Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Disable Windows hibernate on a work notebook or Desktop Gamers PC – Save a lot of Space on Windows C Drive, delete hidefil.sys howto

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

how-to-to-disable-stop-hibernate-windows-8-10-to-save-disk-space-and-get-rid-of-hbierfil.sys-misteriously-occupying-space-improve-windows-performance

Some Windows  laptop / desktop users prefer not to shutdown computers (especially those coming back from Mac OS backgound) at the end of the day but  hibernate instead.

Hibernate is a great thing but historically we know well that in Windows hibernate is working much worser than on Macs and it is common that after multiple hibernates you will face problems with missing  C:\ drive space is it might be "misteriously" decreasing in a way that the PC performance degrades as the C:\hibfile.sys hidden file occupies few 16Gigas or so (the occupied space by hibfile.sys does resemble the installed RAM Memory on the computer, so if your PC has 16Gigas the hibfile.sys will be lets say approximately 15 Gigabytes)

However most users never use hibernate and might never use it for a life time, especially those on a Desktop Windows PCs, I use Windows as a WorkStation as an employee of DXC (the ex Hewlett Packard or Hewlett Packard Enterprise that merged with CSC) but to be honest I've used hibernate function very raraly on the notebook, thus I find the hibernate more or less useless feature, especially because at many times I try to wake-up the PC after hibernate the computer boots but the display stays dark and I have to restart the Computer before I can go back to normal work operations. Of course my Windows 7 hibernation issues might be caused do to the corporate software installed on my PC or because the fact the hard drive is encrypted but nomatter that in my case and I guess in case of many the hibernate function on Windows 7 / 8 / 10 might be totally useless.
 


Few works is Hiberfil.sys File and Why you might want to complete disable / delete it


On Windows 7 / 8 / 10 the hiberfil.sys file is being used to store the PC current state at time of hibernation, so if you have to move from a place to place within an organization / university / office without a charger hibernation is a really nice way to save battery power without later wasting time for additional PC boot (where a lot of power is wasted for Operationg System to load and re-opening the opened Browser etc.

So in short sleeping the PC with Hibernate function does cause the Computer to write into C:\hiberfil.sys all data at the moment stored in the PC RAM (Memory), which is being cleared up at time of Computer being in Sleep mode.
Once the computer receives a Wake-up call from the hibernation in order to present with the Desktop at the same state hiberfile.sys stored information is being red and transferred to PC flushable RAM so the RAM memory is again filled with same bits it used to have right before the hibernation was made.

Because hiberfil.sys is a system file it has the hidden attribute and it can only be write / read by a Administrator Win account and usually it is not a good idea to touch it

Some people haven't shutdown Windows for 20-30 days and especially if Windows has disabled updates it happens for some users to use the hibernate function for weeks (re-hibernating and waking up thousand times) for long periods so the effect is the hiberfile.sys might become gigantic and if you take the time to check what is file or directory is wasting all your C:\> drive with leys say WinDirStat or SpaceSniffer you will notice the lets say 15Gigas being eaten by Hiberfil.sys.

Disable of hibfile.sys is also a great tip for Gamers desktop PCs as most gamers won't use hibernate function at all.

I. How to Disable Hibernate Mode in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista


In order to get rid of the file across Windows 7 / 8 / 10

Open command prompt (as an Administartor, right click on the Command Prompt cmd.exe and choose Run as Administartor) and issue below cmd:

disable-hibernate-on-windows-7-8-10-powercfg-off-screenshot

C:\> powercfg -h off

If later you decide you need the hibernate function again active on the PC or notebook do issue:

C:\> powercfg -h on

You’re likely reading this because you noticed a gigantic hiberfil.sys file sitting on your system drive and you’re wondering if you can get rid of it to free up some space. Here’s what that file is and how you can delete it if you want to.

 

II. Disable Hibernate Mode in Windows XP

Hibernate function command is not present on Windows XP so in order to remove it on XP (hope you don't use XP any more and you're not a viction of the resent crypt catastrophic ransomware WannaCry 🙂

disable-hibernate-mode-windows-xp-screenshot

Control Panel -> Power Options

In the Power Options properties window, switch to the “Hibernate” tab and disable the “Enable hibernation” option.

After you disable hibernate mode, restart PC, and manually delete the hiberfil.sys file.

Now enjoy free-ing up few gigabytes of useless wasted C:\ hard drive space from your PC 🙂

Note: Removing hiberfil.sys is a precious thing to do on old Windows Computers which have been made with a little leys say 40Gigabyte partition drive C:\ whether with the time due to User profile use and Browsing caches the C:\ drive has left with leys say 1-2 Gigabyte of free space and the computers overall performance has fallen twice or so.

This post is in memoriam of Chriss Cornell (our generation used to grow with grunge and his music was one of the often listened by me and our generation)

R.I.P: Chriss Cornell (the head of SoundGarden and AudioSlave who passed away yesterday right on the day when we in Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church commemorate the memory of a great-martyr Nicolay Sofijski (Great Martyr Nicolas from Sofia martyred by Turkish Ottomans during year 1555).

