Outlook 2010 Email Reading Tips

Personally, I like Outlook 2010 a lot but it does take some getting use to first.  On a new setup, here’s a couple of things I change right away to suit my needs.

Tip #1 Change Reading Pane to bottom

This one is pretty easy and know some people use it on the side.  But I like to see the columns with date and size so putting the reading pane on the bottom works much better for me.  For this just click the View tab at the top and you’ll see in the Layout section Reading Pane with a down arrow.  Just click the down arrow and select Bottom.

Tip #2 Mark email as read if viewed for 3 seconds

Since we read most emails in the preview Reading Pane, I also like to change it so the email is marked as read if I look at that email for 3 seconds.  To make that change:

  1. Click File and Options
  2. Select Mail on the left
  3. Click Reading Pane in the middle and check Mark items as read when viewed in Reading Pane and I usually change the seconds to 3.


Tip #3: After moving or deleting an email, move up

The other big one for me is after I delete an email, I want my selection to move Up, not Down.  I generally read emails from the bottom starting with the oldest so if I delete or move and email I want to then move on to the one above.  Here’s how:

  1. Click File and Options (just like before)
  2. Select Mail on the left
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom and look in the section called Other.
  4. Where it shows After moving or deleting an open item, select Open the Previous Item.

So not the most glamorous or amazing tips but key tips for me and at least one is not in an obvious place to look…at least not to me. :)

Windows Platform FIPS error

Not sure what started it, but my Visual Studio projects stopped building with this error:

This implementation is not part of the Windows Platform FIPS validated cryptographic algorithms.

Others could build the code fine so that made it “my problem”.   While banging my head on the wall, another application we use that’s really a web based app wrapped in a desktop app quite working. It would just give an unhandle exception error and say “System.InvalidOperationException” error.  On a whim, I decided to let it debug and that fired up Visual Studio 2010.  To my suprise, there was the same FIPS error.  Now I had a root cause for both my issues which let me to Raj Rao’s post.  It was an old post (2007) but it got me going.  Other MS KB’s were related to .Net 2.0 and apps so I was at a lose so I gave it a shot.  Following Raj’s post, here’s what I did…

  1. I went to Administrative Tools, opened Local Security Policy
  2. Expand Local Policies
  3. Clicked Security Options
  4. There I found System cryptography: Use FIPS 140 compliant cryptographic algorithms, including encryption, hashing and signing algorithms was indeed set to Enabled.

I changed that setting to Disabled and everything started to work…didn’t even require a restart.  The default for that setting is Disabled so what enabled it I have no idea.  I didn’t need it so my researched ended there.  

TMG 2010 SP1 introduces issue with HTTP custom port listener

We replaced a single TMG 2010 server with a pair of TMG 2010 servers using NLB for internal and external NIC’s.  That process in itself was somewhat of a challenge.  Along the way we found a bug that was introduced in TMG 2010 SP1.  On the single server (non SP1), we had a HTTP listener using a custom port of 8080 (this was for TFS just so you know).  On the new servers, we added SP1 for TMG 2010 before adding any rules and then tried to add the HTTP listener on port 8080.  However, in the listener properties,  as soon as we change the HTTP port and tried to apply we received this error: “This Web Listener is configured to use SSL.  You must specify a certificate for use in this Web Listener.”

You can duplicate this by simply creating a new listener, click on the Connections tab, change HTTP port to anything other than 80 and try to apply as shown below.

After seeing the error you may notice that without SP1, the Certificates tab will have all it’s options disabled if you don’t check Enable SSL on the Connections tab.  However, after applying SP1 those options on the Certificates tab are not getting disabled and I guess there’s code that keys off that resulting in the erroneous error message we received.

We opened a case with Microsoft and it was confirmed that this is a issue introduced with TMG 2010 SP1 and they are working on a fix.  Currently, I see two workarounds:

  1. Add you listeners with custom HTTP ports prior to applying TMG 2010 SP1.  I haven’t tested this but I’m fairly confident this will work.
  2. Select a SSL Certificate on the Certificates tab for this non-SSL enabled listener.  This is the real workaround (and the only workaround if you're already applied SP1) and will allow you to save the listener and everything will work just fine.  I already had a “real” SSL certificates on this TMG pair so this was easy.  Self-signed cert would probably also work as you’re not really using the cert but just selecting any cert to work around the GUI issue.

So there you have it.  Just select any SSL cert to get you going even though you may be adding a non-SSL rule/listener.  I hope this saves you some time and headache.

Windows Update Error 80072EE2 on TMG 2010

After you install TMG 2010 on a server, you’ll probably notice that Windows Update no longer works giving error 80072EE2.

The fix is to set you Internet Explorer proxy setting to point to TMG on port 8080.  You probably know the steps but just in case, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools, Internet Options.
  2. Click the Connections tab and then Lan Settings
  3. Check the box to “Use a proxy server for your LAN” and then enter localhost for the address and 8080 for the port (assuming you haven’t changed TMG)
  4. Click OK and OK.

You should be able to run Windows Updates now without any problem.  Not sure I totally understand why that’s required for Windows Update since if you allow Localhost to External, you can browse the Internet just fine without adding TMG as your proxy server.  If anyone knows why it effects Windows Update, let me know.