Windows Updates will not install on Windows 7, 8 or Servers

Windows Updates may have an inconstancy that prevents the installation of updates or service packs.  Here’s what you should do -

Windows 8

At an elevated command prompt, type – DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Windows 7

(32 Bit)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=3132
(64 Bit)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20858 

Use DISM to Fix Component Store Corruption in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

Sign in as the Administrator on your computer.  If you do not see the administrator account, enable the administrator account.  If you are using a home version, you will need to go to an elevated command prompt and type the following -

net user administrator /active:yes

After logging in as the administrator, type the following at an elevated command prompt-

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Note:  Your computer may appear to hang – wait, it will take time

Reboot after running the DISM command.

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

Map a drive using a batch file

You can map a network drive using a script or batch file.

Open up Notepad

Type the following in substituting computer with the computer you are connecting to.  You will also substitute the folder with the folder name that is shared (only share with who you want to have access) also you can type in the password and username as necessary.

After typing this information in, Click on File and Save As.   Type map.bat and select the file type as all files.  Save the file where you want it.  You can now add it to your startup or to a schedule you set.

net use P: \\computer\folder password /user:username

pause

__________________

If you want to disconnect the drive after a period of time, follow the above steps substituting -

net use P: /delete

Free tool repairs critical Windows configuration vulnerabilities

“”Tripwire announced SecureCheq, a free configuration utility that helps evaluate and repair the most common, critical configuration vulnerabilities in Windows desktops and servers.””

Free tool repairs critical Windows configuration vulnerabilities

(By AddThis – NetSecurity.org)

 

This excellent tool scans your system for configuration errors.  In the example below, we use a system that has NOT been secured.

2 Tripwire

 

 

1 Tripwire Scan

 

Tripwire Disabled features

Protecting your network by pen testing it

This post is for educational purposes and any use of these tools against a network without explicit permission could be illegal.   Metasploit is designed to identify weaknesses in networks and hardware/software on a network.  Do NOT use metasploit for other reasons.

Want to protect your network and the computers in your network?  You can get updates for your operating systems (Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows or whatever) along with updates for third party programs yet you can still be unsecure.    When updating these products, you also have to remember firmware and updates for wireless devices, access points, bridges, firewalls, routers, switches, SCADA devices, robots, mobile devices, printers and any device on your network.

Metasploit

http://www.metasploit.com/download/

Metasploit Community is free and allows for a free scan of your network or server. Although limited (Try Pro for details and Brute Force), Metasploit Community is a first step in finding open services and ports on your operating system, hardware devices such as routers and other devices.   The trick to installing Metasploit is to disable your antivirus or make exceptions to what your antivirus finds.   You should truly install the software inside of a VM (Virtual Machine) so that your computer remains protected.

You can use Metasploit to protect your network by ‘seeing’ what a hacker or malicious person would see.  Truly for network professionals and auditors, this software can help you identify services, ports and weaknesses in your network.

There are several versions of Metasploit – Community, Pro, Express and Framework (Compare Editions)

Metasploit     Metasploit Two

Metasploit Scan Complete     metasploit Hosts

Metasploit Services After Scan

The above scan was in a controlled lab.  Malicious scanning of networks may be illegal.  Read  Penetration Basics on Metasploit’s website.

Tutorials (Videos)

Network named incorrectly under Network and Sharing Center

Have you connected and reconnected to a wireless or wired network and noticed the network adapter is now named wrong?

There’s an easy fix.

  • Open the Network and Sharing Center
  • Click on the Active Network icon (see below).

Click on Icon

  • Type in the network name and choose an icon

Rename

 

  • Click OK

SVCHost Viewer – Find out what program is using it!

Anyone who has hit Ctrl-Alt-Del understands they may have several svchost.exe ‘s running.  What are they?  They relate to networking and some programs use svchost in groups.  This tiny download (14 kb) shows exactly what this file is doing.

Link to Download.

svchostviewer

How much memory does your motherboard support?

Want to find out how much memory your motherboard supports?  There is a quick way to scan your computer.  Crucial has an excellent tool that you can download to find out what your current configuration is and how much memory you can add.  Visit http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

Agree to the terms and download the tool.  The tool can then be ran against your system.

Image

Image

Image

Image

The Network folder specified is currently mapped

If you try to map a network drive and an error that specifies you are already mapped to the drive but are not, you can try several things.

Run services.msc
Stop the Workstation Service (This in turn will stop the Browser Service)
Restart BOTH services

Try to map the drive

Another fix may be to run the following from a command prompt.

cd \
net use * /d /y
NET USE /persistent:no
nbtstat -R
nbtstat -RR
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /flushdns
arp -d *
ipconfig /renew

 

This can be put into a batch file as a tool.  Open notepad and copy and paste the following:

net stop workstation
y
net start workstation
net start browser
cd \
net use * /d /y
NET USE /persistent:no
nbtstat -R
nbtstat -RR
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /flushdns
arp -d *
ipconfig /renew

Save the file as dumpcache.bat (be sure to change the extension to all).

You can now run this in an administrative command prompt window.

Best IT Professional sites on the web

It’s hard to find great quality information that can be used by IT professionals.  One of the best sites on the web is GEGeek.  This site offers information that is updated often and covers a wide range of IT resources and troubleshooting.  This versatile site offers answers to IT questions covering a plethora of topics from legacy to modern day resources.

No where on the net can you find this amount of information.

GEGeek

 

Rick over at What’s On My PC has another site that is one of the most resourceful sites on the web.
Bookmarks 4 Techs links to over 700+ sites and blogs on the web.  The site offers links, RSS Feeds, news and hundreds of other links.

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