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Solved: Surface RT Battery Issue

29 December, 2013 (20:35) | Surface RT, Windows 8.1 | By: Liebrand

Ever since upgrading from Windows RT 8.1 Preview to Windows 8.1 released, I’ve been experiencing horrendous battery life on my Surface RT. I’d use it for 5 minutes, set it down, and then the next day pick it up it would be completely dead. I did some searching around and came across this post from Microsoft outlining the battery and power for the Surface RT and Surface 2 devices. Near the bottom of the post, you’ll see a section that specific outlines an issue that occurs on devices that where upgraded from Windows RT 8.1 preview. (Source:

I followed the steps outlined and it completely solved my problem.

Surface RT only: Battery issue when updating from Windows RT 8.1 Preview

If you updated Surface RT from Windows RT 8.1 Preview to Windows RT 8.1, you may notice a decrease in battery life. During the update, the wireless adapter power policy isn’t migrated. Instead, the power policy is set to a default value that consumes more power both during use and in the connected standby state.

To restore the wireless adapter power policy to the correct settings, open an administrator command prompt:

Step 1:
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

Step 2:
In the search box, enter command prompt.

Step 3:
Touch and hold (or right-click) Command Prompt to bring up the context menu. Tap or click Run as administrator.

Step 4:
On the User Account Control dialog box, tap or click Yes.

Step 5:
At the Administrator: Command Prompt, enter the following:
powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3

Step 6:
Then enter
powercfg -setactive scheme_current

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Nelson Mandela: Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?

9 December, 2013 (13:35) | Personal | By: Liebrand


1918 – 2013

I was born in South Africa and spent most of my childhood there until 1992 when my parents moved our family to the United States. With the recent passing of Nelson Mandela I’ve had many people ask me how I felt about it. This article is to shed some light on my childhood, my perspective then and now.

I was raised to believe that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. I was very vocal about that fact when I first arrived in the United States because many people here praised him. I could never understand how a man that was part of a “terrorist” organization could be praised by so many. I was always on the defensive about this topic.

As I grew up and matured I realized that I never truly understood why I felt the way I did about him. Was it something they taught me in schools? Was it my parents’ beliefs? I’ll never really know but what I do know is what I feel now. Growing up in South Africa I never felt unsafe and I was never taught to hate any other race – I felt that I had a fairly normal childhood. Over the past few days I have thought long and hard about how I feel about Mandela and the current situation in South Africa.

In 1992, my parents made the decision to leave South Africa to give us a better life. I can never thank them enough for their choice because I have a successful career, met and married an amazing woman and have three awesome kids. I often wondered what would have happened to me if I stayed in South Africa. South Africa is one of the most unsafe countries in the world. I’ve lost friends to the bombings and the killing of innocent people – that could have been me.

Is the crime rate caused by Nelson Mandela? I do not think so. It is the cause of a poverty stricken country. You might say, “Well, there is crime everywhere you go in the world.” That is true but the crimes committed in South Africa are worse than murder. The rest of the world knows very little about the brutal killings that happen in South Africa. Woman and children are raped or tortured before they are killed. Some have boiling water poured down their throats or hacked to death with machetes. Even killed by placing tires around their necks and setting them on fire. These crimes are happening to both blacks and whites.

Are these brutal acts of violence ordered by Nelson Mandela? I think not – this is just the current situation in South Africa.

I’ve learn to disconnect the current violent situation in South Africa from the man Nelson Mandela. They are not exclusively tied to each other and the South African people who left pre-apartheid transition need to see this. I am not saying you need to change your opinion / beliefs about Nelson Mandela but I am saying you cannot blame that man for the current situation; the high crime rates, rape, and brutal murders.

Was Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Was he a freedom fighter? It wasn’t until I had a discussion with my Uncle that I truly understood the difference. He said to me “A terrorist is a person who can change things by voting but chooses to use violence instead. A freedom fighter is someone who has no voice and cannot vote and decides to change things with violence.” This put many things in perspective for me – if you look back at the history of South Africa, the black population had no chance to make any changes. The only fighting chance they had was to take to arms.

