Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reset Word 2003

There may be times when you want to set Word back to a pristine, first-installed condition. For instance, you may be offering Word training, and you want to reset Word between each class offered. Many people think that the easiest way to do this is to simply allow Word to recreate the template. While this will restore some settings to their first-used state (such as macros, toolbars, and the like), it will not do the entire trick.

Other suggestions may include uninstalling and reinstalling Word. This, however, will not lead to a pristine version of Word. Many of the configuration settings unique to Word are stored in the Registry. The uninstall process does not remove all option settings stored in the Registry and many of these will picked up after the re-install so that Word can use them. This is ideal for those who are upgrading—they get to keep their settings rather than find the upgrade overwriting them. However, it's not so useful for those who are looking to get a completely 'clean' install with no throwbacks to previous installs. Thus after an uninstall, it is likely to be necessary to either edit the Registry to remove the settings.

You should remember that you cannot do "resetting" of Word while the program is running. This is because Word saves configuration information as it exits. If you make changes and then exit, you overwrite any resetting you did.

You should make sure you rename the file to a different name, and you should remove any files from the Startup folder. This is not the end of the process; you also need to make a few changes to the Registry. You may want to protect yourself from potential problems by backing up the Registry first, and then you can accomplish the following steps:

Choose the Run option from the Start menu. This displays the Run dialog box. 
In the Open box enter the name regedit. 

Click on OK. This starts the Regedit program. 

If you are using Word 97,

select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/8.0/Word key. 

If you are using Word 2000, select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/9.0/Word key. 

If you are using Word 2002, select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/10.0/Word key. 

If you are using Word 2003, select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/11.0/Word key. 

If you are using Word 2007, select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/12.0/Word key. 

Press the Delete key. You are asked if you want to really delete they key. 

Click on Yes. The selected key is deleted. 

Close the Registry Editor. 

Restart Word. Word has been reset to default settings. 

Understand that when you make all these changes, there are still a couple of settings that can then only be changed by a complete reinstall. For instance, the company name you entered when you first installed Word is actually stored in the Word program file. There are also other files that can be changed during the course of using Word, but you cannot "reset" by simply deleting them. An example would be any file on your system ending with the ACL file name extension. These are used for shared and user-specific AutoCorrect settings. If you simply delete the files, you are removing all AutoCorrect settings, not setting them back to factory defaults.

Exchange Database online vs offline defrag

One of the more common questions I hear from my clients is "Would I ever need to run an offline defrag on my Exchange Databases?" The answers do vary, but in the end, they all boil down to "yes, occasionally." This invariably leads to questions about why offline defrag is necessary when Exchange 2000/2003/2007 does online defragmentation on a regular basis.

Defragmentation in Exchange Server comes in two different forms, online and offline. While both take steps to make Exchange run more smoothly, they are designed to do different things. They are also designed to run at different times. Online defragmentation is performed during maintenance (usually nightly); while offline defragmentation is a manual process.

Online defragmentation is the process of compacting the database, so that white space is pushed to the tail-end of the EDB files. White space is - simply put - empty pages within a database. In the case of Exchange, white space is created when items are permanently deleted during deleted item retention cleanup, when pages are removed from the database due to normal operations, or any other time something within an EDB gets removed. Since databases like Exchange don't really delete anything normally, what happens here is that the areas of the database/disk where objects are deleted are simply marked as empty. These areas, however, still exist within the database file (and on disk), and can cause performance slowdowns as read and write operations have to happen over a larger area of physical disk, and the database system has to keep track of all the little white space pockets.

During a nightly (by default) maintenance run, in addition to cleaning up deleted items and performing other tasks, the Exchange system will identify all white space and move it to the end of the database. Compacting like this allows the database to work much more efficiently, and allows the maximum amount of white space to be re-used for new data before the system must take up more of the empty disk space.

While this process does allow Exchange to more efficiently use white space, there are times when just moving stuff to the back of the database isn't quite enough. While offline defragmentation shouldn't be done routinely, it is a great tool to use when you:

1 - Need to remove a large amount of unused space from a database. This could be because a large amount of mail was removed all at once from a system - as would occur if an archiving solution were implemented. Online defragmentation would remove the data, but leave a large amount of white space that may be taking up too much room on disk. Note that this only applies if a *large* amount of white space exists. Unless there was a huge amount of data removed, you would end up with the database growing to the same exact size as before the offline defrag, probably within a few weeks or less.

