SOLVED: Missing Microsoft Office 2007 Shortcut Icons

by on Aug.30, 2011, under Fix IT, Office, Software, Windows

About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that my Windows application shortcut icons were showing the default, “no type associated” icons for all of the Office-related documents. I could double-click one of these (such as a .pptx or .xls file) and it would open in the correct application, so the shortcut itself was working.. but the icons were the generic Windows icon:

Windows default shortcut icon

I found a very detailed page describing various ways to try to fix the issue, and I tried all of them. None of these worked.

What did work, however, was completely quirky and inexplicable. I had to replace a directory under C:\Windows\Installer called:


Here’s how I stumbled upon this. I tried to change the default icon for Excel files by doing the following:

  1. I opened an Explorer window (explorer.exe)
  2. I clicked on Tools -> Folder Options -> File Types
  3. I scrolled down to XLS in the list and clicked on “Advanced”. I saw the following dialog:Excel icon file type
  4. I clicked on “Change Icon”, and the following error message came up:Windows installer xlsicons

So the icon shortcuts were missing, because this weird directory was missing (probably some disk-cleaning tool I ran purged that directory to regain some space).

I found that directory on one of my other Windows laptops, copied it over, and now the Office document shortcut icons are working again.

Windows installer icon directory

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Network profile switcher/manager

by on Aug.30, 2011, under Software, Windows

NetSetMan is a network settings manager which can easily switch between 6 different, visually structured profiles including:

  • IP Addresses
  • Gateways (incl. Metric)
  • DNS Servers
  • WINS Servers
  • IPv4 & IPv6!
  • Extensive WiFi Management
  • Computer Name
  • Workgroup
  • DNS Domain/Suffix
  • Default Printer
  • Network Drives
  • NIC Status
  • SMTP Server
  • Hosts File Entries
  • Scripts (BAT, VS, JS, …)

Additionally only in the Pro version:

  • Can be used at work
  • Unlimited amount of profiles
  • Network-Domain
  • Complete Proxy Settings
    (Windows/Internet Explorer & Firefox)
  • Browser Home Page
    (Internet Explorer & Firefox)

NetSetMan offers you what you’ve been missing in Windows until now:
A powerful, easy-to-use interface to manage all your network settings at a glance.
Give it a try and you’ll never want to be without it again.

All settings and changes are saved automatically in a separate file (settings.ini) so a backup, transfer or upgrade to another version is absolutely no problem.

With one click you can activate a stored profile!

NetSetMan is freeware for your non-commercial purposes.

This means you can use it for free at home, at the university, at a non-commercial club, etc. as long as you don’t save paid time. Read the license agreement for further information.

If you’d like to use it in a commercial way you need to buy NetSetMan Pro. This includes using it at work, on your company notebook or even on your own notebook if you use it to make money in any way.

Download here!

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Power add-on for Excel

by on May.04, 2009, under Office, Software, Windows

Microsoft Excel is one of the primary applications that you use (probably mainly for tracking lists of things). As with most applications, most of us only use a fraction of the functionality. We can apply the 80/20 rule here where 80 percent use only a fraction and 20 percent might be considered “power users.” And probably within the 80 percent, we use the inverse of the 80/20 rule and use only 20 percent of the application’s functionality and features.
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Organize Your Messy Desktop with Stardock’s Fences

by on Mar.11, 2009, under Software, Windows

Do you have a messy desktop full of icons and shortcuts and are looking for a way to organize them?  Today we will take a look at a solution from Stardock called Fences, which organizes your icons into groups for a more efficient desktop.

After a quick installation you are presented with options for setting up your fences.  Choose an existing layout to get started or create your own right away.  If you go with a custom layout and don’t like it no worries as it is very easy to customize.
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How To Bring Back the Old Menus in Office 2007

by on Mar.11, 2009, under Software, Windows

Using the new Ribbon feature in Office 2007 takes time to learn…time you don’t have because projects are stacking up.  Today we will look at UBitMenu, a utility that puts the familiar Office 2003 menu into the 2007 ribbon.

When I first tried Office 2007 it took a lot of frustrating time figuring out where all of the features were located.  It is laid out much differently than previous versions of office.  When the “pointy-haired bosses” require deadlines to be met you don’t have time to learn where everything is.  This is where UBitMenu comes in, it places the classic 2003 menu in as a new ribbon.
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Disable Autoplay of Audio CDs and USB Drives

by on Mar.11, 2009, under Software, Windows

I find it very annoying when I go home from work and plug my laptop into my external hard drive… The autoplay window always pops up and asks me what I want to do with the files, which may be fine the first time, but definitely isn’t after a year of that.
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Rip DVDs to Video Files Easily with FormatFactory (Windows)

by on Mar.11, 2009, under Software, Windows

So, you want to rip DVDs to video files on Windows, but you’re not sure where to begin? While there are a ton of guides on the Internet on how to accomplish this task, most of them get complicated really quickly.

In this simple guide, I’m going to show you how to easily rip a DVD to a video file in as few steps as possible. Ready? Let’s get started.
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WinPrint routes print jobs from DOS to Windows USB printers

by on Mar.05, 2009, under Software, Windows

winprint-sadf-213As much as I’d like it to not be the case, some of my customers still rely on clunky (but functional) DOS applications to manage their businesses. While their applications tend not to change, their hardware does – which invariably leads to problems.

Take printing , example. If your business is stuck with a DOS application and restricts you to a half dozen or so “supported” printers, you may think that you’ll have to use that HP Laserjet IIp forever. DOS isn’t all that fond of printing to USB printers.
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How to: Romove the annoing pop-up on free-edition of Avira AntiVir

by on Mar.04, 2009, under Security, Software, Windows


For years now I have used the free edition of AVG Antivirus, but recently I switched to Avira AntiVir (free edition). I still like AVG, but a number of reports  show that it suffers in comparison to AntiVir. While my system has not had a virus in a long time, I decided to give AntiVir a whirl.

I like it, for the most part. However, there are a couple of easy hacks improvements that one can make.

Disable the Annoying Popup

The free edition of Avira AntiVir comes with an nagging popup window that rears its ugly head after each update (usually) every day, begging you to consider upgrading to the premium version. The popup is easy to dismiss, but annoying nonetheless. I understand that Avira needs to make money, but every single day is excessive.

Anyway, here is how to disable it:
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