Category Archives: Fixes / Workarounds / How To

Windows Update Takes Forever to Update

One of my Windows 2008 R1 servers suddenly refuses to update. The process seems to be taking forever (or rather stuck) even for searching for updates.

Luckily the solution for me is simple:

  • At the Task Manager, search for “wuauserv” process (in Window 10, search for Windows Update) and stop the process.
  • Delete all of the files found under C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution directory
  • Run Windows Update (issue should be resolved)

How to Call a Website Using Window Schedule Task?

The best method to call/trigger a website without incurring additional development efforts is to make good use of the existing Windows PowerShell. Create a new “Action” for the Window Schedule Task. At the “Program/script” field, key in the following line:

powershell -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command "(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString(\"<the url that you wished to trigger>\")"

For example:
powershell -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command “(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString(\”\”)”
Lastly, do remember to turn on your Schedule logs. As it comes in handy when it comes to troubleshooting, cheers 🙂

Ways to Prevent Your SMTP Server From Being Blacklisted

We have just sent out our first batch of EDM and it was a disaster. Most of our hotmails mails are directed into the Spam folder. Hence we decided to take steps to improve our SMTP server’s credibility.

Below listed some of the steps that we took:

1) Use online tools to determine your Smtp server status
Below are some of the online tools that we have used:

  1. MxToolbox – checks for Reverse DNS, SMTP Banner, SMTP Open Relay
  2. What is my IP Address – verify if your existing server IP has been blacklisted

2) Ensure that Reverse DNS is been setup
Usually the Reverse DNS is been setup for you when you have signed up a hosting plan with your hosting company. Else you can always try to contact them for it. Use the MxToolbox to determine if your Reverse DNS is been set up.

3) Ensure that SMTP Open Relay is been disabled
SMTP Open Relay allows anyone on the internet to connect and send email with it. This is usually typically used or exploit by spammers, hence it is important to disable it (something that mail providers hated as well). Run MxToolbox to ensure that your SMTP Open Relay has been disabled.

4) Ensure that the SPF record is been setup
To determine if the SPF record is been setup, send an email from your SMTP server to your personal email. Open and view the email’s source and search for a keyword called “Received-SPF” (In Gmail, click on “Show original”). If you see similar sentence as follows, this means that your SPF record is not been setup:

Received-SPF: pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender);

Below are a few links that we have used/reference when we configured our SPF record:

  1. SPF Tutorial – A quick tutorial reference of the SPF syntax
  2. SPF Policy Tester – Before you register your SPF record, remember to test it out using this online tester tool
Below is our SPF syntax:
v=spf1 ~all

5) Tips with Hotmail
If you are using your web provider’s smtp server to send out mails to your members, there are high chances that your mail will be send directly to their Junk mail.
Do the following options to get into their good boots:

  1. Always read their latest Senders guidelines.
  2. Sign up for Junk Email Reporting Program, so that you are able to identify unwanted subscribers who identified your mail as junk

6) Tips with Google (Gmail)
In rare occasion, we have cases where Google will deny our mails a place in our member’s mailbox (even not in their Spam folder).

If you are having problems with Google, do the following:

  1. Always read their latest Senders guidelines.
  2. Contact Google team about it.

How to Install WordPress Plugins Without FTP Access?

Have you ever wondered the reason why your friend’s blog doesn’t prompt him for FTP access while your blog do? This is because you did not grant WordPress the “Write” access to “wp-content” folder.

Do the following to grant the “Write” access in Windows Server:

  1. Access your blog’s root folder.
  2. Right-click “wp-content” folder and click on “Properties”.
  3. Click on the “Security” tab and click on the “Edit…” button.
  4. Grant “Full Control” for the “Users” group and click on the “Apply” button.


How to Download Dailymotion Video?

If you are having problems with Dailymotion slow streaming issue and you are considering on downloading the video beforehand, then you have came to the correct place.

Do the following steps to download Dailymotion video:
Note: So far we have tested it in Chrome and it works. For Firefox, we noticed that the browser simply ignored the Java Applet without any security prompting (this might due to our browser setting).

  1. Copy the Dailymotion video’s url that you wished to download.
  2. Go to KeepVid ( and paste the Dailymotion’s url in the “Download” text field and click on the “Download” button.
  3. By default, Chrome will prompt for your permission if you wish to run the Java Applet. Click on “Run this time” or “Always run on this site” depending on your comfortable level.
  4. Checked “I accept the risk and want to run this application.” and click on the “Run” button.
  5. Drag the download link to a new tab.
  6. Press Ctrl + S and save the video to your desired directory.

How to Disable Javascript Validation in Eclipse

One of the best practices to speed up your website is to minimize the number of HTTP requests required by a page and one of the simplest way is to combined all external javascript files into one. This will become an issue for Eclipse developers at certain point of our life, as the more javascript we write, the more time Eclipse need to validate when we press the ctrl+s button. Which sometimes led to IDE not responding.

To Disable Javascript Validation in Eclipse, try the following method:

  1. Go to Windows > Preferences > Validation and select “…” for Client-side Javascript Validator. Create an “Exclude Group” rule and exclude validation with .js extension.
  2. (if it does not work, proceed to this step) Go to Project > Properties > Builders, unchecked Javascript Validator

Hope its help! Do welcome more suggestions on how to improve Eclipse performance 🙂

Windows Messenger Contacts Appear Offline

I have encountered a strange issue with my Windows Live Messenger 2011 today. All of my msn contacts appear offline. Despite how many times I have tried to restart my com, reset my internet connection, and even flush my dns, the result is still the same. Like usual, i decided to google and this is the solution that i have found:

For Windows 7 users

  1. Close your Window Messenger application.
  2. Go to C:Users<your Windows login name>AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows Live.
  3. Delete the Contacts folder.
  4. Start your messenger, it should work now 🙂

Contacts in Windows Live Messenger appear Offline when they are Online

How to Disable Firefox’s Inspect Element

Sigh.. I have accidentally clicked on Firefox’s Inspect Element button again.

“This is it!”, I told myself. The Inspect Element has to go.

So quickly, I search the web on “how to disable firefox inspect element” and I manage to find James article on the top of the search result.

To disable Firefox’s Inspect Element:

  1. Key in “about:config” in Firefox’s address bar.
  2. You will see a cute warning message by Firefox, click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!”.
  3. Search for “inspector” and set the value for “devtools.inspector.enabled” to false (by double-clicking on the preference).
  4. Grats! You have successfully disable Firefox’s Inspect Element! Yeah!

Now… I must go back to my coding as I need to continue my journey to explore Liferay for my next coming project 🙂

James Article on How to Remove Firefox’s Inspect Element