Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Thunderbird - Email Hangs on Sending - SSL Settings



Upon initial setup of inputting your email address and password, Thunderbird grabs the server settings for incoming and outgoing mail.

Everything looked right at first and emails starting rolling in. However outbound emails just hang. Upon closer inspection the outbound port is correct however the "Connection Security" states "SSL/TLS" and not "STARTTLS" as my mail server requires.

So I'm not sure if it's pulling "SSL/TLS" from my mail server or it's the way Thunderbird is interpreting it.

Note: These settings are for my mail server, yours may be different. Check with your provider.

Thunderbird version is v102.2.0 (64 bit).


Hamburger Icon πŸ‘‰ Account Settings πŸ‘‰ Outgoing Server (SMTP) πŸ‘‰ Edit.
  • Verify port is 587.
  • Change "Connection Security" from "SSL/TLS" to "STARTTLS".
Test email sending again.


Monday, August 29, 2022

7zip - Best Compression Settings



Be sure to grab the latest version of 7zip here before proceeding. I've tested multiple settings and I've determined the below settings are the best, compression wise.

These settings will require large amounts of ram. I've tested this with 64gb and 144gb of system memory.

The settings below are a screenshot from v22.01 (2022-07-15).


Copy the settings as seen in the photo below for the best compression ratio.


The above settings will compress a 930mb file down to 175mb. The files tested were a Windows installer, text files, and PNG images.

A solid block size is what's lowering the overall file size. You can read more about it here.

Keep in mind the compression will be horrible if uncompressed audio or video files are selected.


Friday, August 26, 2022

VMware Workstation - Windows 10 Restore to VM Fails - Incorrect Guest OS



When I back up a customer's system I use Backup and Restore (Windows 7) that's built into Windows 10 to make a vhdx copy of the current partition layout. This affords me the ability to back up a single file to either a network share or an external hard drive in little time. The server versions of Windows allow you to use the same application however you can store more than one backup at a time. That's to say the Pro versions of Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 will only allow you to store one image at a time. Tomorrow it'll overwrite the previous backup, etc.

I can then keep an untouched full backup of the customers system for 30 days or so.

In this weird instance the physical machine here is an Acer Veriton. What makes this interesting is that UEFI was enabled and secure boot was disabled on this system when I got my hands on it. I'm guessing at one point or another it did have secure boot enabled from the factory (possibly a Windows 8 machine upgraded to 10?) and someone disabled it. It's running Windows 10 Pro 21H2.

Usually what I'll do with a customer machine is run Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 7) and tell it to just image the C:\ drive. The option is called "Include a system image of drives". Once the backup completes you're left with a vhdx image of the C:\ drive that you can easily restore if a hard drive fails, etc. The only caveat here is that if the drive was a 512gb drive then you can only restore to a 512gb or larger drive.

Now a restore should be straightforward and uneventful. In the case of virtualizing a machine you would create a new VM, choose Windows 10 x64, create a new HDD and either match the HDD size to the original or make it larger, and boot to the Windows ISO. Go through the Windows restore process as detailed in this post and reboot. That should be the end of it to virtualize or restore a machine.


Circle back to the UEFI setting. When creating a new VMware machine you have the ability to choose the firmware type. The options are:
  • BIOS
  • UEFI with or without Secure Boot
Normally you'd choose UEFI without Secure Boot and go. With this particular Acer I came across the following issue when doing the restore:

I double checked that the guest OS was Windows 10 x64 using UEFI with Secure Boot disabled and for the life of me I kept getting the above error right before the restore starts.
  • I tried UEFI with Secure Boot enabled. No change.
  • I tried BIOS, no change.


As a last ditch effort I changed the VMware's Guest OS properties to "Windows 7 x64" and selected "UEFI with Secure Boot off". No clue what the difference is in VMware but I was able to restore the vhdx to this VM without an issue and did not receive the above error.

Also I should include that this is VMware Workstation 16.2.4 build-20089737. There's other bullshit issues with this application that have yet to be fixed. I'll save that for another post.


Friday, August 19, 2022

Thunderbird - Set Email Sorting Preference - Descending by Order Received



During extensive testing of Thunderbird for a client project I noticed that the default sort order is Ascending with new emails at the bottom. I have no clue who decided that nonsense. I need it to be "Descending" with the newest emails at the top like Gmail and I want to sort the list by "Order Received".

You can sort by category as well, such as "Order Received". I'll reference the somewhat working URLs below, the original chart, and list the options below.

