Posts Tagged ‘End User’

VirtualBox and Multiple Monitors

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

As a SharePoint consultant, I really enjoy having a local copy of a full SharePoint server on my laptop. As I am patiently waiting for Windows 8 to release with Client Hyper-V, I’m continuing to use Oracle’s VirtualBox software to host my SharePoint development environments.

With my current engagement, I find myself in my client’s offices Monday through Thursday and at my office on Friday. At my office, I have an external monitor that I use in addition to my laptop’s screen. At my client’s offices, I just have my laptop’s screen to use. Whenever I’m able to have a secondary monitor connected, I like to use VirtualBox’s multiple monitor support to show my VM on both of my screens. VirtualBox achieves this look by opening two windows – each window meant to be maximized on one of the two monitors.

On Fridays I get to use two monitors with two VirtualBox windows. However, come Monday, I typically forget to reset the virtual machine back to one monitor. Even though I’m only using one monitor, VirtualBox still opens two windows for me! With only one monitor, this makes the VM very tough to use. The only remedy is to shut down the VM, reconfigure the setting, and restart the machine; a process that can be quite lengthy on a server with SharePoint 2010 and SQL installed!

I turned to PowerShell to help ease my Monday morning woes. I developed the script below and put a link in my Startup folder so that, each morning when I boot my laptop, all of my VirtualBox VMs will be automatically configured to use the number of monitors that I currently have connected to my laptop.

Fair warning – this was a quick script just for my personal use. While it should work for you, it does not have any error handling to report if things go awry. See the comments in the script for details.

Extracting Zip Files using PowerShell

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

To help troubleshoot some SharePoint issues, I had a need to analyze some log files that were contained in multiple zip files; one log file per zip file. Since there were several hundred zip files to extract, I figured PowerShell could help! There are several posts I found with example scripts for how to perform this operation. I took pieces from many posts, added some COM object clean-up code, and wrapped this in a function. I hope it helps you in your scripting activities!

The code below is the function I’m using to extract a single zip file. It leverages the Windows Shell COM object (i.e. Windows Explorer) to extract the files by exploiting the fact that Windows Explorer treats zip files as folders. Therefore, the operation can leverage existing file copy methods between two folders.

Discard Check Outs by the System Account

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

SharePoint has a wonderful check-in/check-out system for any library with minor versioning enabled. Users with the Override Check Out permission on a particular library have the powerful ability to discard or check in a document, page, etc. that is checked out to another user. This can typically be easily achieved via any of the library’s views using the out-of-the-box user interface.

Any user with the proper permissions can check in or discard the check out using the item's edit menu

If the System Account is the account that has the item checked out, users are no longer available to check in the item or discard the check out from the library’s views, even with the Override Check Out permission!

The options to check in or discard the check out are unavailable in the item's edit menu

However, there is an area where this can be done: Site Content and Structure. One can navigate there by selecting Manage Content and Structure under the Site Actions menu. If you find the same item in that area, you will be able to check in the item or discard the check out.

The missing options are available in the Site Content and Structure views