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Friday, 19 December 2014

TechyGeeksHome.co.uk Year End Stats

As we approach the end of another year, we thought that we would post some figures about our site from the last 12 months.

It has been a pretty good year for us and our visitor count seems to have been rising throughout the year recently peaking at around 5000 visitors a day.

We also started to provide Pro versions of our utilities and we do aim to release a bunch more of these in early 2015, we just have not had the time recently to extend on what we have released already!

We have also created a range of new products, one being Ultimate Settings Panel which has so far proved to be our most successful utility to date with (from what we know of on the few software sites we do monitor our utilities on) around 75,000 downloads in total of the free version.

We do plan on creating many more utilities in 2015 but if you have any ideas - please do feel free to contact us and we will put your ideas into action!

Finally, in December, we posted our 400th post so please feel free to take a good long look around our site and use our Archive system to get around. You might just find something interesting!

So what about our vital stats?

Below is a list of our website statistics to date (1st Jan 15 - 19th Dec 2014):

Total Website Hits: 539,975
Direct Downloads from the Website: 53,127
ShareThis Shares: 16,771
Most Visited Page:Bluetooth Windows 8 Fix
Most Downloaded Utility: Ultimate Settings Panel
Country with Highest Number of Visitors to the site: United States (24.15% of all visitors)
Favoured Browser: Google Chrome
Twitter Followers: 61
Facebook Likes: 1201
Google+ Views: 4 Million

We would like to say thank you to all our visitors and we hope that we have helped you out somewhere along the line and made your life a little easier!



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Thursday, 18 December 2014

How to Transfer Infrastructure Master FSMO Role to a Different Server

If you want to transfer your Infrastructure Master FSMO Role to a different server then you can follow the steps below to carry this out.

You should first logon to your Domain Controller using an Enterprise Administrator account and then launch an elevated command prompt. You should then enter the following commands within the command prompt:
  1. ntdsutil
  2. rules
  3. connections
  4. connect to server DC2 (DC2 being the server name you want to transfer to)
  5. q (takes you back to FSMO maintenance)
  6. ? - will show the available fsmo roles the domain knows about
  7. transfer infrastructure master
When you have done this, the role will be transfered to the server that you stated in step 4.

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Uninstall Windows and Office Updates using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

Following on from our recent posts about dodgy Microsoft updates, we thought we should post about how to uninstall Windows and Office Updates using WSUS.

A lot of the issues people fast with dodgy Microsoft updates are when they are automatically or accidentally released through WSUS to your end users machines meaning that on their next "Check for Updates" cycle, the end users machine will end up with the update and then its up to the IT techs to sort the machines out.

Well, WSUS not only pushes out update installations, it can also push out Update uninstalls too and it is incredibly simple to do from an administration point of view.

So how do I uninstall updates using WSUS?

Below we will detail exactly how to tell WSUS to uninstall an update across your environment and also show what the end user machine does once it gets the command to do this, so follow the steps below.

First of all, you should login to your WSUS console. Then go into the All Updates tree in your console to display all the updates available. You should then click the Search option on the top right hand side of the console and enter the search criteria for the update you want to remove. For this guide, we will be using KB3008923 which was released last week and causing Internet Explorer to crash:


Once you have found the update you are looking for, you should then right click on it and Select "Approve" (yes approve - this will make sense in the next step!):


A new dialog box will appear and you can then select "Approve for Removal" and then apply that to any child sites you may have:


Click OK and this will now push out the uninstall command through end users Windows Updates next time they check their local WSUS server for updates. Note that the child sites will need to synchronise with the master site before end user machines on these sites get their own commands to uninstall the updates.

So, what does the end user machine then look like?

If you are using WSUS then the end user actually will not see anything as it should happily uninstall in the background without the user knowing. However, if you want to see what it is like, then on a machine that has the update to be uninstalled, manually click "Check for Updates" on the machine and you should then see something similar to this:


As you can see from this, the update we want to remove is there and has the prefix of (uninstall): in the name - install this update and it will actually uninstall it.

Simple as that and saves having to manually uninstall rogue Microsoft Updates!

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

How to keep databases running smoothly

Databases not running smoothly can be responsible for bad business performance. More often than not, there’s a simple explanation for why a database isn’t working properly and, with a few simple changes, you can help keep them in good working order.

It can make good business sense to use an IT support provider, such as Ubertas, to maintain your databases but, in any case, it is useful for you to have a good understanding of how they work.

Follow these simple steps to keep things running smoothly.

Keep your database statistics up to date. Most databases use indexes to run so keeping your data in these indexes up to date makes sense. If there’s no information in an index field or they haven’t been updated for a while, chances are it won’t know which information to use or will extract the wrong bits.

Optimise your indexes. As well as keeping your indexes up to date, be sure to optimise them. Creating optimised indexes with more than one field for search queries and clustered indexes which determine the order of results speed up search queries and help your databases run smoothly.

