Thursday, 21 July 2016

Microsoft Outlook 2016 Reading Panel Font Size Increase/Zoom


It is a shame that Microsoft did not include this feature to allow users to default the font size of email messages for reading. It makes it hard for some users who have bad eye sight.

To set a default text size for the email messages, I will recommend you changing the standard mail text to plain text.

1. Open Microsoft Outlook and click on File

2. Options, Trust Center and Trust Center Settings

3. Email Security and Tick "Read all standard mail in plain text" and "Read all digitally signed mail in plain text.

4. OK to apply the settings.

5. Go back to File, Options, Mail and select Stationery and Fonts

6. Go to individual tab settings to change the font size.

  • Change new mail messages, 
  • Replying or forwarding messages
  • Composing and reading plain text messages

7. Close Outlook and reopen, huala!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Windows10 Font Sizing issues - Windows GPO Work Around!

Problem in this scenario: Windows 10 domain user whose have limited permissions in changing the font size of the operating system.

Now normally if you just have a standard computer and everything works perfectly fine as you can customise however the operating system look, i.e. make every words on the screen look bigger so you can read better without making the screen blurry (if you use the zoom option).

We would then need to change the "Advanced sizing of text and other items" in Advanced Display Settings window.

Above method mostly solve the issue with a standard computer setup, however now with a computer that is part of a domain as group policy may have locked down the option the user to change it or another issue that is known as Windows 10 Bug for domain user/computer, even if you have selected a higher text size and hit apply to save the changes. The computer does not visually does not change anything.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Microsoft Windows 7/8/8.1/10 Windows Sync Center Best Practice - Always Offline Files


If you are using Windows Sync Center in a domain environment along with home folder profile setup, please use this guide for the correct way of setting up always offline files for remote users.

In order to have Sync Center to work, the user's home folder must have "Offline files" enabled.

1. Go to Control Panel and select Sync Center

A window like above will shown up and now select "Manage Offline Files" on the left

2. Click on "Enable Offline Files" and restart your computer.

3. When computer boot back up, go to "My Computer" or "This PC" then H:\ drive.

Now what most people do is right click the drink and select "Always available offline", what the Sync Center do is make the drive goes offline and it does. However, what if the drive has been disconnected or not available anymore as H:\?

Users will not be able to access them drive as the H:\ has been maybe overtaken by a portable device or drive just gone missing.

The resolution for this is to go in to drive and select all, right click, "Always available offline".

Result of this will synchronize all the files in the drive and what happen if the H:\ is missing or the computer has been disconnected from the domain network.

The files are accessible via Sync Center Offline Files Folder.

The laptop when joined back to the domain network, Sync Center automatic sync the files with the server and in order to be 100% sure all the files are synced correct. Microsoft suggest to use the manual sync option by right clicking the Sync Center icon at the notification bar and click Sychronise All.

Last note:
  1. Disable Sync Center and restart your computer.
  2. To reset Sync Center back to default so you can start over again with the correct way of setting up available offline files, use below steps.
  3. On user's machine, go to C:\Windows\.
  4. Right click CSC folder.
  5. Select Security tab and click Advanced.
  6. Folder's permission is set to SYSTEM only therefore no one can access or make changes to it, so what you need to do is to take ownership of the folder.
  7. Click on "Change", give yourself full permission, OK and select OK to apply.
  8. Open CSC folder and delete the folder inside it, usually it calls v2.16.
  9. Delete CSC folder.
  10. Enable Sync Center and restart machine.
  11. Now you have a fresh Sync Center.
  12. Follow this article for a correct way of setting up your Always Offline Files.
If you are struggling to take the ownership or delete the folder under C:\Windows\CSC folder use below command:

Step 1: Disable the Offline Files.

a.   Open Sync Center and click on Manage Offline Files on the left.
b.  Select the Disable Offline Files Button and reboot the computer.

Step 2: Give yourself all the permissions.

a.   Press Windows key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
b.  Type these commands and press Enter after each one.

cd c:\Windows
takeown /f csc /r /a /d y > NUL
icacls csc /grant Administrators:(F) /t /l /q

c.   Delete the folders under C:\Windows\CSC.

Have fun!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Enable Disk Usage Graphs on Windows Server 2012/R2

Make sure the Task Manager is closed.

Launch Command Prompt/Powershell using the "Run as Administrator" option.

Enter the following at the Command Prompt:

diskperf -Y

 Hit Enter.

Close the Command Prompt.

Re-open the Task Manager.

After you have ran the command, the task manager should look like below screenshot now.

Remote Login as Administrator using VPN (Windows 8 or newer version of Windows)

The purpose of having the option to remote login with a domain account is to setup account profile in advanced and work remotely like you are onsite office.

