Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Automate network printer installation via logon script

If you manage a Windows server and would like to have network printers automatically installed on users' workstations at logon via a batch script, here's how to do it.

To add a network printer:
rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /in /q /n\\ServerName\PrinterName
To delete a network printer:
rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /dn /q /n\\ServerName\PrinterName
For more information, read this TechNet article.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A better way to send large files

If you've ever needed to send a file to somebody, but it was too big for e-mail or DropBox, you may have looked at services like YouSendIt. However, if you're concerned about the file being stored on a third-party server and somebody other than the intended recipient getting it, then perhaps you've been wary of services like that.

If so, then justbeamit is for you. It initiates a peer-to-peer connection between you and the recipient, allowing you to monitor the transfer in real time and avoiding the need to store it on a server somewhere. Once you close your browser window or navigate away from the page, the link to the file is invalidated.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making hard and soft (symbolic) links in Windows

One great feature of Unix-like file systems is the ability to make links to other files and directories. Windows has had the ability to make shortcuts for a long time, but only since Vista has it had the ability to create soft (symbolic) links to files and directories and hard links to files.

You may be asking yourself, "What are links and why should I care?" In short, links work better than shortcuts and can allow you to do things you otherwise wouldn't be able to do.

For example, if you use Dropbox, you know that only files and folders in your Dropbox folder get synchronized. But, if you make a hard link in your Dropbox folder to a file outside of your Dropbox folder, it will get synchronized because the file now lives in both places. It does this without taking up any more space on the disk. Cool, right?

The following pages explain how links work and how to use them in more detail:

Using Symlinks in Windows Vista - The How-To Geek

How-To: Use Symbolic Links to Master Vista's File System

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to migrate user profiles to a different domain

If you've ever migrated a user's workstation from an old domain to a new domain, you know it's not a simple matter of dragging and dropping the contents of the profile directory in Windows Vista and 7 like it was in Windows XP. You have to manually copy selected files and folders and you lose all of the user's preferences.

That is, of course, unless you use the User Profile Wizard from ForensIT. This small, free utility makes it a breeze to migrate user profiles to a new domain.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dropbox glitch exposed user files; how to protect yourself against future breaches

On Saturday, Dropbox had a major security breach for four hours, effectively allowing anyone to log into any Dropbox account without knowing the password. The glitch was fixed moments after it was discovered and less than 1% of users were potentially affected. Nevertheless, the incident raises security concerns.

An article in Lifehacker details how to add a second layer of security to your Dropbox account using programs such as TrueCrypt.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to manually import an NK2 file into Outlook 2010

If you want to manually import an Outlook 2007 or earlier NK2 (nickname database) file into Outlook 2010, read this article.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to protect your Facebook sessions from being hijacked

Users of Facebook beware! There is a new Android app called FaceNiff that can hijack Facebook sessions in one tap.

To protect yourself, enable HTTPS in your account settings.

Automatically assigning applications to Windows domain computers

If there's an application that you want to automatically install on every computer in your Windows domain, read this article.

I'm currently in the process of implementing automated installation of LogMeIn remote access software on every workstation in the domain at a couple of client sites. One site uses Windows SBS 2003, which has its own way of assigning applications. The other site does not have SBS; just Windows Server 2003. At that site, I used the method described in the article referenced above and it worked perfectly.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lock Down Your Computer Like the NSA

Here is an article from Lifehacker about how to secure your computer like the NSA. It links to the NSA web page with documents on securing Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Facebook leaked personal data to advertisers

According to this article, a vulnerability in some Facebook apps allowed third-party advertisers to access security tokens that act as a spare key to users' profiles, allowing them to read posts and access profile information.

While the article points out that the advertisers may not have known they had the ability to do that and Facebook has now fixed the vulnerability, those security tokens may still exist on third-party servers. To make sure you're protected, change your Facebook password.

Macs are not impervious to malware

This article in Lifehacker makes a very good point: As Macs capture greater market share, attackers have greater incentive to write malware that targets Mac OS.

Macs are not impervious to malware. The author predicts that it's only a matter of a couple of years until Mac users will need to get serious about protecting their Macs from infections.

Friday, February 11, 2011


There's a website called CAT that is basically a TV calendar. It lets you create an iCal feed that you can then import into your preferred calendar program.

I use it in Google calendar and it works pretty well. The only problem is that the shows appear in Eastern time, even though I told it I'm in Pacific. Still, it lets me know what's going to be on TV each night.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Don't disable IPv6 in Windows SBS 2008

If you disable IPv6 on your network interface in Windows SBS 2008 and then reboot, you will be stuck waiting for 30-60 minutes at the "Applying computer settings..." screen.  According to the following blog posts, SBS 2008 relies on IPv6:

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