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Copyright: Michael J. Hamilton, Sr.

Windows Live Messenger–Program Cannot Start because DWrite.dll is missing from your system

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 18:59:46 GMT

Originally posted on:

Windows Live Messenger–Program Cannot Start because DWrite.dll is missing from your system

When you see the now infamous:


You have probably installed Live Essentials 2011 – and Messenger is buggered.

Check the following and download the hotfix applicable to your OS:

It was no fun running this down.



SharePoint Foundation 2010 Hosting - SharePoint in a Package - SharePoint SHIP - Get your SHIP Today

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 14:38:58 GMT

Originally posted on:

SharePoint Foundation 2010 Hosting - SharePoint in a Package - SharePoint SHIP - Get your SHIP Today

Sclera Hosting Internet Services and Sclera Design bring you SharePoint in a Package - SHIP - and we're happy to announce three (3) SHIPS:

I-4 - our base-line entry-level edition that provides you a dedicated host for complete control over your environment, but a smaller memory footprint, saving you money and making this an excellent entry-level setup for any small to medium business.

V-6 - here you have more memory, but exactly all the same features.

V-8 - our prime-time edition that allows businesses and corporations with up to 250-500 users a solid Intranet or Intranet/Internet Facing edition of SharePoint Foundation - all packaged in a stand-alone setup.

You have complete control over all facets of the server, user management, unlimited sites, site collections, etc.

Check out the Plans / Service Offerings from Sclera Hosting at

If hard drive space is an issue, no worries, we add SAN storage of 500GB chunks as low as $35 a month - so - imagine the possibilities and contact Sclera today.

Sclera Design - Where Brilliant Ideas - Come to Life - we are SharePoint - defined and delivered, like no other Microsoft Hosted Service Provider or Gold Certified Competency Partner in the United States, and soon - the world!



Enterprise SharePoint 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Foundation 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Standard 2010 Hosting, Michigan

Sat, 15 May 2010 23:24:02 GMT

Originally posted on:

Enterprise SharePoint 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Foundation 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Standard 2010 Hosting, Michigan

Sclera, a Microsoft Hosted Services Provider Partner, is offering key Service Offerings around the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 stack.

Specifically – if you’re looking for SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Standard or Enterprise 2010 hosting provisions, checkout the Service Offerings from Sclera Hosting ( and compare with some of the lowest prices available on the web today.

I wanted to post this so you could shot around and compare.

There are a couple of the larger on demand hosting agencies (247hosting, and fpweb hosting) – that charge outrageous fees  - like $350 a month for SharePoint Foundation 2010 hosting. The most incredible part? This is on a shared domain name – not the client’s domain. It’s hosting on something like">"> – or something crazy like that.

Sclera Hosting provides you on demand – SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server Standard/Enterprise – 2010 RTM bits – within minutes of your order – ON YOUR DOMAIN – and that is a major perk for me.

You have complete SharePoint Designer 2010 integration; complete support for custom assemblies, web parts, you name it – this hosting provider gives you more bang for buck than any provider on the Net today.

Now – some teasers – I was in a meeting this week and I heard – SharePoint Foundation – 2010 RTM bits – unlimited users, 10 GB content database quota, full SharePoint Designer 2010 integration/support, all on the client’s domain – sit down and soak this up - $175.00 per month – no kidding.

Now, I do not know about you – but – I have not seen a deal like that EVER on the Net – so – get over to – or email the Sales Team at Sclera Design, Inc. today for more details.

Have a great weekend!


Creating CSR – Certificate Request – and Generating CSR’s for IIS7/IIS 7/ Internet Information Services 7