The link below is dead and the WayBack Machine has nothing:

Sort Type is defined by hex values here:

If you convert hex to decimal from the "nsMsgViewSortType" in the WayBack Machine's article, you'll get the values in my chart below.

Seems the developers thought it best to not let the WayBack Machine index anything. Great job people. Also I've searched https://developer.mozilla.org/ up and down and can't find these values even though they still use them. I mean it'd be great if there was an option in the UI to make these changes and apply them to all folders but, well you guessed it, there isn't.

We're talking about the latest version of Thunderbird here, v102.1.2 and the WayBack Machine's document is from 2009 πŸ€¦‍♂️.


This won't work on more than one folder unless you make this change prior to setting up your accounts. This part is very important. I know I reference where the preferences are stored below, but to avoid a huge headache after the fact, just reference this article first.


1. Thunderbird ➡ Tools ➡ Preferences ➡ Scroll all the way to the bottom ➡ Config Editor

2. Search for:

3. You'll see the following (the values below are defaults):

4. We'll edit the preferences in yellow first. There's only two options for this field, 1 or 2.

1 = Ascending
2 = Descending

Ascending (1) means, old emails at the top and new emails at the bottom.

Ascending:     OLD

Descending (2) means, new emails at the top and old emails at the bottom.

Descending:    NEW

5. Next are the preferences in blue. The following numbers correspond to the sort options:

17 = None
18 = Date
19 = Subject
20 = Author
21 = ID (Order Received)
22 = Thread
23 = Priority
24 = Status
25 = Size
26 = Flagged
27 = Unread
28 = Recipient
29 = Location
30 = Label
31 = Junk Status
32 = Attachments
33 = Account
34 = Custom
35 = Received
6. To sort everything by order received and newest at the top, copy the settings below:

*The green highlighted undo arrows show that you've modified a particular value from its default.

7. Now setup your email accounts.

8. Restart Thunderbird for good measure. Verify the changes.


The preferences you're setting are saved to a file called "prefs.js" inside of your profile folder. You can search and add the following lines at the end of the file with the settings from the charts above for mass deployments. Once you open "Thunderbird.exe" these preferences will be slotted up midway in the "prefs.js" file around line 125. So if you're looking for these settings again in the file, start at or around line 125.

user_pref("mailnews.default_news_sort_order", 2);
user_pref("mailnews.default_sort_order", 2);
user_pref("mailnews.default_sort_type", 21);


It'd be really great if the default sort order was like this out of the box. But then again developers never really listen to normal users.


Thunderbird - How to Reset Email Client Back to Stock



I have rewritten this article to include a link to another article that I wrote on correcting email subjects that do not match the correspondents. Click here for that article.

If you need to wipe the profiles folder for any reason, read below for how to do it.

Also be sure to read my other article on how to set default sorting preferences before setting up your profile and adding an email address or you'll be doing this process all over again.

Profile Location:

The profiles are kept in the following folder:

However if you only deleted the folders inside of "Profiles", you'd receive an error that your profile doesn't exist when you try to load Thunderbird. This is because it's looking at "%APPDATA%\Thunderbird\profiles.ini" which is telling it where your actual profile folder is.


1. Close Thunderbird if running and delete the everything in the following folder:

2. Click here to learn how to set default sorting options before setting up your profile. If you set this after adding your email, you'll have to apply sorting options to each individual folder in your mailbox which will take too long.

3. If you followed the above article on default sorting options then you can add your email and setup your profile now.


You can force Thunderbird to show available profiles upon launch by changing the shortcut to match:


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -p

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -p


Surprisingly there's no conclusion. It just works like it should.


Sunday, August 7, 2022

How to Switch Network From Public to Private in Windows 10



Need to change your network connection from Public to Private?

For the life of me I can't seem to remember how to get to these options. It's probably because I'm very used to the old Windows Control Panel and I am not a fan of the new Windows Settings. If it ain't broke don't fix it. I mean it's stayed the same for more than 25 years, why change it now? Well, that's another topic for another day.

There's more than one way to accomplish this:

1. The first way is the via the Windows Settings application.

2. The second way is through the registry.

Windows Settings Method:

1. Right click the Start Menu.

2. Click "Settings".

3. Click "Network & Internet".

4. You'll see your physical network connections in the list below.

5. Find the one you want and click on "Properties".

6. At this point you can now choose "Public" or "Private".