Month: February 2007

Dell laptop power brick died and now bleeps.

My laptop power brick died on Friday – it took me a while to figure out why my screen kept going black after checking the power was plugged in at the wall and at the laptop. The weird thing is that the brick bleeps – it almost sounds like a ticking time bomb, even though it doesn’t provide power (or turn the green led on) We tried various psu’s at the office but it seems that nearly every type of dell laptop we have uses a different power brick that aren’t compatible.

Tools to help migrate to a vista pc

Microsoft released the Windows Easy Transfer for Windows XP and Windows 2000 tool which is the new version of Files and Settings Transfer Wizard (FAST) that came with Windows XP to allow you to move your settings to a new computer. I also got an email from laplink who have released their PCMover software which claims to be unique in that it also moves the programs too. Note that I’ve not used either of these programs.

Delete outlook duplicates

I’ve been doing a lot of work with cell phones and Windows Mobile 5 this month, installing about 6 devices. 1 device was purchased as I was struggling to get the previous phone working with Verizon’s wireless sync software and after about 5 hours it was time to purchase a Windows Mobile 5 which would sync directly to exchange. In the process of the switching of devices, there were some duplications of events and things and AntiDupe would have been handy to delete the duplicates. In fact it still might come in useful.
One word of advice – 5000 calendar entries is not a good idea and exchange WILL choke if you try to sync them.

Time for confusion?

So how have you prepared for the upcoming change in Daylight Savings Time? There are quite a few pages on the Microsoft site which seem to cause more confusion than explain things and I know that end users are just not going to understand what they need to do and when. Microsoft do have some documentation on the changes which seems to be best for the system administrator. However I think the easiest thing is to tell everyone to ensure that all appointments have the expected date and time in the subject line.
A snippet of the changes is in the extended entry – personally I’m not happy as I lose an hour of sleep on my birthday and then have to deal with the hassles.

Windows OneCare released

OneCare was released earlier this week and I received notice that the beta I was on was due to finish and that I could purchase a discounted subscription. The funny thing is that the product is just not ready for release. I have an ongoing case with Microsoft support since October 2006 and we are still no further forward – After the software was re-installed (after it corrupted itself for the second time it asked me to reboot. I did so and then received a prompt to hit “continue installation” after logging into the computer. When I click this button I get the following error message – “Onecare cannot complete the installation at this time because of a problem connecting to the service. Please check your Internet connection, wait awhile, and then try again. If the problem persists, contact support.” This continues to happen. Clicking on contact support takes me to which returns a 404 page not found message – not very helpful either.

So far we’ve reinstalled various bits of Microsoft software and OneCare about 20 times and each time the software says that it can’t contact Microsoft’s servers to finish the installation. This is despite the fact that tcpview shows a connection and the av software does download patches. The problem is compounded by the fact that the software’s debugging facilities are practically non-existent and do not provide any help to the poor support guy. Speaking of which he has some very strange support times, answering helpdesk calls emails on Christmas day.