Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.
Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.


Break key missing on Dell Studio XPS 1340?

I run Windows Server 2008 Enterprise on my laptop.   It’s stable, fast, secure, and offers great features like Hyper-V.    It also wasn’t meant for laptops so you need tricks from places like 

A common keyboard stroke is Ctrl+Break in CMD or perhaps Ctrl+Alt+Break in a Hyper-V guest window to view full screen.    This keyboard has nothing labeled “Break” anywhere.   What!?    Come to find out, the F12 key does double duty.   If you want to hit Break and simply hit F12 on a tiny Dell keyboard like the XPS 1340 you’ll be pleased to learn everything works like normal.    Just took some guess work first.

Fun SP Admin Webcast Today @

I never participated in one of these before but had a great time today!  


   My best practices were confirmed and reinforced.  Administration tasks like:

  • Start with a big C: partition
  • Make a data partition, D: works well
  • Move IIS logs to D:
  • Move 12 logs to D:
  • Confirm ample disk space before major upgrades or maintenance
  • Don’t forget to look at SQL transaction logs.   Need room here too!
  • Use the community tools to make life easier.   SP Admin Toolkit 4.0, SPDiag, etc.

Also, it was just plain fun to see all the other SharePoint people like @ToddKlindt, @bishopd, @catpaint1, @sharepointsara, and @lorigowin.    Plus we had fun with wearing hats on webcams and even playing guitar.   I can’t wait for next Monday!   


Tune in every Monday @



How to: Replace Notepad.exe with Notepad2.exe

We all love notepad. 

Love Struck

   It’s a familiar useful tool you can rely on every Windows machine to have.   However, it really hasn’t kept pace with the rapid change on the web.   XML, JavaScript, JQuery, and even our old friend HTML just are too hard to read.    Maybe I’m behind the times but I’ve finally upgraded all my machines to have a newer version of our old trusty friend.

Notepad 2 – Create Web pages and text documents with this color-coded no frills editor.

Download Now >>

To make it really helpful you’ll want to replace “C:WindowsSystem32Notepad.exe” but Windows NTFS security doesn’t make that too easy.    Here are the steps to take ownership and replace the EXE.   Be sure to include the last step for the INI configuration file too.

  1. Download Notepad 2!  
  2. Browse to “C:WindowsSystem32”
  3. Right click on “Notepad.exe” and open Properties, then Security tab
  4. Click the “Advanced” button, then Owner tab
  5. Click “Edit” button to take ownership of this file
  6. Click OK
  7. Locate “Administrators” local group (or the effective line for the logged in user)
  8. Grant Full Control
  9. Click OK
  10. Rename “Notepad.exe” to “Notepad1.exe” to keep a backup nearby
  11. Copy “Notepad2.exe” to “C:WindowsSystem32Notepad.exe”  
  12. Copy “Notepad2.ini” to “C:WindowsSystem32Notepad2.ini”

(NOTE: renamed to preserve file associations and Edit context menu shortcuts)

Why MSCONFIG is super cool

The Microsoft System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG.EXE) is very easy to access and incredibly handy.    The biggest benefit comes from removing excess startup items.     Often times our machines boot all sorts of programs we’re not aware of leading to sluggish start ups and lower performance overall.

As the Windows O/S adds more and more features the MSCONFIG.EXE tools is updated to make them easier to access.   Especially for admins and developers that work on many systems.    Disabling UAC (User Account Control) for example is directly available from MSCONFIG.EXE and faster than clicking all over Control Panel.    I find myself using many of the same old tools to troubleshoot and not giving enough attention to newer options like Security Center, System Restore, and Remote Assistance.

Give it a whirl.   You might find yourself doing “Start Run MSCONFIG” more than all the others one at a time.


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@ SPJeff

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