I suddenly had the need to have a user send me some detailed info about his Windows 7 PC, and vaguely I recalled some utility that could make this as an export file you could send via email.

And sure enough this still exist under Windows 7 :-)

it’s called;
msinfo32.exe  (yes its the same name for x64)
(just hit <left windows button> + <R> on the keyboard and launch <msinfo32.exe>).
You can export the data to a text file (do this instead of the binary file it can export – I have experinced that the binary file somehow get ‘damaged’ during email transfer).

For more info look here;
http://www.winvistaclub.com/f7.html

This is clever, I don’t need it and can’t see that I ever will – but it’s still clever..

You may have heard about technologies like JBOD (Just a bunch of disks)which allow you to link a bunch of harddrives you have into one driveletter.  The upside is that you can ‘reuse’ those old drives you have lying around (normal RAID configurations require that disks be of the same size as a minimum), the downside is that there is NO redundancy/security in JBOD.

Drive Bender is similar to JBOD, it will allow you to link together free diskspace from a bunch of different drives into one single volume.  One thing that is slightly different and potentially clever is that the technology is “non-intrusive” meaning that it will not destroy the existing filesystem (NTFS) – it will simply store it’s files on the existing filesystem (as I understand the technology), you should even be able to access files on the disks without going through Drive Bender.

As mentioned I can’t think of a sittuation where I personally would need this, that however does not make it less clever :-D

Right now it’s in a beta state and by invite only, so you’ll have to sign up for the next beta round.

Pricing is not revealed, one could hope it would be free :-)

http://www.drivebender.com/drive-bender/

An interesting new notification system for iPhones, to replace the notifications in iOS – it looks very interesting indeed..  I am just thinking, how do I install this on my iPhone – guess I’ll have to read the entire thing :-)

Read more here;
http://techotrack.com/archives/4578

YouTube demo here;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SRU6_QnwNCE

Project page here;
http://github.com/peterhajas/MobileNotifier

You should be able to get MobileNotifier for free by adding the following repo to Cydia
http://phajas.xen.prgmr.com/repo
Originally Posted: http://thetechjournal.com/electronics/iphone/mobilenotifier-brings-ios-notification-to-your-iphonejailbreak-tweak.xhtml#ixzz1GxZxHmyk

So I was looking into the possibilities to backup my Hyper-V “farm” (well I do got a few servers running on my Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V server ;-)), and I came to think of good old NTBackup from Windows 2000/2003.  NTBackup has however been replaced by “Windows Server Backup” which is both good and not so good, I think that the new product is likely more professional in some senses however it has some strange ideas on how to do some of it.

Anyway, I have only looked at it for a couple of hours but here are my findings, maybe you’ll find them useful in getting started yourself.

First off you must install “Windows Server Backup” on Windows 2008 R2 this is a feature – so add new feature …….

Then you would likely like to setup a new backup schedule, and here is one of those strange tings I mentioned.  The MINIMUM interval for a backup schedule on Windows Server Backup is 24 hours, that mean that the job HAS to run at LEAST every 24h – Now this may be well and good in some setups, but I don’t need a backup of my Virtual servers every 24h!?!?  My poor server would die under the workload :-D  But in the GUI there is NO way around this :-(  I found a web-cast where a command-line workaround was outlined, but I might not have payed enough attention because I could not get it to work and thus sought alternate solutions. 

MY workaround for this scheduling issue is this;

  • Start Windows Server Backup
  • Create a “Backup Schedule” (it’s a wizzard, so it is quite easy)
  • Now close Windows Server Backup
  • Goto – “Start menu”, “Administrative Tools” and select “Task Scheduler”
  • Drill down to; “Task Scheduler Library”, “Microsoft”, “Windows”, “Backup”
  • Now edit the job “Microsoft-Windows-WindowsBackup”
  • Edit the “Trigger” and you can now set the job you created to launch whenever you want

I’m sure there are other ways, but this is easy and works.

Some screenshots;

And finally some light reading for further details :-)

http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2009/04/13/customizing-windows-server-backup-schedule.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2009/06/22/backup-version-and-space-management-in-windows-server-backup.aspx

Web-Cast (quite informative);
http://www.netometer.com/video/tutorials/windows-server-2008-backup/

I might drill further into this at a later point, but for now this seem to satisfy my needs.

Companel – If you are using Windows 7 this may be an interesting util for you, it allow you to somewhat customize the “My Computer” view and add additional items to the default display.

I do find this quite useful as I often start Windows File Explorer via “my computer”.

