Changing Services with the Command Line

Changing services, whether changing the startup type or stopping/starting them, is something every user will have to do. While it’s easy to simply go through the Services MMC that can be time consuming, especially when a PC is being slow. The prefered method would be through the Command Line, either manually or through a pre-written batch file. So how do you do this? Check below for details.
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Fixing corrupted Tasks in Windows

Ever had a corrupted task in Windows scheduler? It can happen after a restore, removable of software or accounts, a fail install or any number of other reasons. It can be infuriating to try to fix it, particularly if it’s corrupted enough to Task Scheduler can’t even show the task. It can also cause a variety of issue on your system and prevent you from adding new tasks, especially if they call the same program/script. How do you fix this? Looking in the Task Scheduler interface doesn’t provide much help due to it’s very minimal and simple management options. Even on Windows Server there aren’t very many options to work with. Turns out the solution is easy and requires nothing more than than deleting a file. Granted, you do need to know what file you’re looking for (which should be easy if you named the task logically).

The files can be found in your Windows folder under %windir%\System 32\Tasks  and/or  %systemroot%\Tasks . Most of the default system tasks will be under  %windir%\System 32\Tasks  while temporary tasks seem to be stored under %systemroot%\Tasks . This should be the same under all versions of Windows. Just find the problem task and delete or rename it. That’s all you need to do! A quick refresh of Task Scheduler should load the remaining tasks, sans those you removed. If any programs were affected by the corrupted task you should be able to restart them and continue any necessary troubleshooting.

Update: Patching VMWare ESXi 5.1

So I finally got around to patching my ESXi server which was several months behind. I thought I would just be able to use the same command I used previously wrote about to update it. That proved to be unsuccessful and all I got for my efforts were errors about the profile name. After some searching I discovered a new command to accomplish what I wanted.

Datastore is the name of the datastore the update is on and update.zip will be the patch file name. The complete command would look like this:

After running the command you should get a message saying something similar to result above. It will usually be followed by a long list of all the individual packages. Reboot your host either through the vSphere client or by typing  reboot  and your host should be updated once it finishes rebooting.

 

Installing Box.net Sync on Windows Server

Anyone who’s tried to install the Box.net Sync client on Windows Server knows how much trouble it will give you. Since Box.net does not officially support server operating systems (which strikes me as odd considering how much they market to businesses) you can’t install it on Windows Server with the regular package. Any attempt will result in a compatibility error. So how do you get around this? Don’t use the regular install package. Box.net offers MSI versions of the sync client which will install without a single complaint on Windows Server (Server 2008 32-bit for mine).

You should be able to find the links on the right side of the Sync page. Just download the version for your server, install and you’re good to go!

Screenshot 2013-07-12 05.38.53

How to get official ISO and Images from Microsoft for Free

For most of us if we need a Office or Windows ISO or image we either A) have to have the disc or B) hit up a torrent/download site for one. What if I told you that Microsoft offered official downloads of Windows, Office and other Microsoft products for free. They are offered through Microsoft’s Digital River Content service. It’s a great alternative to pirate sites or having to order a disc (which required a existing key and costs money) which can be a lot of trouble. I first discovered this source as I was building a library of ISO’s for my on-site technician job. I had some of the CD’s from past purchases but not all I would need.

So without further ado hit the links after the break for all the downloads. All the downloads are resumable and are quite fast. I will be updating this as I get time going forward.
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Custom Icons/Labels for your drives with autorun.inf

By default, Windows automatically adds icons to local drives as defined in the system and names as they were set during formatting. Most users could care less what the icons are or what the drive name is. But what if you want want to be able to tell your drives apart at a glance? Maybe you want a more descriptive name then “Local Disk (C:)”. Luckily windows (and perhaps other OS’s; I haven’t tested it) has a easy way to do so. How you ask? Our old friend autorun.inf. Click through to find out how to do it.
diskicons
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Welcome to the new home of A Rambling Geek!

I’m still setting up the site and working out the bugs but this will be the permanent home from now on. I’ll be able to have a lot more flexibility in content and how it looks. After I get the bugs worked out I have a few articles and guides I’ve been working on for you. If you have anything you’d like to see covered feel free to let me know.

Welcome and Enjoy.

Shell Script: Splunk Syslog Server Update script

Here is a set of upgrade scripts I’ve created to automatically upgrade Splunk Syslog Server on Linux. This is primarily written with ubuntu server in mind, specifically 12.04 LTS, though it’s easily editable for other distributions. You can download the files below (they are automatically zipped with the latest version.

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Weekend Project: Windows 8 Enterprise

So I ended up having to reset a password on a Windows 8 notebook for a guest this weekend (which turned out to be a massive headache) and had to make a recovery CD. Since I had to make a Windows 8 VM to do that I figured I’d pack it up and share it for anyone who’s interested. It’s a 90-day evaluation using the Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit ISO from Microsoft Technet. It’s a basic install, nothing fancy. It’s built in VMware Workstation 9 on the latest vmx-9 virtual hardware so it should work fine in most installations and with ESXi 5.0/5.1. It’s in my one of my dropbox accounts for the moment. Let me know if you have issues or have another host you’d like to see it on. I’ve included a link to the download page for the ISO’s if you want to install it yourself.

User: Test
Password: <no password>

OVA: Windows 8 Evaluation OVA.exe (3.71 GB) | Resumable Download via Mega
Microsoft Technet Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation: Download Page

PowerShell: Empty Recycle Bin

Here is a quick PowerShell script I found recently to clear the Windows Recycle Bin. This can be really useful if you want to automatically empty the Recycle Bin through something like the Task Scheduler. This code comes from the TechNet Script Center, courtesy of Windows Engineer and PowerShell Blogger Rich Prescott.

This script allows you to view the contents of the recycle bin in your profile. The first line creates a ComObject and then the second line grabs the Recycling Bin special folder. It then enumerates the items contained in that special folder and removes each of them. The Remove-Item cmdlet includes a switch to turn off confirmation for the removal of the files. It can be removed if you would like to be prompted for each file.

Works on:

Windows Server 2012 No
Windows Server 2008 R2 No
Windows Server 2008 No
Windows Server 2003 No
Windows 8 Yes
Windows 7 Yes
Windows Vista Yes
Windows XP Yes
Windows 2000 No

Source

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