I found surprising fact for me  that Chriss Cornell converted to Greek Eastern Orthodox faith under influence of his Greek Wife, below is paste from his Wikipedia page:

"

Chriss Cornell Personal life (Rest in Peace Chris)

Cornell was married to Susan Silver, the manager of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.[123] They had a daughter, Lillian Jean, born in June 2000.[123] He and Silver divorced in 2004.[123] In December 2008, Cornell reported via his official website that he had finally won back his collection of 15 guitars after a four-year court battle with Silver.[124]

He was married to Vicky Karayiannis,[125] a Paris-based American publicist of Greek heritage. The union produced a daughter, Toni, born in September 2004, and a son, Christopher Nicholas, born in December 2005.[126] Cornell converted to the Greek Orthodox Church through her influence.[127]

When asked how Cornell beat all his addictions he stated, "It was a long period of coming to the realization that this way (sober) is better. Going through rehab, honestly, did help … it got me away from just the daily drudgery of depression and either trying to not drink or do drugs or doing them and you know, they give you such a simple message that any idiot can get and it's just over and over, but the bottom line is really, and this is the part that is scary for everyone, the individual kinda has to want it … not kinda, you have to want it and to not do that crap anymore or you will never stop and it will just kill you."[128]

In a 2011 interview,[129] Cornell said the major change with the reformed Soundgarden is a lack of alcohol: "The biggest difference I noticed … and we haven't even really talked about it: There are no bottles of Jack Daniel's around or beers. And we never talked about … it's just not there."


Enjoy!

 

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Enable printing from Windows and Macs remotely through Linux Print server – Share Brother Printer DCP-1610W with Linux CUPS and Samba Windows Share

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Brother-Printer-model-DCP-1610W-printer-scanner-and-copier-in-one-picture
I've recently bought a new Printer model Brother DCP 1610W and as in my home I have already a small Linux router and a web server where this blog and a couple of other websites runs and I need multiple PC / notebook / mobile phone enabled people to print on the Printer easily pretty much like a Printing server for a Small Office environment.

To do that of course I needed it configured to be accessible remotely for print via LAN and Wireless network. The task is not a complex one and printing remotely over the network is a standard thing many company organizations / universities and univerities does for quite some time and hence nowadays most printers are network connect ready so you just have to place them inside your home or corporate network and use the time to configure them via their web configuration interface or even some have their own embedded wifi adapter, as well as many printers nowdays can even be ready to print directly by just connecting the Printer to the Wi-Fi network and installing its drivers on a Win host.

Anyhow the most common way for both home printer configurations and corporate I'm aware of still is to Share the printer via Windows Server or Win Server Domain so anyone connected to the Network to be able to Add the printer via Winblows.

In the case i'm going to describe below my home the Wi-Fi router is connected to an 5 Port Network Switch (HUB) which on its hand is connected to the Linux router which serves multiple things (a Linux router, a hosting server (web server and a database server hosted, a mail server, traffic proxy server, a firewall and a NAT router), I decided to Share the printer to Wi-Fi connected and LAN clients directly switched via an UTP cable to the switch by using the good old Linux Samba Sharing server.

I did not actually do that for a really long time hence before I started I did some quick research to get an idea on the general steps to partake to succeed in Sharing the Printer over the network of this Debian's Wiki SystemPrinting Guide was mostly helpful.

 

1. Downloading and Installing necessery Brother Printer deb packages
 

A small remark to make here is my Linux server is running Debian GNU / Linux and hence this article is giving details on how Printer can be Shared on Debian though a minor adaptation of the article should make it possible to install also on any RHEL / CentOS / SuSE etc. Redhat based RPM Linux distribution.)

First step to do is to download Brother printer vendor provided drivers as of moment of writting this article they're here

To download the drivers get the proper links and use wget or curl to download all the necessery .deb archives in lets say in /root/brother-printer-drivers e.g. before that create the folder with:
 

root@linux:/root# mkdir /root/brother-printer-drivers

Also it might be helpful for those who need some other Brother Printer Linux driver complete list of Brother Printer all Linux drivers as of time of writting this post is found on this URL here

Next you need to install following Brother printer driver deb packages brscan-skey brscan4 dcp1610wcupswrapper dcp1610wlpr

root@linux:/root# cd brother-printer-drivers
root@linux:/root/brother-printer-drivers# dpkg -i –force-all brscan-skey-0.2.4-1.amd64.deb

root@linux:/root# dpkg -i –force-all brscan4-0.4.4-1.amd64.deb

root@linux:/root# dpkg -i –force-all dcp1610wcupswrapper-3.0.1-1.i386.deb

root@linux:/root# dpkg -i –force-all dcp1610wlpr-3.0.1-1.i386.deb

root@linux/root# cd  ../


Once installed dpkg -l should show like so:
 

root@linux:/root# dpkg -l |grep -i brother
ii  brscan-skey                                0.2.4-1                      Brother Linux scanner S-KEY tool
ii  brscan4                                    0.4.4-1                      Brother Scanner Driver
ii  dcp1610wcupswrapper                        3.0.1-1                      Brother DCP-1610W CUPS wrapper driver
ii  dcp1610wlpr                                3.0.1-1                      Brother DCP-1610W LPR driver

Brother's vendor provided packages will install drivers under /opt/brother
 

root@linux:/root# ls -al /opt/brother/
общо 16
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 яну 26 13:58 ./
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 яну 26 13:55 ../
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 яну 26 13:58 Printers/
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 яну 26 13:58 scanner/

 

2. Installing CUPS Printing Service and related Filters and Postscript packages necessery for PDF processing on CUPS server side

 

root@linux:/root#  apt-get install –yes cups cups-client cups-common cups-pdf cups-ppdc foomatic-db foomatic-db-engine foomatic-filters foomatic-filters-ppds openprinting-ppds lpr hp-ppd hpijs cups-pdf ghostscript-cups

Your printing should work normally without cups-pdf and ghostscript-cups packages installed but I install them just in case if PDF processing is problematic you can skip that.

