Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Toughbook CF-30 MK2 Windows 7 x64 brightness

January 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Short Story

Change the brightness in the bios from “High Brightness” to “Normal Brightness”

Long Story

Like many organizations we try to get as much life out of our mobile equipment as we can.  This time around I was working on some Panasonic CF-30 toughbooks, upgrading them to windows 7 64 bit, installing SSDs and adding 8 gigs of ram to them.

When all the upgrades were complete it was like a new laptop!  Kudos goes to the great people over to toughwiki for making a great set of instruction for all the drivers I needed.

So with the software installed I’m sent the toughbooks into the field, only to have them come back the next day saying the back-light blinded the drivers at night.

I searched and searched and tried and tried and nothing worked.  Forum after forum, walk through after wiki and none of the “solutions” worked to allow either the keyboard or windows to dim the back-light.

We had it sitting on the bench for a while and ended up needing the power outlet that it was plugged into for another project.  My co-worker started working on the toughbook again with fresh eyes and that’s when we noticed it.  The back-light dimmed when on battery!  not only that it was controllable from the keyboard using the function keys!  We plugged it back in and sure enough we couldn’t control the back-light.  After some more searching with new information we landed at the bios.  There is a display setting for high brightness or normal brightness.  If its on high brightness the laptop cannot control the brightness level, normal it can be controlled either on battery or off.

Windows XP restore Virus/Malware Start menu shortcuts

June 9, 2011 28 comments

Recently we have been getting a few copy’s of the “Windows XP Restore” virus going around.  This one is a nasty bit of kit.  It changes all your files on C:\ to hidden and throws in a bunch of popup crap.  I have been using malwarebytes anti-malware to get rid of the bugger but this virus leaves a parting gift of a hours worth of cleanup for the user profile.  So far my process has been to rename the users profile folder under c:\documents and settings.  I just rename the user folder to user.old.  Then I log in as the user which creates a new profile.  I then migrate the data back over manually.

Another pain in the ass with this virus is start menu shortcuts.  Even after un-hiding the “All Users” start menu and the profile start menu all the shortcuts were still missing,  So I went on the hunt and found that the virus moves them to C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Temp\smtmp\1.  It also seems to have moved quick launch to C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Temp\smtmp\2.

NOTE: Recover these files before you run your AV software as they have started removing the files as part of the virus.

Hope this little bit of info helps!

Updating Outlook with a PRF

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

We use a pop based E-mail service so do not have a global address list in Outlook.  I recently set up Active Directory as a LDAP based address book and wanted to send the setup to all of my existing clients through login script.  I read many articles on how to create a prf, but when I went to import it with outlook.exe /importprf , it kept creating a profile called “Outlook Default Profile” instead of updating the current profile.  The problem in the end was that I was typing Outlook.exe /importprf update.prf instead of outlook.exe /importprf c:\update.prf.  The importprf command switch requires the full path of the file to work, otherwise it creates a blank profile.

Hope this Helps!

Websense Troubleshooting

July 30, 2010 1 comment

We have a new AD at our dealership!!!  YAY!  With a new AD comes new features and better integration.  With that, I have started migrating our Websense Enterprise content filter from IP based authentication to AD user/group authentication.  During this change I learned a neat little trick that should help most when troubleshooting Websense problems.

  1. Log onto the client PC and go to a restricted site.
  2. Click on the “More information” link which should change the “Your organization’s Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time.” part at the top of the page to a white space.
  3. Right click on that white space and click on “view source”.
  4. At the bottom of the source code it will tell you the active policy and the method its being blocked by

Backwards ass way to get this info, but now you know!

Adobe Installer VS. IE

June 29, 2010 1 comment

A little while back I got called out to one of our branch sites on an issue concerning Adobe Flash.  Every time the installer tried to run it would kick IE 8 back to compatibility view and then pop up with a memory exception error.  I tried just about all the fixes I found online, from registry edits to patches.  In the end it was a very simple fix.  under the advanced tab in internet settings there is an option to “turn off memory protection”.  A quick restart of IE and no more Adobe installer problems!  Figured I would post this here as I had to sift through pages of Google results before I found something describing this fix.  Hopefully you find this post quicker and it helps out a bit!

