How-To

How to Remotely Disconnect a Terminal Services Session

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Windows server 2000/2003 allows two remote terminal services connections for administrative purposes.  Every once in a while I’ll get the “You exceeded the allowed connection count” message when trying to connect to a server via RDP, because previous sessions were not disconnected correctly. You can use either of the following methods to remotely disconnect Terminal Server sessions. Method […]

How to Change the SQL sa Password from a Command Prompt

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To change the SQL sa password from a command prompt: Start a command prompt by typing Start – Run – cmd Enter the following commands, pressing Enter after each line OSQL -S yourservername -E     1> EXEC sp_password NULL, ‘yourpassword’, ‘sa’     2> GO Where yourservername is the name of your server and yourpassword is the new […]

Howto: Use the Windows Debugging Tools to analyze a crash dump (BSOD)

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Occasionally, my Windows XP SP2 laptop has had the Blue Screen of Death appear unexpectedly. It doesn’t occur when any particular application is running, and nothing ever is written to the event logs. Of course I’m never at the computer when this happens, so I haven’t been able to see what messages and parameters are […]

Howto: Disabling Driver Signing in Windows Vista 64 bit

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A security feature of Windows Vista 64 bit version is that unsigned drivers will not load. I’m all for increased security, until I run across a piece of hardware that does not have signed drivers. It was easy to disable driver signing before two updates were released. From an elevated command prompt I ran bcdedit […]

Howto: Disable Windows Simple File Sharing via the Registry and Local Security Policy

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Microsoft KB 307874 describes how to disable Windows XP Professional’s simple file sharing. Why would you want to disable simple file sharing on your workstation? The KB explains: By default, simple file sharing is enabled on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer if the computer is not a member of a domain. With simple file sharing, […]

Howto: Disable Windows XP Security Center Nag Screens via the Registry

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I control most of my networked computers’ Windows desktop firewalls through Group Policy. I have a few workstations that aren’t associated with any GPOs for testing purposes, and these machines have the Windows XP Firewall turned off. These machines also run antivirus software that Windows Security Center can’t monitor. Windows constantly wants to remind me […]

Howto: Move the Microsoft Office MSOCache Directory to a Different Drive

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Some of our older laptops are starting run short on free space on the system partition. The MSOCache is a hidden folder, usually located on the C drive, that contains a copy of the Microsoft Office source installation files. This allows you to add program features or repair the program without requiring access to the original […]

HowTo: Enable Windows Debug Logging to Solve Authentication Problems

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I’ve had some authentication problems of late on one of my Windows 2000/2003 networks, so I decided to enable Net Logon debugging to help trace the source of the problem. KB 109626 details how to enable debug logging for Windows NT 3.51+, but if you’re running Windows 2000 or higher just exit to a command […]

HowTo: Use clip.exe to Redirect Command Line Output to the Windows Clipboard

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I was browsing the Windows Server Command Line Reference today and came across clip.exe.  I was not familiar with this little utility, but after a brief investigation I found that it could redirect command line output to the Windows clipboard. Why would I want to do this? I’m very command line oriented.  I grew up with […]

HowTo: Extract Files from a .MSI File using the Windows Command Line

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Every once in a while I need to extract the content of a .msi file in order to customize a deployment for a particular network environment. Sometimes initializing the .msi installer will temporarily extract the files into C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp, but those files are removed once the installer exits. To extract files from a […]