How I tackled CryptoLocker

CryptoLocker and its variants are ransomware viruses that re-appeared in 2013.

The crypto-virus gets around through email attachments, various browser pop-ups, and certain add-ons scattered across the internet and even hidden in background images.

There have been reports of HTML and Java Script injections as well. Those code injections exploit a web site’s vulnerabilities if it has any. Sites that are attacked usually include some kind of forum that is open to any text comments.

CryptoLocker attacks the PC and encrypts all the drivers mounted on your computer. It not only encrypts all the folders on the local drive but also attacks the file share as well. For example, it even attacks your company’s file share and your local OneDrive or Dropbox folders. It all gets encrypted.

Any experienced IT professional who has dealt with cryptolocker virus will tell you not to visit shoddy web websites—period.

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Posted in Windows general Tagged with: ,

Windows 10: Share a VPN Connection

Here’s an interesting blog about how to work your way around this Windows 10 share a VPN connection bug … I mean, new feature.

If you’ve updated your OS to Windows 10, you might have already come across the issue that you can no longer share a VPN connection. It was much easier sharing a VPN connection when you had Windows 8 and 7 because the option was in the interface.

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Posted in VPN, Windows general Tagged with: , ,

Upgrading from DirSync to Azure Active Directory Connect

In this article, I’ll discuss my experience with upgrading from DirSync to Azure Active Directory Connect and how I ran into some issues after the installation was complete.

DirSync and the Azure AD Connect are data syncing mechanisms that sync on-premises objects with the cloud. Microsoft is ending its support for DirSync in April 2017, so if you haven’t upgraded already, the time has come to migrate to its successor, the Azure AD Connect. The upgrade itself can be performed in two ways: in place or in parallel. “In-place” migration is used in a domain where you have fewer than 50,000 objects. I have used in-place migration.

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Posted in Active Directory Tagged with: ,

In search of free SQL Server inventory tools

I have imagined this article to be some sort of outline of available solutions for SQL administrators. This blog post discusses various solutions for detecting and inventorying Microsoft SQL Server instances.

Before we get started, let the truth be told that there are a great number of free tools and PowerShell scripts designed for the most widely deployed database platform Microsoft SQL Server. However, for this blog post, I have chosen 4 and added our new SQL Server inventory tool – SQLDocKit – to the list.

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Posted in SQL Tagged with:

Introducing SQLDocKit – the SQL documentation tool

It has been five years since we released SPDocKit. Our initial idea was to create a simple documentation tool for SharePoint admins. Since then, we have made a great deal of progress. We have improved and upgraded so many aspects of our tool, and on so many levels, that we now offer something we like to call an ultimate SharePoint admin toolkit.

Our product has since become extremely popular and has been acknowledged by thousands of SharePoint administrators worldwide. Stemming from this positive response, we thought about how we could offer the same benefits to SQL administrators. That’s how SPDocKit’s baby brother, SQLDocKit (the SQL documentation tool), was born!

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Posted in SQL, Windows general

SysKit 2016 – Ultimate Server Monitoring Tool

Back in 2009, when Toni and I co-founded Acceleratio, Terminal Services Log was our first and most important application. Over the years, thousands of clients have used our software to monitor many more thousands of their servers across the globe. During that time, we have shipped many other products in the Terminal Services Log family, including Remote Desktop Gateway Monitor, Virtual Desktop Monitor (not supported anymore) and Server Monitoring Toolkit.

Then as you know, when Windows 2008 R2 was shipped in the summer of 2009, Microsoft decided to re-brand Terminal Services as Remote Desktop Services. As many of our clients still preferred the old “TS” lingo, we decided to wait a bit more. And we waited and waited, but now, just six years later, we are finally ready to make the big switch!

Starting November 18, 2015, we will be discontinuing Terminal Services Log, Remote Desktop Gateway Monitor and Server Monitoring Toolkit, and we will have just “one product to rule them all!”

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to present you SysKit 2016!

syskit-release-post

SysKit is the ultimate Windows administrator companion, allowing you to monitor and manage your Windows-based infrastructure, including your Windows Servers, Remote Desktop Servers, Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop servers, workstations, SharePoint and SQL machines. Over the years we have included many new data-sets we track now, including remote users that are connecting to your servers, applications being executed by those users, performance counters like CPU, Memory, Network and Disk IO, each applications IOPS etc. Despite the complexity of the underlying application core, our primary goal has always been the same: we want to deliver software that is powerful yet very simple to configure and use.