2 - Certain types of errors appear in the Exchange system. See this link for specifics. Offline defragmentation can correct for some common errors, fixing a database in the process.

3 - A "Mail Storm" impacts your server. Mail Storms are large amounts of mail (several times your normal volume) suddenly moving across a server. Since this can create a large amount of white space and badly fragment a database, running an offline defrag can correct for any negative effects of the Storm. This is another instance where we're talking in terms very large numbers, as smaller storms (such as a sudden increase in normal spam) would not fragment the database enough to allow you to gain benefit from an offline process.

One thing to note, you will need a place to hold the temporary files created during the defragmentation in order for the process to work. Generally, Microsoft recommends about 110% of the size of the database you'll be defragmenting, which is often quite a large chunk of space. This can be on another local disk, or on the same volume as the database itself, space permitting. While it is technically possible to use a remote or network drive for temporary space, it isn't recommended, since it slows down the process and will cause it to fault if the network link hiccups. 

Offline defragmentation is not required to be run on any form of schedule, as a matter of fact Microsoft doesn't recommend running it at all unless there's a concrete reason to do so - such as those listed above and here. However, if those conditions are true, then an offline defrag can help make Exchange run better, use less space, and stay healthy for the long haul.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Disable and Turn Off IPv6

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the successor for IPv4, the current version of most popular network layer protocol for packet-switched internetworks used on the Internet. In Windows Vista, IPv6 is fully implemented and supported, is also installed and enabled by default, with full Internet Protocol security (IPsec) support for IPv6 traffic and Teredo tunneling support for non-IPv6 aware devices.

IPv6 is not common yet, as most software, routers, modems, and other network equipments does not support the emerging and future-proof protocol yet. Beside, turning off IPv6 support does not affect the functionality of Internet browsing for average users. Thus IPv6 and/or Teredo can and (quite likely) should be disabled if it's not in use to conserve system resources. Unlike Windows XP, IPv6 in Windows Vista cannot be uninstalled, according to Microsoft. However, IPv6 can be disabled. The following guide will allow users to disable IPv6 on a specific connection of a network interface card.

  1. Go to Network Connections folder (click on Start button, then right click on Network, select Properties, then click on "Manager network connections" on Tasks pane).
  2. You should see various LAN, wireless, Bluetooth, high speed Internet, and other network connections available on the Vista computer with the network adapter description. Right click on the network connection that you want to disable the IPv6 interface and select "Properties".

    Click "Continue" on User Access Control permission request prompt.
  3. Clear the check box next to the Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) component in the list under "This connection uses the following items" box.
  4. Click OK when done.
  5. To re-enable IPv6, tick back the check box.

    This method disables IPv6 on the particular LAN interface and connection. For other network adapter or connection, users have to repeat the steps to disable IPv6. Beside, disable IPv6 also does not disable IPv6 on tunnel interfaces or the IPv6 loopback interface.
    It's also possible to disable IPv6 and/or Teredo via Vista system registry. The registry settings also allow users to selectively disable components and configure behaviors for IPv6 in Windows Vista.
    Open Registry Editor (regedit).

  1. Navigate to the following registry key branch:
  2. Create the following registry value (DWORD type):
    Note that the name must be exactly as shown, including capitalization. DisabledComponents is set to 0 by default.
  3. The DisabledComponents registry value is a bit mask that controls the following series of flags, starting with the low order bit (Bit 0). To determine the value of DisabledComponents for a specific set of bits, the process is complicated, were hexadecimal value is calculated from binary number of the bits in correct position. For convenient, the following table lists some common configuration combinations and the corresponding DWORD value of DisabledComponents.
  4. Configuration combination DisabledComponents value

Disable all tunnel interfaces 0×1
Disable 6to4 0×2
Disable ISATAP 0×4
Disable Teredo 0×8
Disable Teredo and 6to4 0xA
Disable all LAN and PPP interfaces 0×10
Disable all LAN, PPP, and tunnel interfaces 0×11
Prefer IPv4 over IPv6 0×20
Disable IPv6 over all interfaces and prefer IPv4 to IPv6 0xFF
As seen from table above, to disable IPv6 support globally on all interface, set the value data for DisabledComponents to 000000FF, or simply FF. The registry entry will look like below:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Parameters]"DisabledComponents"=dword:000000ffRestart the computer for changes to take effect. To revert and enable IPv6, delete "DisabledComponents" registry key or set its registry value to 0.