Category Archives: Registry Hacks

Increase the maximum PST file size for Outlook

I have been working through a bunch of Microsoft Exchange migrations recently. One of the issues that we have seen has to do with the size of the exported PST file. By default, the maximum size of PST files has been limited to 20GB for Outlook 2003 and 2007, and 50GB for Outlook 2010 and 2013.

This limit can be increased or decreased via two registry settings.

  • WarnLargeFileSize – This value sets warning threshold in MB for the maximum size of a PST file. The maximum is 4090445042 (That is about 4PB!)
  • MaxLargeFileSize – This value determines the maximum size in MB that can be written to a PST file. This should be set to about 5% higher than the warning size above. This maximum is 4294967295.

Here are some common values that could be used:

  •  30GB maximum (29GB warning) = 30720 (29696)
  • 75GB (73GB) = 76800 (74752)
  • 100GB (95GB) = 102400 (97280)
  • 150GB (145GB) = 153600 (148480)
  • 200GB (190GB) = 204800 (194560)
  • 500GB (480GB) = 512000 (460800)
  • Are you sure you want such a large PST file after this?

The registry settings are found or created here, depending on the Outlook version.

  • Outlook 2003 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\PST
  • Outlook 2007 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\PST
  • Outlook 2010 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\PST
  • Outlook 2013 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\PST

Archive Outlook items by received or sent date, not by last modified date

While looking through some maintenance tasks, I came across a knowledge base article that solved a long standing issue. In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, it is possible to archive items by their date received or sent instead of by the last modified date.

Microsoft KB2553550 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2553550) details the steps.

Outlook 2010

To create the ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime registry value, follow these steps:

  1. Start Regedit.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, click DWORD Value, type ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime, and then press ENTER.
  4. Right-click ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.

Outlook 2013

To create the ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime registry value, follow these steps:

  1. Start Regedit.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Preferences
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, click DWORD Value, type ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime, and then press ENTER.
  4. Right-click ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.

You must restart Outlook after you add the ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime registry key.

Invalid Network Drive when installing programs

I recently had an issue with a thrid party vendor where they asked me to uninstall Adobe Acrobat, then reinstall it again from their CD. The installation kept failing. When we unpacked the install files and ran the program manually, we got an Invalid M: Drive, which was a mapped network drive. With SBS, folder redirection was enforced, so the My Documents folder had been redirected to the M: drive. Some applications do not like this and will fail with an error. Often, this is caused by an incorrect setting in the User Shell Folders registry key.

Fortunately, there is a Fit It solution for this. Microsoft article KB886549 provides a Fit It resolution that will restore the User Shell Folders back to default settings. This article is found here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886549

Note: You will need to reapply the folder redirections again after this Fix It is run.

Bypass domain join during client deployment in a Windows Server 2012 Essentials network

An interesting blog was published titled, “How to skip domain joining during client deployment in a Windows Server 2012 Essentials network” – http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserveressentials/thread/aa40963c-7235-40f7-85f5-8f8d030a7c13

To do this, you need to edit a registry key on the client computer.

  1. On your client computer, open an elevated command prompt.
  2. Type the following:
    reg add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment” /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

There may be situations where you wish to connect a PC to the Windows Server 2012 Essentials server, but leave the PC off the domain. It may be that this is a personal PC or laptop, but the user requires the Client Backup functionality without adding the laptop to the corporate domain. Another possibility may be the existence of a larger +25 CAL domain, where the Essentials server is to be a client backup server only. At this moment, Windows Storage Server 2008R2 Essentials can be used for this purpose. However, no Windows Server 2012 edition of this server has been announced.

Error: Cannot connect the computer to the server because either another software installation is in progress, or, the computer has a restart pending.

I have been seeing quite a number of systems coming up with this error message when attempting to install the Client Connector Software for SBS 2011 Essentials.

“Error: Cannot connect the computer to the server because either another software installation is in progress, or, the computer has a restart pending. Either complete the installation process, or, restart the computer and try to connect again.”

The first thing to do is obvious – Reboot the computer. But then again, there would not be anything to blog if it were that easy. Obviously, that has been attempted and the error remains. Apparently, this is often caused by programs not cleaning up their installation settings.

The fix is fairly simple, if you can remember where the registry setting is.

Open up Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager. Rename the key named PendingFileRenameOperation to something else.

That should resolve the issue.