Server 2008 Printer Queue Status Offline

June 3, 2010 22 comments

So I recently had a problem at work with a xerox printer on a different subnet that kept going to the status “offline” in Windows Server 2008 Print Management. Seems the cause of this error is the print driver using SNMP to communicate with the printer and not getting a response. Here is a quick and easy fix to get your printer back up and running

1) Right click on your printer and click properties
2) Go to the Ports Tab
3) Click on “Configure Port…”
4) Un-check “SNMP Status Enabled”

Then just click OK until you re back to the printer management window and VOILA! Your printer can now print again!

Windows Home Server, Painless Backups for all!

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment

WHS pie chartSo my Freenas NAS has been a pain in the ass lately.  It has this neat little habit of forgetting it has hard drives attached to it.  This is the second time this has happened, so I decided to branch out and try new server OS’s.  I have read a little bit about Windows Home server and heard the claims that “It just works”.  With this in mind, I decided to give it a chance.  The install was neat to say the least.  At first it installed windows 2003 server, then converted it to SBS and finally logo-ed it as WHS.  This process took 5 reboots, and looked like one hell of a batch file by MS.  The one thing I didn’t like was that it didn’t ask for an admin password until it was finished installing.  I was away form the house during the end of the install process and couldn’t log in to RDP on the server until I had an admin password set. That aside the install was pretty painless.

Setting up the WHS client on the rest of the PCs was equally as painless.  Once installed from either a CD or the handy dandy network share under \\server\software I could remotely manage all the WHS functions and as well have remote access to my PCs (through a activex based RDP client).  This client also facilitates automated network backups, but I was going to set this up later…  or so I thought!

Since the old NAS used UFS for a file system, I have to use UFS explorer to mount the disk in windows and copy the data to the WHS.  This is taking some time so I opted to leave my PC on overnight to finish copying.  When I got up this morning I checked the status of the drives to see how much data has been copied.  WHS has this neat little graph which displays different chunks for data, system, backups and so on.  What did I see but a blue chunk full of 26gigs of backup.  I never even touched the setups and WHS took care of my backups over night.  How cool is that!  Now that’s what I call painless backups!  I recommend it for anyone that is looking for a nas solution.

Windows Home Server Host Headers

August 5, 2009 Leave a comment

WHSRecently my FreeNas file server has been giving me some problems.  So I decided to try out that copy of Windows home server I had lying around.  In my never ending consolidation of servers I also decided to move my other blog to WHS.  As you can see b the link I am using a host header to forward my one static IP to the right website on IIS.  This setup worked fine until I wanted to access my WHS from the same domain.  When I set a host header for my WHS it wouldn’t forward.  From what I can gather from forums it seems to have  something to do with SSL.  So here’s where I cheated to get it work. I set up my new header on my dns provider ( and left the host header on WHS blank.  Where I had all my other headers set (www, blog, etc) I could let WHS become the default domain.  Seems to be working so far!

So there are limits to Outlook storage

July 6, 2009 Leave a comment

outlook full So I never thought I would see this one.  Tried to delete an e-mail this morning in outlook 2003 and I got this message.  So I checked my deleted folders and lone behold there is a limit to the amount of items you can have in a single folder in Outlook 2003.  I knew of the limitation, but never thought I would reach it.  Crazy

Oh, if you are wondering the limitation is 65,535 items

Categories: Windows

Add a sidebar to windows without extra software

April 7, 2009 Leave a comment

sidebarToday’s post is another organization tip, this one for your desktop.  I have tired a lot of desktop management software / toolbars and I always have issues with the amount of resources that they use.  Many desktop customization apps have a sidebar or quickbar application launcher that lives on either the left or right side of your screen, which is really what I was looking for.  So today I will show you how to create this nativly in Windows.

1) Add a folder to c: called shortcuts
2) Right click on your taskbar and click on “Toolbars” –> “Add New Toolbars”
3) Browse to your shortcut folder on C and press ok.  This will create a shortcuts toolbar on your taskbar.
4) Drag the “shortcuts” toolbar off of the taskbar and drag it to the far side of your monitor.  This should automatically mount the toolbar.

This is the basic toolbar setup.  I tweaked it to my liking by adding auto-hide, always on top and large icons (these options are avaiable by right clicking on the toolbar and all the options are avaliable).  You can add as many shortcuts and folders as you would like to the toolbar by adding such contenc to the c:\shortcuts folder on your computer.