If you do some searching on the Internet regarding the ANC and bombings in South Africa, you will undoubtedly come up on the following list:

  • 1981 – 2 car bombs at Durban showrooms
  • 1983 – Church Street Bomb (killed 19, wounded 217)
  • 1984 – Durban car bomb (killed 5, wounded 27)
  • 1985-1987 – At least 150 landmines on farm roads (killed 125)
  • 1985 – Amanzimtoti Sanlam shopping centre bomb Dec 23 (killed 2 white women and 3 white children)
  • 1986 – Magoo’s Bar bomb (killed 3, wounded 69)
  • 1986 – Newcastle Court bomb (wounded 24)
  • 1987 – Johannesburg Court bomb (killed 3, wounded 10)
  • 1987 – Wits command centre car bomb (killed 1, wounded 68)
  • 1988 – Johannesburg video arcade (killed 1 unborn baby, wounded 10)
  • 1988 – Roodepoort bank bomb (killed 4, wounded 18)
  • 1988 – Pretoria Police housing unit, 2 bombs (wounded 3)
  • 1988 – Magistrate’s Court bomb (killed 3)
  • 1988 – Benoni Wimpy Bar bomb (killed 1, wounded 56)
  • 1988 – Witbank shopping centre bomb (killed 2, wounded 42)
  • 1988 – Ellis Park Rugby Stadium car bomb (killed 2, wounded 37)
  • Late 1980s – numerous Wimpy Restaurant bombs (killed many, wounded many)

The one thing this list is missing is links to sources for this information. Many of these bombings were targeting military establishments or police facilities (which are filled with corruption). Were innocent people killed? Yes. Were some of these bombings unsanctioned? Probably.

Are all these bombings specifically tied to Nelson Mandela? No. They are tied to the organization for which he belonged.

In April of 2013, President Obama stood in the White House and said “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror” (Source: Many people are trying to relate this statement President Obama made to Nelson Mandela but why? There will always be casualties of war in any conflict – it happens in American wars all the time. Should the United States be considered terrorists because of the innocent people they have killed in their bombings? (Source:

You are naive to think that innocent people will not be killed during any type of conflict. Some will be sanctioned by the leaders and some will happen out of boredom and some will happen by accident. I do not condone any act of violence towards innocent civilians but all nations are guilty of it and you cannot put that on the shoulders of one man.

In 1985, the South African President offered Nelson Mandela a conditional release from prison if he renounced violence and violent protest as a way to bring change in South Africa. Mandela refused the offer stating that the ANC only adopted violence as a means of protest because they had no other way to make change. It wasn’t until the South African government agreed to negotiate with the ANC if the organization renounced violence (Source: A terrorist or freedom fighter? Hmmm….

South Africa still has many issues and has a long way to go; in fact the violent crimes may never end there. See the following for examples of the brutality in South Africa:




Even after reading the links above, you cannot honestly make the connection to one man. It’s a country plagued by poverty and low education.

If the release of Mandela from prison helped abolish the apartheid in South Africa then that was definitely a step in the right direction. Everyone should be treated as equal, have the right to vote and the right to a better life. The people of South Africa can now live where they want, they can make change at the ballot boxes and are a freer nation today than they were 20, 30, 60 years ago.

As you see things popping up on the Internet regarding Mandela, the ANC or the situation in South Africa do not make immediately judgments on that without doing some research first. For example, while researching information about the ANC you will more than likely come across the following videos showing ANC leaders singing a pre-apartheid song called “Kill the Boers” ( The video does not show that the South African High Court ruled it has hate speech. There are always more sides to a story.

This article is not meant to change your minds, opinions or beliefs about Mandela. Even after all this I cannot say I stronger favor one opinion over another. As I’ve grown up, my perspective on things have changed and I look at the situation a little differently now. Perhaps you should too.

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SSRS and Permissions granted to user are insufficient for performing this operation.

25 September, 2013 (09:48) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

If you are running SharePoint 2013 and SSRS 2012 in SharePoint integration mode and you attempt to do anything related to SSRS such as Editing Data Source, you might receive the following error:

The permissions granted to user ‘domain\username’ are insufficient for performing this operation. —> Microsoft.ReportingServices.Diagnostics.Utilities.AccessDeniedException: The permissions granted to user ‘domain\username’ are insufficient for performing this operation.


This could be caused if your SSRS account has not been granted access to the web application. To resolve this issue, simple run the following PowerShell commands:

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication –Identity http://yoursharepointapp

At this point, you should be good to go.

