User account pictures with roaming profiles

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Tip: this article only targets Vista/WS08 and higher.

 

If you want to change your user account picture and you log off and log on again, it could be your new user account picture is gone. This happens when you’re using roaming profiles and

  • the cached profiles are deleted at logoff
  • the cached profiles aren’t deleted at logoff, but you have a farm or collection of multiple systems and the next time you logon you get on a different system (in this case you could see the change several logons later)

To know why, you should know a few things.

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Custom Outlook toolbar’s location

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 Default Outlook toolbars save their location in the Outlook configuration file outcmd.dat, part of the roaming profile (in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook to be precise). This data is remembered when Outlook restarts, even after logging off and on again.

Non-default (custom) Outlook toolbars however are “temporary” in nature (in the sense of they’re not part of Outlook itself and are considered to be initialized/loaded separately each time Outlook loads). Those toolbars don’t save their location data in outcmd.dat, but have to provide their own mechanism. Microsoft offers a default way for such a mechanism, i.e. through a configuration file called user.config in the local part of a user profile (more precisely in %LOCALAPPDATA%\[company]\[application]\[version]). This means custom Outlook toolbar location changes can be saved and reused (even after logging off and on again) if the toolbar is programmed to do so and if so, it can be done through this default mechanism Microsoft provides. Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Screen (SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION) on WS08R2

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One of our Remote Desktop Session Hosts (RDSHs) experienced a blue screen (Blue Screen of Death or BSoD) a few weeks ago. I didn’t actually see the BSoD, but I was aware due to the following event being logged in the System event log at boot time (after the BSoD had occurred of course):

Event ID: 1001

Description: The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000003b (0x0000000080000003, 0xfffff880050a88eb, 0xfffff88007224d10, 0x0000000000000000). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 060112-27736-01.

Source: BugCheck

Level: Error

User: N/A

Computer: YOUR_SYSTEM

Logged: DATE_AND_TIME

Task Category: None

Keywords: Classic

OpCode: Info Read the rest of this entry »

Remote Desktop Session Host has a BSOD (PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA)

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One of our Remote Desktop Session Hosts (RDSHs) experienced a blue screen (Blue Screen of Death or BSoD) a few weeks ago. I didn’t actually see the BSOD, but I was aware due to the following event being logged in the System event log at boot time (well, only after the BSOD had occurred of course):

Event ID: 1001

Description: The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x00000050 (0xfffffa803f166210, 0x0000000000000000, 0xfffff8800b7257e7, 0x0000000000000000). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 050212-24320-01.

Source: BugCheck

Level: Error

User: N/A

Computer: YOUR_SYSTEM

Logged: DATE_AND_TIME

Task Category: None

Keywords: Classic

OpCode: Info Read the rest of this entry »

Stock Viewer

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Have you ever seen “Stock Viewer Settings (32-bit)” in your Control Panel? No? Well, I have!

 

Figure 1

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Additional Account Info, including on Vista and higher

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The classic scenario, based on V1

Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) is a console to manage “real” Active Directory content, i.e. users, computers and the like. Starting from the Windows Server 2003 version of this console (which can also be run on Windows XP for example) you can “install” an add-on named Additional Account Info to this console, which can be effectively used if your Active Directory (AD) infrastructure runs WS03 or higher. Browse to a user object, double-click it (or right-click it and select Properties) and select the Additional Account Info tab. This tab is only available if you browse to the object, so it doesn’t work when you search for an object and then double-click it (or right-click it and select Properties). The add-on is part of the Account Lockout and Management Tools, which can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18465. There is only 1 version (“1”, released in 2003), it’s in English and the package is named ALTools.exe (850 KB). The package contains a DLL that implements the add-on: AcctInfo.dll. Read the rest of this entry »

WS03 Certificate Services Web enrollment from other Windows versions

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Certificate Services are the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) services from Microsoft for Windows Server 2003. A PKI consists of a hierarchy of 1 or more Certificate Authority (CA) entities. A component of Certificate Services is Web, used for enrollment of certificates via a web based way. Enrollment can be simply translated in this case as “requesting & receiving”. On WS08(R2) Certificate Services has become a part of Active Directory (AD) and is renamed as Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS).

When you browse to a CA’s Certificates Services Web (http://DOMAIN/certsrv) from a system with Vista, WS08 or higher, you receive the following error if the CA is running WS03 SP2 (with WS03 pre-SP2 you get another error; more about this later): Read the rest of this entry »