Only pull the columns you need. A lot of database users select more data than they need, resulting in hundreds - or sometimes thousands - of columns being pulled which you simply won’t use. And, not surprisingly, huge, complex queries like this sometimes don’t pull at all. The same thing can happen if you reuse code without thinking about it. For this reason, it is good to be as succinct as you can with your data queries.

Don’t allow user interaction while the transaction’s in progress. Leave the query or transaction to do its thing before you or anyone else goes into it to avoid incorrect data being pulled.

Maintain the database disc regularly. If a database isn’t running smoothly, it might be down to the disc. Make sure out-of-date information and files are deleted and perform a defragmentation of the disc occasionally.

Check your hardware can cope with your databases. Sometimes poorly-performing databases are simply down to a hard drive not being powerful enough or not having enough memory. Adding a bit more or updating it can solve the problem.  You can also select the memory limit on most databases, known as the MAX memory.  If it’s too low, you might find bottlenecks and crashes when multiple users are searching for queries.

Check your input/output device. Can your device adequately cope with your database? Sometimes poor connections or incorrectly configured devices can be to blame for poor database performance, so it’s worth checking all yours are okay.

Most databases require regular tuning to keep them running smoothly, much like your family car. The databases you have now probably don’t need a massive overhaul but making a few tweaks and creating new indexes will usually iron out problems.

Following these tips will keep your databases running smoothly by maximising your system resources, helping you to perform tasks as efficiently and as rapidly possible.
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Google Chrome 39.0.2171.95 MSI Released

Google have now released a new version of their Chrome browser, version 39.0.2171.95.

If you are looking at deploying Google Chrome using systems like Configuration Manager, WDS, SCUP or Group Policy, you will want to use their MSI installer to make it much easier.

You can now download the Google Chrome MSI installer direct from Google from the link below.

DOWNLOAD


INSTRUCTIONS

If you are pushing this out, you will want to use the Silent Installer switches, so this is the command line that you should use for this:

 msiexec.exe /i "GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise.msi" /q /norestart  

This means it will install quietly (using the /q switch) and will not reboot automatically (using the /norestart) switch.

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Acrobat Reader 11.0.10 Released - MSI Download

Adobe have now released an update to their Acrobat Reader software to take it up to version 11.0.10.

You can now download the MSI, EXE and MSP files for this release from their FTP site which you can get to using the download button below:

DOWNLOADS

EXE File Download


Version 11 MSI Download


Version 11.0.10 MSP Downloads


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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Skype 7.0 Released - MSI Download Link & Silent Install Instructions

Skype version 7.0 has now been released and if you would like to either add this to your Configuration Manager Software Catalog or even have it available through WDS or Group Policy, then you will want to download the MSI file for it.

Skype do provide a direct download link for its Skype software and the installer is packaged as an MSI file. This means that it can be easily used by IT and System Center Administrators for distribution.

The direct download link for Skype MSI 7.0 is below:

DOWNLOAD


If you want to distribute Skype as a silent install, then you can use the code as below:

WDS or Group Policy

 SkypeSetup.msi /q /norestart  

Configuration Manager

 msiexec /i "SkypeSetup.msi" /q /norestart

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Adobe Flash Player 16.0.0.235 Released - MSI Download

Adobe have released another update to their Adobe Flash Player software, this time taking it up to version 16.0.0.235.

As always, you can download the executable file or get the MSI file so that you can load it into your Configuration Manager Software Catalog.

The update is also now available to import through System Center Update Publisher (SCUP) so you can inject it into your WSUS or Configuration Manager systems.

You can the download in all formats for all browsers for Windows and Mac directly from Adobe by clicking the download button below.

DOWNLOAD


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Friday, 12 December 2014

Windows Update Causing Internet Explorer to Crash - KB3008923

After Microsoft released a bunch of updates this week that broke Excel, today we ran into issues with their updates breaking Internet Explorer!

After some more updates were released through our WSUS server to client machines, users started to experience Internet Explorer crashes on load up making the browser virtually unusable.

So, having to then spend more hours searching for todays culprit, we found that the update causing the issue is this one:

KB3008923

So, what can you do to fix it?

The simple solution is that you have to uninstall it, but you should also ensure that you have declined it in your WSUS or SCCM or other popular Windows Update system and if you are using SCCM, you could create a task sequence to remove it en masse.

If you need to know the command line for removing this update, you should try this:

 C:\Windows\System32\wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3008923/quiet /norestart  

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Teamviewer 10.0.36244 Released

We are a bit late with this one but Teamviewer have released version 10.0.36244 of their excellent remote control and support software.

This is a free to use software for personal use and is excellent if you want to help out a family member or even just remote control your home PC from somewhere else.

