A significant portion of our lives are lived digitally these days. We have years worth of precious family photos, folders upon folders of documents, half-played games, movie and music libraries, and more. What happens if your computer crashes? If you are not prepared, you could lose it all. Thankfully, there are many computer backup options […]
As a desktop administrator I like to automate as many tasks as possible. I had a need to automate the installation of network printers in a Windows 7 / Server 2008 environment and after some digging through manuals found a solution to installing TCP/IP printers via a batch file. I’ll outline the VBS script we’ll leverage for port creation and also the using of rundll32 to silently install print drivers and create printers.
Microsoft has made an apparently “final” extension to the end of support date for Windows XP. In their latest update they have announced that April 2014 will be end of support for Windows XP meaning no more service patches for XP machines, something that leaves the doors open to hackers and intruders.
Corporations plan to migrate from XP to Windows 7 in order to avoid security risks with unsupported XP. Also upgrading to a modern 64 bits, well prized Windows 7 has been lucrative for many IT managers to reduce, among other things, their deployment and software management costs. All seems in right direction although one backdoor will still remain open even after migration to Windows 7. That will be the infamous, much appreciated XP-Mode that has been offered by Microsoft as a free download feature for Windows 7 professional and up.
By ending support for XP, the virtual machine that XP-Mode installs on your PC will also remain unsupported. Users may be able to add this feature to their workstations in order to be able to run their older XP only applications while their workstations have been upgraded to Windows 7.
This scenario sounds like a nightmare for system administrators with thousands of workstations to manage. I have searched the net to find a way to disable this feature for most users but leave it available for some. However I could not find any practical, well explained advice. In this article I share the results of my experiment with AppLocker which is a feature available in Windows 7 Ultimate.
This guide will explain how to utilize a SetupComplete.cmd batch file in a Windows 7 image. The SetupComplete.cmd batch file can basically runs commands after an image has been deployed or restored. This can be very handy for desktop imaging and image deployment when you need to run commands after the fact (ie cleanup unattend files or other setting files, install drivers, etc).
This tech-recipe will include a batch file that lets you mount and unmount .WIM files in Windows 7 Professional / Ultimate and Windows Server 2008. I will also explain some the basics of WIM files and discuss how to manage them using DISM from the command prompt.
Being able to automate disk partitioning, volume creation, and filesystem formatting can be very useful. It is especially handy for imaging processes, e.g. from a WinPE boot disk.
One unfortunately common problem is data corruption on a hard drive and the dreaded “Unmountable Boot Volume” error. Many people feel they are forced to format the drive and start from scratch in this situation. However, frequently there is a better way of save your installation, as long as you have the installation media available. […]
This recipe is similar to another one on here but this one differs in that it explains how to create a sif file in notepad and what command line script to use to execute it and start your xp unattended install.
You can enable or disable the Windows XP feature that allows you to burn CD’s using this registry hack.
Windows Genuine Advantage is now a required install. If you need to change your product key without an installation because of WGA requirements, these steps will walk you through it. This tutorial uses Microsoft-supported software and is how I explore “You May Be a Victim of Software Counterfeiting” errors.