It is also useful to install sane and sane-utils packages if you're going to use the brother's scanner capabilities.

root@linux:/root# apt-get install –yes sane sane-utils

Note that considering that all packages installed fine and the CUPS service is running, this should have set a proper printer into /etc/printcap a short database used to describe printers. printcap file is being used by UNIX's spooling system and allows you to dynamic addition and deletion of printers, for Linux / *Nix hosts which have more than one printer connected and added in CUPs records for the various printer goes there.
With a single Brother DCP-1610W Printer like my case is you should have records similar to these:

root@linux:~/brother-printer-drivers# cat /etc/printcap
DCP1610W:\
        :mx=0:\
        :sd=/var/spool/lpd/DCP1610W:\
        :sh:\
        :lp=/dev/usb/lp0:\
        :if=/opt/brother/Printers/DCP1610W/lpd/filter_DCP1610W:

 

 

3. Adding a Printer in CUPS the easy way through CUPS Printing System Web Interface

 

CUPS has a nice web interface for setting up and administering printers and print queues.

Below is a selfexplanatory screenshot of Add Printer screen 

add-a-new-printer-cups-web-admin-interface-screenshot-in-a-firefox-browser  .

 

Use your favourite browser (Firefox, Opera, Chromium, lynx, elinks – yes the great news is console / terminal browsers are also supported well by cups web iface) to display interface and add a printer via the Administration screen. If you are asked for a username and password see here.

cups-web-admin-interface-accessed-in-browser-listing-brother-dcp1610w-printer-screenshot

There are three sections. The first is for local printers; that is, printers which are usually attached to the machine you are using. These are very often printers using a USB connection but can be parallel or serial port printers.

Adding a USB printer is a common occurance and one should automatically be detected as a local printer and a URI (Unified Resource Indicator) for its connection displayed on the next page.
 

The Other Network Printers section requires you to specify the destination for the remote print queue/printer, which could be on the local network or many kilometres away. AppSocket is almost always available on a network printer and other devices and requires only the IP address of the printer and a port number. An Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) URI is the preferrred choice for connecting to another CUPS server because it is CUPS' native protocol. ipp14 is the ipp backend from CUPS 1.4 and Debian-specific. It is provided because some devices do not work with the current ipp backend, which has a stricter adherence to the IPP standard. A Line Printer Daemon (LPD) URI could be considered if the remote printing service does not support IPP satisfactorily or at all. As before, when a remote print queue is doing the filtering choose RAW as the Make/Manufacturer.

 

4. Printer Status and Control testing whether CUPS printing is up and running


 

Once cups is installed and hopefully up and running you should see the cups process up and running to check it do:

root@linux:/root# /etc/init.d/cups status; ps axuwwf|grep -i cups|grep -v grep
Status of Common Unix Printing System: cupsd is running.
root      2815  0.0  0.0  75364  2912 ?        Ss   Mar17   0:00 /usr/sbin/cupsd -C /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

To get some further testing you can also use lpstat command and should get ouput similar to belows:
 

root@linux:/root# lpstat -t
scheduler is running
no system default destination
device for DCP1610W: usb://Brother/DCP-1610W%20series
DCP1610W accepting requests since Fri Mar 17 23:03:37 2017
printer DCP1610W disabled since Fri Mar 17 23:03:37 2017 –
        Unplugged or turned off

At the moment of issuing above command it shows printer is disabled because of moment of execution the printer was turned off for a while cause I was not needing it you should get usually an output of enabled and ready to print.

lpstat is also about to report whether a queue is accepting jobs and what is yet to be printed you can do

 

 

5. Install and Configure Samba Sharing Server on the Linux server


 

You can setup CUPS to allow Windows machines to print to a CUPS server using an http address.

First, install the samba package. When you are asked to use WINS, say yes.

root@linux:/root#  apt-get install samba

Next you might want to set setup your /etc/cups/cupsd.conf file by default CUPS would listen to LPD's port 631 if you don't have a strong firewall isolating you from the Internet on port 631 you might want to change that port to another one lets say to Port 49651.