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Claims / Domain Users via Object Model Cautions

23 September, 2013 (10:15) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 have moved over to claims based authentication hast he recommended authentication method. If you do any programming against the object model here are a few things you need to be aware of.

Consider the following scenario:

  • The web application is setup for claims based authentication.
  • You have a user account mydomain\user1.
  • You are programmatically added them to the site collection.

The code made look something like this:

using (var site = new SPSite("http://mysharepointsite"))
    using (var web = site.OpenWeb())
        web.SiteUsers.Add("mydomain\\user1", "[email protected]", null, null);


SharePoint will actually add mydomain\user1 to the site collection and when given the appropriate access, the user will be denied access. Why? Because the Add method does not convert the domain\user to a claims login.

Consider the following code:

using (var site = new SPSite("http://mysharepointsite"))
    using (var web = site.OpenWeb())


SharePoint will actually convert this to a claims login and store i:0#.w|mydomain\user1 and the user will be able to access the site without any issues.

The indexers of objects such as AllUsers and SiteUsers will only work if you pass in the appropriate login.

The following example shows a common scenario that will fail:

using (var site = new SPSite("http://mysharepointsite"))
    using (var web = site.OpenWeb())

        SPUser matchingUser;
        matchingUser = web.SiteUsers["mydomain\\user1"]; // This will throw a User Not Found exception
        matchingUser = web.SiteUsers["i:0#.w|mydomain\\user1"]; // this will find the matching user


The first matching user line will generate a Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found whereas the the second one will find the user correctly.

There is a great write up on TechNet wiki that explains SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Claims encoding. Give it a read:

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SharePoint Explorer View Does Not Open via Action Menu

9 September, 2013 (10:36) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

I ran across an issue in our organization a few weeks ago involving Explorer View in SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. The user stated that when they clicked on Explorer View from the View dropdown on a SharePoint library they would get the following error:

9-9-2013 10-28-00 AM

Windows cannot access “sharename”.

Check the spelling of the name. Otherwise, there might be a problem with your network. To try to identify and resolve network problems, click Diagnose.

Error code: 0x80070035
The network path was not found.

I ran Office Diagnostics and Repairs without any success.  After a few days of troubleshooting I found the solution. It was related to the networking binding order.  One of the WiFi Network Connections on the laptop was disabled and the other one was enabled but the disabled one was first in the order. Once I moved the active adaptor above the inactive one everything worked.

To change the order on Windows 7, you can do the following:

  1. From the Network and Sharing Center, click on Change adapter Settings
  2. Press ALT to display the menu and then click Advanced and then Advanced Settings.

9-9-2013 10-31-59 AM

Use the arrows to change the order of your adapters.

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Supported High Availability and Disaster Recovery Options for SharePoint 2013 Databases

4 September, 2013 (08:29) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

Microsoft has documented the supported options for HA and DR for SharePoint 2013 databases ( but did not have it in a format that was easy to print and review with other teams.

Here is a link to a spreadsheet version of that data:

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Using SQL to find declarative SharePoint Designer Workflows

26 July, 2013 (11:17) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

Upgrading your SharePoint environment?  Need to find declarative workflows through all your content databases for analysis and testing purposes during the upgrade?  The following SQL query can be run against your SharePoint environment and it will display information to help you discover these types of workflows.

SELECT wa.Name,ui.tp_Login, w.FullUrl
  FROM WorkflowAssociation wa
       JOIN UserInfo ui 
         ON wa.SiteId = ui.tp_SiteId AND wa.Author = ui.tp_Id
       JOIN Webs w 
         ON cast (wa.WebId AS UNIQUEIDENTIFIER) =
 WHERE (Configuration & 64) = 64


You can then also use this in conjunction with sp_MSForEachDb to loop through all the databases and execute the query.  This is useful if you have a lot of content databases in your farm. For example:

sp_MSForEachDb 'Use ?; select ''?'' as [Database], wa.Name, ui.tp_Login, w.FullUrl
  from WorkflowAssociation wa
  join UserInfo ui
    on wa.SiteId = ui.tp_SiteId
   and wa.Author = ui.tp_Id
  join Webs w
    on cast(wa.WebId as uniqueidentifier) =
where (Configuration & 64) = 64';


For those of you wondering where the # 64 came from, here you go. If you look at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowAssociationCollection you’ll see an enum called Configuration with the following values:

public enum Configuration
    None = 0,
    AutoStartAdd = 1,
    AutoStartChange = 2,
    AutoStartColumnChange = 4,
    AllowManualStart = 8,
    HasStatusColumn = 16,
    LockItem = 32,
    Declarative = 64,
    NoNewWorkflows = 128,
    MarkedForDelete = 512,
    GloballyDisabled = 1024,
    CompressInstanceData = 4096,
    SiteOverQuota = 8192,
    SiteWriteLocked = 16384,
    AllowAsyncManualStart = 32768


You can see that 64 is Declarative – so there you have it.