Login as yourself, local administrator account is prefer as we will need the privileges to create VPN connection on the computer.
  1. Anywhere on the Windows 8 Metro screen, type the word Control and click the Control Panel icon when it appears.
  2. From Control panel, open Network and Sharing Center
  3. From the Network and Sharing Center select Set up a new connection or network
  4. In the next window, choose: Connect to a workplace and click Next
  5. In the next window, select Use my Internet Connection (VPN)
  6. In the next window, type "Your company IP address or alias" in the Internet address field
  7. Make sure you select "Allow other people to use this connection" as you will need this feature to login as domain admin account remotely on the logon screen.
  8. In the Network and Sharing Center, click "Change Adapter Settings"
  9. Right-click your new VPN connection and select View connection properties
  10. Click on the Security tab and under Type of VPN select Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
  11. Select the radio button Allow these protocols, then tick Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) and Microsoft CHAP version 2 (MSCHAP v2) and click OK (Click Yes if you get a warning about the protocols and encryption)
  12. Click the network icon in the bottom-right of the screen again, click your VPN connection then click Connect
  13. Type in your username and VPN (remote access) password then click OK
  14. After a short delay your computer should connect via VPN and you will
    be able to access our secure services and resources.
 Lastly, log off your current account and now on the login screen you should be able to see an icon shown on below picture:
Now, click on it and it will prompt you a login box.
Enter your domain admin credential to login.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Failed to Activate Windows Server 2012 R2

Problem when you use the Windows Activation wizard to activate the operating system not always work. Even you have the right key and the same key worked on a different machine!

A work around to this is use slmgr.vbs to manual enter the key on command line/powershell, run as administrator.

slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Once the key is in the system, instead of using the wizard to activate it automatically which you have tried thousand of times and never work, it is time to use the old fashion way. Phone activation!

Now use this on CMD/Powershell:

slui.exe 4

What happens now is the activation wizard will pop up and ask you to select country, click next and boom there's your confirmation ID.

Ring up Microsoft 0800 free call number on the screen, enter them the generated "Installation ID".

Click "Enter confirmation ID" Once entered, the computer on the phone will then tell you the numbers to put in activation screen next.

Job done :) Windows is now activated.


Future reference: 
slmgr.vbs /dlv - Display information of current license status
slmgr.vbs /upk - To uninstall windows product key
slmgr /upk <Activation ID> - Use this to uninstall the auto generated windows product key, so you can install your own key.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

.NET Framework 2/ 3.5 Installation Error 0x800f0906 / 0x800f081f


If you have come across a software requires .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.5 to run on Windows 8, then you must have been googling for awhile and you are very lucky if you landed on this page!

In my scenario, I was struggling to install Sage 50 Accounts on a client Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1. As the software failed to install or download the require installation files for .NET Framework 2.0.

Now if you have been googling hard enough, there are some solutions out there that managed to solved their issues.

1. Basic step - Start, Control Panel, Programs and Features, Turn Windows features on or off, Enable .NET Framework 3.5

Follow the wizard and download the files.

If the wizard throws you this error "0x800f0906"

Proceed next step.

2. Use CMD/Powershell and DISM.

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source:f:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

If this throws you another error like below with error code: 0x800f081f.

Proceed next step.

3. Uninstall the security updates KB2966826 and KB2966828 and then install framework from the control panel/ program and features/ turn windows features on

If the control panel doesn't have the options for you to uninstall the security updates, then proceed to the last step!

4. This is the last resolution to my problem, the client computer was LOCKED down by the group policy as it is joined to a domain. Therefore by taking off the client computer off the domain and then use 1) step to enable .NET framework 3.5 and the wizard start download files from Microsoft server no problem!

Make sure you are join the computer back to the domain ;) 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Hyper-V: 5 Ways to Transfer Files Between Physical and Virtual Host


If you were a VMware user, you wouldn't need to be searching for this article! VMware have made files sharing so easy that you can just drag and drop files from the physical machine to virtual machine's desktop but Microsoft...!

The setup for what I'm using is I have a Windows 8.1 with Hyper-V feature enabled and run Windows Server 2012 R2 in Hyper-V environment.

Let's get into it, for Hyper-V users, there isn't an easy way like what VMware is offering, however the following 5 ways should solve your problems.

Network File Sharing - Share files on a network like you usually do... 

1. On the virtual machine, create a folder on Desktop or any directory you preferred and give it a name.
2. Right click folder and select "Properties"
3. Select "Sharing" tab and click "Advanced Sharing..."
4. Tick "Share this folder" and select "Permissions".
5. Give "Everyone" permissions like it shown on below picture.

6. Select OK to finish the sharing process.
7. Now what you need to do is, go back to your physical machine and access the shared folder by typing the "\\computername\shared folder".
8. Once you are on it and simply copy files over to the shared drive and it will start appearing on the virtual machine's shared folder.

Remote Desktop map drive

1. Enable the Remote Desktop service on the virtual machine Server 2012 or other Windows OS, just make sure the Remote Desktop Service it is enabled so it can accept the service from client machine.
2. On Windows Server 2012 R2 to enabled Remote Desktop Service, go to "Server Manager" -> select "Local Server" from the left hand side menu.

