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"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"
    --John Lennon

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Rebooting Iphone - What to do!? Here's what!
Friday, 10 June 2011 13:55

Long story short, something happened to my Iphone 3gs and its stuck in the reboot cycle like many other people have run into. In my case however, I haven't done a backup in quite some time (I rarely ever hook the phone up to the computer) and I think the previous backup was lost on a system re-image.

In my case, the phone comes on to the Apple logo - sits there for maybe 10 minutes...then vibrates and suddenly starts reponding via USB (Itunes detects it, etc). Unfortunately that only lasts 2-5 minutes before it reboots again and starts all over. In addition, the Iphone does NOT show up in Explorer, so I can't access the photos like I normally can. Beings that my phone has GOBS of music and photos on it - how do you get off the important stuff? Here's how...

First off my phone wasn't synced with anything beyond my calendar, so to get contacts and notes off of it, I waited for the phone to show up in iTunes, clicked the Info tab at the top and told it to sync the contacts and notes with Outlook. (Since my Outlook is for work, I temporarily moved my work contacts and notes to different folders so they wouldn't get lost or mixed with my personal phone stuff).

Thankfully that worked and I got my address book and notes. WHEW!

Next: Photos and Videos (I don't care about music). This is a toughy since I have 4 gigs of photos and with only a 2-5 minute window it doesn't allow itunes to do a full backup or even Sync photos, so a third-party solution is needed here. I found an app called "PhoneDisk" which allowed me to access the Iphone via explorer even in its handicapped state. Using this, I can slowly by surely grab what I can out of the DCIM folder before I restore the phone. I mostly wanted the vids since many are home family movies...most of the pics are crap and can go. The software currently costs $20 for a single user or $30 for a 5-user license (family pack). The nice thing is being a hardware geek, this lets you browse the phone's actual file system, so not only does it access the Photos, Music, etc but any actual raw files and your app data as well. It'll be cool to mess with once my phone is back up and running again.


Last but not least, I want to mention something else. Doing a backup of your phone in iTunes is obviously reccommended, but I want to point out that in those backup files that it transfers, a LOT of personal data gets transferred as well, including a lot of what you typed in your phone, possibly going back YEARS. Its very important to not only choose the "Encrypt Iphone Backup" checkbox before doing your backups, but make sure if you get a new computer that you wipe out itunes and those backup folders! They are located here on XP machines:

c:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

So the moral of the story is...BACK UP YOUR PHONE AND ENCRYPT THE BACKUPS!

Funky Microsoft Exchange problem - SOLVED!
Friday, 10 December 2010 12:32

Problem: For a single user, personal randomly gets external emails bounced back to her with the following NDR (sensitive data edited). This should never happen as the Exchange server uses a smarthost to send, so it should almost never create an NDR from itself...


Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

Subject: xxxxxxxxxx

Sent: 12/10/2010 10:26 AM

The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

' This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' on 12/10/2010 10:26 AM

The message could not be delivered because the recipient's destination email system is unknown or invalid. Please check the address and try again, or contact your system administrator to verify connectivity to the email system of the recipient.

So the first step was to see where in the process the problem lies...so I went into Message tracking in Exchange (2003), and found the message, and that the address had "mailto:" attached to it. At first I kind of ignored that but the problem was staring me right in the face. The history showed the email being processed and an NDR being created, as expected.

Next, since we use a smarthost...Exchange shouldn't be using DNS and should just flat out send the email to the smarthost....so I was able to view a live log on the smarthost while the person attempted to send the email. Nothing showed up at all...which meant it was never getting to the smart host. Additionally I checked and sure enough DNS was working properly and resolved the domain.

Ok NOW what? I fire up Network Monitor to see if maybe Exchange is trying to contact the smart host at all. I do a capture while the person attempted the email, and look at the results. I see the email address show up in an LDAP query to active directory, meaning Exchange thinks the message is internal. I also notice the mailto: being attached to the address, which makes me double-back on that.

Went back to the user and looked at her sent item for that email. Go into the Outlook Properties for that recipient address, and sure enough it showed as email type MAILTO instead of smtp.

Had her redo EXACTLY step-by-step to what she did. She mentioned she did copy and paste the maito: address but removed the mailto: portion from the address bar. While we were talking, (before removing the mailto), Outlook accepted the address and changed the address to only show the actual email address. I went into the Outlook properties, and sure enough email type was MAILTO.

So...in the end, we figured out she started to type in the body of the email first, was going to go back and remove the mailto before sending...Outlook changes it 10 seconds in and shows just the email addy, user thinks its ok and sends.

Fix: Have user copy and paste just the address OR remove the mailto: portion first.

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