SyMenu – Download over 1,000 utilities from NirSoft, SysInternals and more

SyMenu allows you to download utilities from NirSoft, SysInternals and more.  Download the program from here and check the programs you want.

Once you download the programs, you can use SyMenu to run the many programs  (over 1200) from a flashdrive.  To exit the program, you will need to scroll to the bottom and select exit.

1

 

symenu sysinternals

symenu

In order to start in an elevated mode (Administrator), use the  Symenu.Admin.exe.  You will see a small icon icon adjacent to running programs and the time on the right side of the taskbar.  Double click to run SyMenu.

Menu

Note:  Some files may identify as viruses or malware.   These are false positives because of what they do.  Make exceptions for these programs.

 

 

 

 

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Winsat formal – measure your computer’s native performance

Want to truly measure your computer’s native performance?  Use Winsat formal to see how the video, CPU and HDD/SSD performs.

Open a elevated command prompt and type Winsat formal

Winsat formal One

Winsat formal

Want to measure just the disk?  Type the following and substitute the C: with the drive’s letter.

winsat disk

or

winsat disk -seq -write -drive c:

or

winsat disk –ran –read –drive d:

 

 

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Is your SSD or HDD dirty?

You can of course use the Windows GUI to check your SSD or HDD.  But did you know that you should check your drives by typing the following (you can copy and paste in a elevated command prompt and change switches as necessary)-

fsutil dirty query c:
fsutil dirty query c:
chkntfs c:
fsutil repair query c:
fsutil behavior set BugcheckOnCorrupt 1
fsutil repair set c: 0x01
pause

What does it look like when it is ran at an elevated command prompt?

dirty

What it means

 

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Network Throttling Index

Did you know that Windows implements a network throttling mechanism that will restrict and slow network traffic when regular (not multimedia) traffic is transferred?

This traffic can be around 10ish packets per ms which is just over 100 megabits per second.   It sometimes can benefit you to disable throttling in regular networks.

In the Windows registry under –

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile

NetworkThrottlingIndex=ffffffff – to Disable

Settings – 10 (the default) – use this for media sharing
(This number can be adjusted 1 – 70)
ffffffff is for max throughput and some games

Throttling

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Keep DNS services running well on your computer

If you enter ipconfig /displaydns at a command prompt you’ll see that Windows stores successful and unsuccessful name resolutions in cache.  By default, Windows will store this cache for 24 hours.  You can adjust this by doing the following:

Open the registry editor and navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters

DWORD:MaxCacheTTL

Value: 14400
The entry 14400 is in seconds.  Enter this as a Decimal Base and NOT Hexadecimal.

DNSCache

Ipconfig /flushdns flushes these entries manually.

 

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Windows Updates – Double check by visiting Microsoft’s Update site

Want to make sure your Windows is up-to-date?  Here’s a tip.  You can go to setup in Windows 10 by clicking the gear gearand then clicking Update and Security.

Update and Security

Once you click update and Security, you can see if your version of Windows is up-to-date.  But is this truly accurate?

Windows Update and Security

You can check by typing winver on the menu and seeing your build number.   Check this build number against the build number on Microsoft’s Windows Update site.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4018124/windows-10-update-history

Windows 10 History

As you can see, the build number is 15063.608 on this computer, but the update site shows 15063.632.

In order to make sure Windows is up-to-date,  you can go to Microsoft’s catalog and download the KB;  which in this case is KB4040724.  Around 900mb+, Microsoft’s downloads are sometimes nearly 1GB in size and take some time to download.

Windows 10 CAtalog

Huge Download

For information on the latest updates for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, You can visit Microsoft’s History page at –
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4009469/windows-7-sp1-windows-server-2008-r2-sp1-update-history

Windows 7 Histroy

Enterprises with SQL can find the updates here –
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff803383.aspx

SQL

Microsoft Office Update are here-

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Install-Office-updates-2ab296f3-7f03-43a2-8e50-46de917611c5

Office

 

Problems running updates?  Try the reset tool found here –

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Reset-Windows-Update-Tool-402a3eef

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What’s On My PC has two excellent articles on utilities

WSCC finds updates to utilities (portable version) that are an excellent resource for your flash drive and repairing Windows – Go over to Rick’s to see the full review.

 

Use WSCC to install, update, execute and organize the utilities from NirSoft and Sysinternals

 

Windows Repair Toolbox – Best FREE Portable Software To Help Diagnose And Solve Windows Computer Problems

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Bad HDD? It could be your Windows Updates

Recently we had a server that kept trying to install Windows Updates AND it would attempt to do updates IF the you skipped the HDD scan.  The updates would fail and the computer would reboot to a login screen.