I personally prefer keep the default port 631 and do use a robust firewall. If you want to change it modify config to something like:

# Our private connection we listen to Listen *:49651 # Allow machines on local network to use printers <Location /printers> Order allow,deny Allow 192.168.0.* Allow 192.168.1.* </Location>

If you like to filter access to CUPs daemon to receive Printing requests to be originating only from the local network place in smb.conf also something with your private network ranges:

# Allow machines on local network to use printers

<Location /printers>
Order allow,deny
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>
<Location />
  # Allow remote administration…
  Order allow,deny
##  Allow all
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>
<Location />
  # Allow remote administration…
  Order allow,deny
##  Allow all
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>
<Location /admin>
  # Allow remote administration…
  Order allow,deny
##  Allow all
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>

 

This will listen on port 49651 from any network. You may use some other port number besides 631. Note that the dynamic and/or private ports as specified by the IANA are in the range 49152 through 65535. Also, this will only allow computers from the local network to print to the CUPS printers.
 

6. Use CUPS Printing server to print over the network directly

 

 

Next you need to restart the CUPS daemon once again as it will be used for samba printing
 


# service cups restart


Now on each Windows machine, Choose that you want to install a network printer and that you want to install a printer on the Internet or home/office network. The URL you will use should be smth like:
 


http://<cups_server_hostname>:49651/printers/DCP1610W

 

Lastly, select the Brother downloaded from Internet or the one that's available on the Install CD, for any other vendor printer if it is lets say HP Printer or Canon to install use the respective provided driver or as a last resort use the Generic section driver labeled MS Publisher Color Printer.

 

 

7. Configure Samba to Share CUPS network enabled printer


I've done a minor changes in default installed /etc/samba/smb.conf to make the printer accessible from The Samba server here is the main things to consider changing:
 

# Change this to the workgroup/NT-domain name your Samba server will part of
   workgroup = WORKGROUP

#   security = user
security = share

[printers]
   comment = PC Freak Printer
   browseable = yes
   path = /var/spool/samba
   printable = yes
   guest ok = yes
   read only = yes
   create mask = 0700

# Windows clients look for this share name as a source of downloadable
# printer drivers
[print$]
   comment = Printer Drivers
   path = /var/lib/samba/printers
   browseable = yes
   read only = yes
   guest ok = yes


Next restart Samba server to make the new setting take affect:
 

root@linux:/# /etc/init.d/samba restart
Stopping Samba daemons: nmbd smbd.
Starting Samba daemons: nmbd smbd.
root@linux:/# ps axu|grep -E "smb|nmb"
root     21887  0.0  0.0 169588  1904 ?        Ss   16:53   0:00 /usr/sbin/nmbd -D
root     21892  0.0  0.0 197560  3272 ?        Ss   16:53   0:00 /usr/sbin/smbd -D
root     21894  0.0  0.0 197560  1564 ?        S    16:53   0:00 /usr/sbin/smbd -D
root     21899  0.0  0.0 112368   840 pts/6    S+   16:53   0:00 grep -E smb|nmb

root@linux:/#

Complete current smb.conf configuration I use to make the Brother Printer DCP 1610W accesible via network share is here

This section needs updating as you can setup print server via samba print sharing just by uploading drivers.

When printing to windows printers in an NT domain using SMB the Device URI should use similar to:

 

smb://username:password@domain/server/printername

 

This allows Samba to authenticate against a domain controller for acces to the printer queue.

In my case as you can see in below smb.conf configuration I've configured Samba security = share which will allow anyone to access the samba server without authentication so you can omit  username:password@ part

One good way to determine the printername  (in case you are not sure of) is to use smbclient command line tool. computername refers to the name of the machine that shares the printer:

 

smbclient -L copmputername


computername is the name of the samba server machine or its IP address


E.g.
 

hipo@linux:~$ smbclient -L //192.168.0.1/
Enter Attitude's password:
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.5.6]

        Sharename       Type      Comment
        ———       —-      ——-
        print$          Disk      Printer Drivers
        IPC$            IPC       IPC Service (pcfreak server)
        DCP1610W        Printer   DCP1610W
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.5.6]

        Server               Comment
        ———            ——-
        PCFREAK              pcfreak server

        Workgroup            Master
        ———            ——-
        WORKGROUP            WORKGROUP


Check the ouput for entries of Type "Printer":


The resulting (Linux / Mac OS) Samba Share access URL from the output above would be

smb://192.168.0.1/DCP1610W


 

 

8. Adding Printer to your Windows machines to enable actual Remote Samba Sharing printing

Assuming you already know the Printer share name, here is what I needed to do to have the Printer Added on each of Windows Desktop PCs and Notebooks

 

Control Panel -> Devices and Printers -> Add a printer -> (Add a Network wireless or bluetooth printer)

Then instead of Searching the printer to click on:

The printer that I wasn't listed

add-samba-network-share-brother-dcp-1610w-printer-to-windows-7-machine-no-printer-found-from-add-printer

Then type in the URL or IP (as in my case) leading to the printer as you see in below screenshot:

 

9. Printer Samba Sharing Using Macintosh notebook as the Client and Debian as the Server

 

1. Assuming you have cups to set up the printer on Debian as described above.

2. On the Mac (OS X 10.4+) start Print and Fax from System Preferences. Use the + button to add a printer.

3. Look first in the "Default" tab. If the automagic printer-sharing has worked, and your Mac is connected to the local network properly, then the Debian-based printer should already be visible in the list.

Just select it and use the recommended print driver. If you face problems you can try to play with
Gutenprint Printer drivers to make it printing.

