Best Buy Review – Please don’t ever go there

Did you know Best Buy only has a 15-day return policy. Did you also know they won’t even budge on it? Aside from their high prices and ignorant staff, this is some of the worst customer service I’ve ever seen.

I plan to never set foot in a Best Buy again in my life. I implore you to do the same.

Outlook calendar invitation shows up in Deleted Items with 12/31/1974 date – occurs hundreds of times per day (Google Calendar Sync)

That’s a long post title, but I wasn’t sure how to briefly state the problem. Here’s a summary of symptoms you may have:

  • You have Google Calendar Sync installed
  • You use Outlook and sync Outlook with Google Calendar
  • In Outlook, you notice under “Deleted Items” there are hundreds of entries for the same Calendar Event, or Calendar Invitation
  • In my case, the date was always 12/31/1974
  • It possibly causes slow-down in accessing your Outlook calendar

I do not have a guaranteed fix for this, I can just tell you what worked for me. What seems to be occurring is there is an outstanding invitation in Google Calendar, and for some reason it pops into Outlook over and over.

Here is the fix that worked for me:

1. Find the title of the entry that occurs over-and-over (in your Outlook Deleted Items)
2. Go to your Google Calendar, and search for the title of the entry (or part of the title). In my case, it found an invitation with a Question Mark (?) indicating that I had not replied
3. DELETE the offending calendar entry in Google Calendar, so there is nothing left in Google Calendar about that particular event
4. Permanently delete all the  entries in Outlook Deleted Items
5. Force another Google Calendar Sync, and see if that resolves the issue

Worked for me…let me know if it solves your problem!

Fix for Outlook error “Cannot create file: message.wav. Right-click the folder you want to create the file in, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions for the folder.”

All of my voicemails go into my Outlook email. Every once in a while I receive this error, shown below. This occurs because Outlook saves all the voicemails to a temporary folder in your system. All the files have the same name with a number after it: (I.e.: “voicemail (1).wav”). Once it reaches a certain number–100, to be exact–it can’t save any more so it throws an error.

Here is a screenshot of the error:

The fix is fairly straightforward. You need to find the folder Outlook stores those files in, then delete the messages.

1. To find the folder, open up Registry Editor (RegEdit.exe). Navigate to this path:
[NOTE: The number 12.0 may vary with your version of Outlook]

2. Once you find the path, you’re looking for a section called “OutlookSecureTempFolder”

3. Double-click OutlookSecureTempFolder, and then highlight the path under “Value data” and copy it by pressing Ctrl-C on your keyboard. You can now click “Cancel” because you don’t want to edit anything.
4.  Now, go to My Computer or Windows Explorer, and paste that path into the title bar.
5. You will now see a folder full of all your temporary files. Find the appropriate Voicemail messages and delete them all.

You will now be good for another 100 messages.

Thanks to this post for sending me in the right direction:

Windows Live Mesh

I’ve been looking for an easy way to backup my pictures that are on my home laptop for free. I have an external HD connected to my work laptop but that doesn’t really help me at home. So, I wanted a free online storage solution. 

Well, I ran across Windows Live Mesh and realized it will do that for me, plus a lot of other things. Essentially it is Microsoft’s “cloud computing” solution, still in Beta. It combines file storage & sync with a nice remote desktop app.

Some cool features I’ve run across so far:

  • Up to 5GB free storage
  • Will syncronize files & folders between multiple computers. If you don’t need them on multiple computers, they will sync them with the “cloud” so you essentially have a backup
  • Has a nice desktop app that integrates into Windows and makes it easy to sync folders and see what’s going on
  • As an added bonus, it has a built-in remote desktop client that allows you to log-in to any system in your “mesh.” I’ve used LogMeIn in the past for a free RD client, but this seems to work even more smoothly.
  • The web interface is clean & easy to use

I’m just beginning to get into it, but so far I really dig it. Check it out at

Why this blog?

As I’ve worked with Windows over the years, I’ve come across countless little tweaks, solutions, tips and answers to problems. These are usually disovered through a Google search, implemented, then forgotten. The problem is, these Google searches often take an inordinate amount of time, and I’m forced to wade through volumes of posts to find my answer (and inevitably finding numerous posts with the reply, “Hey, I have the same problem too!! Have you found an answer yet?”).

So, with this in mind, I decided to start a list of random fixes, tweaks and tips as I come across them. At first this list was just going to be on my computer. But, I figured it might be valuable as a publicly searchable blog–who knows what solutions might benefit you. So, this is my small contribution to the Windows Solutions universe.

I emphasize *random* and *simple* in the nature of these tips. I’ve done IT technical support for 10 years, and have worked with a wide array of Windows software and PC hardware. My solutions will cover anything from Windows clients (XP, Vista), Windows Server, and even 3rd party software apps. Also, I don’t seek to replace the countless technical explanations of things out there. I try to state things in layman terms and give quick, simple answers to questions.

If this is helpful to you, or you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me.