit without saving type q! and hit Enter 

To Allow Sabnzbd to process your request from SB , type the following

ln -s /var/packages/sab2/target/utils/bin/python /usr/bin/python

Thats it for now, log back into the web interface and restart your device, Once your device restarts you should be able to access through http://devicenameorip:8081

Updating SickBeard 

To update SickBeard either manually or through the web interface you will need the following packages. The following packages will also correct the issue where SB can't find the GIT executable or get the error  Unable to find your git executable - either delete your .git folder and run from source OR set git_path in your config.ini to enable updates. also double check your config.ini file for the correct GIT path.

ipkg install coreutils
ipkg install git-manpages 
Then navigate to your SB installation directory and get the update

cd /volume1/@tmp/sickbeard/
git pull

Thats pretty much it for the SickBeard installation , the only thing left to do is to copy the contents of the folder autoprocessTV which is located in the sickbeard directory. goto the autoprocessTV direcotry and copy the contents into a the sabnzbd script folder

cp * destination_path  

remember to fill in the username/password if you have set one up for SB , inside the autoprocessTV.cfg file otherwise it will fail. To specify the script in sabnzbd 

goto Config -> Switches and select your desired script 
 there you have it , all done... any questions let me know

** Update **

New version of Sabnzbd 0.6.9

slight confusion, set your pre-queue user script to NONE

and under switches set the script for TV shows to , remembering to your sickbeard settings to make sure the tv category is set to use the script.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Images blank in Microsoft Word - Only White Box Shows

A very quick one today , a very infuriating error in word has arisen where all images inserted or pasted into a word document come out toally balnk or with a red x in the top left corner.

This is down to two reasons

1.  You inserted an image via a link, where the image was located on your local computer so the link is no longer accessible.

2. The word option " show picture placeholders" is ticked which causes all images to be blank to improve the scrolling performance of your document,  which sounds like a bit of a silly feature to turn it off goto

Word Options - Advanced Tab 

Under "Show Document Content" , untick Show picture placeholders

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Windows Freeze upon waking from Sleep / Hibernation Power Settings

frustrating issue on windows when waking your computer from a sleep or hibernation, you will reach the login screen to find it frozen or you will be able login but once logged windows will quickly freeze up.

There are 3 easy steps you can take to prevent this from occuring. Most common reasons for this issue include

1. Power Settings / Options

Check your computers power options.  Navigate to
Start -> Control Panel - > Power Options -> Change Plan settings -> Change advanced power settings

Under this window look for under Hark Disk
and ensure that turn off hard disk after , is set to 0

2. Allow this device to wake the computer

Right click My Computer and click Properties then Device Manager

Under the network Adapter and Keyboard right click the device and click on Properties. Under the power management tab place a tick in the box " Allow this device to wake the computer"

3. Graphics card drivers

If your still experiencing the issue after steps 1 and 2, its most likely that your graphics card drivers need updating. Visit your graphics card manufacturers website and download the most recent drivers for your device.  The inbuilt windows drivers are not always ideal.

if you find that even that doesn't resolve the issue, maybe putting your computer to sleep isn't an option :P

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Windows loaded Temporary Profile - Icons files and Wallpaper missing

Very common issue on all versions of windows, especially windows 7. Everything looks normal and and one day you log back on to find all your icons missing and windows telling you that you have been logged on using a temporary profile.

There is no real cause for this issue, just windows being windows. For some reason windows starts creates a temporary profile for you and renames your original profile to .BAK. 

How to Fix - Run Regedit

open the registry editor by typing regedit in command prompt, from the start menu or run menu. If you have trouble finding it the file is located in C:\Windows\regedit.exe

Once the window open navigate using the left pane to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT - > Profile List

Here you will be presented with a list of profiles currently on your local machine, note that there will be a two profile with the same ID (letters and number) the only difference being that one will have a .BAK on the end of it.

If you highlight .BAK file you will notice that this is your original profile that has been renamed with a .bak which makes it unusable by windows and it will jump to the other profile without .BAK , which in this case will be a temporary profile.

