meph’s blog


WTF? Vista Printer Sharing

Filed under: Windows — Tags: — Michael @ 16:51

Okay, perhaps I’m stupid or something, but what I have to do in order to turn on printer sharing on Vista without clicking on “enable” in the Network and Sharing Center and without using group policies? I want a registry key. Where is it? Didn’t find anything … :S


Acronis Rescue Media Builder and WDS

Filed under: Software, Windows — Tags: , , , — Michael @ 11:40

Yesterday I tried to create a boot image with Rescue Media Builder (part of Acronis True Image Echo Workstation) on our WDS-Server for desaster recovery purposes. Unfortunately this didn’t work. I got this significant error:


After checking permissions on the WDS-Server and doing some more testing I searched on Google for this error. I came across this Acronis KB article, saying that WDS has to be in Legacy Mode for Media Builder to work. So I switched with WDSUTIL /Uninitialize-server in Legacy mode and tried again. I received the same error…
Finally I got in touch with the Acronis support. Below a part of the chat transcript. (I’m M, the support employee is S. Sorry, just in German.)

[11:37:20] M: Hallo. Ich habe folgendes Problem mit dem Media Builder:
[11:37:56] M: Waehle ich als Ziel unseren WDS-Server (befindet sich im Legacy-Modus), erhalte ich die Fehlermeldung “Erstellung des Mediums fehlgeschlagen”
[11:38:05] M: Fehlercode 0x0.
[11:38:16] M: Hierzu finde ich nichts in den Supportforen.
[11:38:54] S: Ich beantworte Ihre Fragen gerne.
[11:39:10] S: Leider unterstützt Acronis aktuell nur RIS. Der Nachfolger WDS wird aktuell noch nicht unterstützt
[11:40:04] M: Das steht hier aber anders:
[11:41:22] S: Einen Moment bitte
[11:46:07] S: Nein, die Entwicklung hat noch nicht geantwortet. Soweit wir informiert waren, wurde WDS bisher auch im Legacy Mode nicht unterstützt.

Okay… this is strange. WDS currently not supported? Then why the article in the knowledgebase? Well, one of both statements has to be wrong. The support guy promised me that Acronis development will contact me with detailed information (and perhaps a new build of Rescue Media Builder, officially (?) supporting WDS as target :S)

I’ll update this post as soon as I know something new 😉

(Btw. yes I know, there are cool free alternatives like DriveImage XML with Bart PE support… 😉


A support technician contacted me yesterday and told me to install the Acronis PXE-Server included in Acronis SnapDeploy and set it as target for media builder. I didn’t try this, but I guess I then have to stop the Acronis PXE service each time I want to use WDS :S


Acronis support sucks. After dozens of mails without any solution for the problem, I ran across the news that a new product (“Backup & Recovery”) replaced TrueImage. Luckily we were able to upgrade our license and with B&R’s media builder you can also access WDS-servers…


Adding disclaimer information to outgoing e-mails

Filed under: Exchange — Tags: — Michael @ 09:19

If you are using MS Exchange (2000/2003/2007) I can recommend “OLXDisclaimer Agent” (link) for adding disclaimer information (and much more, e.g. attachments) to outgoing mails. It is a small program, easy to setup, highly configurable and reasonably priced (595 € per server, unlimited users/mailboxes).


German error messages – pt. 1

Filed under: Windows — Tags: , — Michael @ 17:36

Thinstall – free virtual Citrix ICA client

Filed under: Software, Terminalserver/Citrix, Windows — Tags: , , , , — Michael @ 10:14

Check here and here.

Automatic creation of a new profile on first Outlook start

Filed under: Exchange, Outlook — Tags: , , , — Michael @ 10:10

No post here for a while 😉

Today I searched for a simple solution for automatic profile creation on the first Outlook start (I wanted this for our new XenApp terminalserver). It took a while until I found some useful information about that, but I was too lazy for most solutions (netlogon scripts, WSH scripting etc.) – they were just not simple enough. Above from that, Office XP (and therefore Outlook) was installed already. To make a long story short, here is what I did:

The Office Resource Kit includes the Custom Installation Wizard (CIW), which can generate a .PRF (Outlook profile, including account information and stuff) file. In my case, I just needed to tell Outlook that it should use the user’s Windows logon name for authentication and the Exchange server hostname. Just skip the first steps in CIW until you get to the profile creation. Do the configuration and save the .prf file to a commonly available location, e.g. a networkshare (remember the UNC path). After that I followed these steps on the TS:

– Login as Administrator and run regedit
– Load C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\NTUSER.DAT
– In the loaded hive, browse to Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Setup (create the missing keys!)
– Create a new String Value called ImportPRF and enter the path and filename of the .PRF as the value
– Unload the hive and close regedit
– Check if it works

That’s it!


Total Commander 7.50 beta 1 released

Filed under: Software, Windows — Tags: , , — Michael @ 17:55

The latest version of this great filemanager has been released as beta. Get it here.


Beta 7 released. Wow, the final will probably be bug-free :S


APC PowerChute Business Edition and VMware

Filed under: Software, Windows — Tags: , , , , — Michael @ 17:17

Today I tried to install APC PowerChute Business Edition on my workstation, but the setup started with an error message:

“VMware Server has been detected on this system. This version of PowerChute Business Edition does not support VMware Server.”

VMware Server is not installed on my system – just the Workstation version and the VI Client. I was too lazy to investigate for myself, so I got in touch with the APC Support. They suggested to deinstall all VMware products, install PowerChute and reinstall the VMware stuff… and so I did. The installation of PowerChute after doing it was successful, but after rebooting my computer another error message appeared:

“Error: 0, Failed to start APC PBE Agent service. VMware Server is installed, Please uninstall.”

So I had to update my support ticket and got the tip to install the previous version of PowerChute BE (8.00 or something). That works fine 😉

Get the old version from here.

I uploaded the old version to Rapidshare. Get it here.


Changing paths to AutoCAD’s printer configuration in the Windows Registry

Filed under: Scripting — Tags: , , , — Michael @ 14:54

Call this VBS once from a user’s netlogon script:

Set Shell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )
UserName = Shell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%Username%")
Shell.RegWrite "HKCU\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.2\ACAD-7005:407\Profiles\
<<ACADMPP>>\General\PrinterConfigDir", "W:\VORLAGEN\plotters\" & 
Username, "REG_SZ"
Shell.RegWrite "HKCU\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.2\ACAD-7005:407\Profiles\
<<ACADMPP>>\General\PrinterDescDir", "W:\VORLAGEN\plotters\" & 
Username & "\PMP Files", "REG_SZ"

The path “W:\VORLAGEN\plotters\” has to be changed to fit your environment.

By the way:
Modifying netlogon scripts by adding a line at their end is easily done with help of the Windows PowerShell.
Just copy the scripts to a temp folder on your local harddisk and type this line in the shell:

Add-Content c:\temp\netlogon\*.* "`r`n\\server\share\script.vbs"

`n stands for New line and `r for Carriage return (see this link)

Deploy consistent mail signatures for Outlook

Filed under: Outlook — Tags: , , , — Michael @ 11:33

This is a cool solution. I tried it some days ago and it really makes things easier… All you have to do is:

1. Maintain all required employee information in the user object in Active Directory

2. Create a signature template (Text, RTF and/or HTML)

3. Edit the configuration file for OutlookSignature

4. Put it all together on a central share (e. g. your fileserver)

5. Add a line like “\\server\share\OutlookSignature\OutlookSignature.exe” to your user’s Netlogon-Scripts.

OutlookSignature will read all fields of the AD user object, fill the variables in your template and put the complete signature file in the profile folder of the user.

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