Gene Laisne's blog

IS&T / AD / Exchange / Scripting / other



Windows 8

By Gene Laisne

Microsoft started a blog for the Engineers of Windows 8. So, if you have any ideas for Windows, let them know.




Great stuff!

By Gene Laisne



Windows Server 2008 SP1 and Windows Vista SP1 now UNSUPPORTED
How to add comment for a GPO with PowerShell
Microsoft Shares Video Tour of its Cloud Datacenters


SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Now Available On Microsoft Update
Updates: Process Explorer v15.01 and TCPView v3.05


Use PowerShell to Troubleshoot Software Installation
Parse Windows Trace Logs by Using PowerShell
Use Date Types to Filter Event Trace Logs in PowerShell
PowerShell Deep Dive @ The Experts Conference Europe 2011
Use ScriptCop to Help Write Better PowerShell Scripts  
Create and Parse Performance Monitor Logs with PowerShell 
Use Performance Counter Sets and PowerShell to Ease Baselining  
Capture Performance Counter Data and Write to SQL Server  
Import Counters from a Perfmon Chart into PowerShell  
Use PowerShell to Monitor Your SQL Server Performance  
Create a Simple Graphical Interface for a PowerShell Script  
Secrets to Building a WPF Application in Windows PowerShell


With only 1000 days left of extended support, don’t you think it’s time to retire Windows XP?

 Office Applications  

Connect your notes to SkyDrive with the updated Microsoft OneNote app for iPhone, available today  

Office Powerpoint  
More new, free SmartArt graphics: Hexagon Radial and Picture Frame
 Add artistic effects to your slide presentation (video)
The right SmartArt graphics for the job

Office Resource Kit  
Important information for Access 2010 64-bit customers regarding Office 2010 SP1 

Office Sustained Engineering  
Office Binary File Format Validation Tool Available 


** Build your own book of TechNet articles  


Defense in Depth: Locking Down Mash-Ups with HTML5 Sandbox
Container Pretty Printer - Advanced STL, Part 6
How we used HTML5 to make SkyDrive fast for millions of people
GoingNative: a New Channel 9 Show Dedicated to Native Development
Developing Windows Applications in C++ (Articles Series)


App-V Application Virtualzation  Website | RSS Feed
Clients encounter error code xxxxxx0A-200001CD when streaming RTSPS in Microsoft App-V 
Now available for download: Hotfix Package 3 for Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.6 Service Pack 1: July 2011  

Future events such as these will occur in... the FUTRE

Buy now or wait for a sale? Let the computer decide.



PowerShell resources

By Gene Laisne


List of Free PowerShell eBooks:

Don't Write Scripts, Write PowerShell Functions:

Microsoft (& community) script repository:




PowerShell resources

By Gene Laisne

I love VBScript! I have a library of VBScript functions and scripts as far as the eye can see. I can dance and frolic (yes, I said frolic) with VBScript all day long, But... (There is always a 'but') the more I get into PowerShell, the more I like it. What would take me lines and lines in VBScript, I can do in one line of PowerShell. And as we all know, the fewer lines, the fewer bugs.

Here, I want to give people some resources that I think will be very useful for picking up PowerShell. I see PowerShell as having 4 different levels.

  1. Just using simple commands and getting used to piping (I know *nix folks, but a lot of Windows people aren't used to this idea of piping).
  2. Automating repetitive tasks with scripts.
  3. Writing Functions and better scripts
  4. Building modules and sharing code.

Admittedly, I my self am no Guru on PowerShell. I find myself somewhere at level 2-3 and only glimpsing level 4. But, where I can, I'm willing to offer a hand. Here are some resources for learning PowerShell.

Learn PowerShell before its an emergency - This is a series of beginner videos for PowerShell by "the Scripting Guy" (Microsoft's in-house script guru).

Script Center - Microsoft site for all things scripting. Chances are someone may have written something that you could use. Or, use this as an educational resource for PowerShell.

Mastering PowerShell - Free on-line book by a PowerShell MVP that looks like a great soup-to-nuts resource.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant - Great book. This is how I got up to speed. Not an "idiots" book, but not a 'nutshell' book either, a nice in-between which is what I like for learning something new.

I have more, but I wanted to get something out there. I'll add more as I find them.




PowerShell, Free XBOX and a Core blog.