And as with most good things it’s free :-)

more info here;
http://www.ghacks.net/2011/03/10/companel-manage-my-computer-control-panel-items/

I just stumbled across this lately, it’s a piece of software you install that should insert itself as a driver between the keyboard and the OS and encrypt all keystrokes – the idea would be that it would foil keyloggers.

An interesting concept, however I’m not fully convinced – I guess that I don’t fully understand how this works – but I tried installing it on a test machine and it did no harm – so I guess it won’t do any harm installing it.  There is a free version that works with IE and other popular browsers – to make it work with everything you need the pro (payed) version – IE is fine but just how do you test a product like this?  Install a keylogger yourself *lol* well let’s see…

http://www.qfxsoftware.com/

a couple more detailed reviews here (although they did also omit installing a keylogger to test the software ;-));  
http://www.brighthub.com/computing/smb-security/reviews/27606.aspx
http://www.vikitech.com/830/protect-yourself-from-keyloggers-with-keyscrambler

I am working on a script to create the directory structure for our new file servers, one of the steps is to create the shares which is easy enough;

net share <snarename>=<path> /grant:<user>:FULL (for full access obviously, but as file rights are controlled by NTFS this is less important).

Anyway one thing popped up, how about ABE (Access based enumeration) on a Windows 2008R2 box?  On Windows 2003 it was a ‘patch’ that needed downloading how about Windows 2008?  Well simple enough it’s as expected embedded and can be found under the advanced settings for the share in the “Share and storage management” mmc.  Sadly enough there does not seem to be any switch for the “net share” command that will enable this, the default for “net share” is ABE = off so you have to enable ABE manually afterwards :-(

BTW; ABE is basically a feature that tell the server “only show the user the files he/she has access to” so the users will not see the “Top Secret” folders etc.

Read more and see the nice guides etc here;
http://blogs.technet.com/b/hugofe/archive/2010/06/21/windows-2008-access-based-enumeration-abe.aspx

A consultant mentioned a rather cool trick to me some time ago, and I think it’s worth a mention here.

We have a Microsoft Hyper-V cluster with 3 nodes, now these nodes have something called “Cluster Shared Volumens” which is their disk-pools – an annoying fact about these is that this “shared volume” is not represented as a drive letter so regular monitoring of diskspace does not warn you about low disk space – this particular problem was resolved via a script on our MS-Scom server but that is not “the trick”.  The trick is, let’s say that the “Shared Volume” is low on diskspace on a Friday and run out of space during the weekend – now how do you with the least downtime get it back online?  Sure you can log in to your san, expand the disk and then to the server and extend the volume, but all of this takes time and is a bit tedious via your smart phone when it happens Saturday night when you are at the cinema with your girlfriend :-)  The trick is to create a ‘dummy’ file on the shared volume that you simply can delete once diskspace is depleted thus freeing up space in a second – let’s say you create a 5 – 10 or 15 GB file that you can simply delete freeing up 5 – 10 or 15gb of diskspace in a second this could really save your weekend :-)

Anyhow, it’s quite easily done via a buildin command in Windows;

This command will create a file called emergency;

15gb;
fsutil file createnew emergency 15000000000
10GB;
fsutil file createnew emergency 10000000000
5GB;
fsutil file createnew emergency 5000000000

once you run out of diskspace you simply delete this “emergency” file and immediately free up space causing the least downtime and possibly buy you time to regular business hours, quite simple but yet clever.  The single drawback is obvious you ‘waste’ the diskspace you are reserving – but hey diskspace these days cost so little so it’s hardly worth mention.

An advancement of this trick would be to implement automation – so that the ’emergency’ file would be erased automatically if the “Cluster Shared Volume” run out of disk space.

In a recent post (http://www.kanmandet.dk/?p=1877) I mentioned Driver Magician Light the free version of Driver Magician, now it would seem I managed to find yet another product that does the same completely for free (and this not as a limited light version)..

Double Driver (odd name, but hey..)

Get it here;
http://www.boozet.org/dd.htm

An older review here (older version);
http://dottech.org/freeware-reviews/7225

Also there is still DriverMax;
http://www.drivermax.com/
However I never really liked this product, it’s complicated navigating and as I recall it requires some kind of registration (free as I reacll, but I don’t like having to register anyhow).

I just stumbled across this nice little free util, it’s sort of a taskmanager for your Hyper-V server..

Cool it’s free, however I’m slightly sceptical when it comes to the performance it reports – I feel my server should be under a more heavy load – but hey I’ll give it a spin and see how I like it.

get it here;
http://www.manageengine.com/free-hyperv-performance-monitor/download.html