Monthly Archives: June 2016

Running multiple versions of Skype on Windows 10

I like to keep my personal and work Skype accounts separate, and also have a “support” account as well, so I like to have multiple versions of Skype running on my work computer. Since upgrading to Windows 10 I am unable to use the “Launcher for Skype” software to have multiple copies running. The only way I found to accomplish what I needed was to use an old version of Skype and launch it on startup with a batch file.

In order to set this up you need to do the following:

  1. Install Skype 7.15 or lower (this isn’t that easy to find, you’ll need to search for this on sites which archive old versions of software)
  2. Create a batch file “C:\Users\%username%\Skype.bat” with the Skype usernames and passwords you user to login to each account. See a sample batch file below
  3. Create a shortcut in “C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup” which opens Skype.bat in a minimized window. If you give the shortcut a Skype icon it won’t even look like a script is running on startup.

Contents of Skype.bat (repeat the last 4 lines for each new account you wish to run, replacing XXXX with your username and YYYY with your password):

@echo off
echo Starting Skype: XXXX...
start "Skype: XXXX" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" /secondary /username:XXXX /password:YYYY
echo Connecting as: XXXX...
timeout 20

Windows Server 2012 wasn’t deleting old backups

Today I realised that our Windows 2012 backups were not working because we had run out of space on the backup disk. Windows Server Backup should automatically delete the oldest backups but for some reason it wasn’t doing this. (From what I read this may be due to corrupt snapshots.)

The solution seems to be to try to manually delete the oldest backup. This can be done by first giving the backup drive a drive letter (in this case E:) and then running:
vssadmin delete shadows /for=x: /oldest

However, this didn’t work for me as I received the error:

Error: Snapshots were found, but they were outside of your allowed context. Try removing them with the backup application which created them.

To fix this problem you need to view and delete them manually.

From the command prompt:

diskshadow
list shadows all
delete shadows set {id of shadow to be deleted if selective deletion is to be performed}

OR

delete shadows all {if all shadows are to be deleted}

This information was found on this site: https://support.software.dell.com/appassure/kb/121604

Process PayPal Express Checkout for third parties

Today I needed to find out how to process PayPal Express Checkout transactions for third parties. PayPal allows merchants to give permissions to other merchants to perform transactions on their behalf, without having to hand over their private API username, password and signature. While we have implemented Express Checkout for ourselves, I couldn’t find out how to perform the transaction on behalf of another merchant until I found this useful post.

To quote from the link above:

Yes, you specify an alternate “SUBJECT” of the transaction.

Normally your SetExpressCheckout request looks something like:

METHOD=&VERSION=&PWD=&USER=&SIGNATURE=&...

Now it will look like this:

METHOD=&VERSION=&PWD=&USER=&SIGNATURE=&SUBJECT=...

Payee_PayPal_Account is the email address/username the user uses to log in.

(Note that email address/username is NOT the API username of the account.)

Thanks Jeremy!