Firestone Technical Resources

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News Articles

Articles posted here are for the use of our clients to get quick self help answers to questions and simple solutions to problems. News reports are not necessarily the opion of our company but for reference only. We don't provide any guarantee that solutions posted or referenced will work for your situation and that you should use them at your own risk. None of the information posted should be used for illegal practices.

Processing Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Causes a Random Error and Forces QuickBooks to Close

Processing Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Causes a Random Error and Forces QuickBooks to Close

One of our QuickBooks Enterprise users started to get an error whenever they would run payroll and create checks. The process would complete and checks would be created but QuickBooks would display an error message "An unexpected error has occurred in 'Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Professional Services 14.0' and then the application would close.

It is suspected that there was an update applied that changed the security settings in the application that caused this issue because when another user that was an administrator of QuickBooks ran payroll the problem didn't occur. In addition the error message in the Windows Application Event log indicated that the failure was related to access to the employee template file, "Failed adding medicare tax item to employee template - Permission error".

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Business Listings on the Web

Many small businesses spend big money on getting themselves noticed on the web with very little results. Often with a little effort of someone who has some basic computer skills can improve a company's presence with many of the free tools that are available.

Yext has one of those tools and they will allow you to use it for free, but like everything that is free there is still a price to be paid. If you use Yext's web listing tool to just get a report of where your business is listed it won't cost you anything but a couple of phone calls from their sales team trying to get you to use there service.

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Why CNET downloads are bad for your computer

I use to be a frequent visitor to CNET for downloads of trial software and in some cases updates to software which I purchased previously. After my last encounter with CNET I have to recommend to all my clients to stay away from any download from CNET for risk of downloading any number of malware and garbageware onto their computers.

There are allot of good free applications that many of us in the IT field like to use. CNET has been in the past one of the great locations to easily find the utility application you need when you don't have it readily available. We make it a habit to discourage most end users from using any Windows or Mac based tool that can be downloaded from the Internet unless they have extensive experience and intimate knowledge of the system the are using it on. A backup is always a best practice before installing any software.

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Quickbooks Enterprise Upgrade 2012 to 2013

Quickbooks Enterprise Upgrade 2012 to 2013

The process for upgrading QuickBooks Enterprise 2012 to QuickBooks Enterprise 2013 is fairly easy, but it may take some time depending on the number of workstations and the size of the database file.

In our client's environment, we run QuickBooks Enterprise on a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011, which runs as a Virtual Machine (VM) within VMware vSphere 4.1. The first step in any upgrade is to make sure you have a good back up before proceeding.

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Copier and Identity Theft

CBS News.com

Have you considered the security risk that your copier poses to your company? What about the risk to your employees and the potential lawsuits by them when their identity is stolen?For the last several years most copier manufactures have been installing hard drives into these devices. The hard drives contain the impressions of the copies that were made whenever someone made a copy of a document. These images can exist on the copier for as long as the copier is in use and longer.Many companies today don't own their copiers, they lease them. What happens when that copier is removed from a business and replaced with a new one? All of the companies information has just been rolled out of the business waiting for someone to discover it. In some cases the copier might be shipped to another country.Have your employees ever used these copiers to make copies of personal medical information? Their information is at risk too. Identity theft is on the rise and your employees might be looking to blame you for allowing their information to be compromised.

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How to clear Internet Explorer cache

Internet Options dialog

There are times that you may have a web site that you frequent often that gets updated which causes the site to function in unusual ways or may not work at all. Most likely the reason is that some of the files that are related to the site didn't update on your local computer. To resolve this issue you need to flush or clear the cache files from your browser. The steps below are for Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 but are similar for older versions.

Open Internet Explorer or IE as it is often referred to.Select Tools from the menu or the gear icon.Select Internet options which will open a dialog box defaulting to the General tab. Click the Delete... button under the Browsing History section. Click the OK button at the bottom and the close Internet Explorer Reopen Internet Explorer and go to the web site that was having issues.

If the cache of older incompatible files was the issue, then the site should be working now. If this was not the issue, it might be a compatibility issue with Internet Explorer and may need the Compatibility View option enabled for the site. 

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Business Relocation of Telecom and Internet

For some reason business owners have come to believe that relocating their telephone lines and Internet service can be done quickly and easily. Some of this misunderstanding and failed expectation may come from the ease of moving a cell phone number from one carrier to another. This is not the case for land line phone numbers or Internet service.

Telephone Service

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Internet Banking Protection

Computer security is an important training topic for us with all of our clients, both consumer and business. We know that keeping your financial information safe is as important to you as it is to your bank. Your bank has likely instituted some safeguards according to established security standards which keep your financial information secure and confidential. While your bank works hard to keep your money safe, you also need do your part. The following reminders will help protect your information from online fraud and identity theft.

The first line of defense is you. It is important that you use the tools available to protect your data, which is anything that may describe who you are as well as your account numbers and passwords. Your choice of password, decision to visit a web site, open an e-mail message, or post personal data will affect the security of your personal data.

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Windows 7 can't resolve DNS

While working on a client’s Gateway LT2030u netbook running Windows 7, I ran into an issue resolving dns names to IP addresses. The computer had been infected with a number of malware applications, including some Trojans and a large number of adware entries in the registry. But those were all cleaned up. Despite several attempts to clear out everything, including:

IPCONFIG release and renewremoving NIC adapters and rebootingcorrecting the etc/hosts file

The computer still would not resolve a simple address like www.apple.com. IPCONFIG /ALL indicated that everything was configured correctly but Windows 7 still would not resolve the dns name. Yes, a standard PING test to a physical IP address worked fine.

