Monday, May 26, 2008

Unable to view .CHM files - Action canceled

If you found you are unable to open .CHM files stored on the network, showing an Action canceled error as per below screenshot, then it's very likely you have installed Microsoft Security Update 896358 that's preventing from opening .CHM stored on the network or downloaded from Internet.

See Microsoft KB 892675 for details on how to enable it back and keep a certain security level per your liking (MaxAllowedZone = 2 was just enough for me).

Update 28 October 2008 - thanks to Kadir Rahman

Before making any changes to the registry, check the .chm file properties and use the Unlock button if there is one. In my case I didn't have it and the .chm was part of the help reference of a network application I couldn't copy locally so I had to go for the registry change.

Update 08 October 2011

You can also use HHReg - HTML Help Registration Utility to make the registry changes for you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How to use Outlook 2002/2003 to read Lotus Notes email

My office migrated from using Outlook/Exchange to Lotus Notes/Domino recently (corporate orders, we loved Outlook :-) and as you are reading this I'm pretty sure you think too that Lotus Notes 6.5 can hardly compete as an email client with Outlook 2003, surprisingly though both of them were released about the same time.

If you found the Outlook Lotus Notes Connector doesn't work for you, then it's very likely that is due to the fixes that have been released since 2004, see the post below documenting on how to make this work.

In my case, I couldn't uninstall all fixes so I had to uninstall Office 2003 completely, install it fresh no fixes/service packs, then the Lotus Notes Connector and then the SP3. It works a treat, we'll see how it goes. Definitely read carefully the connector's Readme.htm it shows during the installation, just to be aware of certain problems.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How to configure HermesJMS to connect to JBoss JMS

HermesJMS is an extensible console that helps you interact with JMS providers making it easy to browse or seach queues and topics, copy messages around and delete them. It fully integrates with JNDI letting you discover administered objects stored, create JMS sessions from the connection factories and use any destinations found. Many providers include a plugin that uses the native API to do non-JMS things like getting queue depths (and other statistics) or finding queue and topic names.

Here is a great step by step video tutorial showing you how to configure the connection to JBoss JMS.

* * *

If you follow the tutorial exactly but you still get an error like "No message, linked exception is: null" and an an exception like no protocol: Files/HermesJMS/lib.weaved/hermes-ems.jar in the hermes.log, then is mostly likely caused by the fact that you have installed the application in C:\Program Files or the like. Uninstall and then reinstall the HermesJMS in a path without spaces, if you want it in Program Files, use something like C:\Progra~1\HermesJMS - it will keep the settings, you won't have to make them all over again.

Why is "Display Brigthness" tile missing from Windows Vista Mobility Center on ASUS R2H

Long title, slighly longer explanation.

According to the Windows Mobility Center – Extensibility document, Display Brigthness tile is displayed only when the hardware & driver conditions are met.

LCD Brightness
Shows the current brightness setting. The slider enables the user to modify the LCD screen brightness. The user clicks the icon to open the Personalization CPL.

Note: In order for the brightness slider to work with your
hardware, you must do one of the following:

1. Implement the ACPI brightness methods in the BIOS. Please see
BIOS Communication for Display Drivers in Windows Vista ( for more information.

2. Work with your video independent hardware vendor (IHV) to provide brightness support in their video miniport driver.

According to Intel, the 910/915 family will only have Windows XP Driver Model (XPDM) drivers instead of Windows Vista Driver Model (WDDM), which may be in fact the cause of this issue. There was quite a heated discussion on Josh Bancroft's (Intel) blog a while ago and I see there's an online petition to Intel for the WDDM drivers.

Ideally would be for Intel to release the WDDM drivers, which I would rather doubt since 910/915 is an older chipset not used in new computers and probably the pressure that current owners can put will slowly fade away. Alternatively and what I would like to do (although not a C++ programmer, I like to try and learn new things every now and then) is to find out how the Settings Centre manages to change the brightness and write my own tile that will work hopefully not only on R2H but on all Intel 910/915 graphic chips - wouldn't that be glorious, suddenly there'll be mililons of hits on the blog from people looking for their indispensable brightness tile :-) ... mmm... seriously, for now I'll just put this at the end of the long list of would-like-to-do projects I never started :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Optimize Tortoise SVN Cache (TSVNCache.exe) Disk I/O

If you are using TortoiseSVN and you find that Explorer is slow or the hard disk is constantly working, read the post below.

Other people have change the "Icon overlay" to Shell or even None.

FastResolver v1.16

FastResolver is a small utility that resolves multiple host names into IP addresses and vice versa. You can simply type the list of IP addresses or host name that you want to resolve, or alternatively, you can specify IP addresses range that you want to scan. For local network, FastResolver also allows you to get the MAC address of all IP addresses that you scan. FastResolver is a multithreaded application, so it can resolve dozens of addresses within a few seconds.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

User Profile Deletion Utility (Delprof.exe)

Brief description

Delprof.exe is a command-line utility that you can use to delete user profiles on a local or remote computers running Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.


