Craziest Event ID Ever – Event ID #34

I see far-out error messages and event IDs all the time (like the recent AVG “Something bad has happened in the application” messages this week).  But this one takes the cake…

Client’s computer was locking up randomly.  After it locked up, the three-finger-salute wouldn’t bring it back, only killing the power would do the trick.  Once the reboot was complete, the machine would work fine for minutes or hours sometimes, then randomly freeze again.  (And in case you’re wondering, the system was free of spyware and virus infections).  We checked the event logs and found one single red X error message:

Event Type:  Error
Event Source:  i8042prt
Event Category:  None
Event ID:  34
Date:  6/13/2007
Time:  11:43:14 AM
User:  N/A
Computer:  {snip}

“An error occurred while trying to determine the number of mouse buttons.”

Umm… yeah.

The MS Help and Support Center link wasn’t much help in this instance.  And I’ve never seen a mouse take out a computer like this, but we decided to troubleshoot the only clue we’d been given.

We powered the computer down, unplugged the old school roller PS2 mouse and installed a USB optical mouse, and hit the juice. 

This computer has been working fine ever since swapping the mouse.  No runs, no drips, no errors.

ADDITIONAL INFO:  I wanted to see if anyone else has seen this one before, and has a post that says the mouse port might be damaged – and that’s probably what happened here.  If you ever run across this, here’s the link to the post.

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How to Web-Enable LOBs on SBS

Do your clients have employees and remote workers who want to access mission-critical line-of-business (LOB) apps that weren’t designed to work across the web?  Now they can, and you can learn how install it on top of their existing Microsoft SBS 2003 infrastructure:

Webcast #1:  Web-enabled Line of Business Applications Automatically with Small Business Server and Citrix Access Essentials

Event Dates:  4/10/20075/8/2007 or 6/12/2007 (same content)
Presenter: J.J. Antequino & Augie Gonzalez
Event Time:  1:30 PM Eastern, USA & Canada (DST) = GMT – 05:00
Duration: 60 minutes
Course Level: 100

Sure, we’d all love to have our line of business applications rewritten for the Web. But what can we do right now, quickly and inexpensively, while we wait on the original developer to pull it off? It’s actually pretty straightforward using Citrix Access Essentials software. And you don’t have to write a line of code. Learn what you can achieve for under $250 per user including Windows Terminal Server CALs.

Citrix Access Essentials enables small organizations to access their central business systems over the Internet from home, hotels, airports, customer sites, wireless hotspots and across firewalls. The software makes it possible for remote and mobile personnel to run line-of-business applications on a central Windows server as if right at the main computer site.

Webcast #2: Citrix Access Essentials and Small Business Server – Behind the Scenes

Event Dates:  4/12/20075/10/2007, or 6/14/2007 (same content)
Presenter:  J.J. Antequino & Augie Gonzalez
Event Time:  1:30 PM Eastern, USA & Canada (DST) = GMT – 05:00
Duration: 60 minutes
Course Level: 100

In Webcast #1 You heard what Citrix Access Essentials can do. Now see it from the system administrator’s perspective. We’ll start with a basic configuration that builds on Windows Terminal Services to get you off the ground, and then move into an advanced environment that kicks in must-have features for a rich, secure, responsive Web experience.  

Source:  Ron Grattopp – TS2 Presenter Extraordinaire

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How to Fix Time Synchronization Errors

Handy Andy [SBS-MVP] posted this helpful time sync info to the SBS Group Leaders mailing list and on his blog today, and I thought I’d pass it along.

If your servers are not able to time sync lately, check out the batch of commands below.  This set of instructions is for servers that have been synching fine, and all of a sudden just stopped.  (If your server has never been able to time sync, see the M&M’s article on synching time on SBS. )

Here are the commands;

w32tm /configure /,0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL
net stop w32time
net start w32time
w32tm /resync

Copy and paste those commands into notepad, save the file as timefix.cmd on the desktop of your server.  Then just double-click it to run the batch of commands.  Be sure to watch the last command and make sure it says the sync was successful.

Note: you may want to change the time source to one local to you (here is a list of time servers), but works fine for me (GMT -5 Eastern USA).

Source:  Handy Andy [SBS-MVP] &

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Win2K3 SP2 Live on Microsoft Update Today

From the SBS Diva via IM today:

Susan says (2:26 PM):
  btw give your gang a heads up
  win2k3 sp2 is on mu
  and there’s a “SBSers read this KB”
  that is not yet live
  yet the sucker is on MU right now
  they should have done it next week

Here’s the Service Pack she’s talking about…

DON’T install it on SBS yet!

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (32-bit x86)
Date last published: 3/13/2007
Typical download size: 120 MB

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is a cumulative service pack that includes the latest updates and provides enhancements to security and stability. In addition, it adds new features and updates to existing Windows Server 2003 features and utilities. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

System Requirements
  Recommended CPU: Not specified.
  Recommended memory: Not specified.
  Recommended hard disk space: Not specified.

More information

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Windows Vista Software Compatibility List

How many times in the last 2 months has a customer asked you, “Does XYZ software work with Windows Vista?” 

Personally, I lost count.  And obtaining the answer typically involves googling or surfing the manufacturer’s website.

Fortunately, the good folks over at IeXwiki have a nice wiki that lists software compatibility with Windows Vista.  The three compatibility categories are:

  • Works
  • Has problems, but they can be solved / minor unsolved
  • Heavy problems, currently incompatible

Since this is a wiki, anyone can add to or correct the list as needed.  And you also have to take the wiki with a grain of salt, because anyone can add to or correct the list as needed.  So use this site is a reference only, not a benchmark set in stone. 

