Removing the “Other User” prompt from ctrl+alt+del

On some Windows 7 computers, after pressing ctrl+alt+del the user can be presented with a blank “other user” picture, before they are able to enter their authentication details. Some users can find this to be quite annoying. I’ve noticed this particularly on Toshiba laptops that have the Authentec finger printing software installed. In order to remove this, the software must be uninstalled and the laptop rebooted twice.  

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Delete the Windows.old folder from a server

When performing an in place upgrade of your server, you are left with a folder called windows.old which you are unable to delete, even if you take ownership of it. Whereas in a client version of windows, you can remove this using the disk cleanup tool, this is not possible on Windows Server. For this you will need to follow the below procedure. From the start menu, type CMD into the search facility or run box, and then right click on it and “run as administrator”. Type the following at the command prompt, type the following and run then in sequence: takeown /F <DriveLetter>:\<FolderName>\* /R /A cacls <DriveLetter>:\<FolderName>\*.* /T /grant […]

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Device Collection by Internet Explorer version

Microsoft often release security bulletins that are specific to certain versions of Internet Explorer, or you may want to target machines running a specific version for a software update such as upgrading from that well loved favourite, IE6. SCCM allows you to arrange your machines into device collection automatically according to which Internet Explorer version they have installed. Please be aware when copy and pasting this code you may need to replace the quote marks, as this can cause a syntax error. You need to create a device collection that describes how you want the machines arranged. For instance, if you want to target machines that are not running Internet […]

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Error 0x80070070 during SCCM OSD Deployment

Occasionally when you are deploying a machine using system center, you might be presented with an 0x80070070 error just after you’ve chosen your task sequence, but before it starts in full.. In order for this to work, you must have command support turned on in your boot images. When the error is presented, press F8 to bring up a command prompt and enter the following set of commands: diskpart select disk 0 clean exit Then restart the deployment. This should allow you to deploy the machine without issues.

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Separating Windows 7 machines by platform

If you need to separate your Windows 7 machines into device collections separating them into 64-bit and 32-bit collections, this can be done using the following rules. First, create two collections, one for each platform. Please be aware when copy and pasting this code you may need to replace the quote marks, as this can cause a syntax error. For the x64 collection use the following incremental query rule: select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId inner join SMS_G_System_OPERATING_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_OPERATING_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_COMPUTER_SYSTEM.SystemType = “x64-based PC” and SMS_G_System_OPERATING_SYSTEM.Caption like “Microsoft Windows 7%” For the x86 collection use the following incremental query rule: select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client […]

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Configure the default keyboard layout during login

This article is a recreation of an original post by John Savill which can be found at http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/configuration/how-do-i-configure-the-default-keyboard-layout-during-login–14867. You can change the keyboard layout using the keyboard control panel applet (start – settings – control panel – keyboard – Input Locales) however this does not affect the layout used during logon (which is by default English (United States). Make sure you select a country code that has been installed via the control panel or your system will not boot. To change this perform the following: Start the registry editor  (regedit.exe) Move to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload Double click on 1 and change the number to your local layout (you could get this […]

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Pop-up asking for a phonebook entry – SonicWall VPN Client

Whilst trying to connect to a SonicWall VPN recently, I came across the below prompt, which wouldn’t allow me on to the VPN:                 Thankfully the solution was fairly simple: Open the Sonic Wall VPN Client. Choose the VPN you are trying to connect to and then properties. Navigate to the peers tab and choose edit. At the bottom of the below pop up, change Interface Selection to “LAN Only”.                               Once you restart the VPN Client, you will be able to connect without issue.

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How to make your Windows 7 with Office 2010 desktop more accessible

Setting custom text size Adjusting fonts in Outlook Using the accessibility functions of Internet Explorer Ease of Access keyboard shortcuts Magnifier Magnifier keyboard shortcuts High contrast Setting custom text size   One of the first things that people tend to do when trying to make their desktop accessible is to change their desktop resolution using the classic control panel > display menu. This is not ideal, in fact, for a lot of applications, it’s about the worst place to start. Programs will not display properly and any applications that have been designed with large window sizes will hang halfway off the screen. A much more suitable way of doing this […]

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Setting a default user logon picture

As the person who is responsible for building deployment images, you may decide that you want to force the users to have a default user logon picture for the Welcome screen, both on their local desktop and on Remote Desktop Services. There is a Group Policy setting in Windows Server 2008R2 and Windows 7 that allows you to do this. 1. Click Start, type gpedit.msc and press ENTER 2. Go to the following branch: Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Control Panel | User Accounts 3. Double-click Apply the default user logon picture to all users 4. Set it to Enabled 5. Exit the Group Policy Editor. This policy setting […]

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Restore the Unread Mail Folder in Outlook

The “Unread mail” folder is a Default Search folder present in Microsoft Outlook. It contains a count of the number of mails that are unread in a particular E-mail account. Sometimes, this search folder might not be displayed along with the favourite mail folders or it could have been accidentally deleted. If this is the case, don’t panic, you can easily restore the “Unread mail” folder and make it display with the rest of the favourite mail folders. Here are the instructions on how to get this done. In Outlook, click on ‘Folder’ tab and then under the ‘Folder’ tab, in the ‘New’ category, click on the ‘New Search Folder’ […]

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