4. If your printer is not visible in the Default tab, then try adding it on the "IP" tab.

Pick IPP as the protocol, give the plain IP address of the server in the address box (in my case that's 192.168.0.1, and in the Queue box put
"printers/DCP1610W

Put whatever helps you identify the printer in the Name and Location boxes (fields), and choose a printer driver than matches Brother DCP1610W or with another printer installed whatever you used to set up the printer on Debian .
Finally Pray that God help you to make it work and press the Add button. If you prayed honestly and repenting for your sins perhaps you will have mercy and it will work, of course if not try to research online on how to fix it further by God's grace.

Note that making printing work on Mac is a little bit of tricky and it might cause you some extra effort / nerves to complete.

 

10. Some other Useful maintanance commands you might need in future CUPS Printer queue jobs maintance

 

For displaying or setting print queue options and defaults:

lpoptions -p <print_queue_name> -l

Stopping and starting print queues. Acceptance and rejection of jobs sent to a destination:
 

cupsdisable <print_queue_name>
cupsenable <print_queue_name>
cupsaccept <print_queue_name>
cupsreject <print_queue_name>


To Cancel all jobs on a destination and additionally delete job data files:

cancel -a <print_queue_name>
cancel -a -x <print_queue_name>

That's all folks, Thanks God the printer should be working. Enjoy!

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Some standard software programs to install on Windows to make your Windows feel more like a Linux / Unix Desktop host

Friday, March 17th, 2017

linux-freebsd-unix-migration-to-windows-some-useful-customizations-and-program-softwares-to-install-to-make-your-windows-feel-like-more-linux-and-bsd-unix

If you're Windows user like me with a Linux / FreeBSD / OpenBSD / NetBSD – a dedicated Unix user and end up working for financial reasons in some TOP 100 Fortune companies (CSC, SAP, IBM, Hewlett Packard,Enterprise, Oracle) etc.  and forced for business purposes (cause some programs such as Skype for Business Desktop Share does not run fine on Unix like and thus you have to work notebook pre-installed with Windows 7 / 8 or 10 but you're so accustomed to customizations already from UNIX environments and you would like to create yourself the Windows to resemble Linux and probably customize much of how Windows behaves by default.

Here is what I personally did on my work Windows 7 Enterprise on my HP Elitebook notebook to give myself the extra things I'm used to my Debian Linux Desktop.


1. Downloaded and instaled standard gnome-terminal xterm like immediately (E.g. check MobaXterm great alternative to Putty),
2. Changed cutomize Windows 7 appearance to be more like classical Windows XP,  change Windows 8 / 10 start menu appearance to be more like in classic Windows 2000
3. Installed following bunch of softwares

  • VIM Text Editor for Windows
  • Thunderbird Mail Client
  • OpenVPN client
  • Oracle VM Virtualbox
  • Opera
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Password Safe
  • Ext2FS / Ext3FS (support programs)
  • F.lux (to auto adjust screen brightness day and night for better sleep)
  • install ActivePerl for Windows
  • Install GNUWin Tools (and perhaps most importantly)
  • CygWin,  (to provide Windows with most needed console Linux tools), Clink.
  • WinSCP
  • Swish (to be able to remotely mount your Linux partitions and see them as local Windows drives)
  • dosbox (to play some of the good old Dos games :))
  • Windirstat (to easily check the size of complete directory and subdirectories)
  • SpaceSniffer (to be able to see which directory or files are taking the most space on the system)


Along with all above goodies here is also some good software I find essential for every web developer / system administrator / network administrator or java,  C, php pprogrammer out there that's using Windows as his Desktop platrofm.

Another thing I prefer  on Windows 7 when used as workstation is to change the default Windows 7 LogonUI screen background as well check out how here

Perhaps there is plenty of other goodprograms to install on Windows to make it feel even more like a Linux / Unix Desktop host, if you happen to somehow stuck to this article and you've migrated from Llinux / BSD desktop to Windows for work purposes please share with me any other goodies you happen to use that is from *Unix.

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Windows missing volume control on Windows 7, 8 Fix / How to run volume control from command line

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

windows-7-missing-volume-controller-bring-back-volume-control-windows-7-command-to-show-volume-control-on-windows-os

 

Windows 7/8 Volume Icon disappear from Taskbar?

If you are using  Windows 7 or  Windows 8 Operating System inside a corporate network and your notebook PC is inside domain controller controlled by some crazy administrators who for some reason decided to remove the Taskbar from your Taskbar tray you have come over to exactly same situation like I do here.

Actually some might have experienced an icon "combined" feature which gives the opportunity of some of the standard Tray icons we know since Windows 98 / XP onwards to not show full time in order to save you space. No doubt this feature is great one to use as it is distracting sometimes to have a tons of applications constantly keeping in the Taskbar (right down corner) however if the Active Domain admin did it without any notification and you're a kind of victim you might dislike especially since this behaviour is making you impossible to easily control your phone / headspeakers and mic.

