February 24 2010

7 Free Tools for Managing Disks and File Systems

I use a maximum of one Google Ad per post to help offset some of my blog hosting costs.


Microsoft provides several free tools that are very useful for managing disks and file systems. Here are 7 free tools every administrator should download:


I use a maximum of one Google Ad per post to help offset some of my blog hosting costs.


February 19 2010

Windows 7 background image doesn’t apply

In an Active Directory domain network environment, you apply a “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting to the domain users. However, the setting is not applied to domain users who log on to client computers that are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 – taken straight from the Microsoft support site.

I was having this problem in our domain environment and couldn’t understand why the background for non-admin users wouldn’t work. Microsoft have only recently release a hotfix for it -available from http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/977944 . I still find it amazing that this wasn’t found and fixed before the RTM build of Windows 7 – it’s so obvious. I guess there were millions of beta testers but probably not that many that were running it in enterprise domain environment.

Category: Windows | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 18 2010

Add ‘My Computer’ to desktop and change to computer name

Even in Windows 7, there still isn’t a Group Policy setting that will let you add the ‘My Computer’ icon to the desktop (unless you forcibly change the Start Menu to Classic) and then change the name from My Computer to anything else. I am very surprised this isn’t a setting but we can still modify the registry to achieve this (either inside a GPO or with a script):

To show the ‘My Computer’ icon on the desktop:

Name = {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
Value = 0

To change the ‘My Computer’ icon to computer or user name:

Name = LocalizedString
Data value = %computername% or any combination you like – eg %username% %computername%

Don’t forget you will need to change the permissions / ownership on this registry key so that you can change it – by default even Administrators cannot modify it.

These both apply to Windows XP and 7 and Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

Category: Windows | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 15 2010

WordPress hack attack – itsallbreaksoft.net paymoneysystem.info chinaontv.com

There is a new attack on older versions of WordPress doing the rounds and my version of WordPress (2.8.9 – only just behind the current version of 2.9.1) was vunerable and was compromised.

I first noticed yesterday when all of the traffic to blog.danovich.com.au was getting redirected to www.chinaontv.com about 5 seconds after loading.

Investigations revealed that my header.php file had been hijacked, a new administrator user account had been created and there were several uploads appeared in my uploads directory.

The fixes were relatively simple and are outlined here –> http://www.theinternetpatrol.com/was-your-site-hacked-redirecting-to-itsallbreaksoftnet-or-paymoneysysteminfo-heres-what-happened/

Moral of the story – keep your software up to date – even minor point versions behind can put you at risk!

Category: Geek | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 15 2010

MSI file for Adobe Reader, Flash Player and Shockwave Player

I’ve often needed to obtain the MSI or a single EXE file for an enterprise deployment of Adobe Reader, Flash Player or Shockwave Player. Adobe now provide a single web page where you can request a license to download these files:


Don’t worry – there is no cost to it. The form only took me a few minutes to fill out and then a couple of minutes later I received an email with links to download the MSIs and EXEs.

A worthy side note is the installation parameters for a silent install – for the MSIs obviously you can use something like ‘msiexec /i filename.msi /qb-!’, but Reader only comes as an executable – use ‘AdbeRdr930_en_US.exe /sAll’ for a silent install.