Find your local network IP address XP

I keep talking people through the process of finding their local IP address, not their internet facing one, just the one issued by their router. This post shows one way of checking it on an XP computer the next one does Windows 7, Vista is somewhere in between.

From the Start Button
go to Control Panel


Click Network and Internet Connections


Network Connections


Right Click the live connection, usually
" Local Area Connection" or the Wi-Fi Connection and


click status


Click the Support Tab on the top


IP address is in the middle Internet router is the default gateway.


Safely Remove Hardware –Windows 7

Ever found yourself searching for the way to safely remove the USB stick in Windows 7, it is lost in the status bar?

Getting to this is very picky at times clip_image001
So the way is to create a desktop shortcut as follows: clip_image002
Right click the desktop select New then Shortcut

In Location "rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll" – it is case sensitive

Give it a nice name clip_image004
You can give it a nice icon if you want, Right Click the icon and select Properties clip_image006
Click Change Icon clip_image007
Browse to shell32.dll and pick your icon clip_image008
OK and OK  
clip_image009 clip_image010
When you double click you get so you can select the device you want to remove. clip_image005

This tip was inspired from the official Windows Magazine.

Security of information on hard disks

At a recent Banbury Tweetup (usually first Thursday of the month at the Inn at Farnborough, next one on the 9th June 2011) we discussed the security issues of broken computers and hard disks. You should always remove the hard disk or use a secure wipe tool to erase all the data otherwise it might turn up in some sort of identity theft scam later in your life.barracuda_xt_320x340

Just because a drive cannot be read by your computer (USB drives dropped on floor or USB stick/camera SD drive broken in half ) or your mobile phone sims appears duff does not mean someone could not spend time and read your life story or business secrets from it.

Did you know that an awful lot of laser printers also have hard drives/writable flash media in them, saving your documents for possible reprinting later or just caching them.

So no matter what hardware you recycle remember that you need to be careful about any personal/business information still on the hard disk or flash memory installed in them.

Remember this BBC news item, it could still happen today.bbcharddisk

There are services that can wipe and dispose of your drives safely.

What happens when you haven’t got a DVD drive

I fell foul of HP’s part ordering and managed to buy a small server without a DVD drive, lovely box though, an HP Proliant Microserver.


It came with hard disk and various cd’s including Windows Server 2008R2 Foundation edition.

Not wanting to slow things down I tried numerous ways to boot the Windows Install from a USB pen, finally finding the web site below where the simple commands were posted.

Looks like this will work for Windows Vista, Windows 7 as well as Windows Server 2008.

I found that it was relatively easy to create such a tool!

  1. Either mount the ISO or insert the DVD for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 into your computer. Let’s say it’s at D:\
  2. Format your USB stick to FAT32 (I used default settings for everything via the Windows format tool). Let’s say it’s at H:\
  3. Run the following commands at a command prompt:

d:\boot\bootsect.exe /NT60 h:

xcopy d:\*.* /s /e /f h:\

At this point, you should be able to boot off of your USB stick (pending proper BIOS settings on the machine you’re booting up from) and it will install Windows off of the flash memory! Easy as that!

Thank you to Shane Milton’s Technology Update – Jaxidian Update

Outlook: Cancel Reoccurring Events Without Losing Exceptions

Whenever I come across a useful tip I like to share it, this one which came just at the right time as I am continually moving recurring appointments between days as clients feel the need to want me to visit for special events instead of the usual support days.

As many users have discovered over the years, when you need to change the end date of a recurring appointment to end it prematurely, the occurrence are recalculated and all exceptions are lost, including  those moved to other dates and notes in individual occurrences. For this reason we recommend always setting an end date for recurrences, preferably no more than a year in advance for most appointments, or ten to twelve occurrences for less frequent events.
If you have recurring appointments that need the end date changed and you need to keep a record of all exceptions and notes added to each occurrence of the appointment, you should export the recurring appointment to Excel or a CSV file then import. This will create individual appointments with the contents of each appointment intact. If the series is short and you use Outlook 2007 or older, you can copy and paste (use Ctrl+C,V) each occurrence. In Outlook 2010, you need to right click and drag (to a different time period) to create a copy.

1. Apply a list view, such as By category or All Appointments, to your calendar

2. Create a new calendar folder (File, New, Folder, and make sure Calendar type is selected in the dropdown)

3. Right-click the recurring appointment and drag it to the new calendar folder

4. Choose Copy when releasing the mouse button

5. Go to File, Import and Export, Export to a file and choose CSV or Excel as the output format

6. Select the new calendar folder as the folder to export

7. When asked to specify a date range, select a date prior to the start date of the recurring appointment. The end date can be ‘today’

8. Finish the export then import the newly exported file back into Outlook, choosing your default calendar.

The CSV file you created will contain the list of all the individual events generated from the original event, including the exceptions. You can now delete the original recurring appointment. Note that this method does not include attachments added to the appointment.

To avoid problems in the future, when you need to enter meeting notes in the appointment, we recommend using copy and paste (or dragging) to copy the occurrence , leaving you with both a single appointment and the recurring appointment in the same time slot. Along with allowing you to change or delete the recurring appointment when it ends, the will also avoid the message "The contents of this appointment have been updated. Open this appointment to see the updated text." displaying in the Calendar view when preview is enabled.

This came from the October 2010 monthly Outlook newsletter that Diane Poremsky, Outlook MVP, does called “Exchange Messaging Outlook” back issues are at Back issues are at