Here’s how we fixed the computer by deleting what we knew were corrupt update files.

    • Open a PowerShell and ran the following-
    • net stop bits
      net stop wuauserv
      net stop appidsvc
      net stop cryptsvc
      rmdir %windir%\softwaredistribution /s /q 
      Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat”
      sc.exe sdset bits D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
      sc.exe sdset wuauserv D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
      cd /d %windir%\system32
      regsvr32 /s wups.dll 
      regsvr32 /s wups2.dll 
      regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll 
      regsvr32.exe /s msxml.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s msxml3.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s msxml6.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s actxprxy.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s softpub.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s shdocvw.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s browseui.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s jscript.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s vbscript.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s scrrun.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wintrust.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s dssenh.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s rsaenh.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s gpkcsp.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s sccbase.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s slbcsp.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s cryptdlg.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s oleaut32.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s ole32.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s shell32.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s initpki.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wuapi.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wuaueng1.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wuweb.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s qmgr.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s qmgrprxy.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wucltux.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s muweb.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wuwebv.dll
      regsvr32 /s wudriver.dll
      net start bits
      net start wuauserv
      net start appidsvc
      net start cryptsvc
      bitsadmin.exe /reset /allusers
      ipconfig /flushdns
      netsh winsock reset catalog

Next we checked to see if pending.xml existed. Often Windows will have this (see post link below) when your computer keeps trying to install updates.

Note: Ours did not but if it had, we would have done this (Credit to Josh Carney for his post in 2013)-

Open a CMD Prompt as an Administrator and typed the following

takeown /f C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml
cacls C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml /G Username:F
d
el C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml

Verify if the SoftwareDistribution folder is empty –

Reboot the computer

Run the check disk and your problems should be gone.

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Private Cloud freeware? Try Tonido

Want a private cloud to sync your files, back up data and have access from outside of your home?

Tonido Software for home is free.   The software is around 20+ meg to download and easy to set up.  Here’s a list of the top features.

So the easiest thing to do – add a hard drive to your computer.  Add files to folders on the drive and use Tonido to share files, backup files, stream music or movies and more.

The basic port you’ll need to open on your router (under port forwarding is 10001) – this port can be changed during/after your configuration.

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Internet or network application slow? You may need to temporarily disable Nagle’s Algorithm

TCAT Shelbyville - Technical Blog

With the Nagle-Algorithm, Windows takes small packets and packages them in to more manageable and efficient sizes.   If you have poor latency, you might try to disable the Nagle-Algorithm.  Nagle’s algorithm helps to control congestion when small packets are sent continuously by TCP.   When enabled, this helps to prevent a flood of these packets.

More information – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagle’s_algorithm

How to disable Nagle’s algorithm-

Open regedit.exe.  Navigate to HKey_Local_MachineSystemCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParametersInterfaces

Find the interface that has your current IP address (see example below)

Find IP address

Add the following values and make sure they are set to 1.

TcpAckFrequency and TCPNoDelay

Add values

This is only a temporary fix for the reduction of some applications on the internet.  Once your project or need is fulfilled, you should re-enable the algorithm by deleting the keys and rebooting or changing the values.

View original post

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Want a fast and safer browser? Try Brave

Brave browser is an excellent browser for speed and safety.

Speed and Safety

  • Blocks trackers and intrusive ads
  • Prevents the 60% page load time latency by blocking ads
  • Prevents the 20% load time latency from underlying code or scripts try to learn about you
  • Redirects to HTTPS
  • Blocks Tracking Pixels and Tracking Cookies
  • Blocks harmful advertising

brave

Posted in Computer Security, Computer Software, Computers, Education, Free Software, freeware, Information Technology, Linux, Mac, Mac Tips, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, Technology, Windows 10 Quick Tips | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Find rogue APs with Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector using signal strength and sound

Xirrus Wi-Fi inspector is a free tool you can use to gather information about wi-fi around you.  You can also use this tool to locate APs via sound very similar to using radar and sound.   Have an AP you need to zero in on?  Right Click and locate the AP by using your laptop’s sound.  To stop the sound, right click and end the session.

Xirrus

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How to get OpenWRT on a Rosewill RNX-N150RT Router? Flash it to DD-WRT then flash to a TP-Link TL-WR741N. Finish with OpenWRT or Gargoyle and out perform may AC routers.

