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A Collection of Random Thoughts
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Old trick, but hard to find
Have you ever wanted to modify the Save As default list that is displayed on the left when downloading a file in Internet Explorer? Sure you can always use the Drop-down menu and select a different location, but I always tend to save things into different folders (such as C:\Downloads, etc.) instead of using the built-in folders that are available. I also find it tedious to have to select C:\ from the drop-down list, then browse that folder each time I want to save something.

Anyways, I seemed to recall being able to change that list, or perhaps I had actually done it a white ago, but how to do it now had escaped me. So I Googled a bit and found the following information.

Did you ever want to change the Default locations to where you can save things too and open things from?
The default list (in Windows XP PRo) is:

My Recent Documents
My Documents
My Computer
My Network Places

These places can be altered from the following location in the Registry.


First add a new key titled "ComDlg32". Next, under the ComDlg32 folder, add a new key titled "PlacesBar"

With PlacesBar highlighted, you then add 5 items to the right pane called:


The types of entries you can make can be either String values (to denote a custom path name, such as C:\Downloads), or you can create a new DWORD value and use the Built-in values that Windows uses (Hexadecimal values). Some examples are:

DWORD value of 0 = Desktop
DWORD value of 2 = Programs
DWORD value of 5 = My Documents
DWORD value of 6 = Favorites
DWORD value of 11 = My Computer
DWORD value of 12 = My Network Places
DWORD value of 27 = My Pictures

There are lots more values, so you can play around and try different values to see what you come up with - I wasn't able to find a list in my feeble search attempts, but then again, I didn't feel like wasting a lot of time looking for it.

It's also worth noting that this change doesn't affect the Save As menu that Office displays, but there are other methods for changing that menu.

Anyways, it's the little things that make the computing experience easier. :-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Exchange migration tips - changing the outbound delivery mechanism
Remember that with Exchange 5.5, in order to send or receive Internet e-mail, you had to install the Internet Mail Connector (IMC) a.k.a Internet Mail Service. Exchange 2000/2003 no longer require (or use) an IMC to send/receive internet mail, as they use SMTP natively and have the ability to send/receive e-mail from the internet by default. That being said, you might expect that once you introduce an Exchange 200x server into your org, that it would send outbound mail itself. Not so, my friend. Instead, your Exchange 200x server will, you guessed it, still use the 5.5 IMC for outbound e-mail. If you want to change how outbound e-mail routes, then you must make some configuration changes.

There are basically 3 different methods that should allow you to change how outbound e-mail is routed.
1. Rename the address space on the IMC to something invalid (i.e. bogus.local). Install an SMTP Connector on an Exchange 200x server with the address space of "*". There are a few more steps that need to be done - for that, make sure to reference the KB article I have linked to at the bottom.
2. Remove the address space on the IMC. Obviously, removing something is inherently a "bit" riskier, but in this case, should pose no problems. Once the address space is removed and replicated, you would do the same as above with installing and SMTP connector.
3. Add an SMTP connector with a lower cost that contains the same address space (i.e. "*"). While theoretically the connector with the lowest cost ought to win, I've heard reports that it doesn't necessarily always work that way, and that the IMC "may" still win. The best thing to say about this is YMMV (Your mileage may vary). If it doesn't work, then revert back to either of the previous methods.

Once you have chosen a method, and verified that outbound e-mail is now routing through the Exchange 200x server's SMTP connector instead of the IMC, you can safely remove the addres space (if you didn't already) and then once replicated, you can uninstall the IMC. As I mentioned earlier, there is a terrific MSKB article that references how to do this. That article can be found here.
How to switch outgoing mail connectors when migrating to Exchange 2000 or 2003
Monday, November 01, 2004
Followup to Exchange maintenance
Nino Bilic, one of the MS Product Support folks, has written about this in the Exchange team blog in the past.
Is offline defragmentation considered regular Exchange maintenance?
Also, more recently, he followed up with another blog somewhat related that talks about file-level defragmentation (Disk Defragmenter a.k.a Diskeeper Lite, or other 3rd party file-defrag utility).
Do we need to file-level defragment Exchange database drives?

I agree fully with Nino on both topics. I've never had the need to do either one on a production Exchange database. Sure, it's fun to play with these utilities (IN A LAB!), and in fact, I would encourage that because you never know when the unthinkable can happen. The simple fact though is that neither one should be a part of "normal" Exchange maintenance.

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