All posts by BoonTee

Meltdown and Spectre


Happy New Year … Not!

With the New Year comes a new class of malicious attack that can impact IT systems. This time, the attack is hardware based, affecting mostly Intel based systems, and to some extent, AMD systems as well.

Here is a list of resources that highlight what it is all about and how to mitigate against this new threat. In the words of Microsoft, “Don’t panic.”

How to convert a disk from Master Boot Record (MBR) to GUID Partition Table (GPT) format

Microsoft has released a tool to convert from the MBR format to GPT in in order to enable users to take full advantage of the newer and more secure features built in to modern computers.

Information on the tool can be found here –

Check the pre-requisites before running this tool.

MOST IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure that your device supports UEFI before attempting to convert the disk.

Fix Outlook and Office 365 problems with Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

Microsoft have released a tool to diagnose and fix issues with Outlook and Office 365.

It is updated regularly, and should be the first step when you experience issue in connecting to Office 365.

The tool is available here – 

Windows 10 black screen after reboot after installing updates

Some OEM factory images have been experiencing a black screen after installing updates and reboot. Particularly when installing a Windows Store application update. Currently, there is a workaround as documented in this Microsoft Article –

The workaround involves deleting sub-registry keys beginning with any of the following names from HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\Applications.

  • Microsoft.NET.Native.Framework.
  • Microsoft.NET.Native.Runtime.
  • Microsoft.VCLibs.


How to download Office 2013 from Office 365 after 1 March 2017

Support for Office 2013 versions of Office 365 has ended. It is no longer available for download from the portal.

However, there are good cases when you do require Office 2013, ie. if your current line of business does not support Office 2016, or if you have older macros that are not supported on Office 2016.

HowTo-Outlook has posted some links on downloading Office 2013 if you still require this. The article can be found here –

Here are direct links to the 32-bit English US versions.

And you can also use the Office 2013 Deployment Tool for Click-To-Run here –

Outlook known issues in the June 2017 security updates

Some issues in the latest updates from Microsoft –

The following issues have recommended workarounds until the issues are resolved.


This issue affects Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010.

When you open an attachment in an email, contact, or task formatted as Rich Text you get the following error:

“The program used to create this object is Outlook. That program is either not installed on your computer or it is not responding. To edit this object, install Outlook or ensure that any dialog boxes in Outlook are closed”.

Program not installed

You may also see:

“This item contains attachments that are potentially unsafe. You may not be able to view these attachments after you close them”.

Potentially unsafe


This issue affects Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, and Outlook 2016.

When opening an attachment that includes consecutive periods (…), or an exclamation point (!), the files are blocked and you receive an Opening Mail Attachment warning.

Attachment window

Or if an email message includes an attached email message, and the attached email message’s subject line ends with an unsafe file name extension as listed in the Blocked attachments in Outlook, the email attachment will be blocked for recipients.


This issue affects Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016.

If you set ShowLevel1Attach to allow Outlook to display Level 1 attachments, you may see the error: “One or more objects in this file have been disabled due to your policy settings”.

WARNING: Typically, Level 1 attachments are blocked. If you have enabled this policy, users can see Level 1 attachments in Outlook. If you use any of the workarounds to open the files, please make sure they are safe to open. See: Information for administrators about e-mail security settings in Outlook 2007.

Outlook error

If you set ShowLevel1Attach to allow Outlook to display Level 1 attachments, and you send an email with an attachment you may see this message: “This item contains attachments that are potentially unsafe.  Recipients using Microsoft Outlook may not be able to open these attachments.”

Outlook unsafe attachment warning

ISSUE #4 (No workaround or fix)

This issue affects Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, and Outlook 2016.

When you use a custom form that you have created for Outlook, you see the following two symptoms:

  • VBScript does not run.
  • You get a malicious code warning:

    Outlook Error

Issue #5

This issue affects all Outlook versions on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.

When searching in Outlook, you get this error: “Something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed.”, or “Search results may be incomplete because items are still being indexed“.

Outlook Error

And you’ll see this Event Log warning:

Outlook Event Log Warning

Issue #6

iCloud fails to load properly in Outlook 2007.

When accessing Calendar, Contacts, or Tasks in Outlook 2007, you get the following error:

The set of folders cannot be opened. MAPI was unable to load the information service C:\PROGRA~2\COMMON~1\Apple\Internet Services\APLZOD.dll. Be sure the service is correctly installed and configured.”

Outlook Error

Issue #7 (no fix or workaround)

This issue affects all Outlook versions on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.

When you print a specific iframe or frame in a web page, the print output may be blank, or text is printed that resembles the following:

Outlook Print Error

NOTE: A frame is a part of a web page or browser window that displays content independent of its container. A frame can load content independently.

This problem has also been observed in both Internet Explorer 11, and in applications that host the IE Web Browser Control.

Viewing your Office 2016 Product Key from the Microsoft Office Account

Note: This article does not apply to Office 365 Professional Plus or Office 365 for Business installations, as the activation is tied to the Microsoft Account. This works with the online installations (Click and Run) for Office 2016 and 2013.

Why do we need to know this, if you already have the Product Key card? If you activated more than one installation on the same day, you will not easily be able to distinguish which installation pertains to the specific Product Key.

For example, when logged in to, we can see that this user activated the software on 2 PCs on the same day. Suppose one of these PCs needed to have Office 2016 re-installed? Which install should we choose?


If you have the Product Key card, you can compare that key to the key on one of these installations.

  1. From My Account, select Install from a disc.
  2. Expand I have a disc, and click View your product key
  3. You will now see the product key for this installation and compare this with the Product Key card to verify that you will be reinstalling the correct keyed version of Office 2016 on the PC.

Kudos to Richard and Ken from Junction City for the pointer to this information.

How to remove Built-In Apps in Windows 10

Here is a tutorial on using PowerShell to remove the WIndows 10 Built-In apps. This is useful for providing a standardized PC environment to users in a work environment.

Basically, several PowerShell commands are used. The following commands show and remove apps from the user account.

  1. Show a listing of all the installed apps on the computer – Get-AppxPackage | Select Name, PackageFullName
  2. Remove the app – Get-AppxPackage [PackageFullName] | Remove-AppxPackage (you can put this into a script for multiple apps, or use wildcards)

Variations include uninstalling the app from all user accounts by adding -allusers –  Get-AppxPackage -allusers [PackageFullName] | Remove-AppxPackage

If you need to re-install a particular app, you can use the following command – Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\[PackageFullName]\appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode

Thanks to the folk at A?KVG for these articles.

Partitions may be missing after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The main thing to glean from this issue is “not try to recover or otherwise write data to the affected partition, nor should you format the partition”

From Microsoft –

Microsoft has received a small number of reports of partitions not appearing in File Explorer after installing the Anniversary Update. When viewing the partition in Disk Management, it appears as RAW, unallocated space.
Microsoft is aware of this issue and is working on a solution to be released through Windows Update. Any data you have stored on the affected partition is still there. We recommend that you not try to recover or otherwise write data to the affected partition, nor should you format the partition. We will update this thread when a patch is released. If you would like to be notified when this thread is updated, click the Subscribe button at the end of this post.
For up to days 10 days after installing the Anniversary Update, Windows includes the ability to “go back” or return to the previous build if you are experiencing this issue and do not want to wait for the patch to be released.

To uninstall the Anniversary Update:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Update & security and then the Recovery tab.
  3. Under “Go back to an earlier build”, click the Get started button and follow the instructions.

(Note: If more than 10 days have elapsed since installing the Anniversary Update or the “Go back” option is otherwise not available; we ask for your patience until a patch can be released. Please check back on this thread for an update.)