Sunday, June 1, 2014

How to copy your hard drive to a smaller hard drive (eg SSD): Backupper Standard

Especially when you want to upgrade to a faster, but often smaller, SSD hard drive, you need a way to quickly copy everything on your existing hard drive to the newer hard drive. One of my favourite disk copying tools is Clonezilla, but it isn't good with copying to a smaller capacity drive. You need a tool which can manage the change of partition sizes at the same time as copying the data. A new free tool I found which will do this is called Backupper Standard by AOMEI Technology.

Backupper Standard includes a Cloning tool which allows copying an entire hard drive to a smaller capacity hard drive. Their website has more information about this feature and how it works here and here. (I think the cloning used to be part of a separate free tool, but now it has been incorporated into Backupper Standard. They also have another free tool especially for Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7, but I haven't used this yet. It is called AOMEI Backupper Standard For Win7.)

By the way, obviously you cannot clone a larger hard drive to a smaller one if there is too much data on the larger hard drive, too much to fit on the smaller one. You will need to cull out some stuff first!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Can't change ownership or membership of a distribution group in Office 365 ("You don't have sufficient permissions" error message)?

I had migrated over to Office 365 from onsite Exchange 2007 server. Some distribution groups weren't working and needed users added to their membership. However, when my client tried to doing it through the administrative interface, they got the error, "You don't have sufficient permissions". Looking myself I noticed that the ownership of the group was not set-up properly, there didn't seem to be any owner!

I'm not sure of the cause, but perhaps the particular groups used to be security groups with Active Directory or something. But thanks to the Microsoft KB, a solution was found.

Essentially I needed to login to the Exchange Online server via Remote Powershell, and then I could use the Set-DistributionGroup cmdlet fix things up. This cmdlet allowed me to assign ownership to the problem distribution group.

These are the references I used to get to this result:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to upload PDFs and other files onto a Facebook Group

This is not too hard, but sometimes I forget :)

To upload a PDF or other file to your Facebook group, you just go onto the group page where you can type a status update, and click the "Add File" button (see image below).

However, I don't think this currently works for personal or public Facebook pages, sorry!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to use a DLL in ASP.NET page using Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express

So you've created a DLL assembly for shared code (perhaps using Microsoft Visual Basic Express or some other), and you want to use it on your website, accessing a public class from the DLL. This is how I did it in Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express edition...

STEP 1: Add a reference to the DLL to your website.

  1. In Solution Explorer, select your Web project.
  2. On the Website menu (for Web site projects) or the Project menu (for Web application projects), choose Add Reference. Alternatively, you can right-click the name of your Web project in Solution Explorer and then select Add Reference.
    The Add Reference dialogue box is displayed.
  3. Select the Browse tab.
  4. Browse to the folder that contains the assembly you want to reference, select the assembly, and then click OK.

    Adding a reference in this way ensures that all file dependencies (debug files, XML document files, and so on) are copied.

STEP 2: Use the public class from the DLL on you page

Use Imports to utilize the namespace from your DLL, then simply use Dim and New to instantiate a new object using a public class from the DLL. ie:

Imports MyDLLNameSpace

Dim myObject As New dllPublicClass 

If you just use the Dim statement Visual Web Developer should prompt you to add the Imports statement.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Managing Windows Printer Drivers (Updating, Removing, etc)

Strangely, for all my years of Windows experience, I have only just discovered the Print Management administration console :O I recently had a problem where different users/computers had different drivers for the same printer, and some drivers worked, some didn't. So how do you check which version of the driver is installed on the computer or on the print server? And how do you update them or remove them etc? The answer is: use Print Management.

This page from Microsoft has instructions for managing printers and printer servers on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2:

In particular, this link has instruction for managing the printer drivers, including instructions for adding, updating and removing drivers (again, the instructions are particularly for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2, but the instructions are pretty much the same for Windows XP and Windows 2003 R2):

Here are some screenshots showing where to find the Print Management icon in Administrative Tools (and you can get to Administrative Tools from the Control Panel), in both Windows 2003 R2 and Windows 7...

Once you are in the Print Management interface you can see all the Driver version numbers, and by right-clicking on a driver you can update or delete the drivers. I especially needed to do this to update the 64-bit driver on a 32-bit server. Using the normal Printer Properties interface only updated the 32-bit version of the drivers, and once I went into Print Management I discovered that the 64-bit versions were still the old ones.

(PS: The particular problem I had was with Kyocera drivers. Maybe just me, but I haven't had good experiences with this brand. I prefer HP all the way. I have used Toshiba multifunction printer/copiers, and they have generally been ok, but driver support also has sometimes had issues.)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Can Macs get viruses or malware?

Can an Apple Mac computer get a virus? Yes! There is a common misconception that Mac computers can never get viruses, that malware is only a Windows problem. Well that's not true. Probably there are more viruses out there that attack Windows computers, but it doesn't mean it is impossible to get a virus on a Mac. An Operating System, like any complex software, is likely to have many security holes or bugs that could be exploited by a malicious attacker. So yes, it is definitely possible for a Mac computer (or iPad or iPhone or Android or whatever) to get a virus or malware.

As with Windows computers, you have to keep your Mac software up-to-date. Newer versions have built-in anti-virus protection that is kept up-to-date by Apple (as long as you do the updates). Older versions of Mac OS may not be as safe, and you may need to install anti-virus software.

Here is a User Tip from the Apple Support Communities site about protecting your Mac:

Harden your Mac against malware attacks

Here is some free antivirus software available for Mac OS X:

Of course, there are also protection products you can purchase from companies like Symantec/Norton, Sophos, McAfee etc.