The fix is simple - Remove .BAK from the correct profile and rename the temporary one to .BAK or .OLD. note: you may have to rename the temp profile to .old before you remove the .bak otherwise it will say that you have duplicate profile id's

log off and back on , and your all done


Monday, August 1, 2011

Windows Easy Transfer on Laptop FIX - There isn't enough disk space available to transfer your files and settings

A very common error when running windows easy transfer , especially on a laptop. Even when there is plenty of disk space free you keep getting the above message.
The reason for this is, when you start an easy transfer it not only copy's your users files and setting but will also take a copy of any recovery partitions you may have. For example on a lenovo or dell laptop there will be a separate partition for factory restores

Open up your windows easy transfer file
Click on Customize then Advanced
In the following window you will see the selected partitions , in this example C: D:, untick the partition that contains the recovery partition that you do not wish to copy. If you do want to copy it you can map it to another drive.
Under Advanced Options on the Map Drives tab you also have the option to map your recovery partition to a selected drive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Microsoft Outlook Email bounce back - Delivery Failed with Correct Address FIX

a frustrating problem that is bound to occur when using Microsoft outlook and copying addresses from other emails or using auto complete to send an email.

very common bounce back message below

Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:

'Joe Avenger'
Microsoft Exchange has been trying to deliver this message without success and has stopped trying. Please try sending this message again, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.

This is due the issue where when copying an email address from a forwarded email or using auto complete will often email the address instead of It may sound a little stupid but if your 100% sure the address is correct and others are able to send to it.

then Delete the auto complete entries. By typing the first few letters of the email address using the arrow keys until it is highlighted then press the DEL key. You can now retype the address manually and try again.

hope that helps, I've come across this many times I can't recall the specific reason for this issue but deleting the auto complete entry and retyping the address manually has worked for me, hope it works for you

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sharing Printer with Remote Desktop Win 7 64Bit Windows XP - Works All versions of Windows

A very frustrating problem , trying to share a local printer through a remote desktop session especially when trying to cross over between a 64bit version of windows and a 32 bit version. Or from windows 7 to windows XP.

It can be almost impossible for the drivers to match, and simply trying to install the drivers usually won't work because the remote machine will not not recognize a printer plugged in at the local end.

This is a solution for - people who cannot browse to the local computer from the remote session , for example. the printer is shared on the local machine and can be connected to by the remote machine using

from Remote Session


if you cannot browse to the local computer or ping the ip address of the local machine from the remote session. try the following. (which I believe is a much simpler way)

Steps to Share Printer
Note : You will need permission to install printer drivers on the machine you are connecting to remotely.
1. Locate any currently installed printer from the remote session

On the remote session, navigate to Printers and Devices and find a currently installed printer on the remote machine (not a printer being redirected from your local machine)

Right click on the Printer and select Printer Properties
2. Setting up Printer Driver

Go the advanced tab and click on "New Driver"

3. Selecting Printer Driver

Now you can go through the process of installing the printer driver needed on the remote computer in order for it recognize your local printer. remember its important for the printer drivers to match otherwise you will get kernel errors or nonsense being printed out.

The safest way to choose a driver is to use a windows inbuilt driver or select a driver from a disk provided by the printer manufacturer.

Click Next

Select the Printer Manufacturer and Printer name from list, otherwise select have disk

and thats it , restart your remote session and your local printer should now show up. Remember these steps are for those who are unable to share their local printer through the remote session by using printer sharing and simply adding the printer via its network path. e.g \\computername\printername

W32Time Error Event Viewer - Computer Freezing and not responding

w32 time error, msg may vary

If you find your computer freezing and becoming unresponsive, check out your event viewer/log under the system log, you may notice a whole lot of warnings about w32time a windows service used to synchronize times for computers within organizations to ensure everyone is on the same time including the servers.

1. Check how Time is synchronized

First step is to double click on your time at the bottom right of the screen, wait about 15 seconds until the internet time tab pops up, now you can make sure that your time in syncing with for example and this should remove the error.

If you have a different time keeping address you can also enter that

2. Disable System Standby

By correcting the time you should have prevented your system from hanging but its possible but if it still happens, you can disable system standby to make sure

go to start -- control panel -- power options

3. Final Fix Disable w32time service

this is for those who find that correcting how the time syncs and disabling system standby still have no effect on the system. You can disable the w32 time service

go to start --- run

type services.msc , to get a list of services currently running

locate w32 time also called Windows Time and right click to select properties, and set startup type to disabled and stop the service.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Internet Explorer 9 - Screen Flickering FIX

The roll out of Internet explorer 9 has caused quite a few issues but the most annoying of all is the screen flickering caused by Internet explorer 9.