By Gene Laisne


Great video tutorial (MS 400 level) for PowerShell 2.0. Highlights what's new, Shows how to create GUIs easlily... Advanced Automation Using Windows PowerShell 2.0

Hey Scripting Guys
Create and Use Default Values in PowerShell Scripts  - 21-May-2011
Design Your PowerShell Functions to Be Reusable  - 20-May-2011
Create Custom Objects in Your PowerShell Script  - 19-May-2011
Real-World PowerShell Tips from a 2011 Scripting Games Winner  - 18-May-2011
Writing Output with PowerShell  - 17-May-2011
Add Excellent Comments to Your PowerShell Script  - 16-May-2011
Use PowerShell to Data Mine Your Outlook Sent Items - 25-May-2011 - As a note, having written some Outlook code myself. This script runs against Outlook, NOT Exchange or even Outlook as a "window" to Exchange. Just Outlook. 😉

Windows Powershell  Website | RSS Feed
Download the Updated Core Help CHM  - 16-May-2011


How to get a free XBOX

Capture and Analyze Network Traffic with Internet Explorer 9


Two Minute Drill–Launch a task on a recorded event - This is a great little way to spawn a task when an event occurs on a Windows Vista (or better) system.

Ask the Core Team - This is the Microsoft Windows Core Team. From a cursory overview, looks like lots of good posts on things core server technologies.

Some of their posts:
Sysprep, SkipRearm, and Image Build Best Practices
Customizing Default users profile using CopyProfile
How To: Customize the Windows 7 Start Menu and Taskbar Using unattend.xml


Office Access  Website | RSS Feed
Power Tip: Managing Access Add-ins with a SurfaceController  - 20-May-2011
Office 2010 SP1 on track for late June  - 17-May-2011

Office Excel and Excel Services  Website | RSS Feed
Avoid losing the state of the global IRibbonUI ribbon object  - 19-May-2011
Make your data pop with conditional formatting  - 17-May-2011

Office Powerpoint  Website | RSS Feed
Create sexy curved lines in your slides (video)  - 18-May-2011
Create rich media-based presentations with Producer (it's free!)  - 16-May-2011

Office Sustained Engineering  Website | RSS Feed
Announcing Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010  - 16-May-2011

Office Word  Website | RSS Feed
Figuring out figures - Part 1  - 19-May-2011
An image, a diagram, and a chart meet in a document…  - 16-May-2011



Snap-in Failed To initialize using MMC (Microsoft Management Console)

By Gene Laisne

New KB article for "Snap-in failed to initialize" error. Easy fix!



Office for the Mac tutorials

By Gene Laisne

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011: Training Tutorials and Videos



More support and admin links

By Gene Laisne

New KB articles released for January and February  

Some PowerShell videos that are very helpful
Fromatting in PowerShell
PowerShell Profiles
Beyond basic scripting

Preparing your site for IE9

Save 40% on Books from Microsoft Press Now through April 6, 2011

Office Applications  

Office Excel and Excel Services  
America's debt: Get the facts!  - 17-Mar-2011
Try it for free: Count values that meet a condition with the COUNTIF function  

Office Outlook videos and articles help you master Outlook 2010  - 18-Mar-2011

Office Powerpoint  
How to use STAMP: The Subtitling Text Add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint 2010  
Transform your class presentation with video and images: A 5-minute makeover (video)  

Office Sustained Engineering  
Blocking ActiveX Controls from Loading in Microsoft Office  

Office Word  
New 2011 calendar templates for Word 2010  

Updates: Process Explorer v14.1, VMMap v3.03, ProcDump v3.03, and Zero Day is now Available! 

Scripting Hey Scripting Guys
Scripting Wife Uses PowerShell to Get Days Until NCAA Final Four 
Use PowerShell to Detect if a Workstation Is in Use 
Use PowerShell to Document Exchange Server Prior to Upgrade 
Use PowerShell to Determine Fragmentation of Your Drive 
Change Drive Letters and Labels via a Simple PowerShell Command 

Interesting new downloads
Getting started with Outlook 2010
Getting Started with Microsoft Word 2010
Getting Started with Microsoft OneNote 2010
Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010



Support and Admin Links

By Gene Laisne

Helpful URLs

Here are some useful links for support or admin folks. (Maybe some dev at the bottom)

Group Policy Settings Reference Windows Internet Explorer 9
Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 9

Technet Webcasts:
TechNet Webcast: PowerShell: Learn It Now before It's an Emergency (Part 1 of 5) (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: PowerShell: Learn It Now before It's an Emergency (Part 2 of 5) (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: PowerShell: Learn It Now before It's an Emergency (Part 3 of 5) (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: PowerShell: Learn It Now before It's an Emergency (Part 4 of 5) (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: PowerShell: Learn It Now before It's an Emergency (Part 5 of 5) (Level 200)

New KB Articles
An Office program is slow or may appear to stop responding (hang) when you open a file from a network location

Support Articles
Error 0xC0000034 during Service Pack 1 installations for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2  

Cumulative update package 3 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2
A Hyper-V update rollup is available for Windows Server 2008 R2