 

windows-7-8-grouped-taskbar-icons-screenshot-volume-dialog-bar

If you check in the Control Panel and click on Sounds  menu in Windows 7/8, you don't see any checkbox for adding the icon back as I have assumed, , but instead all the audio there you can only see the inputs and outputs on your system general settings.

windows-7-8-control-panel-sounds-dialog-box-properties

This behavior was made on purpose and makes sense cauze the taskbar icons since Win XP (if not mistaken) has to be controlled by the taskbar settings pan.

Thus in order to bring back the disappeared icon on  Winblows 7 / Win 8 there is a taskbar properties feature enabling to to hide or view the various taskbar running apps in that number the Volume icon, hence to bring back your Volme Control speaker icon to taskbar you need to customize it.

To do so do a mouse Right-click anywhere on the taskbar and choose Properties.

taskbar-properties-windows-7-8-dialog

Now, click on the Customize button under Notification area.

taskbar-and-startmenu-menu-properties-customize-taskbar-dialog-bar

In  Notification Area Icons dialog box, there is 2 ticks to check. Assure yourself the volume icon default behavior is set to

Show icon and notifications like in below screenshot

show-icon-notifications-volume-bar-windows-7-8-dialog

To make the new behaviour active click on Turn system icons on or off.

turn-system-icons-on-off-windows-7-8-notification-restore-default-icon-behavior-dialog

One thing to note here is the volume icon shoukld be set to On like in below| shot:

 

turn-system-icons-on-off-volume-icon-on-windows-7-8
If the reason for the disapperance of the Volume controller in task is not due to Domain Controllear policty it could happen due to late updates pushed by Microsoft if the PC needs a restart or after computer Log off operation.
Another reason for the casual disappearance of sound box could be also a buggy driver, so if the icon keeps disappearing over and over again, you better try to update the driver for your sound card.

However if you end up in a Windows Domain Controller (AD) Policy that is prohibiting the Sound Voulme to appear on your taskbar like in my case all the above won't help you solve it, but luckily there is an easy way to invoke the Volume Control dialog box via

 

sndvol.exe

 

the command will bring up the Volume Control as in upper left corner of screen like in below screenshot:

windows-volume-mixer-taskbar-windows-7-8-shot

 

If you to show it with a silder use -f flag

sndvol.exe -f

Running just

sndvol.exe


opens the volume mixer, as you noted.

 

On windows XP the respective command to open a missing Volume Control dialog in taskbar, use instead:

sndvol32

command from Windows Command Prompt:

 

Start -> Run -> cmd.exe

 

sndvol32

no params to display master volume window

 

 

sndvol32 -x

to display small master volume window

sndvol32 -t

to display volume control only (as per sound icon)

If you have the Volume Controller behavior to be hidden or you need to view any other taskbar hidden application icon  it will be useful for you to use:

AutoHotKey Win+B to focus on the system tray, Left (arrow) to highlight the Volume Control icon icon, and then Enter to bring up the popup.

 

A good tip you might be interestted to use occasionally is  how to show the current Wireless networks via a command (if that's prohibited otherwise via GUI) so you can easily see the  Connected Networks on Windows using cmd:

rundll32 van.dll,RunVAN

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How to convert .CRT SSL Certificate to .PFX format (with openssl Linux command) and Import newly generated .PFX to Windows IIS Webserver

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

IIS8_Windows_Webserver_logo_convert_CRT_and_import_PFX-certificate

1. Converting to .CRT to.PFX file format with OpenSSL tool on GNU / Linux to import in Windows (for example, IIS)

Assuming you have generated already a certificate using the openssl Linux command and you have issued the .CRT SSL Certificate issuer file
and you need to have the new .CRT SSL Certificate installed on Windows Server (lets say on Windows 2012) with IIS Webserver version 8.5, you will need a way to convert the .CRT file to .PFX, there is plenty of ways to do that including using online Web Site SSL Certificate converter or use a stand alone program on the Windows server or even use a simple perl / python / ruby script to do the conversion but anyways the best approach will be to convert the new .CRT file to IIS supported binary Certificate format .PFX on the same (Linux certificate issuer host where you have first generated the certificate issuer request .KEY (private key file used with third party certificate issuer such as Godaddy or Hostgator to receive the .CRT / PEM file).

Here is how to generate the .PFX file based on the .CRT file for an Internal SSL Certfiicate:

 

openssl pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -out server.pfx

On the password prompt to appear use any password because otherwise the future IIS Webserver certificate import will not work.
 

To do a certificate chain SSL export to be accessed from the  internet.

 

openssl pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -out server.pfx -certfile internet v2.crt

2. Import the PFX file in Windows


Run: mmc, add snap, Certificates, Computer account, Local Computer; in the
Console:

Certificates (Local Computer) > Personal > Certificates: Select All Tasks > Import File

Enter previously chosen password.
You should get further the Message "Import was successful."

You can import the PFX file by simply copying it to the server where you want it imported and double click it this will  open Windows Importwizzard.

Then select the IIS:

 

Site, Properties, Directory Security, Server Certificate, Replace the current certficate, select proper Certificate. Done.

Alternatively to complete the IIS Webserver certificate import within one step when a new certificate is to be imported:

In IIS Manager interface go to :

Site, Properties, Directory Security, Server Certificate, Server Certificate Wizard


Click on

Next

Choose

import a certificate from a .pfx file, select and enter password.

