Block users from logging on to an RDS Server [SOLVED]

Do you need to block users from logging on to an RDS Server

Problem:
You are updating an RDS server, or an application on the RDS server, but another users process is stopping your install. You need to stop access to other users to the RDS server but still be able to work on it yourself. but how?

Solution:
Open up administrative CMD
Change Logon /Disable
Then log all other users off using Task manager (users tab)

And when you are finished simply revert:
Change Logon /Enable

Sorted.

Adobe reader on Server 2016

Adobe have been rather silent recently when it comes to running reader on server 2016

Adobe reader is used by many professions, and in many capacities. It used to be one of the most commonly installed applications on business PC’s by anyone in any sector. However, Server 2016 is not supported.

https://helpx.adobe.com/reader/system-requirements.html

This makes it a nightmare for modern portable apps, RDS servers(Terminal servers) or even just file servers.

So there is a work around, however it is not recommended. The best fix for this is to scrap Adobe, and move to one off the other large PDF Vendors out there to cater to your PDF viewing needs.

Three that i have personally verified as working and are supported on server 2016 are:

  • Nitro Pro
  • Abby PDF reader
  • TinyPDF

There will however be a small percentage of us admins or superusers, that have to get this Adobe based software working.

Workaround to get Adobe reader on Server 2016

Start by using the latest installer for Windows 10,
Once installed, you may find that it will work for a while, but eventually as it updates you will no longer be able to open PDF documents using it.
To get around this you have to unfortunately turn off protected mode.

Now, i shouldn’t really need to preface this, but i will. This is not supported, nor recommended – Reader has a protected mode for a reason, disabling it is opening you to all sorts of vulnerabilities.

If you do wish to continue, open up Adobe Reader – go into Edit –> Preferences –> Security (enhanced) –>

Turn Protected mode off, and untick ‘ Enable protected mode at startup’

If you like I could not even get to the preferences panel in order to change these settings then all you need to do is open adobe reader by accessing via compatibility mode. Set this as XP (which itself does not support protected mode) – then change settings, and then change compatibility mode back off.

Let me know in the comments if this has helped you.

Get rid of the “Updates are available” pop-up

The Updates are available popup is the source of much irritation for anyone remotely administering windows 10, Server 2012 and server 2016

To get around this popup – which lets face it, is just downright inconvenient; we need to stop the exe file that produces this window from running. Code below, with comments preceded by a #

Run command prompt as administrator (elevated) and enter these commands:

#change directory to system32
cd /d "%Windir%\System32"

#Take over permissions owner to current admin
takeown /f musnotification.exe

#Change permissions to deny anyone/system running from it
icacls musnotification.exe /deny Everyone:(X)

#Take over permissions owner to current admin
takeown /f musnotificationux.exe

#Change permissions to deny anyone/system running from it
icacls musnotificationux.exe /deny Everyone:(X)

You will see form the above, that there are two processes ‘musnotificationux.exe’ and ‘musnotification.exe’ that are responsible for querying updates and notifying the end user. The great part of this fix, is that it will not interfere with any update processes themselves, just the notifications. So have no fear – updates will still continue to function as normal, just now without this troublesome pop-up.

[Resolved] Find the startup folder in windows 10

Need to find the startup folder in windows 10?

Since Windows 8, the startup folder has been an elusive beast, but fear not, this simple command will force it to reveal itself in no time at all.

1) Win + R
2) shell:startup
3) Enter/OK

find startup folder location win 10 shell:startup

Or the path for the startup folder in windows 10:
"C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

startup folder in windows 10

Install multiple programs with Chocolatey

Ever had the need to install multiple programs on a new or existing PC?

We have all been there; a brand new PC out the box, a relative who needs some software installed, a re-install of windows on your own PC.
So how do we go about collating all our software, is there a nice quick way to re-install everything and get us up to date quickly. Well today we are going to go over the basics of how to install multiple programs using Chocolatey.

What is Chocolatey?

From its own site:

Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows (like apt-get or yum but for Windows). It was designed to be a decentralized framework for quickly installing applications and tools that you need.

How can I install chocolatey?

