Removing “Synchronisation of shared folders” from the explorer folder context menu

Recently, knipsel1when right-clicking a folder in explorer (windows 7, office 2010), I noticed a new item “Shared folder synchronization” with a sharepoint icon in front of it. It probably started when modifying my office installation to include OneNote, which I left out during original install. It is a part of something called “sharepoint workspace”. It appears (couldn’t get a definitive answer on that one) that OneNote uses parts of that component for it’s workbook synchronization features, so I don’t want to remove the entire feature via the office setup. However, I don’t use the shared folders and would like it removed from my context menu (which is already cluttered up enough with items I *do* use 😉 ).

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Solved occasional VPN RAS error 812

I had the exact problem Roger describes: occasionally a disconnect of my VPN and then unable to reconnect, with error message 812: The connection was prevented because of a policy configured on your RAS/VPN server. Specifically, the authentication method used by the server to verify your username and password may not match the authentication method configured in your connection profile. Please contact the Administrator of the RAS server and notify them of this error.

His consideration was the same as mine, it could not be configuration or else it would have consistently worked or not. Roger traced it to a DNS issue:

Eventually I was able to isolate the issue to a periodic problem with the RRAS server not being able to connect to the Active Directory server for account authentication.  One of the reason codes occasionally generated in the security event log was:

The Network Policy Server was unable to connect to a domain controller in the domain where the account is located. Because of this, authentication and authorization for the RADIUS request could not be performed.

The cause of the problem ended up being very simple:  The primary DNS of the RRAS server was no longer pointing at the domain controller.  Changing the primary DNS to the domain controller and setting the secondary DNS to an external server (the primary google DNS in this case) eliminated the issue.

Thanks to Roger for taking the time to post that, it probably saved me a couple of afternoons debugging this…

Keeping Java updated without installing the Ask toolbar

Not only does the Oracle Java installer for Windows come with a useless toolbar from Ask, it is not enough to uncheck it at installation time. With every Java update you get, which you are recommended to install, you will be ‘ask’ed again and it is checked by default. I can count on myself to uncheck it every time, but non IT-savvy people are very likely to leave it checked, as I have noticed many times at friends and family and even small businesses that don’t have local admins or policies in place like large companies do.

According to, there is a way to turn this behavior off. I have just applied the solution to my system, and happily awaiting the next Java update to see how it works.

[Ad. 22-07] It works. 🙂

An underrated operator: using EXCEPT in MS SQL Server to track changes

Working with a colleague who is a longtime Oracle user, I noticed he used an operator I didn’t know of, to grab hold of the differences in rows between two nearly identical tables: he used a “minus”. I couldn’t imagine MS SQL Server would not have something like it and it didn’t, it came up with the “except” operator which does exactly the same.

The trick is that you use it like you are used to with  the union operator. Lees meer over dit bericht

Free up space on your OS disk by moving the Delphi XE6 installer files elsewhere

I noticed the free space on my SSD was getting smaller. Searching for ways to clean up a bit I discovered a ± 10 Gb hidden folder under c:\users\(account)\appdata\local\(guid). Inspecting its contents, it turned out to belong to the RAD Studio XE6 installer. No need to delete them, but I didn’t want them to take up precious space on my speedy SSD, the files are very infrequently (if ever) accessed and could easily rest on my slower but larger regular harddisk.

So I moved all files to a new folder on the HDD drive under D:\Installer files\Delphi XE6 using Windows Explorer.
When it was done, I opened a command prompt in c:\users\(account)\appdata\local. Then typed this:

mklink /j "{0DE47792-19BD-4AF4-B9CF-6378FBA44825}" "D:\Installer Files\Delphi XE6\{0DE47792-19BD-4AF4-B9CF-6378FBA44825}"

(The actual guid may or may not differ on your system.) This creates a so-called junction point on the original location. No need to go into the details, but think of it as a shortcut-link-on-steroids. Now, the RAD Studio installer won’t know any better than that the files are still where it expects them to be, should you ever need them. It’s just on another disk.

(Disclaimer: use this tip on your own risk.)

Ad. 02-06-2014: another great way to free up some space on your SSD is by moving the Windows Installer package cache to a secondary HDD. The article under the link takes it one step further by moving it into a VHD to make future moves easier. I had to modify it slightly, because the security descriptor that is mentioned was not valid on my system. Tip: you can get the descriptor by executing

cacls "%ProgramData%\Package Cache" /s

on the commandline.

All in all, it is not a straightforward operation but may be worth it, since it consumes 2 Gb on my system.

Registry setting may block nVidia driver updates

Not completely development related, this post, but since I am developing on a dual full hd monitor display setup, I like to keep my (nvidia) graphics card drivers up to date. I was unable however to update to the latest drivers, installation would say “failed” everytime. Lees meer over dit bericht

VS2013 installation breaks SQL Server Data Tools in VS2010

After installation of Visual Studio 2013, an existing SQL server data tools project in VS2010 on the same machine would no longer build. The exception in the error window read “The “SqlBuildTask” task failed unexpectedly. System.MissingMethodException: Method not found: ‘Void Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.SchemaModel.DataSchemaModel.Serialize” (…)

Fortunately, the solution was rather simple. It turns out there is a new version (October 2013) of the SQL Server Data Tools available at the Microsoft download site. Simply installing that over my existing installation fixed things. Note that I did get a Visual Studio conversion wizard the time first opened the project after that, but that conversion went seamlessly.

SSDT installation succesful

SSDT installation succesful

Thanks to Michael Mairegger for the tip. He had the same issue after installing a service pack for SQL server management studio.

Note that the same also appears to apply to VS2012.