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:26:16 GMT

Originally posted on: CSR – Certificate Request – and Generating CSR’s for IIS7/IIS 7/ Internet Information Services 7 In IIS7 – it is not intuitive – how to generate your CSR and then get your certificate issued – and apply that certificate to your site. In IIS 6 – it was pretty straight forward once you have walked through the process – but IIS 7 is as different as night/day. In IIS 7 – let’s replace the one for our SharePoint site. We had one already in place, but when we upgraded to SharePoint 2010 – it reconfigures the IIS application – creating a disconnect in your certificate. I’ll cover this in another blog. For now – let’s gen the CSR – then get the new cert: First, launch your IIS Manager (Start—>Run and type in INETMGR and press Enter): Notice that the machine name is selected just under Start Page in the left tree view. This is where you want your cursor – we’re working at the Server level – and certificates are all handled at this level – not at the site level like in the days of IIS6. Scroll down in the center page (SBS Home above) and local Certificates: Double-click – or select and press Enter on Server Certificates. In our example, we locate our certificates – and all appears fine – except the certificate is no longer valid – so we’re going to create a new request (CSR) and walk through getting and applying the new certificate. You’ll find this view on the right side of your Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager console. Click Create Certificate Request NOTE: The Common Name is your actual URL – the site that you’ll be applying the certificate to. It’s important that you enter it – as shown above. Our actual URL to this site includes HTTPS:// before it, and a slash (“/”) and other page references after it – depending on what resources we’re trying to get to. But the actual site is exactly like that shown above – and it’s important that you enter this as your Common Name. The rest is pretty straight forward. Once this is complete, click Next Leave this default setting and click Next This is the file name that the CSR hash will be written to. We use a text file format because it’s easy to copy/paste into our SSL provider when we get to that point. In our case, we use GeoTrust and RapidSSL for our certificates, your provider may be different – but the next stages have to do with logging onto your SSL provider – using whatever account you created at that time – and select to re-issue the certificate. This will walk through collecting this new CSR request – and invariably – generating the new SSL certificate (.CER file). NOTE: If you do not place something like C:\ before the above file name, it’ll place it in your User Profile path – which is typically in C:\Users\ … – it’s easier to specify a path to save it to before clicking finish – that way you can quickly find it. Once you locate it – it’s saved with a .TXT suffix – so if you double-click the file – it should open in OneNote, and you should see something similar to the following:   When you log into your SSL provider account and select to re-issue your certificate – you will have to copy this information from this text file into the CSR block on the screen of your provider. You should be familiar with this account – and when you have to copy, you’ll want to copy all of this data – including the ----BEGIN all the way to the REQUEST----- - end of the file. The re-issue process, depending on our SSL provider – generally is an email to confirm the re-issue, and then a final email with the new certificate included in the email. From GeoTrust – they do not email us a attachment of the certificate – rather, they include the certificate block – similar to that shown above – right in the email – so we just copy/paste f[...]

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 EXAMS / Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) V3 EXAMS

Tue, 22 Sep 2009 13:03:52 GMT

Originally posted on:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 EXAMS / Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) V3 EXAMS


I thought I had posted these once before. If you have 1 to 2 years of MOSS/WSS administrative experience, you should – at a minimum – have the two (2) following exams under your belt:

  • MCTS 70-631 – Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring
  • MCTS 70-630 – Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuring



If you are a seasoned .Net developer, very solid in the .Net 2.x Framework and you have 1 to 2 years experience developing solutions in MOSS or WSS, you should have the following exams under your belt:

  • MCTS 70-541 – Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Application Development
  • MCTS 70-542 – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Application Development

During the past year, these on your repertoire are becoming more and more a requirement.

Hope this helps…


DotNetNuke 5.x – What happen to Forums and FAQ and other Modules?

Sat, 01 Aug 2009 19:12:18 GMT

Originally posted on:

DotNetNuke 5.x – What happen to Forums and FAQ and other Modules?

If you’re new to DNN 5.x and you’re very familiar with DNN 4.x or 3.x – you’ll notice some distinct changes, and not all of them are intuitive at all.

Take the Forums and FAQ modules. Where are they?

In DNN 5.x – Sign in as HOST.

Under Host—>(select) Extensions

Scroll this all the way down and click on Install Available Extensions

Now you’ll see the list you’re probably more familiar with – and you can select the modules you’re looking for.

NOTE: If you log into and click downloads – you can also find the latest Projects for many of the modules, including much newer ones for DNN 5.x

Hope that helps another newbie to DNN 5.x.


Deleted User Login Control or Changed Login and Delete Page in DotNetNuke and cannot login

Sat, 01 Aug 2009 17:14:05 GMT

Originally posted on:

Deleted User Login Control or Changed Login and Delete Page in DotNetNuke and cannot login


During a recent reconfiguration of a client’s site – we encountered this.

Our situation was this: We created a Sign-In page – and under Admin—>Settings – we set the login to use this page. We do this frequently when we stand up a site on a static IP that needs SSL.

At some point later, the Account Login control gets deleted – and regardless of why – it does – and our Sign-In page renders a blank login.

First thoughts are to try to navigate and force the login control using


However, this fails because we setup the login to redirect to our custom Sign-In page.

Thank you very much to John Mitchell’s post and fix for this. NOTE: This works in DNN 4.9 – we do not know about later versions.

