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Office 365 Outlook 2016 hangs on Loading Profile


After an upgrade from an older version of outlook the first time Outlook 2016 was run it was hanging on “Loading Profile”, prompts for a password for the email account but you can’t type one in because the cursor keeps spinning.

The solution for me was to run Outlook 2016 as Administrator the first time, then after you get your profile setup it loads correctly under the current user thereafter.

Many others have reported this issue with Outlook 2016 and their solutions varied. So, if the above does not work for you then try some of these other solutions:

  • One person had a bad shortcut. Somehow their Outlook shortcut had been configured to run in Compatibility mode. Opening properties on the shortcut and unticking the box for running in compatibility mode fixed it for them
  • Someone with Windows 10 was able to right-click the link for Outlook and “Troubleshoot compatibility”. They said it was able to open after that.
  • One person cut off internet during the first Outlook startup and that worked (Outlook was reaching out for configuration settings but not finding them causing a loop state)
  • Another person was able to get it working after uninstalling .net framework. .Net can cause all kinds of weird program behavior so this isn’t surprising. But it’s also needed to run a lot of programs so..yea.. No word on whether they were able to add .net back on after running Outlook successfully.
  • Running Oulook in Safe Mode may work as a temporary solution.
  • Yet another solution proposed was turning off the Windows AERO theme.
  • Another solution was to disable Hardware Acceleration
  • You could try renaming the .OST file (if upgrading from older version, meaning you already had an ost present)
  • Recreating the Mail profile is usually a last ditch thing, but you could try that as well if it will let you…sometimes the dll hangs.

Test ports using Powershell


There is a good PowerShell (PS) cmdlet to replace ping called Test-NetConnection. You can use it natively from Server 2012r2 PS.
You can use this tool to test internet connectivity, Ping a remote host, perform a trace route, check if a host is listening on a certain port, etc. It has an alias of “tnc”

Example: Test-NetConnection domain.com -port 80

See link below for more examples


Use Test-NetConnection to Replace Ping

Force Dir Sync in Azure AD Connect


PowerShell –> Start-ADSyncSyncCycle

also can add -PolicyType Initial or Delta to the end of that command

MBM 307A Paper Folder separation issue


Sometimes when a jam is cleared, you need to pull up the top feeder rollers. They have a spring on one end which you can compress and then lift it up and out. If you’re not careful, you can misplace the paper separator..a small bracket-shaped piece which is loose under the middle feed roller. It has white plastic on one end and yellow kinda tacky strip on top…make sure the tacky strip is facing up and the plastic tab is properly seated in place.



Cisco USB Console Driver Windows 7


Newer switches ship with a USB interface for the console, but getting it running can be tricky. Here is some useful info:

  • Get the drivers: https://supportforums.cisco.com/sites/default/files/attachments/document/cisco_usbconsole_driver_3_1.zip
  • Install the drivers
  • Connect the USB cable and let it setup
  • Open up Device Manager –>Ports and you will see USB Serial Port on COM4. Right-Click it and Update Driver Software. Click Browse My Computer, then Let me Pick.
  • Select Cisco Serial
  • Open up your console program (Putty, etc) and set it to use COM4


Extend a hyper-v cluster shared volume – san volume without downtime


First decide whether you want to simply create a new Cluster Shared Volume or extend the old one. If you decide to create a new one and want to move VMs there you can using Storage Migration but there will be downtime!

Steps to extend existing CSV:

  • Login to SAN management, go to the lun or disk and increase its total volume
  • Open the Microsoft Failover Cluster Manager and check the CSV coordinator for the disk or LUN you expanded. (the coordinator is the disk owner for the cluster)
  • GUI Version:
    • Use Disk Management under STORAGE under the Server Manager. Rescan for disks and expand the disk or lun to the new capacity.
  • For Hyper-V or Windows Server Core, you can use DiskPart
  • DiskPart:
    • START–>CMD–>diskpart
    • rescan
    • list volume
    • select volume <vol # to extend>
    • extend
    • list volume to check the new volume size

Why are my Ansmann Rechargeable batteries going bad


I had some NiMH Ansmann AA batteries in a drawer for a while (2 years+) and when I went to charge them I noticed that about 20% of them were giving some kind of error on the charger (if they charged at all that is). I started charging and checking each one using a multimeter. Some were completely dead. The best ones were putting out 1.3+ Volts. Some were in the 1.1-1.2 range, which probably is still acceptable for some applications.

Given that I had not used these batteries hardly at all when they were brand new, I was confused that so many were bad and also wondered at the varying outputs of those which were still “good”. I remember reading up on the care/use of rechargeables when I first purchased the batteries, but I guess somewhere along the way I forgot what I learned.

Anyway, here are some basic guidelines for NiCd / NiMH batteries for those who are curious. I pulled this info from:

Best way to charge:
Avoid getting battery too hot on charge.
Do not leave battery in charger for more than a few days.
Subject to memory.

