One or more parameter values are not valid (Outlook error) Solved!

Recently, I came by an error message I hadn’t seen before in Outlook 2007 & 2010. Upon hitting the “send” button, immediately the computer would pop up an error message, which reads: “Could not complete the operation, one or more parameter values are not valid.” You didn’t even have time to see if the message sent – it wouldn’t send at all. It turns out, what had happened, was that the address in Outlook’s address had book had somehow become corrupted. I won’t pretend to know what caused the problem, but I will provide you with a quick and easy solution.

  1. Start a new email message.
  2. Begin typing the address of the person you’re sending to.
  3. When it appears in the drop down, highlight it using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
  4. So you don’t forget it, I advise WRITING DOWN the email address now.
  5. Press the DEL (DELETE) key on your keyboard.
  6. Now RE-TYPE (do not copy and paste) the email address you are sending to.
  7. Enter a message and send it!

You shouldn’t have ANY problems when you click the send button after that!

Know your Windows 8 Editions (Chart!)


click to open full size

Word recently broke that despite all of the various version names previously spotted in Windows 8, Microsoft is going to simplify your life in to four total Windows 8 editions.

The plainly named Windows 8 product will have most of the features you know and love from your average Windows 7 Home Premium installation, including most of the bells and whistles that make Windows 8 an upgrade over Windows 7. Windows 8 Pro will include all of those features plus “encryption, virtualization, PC management, and domain connectivity” according to Microsoft’s WindowsTeamBlog. Microsoft certainly isn’t hiding some of the things which will be trimmed from Windows 8, but they are doing a good job of making sure you don’t notice.

One major feature to go missing, which has been available since Windows XP, will be the ability to act as a remote desktop host. You should be to access terminal servers remotely, but accessing your computer at home is going to require more than knowing what ports to forward on your home router – you’re most likely going to need to use a third party application, like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn, or TeamViewer, etc… also, disappearing from Windows 8 (all versions) is Windows Media Center. Ever since XP’s Media Center Edition, Microsoft has tried to gain living room acceptance of their media center software – and right when the era of the “Home Theater PC” is really starting to pick up steam… Microsoft decides to bail out on us. It’s very strange. Windows Media Center will be a premium tool which you can purchase through their Windows 8 Marketplace, supposedly on Windows 8 Pro edition computers only. So you must already own a Windows 8 Pro license, then you will have to buy Windows Media Center separately. This seems like it could be either their biggest mistake yet, or their most brilliant decision to make money hand over fist by charging for the one feature they hope will be a big deal this generation. Still, I find people more likely to find an alternative solution like a GoogleTV or AppleTV box, or even just by installing the free version of Boxee on their PC.

Next, there will be the tablet version, Windows RT, which, although not 100% confirmed feature-wise, is rumored to be the successor to Windows Phone 7: a “metro-only” OS in the style of Windows 8, stripping out the Desktop mode and compatability with your current generation of Windows 7 applications. A chart on Microsoft’s Team Windows Blog does contradict some of this, but without true compatability with x86 applications, having access to the “desktop” interface seems to me like a smoke and mirrors feature to make you feel at home. Again, all rumor and personal opinion, especially until we get closer to launch and see what the “Windows on Arm” or WOA team has come up with. Microsoft has confirmed it will lose Windows Media Player, but hopefully the device will have an equally impressive media player built in as that seems to be one of the biggest uses I’ve heard from anyone who owns a tablet: the ability to consume video content on the go.

These three editions have a feature chart which is available on the WindowsTeamBlog website, along with a description of the fourth, yet still vague, Windows 8 Enterprise Edition. Not unusual for peopel with “Software Assurance” (meaning they get the free upgrade to the next version of Windows), the Enterprise Edition was recently known as ‘everything that was in Windows 7 Ultimate, except the games’ (which could be enabled if the user wanted them). Since there will no longer be an “Ultimate Edition” – people are trying to figure out what Microsoft’s vague announcement of Windows 8 Enterprise means, when it was vaguely described as including “all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.”

How to show hidden files and folders AND file extensions in Windows 7

Sometimes you need to do things a little deeper in the computer than normal, and you need to know what file extension is on the end of a certain file. This can help you prevent silly and confusing names like “picture001.jpg.jpg” or something like that. Additionally, sometimes you need to show hidden files on your computer. It’s pretty easy.

  1. Open up any folder, I recommend just opening Computer.
  2. If the menu bar isn’t available at the top, press the ALT key on your keyboard, near the space bar – this will make the menu bar appear: “file, edit, view” appear.
  3. Click Tools.
  4. Click Folder options at the bottom.
  5. Change the Radio Button to Show Hidden Files and Folders.
  6. Click to uncheck Hide extensions for known file type.
  7. Also, you can uncheck Hide protected operating systems.

All three of those options can be seen in the screenshot above. Enjoy your new access to your own files!

How to Change your Windows 7 Password

Lots of people, whether they’re at home or at work, have passwords on their computer. Now, these are not necessarily passwords to things like your email account if you have GMail or Yahoo Mail or something, and it’s not your Facebook password – just the password to unlock your computer either when you first turn it on, or if you’re coming back to it and it has been on a screen saver for a while. Some people don’t even have passwords set up – but let’s say you’re at a coffee shop – it might be heavily crowded enough that you can go order another drink without someone stealing it, but they may sit down and tinker. If you want to prevent them from doing so, here’s the easiest way to set or reset your password in Windows 7:

  1. On your keyboard, press Control+Alt+Delete
  2. On the next screen, select Change a password
  3. On the final screen, enter your current password (you may not have one at all, in which case just leave the top space blank), then enter your new password twice and press enter or click the blue arrow to the right of the last password field.

This part calls for a special note: if your computer is a member of a corporate network, you probably want to do this while you are IN the office, otherwise it can cause a few things like Exchange & Outlook based email and other services to get a little crazy. Also, those corporate networks usually have pretty strict security policies, about passwords being changed every so often and being a certain complexity (8 or more characters, no more than 2 sequential characters, upper case letter, lower case letter, number, and symbol, can’t match any of your 20 previous passwords, etc…) – so it may take you a little while to put in a password that the darn thing will accept, but keep plugging away at it. If this is your personal computer, however, and you just use it at home and take it with you on the road, you shouldn’t need to worry about much. Enjoy the peace of mind a fresh new password provides!

UPDATE: If you don’t have your old password and need to “hack” or “crack” you password, you can use the tool NTPassword to do that.