Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Using "Run As" from the command line

I needed to make some changes in Registry Editor on a machine, but didn't want to log out of the users account to get in as the admin. It's good that you can open a program such as Registry Editor via the Run box using the command "runas". Doing so allows you to start an application while providing administrative credentials, without the need to log out of the currently logged in user. In most cases you can right-click an application icon and choose "Run As...", but for something like Registry Editor you would either have to save a custom MMC or use this runas method.

The syntax is:

runas /user:localhost\administrator regedit

This will then prompt you for the administrator password, and assuming you know it, will give you access to the Registry Editor as an administrative user. You could also write this into a batch file and use that as a shortcut if you didn't want to type this into the Start->Run box each time you needed it.

To see the original article I found outlining this, along with more information about the batch file, check out this  www.tech-recipes.com article.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

View message size in Outlook Web Access

I had a user with access only to Outlook Web Access who was trying to sort the message by size, but there didn't seem to be a column for that within the OWA interface. I did some quick searching and saw a lot of people saying that it's not possible. However, I was surprised at how simple it is to do after reading how many people said it couldn't be done. This post pertains to OWA running on an Exchange 2003 server, and you also have to be using the premium client which only runs within Internet Explorer. Other browser will use the basic client and that doesn't allow you the same flexibility as the premium client.

1. Login to your mailbox via the Outlook Web Access webpage
2. At the top of the page to the right of where it says Inbox, click and change the view to Messages

That's it. Now you should see a column labeled Size that you can use to sort the messages. If you're looking for other options, try one of the other predefined views available from the list.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Remove or upgrade a Macbook Pro hard drive

I had a user with a Macbook Pro who had a hard drive that was about to fail. The hard drive was almost full too, so I wanted to make sure to upgrade it in the process. I was surprised at how easy it was to do, and found a very helpful guide with pictures for disassembling the Macbook. Normally I'd repost the disassembly instructions here, but the guide at www.extremetech.com was done so well I'll redirect you there instead.

I removed the existing hard drive using the guide, then cloned it to the new hard drive using Disk Utility from a Mac desktop. I put one of the drives right inside the case, and used a SATA to USB converter  (~$20 for a combo IDE 2.5", IDE 3.5", and SATA to USB, and well worth it) to plug the other drive in. From there I was able to restore the existing drive on to the new drive. It looks like even though the new drive had a much larger partition (80GB existing to a 250GB new drive), Disk Utility took care of that as well and I have a full 250GB of usable space on the new drive after the restore. After I put it all back together and booted up the laptop, everything seems to be working ok and now the user has an extra 160GB to fill up and the clicking is gone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Slipstream Office 2007 service packs into install package

You can integrate updates into your Microsoft Office 2007 installation the same way you can slipstream updates into your XP install disk. This is very helpful if you manage an environment of computers that would otherwise need to individually download and install the update files. It's also really easy to do. For this example, I'll use Office 2007 service pack 2, which is the most recent available right now. 

1. First, download and save Office 2007 SP2 from Microsoft.com. You will need this file in order to get the updates it contains. For example's sake, let's say you named the saved file Office2007Updates.exe and saved it to the root of your C drive.
2. Create a folder on your C drive named Extract, and another named Updates. This is where you will put the updates from the SP file. Also, move the Office2007Updates.exe file into the newly created Extract folder.
3. Open a command prompt (Start->Run->cmd) and enter the following commands, each followed by pressing Enter:

cd C:\Extract
Office2007Updates.exe /extract:C:\Updates

This will extract the updates from the service pack file into the C:\Updates folder. You can now delete the Extract folder
4. Now you need to move the contents of your Updates folder into the Updates folder found in your Office 2007 installation media. This is easy if you're using a network location for pushing out the software. However, if you are only using the CD you will have to download the files from it to your computer to complete this step.
5. Once you have the Office installation files saved in a location, move the contents from the C:\Updates folder to the Updates folder within the Office install files.
6. You can now use the install files as they are, or you can burn the newly created install to a CD so you have a portable copy. During the install it will automatically check the Updates folder and apply any updates it finds within.

The original post that I found detailing this process can be found at winsupersite.com