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How to fix a failed Mac login

Client's Macbook Pro 8 installed with OS X 10.7.5 Lion would boot up with out any chime, display the user login, but the cursor would just spin without completing the login process.

The client didn't have a backup so our first goal was to get a backup of the drive. That proved a bit of a challenge as it would not mount under any other system prior to v10.7.5. The system booted fine into the Disk Recovery partition, which allowed the disk repair to be run, however it found no issues.

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How to Remove Ads by BlockandSurf

Ads by BlockandSurf are typically a sign of severe trouble with your computer. Past releases of this malware could be removed easily by uninstalling the software and sometimes removing some registry settings. However the lastest infection we found on a Windows 8 system was unresolved except by reinstalling the system to the factory default installation.

Signs of Infection

The Ads by BlockandSurf appear as popup ads in the lower left of the browser, on the left as sidebar ads, and in some cases will appear as a floating web dialog box over the main web page. In all cases there is some indication that the popup is being presented by "Ads by BlockandSurf". One of the signs that this is not the easy to remove version of this infection is that clicking on a link on what appears to be a clean web page results in the destination page appearing with the ads and one or more addition tabs or browser windows that appear attempting to display web sites that have malicious content that attempts to install on your computer.

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Microsoft Internet Explorer Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Microsoft has recently released several news and technotes regarding a vulnerability recently discovered in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11. This vulnerability could allow a hacker to compromise a computer that is browsing a web site that has been selectively changed to take advantage of this vulnerability.

News sources have reported that Internet Explorer should not be used and the US Department of Home Land Security is also warning computer users of this issue.

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Exchange 2013 Messages Stuck in Drafts

After completing several updates on Exchange 2013 due to another issue, we found that e-mail messages were going to the Drafts folder instead of the Sent Items folder. In addition the server was not receiving any messages either.

After further investigation we found that the Mail Transport service was failing, not immediately, which was why we didn't notice it after it was started. In this particular case the client had a secondary SMTP port configured for relay messages but that port was setup on both the Exchange 2013 CAS and Database servers but only one of the CAS server actually had the IP address assigned on the NIC. Once the relay SMTP port configuration was removed from the Database server the Mail Transport service ran fine and mail flowed through the system correctly.

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How to fix Microsoft Small Business Server Time Synchronization

On some occasions Windows Small Business Server 2011 will not keep accurate time. This can be a problem with some network devices attempting to connect with the server and is especially an issue with workstations that will automatically look to the small business server for their time.

By running the following command from a command prompt, you can view the current configuration and status of the Windows Time service.

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MySQL Import of SQL file fails with error 1064

On a number of occasions I have attempted to import an exported MySQL database file and received the following message.

/* SQL Error (1064): You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '?# -------------------------------------------------------- # Host:     ' at line 1 */ /* Error with snippets directory: The specified path was not found */ # -------------------------------------------------------- # Host:                         127.0.0.1# Server version:               5.5.40 - MySQL Community Server (GPL) # Server OS:                    Win32 # HeidiSQL version:             7.0.0.4053 # Date/time:                    2014-01-20 09:48:36 # --------------------------------------------------------

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How to fix web links in Outlook that won't open

A very frustrating situation for our business clients is when they send an e-mail message to a client that has hyperlinks embedded in the message and the link doesn't open in the client's web browser. The issue is typically caused when Google Chrome or another web browser is installed and then later removed. But malware applications will also cause this issue too.

To fix the web links in your Microsoft Outlook application so that they will open, follow these steps.

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PC Computer Recommendation

I am often asked about recommending computers to our clients. The issue I find with this is that there are two types of computer buyers: those who ignore it and those that take the advice. Everyone has an opinion but after working with computers for about 30 years I would like to believe that I know something about computers.

Many years ago some of the best computers were assembled from some of the best parts money could buy. There were some great products in the 80's into late 90's but building a computer was one way to get the best of the best and the satisfaction that you did it yourself.

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How to enable passwords in Intuit QuickBooks POS v12

How to enable passwords in Intuit QuickBooks POS v12

When setting up Intuit QuickBooks POS v12 in a multi-user environment, you will likely want to have each user sign into the POS system to track their sales transactions. By default the log in requirement is disabled so when you setup a new employee you will not have the option to assign a password.

To setup employee accounts with passwords follow these steps.

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Microsoft Windows Server 2003 End of Life

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 End of Life

The End of Life for the Windows Server 2003 was on July 14, 2015.  It was reported that as many as 8 million licenses were still active at the time of the expiration for support. All support for Windows Server 2003 including R2 have ceased unless special paid support has been arranged with Microsoft.  Now is a good time to begin making plans to upgrade your old servers that may be running Windows Server 2003 and the applications you have running on them.

Not sure how this will impact your business? Then let us help you review your current install base and provide you with the man options available. This might be a great opportunity migrate applications to one of our Cloud Services like Microsoft Exchange, Nebula Data Online Backup, or VMware Cloud Air.

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How to lock down Windows 7 as a kiosk

We had a situation where we wanted to setup an Intuit QuickBooks POS system in a locked down configuration so that it was more like a kiosk for the register attendants. There are several ways to go about this but most will lock down every user, but in our case we only wanted to affect the POS users to prevent unnecessary changes to the system.

The process we came up with uses a combination of parental rights, registry hacks, and user menu modifications. You will also need to make sure you create a special local user account that you will assign these changes to. Before attempting this process, make sure you have a backup of your system in the event something doesn't work as expected.

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