Removing HomeGroup icon from Windows 8 desktop

This morning, I found a HomeGroup icon in my Windows 8 Deskotp.  I'm not actually sure what happened and how it appeared.  I am pretty sure it wasn't there last night.

To remove it, but not remove it from Explorer, search for "desktop icons"



I toggle the selection for "Network" on, then off again.


OK, and the HomeGroup icon has disappeared from the desktop.

How to create your Windows 8 Start Button with PowerShell

Before I go on, I have to say I find the Start Menu unnecessary.  There are already many ways to get to your Start Screen:

  • Throw mouse to lower-left corner (with the mouse)
  • Press the Windows key (on your keyboard)
  • Swipe in from the left edge (touch screen)
  • Press the Start button (any device with a hardware start button)


That said, Windows is still about choice.  And here's how you can add your own "Start Menu Button"

  1. Create a shortcut.
  2. Type in this:
    powershell.exe -Command "Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms; [Windows.Forms.SendKeys]::SendWait('^({ESC})')"

    (all in one line)
    This sends the Windows key (CTRL-ESC) via Powershell.
  3. Configure the shortcut to run minimized
  4. Change the Icon, I select this icon from the bootux.dll file %SystemRoot%\System32\bootux.dll) 
    (All the icons are white, select them to see what they look like) 
  5. Drag the shortcut and pin it to the task bar, on the far left.
  6. Now you have that familiar Start menu button back.  Click it and you'll get the Start Screen to pop up. 



  • Does not appear to work in Windows RT, but if you have a Surface just hit that start hardware button

SharePoint Saturday Sydney 2012

Thank you all for attending SharePoint Saturday, giving up your time.  Sydney marks the last of the 6 SharePoint Saturdays that I've had the privilege to present in this year, ticking off:

The best part of SharePoint Saturday is just meeting talking to the enthusiastic SharePoint fans and hear what people are doing out there.  Honestly, not many people are that crazy to give up a sunny Saturday to learn about SharePoint - you guys are amazing.

The worst part is the travel. 


Sydney SharePoint User Group

I was honestly surprised almost everybody already know about the Sydney SharePoint User Group.  We meet monthly in the CBD between 6-7pm on the 3rd Tuesday of the Month.  We actually start at 5:30pm to eat up all the pizza first, and for the guys that don't need to head home right away, join us at the pub and geek out.

Sign up here so you can see what topic is coming up next month:


Golf Course

The User Group gave away a Miniature Golf Course during the event.

The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf

If you didn't manage to win one, but is still interested in it, it's here:



InfoPath form load rules and loading event order


A strange gotcha in InfoPath concerning which event runs first.

  • Create an InfoPath form, with a field.
  • Create a Form Load rule, that sets this field to 1.
  • Add code behind, and create a Form_Loading event, that sets the same field to 2.


In InfoPath rich client form / debugging

  • The result number is 2

In InfoPath browser form

  • The result number is 1


Keep this order in mind if you use both Form Load rules as well as Form_Loading event.

SharePoint Saturday Canberra 2012

I had the pleasure of presenting REST services and AJAX at Canberra again.  It was a fun and sunny day that started at 4am in the morning, and packing a sleeping mr4 into the car and drive down.  Mr4 and my wife went to see the Cockington Miniature Gardens for the day, leaving me to geek out with fellow crazy SharePoint Saturday-ers.

As promised, there are a number of links:


Some of the comparisons I've made in the talk:

  • In SharePoint 2013, Microsoft wants you to use the services to talk to SharePoint, either via the Client Object Model, or via JavaScript and REST.  They also provide a whole lot of service endpoints for you to use:
    • /_vti_bin/listdata.svc
    • /_vti_bin/*.asmx
    • /_api/
  • In SharePoint 2010, you don't have nearly as many service end points, nor all the capabilities, but you can build custom services (which BTW, will still work in 2013).  So if you want to future-proof your solutions it is good to start thinking about implementing services and keeping the Javascript UI tier separate from the underlying services.
  • In the SharePoint 2013 Azure Workflow model, you can't deploy workflow actions.  But you are given an out of the box action that will let you call web services.  So building custom services is still a good way going forward to implement functionality that you can then reuse.
  • Re-use everywhere:
    • InfoPath
    • Workflow Web Request action
    • JavaScript AJAX