Internet_Information_Server_IIS_Windows-SSL_Certificate-import-PKF-file

3. Import the PFX file into a Java keystore


Another thing you might need if you have the IIS Webserver using a backend Java Virtual Machine on the same or a different Windows server is to import the newly generated .PFX file within the Java VM keystore.

To import with keytool command for Java 1.6 type:

 

keytool -importkeystore -deststorepass your_pass_here -destkeypass changeit -destkeystore keystore.jks -srckeystore server.pfx -srcstoretype PKCS12 -srcstorepass 1234 -srcalias 1 -destalias xyz


Also the .CRT file could be directly imported into the Java keystore

 

Import a .crt in a Java keystore


/usr/java/jre/bin/keytool -import -keystore /webdienste/java/jdk/jre/lib/security/cacerts -file certificate.crt -alias Some alias

 

 

4. Get a list of Windows locally installed certificates

To manager installed certificates on Windows 7 / 8 / 2012 Server OS is to run command via

Start -> Run

 

certmgr.msc

certmgr_trca_windows_check-windows-installed-ssl-certificates

 

One other way to see the installed certificates on your Windows server is checking within

Internet Explorer

Go to Tools (Alt+X) → Internet Options → Content → Certificates.

 

To get a a complete list of installed Certificate Chain on Windows you can use PowerShell

 

Get-ChildItem -Recurse Cert:

 

That's all folks ! 🙂

 

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How to shutdown Windows after 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. X hours with a batch script – Shutdown / Reboot / Logoff Windows with a quick command

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

http://pc-freak.net/images/windows-pc-server-shutdown-after-3-5-hours-howto-shutdown-windows-with-command-batch

I recently wondered how it is possible to shutdown Windows in some prior set time lets say in 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours or 8 hours.

That's handy especially on servers that are being still in preparation install time and you have left some large files copy job (if you're migration files) from Old server environment to a new one
or if you just need to let your home WIndows PC shutdown to save electricity after some time (a very useful example is if you're downloading some 200GB of data which are being estimated to complete in 3 hours but you need to get out and be back home in 2 or 4 days and you don't want to bother connecting remotely to your PC with VNC or teamviewer then just scheduling the PC / server to shutdown in 3 hours with a simple is perfect solution to the task, here is how:

1. Open Command Prompt (E.g. Start menu -> Run and type CMD.EXE)

2. Type in command prompt

 

shutdown -s -t 10800

 

If you by mistake has typed it to shutdown earlier and suddenly you find out your PC needs to be running for a short more time in order to cancel the scheduled Shutdown type:

 

shutdown -a


Shutdown Windows command -s flag has also a possibiltiy to not shutdown but just logoff or if you just need to have the system rebooted a reboot option:
 


options    effect
-l         to log off
-r         to reboot

If you need to shutdown the PC after half an hour use instead the command:

 

shutdown -s -t 1800


shutdown-windows-pc-with-command-in-half-an-hour-screenshot.gif


Half an hour is 1800 seconds for one hour delayed shutdown use 3600 for 3 hours, that would be 3*3600 10800, for 5 hours 5*3600 = 18000 seconds and so on

 


An alternative way to do it with a short VBscript, here is an example:

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

Dim Input
Input = "10:00"

'Input = InputBox("Enter the shutdown time here.","", "10:00")

For i = 1 to 2

CurrentTime = Time & VbCrLf

If Left(CurrentTime,5) = Input Then

objShell.Run "shutdown -s -t 00", 0
WScript.Quit 1

Else

WScript.Sleep 1000

End If

i=i-1

Next

Enjoy

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Enable TLS 1.2 Internet Explorer / Make TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 web sites work on IE howto

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Internet-Explorer-cannot-display-the-webpage-IE-error
 

Some corporate websites and web tools especially one in DMZ-ed internal corporation networks require an encryption of TLS 1.2 (Transport Layer of Security cryptographic protocol)   TLS 1.1 protocol   both of which are already insecure (prone to vulnerabilities).

Besides the TLS 1.2 browser requirements some corporate tool web interfaces like Firewall Opening request tools etc. are often are very limited in browser compitability and built to only work with certain versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer like leys say IE (Internet Explorer) 11.

TLS 1.2 is supported across IE 8, 9, 10 and 11, so sooner or later you might be forced to reconfigure your Internet Explorer to have enabled the disabled by OS install TLS 1.2 / 1.1.

For those unaware of what TLS (Transport Layer of Security) protocol is so to say the next generation encryption protocol after SSL (Secure Socket Layer) also both TLS and SSL terms are being inter-exchangably used when referring with encrypting traffic between point (host / device etc.) A and B by using a key and a specific cryptographic algorithm.
TLS is usually more used historically in Mail Servers, even though as I said some web tools are starting to use TLS as a substitute for the SSL certificate browser encryption or even in conjunction with it.
For those who want to dig a little bit further into What is TLS? – read on technet here.