For Windows Vista hardware compatibility, check out the forum on Tom’s Hardware.

Of course, you can always use the trusty Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor (6.6 MB), but that assumes that you’re sitting at the machine to run it.

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Outlook 2007 RAM Issues

I was experiencing the joys of IE7 tonight (multiple 404 errors trying to enter Passport sites after XP SP2 resumes from Standby Mode) and decided to give up and reboot.  After the reboot I hit to Ctrl-Alt-Delete and launched the Task Manager to watch the show.

So as I sit patiently watching, my 1.5 GB of RAM gets slowly eaten by the loading applications: Anti-Virus, MSN Messenger, ZoneAlarm & FolderShare, etc. And when the hard drive activity stops, I launch Outlook 2007 B2TR. 

Little-by-little, the RAM usage climbs slowly as Outlook 2007 connects to RPC over HTTPS, syncs with SBS, and then continues to climb as Outlook updates the RSS feeds.  Eventually, RAM usage for Outlook peaks at 110 MB (pictured below).   

But 110,428 K of RAM usage isn’t the odd part.  A few minutes later, Outlook 2007 drops down to 15 MB of RAM.  It stays there for 2 minutes, and then climbs back up to 49 MB and sits happily ever after (even as I type this). 

So my question is, ‘How in the world did Outlook go down to 15 MB of RAM, and why?’  As you can see from the screen shot above, even MSN Messenger uses 15 MB.  This isn’t one of the great mysteries of life – just a curious observation to which I haven’t been able to Google an answer.

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Internet Explorer 7 Available for Download

IE7 is finally out of Beta.  Like a lot of folks, I ran the Beta on test machines and have been waiting for the final version.  I took the plunge Friday and installed the final version of IE7 on my main production machine, and so far, it works great!

Tabbed browsing (as in Firefox) is sweet.  And I love the ability to simultaneously open multiple ‘home’ pages at the start of the day (http://companyweb, the blog, etc.).

The search box in the top right rocks.  All good things aside, there is still one ‘weirdism’ that has persisted.  IE7 still renders WordPress pages odd at times, specifically; bullets don’t show up half the time, if you need assistance to get this in your business network you first have to start by hiring an IT expert an a service similar to this UK Business broadband provider .  It does this on XP & Vista, but it’s only a minor annoyance.  Anyway, here’s the low-down:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Processor – 233 MHz or faster (Pentium recommended)
  • OS – Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) (32 or 64-bit)
    or Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • RAM – 87 MB (for IE, 168-218 for 64-bit systems)
  • Display – Super VGA 800×600 x 256 colors

(Nope, no Windows 98, ME or XP SP1 support because they are dead).

Download URLs:

Important Internet Explorer 7 info for the SBS space:

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Vista Step-by-Step Guides for IT Pros

Windows Vista logoMicrosoft has released 15 ‘Step-by-Step Guides for IT Professionals‘ to assist in deploying or migrating to Windows Vista.  Each whitepaper is available as an individual download in Microsoft Word 2003 .doc format, and WGA is not required to access the downloads.

Date Published: 9/11/2006
Document Format:  Microsoft Word
Download Size: 118 – 748 KB, or 4.1 MB for all 15
Download URL: Click here

  • Deploying Vista (19 pages, 195 KB) 
  • Managing Group Policy ADMX Files (13 pages, 150 KB) 
  • Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide (39 pages, 414 KB) 
  • Performance Monitoring and Tuning (23 pages, 209 KB) 
  • Print Management (25 pages, 260 KB) 
  • Controlling Device Installation and Usage with Group Policy (49 pages, 640 KB) 
  • Device Driver Signing and Staging (44 pages, 748 KB) 
  • Managing Multiple Local Group Policy (24 pages, 274 KB  
  • User Account Control (11 pages, 146 KB)  
  • Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption (16 pages, 169 KB)  
  • Windows Vista Beta 2 Migration (14 pages, 152 KB)  
  • Windows Vista Beta 2 Trusted Platform Module Services (14 pages, 157 KB)  
  • Windows Vista Multilingual User Interface (14 pages, 158 KB)  
  • Windows Vista Speech Recognition (9 pages, 118 KB) 
  • Windows Vista Windows Meeting Space (44 pages, 388 KB)


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XP SP1 Sunsets Next Week

On Tuesday October 10, 2006 (which is coincidentally Patch Tuesday) we’ll reach end of support for Windows XP Service Pack 1

If you’ve got any stragglers out there that haven’t installed XP Service Pack 2 yet – better get to it!

And this would be a good time to remind everyone that support for Windows 98 & Windows Me died back in July 2006.  So listen to Susan and kill those 98’s!

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Will That Work With SBS?

Has a customer ever asked you if CRM 1.2 will run on SBS 2003 R2? 

What about Small Business Accounting 2006 on a pre-SP1 SBS box? 

Is Vista RC 1 supported in an SBS environment, or is Office 97 supported by WSUS?

The answers to these and many other SBS-related questions can be found on several handy charts you should bookmark today (and Microsoft says that these charts will be kept updated):

The charts have easy-to-understand red, yellow & green symbols to indicate compatibility: 

Green check = The product is an integrated component of Windows SBS, or it is known to be compatible with Windows SBS. The product was tested and you can obtain support for this configuration.

Shield Mark = The product has not been fully tested on Windows SBS and support for this configuration is not available from the Windows SBS product support team. Other groups may offer support for this configuration; contact the appropriate group for information. Some product features may not be fully functional in a Windows SBS environment.

X Mark = Not compatible. The product is known not to work and you should not install the product in a Windows SBS environment.

Each entry also has a notes section with hyperlinks to more information where applicable.

Source:  The Official SBS Blog

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