This one came as a surprise since there aren’t many updates being released for Windows XP or Office 2010. On PCs running Windows XP 32bit SP3 and Office 2010, a recent update has caused an error when opening Outlook. The error message includes the message below and gives no option to continue to open the program.
The procedure entry point CompareStringOrdinal could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll
All the machines I’ve looked at so far with the error all worked fine after removing update KB4011273. Follow the steps below to remove the update and stop it from installing again.
Go to Control Panel > Add or remove programs.
Check the Show Updates box at the top right.
Find the section with Office updates and uninstall KB4011273.
A client has been having issues with Office add-ins for Time Matters not loading when Outlook and Word are started. The add-ins were previously working so Lexis Nexis support tried the first four steps on this list to fix the problem with no luck. I then tried the remaining steps with the same result, the add-in was shown in Outlook but wasn’t loaded or active.
Two of the machines had fresh installs of Windows 7 and Windows 10 so conflicts with old software versions and remnants left in the registry were unlikely. The add-ins worked perfectly when activated manually so it wasn’t a compatibility issue.
I decided to check the registry for load settings and sure enough the add-ins were set to not load automatically. This was after a full uninstall of both Office and Time Matters so it seems like a strange setting for an add-in intended for daily office use.
Thankfully the setting is quick and easy to fix using the following steps.
Open the Registry Editor
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Office > Word > Addins > (changing Word for the correct Office application)
Open the add-in with the problem
Double click to open the LoadBehavior item
Change the binary value to 3
Close the registry editor and test the Office applications.
Quite often a hard drive supplied in a laptop or as part of a pre-built system will contain a number of recovery or system partitions which cannot be deleted using the Windows disk management tool. The partitions may be labeled as Healthy (Recovery Partition) or Healthy (OEM Partition) and can vary in size from a few hundred megabytes up to tens of gigabytes. If the disk is being reused for another purpose the recovery partitions will not be needed so the best option is to remove them.
Normally I would boot Parted Magic from a USB pendrive and use the partition editor to clear the drive. However there are times when removing the partitions without rebooting is preferred, thankfully there is a way to do this from the command line. Simply follow the steps below to delete the offending partitions.
Using Diskpart to delete partitions
*** Ensure the partitions are not needed before continuing. Normally this would not be done on the main Windows disk as it could easily result in a damaged Windows install ***
Open a command prompt as an administrator
Type diskpart and hit enter
Type rescan and hit enter, the drives will be scanned for partitions
Type list disk and hit enter to display a list of disks in the system
Select the required disk from the list by typing select disk x (where x is the number of the disk) then hit enter
Type list partition and hit enter to display a list of partitions of the selected disk
Type select partition x (where x is the partition number) and hit enter to select the partition to be deleted
Type delete partition override and hit enter to delete the partition. There will be no confirmation before the partition is deleted so ensure the correct partition has been selected.
To delete more than one partition simply repeat steps 7 and 8 until all the unwanted partitions have been deleted.
Another day another printer issue, this time a HP Laserjet Pro 200 series which wouldn’t install. For the most part I’ve found HP printers to be straightforward to install when used over a network and USB but this Laserjet was anything but.
The first attempt was made using the most recent Windows install package from the HP website but the install process would get to 99% after about 30 minutes and fail. I thought it could be an issue with a component in the full package so tried the basic drivers but the printer still would not install.
I connected to a WiFi network and tried a firmware update which indicated it already had the most recent firmware. When connected to WiFi the printer would install just fine so the issue was just with the USB connection.
The printer has a smart install feature which mounts a drive with install files to make it easy to install. It turns out this feature is what was causing the install to fail. After disabling smart install the printer was detected normally and installed in less than a minute compared to the 30 minutes for the failed attempts.
How to disable HP Smart Install on a HP LaserJet 200 Color MFP
On the control panel of your printer touch the Setup button
Scroll down to Services and touch this to enter the next menu
Touch Services to access that menu
Again scroll down until you find HP Smart Install then touch to enter
The setup is two ESXi 5.5 hosts, one is the main host with three live servers and the second is the backup host with three server replicas, Acronic Applicance and vCenter Server. There is a separate physical machine used as the backup target for the scheduled backup tasks. In addition to backing up to the physical target the three virtual servers are replicated to the secondary host each night.
Nightly backups of the three virtual machines using the Acronis appliance were failing and the Acronis appliance was powering off. According to the Acronis log it was running out of space while running the backups. Normally it is just a matter of deleting all the snapshots using vSphere Client but this time one of them just would not delete.
After reloading the vSphere client one of the replica VMs had a warning saying that it’s disks needed to be consolidated. Several attempts resulted in a error saying the disk images were locked. The Acronis appliance was turned off but it turns out that it was locking files relating to the replica VM. I had to boot and then shutdown the Acronis appliance three times before it would release the lock on the files and the consolidation worked perfectly followed by the removal of the snapshot.