With a Rosewill RNX-N150RT router, you can flash this simple home router to OpenWRT.   While there are a few hoops to jump through, the process is easy.

  1. First flash the Rosewill to DD-WRT by downloading the firmware here.
  2. Next flash the DD-WRT firmware with TP-Link firmware tl-wr741nd_v1_v2-webrevert.bin  – Here’s the Google search to find the .bin file.
  3. Finally flash the TP-Link firmware to OpenWRT .  You should flash OpenWRT version 12.09-rc1 or later.   You can download the firmware here.   Note:  I had to rename the firmware to factory.bin

Additional note:  You can also load Gargoyle.  See the notes here.

tplink

OpenWRT

Openwrt

Gargoyle

Gargoyle

SSH using PuttyGen to generate key and then using Putty to access the router

Gargoyle

What about performance?  Amazingly this little $14 router wirelessly has been outperforming our AC router.  The wi-fi signal stays strong and steady.

Tests

Testsmore

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SSL not showing green lock? Here’s some things to try.

Recently we did a certificate request with an IIS server and loaded the received certificates under Enterprise Trust and imported the certificate into IIS.

When we visited the website, we noticed that the newly loaded server did not present a green lock but instead loaded a

  • Visit Why No Padlock? https://www.whynopadlock.com/index.html
  • Visit Comodo’s SSL Analyzer
  • Double check your code of your website to make sure that images and links have https
  • Use relative links and not absolute
    • Example – Don’t use Use
  • Use IISCrypto.exe from Nartac Software to disable vulnerable encryption methods that may show up on the above websites

Here’s something that will help you – We followed all of the advice above and still received the Not Secure favicon and not the green lock Lock we wanted.

Although the site is encrypted, the green lock missing creates a feeling of not being secure.

Seeking more information, we found that if you hit Ctrl-Shift-j in Chrome, you could see what was not secure.   We found that our customized 404 error was pointing to our IP and using http.

ctrlshiftj

To fix this, we opened IIS and changed the unsecured reference to our 404 error to https and the FQDN (web address).

404

Running Ctrl-Shift-j again after visiting the site, it then showed no errors.

ssl done

Be sure to read A Cipher Best Practice: Configure IIS for SSL/TLS Protocol over at Petri and take a look at SChannel information at Microsoft

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HDD drive slow? It could be your network card…

Another example of what we thought was a failing HDD, turned out to be a corrupt… Winsock?  A non-profit organization called us today and after running diagnostics on the HDD, turns out the computer lock ups and  experienced freezing along with poor performance.  The problem was the…. network card.

After doing a netsh winsock reset catalog at a command prompt (as administrator), disabling the unused cards on the server after a reboot – the computer acted like a new computer.

Why did this happen?   Being a server, the computer was being accessed remotely and locally.    The network card caused write latency to the HDD by not delivering packets of data or was ‘hanging’ on a request.

See our other post on when your HDD slows down.

Posted in Home Networking, Information Technology, Microsoft, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, network, Networking, Technology, Windows 10, Windows 10 Quick Tips, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server, Wireless | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Slow performance on your HDD? It may be failing and SMART isn’t detecting the impending drive failure.

If you have enabled caching on your HDD in the device manager and defragged your HDD, you may need to try to clone the drive.  Look at Macrum Reflect for home or Clonezilla in order to clone the drive.  Taking this action may help/save you before the drive fails.

Of course you will optimize your drive, load drivers including chipset drivers or RST for Intel if it applies. You should look at programs along with malware/viruses that may be slowing your drive down.  If everything is clean and drivers are loaded, this poor performance may indicate a failing HDD.

We recently had a server slowing down.   Drivers were loaded correctly, no malware, drive cache was enabled, startup programs were minimal and the transfer rate was below 50 mbps with HDDTune (free).

After trying to clone with software and using a Kanguru to try to clone the drive, these solutions failed- This is RARE.  So what should you be ready to do?  Create backups of your programs and files (including your profile) and get ready to install Windows and your programs on a new HDD.

Remember, if your HDD is rated at 7200 rpm or more and has good cache on board, you may have a drive that is failing even though SMART in the BIOS is enabled.

See our other article on how it could be your network card and not your HDD.

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Can’t delete your printer? Try some of these tips.

Printers either install and work flawlessly or they don’t install or give constant problems.  Try these tips.

Start fresh by removing the printer and following the steps below – remember, these tips are NOT just for deleting the printer but for troubleshooting.  Often it is best to run through all of these steps and starting over.

