Prevent Items Pinning to the Taskbar (Explorer Included)

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about preventing Internet Explorer and Media Player from pinning to the taskbar. It was a fairly simple solution, and the post continues to generate traffic to this site. Unfortunately, though, the methodology died with the Windows 7 era, and none of the advice even applies anymore. I considered updating that post with this new information, but decided this would better serve.

This method is, unfortunately, a bit more intrusive. It does, however, have the advantage of actually working. It will suffice not only for IE and Media Player, but Explorer.exe as well. My old post might work better for you if you’re on an older Windows. Should those steps fail you, though: these will not.

Continue reading “Prevent Items Pinning to the Taskbar (Explorer Included)”

Dragon: Gracefully Closing Network Edition

Dragon Network Edition–Nuance’s ubiquitous dictation software–is powerful, to be sure. But, like any powerful tool in IT, it’s full of quirks and secrets, and a few of them can ruin your day if you’re not careful.

Dragon comes with the ability to maintain user profiles on the network, and this has some inherent advantages. For example, a user’s dictionary modifications and personal preferences will follow them from machine to machine. That’s essential for a person who touches multiple computers every day. Unfortunately though, Dragon does not do the best job of handling this workflow natively. By which I mean, if a doctor logs into Dragon on Computer A, fails to log out, and then attempts to log in again on Computer B… some weird stuff can happen. Profiles can become inaccessible, or even corrupted.

Continue reading “Dragon: Gracefully Closing Network Edition”

AppSense (Ivanti): Session Roam as a Node Trigger

I shared this workflow a couple of years back, and it’s since become one of the most referenced articles on this blog. It’s something that has been a part of just about all of my AppSense deployments since its inception. However, as time passed, the configuration evolved to be much cleaner, and I thought it was time for an update. So, without further adieu, here’s how we can manipulate AppSense to act only when a session roams from one endpoint to another. As an added bonus, we’ll even look at how to run them only when that session roams to a new department, building, or area.

Continue reading “AppSense (Ivanti): Session Roam as a Node Trigger”

Win7/2008R2: Prevent the Pinning of IE and Media Player to the Taskbar (And Other Tips)

UPDATE 01/2018:

What follows is applicable only to Windows 7 / Server 2008R2. Certain updates to Windows (even to those versions) may have invalidated this advice, but I am leaving this article here in case it still works for some. 

Beyond this, there is a more reliable option that you can read about here. I am confident this newer strategy will work on all versions of Windows.


Continue reading “Win7/2008R2: Prevent the Pinning of IE and Media Player to the Taskbar (And Other Tips)”

Imprivata: Being Asked to Enroll Previously Enrolled Badges

First and foremost, I should note that this post will deal specifically with RFIDeas-brand proximity card readers. If you are seeing this problem with any other variety, hopefully I can provide some insight, but I won’t provide a fix. Additionally, this article assumes that you entitle Imprivata users to enroll a single badge at a time, and that you provide them the ability to overwrite their badge enrollment. With all that being said, let’s dig in.

Continue reading “Imprivata: Being Asked to Enroll Previously Enrolled Badges”

Imprivata: How to Display SSO User in BGinfo on a Kiosk

BGinfo, in case you’re by some chance unfamiliar, is a Microsoft utility for displaying session information on the wallpaper. It is often used on both servers and desktops for the purpose of quickly identifying the current Windows user, the name of the machine, and any other handy information one might want to have at hand. However, in one of Imprivata’s most common use cases, a generic account is used to enter the Windows environment, while a type-2 (kiosk) OneSign agent acts as an authentication gateway for each SSO user who shares that machine.

In this scenario, displaying the currently logged-in Windows user in BGInfo is a bit of a moot point, as it will always be the same for everyone. It doesn’t give any actual indication as to who is presently using the device. The problem is that, by default, there is no environment variable or single point for BGinfo to reference in order to display the current SSO user–that is, the one who just authenticated to Imprivata. Thankfully though, it’s not hard to set this up.

Continue reading “Imprivata: How to Display SSO User in BGinfo on a Kiosk”

Windows: KMS Not Auto-Licensing MS Office

So, you set up your KMS server and you activated the license key for your version of Office.  You ran the slmgr.vbs /dlv all command and confirmed that all is configured correctly there. You installed Office on your master image, pointed it at the proper KMS server, re-armed it for activation, and recomposed without ever opening the software. You spun up a fresh virtual desktop, opened Microsoft Word, and found that your version of Office had not been activated. You ran the ospp.vbs /act command and found that KMS did its job, but you thought running that command as part of a startup script seemed like a bad solution to your problem. If all that sounds about right, the good news is that you’re almost there. The fix is simple and, weirdly, hidden in plain sight.

Continue reading “Windows: KMS Not Auto-Licensing MS Office”

AutoHotkey: Using RunAs and RunWait

I recently stumbled into a problem while attempting to automate a process that required domain credentials while logged in as a local user. I could use RunWait to run the program, but it would fail unless I was a domain user. When I attempted to use RunAs and RunWait together, I was met with an error that was “possibly related to RunAs.” I mean, who knows for sure what it was related to, am I right?

Continue reading “AutoHotkey: Using RunAs and RunWait”

AutoHotkey: Using Firefox/Chrome Browser Hotkeys While Flash Has Focus

If you know what you’re doing and don’t need my rambling, you can get what you want from here.

If not: I (and countless others) have spoken at length about AutoHotkey and why you should be using it. For the uninitiated, it is an extremely powerful and easy-to-learn scripting language that you can use to fix just about any problem you throw at it. You can use it to automate all your repetitive, boring tasks and even create entirely new workflows. Case in point: this article.

Continue reading “AutoHotkey: Using Firefox/Chrome Browser Hotkeys While Flash Has Focus”

AutoHotkey: Adding Months to an Arbitrary Date

After the third or fourth time typing date += 1,months in a script and coming up empty, I decided I needed to implement this apparently nonexistent functionality. I did few Google searches for this purpose and was met with a similar lack of success, so I figured I’d share my results here.

This function will take an arbitrary date and add (or subtract) a given number of months from it. If you want to return the date three months from today, throw today’s date and a positive 3 at the function. If you wanted to return what the date was 3 months ago, just make it a negative 3 instead. It’s fully fleshed out in the comments if you are interested.

Continue reading “AutoHotkey: Adding Months to an Arbitrary Date”