Hopefully this will help others out there that shoot their foot off periodically :)


Microsoft Online Services – Online is not always Online

Sun, 21 Jun 2009 04:09:41 GMT

Originally posted on:

Microsoft Online Services – Online is not always Online

As a software engineer for a small Microsoft Partner – I have had a blast working with the enterprise technologies – especially since the release of the beta bits of MOSS 2007.

The firm I work for is also a Microsoft Hosted Services Partner, and we host key technologies like Exchange, MOSS, Dynamics CRM, SQL Server and the latest craze – the Business Productivity Suite. The following is a blurb from the MSFT Help About BPS Online:

The Business Productivity Online Standard Suite is a set of Microsoft hosted messaging and collaboration solutions including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and Microsoft Office Communications Online.

As a services corporation – I will be the first to tell you – this is an excellent offering, and I consider it a Flagship of online hosted services from the software giant.

HOWEVER… You have to love that part – HOWEVER…

I had the recent opportunity to experience the Microsoft flavor of this service – versus a partner’s similar offering of the hosted services.

Microsoft has scheduled maintenance programs – ones that literally take your Business Productivity Suite Standard hosting OFFLINE for 3+ hours – on a Friday evening. I found this not a little fascinating.

The clients that we (our company) provides hosted services to – well, a 3 hour window of maintenance downtime would pretty much run off the lion’s share of our business.

A lesson learned – not all things Online – are Online.

As you consider the suite of Microsoft Online (keyword, Online) hosted services – keep in mind – you are subject to that same unexpected downtime. I’m a bit perplexed that they do not shift services to one server farm or another during any maintenance plans. They did not – they literally took the online services OFFLINE for 3+ hours on a busy Friday night.

So… as you consider hosting options and hosting providers – keep in mind – even the biggest – is not the best.


If it is to be, It is up to me – Michael J. Hamilton, Sr. – Pay it forward

Wed, 01 Apr 2009 04:47:38 GMT

Originally posted on:

If it is to be, It is up to me – Michael J. Hamilton, Sr. – Pay it forward

I was recently presented with the following statement:

If you would change the world, then you must be the way you want the world to be (Gandhi)…

On a beautiful sunny day – July 9th. – I was struck with the most extraordinary and unusual news I could possibly be struck with in my life: Mr. Hamilton, the biopsy and path reports, and CAT scans indicate that you actually have stage four (4) colorectal cancer… Mr. Hamilton… Based solely on what we know – you probably have 3 to 6 months to live… We recommend the following treatment options…

And the oncologist ran on... It blew my mind! I am at my prime! In my job, physically, mentally – things were gong fantastic! I was running 5 miles a day, I was carrying the load of 3 men, launching a corporation that would become more than I could possibly imagine. I had no physical maladies. Everything was actually better than I could describe. You probably have 3 to 6 months to live…

The TNM counts were off the charts; surgery was immediate. There was no other option – or was there?

Many months later… My strength stable, my attitude solid, my focus sharp as it could be – I find myself about to launch on one of the largest solution development projects in this country and I was in front of the woman that very well may be the next governor of our State. She had a simple statement for me: If you could change the world, then you must be the way you want the world to be…

I have lived a life beyond blessing – seeing and experiencing what few men would dream of. My time on this earth has been more blessed than having 10 children; more blessed than having a best friend of 29 years now; more blessed than all of the adversity that one could face – my blessings overcome all of these. And I am mindful of one thing.

Notwithstanding the love of my family – not selling short the time I want to be with my children – simply quantifying what I feel – I wanted to take a moment and thank the community for the support and encouragement I have received. I am in no wise worthy of the many blessings I have received. And I am grateful.


Thank you…


March, 2009


How to Disable Touchpad - Compaq 6735s Notebook w/Synaptics Touchpad - Windows Vista Ultimate x64

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 17:07:24 GMT

Originally posted on:

How to Disable Touchpad - Compaq 6735s Notebook w/Synaptics Touchpad - Windows Vista Ultimate x64.

Like many of us - when I pick up a new notebook - one of the first things I want to know how to do is to disable to onboard touch pad/buttons - when I plug in a wireless or wired external mouse.

The Compaq 6735s is a new, lightweight AMD dual core 64 bit system that handles 8GB of RAM and sports a 250GB SATA drive. I found a great deal on this through TigerDirect...

The Compaq uses the Synaptics Pointing Device drivers for the onboard mouse pad and buttons. Be sure to check the HP Support-->Download Drivers/Software section to get the latest drivers for your unit. Dell and IBM notebooks are similar and their support sites should provide the latest download for the Synaptics driver for you - or whatever onboard touch pad driver you need.