Fix File Associations following Malware cleanup

This scenario has been coming up fairly often recently. A PC becomes infected by a Fake-AV software. MalwareBytes (www.malwarebytes.org) cleans up the infection. Suddenly, EXE files cannot run. Not even Regedit.

 There are a couple off good resources which help fix up the registry and restore the EXE file association back to normal. Download and unzip the reg files. Right Click on the Reg file and select Merge.

Thanks and acknowledgements to Doug Knox and Ramesh Srinivasan. They have more file association fixes listed below.

Extend Home Server “Vail” beta installation

The public beta for Windows Home Server codenamed “Vail” expires today. As a result, current installations will reboot hourly because the server would have moved into expiry mode.

Microsoft have provided a workaround to extend the expiry in the interim, until the next beta is released. This workaround is based around Windows 2008 R2 SP1 Release Candidate.

To extend the expiry, you can do the following:

  1. Install WS08 R2 SP1 RC on the server from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyId=c3202ce6-4056-4059-8a1b-3a9b77cdfdda&hash=2SduI20oa3rGcMvoU%2bPV1TVHUik%2f3CNeLRmMuOcJXzz13kgszkD2VWTIpb%2bAS0in9K12Sc14FpC3sdT4PNXCUw%3d%3d
  2. Logon on https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer with your connect credentials
  3. Click on Product keys (in the left hand side column)
  4. Click on Request a new product key
  5. Click on Get Key
  6. In Windows Home Server, open a command prompt
  7. Type “slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY” (where ABCDE.. is your new key as requested above)
  8. Type “slmgr.vbs –ato
  9. Reboot the server, and your beta timeframe has been extended.  You can check this by opening up a command prompt and typing winver

You can view the Microsoft information on this topic here – http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/whsvailbeta/thread/9d459f48-2e9e-4279-ade1-6d4d5e907e4c

The Windows Home Server Blog page is here – http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowshomeserver/

Auto Login to PC after restart

Sometimes, there are background processes and application that need the user to be logged on to the PC before they will run. On a domain PC, this is normally not possible. However, you can modify the registry to enable this. NOTE: the password will be clearly seen.
 
 
In regedit, navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
 
Add or modify the key, AutoAdminLogon (String) to 0
Enter in the user credentials in the three keys – DefaultDomainName, DefaultUserName, DefaultPassword.
 

Where is the Temporary Outlook folder?

An unusual issue developed yesterday. A user mentioned that they could not open a PDF file from Outlook. Other PDF files would open, but just not ones that were called ESale.PDF. The message in Outlook was “Can’t create file: ESale.PDF. Right click on the folder you want to create the file in, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions for the folder.”
 
A quick check indicated that since the user opened files by this name quite often, it was likely that the Outlook Temp folder had reached the maximum number of stored files with this name. Apparently, Outlook creates temp files in this folder called ESale.PDF, then ESale(2).PDF, ESale(3).PDF and so on until Esale(99).PDF. After that, the error occurs.
 
To find out where the Outlook Temp folder resides, one can look in the following registry entries, depending on the version of Outlook.
 
Outlook 97 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 98 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.5\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2000 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2002/XP – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2003 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security
Outlook 2007 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security
 
Copy and paste that location into Explorer, and you will then be able to view the contents of the folder and clear out un-needed files. This is also particularly useful for people who may have opened and attachment, made changes to the attachment, and inadvertently clicked Save and Exit. The file is then saved in this temporary folder, and hidden from the user.

How to increase the size of the Exchange 2003 mailbox store

This has cropped up a few times at different sites over the past few weeks, so I thought I would post it here for quick reference.
Exchange mailbox stores were shutting down on a daily basis. This was affecting iPhone, which apparently “wipe out” the data (i think the data becomes unavailable), when there is no connection to the Exchange server. To workaround this, switch of the “push” action for email collection on the iPhone. This will also significantly increase the battery life if you nromally receive a lot of emails.
 
To increase the size of the Exchange mailbox store from it’s default of 18GB, do the following.
 
For a mailbox store, go to the following key in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\Server name\Private-Mailbox Store GUID

For a public folder store, go to the following key in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\Server name\Public-Public Store GUID

Create a New DWORD Value, “Database Size Limit in Gb” and set it between 1 to 75 as required. The default is 18 (of course).

Restart the MS Exchange Information Store service.