Category Archives: Windows XP

Enabling the “Contact Linking Field” in Outlook 2007/2010/2013

The “Contact linking field” isn’t always displayed by default in Outlook:

To display the “contacts” selection box for an “event” in Outlook 2007

Tools > Options > Contact Options > "Show Contact Activity Information on All Forms"

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Show Host Name via VBS (ShowHost.vbs)

Simple script to show host name of the local machine in a popup window add code to “ShowHost.vbs”

Dim Shell
Dim CompName
Set Shell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
CompName = Shell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%COMPUTERNAME%")
Msgbox "Your Computer name is " & CompName

Create a CustomPowerSave using PowerCFG (*.BAT)

This set of commands will create a new powersaving mode in XP with the name “CustomPowerSave” and set it as default. This has not been tested in Windows 7. You can drop this code below into a “CustomPowerSave.bat” file and run. This will also need some tweaking and testing to get working correctly.

POWERCFG /CHANGE CustomPowerSave /monitor-timeout-ac 5
POWERCFG /CHANGE CustomPowerSave /disk-timeout-ac 10
POWERCFG /CHANGE CustomPowerSave /standby-timeout-ac 20
POWERCFG /CHANGE CustomPowerSave /hibernate-timeout-ac 0


Get switch options using:
cmd -> powercfg /?

“The RPC server is unavailable” when joining to domain

Everytime you try to connect to the domain (from workgroup) it would say “The RPC server is unavailable”

First thoughts directly point to DNS… which was some of the problem. The Router was dishing out DHCP rather than Windows Server 2003 SBS.

Why?? I asked?? Was there any advantage of this? not really… If this is setup within a small company then people will be server based users anyway so probably unable to operate without it, even if the web/DHCP was available on the router.

The client tries to resolve the internal domain.local using the router on the external DNS. That’s not going to work! not unless you bodge it and manually add the SBS Servers DNS into the DHCP the router dishes out so the clients can resolve it. Not the best fix, but it works.

Better still add DHCP on the SBS2003!

Getting this one fixed I could now do the following:

  1. Ping the server
  2. Ping the FQDN of the server (fixed the issue in the first link)

But I was still experiencing the annoying “The RPC server is unavailable” why was this??

Finally finding the problem!! “NORTON INTERNET SECURITY” those three words made into a dirty acronym “NIS”

Disabling the firewall and BAMM! The client could be connected to the domain and fully working.



WSUS (wuauclt.exe) | Updates CLI

Detectnow Option

Because waiting for detection to start can be a time-consuming process, an option has been added to allow you to initiate detection right away. On one of the computers with the new Automatic Update client installed, run this at command prompt:

wuauclt.exe /detectnow

Resetauthorization Option

WSUS uses a cookie on client computers to store various types of information, including computer group membership when client-side targeting is used. By default this cookie expires an hour after WSUS creates it. If you are using client-side targeting and change
group membership, use this option in combination with detectnow to expire the cookie, initiate detection, and have WSUS update computer group membership.

Note that when combining parameters, you can use them only in the order specified as follows:

wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization /detectnow

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Support Tools:



“Active Desktop Recovery” / Script Error

“Active Desktop Recovery”

“An error has occurred in a script on this page”

Not 100% sure why this error occurs, however if you bung this information into a VBS file and run “hey-presto” the error is gone and the background is back to normal. I have only seen this when there is a GP in place that sets the background and doesn’t allow it to be changed by the user, I think this could be why it can’t just be changed back!

Most other fixes I’ve tried mean you have to reset the computer or uninstall/reinstall Internet Explorer (IE), I must have wasted hours on this problem until I found this script!

Option Explicit
' Create the Shell object
Dim objShell
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
'Change values that mess up IE 7 from decimal 272 to 0
objShell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\Components\DeskHtmlVersion", "0",
objShell.AppActivate "Program Manager"
objShell.SendKeys "{F5}"

Outlook 2007 File Locations

To access the folder holding the toolbar, VBA, send & receive settings, and nickname files, copy and paste:

  • Vista/W7: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook
  • XP: %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

To see the message store files, copy and paste:

  • Vista/W7: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  • XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP Activation Verification

Many computers come with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) versions of XP where the manufacturer has altered or totally removed options from the original menus. This brings up the activation screen to change the product key in XP.

Run -> “oobe/msoobe /a”

TS Web Access not working – ActiveX not installed or enabled

Microsoft RDP ActiveX Control is disabled when you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP1.

Use the Manage Add-ons dialog in Internet Explorer to enable the Terminal Services ActiveX Control, if the ActiveX control is not listed in Manage Add-ons dialog deleting the following registry keys:




run -> cmd.exe /C “cscript %systemroot%\Installer\TSClientMsiTrans\tscuinst.vbs”

Once you delete these keys, the activeX control should be enabled.

List all AD users & email addresses

Simply put this into the Start -> Run bar and hit enter! to get a print out of users & email addresses within the domain.

  • cmd /c dsquery.exe * -limit 0 -filter “(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(mail=*))” -attr name mail >”c:\PrimaryEmailAddresses.txt”
  • cmd /c csvde.exe -r “(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(mail=*))” -l name,mail -f “c:\PrimaryEmailAddresses.csv”

“This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer”

OK, this option is simple to deal with:

  1. Right click the file
  2. Select “Unblock”
  3. Run the Application (*.exe)

If you don’t want this option to keep coming up just change the following Group Policy setting:

  1. gpedit.msc
  2. User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Attachment Manager
  3. Enable: Do not preserve zone information in file attachments

Task Scheduler Disk Defragmenter

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Double-click Scheduled Tasks
  3. Double-click Add Scheduled Task
  4. On the Scheduled Task Wizard dialog, click Next
  5. Click Browse
  6. In the Select Program to Schedule dialog, navigate to the windows\system32 folder
  7. Select defrag.exe
  8. Click Open
  9. In the Scheduled Task Wizard dialog, type a name for the scheduled task (Disk Defragmenter, for instance)
  10. Under Perform this task, select how often you wish Disk Defragmenter to run
  11. Click Next
  12. Set the time at which you wish the Disk Defragmenter scheduled task
    to run. This should be a time when your computer is on, but not in
    heavy use.
  13. Select the frequency at which you want the Disk Defragmenter
    scheduled task to run (Every Day, Weekdays, or Every days, where
    is the number of days between scheduled runs)
  14. Click Next
  15. Enter a user name under which the Disk Defragmenter scheduled task
    will run. Note: This user must be an administrator on the local
  16. Enter the password for the user you entered in the previous step
  17. Confirm the password for the user
  18. Click Next
  19. Check Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish
  20. Click Finish
  21. In the Run text box, you should see the full path and command for
    defrag.exe. By default, this path is C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\defrag.exe
  22. Append the drive letter for the drive you wish to defragment to the
    command in the Run text box. In a default installation, your Run
    command will look like this:
    C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\defrag.exe C:
  23. Click OK
  24. In the Set Account Information dialog, enter and confirm the
    password for the user listed in Run as
  25. Click OK