Outlook 2003: Can’t Create File

Just as we’re about to replace the last of our Acer notebooks with XP/Office 2003 SOE we came across this odd error in Outlook 2003 when opening an attachment.


This is a file that’s emailed to Staff almost daily and without problems until this cropped up, seemingly for no reason.

After a little bit of homework, we found that it could be a problem with temporary files and had to check the path for temp files in Outlook via the registry.


When we checked the path Outlook was using for temp files, we were horrified to see this


The Can’t Create File: STUABSD.rtf hit us because Outlook, or probably Windows Explorer, couldn’t create a temp file called STUABSD (100).rtf.

Deleting the temp files cleared up the error straight away

HP 2730p: machine is not in committed state

hp2730pA couple of weeks ago we ran into problems with our new fleet of 2730p Tablets where the machines weren’t booting into Vista. We had a version of the Black Screen of Death, KSOD, that was caused by something upsetting the Altiris SVS client on these machines. While we were troubleshooting the KSOD we tried  updating one of the machines with the latest drivers including the latest BIOS update for the machine from HP. After updating the BIOS to F.0A 31 Jul 2009, the machine rebooted and gave us this error as soon as the machine was powered on:

WARNING!!! – machine is not in committed state!

After some quick Googling I found others had the same issue after a BIOS update on various HP models. Resetting BIOS defaults and installing an older version didn’t make any difference.

Some people suggested running HPSetCfg 1.36, downloaded from here, or later to reset the serial and model number for the machine. This is a handy little tool from HP and runs from a bootable CD or USB stick, seemed to only want to work on FAT (not NTFS), and made the USB stick bootable with HPUSBFW.EXE. This worked nicely but did nothing to remove the Warning on boot….


After making my way to the end of that thread on itrc.hp.com I looked at the AMT settings. Checking the AMT settings in the BIOS showed that it was greyed out and not able to be enabled? Thinking that the machine needed a firmware update for the AMT to go with the BIOS update, I attempted to install the version from the HP site. This should have been the version that was on the machine, Dec 2008, since the machines were purchased in early 2009. The AMT update failed installation so I started the hunt for the AMT Branding Tool that was mentioned in the thread above and found here

This is straight from allaboutmicrosoft.net:

Swapped MB on a HP Elitebook 6930P and need get the serial number into BIOS.
At boot I get a message stating “Warning. Machine is not in committed state. Invalid serial number”, but when entering BIOS there is no way for me to enter it. Read on HP forums that I need HP SetConfig Utility 1.36 to do this, but I can’t find it anywhere. Does anyone have this program or maybe another solution that could help me?

Solution: Machine is not in committed state

use this tool. run it from a bootable flash drive.  read the readme.txt inside the archive.

I downloaded the AMT tool and copied it to the bootable USB stick that I’d used before. Because I copied the files to their own folder I had to run Brand.bat from the command line, should have run from autoexec.bat. The Tool checks the current settings and prompts you to see if you’d like to make changes

VPro Uncommitted
Descriptor Unlocked
Management Engine disabled
Flash Protection Override disabled

Do you want to enable or disable AMT now [Y, N]?

The text above is copied from the readme.txt that comes with the AMT tool, but is essentially the same as what I saw at the command line. After selecting Y to enable AMT, there was another prompt or two, followed by a reboot. On boot up the warning message was gone and entering the BIOS showed that the AMT was now enabled and I could change the AMT settings etc too!

iTunes -9808

I came across an interesting problem today while trying to subscribe to a podcast through iTunes where iTunes threw up an error (-9808) saying an unknown error had occurred.


I’ve used iTunes on this machine (Vista SP1) a fair bit and have had no issues with downloading podcasts before, however, I was logged in as a test user and wasn’t using my normal user account. Some quick checking found that it wasn’t our Internet Content Filter causing the problem, but did find this message in our ISA firewall log:

Failed Connection Attempt
Log type:
Web Proxy (Forward)
Status: 995 The I/O operation has been aborted because of either a thread exit or an application request.
Destination: External (
Request: buy.itunes.apple.com:443
Filter information: Req ID: 1b5d88f0; Compression: client=No, server=No, compress rate=0% decompress rate=0%
Protocol: SSL-tunnel

Searching for status 995 and ISA in Google didn’t bring up any useful results, but a search for iTunes and 9808 bought up a a heap of results. Turns out this is a reasonably common problem and found the solution at soccerislife8 and disabled Check for server certificate revocation in Internet Explorer.

9808 IE Setting

After some more research it seems that updating to the latest version of iTunes won’t fix the problem?!


Checking Apple’s SSL Certificate in IE shows that its valid so its a still a mystery. I’m not impressed that I’ve had to disable security features in my browser for the sake of iTunes