Charge method:
Constant current, trickle charge at 0.05C, fast charge preferred.
Slow charge  = 14h
Rapid charge = 3h
Fast charge   = 1h

Do not over-discharge on a heavy load; cell reversal causes short.
Avoid full discharges

How to prolong battery:
To prevent memory, discharge packs in regular use to 1V/cell every 1–3 months (mainly NiCd)

Store in cool place; NiCd stores for 5 years; prime before use

NiCd:  Do not dispose.
NiMH: May be disposed in low volume


Upon reviewing the above, I can see why my batteries no longer perform as advertised. Some were getting too hot on charge. Some were left in the charger for more than a few days. When I had them in my external camera flash they were probably getting over-discharged on a heavy load. That same flash may have also caused cell reversal because I stored some batteries under load inside the flash until they discharged. What’s also interesting to note is at this point none of the batteries (even those putting out the most juice) will power my external flash. I’m not sure if that’s due to a reduction in output because of their age, internal damage, or some damage to the flash itself but I had to buy some regular AAs to get my flash going again. Maybe I will buy a pack of 4 brand new rechargeables to compare to my old ones so I can determine the real reason my flash won’t fire…if so I will update this article.

Until then, good luck and don’t forget to be kind to your rechargeables.

Flush or reset DNS on a Mac OS X El Capitan or Yosemite


In order to flush or reset DNS on your mac computer running either OSX El Capitan or Yosemite, you’ll need to use the “Terminal” interface and a special command.

  • Open up the Terminal program by pressing Command+Space (or find it under Utilities)
  • For 10.11 and 10.10.4
    • Enter “sudo dscacheutil -flushcache;sudo killall -HUP -mDNSResponder;say flushed”
    • Press enter key and then key in your password when prompted
    • When you hear “flushed” from the speakers you know it’s completed…
  • For 10.10., 10.10.1, 10.10.2, 10.10.3
    • Enter “sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache”


Time Sync with HyperV


I had a client recently who dropped in a 2012 datacenter HyperV host alongside their VMware host and they had a small issue of network drives disconnecting periodically coinciding with some errors in the logs regarding time sync. In this case they had new DCs setup on the new HyperV but the FSMO roles were still with the old DCs (2008r2 on VMware) temporarily with the old PDC using an external Time source.

At this juncture it was worthwhile to look at how Time was working in the entire environment. Some new (Server 2012) info came to light so I thought I would provide some valuable commands and links to resources which can help you sort out Time sync errors or weirdness before it becomes a major problem.

First of all it’s valuable to know where your Time is coming from:
Open up a CMD window and run “netdom query fsmo“. That tells you which server is your primary domain controller (the server which should be your Time provider). All your other DCs, servers and workstations should be getting their Time from this server, but not by referencing it directly; they go through the Active Directory structure. More on that in a bit.

Where is this server/workstation getting its Time from?:
Open up a CMD window and run “w32tm /query /status” and you’ll see where it is pointed.

This server/workstation isn’t getting Time from the server I was expecting…:
If this is a workstation getting Time from a secondary DC that’s OK. All this means is that the machine authenticated with that particular DC. If the source is anything other than a DC or if the computer you’re on is a DC (not the PDC) and it’s not pointing to the PDC then it could be a problem.
2012 HyperV Guest VM note: If your time provider shows up as “VM IC Time Synchronization Provider” then that machine is configured to point to the HyperV host for Time sync.

I think I should reset the Time service:
This can be very helpful when troubleshooting. Open up a CMD window on the computer you want to reset and run these commands:

net stop w32time
w32tm /unregister
w32tm /register
net start w32time

w32tm /resync

w32tm /query /status

2012 HyperV Guest VM note: This should reset the VM to use domain time or a remote time server (depending on your setup) instead of the HyperV Host VM IC Time.


Note about VM IC Time Synchronization:
Never disable the Host VM IC Time…it’s needed for many different host operations.

Special consideration for Virtualized Environments:
Virtualized domain controllers and virtualized machines in general tend to lose time much faster than a physical computer. For this reason the Time providing PDC should be configured to check its external time source frequently. MS recommends once every 15 minutes as a good starting point.



This site has some great info on Time. Unlike my post, it goes in depth to provide a complete understanding of how you can get Time setup.

This post has all the info you ever wanted to know about HyperV and Time Sync along with some Q/A for different network configurations which you may find very useful.

This one was a recommendation from a post on Experts Exchange…I didn’t review this post so YMMV using it to solve your problems.

Tip for accessing the Command Prompt for Windows 7 from recovery environment


Let’s say you just boot up a Windows 7 recovery environment and you are trying to get a command prompt.

  • After you boot the CD, select your Language and press Next.
  • Click the Repair your computer link
  • At this point you will either get a screen asking you to select which operating system to restore (in which case you should do that and click Next) or it will go directly to the System Recovery Options screen with two radio buttons on it and the operating system to select listed below.
  • MAKE SURE YOU CLICK ON THE RADIO BUTTON “Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows…”
    It may look selected already but if you do not click on that radio, then you will not get the full recovery list of options (including the ability to select Command Prompt) screen.
  • you can take it from here…

And if you need it…here is a guide to get you going: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/56864-user-account-password-change-winre.html

PS. If you follow the instructions on the link above and you cannot disable the built-in administrator account then simply “Manage” My Computer, open up the Local Users applet and right-click/disable the account from there.