Open File Dialog Appears when you Click on Links after installing Internet Explorer 7

After upgrading to IE7 in Windows XP, we found that non-admin users were once again seeing the Open File Security warning dialog box.

Once again, the issue can be resolved by visiting the group policy. Open up the appropriate policy file, and follow the path to:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Internet Control Panel > Security Page

  • Double-click on Site to Zone Assignment and then click ‘Show…
  • Click ‘Add…
  • In the Add Item dialog, type in the FQDN of your domain (eg. mydomain.local) in the first field, and the number ‘2’ in the second field.
  • Click ‘OK’ until the dialogs are closed.
  • Now log a user onto a workstation to check that the changes have taken effect.

All we have done here is added your domain to the Trusted Sites zone, which removes the file security dialog.

Well done, you.

Sound Stops in Windows Vista

I hear that Microsoft didn’t take one of my BETA bug reports very seriously. Even after updating the drivers through windows update, audio is an issue.

Sound is still stopping on my Analog Devices sound card, with no errors, just an absence of noise.

Since Beta 2, I’ve adopted this method (which seems to be the quickest without writing a command script):

Step 1

Run command prompt with Administrator privlidges

Run the Command Prompt

  • Click the Start button
  • Type cmd
  • Right-click on ‘Command Prompt’ and click ‘Run as Administrator’
  • Accept the UAC Prompt

Step 2

Restart the Audio Service

Restart the Audio Service

  • Type net stop audiosrv and press Enter.
  • Type net start audiosrv and press Enter.
  • Type exit to close the command prompt

Now go and play that CD you wanted to listen to!

Making it automatic

If you are like me and hate typing that in everysingle time, we can create a simple script to do the work for you. Start Notepad and type the first two lines of the above commands into it:

net stop audiosrv
net start audiosrv

Save the file as restartaudio.cmd in Desktop.

Now, whenever the audio plays up, right-click on the file, and select Run as Administrator.

Adding Your Blog as a Search Provider

In IE7, adding your own custom search is beautifully simple now that Microsoft have added the Create Your Own to the ‘Find More Providers…’ link in IE7

Create Your Own Search Provider screenshot

So, it seems sensible that your blog would want a piece of the action.

To that end, here’s a quick example of my own search provider. As IE7 uses the OpenSearch Specification, an XML document can be linked in your site which will make the search box glow. Users can then either use the search specification to carry out a search on the site, or additionally add the search to their list of search providers.

IE7 Search Bar in Vista

First of all, either create your XML file on Microsoft’s Add Search Providers page, or check out my XML file. The opens are documented on the website, I think that they are quite self explanatory.

Edit the XML file to include your site’s details and add any additional bits you’d like.

Upload the file to your website and then open the header.php file that your theme uses (or just your default webpage for non-Wordpress sites).

Within the < head> tag, add the following line (making the appropriate adjustments):

Now visit your website, and you should see that you can be added in Internet Explorer’s search list. If it doesn’t work, check that the XML file syntax is correct, and then restart Internet Explorer. After spending about 30 minutes trying to work out why my XML file wasn’t working, it turned out it was.

And now, if you click on the top right (you IE users, you!), then you’ll see bloggingIT in all its glory! Click on the Add Provider option, and you are greeted with:

Add Search Provider dialog

All users have to do now, is click ‘Add Provider’.

Non-intrusive and easy to use. Great!

Drag and Drop Convert Word to PDF

Sometimes I find that it’s useful to save my Word documents as PDFs.

After playing around with the Save As PDF plugin for Office, I decided that it would be cool if I could write a script to convert a job lot of Word documents.

MS Word 2007
Save As PDF Office 2007 Plugin

Just copy and paste the code into Notepad and save the file as WordToPDF.vbs on your desktop.

<code>'Word to PDF
'By John Reid
'(c) 2007 bloggingIT -
'Feel free to use, modify, and redistribute - just leave the credits intact
'Quick Export to PDF
Const wdExportAllDocument = 0
Const wdExportOptimizeForPrint = 0
Const wdExportDocumentContent = 0
Const wdExportFormatPDF = 17
Const wdExportCreateHeadingBookmarks = 1

if  Wscript.Arguments.Count > 0 Then
  'Fire up MS Word 2007
  Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
  Set objWord = CreateObject("Word.Application")

  'Enumerate the passed in file names
  For i = 0 to wscript.arguments.count - 1
  Set objFile = objFSO.GetFile(WScript.Arguments(i))
  Set objDoc = objWord.Documents.Open(WScript.Arguments(i),,TRUE)
  dirPath = objFSO.GetParentFolderName(objFile)
  fileBaseName = objFSO.GetBaseName(objFile)
  'Export to PDF using preferred settings
  pdf = objWord.ActiveDocument.ExportAsFixedFormat _
    (dirPath & "\" & fileBaseName & ".pdf", _
    wdExportFormatPDF, False, wdExportOptimizeForPrint, _
   wdExportAllDocument,,, _
   wdExportDocumentContent, _
   False, True, _
 'Quit MS Word
 msgbox("You must select a file to convert")
End If</code>

When you find a document that you wish to convert, just drag and drop the file onto the script.

Right, there’s an Excel version along shortly.

Making SSL Certificates for your IIS Server

With IE7 on the prowl, I’m having to look at self-signing certificates again to make them work properly.

I found a nice straight-forward how-to on Eric Longman’s blog, which keeps it simple using a Linux box and Windows Server IIS.

Check it out

Although I’ve fixed my certificates, there is still the problem with IE7 showing a big, bad, red page. As a resolution, I’ve found a blog with instructions for valid SBS certificates, but nevertheless puts me in the direction of GoDaddy for reasonable certificate prices.