Anything for sysadmins!


Backup or copy Outlook signatures

Don't you just hate recreating your signatures after a reinstall or workstation switch? So do I, that's why after my recent workstation switch I decided to figure out how to do this the easy way.

Open Outlook and go to File > Options > Mail

Now click on the Signatures button while holding the CTRL key on your keyboard. This opens your Signatures folder in your profile (C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures in windows 7)

Copy all the files in that folder. These files contain all versions of your signature. Do the same on your new workstation and place the copied files from your old workstation there. You now have copied your signature to your new workstation. All you need to do now is assign the signature(s) to the different message types and you should be done.


Outlook 2010 Social Connectors

Social connectors are perhaps one of the best new features of Outlook 2010. As the name implies, they allow you to get updates on your contacts through Outlook. It started out with only 1 connector, and 3 more have been added. You can find the links below:


Black screen in PowerPoint 2010

When showing a slideshow in PowerPoint 2010 through Remote Desktop, the screen might come up black. By disabling hardware graphics acceleration you can get the slides to show normally. To do this, go to File > Options in PowerPoint and select Advanced. Then check the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option to fix the problem.

Also you can temporarily black the screen by pressing the B button on your keyboard. If white suits your presentation more, you can press the W button on your keyboard.


Excel Error: Windows cannot find “”…

Someone just reported the Excel error below to me. The error happens when an Excel icon is double-clicked while already having an Excel session open.

"Windows cannot find '<doc location'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again."

This error had me puzzled for a moment until I found the answer on the Microsoft support site here.

Here's a small excerpt of the Microsoft support site:

When you double-click an Excel workbook in Windows Explorer, a dynamic data exchange (DDE) message is sent to Excel, instructing it to open the workbook that you double-clicked.

If the Ignore other applications setting is selected, Excel ignores DDE messages sent to it by other programs. As a result, the DDE message sent to Excel by Windows Explorer is ignored, and Excel does not open the workbook that you double-clicked.

To solve the problem you'll have to uncheck the setting Ignore other application that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) which can be found here:

Microsoft Excel 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and then click to clear the Ignore other applications check box in the General area.
  3. Click OK.

Microsoft Office Excel 2007

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Excel Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and then click to clear the Ignore other applications check box in the General area.
  3. Click OK.

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 or earlier versions of Excel

  1. Click Options, on the Tools menu.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. Click to clear the Ignore other applications check box, and then click OK.

 This error can also occur when Word or Powerpoint is trying to include a part of an open Excel document.


Search in Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 doesn’t return any results

I recently had a problem with Outlook 2010 which didn't return any results when performing a search. Since all search functions in Office 2010 are using the Windows Search Indexer, this had to be the problem.

If you go to Control Panel -> Indexing Options and press the Advanced button you'll see a button Rebuild. When you press this button the current index database will be deleted and Windows Search Indexer will rebuild the index. This will most probably solve the problem with the Outlook 2010 search.

I've also seen some computers that are indexing for days, but never complete the indexing action. This can cause the computer to become really slow and might even take 100% of the CPU. Rebuilding the index might help in situations where the Windows Search Indexer is causing the 100% CPU.


Microsoft Office 2010 customization tool

To create a patch file (.MSP) for Office 2010 you have to run the following command:

setup.exe /admin

After running this command a window will be presented where you can select which product of your Office 2010 deployment you want to customize (only if you have Visio, Project or other installation sources combined).

After making the selection you'll be asked if you want to use a different default file type. Some companies use Open XML or OpenDocument formats to be able to use the documents with other software like OpenOffice.

After selecting the file type you'll see the deployment settings window. Here you can customize the settings for your Office 2010 product deployment.

Afterwards you'll have to store the .msp file by selecting the Save or Save As option in the File menu.

To use the .msp file during the installation you'll have to specify it in the command line. The following command will start the setup with a .msp file that is located in the same folder as setup.exe.

Setup.exe /adminfile "office-install.msp"

You can also use the .msp files to remove a portion of the Office 2010 installation, then you'll have to sequence the uninstall after the complete install. This way you can automate the exceptions in a corporate environment as well.