There are 3 possible ways to fix this issue with IE 9

1. Disable / Enable Software Rendering

Goto the tools menu (press ALT if menu not visible)

Tools -> Internet options -> Advanced Tab

Check or Uncheck " use software rendering instead of GPU rendering"

depending on which graphcis card you have and how update the drivers are

2. Uninstall /Disable Adobe Flash & shock wave player

some updates from windows suggests that the adobe plugin is causing flickering screens especially on pages displaying flash advertisements

goto Tools -> Internet Options -> Program Tab - > Manage add-ons

disable any shockwave or adobe flash plugins , and test to see if flickering occurs

3. Update graphics drivers

make sure you have up to date graphics card drivers to ensure it can handle GPU rendering if enabled in IE 9.

Visit your graphics card manufacturer and download the latest drivers, for laptops use the update utility.

If even that fails, try a reset of internet explorer . Under the advanced tab in internet options

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sim Card Error - APN is incorrect

This happened to me recently when using a USB wireless broadband card, every time I would try and connect it would either drop out , fail to find a signal or give me the error APN is incorrect

which basically means its not sure what network the SIM is on , for example my sim card was coming up with the Access Point Name as 3Telstra

this can be an issue especially when carriers share network lines and some people have said it has messed around with their billing a bit. If you are connecting via a basic windows system you can change your apn settings under

To change mobile broadband connection profile properties (APN, access string, user name, password, and autoconnect settings)

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Right-click your mobile broadband network, click Properties, and then click the Profile tab.

You will need to give your service provider a call to obtain the access point name but once you have entered it you shouldn't have any trouble. generally the apn is serviceprovider.internet

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fix - Changes have been made to global template Microsoft Word

Very common issue with microsoft word no matter what version , whenever you go to close a word document no matter if its blank or is something you dont wish to save it will ask you

save the changes to the or Normal.dotm or Normal.dotm global template

This will usually be a very quick fix , there are 3 different actions you can try

Disabling COMM Addins , Deleting Macro's set to run in the template or disable the save prompt.

1. Disable Template saving prompt

You can disable whether or not word asks you to save your global templates everytime you exit word by going into

Click on the Microsoft Office icon on the top left -> Word Options -> Click on Advanced from left hand pane -> Scroll Down to the sub heading "save" -> and uncheck Prompt before saving normal template

now this will generally work if the template is on the local machine and you have permission to make changes. If this is unsuccessful move onto number 2

Check Word Add-ins

Again go into word options but this time go to the Add-ins tab on the left, at the very bottom you will see the word Manager with a drop down box , select COM Add-ins and click GO

here you will see the add-ins currently running in word, you may have to play around by disabling certain add-ins to see which one is the culprit.

Disable Macro's

  1. In the upper-left corner of the screen, click the Office button.
  2. In the lower-right area of the drop-down box, click Word Options.
  3. In the Word Options page, click Popular in the left menu.
  4. In the Top options for working with Word section, click to select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.
  5. At the top of the Word window, click the Developer tab.
  6. On the Developer tab, click Macros in the Code group
disable the macros running and test

4. Check the file / directory permissions on the folder for the user

Internet Explorer 9 Website issues quick fixes, ATO portal and Digital Certificates

With the release of Internet explorer 9 there has been chaos for millions of people trying to access their favorite websites due to the fact that they have not been upgraded to be compatible with the latest release

some sites may even say that the site is designed for internet explorer and not your browser even when you are using it.

Getting your websites to work.

The biggest changes that have been made in internet explorer 9 are in regards to security and privacy so a lot of these settings have been cranked up high, some simple steps to get around website access issues

- reinstall any website plugins required for the site, java errors are a common complaint

- disable the popup blocker from the tools menu ( press ALT if you don't see your menu bar)

- Goto tools options security/privacy and drop down the settings to see if the website will load that way

- Run the website in compatibility mode which is the icon on the right of the address bar (now also a search bar) it is the icon NEXT to the padlock icon

you can also add sites permanently to the compatibility list, by going to tools "Comptability view settings.

- For those who use banking websites or sites that require a digital signature or certificate you may have to reinstall the software for internet explorer 9 to pickup the certificates which are installed on your computer.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lenovo T400 Dual Display Issue

A very quick one for those with a lenovo t400 laptop . there is a very common problem when using multiple displays with a docking station on the t400 where only the vga port will display a video signal.

3 Easy steps

Check your power manager settings , when you are running in battery saving mode the switchable graphics will be unavailable and you will not see any signal on your 2nd machine.

