My Thoughts On IT…

Brian Lewis's Thoughts on all things Information Technology related

thumbnailPeople are starting to use Microsoft’s free Anti-Virus product – Security Essentials. Use has grown to 10.06 percent of the world wide market share. You can find out more and download it here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

I am often surprised at how many people don’t know about this awesome anti-virus product. I guess I will be surprised less and less because people are finding it. Here is the article from CNET that I found today.

http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57399193-12/microsofts-essentials-bet-pays-off/

WindowsPowerShellHere is how to add the GUI to Windows Server “8” to Server Core using PowerShell. I use the GUI to configure the Network because I find that easier than the command line. Then I use Server Manager to remove the GUI. I run the machine as a Server Core box and manage it from a GUI remotely.

At the command prompt window enter these commands….

Command Details
powershell Starts the PowerShell command prompt
import-module servermanager adds the module to PowerShell for server management
Get-WindowsFeature Enumerates the Features so it knows about them
Add-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell adds the GUI environment (can take a few minutes)

Shutdown /r /t 0

To reboot your server now

Please Note: this does not work on Servers prior to Windows Server “8”. So if you are running server core on your Windows Server 2008R2 box and want the GUI you need to run an install and do an upgrade. If you want to remove the GUI from an older server – to bad you can’t. Winking smile

To remove the GUI you can just remove the Feature “Server Graphical Shell” from the Server Manager GUI or you can go into PowerShell and remove it with the

Update:
There is more than one way to do this. You can also do this with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. The DISM command is probably called by the Add-WindowsFeature command. Here is the systax for DISM:

  • Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:ServerCore-FullServer /featurename:Server-Gui-Shell /featurename:Server-Gui-Mgmt

For more details on this see: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831786.aspx

If you don’t have the Windows Server beta yet you can download it here: http://aka.ms/server8cp

WindowsPowerShellHere is how to add the GUI to Windows Server “8” to Server Core using PowerShell. I use the GUI to configure the Network because I find that easier than the command line. Then I use Server Manager to remove the GUI. I run the machine as a Server Core box and manage it from a GUI remotely.

At the command prompt window enter these commands….

Command Details
powershell Starts the PowerShell command prompt
import-module servermanager adds the module to PowerShell for server management
Get-WindowsFeature Enumerates the Features so it knows about them
Add-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell adds the GUI environment (can take a few minutes)

Shutdown /r /t 0

To reboot your server now

Please Note: this does not work on Servers prior to Windows Server “8”. So if you are running server core on your Windows Server 2008R2 box and want the GUI you need to run an install and do an upgrade. If you want to remove the GUI from an older server – to bad you can’t. Winking smile

To remove the GUI you can just remove the Feature “Server Graphical Shell” from the Server Manager GUI or you can go into PowerShell and remove it with the

Update:
There is more than one way to do this. You can also do this with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. The DISM command is probably called by the Add-WindowsFeature command. Here is the systax for DISM:

  • Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:ServerCore-FullServer /featurename:Server-Gui-Shell /featurename:Server-Gui-Mgmt

For more details on this see: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831786.aspx

If you don’t have the Windows Server beta yet you can download it here: http://aka.ms/server8cp

UEFI Explained

Comments off

368px-Uefi_logo_svgWhat is UEFI and why do I care?

Simply UEFI is a replacement to the BIOS in a computer. This is the code that gets the PC working before the Operating System starts. One of the reasons UEFI is becoming mainstream is that to be certified “Windows 8 certified” a machine will need to use UEFI

I considered writing a longer article to explain this; however, I don’t think I can do a better job than Tony Bradley did in his PCWorld article from January 19th 2012. It is titled “R.I.P. BIOS: A UEFI Primer”. You can be find that here: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/248426/rip_bios_a_uefi_primer.html 

Basic Input/Output System  (BIOS)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uefi

Patch Tuesday is here again and it brings us 6 Security bulletins. One is listed as critical because it is likely to to exploited (if it isn’t already). This is the one to add to your patch process as soon as possible. The others are consider less likely to be an issue for you.

Security bulletins for March 13th 2012.

  • 1 Critical Vulnerability in Remote Desktop.
  • 4 Important
  • 1 Moderate

For detailed information please see the Microsoft site. (I find the Executive Summary and Exploitability Index are the best parts to read)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms12-mar

Patch Tuesday is here again and it brings us 6 Security bulletins. One is listed as critical because it is likely to to exploited (if it isn’t already). This is the one to add to your patch process as soon as possible. The others are consider less likely to be an issue for you.

Security bulletins for March 13th 2012.

  • 1 Critical Vulnerability in Remote Desktop.
  • 4 Important
  • 1 Moderate

For detailed information please see the Microsoft site. (I find the Executive Summary and Exploitability Index are the best parts to read)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms12-mar

I received yet another email that is a waste of time … Yet I laughed at this one so I am sharing.151364.strip.sunday

ntp_logoDo you need an NTP server address to make sure you have the right time? Finding a good NTP server has always been a slight challenge. I have had NTP servers disappear after a few years and then I was without Time Synchronization. I have used servers that decided not to allow any more clients because they were being over used.

When I just reconfigured my Cisco E3000 home router last month I needed to configure an NTP server for the routers time. I erased the configuration without taking down the old address. Opps. So I did a google search on Bing. I found this awesome NTP server project.

The pool.ntp.org project is a big virtual cluster of timeservers providing reliable NTP service for millions of clients.

So now I use the address us.pool.ntp.org for my NTP server. This is a pool of NTP servers supporting my region.

For information on this project or to get other pool addresses visit the projects website here:
Main site: http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome 
List of pools: http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Servers/NTPPoolServers

imageNo this isn’t one of those security posts on how your user name is half of your login and it’s insecure to use the same name across different sites. While that is true… you also have to be able to remember your logins. You also may want people and search engines to know who you are on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other site. So today I am writing about usability and not security.

One of the things I really dislike is creating a new account on one of the large, must be on, internet sites. This is because with a name like “Brian Lewis” you know my name is almost always taken. It is often an exercise in anger management when I try to find a good login name.

That is why I really the site that I found today. It is called Name Check and it simply will check with 84 large internet sites to see if the username you type in is available or not.

It sure would be nice if it could go register your name at all of them.

Here is the URL to check it out:
http://namechk.com/

imageIf you have been playing with Windows Server “8” and the Windows “8” client like I have then you may want to manage your server from the Windows 8 client. To do that you need the RSAT tools. They need to be downloaded, installed, and then “show administrative tools” needs to be turned on.

 

So you need to  download it from here:

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows “8” Consumer Preview
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28972

Then you need to install it.

Lastly you need to go into the settings by moving the mouse to the bottom right corner and then select settings when that appears. Lastly turn on the “Show administrative tools”

image

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Then you can use those tools to manage your servers. Both your server core servers and with the full GUI.

If you want to download Server “8”server you can get it here:
TechNet Windows Server “8” Betahttp://aka.ms/server8cp