Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded.

I had a customer call me to say that his computer seemed to freeze for him, so he did a hard restart on it. Once it booted back up, Microsoft Outlook 2010 would not start but give the following error message.

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded.

screenshotStarting Outlook in safe mode didn’t work either. Fortunately the fix is really easy.

If you are on Windows 7 simply type the following command in the search or run box.

Outlook.exe /ResetNavPane

Bingo. You will be up and running again!

Thanks to for the tip.

Office 2013 - Updates are ready to be applied error message.

Updates for Office are ready to be applied, but are blocked by one or more apps.

I have a customer who is getting the following error message in Office 2013. “Updates for Office are ready to be applied, but are blocked by one or more apps.”

Office 2013 - Updates are ready to be applied error message.


The problem is when the Update Now button is clicked, you get a notice saying you’re up to date! Restarting the program will bring the error message back again.

Office 2013 is up to date


I haven’t found a good solution for this problem yet, any ideas?

I’ll update this post if I find something.

Using a new generic domain name (gTLD) with Office 365

Its been very interesting to me seeing all the changes that are occurring in the domain space, especially with all hundreds of generic top level domains that will be flooding the market this year. I’ve been experimenting with a new gTLD domain name and seeing if its possible to setup in Office 365. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be very good support for the new gTLD domain names currently. I’ve been running into several brick walls. The very first thing you will notice is that you can not add a generic domain name, the field verification requires it to be a domain that ends with .com or similar extension.

Office 365 Small Business Add gTLD domain - Type a domain name that includes .com or a similar extension

Fortunately there is a fairly easy workaround for this issue. Yup, you guessed it. Powershell!! This article gives step by step instructions on how to add a domain to your office 365 account via powershell. Here are the concise steps if you are already used to using Office 365 & Powershell.

  1. Connect to your Office 365 account using the command “connect-msolservice”. (without quotation marks)
  2. Use the “New-MsolDomain” cmdlet to add your domain. Just like this “New-MsolDomain -name”
    Office 365 add gTLD domain via powershell

Bingo! It works.

Office 365 Add Domain via Powershell Generic Top Level DomainI was even able to verify the domain

Verify gTLD domain in Office 365 Small BusinessThe problem is I’m now stuck on Step 2. Which is the step where you need to “Setup Office 365 and keep your website where it’s hosted today”. It gives an error message that “Sorry, we couldn’t save that. Please try again.”

Grrr.. So I’m still stuck. If anyone has any tips, feel free to comment. Otherwise I’ll update this post once I figure out to continue.

Update 3/3/2014: I’ve discovered that at this point it is not possible to use a generic top level domain with Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium. I upgraded my account to Office 365 Mid Sized Business, and I was able to add, verify, & activate the domain name following the steps above. So in short, if you want to use a new cool domain name, make sure you are using Office 365 Mid Sized Business plan or any of the Enterprise plans.




Restoring Deleted Active Directory User fails with Error 0x2077 Illegal Modify Operation

I was attempting to restore an Active Directory User that was accidentally deleted on a SBS 2011 server using the steps outlined in this Microsoft KB Article, however I kept coming up short with the following error message.

“Error 0x2077 Illegal modify operation. Some aspect of the modification is not permitted.”

I was a bit stumped until I read a few of the comments on that article. If you are experiencing this error, check out these tips by Brandon in the comments. Worked perfectly after I followed these steps. Thank you, kind sir.

  • Insure that you are connecting to your DC by using LDAPS (SSL, port 636)
  • When performing the rename operation using LDP.exe, insure that you are changing the distinguishedName to an object that doesn’t exist. In my case, I received this error when I forgot to include the computer’s name in the DN (meaning, I only had OU=x,DC=y,DC=z instead of CN=Server,OU=x,DC=y,DC=z)
  • If using powershell and you receive this error: use LDP.exe and insure you are using LDAPS and a DN that doesnt exist

After Windows Update, Outlook 2013 Folder List Pane is Empty

outlook 2013 folder list empty - windows updateYesterday Microsoft released a few updates for Windows & Office. One of the updates, KB2817630, appears to break Outlook 2013. The screenshot to the right is what happened to one of our customers after the update was automatically installed. Absolutely no folders appear in the folder pane.

At this point it appears the fix is to install this hotfix available from Microsoft.  Update: Hotfix has been pulled for some reason.


Update: Microsoft has published a Technet article detailing this problem with some resolutions.

Update: Microsoft has now published an Outlook 2013 Update to fix this.

No Internet Access on Windows 7 caused by Bonjour Service

After installing Extensis Portfolio Desktop Client software on a few Windows 7 desktops today, we noticed that after rebooting the computers would no longer connect to the internet. They could access local files & services, but the network connection was local only.

After a bit of digging, we discovered that a service called Bonjour was installed and running. I stopped the service, set it to disabled, and restarted the PC. This fixed the issue. It didn’t seem to affect how Extensis Portfolio operates, so I’m not sure why they are installing the service. A quick google search shows quite a few people with Bonjour network issues, so apparently it is a service used by quite a few software vendors.

Bonjour mDNSResponder.exe - No Internet Access
Exchange 2010 Logo

The module DLL exppw.dll failed to load

Exchange 2010 Logo

A Windows SBS 2011 server at one of our customers locations installed several updates last evening, and when they came into work this morning they discovered they were not receiving any email. Neither was the remote web workplace or OWA working. After some digging around I noticed the following error in the event log.

The Module DLL C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\Owa\auth\exppw.dll failed to load.

I tried a number of solutions that I found online, but none of them worked. Somewhere though I saw a tip that mentioned downloading Exchange 2010 SP3 and doing a reinstall of the Service Pack. Sure enough, I noticed that one of the updates that was installed last night was Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3. I downloaded the SP from Microsoft’s servers and reinstalled it. This fixed the above problems immediately.

Note: I never set Windows Servers to install updates automatically. I still don’t understand how the updates got installed and the customer is pretty sure they didn’t tell the server to install them.

Configure Office 365 Passwords to never expire

Office 365 LogoOne of the biggest complains we get from customers that are using Microsoft Office 365 is the mandatory password expiration. Microsoft has a KnowledgeBase article that explains with a few simple powershell commands how to disable this and set the passwords to never expire.

  1. Connect to the Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell by using your company administrator credentials. For more help on this step, see this article on Technet. Note: This also used to be called Microsoft Online Services Module for Windows Powershell.
  2. Connect to your Office 365 service using the following cmdlet. Enter the Administrator username and password for the Office 365 service.
  3. Run the following cmdlet to change all the user accounts passwords to never expire.
    Get-MSOLUser | Set-MsolUser -PasswordNeverExpires $true

This has worked very well for us and makes the customers very happy as the password expiration can be a hassle especially for small businesses.

Windows 8 Wireless does not support WEP - Shared Key Authentication

WiFi on Windows 8 does not support WEP – Shared Key Authentication

Windows 8 Wireless does not support WEP - Shared Key Authentication


I was troubleshooting a Windows 8 laptop that wouldn’t connect to a customer’s wireless network recently. The wireless network was configured using the WEP – Shared Key Authentication method which is horribly insecure and should never be used. After doing some diagnosing and researching I discovered that Windows 8 has dropped support for WEP – Shared Key Authentication. My solution to the problem was to inform the client that he needs to switch to a newer and more secure method of encryption.


WEP – Shared Key Authentication has been deprecated and is no longer supported in Windows 8.