  • Can’t delete the printer?  Open the printer icon in the system tray if you have tried to print and it fails to print.
    1. Once you open the icon, cancel the print jobs that may be pending – try deleting the printer now
    2. Open services.msc by using the run line (right click the menu) or click the orb or Windows start icon and type services.msc (Figure 1)
      1. Navigate to Print Spooler and stop the service.  Once the service has stopped, start the service.
    3. Remove any software under Programs and Features that is related to the printer
    4. Still can’t delete the printer?  Open the printer management under the Control Panel and Administrative tools (Figure 2) and delete the printer and associated drives (Make sure you download the latest driver)  Printer Management is found in Pro and Above
      1. Not there?  You are probably running home – Run this command –printui /s /t2 at the command line and delete the printer from the print server screen (Figure 3) – You may have to use this in home editions

Normally removing the printer may stall if their are queued print jobs.   Removing the printer by using the above steps and rebooting will normally remove the printer.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2 (Pro and above) – Using Print Management under Administrative Tools in the Control Panel

Figure 2

Figure 3 (Home Edition) – Running printui /s /t2 from the run line

Figure 3

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RRAS unable to start service (Windows 10)

  1. Search for “regedit” using Cortana, then run the regedit command in search results to launch Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RasMan
    1. Create a new DWORD (Edit > New > DWORD)
    2. Name the new DWORD SvcHostSplitDisable
    3. Open the new DWORD, set the value to 1, then click OK
  3. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RemoteAccess
    1. Create a new DWORD (Edit > New > DWORD)
    2. Name the new DWORD SvcHostSplitDisable
    3. Open the new DWORD, set the value to 1, then click OK
  4. Restart your PC (Start > Power > Restart)
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Stop! Don’t throw that USB away

You may be able to save your USB drive if it stops functioning.   Recently I had a USB drive I use to push firmware on DVRs that did not show its full capacity.   The USB drive could not be formatted and the Disk Management Utility was of no use.

Warning – IF YOU SELECT THE WRONG PARTITION OR DRIVE LETTER, YOU MAY DELETE DATA.  REMEMBER, YOU WILL ERASE WHAT IS ON THE USB DRIVE, BUT  IT SHOULD BECOME FUNCTIONAL.

Open a command prompt as an Administrator and type what is in the bold, CHANGING the partition information and drive letter as necessary.

Follow the steps below to fully ERASE and reset the drive –

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.15063]

(c) 2017 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>diskpart
Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.15063.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: SERVER

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt

——–  ————-  ——-  ——-  —  —

Disk 0    Online          465 GB  1024 KB

Disk 1    Online         3750 MB  1026 MB

DISKPART> select disk 1

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list partition

Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset

————-  —————-  ——-  ——-

Partition 1    Primary           2722 MB    32 KB

Partition 2    Primary            704 KB  2722 MB

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> delete partition

DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition.

DISKPART> select partition 2

Partition 2 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> delete partition

DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition.

DISKPART> exit

Leaving DiskPart…

C:\WINDOWS\system32>format /FS:fat32 g:
Insert new disk for drive G:
and press ENTER when ready…
The type of the file system is RAW.
The new file system is FAT32.

Verifying 3.7 GB
2%

Notes:  You may have to use the delete partition override if the partition won’t delete

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Networking and Internet problems? Try this

Are you having problems with networking or using the internet?  Open a command prompt as an administrator.  Run the following commands (or copy and paste into the cmd prompt) –

route -f
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
arp -d
nbtstat -R
nbtstat -RR
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns
netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int reset all
netsh int ipv4 reset
netsh int ipv6 reset

Restart your computer

Note:  All advice on this site -should be used at your own risk

What the commands do

route -f    Flushes route
ipconfig /release   Releases IP address
ipconfig /renew     Renews IP address
arp -d                        Flushes ARP cache (association of IP to MAC addresses)
nbtstat -R                Purges and preloads of the NBT Remote Cache Name Table.
nbtstat -RR              Refreshes NetBIOs names
ipconfig /flushdns   Flushes local DNS information
ipconfig /registerdns  Registration of the DNS resource records for all adapters of this computer has been initiated. Any errors will be reported in the Event Viewer in 15 minutes.
netsh winsock reset catalog  Resets TCP/IP stack

other commands reset registry settings for TCP/IP to defaults

Posted in computer troubleshooting, Home Networking, Information Technology, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, network, Networking, Technology, troubleshooting, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 10 Quick Tips, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server, Wireless | Tagged , , | Leave a comment