I had to enable TLS on IE and I guess sooner others will need a way to enable TLS 1.2 on Internet Explorer, so here is how this is done:
 

Enable-Internet-Explorer-TLS1.2-TLS-1.1-internet-options-IE-screensho
 


    1. On the Internet Explorer Main Menu (press Alt + F to make menu field appear)
    Select Tools > Internet Options.

    2. In the Internet Options box, select the Advanced tab.

    3. In the Security category, uncheck Use SSL 3.0 (if necessery) and Check the ticks:

    Use TLS 1.0,
    Use TLS 1.1 and Use TLS 1.2 (if available).

    4. Click OK
   
     5. Finally Exit browser and start again IE.

 

Once browser is relaunched, the website URL that earlier used to be showing Internet Explorer cannot display the webpagre can't connect / missing website error message will start opening normally.

Note that TLS 1.2 and 1.1 is not supported in Mozilla Firefox older browser releases though it is supported properly in current latest FF releases >=4.2.

If you  have fresh new 4.2 Firefox browser and you want to make sure it is really supporting TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 encrpytion:

 

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste TLS and pause while the list is filtered

(3) If the security.tls.version.max preference is bolded and "user set" to a value other than 3, right-click > Reset the preference to restore the default value of 3

(4) If the security.tls.version.min preference is bolded and "user set" to a value other than 1, right-click > Reset the preference to restore the default value of 1

The values for these preferences mean:

1 => TLS 1.0 2 => TLS 1.1 3 => TLS 1.2


To get a more concrete and thorough information on the exact TLS / SSL cryptography cipher suits and protocol details supported by your browser check this link


N.B. ! TLS is by default disabled in many latest version browsers such as Opera, Safari etc.  in order to address the POODLE SSL / TLS cryptographic protocol vulnerability

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Windows 7 fix menu messed up cyrillic – How to fix cyrillic text in Windows

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

faststone-viewer-messed-up-menu-cyrillic-windows-7-screenshot

How to fix Cyrillic text on Windows 7

I've reinstalled my HP provided company work notebook with Windows 7 Enterprise x86 and had troubles with seeing Cyrillic written text, letters and fonts.
The result after installing some programs and selecting as a default language Bulgarian during installation setup prompt let me to see in some programs and in some of my old written text file names and Cyrillic WIN CP1251 content to be showing a cryptic letters like in above screenshot.

If you're being curious what is causing the broken encoding cyrillic text, it is the fact that in past a lot of cyrillic default encoding was written in KOI-8R and WIN-CP1251 encoding which is not unicode e.g. not compatible with the newer standard encoding for cyrillic UTF-8. Of course the authors of some old programs and documents are not really responsbie for the messed up cyrillic as noone expected that every Cyrillic text will be in UTF-8 in newer times.

Thanksfully there is a way to fix the unreadable / broken encoding cyrillic text by:

Going too menus:

Start menu -> Control Panel -> Change display language -> Clock, Language and Religion

Once there click the Administratibe tab

and choose

Change system locale.

windows-7_administrative_tab_change-system-locale

Here if you're not logged in with administrator user you will be prompted for administrative privileges.

select-system-locale-choose-bulgarian-and-hit-ok-windows-7

Being there choose your language (country) to be:

Bulgarian (Bulgaria) – if you're like me a Bulgarian or Russian (if you're Russian / Belarusian / Ukrainian) or someone from the countries of ex-USSR.
Click OK

And reboot (restart) your computer in order to make the new settings active.
 

This should be it from now on all cyrillic letters in all programs / documents and file names on your PC should visualize fine just as it was intended more or less by the cyrillic assumed creator Saint Climent Ohridski who was a  who reformed Cyrillic from Glagolic alphabet.

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Thursday, July 14th, 2016

use-remote-dns-on-mozilla-firefox-howto-windows-linux-logo.svg

If you're using Mozilla Firefox browser to browse the Web with Traffic Tunneling via SSH Tunnel to your own Linux server like I do in order to prevent yourself traffic to be sniffed from your Work corporate computer (as most of the corporations such as IBM / Hewlett Packard / Concentrix etc. are forcing all employee PC traffic to be  to be transported via default set Windows Corporate Proxy active for all browsers.

Then you will certainly also want to prevent the DNS requests to be not logged somewhere in your Corporate IT department thus the question arises:

How to force DNS requests to be made through the Proxy server (SSH host)?

Nomatter where you're using Firefox browser with advanced proxying plugin such as FoxyProxy FF add-on or the default Proxy FF features the DNS lookups might end up in Corporate set DNS servers often forced for the computer / notebook and impossible to be changed to a custom ones as many of the Corporation internal Sharepoints and domains are only visible from their internal networks.

Thanksfully in newer versions there is an easy way to do it directly from Visual menus via:

Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings

You will get a screen like below:
 

firefox-use-proxy-remote-dns-howto-screenshot

Just tick the Remote DNS and that will force Firefox to query remote Proxy server proxy DNS

 

If you happen to be running older Firefox which doesn't have the Remote DNS tick you can also try to set the setting manually:

 

  1. In firefox type this in your address bar:

    about:config

  2. Click I'll be careful I  promise.

  3. In the filter textbox, type: proxy

  4. Find the preference name called *network.proxy.socks_remote_dns*. Double click it to set it to true.

    i-will-be-careful-i-promise-firefox-windows-screenshot-warranty


network-proxy-socks-remote_dns-firefox-screenshot

Enjoy ! 🙂

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