3. Enable Remote Desktop by click on it, select "Allow remote connections to this computer" and un-tick the Recommended setting.

4. Now restart the virtual machine Server 2012.
5. Once the virtual machine Server 2012 is back and running, connect to the VM Server 2012 using Remote Desktop Connection.

6. On Remote Desktop Connection windows click "Local Resources", under "Local devices and resources" tab click on "More", expand "Drives" list and tick the drive you wanted to map.

7. Click OK and connect! Now see what you have on "My computer"!

8. Drag any files to the local drive on your PC and those files will appear on the Cloud VM server mapped drive.

Hyper-V USB offline

1. Make sure you have plugged the USB drive you are going to use to the computer.
2. Go to Start-> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management
3. Select "Disk Management" from the left hand side menu
4. Right click the USB Drive and select "Offline"

5. Go to Hyper-V Manager and shutdown the running virtual machine
6. Right click the virtual machine and select "Settings".
7. Select "SCSI Controller" and click "Add" a hard drive

8. Now select "Physical hard disk:" the USB drive you have just took offline on Disk Management.

9. Click "Apply" and OK to finish.
10. Start up the virtual machine and you should have the USB drive appeared on "My Computer".

Copy and Paste -

Note that this feature works with the following VM images:

  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012

More information about supported features by OS edition is available in this blog post.

1. Fire up Hyper-V Manager
2. Right click the Hyper-V host and select "Hyper-V Settings"

3. Ensure the tick box is ticked under Enhanced Session Mode and click OK.

4. Right click the virtual machine-> Settings -> Integration Services at bottom left hand side of the menu.
5. Check "Guest Services" and click OK.

6. Start up the virtual machine, copy files from physical machine and paste in to virtual the machine!

Mount Virtual Hard Disk 

1. Navigate to the directory where you have created the virtual hard disk when you creating the virtual machine. e.g. "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks"
2. Mount the virtual hard drive by double clicking it.
3. The virtual hard drive window will pop up and seeing the drive as your local drive.
4. Just copy and paste the files over to the mounted drive.
5. Once it's finished, go to "My Computer", right click the virtual hard drive and "Eject".
6. Otherwise when you try to start up the virtual machine and an error like below screenshot will occurred!

Friday, 20 February 2015

SCCM 2012 SP1 Prerequisites Downloads - file

I am currently evaluating SCCM 2012 SP1 and found slight problem when I am in the middle of the installation process with the Setup Wizard, and the Configuration Manager Setup Downloader throwing this error to me!

The investigation started, so first the error is telling me is attempting to download files from the internet. Hinting there is a problem with network connection in between the server and the internet. The server does have internet connection and to verify that I have done some ping test "" with successful replies. However, re-trying the download and it is still throwing me the same error, so there must be some security settings preventing me to download the files from Microsoft!

After some research, I have couple of things:

No luck, still... if anyone found a solution to this please share it :)

Moving on to the alternative option, "Use previously downloaded file". To use this option, you will need a fully functional computer with fully functional internet connection, haha I cannot emphasise much on that, as it does really did the trick. I have used my own personal computer to download those files and it worked!!!

  1. To do this you will need to copy the SCCM installation files to your local C: drive, navigate to "E:\SC2012_SP1_RTM_SCCM_SCEP\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64".
  2. In there right click, open Command Prompt window here. 
  3. Type: "Setupdl.exe C:\RC_updates"
  4. The download should be starting and indicating there are 56 files to download.
  5. Once the download has finished, copy the folder in C:\RC_updates from your personal computer and paste it to the SCCM server local "C:" drive. Noticed that there are 59 files and not 56.

  6. Go back to SCCM Setup Wizard, browse to "C:\RC_updates" folder as shown in screenshot below and click next!

Woohoo, the Setup Wizard started to verify and taken me to the next step of the installation!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

How to setup enable VPN pass-through on Virgin Super Hub (Router/Modem)

In this tutorial, we are going to setup VPN pass-through on your Virgin Super Hub! Alternatively, I have alose wrote an detailed article of "How to setup VPN connection on Cisco router".

Let's do the easiest part first, by configuring Virgin Super Hub setting!

1. Open Internet Explorer and Type on the URL/address bar then hit ENTER.

2. Enter Username/Password (Phone Virgin Media if you don't know).

3. Go to Advanced Settings (at the right hand side bottom of the page).

4. Go to Security tab and click on "Port Forwarding".

5. Select "PPTP(TCP:1723)" in Service and Click "Add Rule" followed by Apply.

Now you have allowed PPTP port traffic to go through and those traffic is directed to your VPN server for authentication.

6. Go back to advanced settings page and navigate to Security tab and click on "Firewall".

7. Uncheck all boxes except "PPTP Pass-Through".

8. Click Apply.