The new name goes well with our two other products, SPDocKit and CloudKit 365. “Kit” means “whale” in Croatian; hence, the new icon for SysKit is going to be our “buddy whale”.

sysKit-Web-Application

Let this little blue whale remind us that quality is always better than quantity and, thus, let SysKit be the one tool for healing all system admin headaches.

Want to start now? Download free trial and use the code “SysKitRules2015” to obtain a 50% discount.

Posted in Active Directory, RD Gateway, Remote Desktop Services, SQL, Windows general, WMI

Chrome is slow as hell and takes a lot of the CPU

I am using Google Chrome as my primary browser for everyday tasks. What I like to do is this: a lot of tabs in chromeSo I open a lot of tabs and I restart computer let’s say twice a month or so… Chrome is then very very slow, takes a lot of the CPU and RAM. While I have RAM, CPU is always spiking and causing slow down of the whole system. The problem was all web pages were open slowly and I knew this was because of the local hardware resources and now the link speed. I have small portable HP Elitebook laptop with i5 Intel processor so the CPU is not as strong as desktop CPU.

This was usage of my CPU:

Task Manager before tweaks

So what I did explored through the internet and found this few tweaks:

  1. disable hardware acceleration at the bottom of settings > advanced settings
  2. go to chrome://flags/ address to open experimental features and change following
    Disable accelerated 2D canvas – Enable
    Enable one-copy rasteriser – Disabled
    Enable zero-copy rasteriser – Disable
    Disable hardware-accelerated video decode – Enable
    Relaunch at bottom of the window

My CPU now looks like this:

Task Manager after tweaksBTW note that memory usage dropped as well by 500MB, I have used same tabs for this experiment (maybe some other app released some memory but I haven’t drilled down deep). There is a spike here and there but overall speed of the Google Chrome now is lot better and application seems more responsive than before. Let me know below in comments if this helps you.

 

Posted in Google Chrome

Opening group policy editor on a remote computer and forcing GP Update

So you need to opne group policy on a remote computer directly, but you are to laisy to go there or other computer is on the other part of the country?

Simply go to Start Run and type: gpedit.msc /gpcomputer: remote-computer

After you have loaded third party adm file, configured policy or just changed some windows components settings you need to force update of the remote policy.

Simple PowerShell command will do the trick: Invoke-Command -ComputerName FQDN-of-computer {gpupdate /force}

Posted in Active Directory, Group Policy

WMIDiag Windows server 2012 and Windows server 2012 R2

If you try running WMIDiag tool from Microsoft to understand why your WMI provider is not working you will get:
Unsupported Windows version – 64-bit (_____.___.___.__).
ERROR: (Main) : Unsupported OS version or build #.

This is because WMIdiag is supported only up to Windows 2008 R2 or so called build 6.1.

Windows 2012 is build 6.2 (Windows 8 as well) and Windows 2012 R2 is build 6.3. There is a quick and dirty trick how to full script to run on Windows server 2012 and 2012 R2.

So let’s try to run WMIDiag on the Windows 2012.

  1. Edit WMIDiag.vbs in notepad
  2. Search and Replace Case “6.1” to Case “6.2” (there is only one replacement that you need to do)
  3. Save and close
  4. Run script in the cmd with cscript WMIDiag.vbs

Process for Windows server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 is similar instead we just change build to 6.3

  1. Edit WMIDiag.vbs in notepad
  2. Search and Replace Case “6.1” to Case “6.3” (there is only one replacement that you need to do)
  3. Save and close
  4. Run script in the cmd with cscript WMIDiag.vbs

Now you can explore Report file that WMI Diag created and try to explore what the heck is going on with the WMI database. Often it is corrupted and winmgmt /salvagerepository cmd will save the day and rebuild WMI database so WMI will continue to function correctly.

Posted in Windows general, WMI

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook there is a problem communicating with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server the server might be unavailable

When you try to install Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client for Outlook on Windows 8  or Windows 8.1 you bump on the following message:

There is a problem communicating with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server. The server might be unavailable. Try again later. If the problem persists, contact your administrator.

°problem communicating with CRM server

First I have found KB Article ID: 2502671 here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2502671 that suggests fixing clock on the client odr the server and fixing host header on the IIS server where CRM is actually hosted. It was none of that so I looked elsewhere. The problem was in Windows Identify Foundation feature in Windows 8/8.1, if you enable that feature in features and programs in control panel everything will work as it should and you will be able to select your server and organization.

 

Posted in Windows general