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Archive for September, 2009

Resizing a MS Virtual PC Harddrive with Windows

Posted by IT Intern on September 3, 2009

I use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 for testing pretty much everything, and on the first VPC I made (running Windows XP) I promptly ran out of space on the 5GB I initially assigned it. After searching around, I found a great (free) tool from vmToolkit called VHD Resizer:

This tool is very easy and very handy. It resizes your VPC’s harddrive by essentially copying it to a different file with a larger size. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure your VPC is not running.
  2. Run VHD Resizer and select the harddrive file you need to resize.
    • The full path to the file is now shown under “Source Vhd to Resize”
  3. Under “Destination Vhd” click the “save as” button
    • Choose a different file name for the new harddrive file. The default is to place it in the same directory as the source file.
  4. Choose the type (default is “Dynamic,” which is what you most likely want) and size for the new file.
  5. Click “resize”
    • The file will now begin copying, and will probably take awhile depending on the size of the original file.
  6. When it’s done, close VHD Resizer and open up the Virtual PC Console
  7. Open the Settings for your VPC
  8. Select a Hard Disk with a Current Value of “None”
  9. Enable the “Virtual hard disk file:” radio button and browse to the new file you created.
  10. Save the settings and start up your VPC
  11. Logged on as Administrator, go to Start > My Computer > (right-click) Manage > Disk Management
  12. You should see two volumes:
    • C:, which is your original harddrive file
    • A new volume that has two parts, a healthy part of the same size as the original and an unallocated part
  13. Close Disk Management and go to Start > Run > “diskpart.exe”
  14. You will see a command prompt with “DISKPART>”. Do the following:
    • Enter the command “list volume” (no quotes)
    • From the list of volumes, note the volume number of the new drive
    • Enter the command “select volume X” where X is the new drive number
    • You will see a message that the volume has been selected.
    • Enter the command “extend”
    • After a few seconds, you will see a message that the volume has been extended.
    • Close the command prompt.
  15. Go back into Disk Management and you should now see volume C: and the new volume with only one part of the new size.
  16. Shut down the VPC.
  17. Open the Virtual PC Console and go to the Settings of your VPC.
  18. Select the new Hard Disk that you added and revert it to the “None” radio button selected.
  19. Select the main Hard Disk and change the path to the new file.
  20. Start your VPC.
  21. The VPC should start as normal. After you log in, it will tell you the device has been installed and needs to restart. Go ahead and restart, and now you should be able to log in, go to Disk Management and see your C: drive with the new size available.
  22. You can now delete the old harddrive file.

That’s it! How easy was that? Kudos to vmToolkit for a great tool 🙂


Posted in Virtual PC, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Read and Delivery Receipts Mystery

Posted by IT Intern on September 1, 2009

Today the CEO came to us with an unusual problem. Despite his Outlook 2007 being set to never send read receipts, he was constantly finding read receipts in his Sent folder to an overseas customer. For whatever reason, he does not want to correspond with the customer, and is understandably upset that, after failing to reply to the customer’s emails, the customer will then email back stating he *knows* he got the email and demanding a reply.

So I opened up Outlook 2007 and sent myself several messages, while changing Outlook settings between each. I found what you would normally expect: When I have my “respond to requests” settings on “Always send a response,” I would get a receipt. When set to “Never send a response,” I wouldn’t get one. And when set to “Ask me before responding,” it would do whichever option I chose.

I tried to find if there is any way for a sender to force a recipient to send a read receipt, and as far as I could find, there is not.

Seemingly unable to reproduce his problem, I asked my boss to show me the copy of the sent read receipt that he had forwarded. It did not look at all like the read receipts I had sent myself. In fact, it looked more like a delivery receipt. Checking the headers of the received message confirmed: the messages contained both the


header for a read receipt request, and the


header for a delivery receipt request.

The weird thing is, though, that delivery receipts are supposed to be handled by the server, not the client, yet he had those delivery receipts right there in his Sent folder. We promptly disabled delivery receipts on our server, and began sending each other test messages. As we expected, no delivery receipts. How could we reproduce this problem? We decided to re-enable delivery receipts and sent some more tests so we could examine the headers. At this time, we sent one of our test messages to the CEO’s account, and to our surprise we got TWO delivery receipts back.

Thoroughly confused, we at first wondered if Outlook wasn’t sending its own delivery receipts (although if it was, we should have gotten them from each other as well), until a closer look at the header of the second delivery receipt revealed the culprit: his Blackberry was sending the delivery receipts itself.

Of course, by this point he had been out of the office for hours, so first thing in the morning we’ll change his Blackberry settings and send him another test email.

Hopefully this will solve his stalker-customer woes 😉

Update: Apparently, there is no Blackberry setting that will disable sending delivery receipts, and this seems to have been a known problem since at least 2007. See these forums

We’re trying to implement a filter to catch any email with the “Return-Receipt-To” header and strip it before it gets delivered, but a better option might be just to switch to an iPhone. 😀

Second Update: Stripping the header worked. Our own server would still send a delivery receipt even with the header stripped, but without the header the Blackberry did not know to send one, so it doesn’t now. Problem solved, except anyone who has already received a delivery receipt from his (or anyone’s) Blackberry now has his Blackberry’s direct address (if they know enough to look at the headers). Such a pain, and he’s considering switching to an iPhone anyway.

Posted in Blackberry, Email | Leave a Comment »