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Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

[HOW-TO] Force print queue purge when jobs get stuck

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fix-iconI know I am not the only person who experiences this from time to time. As a Windows user this might be a familiar irritation to you: A document is sent to print and all the printer does is choke up and refuse to print anything. Or maybe the document you sent is too large and is just taking too long to execute in the queue. Whatever your reason, you either end up having to restart the computer or power-cycling the the printer. Here, I will show you a simple way of clearing the printer queue using a batch script.

The batch script takes the manual effort out of purging the print queue. It turns off the Print Spooler, deletes the temporary files created from your print request, and restarts the Print Spooler. That’s all! You can do this manually, but why bother when double-clicking on a single file will do all of that for you?

Using a simple text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++, paste the following into a new file and, when ready to save, do so with quotes and a .bat file extension. For example, “force-print-purge.bat”.

@echo off
echo Stopping Spooler
echo.
net stop spooler
echo Deleting jobs in print queue...
echo.
del “%systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd”
del “%systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl”
echo Restarting Spooler.
echo.
net start spooler

The next time your printer is being stubborn, locate this file and execute it. You’re welcome.

Written by falcon1986

26 May, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Posted in Computers, Windows

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[HOW-TO] Free disk space being used for Windows Installer data files

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Windows 7 LogoAt the office where I work over the summer, one of my responsibilities is performing basic computer maintenance. I encountered one Windows XP computer that only had about 2GB of free space left on an 80GB capacity hard disk. Even after running a cleanup with CCleaner and scanning for malware, there was no significant change in free space. The computer’s owner only had about 4GB of her own data and not many applications were installed. I got suspicious and ran Free Disk Usage Analyzer only to find out that Windows was the culprit. After running a cleanup with msizap.exe, I was able to recover over 50GB of free space! How awesome is that?!

The disk usage analyzer showed me that C:/WINDOWS/Installer/ was occupying about 50GB worth of space on the drive. I found this quite surprising, since I had never encountered that folder or knew it could grow so large. After a bit of searching around on Google, I came across the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. It’s one of those tools that you will not easily find on the Microsoft website, but it solved this problem easily. Here are the steps you can take to gain more space on your disk.

  1. Download the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility and run the installer. The corresponding entry is placed on your Programs menu, but we won’t be accessing it via this route.
  2. Launch a command prompt by going to Start > Run > cmd and press ENTER.
  3. You need to enter ‘C:/Program Files/Windows Installer Cleanup’ via the command prompt.
    cd C:\Program Files\Windows Installer Clean Up
  4. Enter the following command and press ENTER.
    msizap !G
  5. Exit the command prompt and re-check the size of C:/WINDOWS/Installer/.

The G parameter instructs msizap.exe to clean up orphaned files, which happened to be the cause of the heavy disk space usage. The exclamation mark suppresses confirmation prompts.

On normally-functioning Windows PCs, running this tool will usually have no effect since there is no significant inflation of C:/WINDOWS/Installer/. However, if you notice that the directory’s size is unusually large, it’s not a bad idea to run it to see what can be cleaned up.

Written by falcon1986

26 June, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Posted in Windows

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Micosoft Fix it fixes common Windows problems with ease

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Microsoft Fix itAre you one who experiences frequent problems with Windows? I think all Windows users would answer that question with a ‘YES’. Well, whether you are a novice or advanced Windows user, common problems do arise and looking for the appropriate fix can be tedious. If you frequent the Microsoft Knowledgebase you may have noticed that Microsoft started introducing downloadable quick-fix solutions for some of the issues users may encounter. Recently, the software giant released a public beta of their Fix it program, which features a simple-to-use interface that guides users through the troubleshooting process of commonly-encountered Windows issues. It is definitely worth trying. Who knows, it might be the best tool for those of us who are “technically” challenged.

The Microsoft Fix it beta is a free download for Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Written by falcon1986

19 April, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Posted in Windows

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A taste of Microsoft Windows 7 (Beta)

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winlogoA few weeks ago I was able to take build 7000 of Microsoft’s latest beta operating system for a test drive on my notebook PC. I will admit that Windows 7 was more than I was expecting in terms of performance, but that was basically it. I had read so much about the boot time improvements that were made that I had to try it out myself, so I did. Believe it or not, Windows 7 was able to boot faster than my Windows Vista Home Premium.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by falcon1986

25 January, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Posted in Windows

Tagged with ,

Become a Microsoft Beta Tester

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Windows Vista PreviewMicrosoft has now allowed users to sign up with their Passport Accounts (MSN/Hotmail) so they can receive notifications about testing many of the beta software the company is soon to run on the market. By signing up for the “Beta Experience” you will receive updates on Microsoft’s latest beta releases and FREE download links! So far I’ve only noticed offers in Microsoft’s next Windows OS called Vista and Office 2007.

Microsoft Office 2007 PreviewAfter signup you will receive newsletters from Microsoft’s TechNET (basically a community for IT pros). Just the other day I was given the opportunity to download Office 2007 Beta, which includes a large suite of software. However, I didn’t bother to download any of the Office applications because I’m pretty comfortable with Office 2003 Professional and “Beta” always gives me an uneasy feeling. These are the applications included in the Office 2007 Beta, each an individual download with their own activation keys (provided at time of download and a copy sent to your e-mail inbox):

  • Microsoft® Office Professional Plus 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Visio® Professional 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007 with Business Contact Manager
  • Microsoft® Office Project Server 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Project Professional 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Groove® 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Groove® Server 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Language Pack 2007 – German
  • Microsoft® Office OneNote® 2007
  • Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Designer 2007
  • Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 – Enterprise
  • Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 – Enterprise(x64)
  • Microsoft® Office Forms Server 2007
  • Microsoft® Office Forms Server 2007 (x64)

You can read a short description about each Office 2007 program at the Office Preview site and the various suites that will be available.

Register for the beta program here.

+Falcon1986

Written by falcon1986

29 May, 2006 at 4:23 PM

Posted in Windows