NOTE: There does not appear to be any configuration in the BIOS or other firmware setup of this notebook to do this. In my Dell D830 Latitude - there is a BIOS setting that will disable the touch pad altogether, or you can do it using the support drivers that ship with the notebook.

Synaptics Options: Once the Synaptics drivers are installed - a system tray icon appears in the lower-right and you can open the Synaptics properties dialog. The only means of all BUT disabling this touch pad that I could find is to set the Sensitivity-->PalmCheck to MAXIMUM and the Touch Sensitivity to HEAVY. This should eliminate MOST of the erratic jumps of the cursor when you have your palms resting on the unit and typing.

I found some links Googling this - but nothing that really helped - and I'm not sure this will work for everyone - but thought I'd post it.

Any other insight / comments are always welcome.



Where have you been - MOSStastic and Blogging for MOSS

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 14:21:42 GMT

Originally posted on:

I have been more than busy and apologize for not being as active in the blog community as I'd like to be.

Also, I'm moving my blogs to - and hopefully I'll be able to keep up.

I'm still working on the MOSS and WSS sandbox demos for the Agency - which we hope to launch frist quarter' 08


Adding a network printer to a Vista workstation / desktop / notebook - The specified print monitor is unknown.

Sun, 29 Apr 2007 17:46:20 GMT

Originally posted on:

As a developer, one of the first things I did to my notebook (running Vista) is disable the UAC - I can't stand it - it keeps me from installing things like Virtual Server (which is not supported on Vista - but works perfectly fine), and is basically something I'm not worried about.

Until I want to add a printer that is a network resource on my LAN. I get the error that the printer cannot be added - "The specified print monitor is unknown."

Very informative - I know.

Well, believe it or not - this occurred because I set the value for the UAC to zero - or basically disabled it. The issue pops up because the network printer resource MUST install a driver on your local workstation - and if UAC is turned off, by default - MSFT has written into this - DO NOT install any foreign device - period.

To resolve - I open the registry HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System and set EnableLUA to a value of ONE "1" - reboot - and the printer adds just fine.

The question I'm sure you're asking yourself... "Do I have to leave UAC enabled???" - NO NO NO - and that's the nice part.

So, re-enable UAC - add the printer - disable UAC - and enjoy.

Hopefully this helps some other unsuspecting Vista lover...


How to recover domain when the primary domain controller failes and there are member domain controllers

Sun, 15 Apr 2007 15:05:22 GMT

Originally posted on: of us have probably dabbled in setting up our own domain and forest for development purposes. For me - a domain is a must - I have my development environment that is heavily used to model development projects for clents - and I have my family - me, my wife, and 7 children with their own computers. So, we have a fairly detailed setup on the home front - but the following applies to ANY environment in which your primary domain controller gives up the ghost - and you do not have an image backup of the PDC. Foremost - clarity: In an Active Directory forest, where you have several domain controllers, but one primary domain controller (PDC) - you may think that you must RESTORE or recover this PDC to salvage the domain. In other words, if the PDC fails - is all lost? Nope, not at all. Unless you do not have backup domain controllers. If you do not - then reading the rest of this is moot - but if you do, then read on. When you promote additional servers on your domain, and make them member DC's in the same forest, then your domain details are available to you - and you simply need to transfer the Operation Master role to another DC - but before doing that - there are the FSMO's - yea, something hardly anyone knows about: FSMO = Flexible Single Master Operation - something your PDC or master of operations - manages. If a PDC - and Global Catalog for that matter - goes offline, a backup DC will generally pickup and juggle traffic for the PDC. But what happens if the PDC crashes altogether, and you need to basically assign a member backup DC the PDC role? FSMO must be transferred to a backup DC before that DC can assume the Master of Operations role. This is done at the command-line level, and you must be careful before you make this call - ONLY do this if you are sure you cannot recover the original PDC because once you do this - you cannot laterr recover the PDC and bring it online. It cannot be added back into the forest at all. So, the FSMO roles and how we transfer these. In a word, you cannot simply transfer the FSMO roles because the PDC is off line and not available to authorize the transfer. However, you 'can' SEIZE the FSMO roles from the original PDC - even with the machine offl line. Caution: Using the Ntdsutil utility incorrectly may result in partial or complete loss of Active Directory functionality. Open a CMD prompt on the backup DC you want to perform this on. At the command-line prompt, type Ntdsutil and press . Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790] (C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp. C:\WINDOWS>ntdsutil ntdsutil: At this prompt, type roles and press : ntdsutil: roles fsmo maintenance: Now type connections and press : fsmo maintenance: connections server connections: Now type connect to servername where is the name of the backup DC you are working on, and press : server connections: connect to servername hamddc02 Connected to hamdc02 using credentials of locally logged on user. server connections: At the server connections prompt type q and press : server connections: q fsmo maintenance: Now we are going to SEIZE the FSMO roles we want. NOTE: Out of the 5 FSMO roles, we are NOT going to seize the Infrastructure Master. We do not want to put the Infrastructure Master (IM) role on the same domain controller as the Global Catalog server. If the Infrastructure Master runs on a GC server it will stop updating object information because it does not contain any references to objects that it does not hold. This is because a GC server holds a partial replica of every object in the forest. For now, we[...]