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STSADM Import and Object reference not set to an instance of an object

22 July, 2013 (10:41) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

If you ever try to import a site using STSADM –o import within SharePoint and you receive the following error message it could be caused by permissions. However, I have come across this issue when thicket files/folders are involved.

FatalError: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.FolderSerializer.SetObjectData(Object obj, SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context, ISurrogateSelector selector)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.XmlFormatter.ParseObject(Type objectType, Boolean isChildObject)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.XmlFormatter.DeserializeObject(Type objectType, Boolean isChildObject, DeploymentObject envelope)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.XmlFormatter.Deserialize(Stream serializationStream)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.ObjectSerializer.Deserialize(Stream serializationStream)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.ImportObjectManager.ProcessObject(XmlReader xmlReader)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.SPImport.DeserializeObjects()
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.SPImport.Run()

A thicket file/folder structure is generally created if you save an Office document or Outlook MSG as a HTML file. When these are saved to SharePoint it can be very misleading because you will not see the thicket folder structure from within SharePoint as shown below:


If you have thicket files and experience this problem then I recommend converting the file to another format such as PDF. Once you do this the export/import will complete successfully.

SharePoint does not handle thicket files very well and it would be my advice to try avoid storing them in SharePoint at all.

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<Database> on <Server> contains user-defined schema. Databases must be empty before they can be used.

28 March, 2013 (16:33) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

I ran into a strange problem today in SharePoint and thought I would share it with anyone else just in case you have the same issue.

I was in a SharePoint environment that was working as expected. I had a content database that had 8 site collections in it. I detached the database and then re-attached the exact same content database and received the following error message:

<database> on <server> contains user-defined schema.  Databases must be empty before they can be used.  Delete all of the tables, stored procedures and other objects or use a different database.

After a number of attempts, I could not get the database to add.  I created a brand new content DB, detached, re-added it and received the exact same message.

I finally executed the stsadm addcontentdb command with the assignewdatabaseid and the error went away and the database was added successfully. The odd thing is the Current Number of Sites was now showing 0. I queried the sites table and saw the 8 sites in there so I knew everything was good.

I tried the clearing the SharePoint cache without success.

I finally found the root cause of the problem. It appears someone installed a SharePoint patch into the environment but never ran the configuration wizard. So although SharePoint was operating correctly, when re-attaching the database is knew something was run.

I executed the following command which applied the outstanding patch:

psconfig –cmd upgrade –inplace b2b –wait –force

After this, I was able to add and remove the content databases as I expected too without any issues.

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SharePoint 2010 “Create New Site” Silverlight Bug?

19 December, 2012 (13:01) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

I was recently attempting to setup a very specific security model in a SharePoint 2010 environment that I have used in a SharePoint 2007 environment. After I configured the necessary permission levels and SharePoint groups, I went to create a new site and found out that the interface was not displaying the options as I expected.

After clicking Site Actions > New Site and then More Options, I expected to see the option Use same permissions as parent site disabled. Instead, it was defaulted and I could easily switch between Use unique permissions and Use same permissions as parent site without any problems.

12-19-2012 12-49-09 PM

Without changing anything related to permissions, I decided to disable Silverlight and revert SharePoint 2010 to the old interface and test it that way.  To my surprise, it worked as expected.

12-19-2012 10-51-24 AM

After enabling Silverlight again I decided to experiment with the Permission Levels and discovered that if I unchecked the Add and Customize Pages option, the Silverlight interfaced would then display correctly.

12-19-2012 12-53-34 PM

Notice the Use same permissions as parent site is currently disabled.

12-19-2012 12-55-30 PM

Does anyone know why the Add and Customize Pages permission level would impact the Silverlight UI in this manner or is there something else I am doing wrong?  This seems like a bug in my opinion.

I am running SharePoint 2010 14.0.6120.5000 (KB2687564).

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