Run lenovo update to get the most recent video card drivers

Check Source on Monitor , and display options with FN + F7

Microsoft Outlook Offline Address Book not Downloading Error - Credentials pop up

A very common error I have found in outlook 2007/2010 is where the outlook offline address book fails to download from the server , which will cause the credentials window to constantly pop up every 2-3 minutes or whenever you try and manually download the offline address book .oab it will simply give you a failed message.

Steps to Resolve the Issue - From the Users end

1. Re-create the mail profile from control panel / mail . Delete the profile and recreate it. To make 100% sure that the old outlook information has been deleted ensure that the microsoft outlook files in \appdata\roaming and local are renamed or deleted.

2. Delete the .oab files from the users folder, C:\users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Note** Appdata is a hidden folder

3. Check your proxy settings on internet explorer (Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections ) . even though you may be able to ping your mail server the constant credential pop ups can be due to the users outlook client being able to authenticate with the mail server..

4. Check the settings in Credential Manager on windows 7 , you may have some old username/passwords in this section that are causing authentication errors.

5. A no brainer , check that your password hasn't just expired or requires a change.

this is pretty much all you can do from the users end, if its a new error then its very likely that it is a user issue , if its happening to multiple people , there are some settings on the exchange server that I will go through in my next post

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lenovo Thinkpad Docking Station USB Issues

Have been an avid user of Lenovo thinkpad laptops for many years now and have tried many different docks and the most common complaint is that USB ports are unresponsive , laggy , or simply don't power up usb devices.

3 Quick fixes to Laptop Dock USB Issues

1. Really simple one to start with make sure you are docking the laptop correctly, that means all pins on the dock connector and laptop fully connecting, even slightly off and the power won't get to the usb ports on the dock.

2. Another no brainer but best to check your power pack is supplying enough power to the dock to power all usb points including all display ports etc. It is common just to use the same power pack for the dock as you use for the laptop, and this may not be sufficient power to power everything on. Some power packs may have just degenerate over time and need replacing.

3. Check your BIOS settings, some laptops will have bios settings for the option to enable/disable the use of a dock. Also check the USB sleep and power settings while you are in the BIOS. (To get into BIOS press DEL or F1(or blue thinkpad button) immediately after powering on the machine)

Microsoft Outlook 2007 - Address Book not updating and Errors opening outlook windows search and add-ins crashing

Microsoft outlook causing frustration as usual, a very common problem is a Address Book that just refuses to update, or when you go to download the address book or inbox it send and receive will get stuck at 50%

Microsoft Outlook Address book not updating

1. Delete the offline address book , the .oab file
this file will be located in C:\Users\"Your Username"\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

if you have no luck there have a look in the Roaming Directory

2. Delete the the extend.dat file, same location as above. this file handles file associations for outlook and can sometimes cause error's, you can cut this file out and copy it back in if the problem is not solved. The extend.dat file will be recreated by outlook so its not a big deal if you delete it permanently

3. If running a Microsoft exchange server, there will be an option under the server configuration manager under organizational config, to update to offline address book. This will take 5-10 minutes to run depending on the size of the offline address book

Problems Starting Outlook - Crashing Addins and Windows Search Error

1. run outlook in safe mode with the switch. outlook.exe /safe

2. the most common reason for outlook crashing or being sluggish are 3rd party addins and they cause more disasters than solutions, its a good idea to keep addins to a minimum if possible.

3. Delete the offline cached emails .ost files.(again the file will be located under C:\user\username\appdata\local\microsoft\outlook) The offline cached emails file can become quite huge over time and even become corrupt. you can delete this file and allow outlook to re download all of your mail

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dynamics AX - The AOS has reached its limit for user sessions or memory consumption

Common message when trying to connect to Dynamics AX

The AOS has reached its limit for user sessions or memory consumption

there are a few possible reasons this has occured

1. Max number of users in AX set to 1 or less than the desired. fix by logging into AX
In Basic -> Setup -> Server configuration , alter connections to desired amount

2. SQL Server is running in single user mode preventing multiple logins, if this is for a specific database right click database , options, permissions and select multi user mode.

3. Dynamics Aos is not running or running with incorrect permissions. First step check the event viewer on the server running the AOS

4. SQL server permissions are incorrect this will usually relate to the same user that is running the AOS not having permissions to use the sql database.

apart from the above , will need more information to prevent this error. goodluck to all