Memories of Another Day - A long time forgotten

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 18:17:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I remember the book by Harold Robbins very well, but it was when I was reading this book that I was introduced to country music and a life that I'll never forget - notwithstanding my career in technology.

Long before I was a coder I was a countruction worker by day and guitar player at night. Mostly I favored the folk songs of the '60's and '70's - but about the time I entered technology - I also ran into a group of guys that will forever be family.

In my early to mid 20's I was picked to play in a band that was then a fill-in in the CMA - basically union players that traveled the circuit in the SE United States (or wherever they were called to) - and I remember my first gig with Gary Morris. I was humbled to be called and facinated with the opportunity to be able to open and play behind a great musician. I had no idea that the next several years of my life would bring me close to legends like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, the Ole Possum - and many more 'old' folks (as I called them) that I had a blast listening to and playing behind.

Recently I had the opportunity to go and visit much of the old band - what's left of the crew anyway. They're well retired, in their 70's, and I had not picked with any of them in over 14 years. My trip down memory lane - and 3 hours of picking in northern Alabama 2 weeks ago - made me take the pause to reflect on memories of another day - perhaps not a long time forgotten just yet.

I had to make the trip south for personal reasons and simply made it a point to visit the ol' boys - and my time with them really made me take pause and reflect on what I have today.

My mentor in the CMA - Pappy to those close to him - RBJ otherwise, served our country in the Army Security Agency - after doing a term in the US Navy. He was stationed in the Aleutians - on Shemya - for the better part of 18 months. You would have to researh this island and our history from WWII to really appreciate where Pappy has been. My brief visit with my old friend was a time of reflection for me because of personal tragedy in my life - and a time of reflection for Pappy too. I had no idea really where he'd been or what he'd done outside of our music career together. And it was facinating to hear some of this history.

I came away from this trip with a resounding reminder that no matter how tough things seem in my life - they're a lot tougher for others - I guess it just depends on which way the pendulum is swinging :)

As a picker in the 70's/80's - there was no Internet to distract me, or perhaps remind me - of history. Life was 9-5 during the day and a blast at night.

In today's technologically driven as well as challenged life style - there is a whisper of history to be found at your finger tips - on the Net - and a recounting of days, years, and lives past that is simply incredible - if only I take the journey.

Nope... this was not intended to be a Geek post that would provide you with some really enlightening step-by-step that you are fervently searching to find. It is simply a tribute to a friend - Pappy - that needed to be paid. Thank you my friend, and God bless...



System.Data.OracleClient vs. Oracle ODP - Not all things .Net

Tue, 06 Mar 2007 15:10:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I recently had the not-so-great-or-fun pleasure of a pure .Net to Oracle application show-down :) And yes, I say that with some pun.

In summary, keeping to proper form, I developed a DataProviderFactory that provided the following:

  • SQL Server native client API
  • Oracle
  • BDC to SQL Server
  • BDC to Oracle

Now, BDC = Business Data Catalog - a new service provider native to MOSS (Micrsoft Office SharePoint Server) 2007. And trust me - the BDC ROCKS!!!

Back to providers.

My provider factory basically provided classes for base types and class bases - the lowest level. In the solution I coded specific classes for the given provider (Oracle, SQL, etc) and within the Assembly.cs for that class - I'd reference the appropriate base class. All run-of-the-mill best practice stuff. Right? Well, almost.

After several hours of seeing varrying results from the Oracle database, I began to get a little suspicious - and sure enough - the provider with .Net is not all things .Net - at least not for Oracle.

If you are coding for a Oracle specific application - check out this link for specifics on the Oracle Data Provider for .Net - or the ODP. The API is 'similar' - but only SIMILAR - it is not the same. I invariably tore out the .Net System.Data.OracleClient and replaced it with the Oracle .Net provider and all came together - but this was not obvious or intuitive.

HTH's another weary developer struggling to sort out why - for lack of a better way to say it - when dealing with Oracle - it's not all things .Net.