You can get the latest version by clicking the download button below:

DOWNLOAD


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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Windows Update Causes ActiveX/VBScript to stop working in Excel - KB2553154

So Microsoft have done it again! They have released a "critical" update that has broken everyone's Excel!

We have had a large number of issues today in relation to VBScripting in Excel and it happened at 10am - the exact time our WSUS updates are collected by end users machines.

So, having spent most of the day searching for the culprit, we found that the update causing the issue is this one:

KB2553154

So, what can you do to fix it?

The simple solution is that you have to uninstall it, but you should also ensure that you have declined it in your WSUS or SCCM or other popular Windows Update system and if you are using SCCM, you could create a task sequence to remove it en masse.

If you need to know the command line for removing this update, you should try this:

 C:\Windows\System32\wusa.exe /uninstall /kb2553154 /quiet /norestart  

Note that if the above command line does not work (usually if you are using a SCCM Task Sequence) then you should use the uninstall string as per below:

 msiexec.exe /package {90140000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE} MSIPATCHREMOVE={D0D69BA5-4BD9-439E-804F-07DC80CF5408} /qb /norestart /l+ c:\windows\ccm\logs\KB2553154_rollback.txt  

This will use the msiexec.exe uninstaller process for removing Office updates and then write the log file to your SCCM log local location on the end users machine.

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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Shared Mailboxes Sent Items in Outlook

If you are using shared mailboxes in Outlook, then you may find that when someone is sending an email from this mailbox, the sent email is going into the users own Sent Items folder rather than the Sent Items folder within the shared mailbox itself.

This is because there is a delegation registry key that needs to be set to allow the sent email to drop into the shared mailbox.

CONSIDERATIONS

Please note the part of the registry key that is in bold and red "14.0" - this is the version of Outlook that you are using and must be changed for your version.

The different versions of Outlook are:
  • Outlook 2007 - 12.0
  • Outlook 2010 - 14.0
  • Outlook 2013 - 15.0
Also note that this must be done logged in as the affected user that you want to amend.

INSTRUCTIONS

To do this, simply follow the instructions below:
  • Click Start
  • Click Run
  • Type regedit, and then click OK
  • Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences
  • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value
  • Type DelegateSentItemsStyle, and then press Enter
  • Right-click DelegateSentItemsStyle, and then click Modify
  • In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK
  • Exit Registry Editor and reboot the machine
Once you have rebooted the machine you should then test sending an email from the shared mailbox and you should now see that the email has gone into the correct folder within the shared mailbox itself.

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Adobe Flash Player 15.0.0.239 Released - MSI Download

Adobe have released another update to their Adobe Flash Player software, this time taking it up to version 15.0.0.239.

As always, you can download the executable file or get the MSI file so that you can load it into your Configuration Manager Software Catalog.

The update is also now available to import through System Center Update Publisher (SCUP) so you can inject it into your WSUS or Configuration Manager systems.

You can the download in all formats for all browsers for Windows and Mac directly from Adobe by clicking the download button below.

DOWNLOAD


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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Microsoft Xbox One Controller Drivers for your Windows Computer

If you would like to use your Microsoft Xbox One controller with your PC or laptop, you can do this by simply installing the correct drivers on your computer and using the charging USB cable.

So, first of all, you should install the drivers, you can get these from the links below:



Once you have these drivers installed on your computer, take your Xbox One controller and the USB charging cable and plug it into the USB port on your computer.

Your computer will now quickly go through the plug and play hardware installation process and you should now find that you can use your Xbox One controller on your Windows machine.

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Windows 8.1 Media ISO Download

If you have purchased Windows 8.1 and you have lost or damaged your DVD media or would simply like a backup, you can now download the ISO from Microsoft by inputting your product key.

All you need to do is go to the website below:

Windows 8.1 Media Download

Then click on the "Install Windows 8.1" button which will download a small utility. Run this utility and fill out all the details by going through the wizard and you will then be able to download your Windows 8.1 ISO file.

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Monday, 24 November 2014

How to add a Secondary Domain Controller to an Existing Domain

If you have a requirement to add a secondary domain controller to your existing domain, then the video guide below should show you exactly the steps you need to take to carry this out.



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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Transfer FSMO roles to a new Server

Continuing our series of YouTube video guides, we came across this one and thought it was very well made and details exactly how to transfer FSMO roles to a new server.

Hopefully you will find this helpful if this is something that you need to carry out in your own environment.



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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Remove a Windows Server 2008 R2 Domain Controller from an Existing Domain

We have been viewing some video guides on YouTube over the last few days so we thought that we would share some good ones that we have found that we feel you may find useful.

We have scheduled a number of these videos to be posted to our site over the next few days so make sure you check back here to see whether there is anything here to help you out!

To begin with, we thought we would start with the basics, removing a domain controller from an existing domain is a fairly simple process but if you need a hand with doing this, the below video is an excellent guide on what to do.



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