Netscape 7.2 Email Client and Internet Explorer Browser

I realize that many have already migrated to another program for email (instead of Netscape 7.2). However, I was asked to solve the problem of getting Netscape 7.2 email to open links in IE 7 that required a non-obvious answer (and some googling).

I am documenting it here, incase someone else wants to do the same thing.

Basically, you need to edit the prefs.js file for Netscape (C:\Documents and Settings\*username*\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\*.slt\prefs.js)

Adding the following lines:

user_pref("", "iexplore.exe");
user_pref("", "iexplore.exe");
user_pref("network.protocol-handler.expose.http", false);
user_pref("network.protocol-handler.expose.https", false);

Also, important to note that you need to have Netscape closed when editing this file… otherwise the changes will not take effect. Easiest way to ensure this, make sure that netscp.exe isn’t running in Task manager.

Removing a couple of nuisance icons from “My computer”

How to remove “Nero Scout” from “My Computer” [Link]

This command worked for me:
regsvr32 /u "%commonprogramfiles%\Ahead\Lib\MediaLibraryNSE.dll"

How to remove “My Sharing Folders” from “My Computer” [Link]

This command worked for me:
regsvr32 /u "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\fsshext.8.5.1302.1018.dll"

Disable Content Preparation Progress Dialog in Adobe Acrobat

Content Preparation Progress Dialog

If you have been annoyed by this following dialog when you open PDF files in Adobe Acrobat v8, here are the two different ways is the way you can disable it.

  • Rename the Accessibility.api and ReadOutLoud.api to Accessibility.old and ReadOutLoud.old (or you can move them to a different folder). These files are found in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 8.0\Acrobat\plug_ins. This solution however, has the possibilty that a future upgrade of Acrobat would cause these plugins to renable.
  • Remove “Speech Recognition” from the Language Tool bar, settings, Installed Services. The other way to get this, if you don’t have the Language Toolbar visible, is via the Regional and Language Options Control Panel, under the Languages Tab, and click on the Details button and then you can remove any references to “Speech Recognition” that you find under the Installed Services.

Winmail.dat Viewers (Mac and Windows)

I occasionally run into a winmail.dat file that I can’t open (typically because some outlook user has “rich text” as their default email type. Although, occasionally they aren’t sure how this happened and the default is HTML or plain text.

I wanted to post on two utilities (one for MacOSX and one for Windows) that allows you to open these files and see the attachments contained within these annoying files. Thanks Microsoft!

Winmail Opener

TNEF’s Enough:

Useful little programs for getting around these problematic files, and definitely a lifesaver when you have a winmail.dat and need the contents.

VPN issues when Local network matches Corporate network

I have been experiencing this problem more and more, as the proliferation of non-routable ip networks increases. Basically, I am at an airport, hotel, customer site, or other location and they happen to be using the same ip address range as we do at the corporate offices.

For example:

Corporate uses 10.1.x.x network range (mail server is at as an example)

The location that I am getting network from uses either 10.x.x.x or maybe just 10.1.1.x… but either way, the problem is the same.

The VPN connects successfully however after that all traffic for the mail server (as an example) is not routed thru the VPN since it matches the local network and doesn’t forward it thru the tunnel.

Possible solutions:

1) Setup a secondary VPN server on a different ip network and over-lay for example a 192.168.x.x range over the 10.1.x.x range (but all servers would need an address on both networks, hard to maintain)… and the user would need to change the “mail server” in their client to use the other VPN connection.

2) Attempt to get a “routable” ip address from the location you are at… this may be viable if you are using a cable-modem or DSL from a provider and will be doing this all the time. However, the typical hotspot isn’t going to be willing to accomodate you and may not even have a clue when you ask.

3) Try another VPN solution…. PPTP or IPSEC or OpenVPN… but they all are routed and expect that you will not have matching networks.

4) Final solution, and one that I have working as a “demo” but am not really happy with the administration overhead of the solution…. is to use SSH tunneling to get to specific servers. This is fast and works pretty well… but then mail clients/etc need to be configured to use localhost:port with special ports for each service…. and they need to have a putty ssh window open to the ssh-server (minor I know). But if you configure the mail client to use this as their mail server… then even when they are in the building they would need to download all their emails thru this ssh tunnel (not ideal).

I am still searching for the best practice for this issue… and I have to imagine that we are not the only company running into this issue. However, this isn’t something that google has turned up any great ideas for. Please post a comment with your suggestions or send me an email with your solution to this problem.

Profile Error Currently Fighting

I have been researching and trying to resolve this error for the past couple of weeks (off and on). It only happens on Windows 2000 machines, and seems to have started sometime in Aug-2007. Other items, it only happens if the machine is left on over night, and rebooting will fix the problem.

The “Details: The system cannot find the file specified” would be helpful if it listed a file it was having problems with.


TIDBIT: This post was the first using the Adobe Air Application “Bee” and it’s ability to work with my Flickr Photos and this blog at the same time.

Large Outlook PST files

If you are using Outlook 2003, or possibly Outlook 2007, and are
getting a message about your Personal Folder (.pst file) being full,
you can fix it using the details below:

If you have upgraded from a version Office before 2003, the PST files
that are being created are in a Office97-2002 format, and those pst
files have a limit of 2GB in maximum size. However, you can create a
new “Personal Folder” in the new “Personal Folder File” format that
allows you to grow the file to 20GB. You can then import the
messages from the older PST file into this new file. And then you
can setup Outlook to use that new file as the primary storage file
for email and you can store 20GB of email in a single PST. To change
the primary storage, just go to Tools->Email Accounts-> View/Change
Email Account Settings and in the pull down at the bottom pick your
new Personal Storage file. Once you have done that you can close the
old PST file and not show it in Outlook (just right-click on the top
level of it and choose “close ‘old pst name'”.

Factory PreInstall Flag causing problems

This weekend, I was asked to look at a system that wouldn’t allow the owner to use a USB External Harddrive (Maxtor Personal Storage 3200, 160GB). It was correctly seen by the machine and available in device manager, and the disk management utilities. However, it wasn’t assigned a drive letter by default, and attempts to assign it one failed. Windows would indicate that it had a drive letter but it never showed up in Explorer and reboot or refresh the disk management list and the drive-letter would be removed.

In the Event Viewer, I found the following error:

Event ID:270

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: PlugPlayManager
Event Category: None
Event ID: 270
Date: 7/10/2007
Time: 7:54:53 AM
User: N/A
Computer: computer
Plug and Play user-interface dialogs have been suppressed in Factory Mode.

After searching the internet, I found a reference to this message, and a “FactoryPreInstallInProgress” registry key that appears to have fixed the problem:…


Under the Startup key, deleted the

Deleted the entire

Reboot, and it detected the hardware and displayed the balloon help indicating that it was successfully connected to the system. The USB hard drive was given a drive letter and everything worked as expected.

According to Microsoft, we as consumers shouldn’t see a system in this state. However, this particular user had a replacement e-Machine sent to him when his original failed, under warranty. I am guessing that some e-Machine technician didn’t complete some final step (removing this key/etc) before boxing and shipping the system out.

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 issues with TCP Offloading

If you install Microsoft Virtual Server on a “server” machine and after
starting a virtual host on the machine you lose all network connectivity to
the “host” machine you should read the following:

It indicates that VS2005R2 has an issue with TCP segmentation offloading or
other “offloading” to the NIC … so you have to disable those features of
your network card to maintain connections with the “host” machine.