Sale: Save 40 Percent on Books from Microsoft Press (March 3 - April 6)

Office stuff
Footnote and endnote numbering (video)  - 08-Mar-2011

Free preview of Total Access Emailer 2010 available  - 11-Mar-2011
New Access templates for your business (video)  - 08-Mar-2011
A capital idea: Changing case in Excel (video)  - 10-Mar-2011
Count your values with the COUNT function (video)  - 08-Mar-2011


Add a slide title to a cluttered background (video)  - 08-Mar-2011

Video: Use Batch Cmdlets in Windows PowerShell   (Great illustration of the difference between Powershell and other scripting languages)



I’ve lost my (e-mail/appointments/contacts)

By Gene Laisne

Outlook/Exchange Support

“I’ve lost my (e-mail | appointments | contacts)”

 This document covers:
                Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010
                Exchange 2007

How Exchange works with deleted items.


When a user deletes an item it goes into the “Deleted Items” folder or the “Dumpster” depending on how it is deleted. Items in the Deleted Items folder will stay until the user empties their deleted items, at which point it goes into the “Dumpster.” Here it will sit for 14 days (a server-side configuration) until it is finally removed completely from the system.

Two types of delete

Soft delete

A soft delete is when the user deletes the e-mail and it goes into the deleted items folder. It’s a “Soft Delete” when the user right clicks the item and chooses delete, hits the ‘X’ in the toolbar, hits control + d or chooses Edit -> delete. Think of any regular delete.

When a user “Soft deletes” an item it will go into the Deleted Items folder.

Hard delete

This is the “Shift + delete” option where an item is considered “permanently” deleted. If this is a user action, and the default settings haven’t been changed, they will usually be prompted to confirm the delete.

When a user “Hard deletes” an item it will go into the dumpster at the location where it was deleted. I’ll explain that in a second.

Retrieving items that have been deleted

Deleted Items

Very simple…

  1. Open Deleted Items
  2. Click and drag the message you want to the folder you want to keep it in.


Slightly more difficult. The first thing you need to do is identify where the message was. If it was soft deleted and then the Deleted Items folder was emptied, it will be in the Deleted Items’ dumpster. If the message was hard deleted in the Inbox, it will be in the Inbox dumpster.

To recover the item from the dumpster highlight the folder where the item was deleted from and go to Tools -> Recover deleted Items… Select the item you want to recover and click on the little recover item button on the top. You should then see it in its original folder.

Configuration settings that may define how things are deleted.


See if there are rules that have actions like “delete it” (move it to the Deleted Items folder) and “permanently delete it” (put it in the dumpster).

Emptying Deleted Items on close

Under Tools -> Options -> Other (tab) -> General (section), Outlook could be configured to “Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting.”

If you click the Advanced Options (in the same section) you could check if “Warn before permanently deleting items” is unchecked. The default setting is to have this checked.


Items may be archived to a .pst file. Pst files are local (database) files that store Outlook information (e-mail, calendars, contacts…). Generally there is one called Archive.pst and usually you can see it mounted in the Navigation Pane as “Archive Folders.” Archiving is set at two levels, at the Outlook level, and at the folder level. Look at Tools -> Options -> Other (tab) -> AutoArchive (section) -> AutoArchive… (button) for the Outlook level configuration and the AutoArchive tab on an item’s properties page for the folder level archiving configuration.


What about calendar items and contacts?

These Items are no different. Click on the calendar entry under My Calendars in the Navigation Pane and go to Tools -> Recover deleted items to recover these items. Do the same to the contacts.


Why is there a dumpster?

Just like giving users the ability to restore a previous version of a file, Microsoft wants to give end-users the ability to recover their own stuff.

Take home message

The thing to remember here is the timeline. When a message comes in, it can sit in the inbox forever. Once it is (soft) deleted it will go into the Deleted Items folder forever. Once the item goes into the Dumpster, it will only be there for 14 days. That 14 day parameter is a server side configuration and is consistent across all Exchange servers. Once it is gone from the Dumpster the only way to get it back is to restore it from tape. EXCHANGE BACKUPS ARE ONLY STORED FOR 30 DAYS! So, 44 days after an item has entered the dumpster it cannot be retrieved. There is no turning back once the 44 days are up.

How do I request a restore?

Create a ticket in OneHelp and assign it to IS&T: Windows Systems Group.

Here is what you MUST have in the ticket:

  • Username of the person who lost the item
  • A specific date where it is known the item existed

Failure to have these items only slows things down. If it takes a day to restore, but it’s the wrong date, the clock is ticking on that 30 day retention.


Microsoft Outlook help:

Recover deleted items in Outlook 2000/2002/2003:

Recover deleted items in Outlook 2007: