See who’s on your wireless network – SoftPerfect WiFi Guard

Want to see who is on your wireless?  SoftPerfect’s  WiFi Guard is freeware that scans your network, both wireless and wired and it also inventories connections on your network.

Before setting up WiFi Guard, inventory your computers, printers, routers, TVs and other devices that use your network.  Get each devices’ MAC address.  Load WiFi Guard and mark each device as trusted.  WiFi Guard’s settings allows you to set a scan interval and to put comments on devices that you know.  In the event a new device is connected to your network, you’ll be alerted.

taskbar

Scanned

 

 

Set a scan interval that meets your needs.Settings 

WiFi Guard keeps a history of devices that connect to your network.History

SoftPerfect WiFi Guard

The Ultimate Toolkit for IT Professionals – GE Geek Toolkit

I discovered GE Geek through Rick at What’s On My PC.  GE Geek is a resource like no other.  The time and dedication to linking and uploading the thousands of resources at GE Geek is commendable.

The best feature by far is GE Geek’s Toolkit that contains 1.7 gigabytes of tools that every IT pro needs.

“A complete collection of over 300 Portable Freeware Tech Related
programs, all accessible from one Menu Launcher Utility. There’s
even a program to update all the essential programs automatically,
all contained on a USB/Flash drive for travel.” ~GE Geek

Here’s a short list of the categories -

Apps to Install
App Updates
App Uninstallers
BackUps
Benchmarking
Compression
Configurations
Diagnostics
Drivers
FTP Tools
Internet
Maintenance
Malware Removal
Multimedia
Network Tools
Recovery
Remote Tools
Repair Tools 1
Repair Tools 2
Scripts
Search
Security
System Information
System Tools
Tweaking Tools
Windows Services Defaults
Windows 7 Tools
Windows 7 Troubleshooting
Windows 7 / 8 Shortcuts
Dozens more
getoolkit 

 

Here’s a Snapshot of his Site. You have to visit the site to get an understanding of how this has to be one of the best sites on the web for IT Professionals.   Link

SnapShot

Excellent site to understand deployment

Need a step by step tutorial on Sysprep, ImageX or other Windows’ deployment methods?  Me, Myself and IT has excellent step by step tutorials on these different methods.

Getting started using Windows Deployment

Create a Windows PE USB    (Includes Dropbox download)

Capture an image using ImageX

Apply a WIM using ImageX

How to build an UnAttended Answer File

Adding drivers

Preparing and Using Sysprep

Experiments with Sysprep

MDT

MySQL Wworkbench – manage your MySQL installation

If you are a beginner or an expert, MySQL Workbench is a must have if you have installed MySQL.  The community edition allows you to Start/Stop your MySQL instance, write queries, monitor performance and has dozens of other features.

With MySQL, the my.conf file normally found in Linux installs is the my.ini file.  This configuration file can be found under the ProgramData folder (you have to show hidden files in Windows Explorer to see it).   This file can be configured using MySQL Workbench.   If you get an error connecting to it, go to the server instance and navigate to the my.ini file.   This is a common error when reading the configuration file.

WorkBench Status

Other features -

SQL Editor – SQL Code Completion, SQL Code Formatter, SQL Syntax Highlighting, SQL Code Generation, SQL History, SQL Snippets, Server-Stop/Start, Server Status, Performance and more.

WorkBench One

 

 

150 FREE Microsoft eBooks – largest collection ever

150 FREE Microsoft eBooks – largest collection ever

Thanks to Jonathan for remembering to email me the latest Microsoft Blog link about free ebooks.

EBoooks link

Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! Please enjoy these FREE eBooks and resources, and be sure to pass this along to your friends, colleagues, peers, and others who you think would benefit from and enjoy them. After all, wouldn’t it be fun if we could surpass the 1,000,000 download mark within just one week again? ~Eric Ligman, Microsoft

 

 

Can Hackers Steal Secrets from Reflections?

I encourage my students to go over and visit Rick, Paul and Bill’s blog.  In 2009, Rick posted a link to a Scientific American article on How Hackers Steal Secrets from Reflections.   Great Article.  With our students going through some of the best security courses available, these links are very valuable.

Although we used a mirror for this example, we have tried glasses and other reflective materials and you can take a picture and reverse the photo.

Reverse Image

Reversed with Irfanview

Corrected with IRFanview

The Winners of the Excellence in Action Award for Outstanding Career Technical Education

Today, six programs were recognized as “Excellence in Action” award winners, representing the best Career Technical Education (CTE) has to offer. These programs of study were selected based on their uniquely inventive and effective approaches to stimulating student learning, raising student achievement, offering extensive work-based learning experiences, and increasing student postsecondary and career prospects, as described in Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education.

The inaugural Excellence in Action winners are:

NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green said, “These Excellence in Action award winners are incredibly successful – graduating their students at above average rates, building strong business and community partnerships and setting a course to increase students’ attainment of postsecondary credits and degrees and industry-recognized credentials. These high-quality programs of study are leading the way, improving both the practice and perception of CTE.”

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) honored the award recipients at the 2014 Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute.

Two-page, printable profiles of each winner, detailing their unique strengths and justification for their selection are available at the newly-launched NASDCTEc/NCTEF website. For further updates from the Achieving Excellence Institute, including a recap of the award ceremony, visit the CTE: Learning that Works Blog.

- See more at: http://www.careertech.org/announcing-winners-excellence-action-award-outstanding-career-technical-education#sthash.PSO1lK1t.dpuf

 

 

Announcing the Winners of the Excellence in Action Award for Outstanding Career Technical Education.

Cannot update Windows 7 with Service Pack

Windows 7 SP1 is a necessary critical update that should be applied when reinstalling or updating Windows.  You may run into errors when applying this service pack.  During the update, the update may stall or revert changes.  What should you do?

Be Patient – The installation failure or reverting changes may take up to an hour or more.

  • Boot into Safe Mode with networking (Reboot hit F8 several times and select Safe Mode)
    • Be patient this can take an hour or more during the reverting process
    • Once in Safe Mode with networking, disable all antivirus software – Look for other antivirus software programs that may have been installed at an earlier date and remove these (You may have to use removal tools from the vendor).  Also look for any old installations of other anti-virus software or malware tools under c:\program files\any old anti-virus software.  Remove these with Programs and Features (Add/Remove Software) if possible.
  • Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder under C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistributionold
  • Delete any files under C:\Windows\Temp and C:\Temp
  • Download Tweaking from here
    • Select all repairs and reboot (This may take 20 minutes to 1 hour)
  • Download the System Update Readiness Tool from here
    • Run this Tool
  • Download Windows 7 SP1 (Full Download) from here 

Why Tweaking All-in-one?
Reset Registry Permissions
Reset File Permissions
Register System Files
Repair WMI
Repair Windows Firewall
Repair Internet Explorer
Repair MDAC & MS Jet
Repair Hosts File
Remove Policies Set By Infections
Repair Icons
Repair Winsock & DNS Cache
Remove Temp Files
Repair Proxy Settings
Unhide Non System Files
Repair Windows Updates
Repair CD/DVD Missing/Not Working
and more…

Capture

77 Windows tips

Technet has a list of 77 Windows tips, don’t close the tips out too soon, you’ll find things you may not know how to do.   Although most of these are old if you have discovered Windows 7, many people still don’t know about many of these tips.

Know what Robocopy is?  How about a search connector?  perfmon /report or permon /rel?   Link

Free-Windows Server 2012 R2 Technet Document -7970 pages

Want to know how to be an administrator of Windows Server 2012 R2?  This 7900+ page document has everything you want to know about Microsoft’s latest server.  Included in this massive manual is-

  • Technical Scenarios
  • Install and Deploy Windows Server
  • Migrate Roles and Features to Windows Server
  • Secure Windows Server
  • Manage Privacy in Windows Server
  • Support and Troubleshoot Windows Server
  • Server Roles and Technologies
  • Management and Tools for Windows Server

Download Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library Documentation here.  111 mb

Microsoft also offers free virtual labs (Virtual Microsoft Server from your browser).  Coupled with this 7900+ page manual, this is an excellent resource to learn Windows Server 2012.

If you want to print this, it will take approximately 16 reams of paper and 3.25 high capacity laser toner cartridges.  Of course once you print it, you’ll have your first 32″ wide book.

Did you really complete your Windows installation?

While we cannot cover every scenario there is, this is a general setup of  a Windows 7 or 8 computer.

  • Check all drivers under the Device Manager
    Get the latest drivers for performance
  • Optimize Network Card Configuration– Disable all but flow control
  • Disable NTLM if connecting to older NAS or SANS devices
  • Disable LLMNR - improves network performance and connections to SQL
  • Load Banner if you have a business (legal banner at computer start)
  • Load all Windows updates
  • Run Cleanup of Service Packs after Service Pack updates are installed
    (Information here or DISM /online /cleanup-Image /spsuperseded at a command prompt)
  • Load Microsoft Hotfix 90 patches if Windows 7
    • This enterprise hotfix is for WebDAV, DFSN client, Folder Redirection, Offline Files and Folders, SMB client, Redirected Drive Buffering Subsystem, Multiple UNC Provider, SMB Service, TCP protocol components (Network Performance), processing of Group Policies, Group Policy preferences, helps to reduce network load and domain load, WMI and more.
  • Hard drive cache on if not SSD Drive
    (Device Manager – double click and make sure checkboxes under policies are checked)
  • TRIM enabled if SSD and disable defrag if SSD
  • Load Defraggler or Auslogics defrag (Third party defrag program) if non SSD
  • USB Power Management off – Device Manager
  • Adjust other Power Management as necessary
  • Printer installation
  • Check to see if your BIOS supports AHCI -(if so, boot into Windows, modify the registry, then change the BIOS to AHCI) – more information
  • Office installation – Always select custom during installation and select all features – complete installation
  • Set Homepage in your Browser
  • Install Adobe Reader
  • Install Flash
  • Install Java
  • Install CCleaner
  • Cryptolocker protection
  • Install Anti-virus software (Microsoft Security Essentials)
  • Install Anti-malware protection (SuperAntispyware or Malwarebytes)
  • Rename computer and put in workgroup or domain as necessary
  • Enable the Administrator’s account
  • Edit the Hosts and LMHOSTS file under C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc as necessary
    Type in server IP and NetBIOS name (speeds up name resolution if local DNS is not available)

Note: This does NOT contain all of the information you may need when in a business environment.

How to audit a folder in Windows

When networking shared resources, you should audit the individual folders you are sharing out.  This allows you to ‘see’ who is using the folders and how files are being manipulated.

How to Audit User Access of Files, Folders, and Printers

The audit log appears in the Security log in Event Viewer. To enable logging:

  1. Click Start, go to the Control Panel, click on Performance and Maintenance, and  click Administrative Tools.
  2. Open the Local Security Policy.
  3. In the left pane, double-click Local Policies.
  4. Click Audit Policy to display the individual policy settings.
  5. Click Audit object access.
  6. Select the Success check box on items you would like to monitor.
  7. Select the Failure check box on items you would like to monitor.
  8. You can select both check boxes to audit Success and Failures.
  9. Click OK.

How to Specify Files, Folders, and Printers to Audit

Once you enable auditing, you can specify the files, folders, or printers that you want audited. :

  1. Locate the file or folder you want to audit. To audit a printer, locate it by clicking Start, and  clicking Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the file, folder, or printer you want to monitor (audit) , click Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab, and  click the advanced button.
  4. Click on the Auditing tab, and  click on add.
  5. Clicking Advanced, and  click Find Now -navigate to the person or group you would like to audit.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Select the Successful or Failed check boxes (select the ones you want)click OK.
  8. Click OK,  click OK.
You can now look under the Event Viewer and ‘see’ what users are doing.
Remember when creating a VPN or sharing a folder- you always want to audit a folder or file.