Very easily. Chocolatey is built for windows and use through Powershell, so as long as you have been updating windows, you should be able to install it seamlessly.
Either head over to the chocolatey install page, or use my favorite method of install – using Powershell itself:

iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

install multiple programs with chocolatey

How to create a multiple install script:

Simply now open powershell and with your new chocolatey powers run the choco install script as follows:
choco install notepadplusplus googlechrome atom 7zip

You can find the full list of programs supported from either running a choco search in powershell, or by visiting the package repository here: https://chocolatey.org/packages

Hope this is of some help. If you are not wanting to install multiple programs, don’t want to mess with powershell as mentioned in previous posts, perhaps Ninite will be better suited for you.

[SOLVED] Java update “Failed to download required installation files.”

There have been a few occasions recently where a Java update fails


Java Update failed to download the required files

Having looked about for a solution, there is two methods that i have found to quickly rectify the problem.

1) The cheats way.
Re-install java on top of itself.

NB, Java has many different versions depending on which OS and update version of the OS you are using, the quickest way to re-install with the latest version i have found is to use Ninite. This will find version and install it correctly for you.
https://ninite.com/java8/

2) Edit compatibility settings on the Java updater.

go to: %PROGRAMFILES%\Common Files\Java\Java Update

and find jucheck.exe (updater)

right click --> Properties --> Compatibility

select the tick box to run with a previous version of windows, anything before Vista seems to do the job. (XP, Win95 etc…) As this is just the updater and not java, it ensures you still get the correct version.

BONUS 3)
This seems to be an issue with privilege elevation in windows – if you have access to an admin account, then you can log into that then try updating 8/10 it works without the above.

The Windows Death command – Kill a Windows PC

Sometimes in the IT world you just need to let off some steam – sometimes a pile of old PC’s through in the PC ‘Graveyard’ are a fun way to do so.


Kill a Widows PC

Often we will play with various ways to kill off old PC’s before they are then securely wiped and recycled, and this command we are about to go into is one of the basics.

del /S /F /Q /A:S C:\windows

Thats it.

Yes it really is that easy to kill a windows PC!

Lets go through it and some of the pitfalls you may find.

del – This is the windows command to delete an object, pretty self explanatory
/S – Deletes specified files from the current directory and all subdirectories. Displays the names of the files as they are being deleted.
/F – Forces deletion of read-only files.
/Q – Specifies quiet mode. You are not prompted for delete confirmation.
/A:S – Deletes files based on the following file attributes, in this case: s = System files
C:\windows – The destination we are deleting.

Why does this work? – Well most people reading this know already, but if you didn’t – the Windows folder simply put is the heart of the Windows operating system. Killing it will stop the OS from booting.

Most users readers will be asking “Why put the C:\Windows” at the end of the script, should it no logically be put in front of the other switches? Well this is to do with personal preference really, and to do with the fact that it is convinient to then go about and delete more contect using the same script, by hitting up arrow, then simply backspacing and changing your destination. Lazy much? You bet you!

Bonus post of to Kill a Windows PC and to make this more effective coming next week – little hint:
takeown /f C:\Windows /r /d y

p.s. This is for information only – be responsible!

Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015

After a batch of updates over the weekend, Windows is now providing more info on the long awaited FREE windows 10 upgrade
Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015

Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015

The popups, now appearing on some windows 7 and 8 PC’s are causing quite a stir. With some people on reddit calling it both ‘intrusive’ and ‘malware-like’ 
It would appear that it is KB3035583 that installs this notification, but that requires Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 to function correctly, at the bottom of the article we have included a step by step guide in forcing this update in order to be able to reserve your own copy of Windows 10

Below, the sirst 5 screens, then taking you through to the final offer, of ‘reserving Windows 10’

win101 win103win102  Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015 Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015 Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015 Windows 10 release set for July 29th 2015

If you are still looking to get a hold of the update supplying this notification then Reddit user FearGX_ explains that you can force the update to do its thing. We’ve reformatted his instructions below.

  1. Open the Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools, and then fire up the Task Scheduler.
  2. Expand Task Scheduler Library, then Microsoft, then Windows, and finally scroll down to expand Setup.
  3. Click the folder GWXTriggers and on the far right hit Run.

Again, this will only work if you’re running a legitimate copy of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1, have KB3035583 installed, and have all the latest updates.