Taoffi's blog

prisonniers du temps

SQL Replication: Windows Sync Manager and orphaned subscriptions

It is quite useful and handy to synchronize SQL replicated databases through the Windows Synchronization Manager. You simply click the Sync Manager / Click Microsoft SQL Server / Right-click the desired subscription to synchronize and click Sync. Easy and great!


Annoying problems appear in some particular cases. I encountered one of these cases when I had an orphaned subscription (i.e. a subscription that doesn't have any more a declared publication). This may happen when, for instance, the publisher server doesn't exist anymore… or when the publication had been deleted in some circumstances.

The annoyance is that in this case, Windows Sync Manager continues to display the orphaned subscription and you have no means to delete it as this requires contacting the publisher which may not exist anymore and/or deleting the subscription from a publication which may not exist either!.

At this phase, you indeed have little choices… the most reasonable would be to leave this orphaned subscription displayed and simply ignore it (though a little frustratingJ)… That was what I did until I found some time to dig through (little information, if any, is available on this):


I ended up by finding that Windows Synchronization Manager reads the list of its displayed subscriptions in the registry key:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.INSTANCE\Replication\Subscriptions

(MSSQL10.INSTANCE is the SQL version and instance of the subscriber server… which, in the figure below, is MSSQL10.SQL2008).

The subscriptions node contains one key per subscription with required synchronization settings.


I simply deleted the key related to the orphaned subscription. To avoid Windows mysteries, I also restarted the machineJ. That now works as I would like. (Craftsmanship again!)

Windows Vista / Windows 7: To pin or not to pin, that is…

Have you ever tried, in Windows Vista or 7, to pin to the start menu (or to the task bar), an item whose name contains ‘documentation’?

Well, that is simply impossible (and, above all, forbidden!)

(You may have a look at this discussion… hope the link will still be aliveJ)


Why?... and Who decided this?



In Windows Vista or 7, you cannot pin to the start menu (nor to the task bar), any item whose name contains one of the following words (quite long list... long list J):

·         Documentation

·         Help

·         Install

·         More Info

·         Read me

·         Read First

·         Readme

·         Remove

·         Setup

·         Support

·         What's New


Note that this doesn’t still tell us any useful information about WHY are these words excluded from ‘pinnable’ items. And what logic is behind this choice?!

Nobody and no literature want to explain something plausible about this mysterious choice.


Still you can do It!

Curiously enough, you can still pin an item whose name contains one of these blasphemed words. Without even going to the famous ‘Registry’, just try the following:

·         Rename your item to be pinned (example: remove just one character of ‘documentation’ to obtain something like ‘documentatio’);

·         You can now pin your item to whatever you want;

·         Rename again the item to its original name;

·         Rename the pinned item to the name you like.



As for ‘Who’ decided and designed this genius (customs-office-attitude-like) feature?... It seems that those are the same Microsoft’s young people playing with Windows Interface, under the name of “Application User Model ID” to deliver us some awesome features (like sub folders hysterically bouncing down when you expand them: see this post).

They, apparently, continue to care about us in Windows 7

God bless them all… hope they will still be there in Windows 8.


Is it a shame?

As you may have noticed, the link to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282066... The page where this design is confirmed doesn’t exist anymore!