Delprof.exe is available in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. It is a command-line utility that you can use to delete user profiles on a local or remote computers running Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. User profiles can grow large and may take up considerable disk space, especially if there are several users using one computer. Because of this, you may want to use Delprof.exe to free disk space by deleting profiles that are no longer required. However, because each profile on the computer is presented in order when you run the utility, you may want to use the graphical interface instead of the command-line tool whenever possible.

Note: You must be logged on as administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to delete user profiles.

WARNING: Delprof.exe deletes all data that is stored in a user profile. This includes desktop settings, favorites, program-specific data that is contained in the Application Data folder, and the contents of the My Documents folder. Please be aware of any user documents that may be deleted before you use this tool.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recover Microsoft Windows/MS-Office/SQL product keys

ProduKey is a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of MS-Office, Windows, Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. You can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/computer - by using command-line options. This utility can be useful if you lost the product key of your Windows/Office, and you want to reinstall it on your computer.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Custom actions on ASUS R2H buttons

I spent almost all day yesterday searching how to assign custom actions on the R2H hardware buttons, and I finally found the NP's Asus Notebook Keys 1.3. See below a couple of details specific to R2H.

I found that most of the buttons on R2H are assigned standard behavious like page up/down, left/right click up/down, enter etc, only 3 buttons allowing custom actions: bottom left, bottom right and wireless button (top).

In Windows XP, the handler for the left hardware button is DMEDIA.EXE, that is responsible for looking and starting Program Launcher; the right button is the SettingPage.exe, that is the settings page where you can change brigthess, sound volume etc. If you are going to customize either buttons, you can also stop the process from running using Autoruns - do not delete the entry as you may want to get it back sometimes, unticking should do just fine. Vista should have something very similar, to be honest I have only installed the Settings Center. If you are using that like me, you can customize say the left button to load Vista's Mobility Center.

Now, as you've extracted the archive, anywhere say C:\Program Files\Asus Notebook Keys, first run AsusNbKeys.exe, then run AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe.

If everything works fine, you can now define the custom actions, say on the left button to start Notebook Hardware Control. Click "Add new event", push the left button on the unit to register it, type in a description, tick the "Execute file" box, and use browse button to select the program. When finished click the "Save" button at the top.

You only need to create entries for the buttons you want customize, otherwise the default actions should still apply - the above is just an example with custom actions on all three buttons.

When finished creating the custom action entries, click the Save all changes to system and then Close. Now you can test the new custom actions.

The only thing remaining is to set the AsusNbKeys.exe to start when you logon, you can either put a shortcut in Start > Programs > StartUp or manually create an entry in registry in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.

Asus Notebook Keys 1.3

NP_ wrote a two application set allowing you to assign the actions of your Asus notebook hardware buttons (see the other post specific to R2H).

  • AsusNbKeys.exe - main service module, it must be always loaded (do not close it from Task Manager, use "Stop AsusNbKeys process" button of AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe instead);
  • AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe - setup module, manages settings for main service; run it only for making changes to settings.
  • You can set own actions for additional buttons of your Asus notebook or leave them by default;
    Possible own actions:
    • run any application or file (vbs-script, for example) with parameters,
    • simulate keystroke to use it as hotkey with some other program,
    • just do nothing;
    *v1.1: added ability to block all additional buttons by hotkey (Win + Space);
    *v1.3: added ability to supply parameters for app being executed.
  • /!\ The Asus's ATK0100 driver + software, HControl.exe MUST be 1043.2.15.64 or newer version;
  • Windows XP 32bit or Vista 32Bit;
  • Do not change names of programs of this package.
  • Download and unzip to some safe place;
  • Add shortcut for AsusNbKeys.exe to autorun;
  • Run AsusNbKeys.exe;
  • Run AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe and set up your keys as you want.
  • Run your old AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe and press "Stop AsusNbKeys process" button;
  • Close AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe;
  • Overwrite AsusNbKeys.exe with newer version;
  • Overwrite AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe with newer version;
  • Run AsusNbKeys.exe.
PS: please report bugs...


Updated to 1.1.
  • Block all buttons via Win + Space (enable this option first);
  • Fixed small bug ("Remove" did'n turn off).
Updated to 1.1_FIXED.
  •  AsusNbKeys.exe does not use msvcr80.dll anymore.
 Updated to 1.3.
  •  Added ability to supply parameters to application being executed;
  • Trying to fix Vista errors (the program can get disabled after sleep\hibernate, can't find ATK0100 AC event).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Windows XP - Explorer is not finding files containing text

Doesn't it annoy you when you are looking for a file containing some text and you know is in there somewhere, but Windows Explorer doesn't find it? Windows XP by design only looks into a pre-configured list of known document types, to improve performance and return relevant results. While this may apply to a home user, that's usually not the case with professionals.

Changing the registry key below would get you the expected behaviour:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex\FilterFilesWithUnknownExtensions = 1

How to disable Windows Desktop Search integration with Explorer

If you find that Windows Desktop Search replaced the standard search functionality in Windows Explorer, you can get it back by setting the registry key below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS\ShowStartSearchBand = 0

... or if you are not the type to navigate through your Windows registry, simply download and open this ShowStartSearchBand.reg