jlopez's blog

Users using default administrator account blocked from apps in Windows 10

Microsoft has been improving the security of the operating system bit by bit with each release. This is great news in the long run, but can catch some users who had poor security configurations in a bind when they upgrade. For example, Windows 7 allowed the default administrator account to be used by local users. Windows 10 forbids many apps from running under the default administrator account, which is a good idea as the default administrator account should be used for... administration.

A simpler Active Directory replication diagnostic.

Microsoft released 1.0 of the AD Replication Status Tool[1] a few months ago. Running it is a breeze and the system displays the status in a very readable format. Recommended for those who are curious if those "warnings" in the event log are actually transitory in nature or perhaps indicating something more important is being alluded to. Recommended as a quick check and a first step in diagnostics.

[1] http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30005

Expired Certification Authority Cert

If you have been using a certificate authority on your domain for five years, you may encounter a failure to automatically renew the certificate, which in turn causes it to be unable to renew certificates (because the sub-certs rely on the validity of the root, which is no longer valid due to expiring without renewal). The primary symptom will be Event ID 4319: "Active Directory Certificate Services could not create an encryption certificate.

When good browsers go bad: Copying the Default User Profile fails due to Chrome Extension read permission errors.

Recent we had a machine unable to log new users into it. The event log showed that the following data could not be copied into a new user profile: \\?\C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\[random characters\[version]

Zoom video chat.

If you spend a lot of time doing video conferencing, there are quite a few options, but they all have limitations. For $10 a month, Zoom[1] provides a combination of video chat (with 25 participants), remote desktop sharing and whiteboarding that are currently the best combination that I have found for consultants that need to both communicate and do software training. The only limitation is that it won't work in a technical support role as it suppresses UAC prompts entirely from remote view (a reasonable choice for compromising between usability and security).

Team Foundation Build Server

Installing the 2013 SP 4 version of Team Foundation Build Server is very easy to do; the wizard will lead you through the steps and fire up a build server instance in under twenty minutes. Where things get interesting is once you want to actually do builds and get your dependencies installed.

The most obvious dependency will be the SDKs that you are using. Microsoft makes them available via a single page[1] which is nice, because you probably will need more than one of the SDKs if you are using third party libraries.

Concrete5 blogging software admin password reset.

It isn't uncommon to have a client approach you with an existing content management system where they have lost the admin account due to a change in web developer or simply the mists of time. Concrete5 uses a MD5 hash, but you can't use the MySQL hash to generate it as the salt is installation specific.

I found a workaround for thisvia Nabtron[1].

First, write a snippet of PHP on a PHP page on the host that Concrete5 is running on that reads:

Google App Sync and the Insane Notes Choices

The recent versions of Google App sync include the ability to sync Notes along with the more traditional Calendar, Email and Tasks. The only problem with this is that the method for doing so does not appear to be sane: I have 87GB uploaded (among hundreds of thousands of files) in a folder that Google decided (for reasons which remain unclear) to search for notes.

Adding a disk to an existing scheduled Windows Server Backup

Windows Server Backup has an issue with altering the scheduled backup when the prior backup drive is not available. The recommended solution by Microsoft can be found at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2009365 and the first two solutions can be viable, but the third solution is the most effective at avoiding disrupting your schedule.

Enabling Windows 7 machine

Spiceworks is a great tool for managing a small business network. Unlike other tools that are "enterprise grade network monitoring" that can cost more than the entire cost of the PCs being monitored, Spiceworks is advertising supported, meaning no direct costs to the user.


Subscribe to RSS - jlopez's blog