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

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.

Bookmarks4techs

Stop sponsors and toolbars with Java Updates

Tired of seeing sponsors and toolbars come in with Java updates?  Here’s a quick solution that can help prevent you from inadvertently installing a toolbar with your Java update.

Open Notepad and copy the following information into the blank document -

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft]
"SPONSORS"="DISABLE"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\JavaSoft]
"SPONSORS"="DISABLE"

Click on File, Save As, navigate to the desktop, select file type to all. Now save the file as NoSponsors.reg.
This will create a registry file to enter a sponsors key that will prevent sponsors from being installed.

Registry before -

initial key

Double click on the registry file you made -

key to merge

After clicking you will receive a message that the merge was successful -

merged

 

Registry key after entry -

after

The life of a file

The life of a file…

8:00 a.m.  The executive secretary begins writing a credit memo for several clients.  The file has sensitive data.

8:15 a.m.   The file is saved to the documents folder on the secretary’s desktop.   The document is truly on a domain server in her profile folder.   There is one copy of the file.

8:17 a.m.   The secretary opens her email and attaches the file.   The secretary emails the document to ten recipients.

8:17:30 a.m.  The file goes to ten different email servers.

8:18: a.m.  The file now sits on eleven computers- ten email servers and on the company’s domain server.

8:19 a.m. The file gets downloaded onto three tablets and one notebook.   The file is now on 16 devices.

8:19 a.m. The file received by two of the email recipients above is synchronized to a cloud backup service.  The file is now on 19 devices.

8:20 a.m. The file is received by the above tablet and is synchronized onto a cloud backup service and synchronizes with the end-user’s phone and their home desktop computer.  The file is now on 22 devices.

8:20:45 a.m. The file on the above recipient is copied to a third party storage solution from their phone.  The file is now on 23 devices.

8:21 a.m.  The file now synchronizes from the one of the above tablets above and is forwarded to a private email.  The file is downloaded to their phone.  The file is now on 25 devices.

8:29 a.m.  The file is received by the remaining six recipients and is synchronized to five cloud servers, lands on four laptops and three smartphones.   The file is now on 43 devices.

8:30 a.m.  The corporate server synchronizes to a backup drive and shots the secretary’s file to an offsite backup.  The file is now on 45 devices.

8:35 a.m.  The secretary copies the file to a USB drive and prepares for a business meeting at another location.  The file is now on 46 devices.

9:05 a.m. One of the email recipients copies the file to a flashdrive and gives the file to an associate.  The file is now on 47 devices.

9:07 a.m. The secretary arrives at the off-site location and gives the flashdrive to a co-worker.  The co-worker prepares for a presentation and copies the file to a presentation laptop.  The file is now on 48 devices.

9:08 a.m.  The flash drive is placed into the pocket of the co-worker.   One of the email recipients copies the file onto a server and shares the file to 8 co-workers.   Six of the co-workers download the file to their tablets.  The file is now on 55 devices.

9:10 a.m.  The presenter at the offsite location  jogs to an out building to get supplies for the meeting.  The flashdrive falls through a hole in his pocket.

9:12 a.m.   An archiving program on the second server copies the file into a data warehouse server.  The data warehouse server makes a copy of the file and backs up the file.  There is now 57 devices.

9:15 a.m.  One of the email recipients cannot open the file on his tablet.   The email recipient copies the file to a flash drive and moves the file to a company laptop.   The file is now on 58 devices.

9:20 a.m.  An email recipient forwards the email to a wrong address and to three correct addresses.   The file goes to four email servers and is downloaded to three laptops and onto a desktop of one user.   The file is now on 67 devices.

9:21 a.m. The email is synchronized to other devices for the last group of recipients.   The file lands on an addition nine devices.   The file is now on 76 devices.

9:30 a.m. The email servers backup the files for the recipients.  The file is now on now on 90+ devices.

9:31 a.m.  The meeting starts at the offsite location.

9:32 a.m.  A stranger finds the flashdrive that was dropped outside of the building.   Another stranger downloads the email that was wrongfully sent to them.

In today’s world, your one file grows as though it were a microorganism.   It is held by many corporations and can be seen by many individuals…in the first hour.

ncsam10_bnr3

Clean your computer and recover disk space

Want to clean your computer?  While there are utilities such as CCleaner, you may be able to reclaim disk space by using the latest Microsoft update.  Right click on your hard drive and select properties.   If your computer is up-to-date, you can use the the Disk Cleanup utility that now includes an option to cleanup the update files on your computer.   Click Disk Cleanup.   Click System Files.   Select Service Pack Backup Files and Windows Update cleanup.

These options can clean between 2 and 6 gb of files.

SP UpdateFiles

 

If you have downloaded a Service Pack from Microsoft and your computer is running well; you should open a command prompt as an administrator and run the following command to clean the service pack installation files.   Although the update above should clean the files, This is another option that can clean your computer.  Always defrag your computer to further optimize its performance.

 

DISM /online /cleanup-Image /spsuperseded

DISM

Zyxel MWR102 tiny router/AP

Finally got my Zyxel Routers / APs in.  Promised pics earlier with our blog post earlier last week.  With a router/ap switch on the side and the ability to act as a router, ap or bridge, the routers came with two power supplies each, a CAT5 cable and a very powerful wireless signal.

IMG_3105

IMG_7049

tiny

As we go through the CWTS curriculum, students are exposed to many different types of routers.  The Zyxel MWR102 is a tiny router (only 2.9″ x 2.3″ x .6″) that you can use when in a pinch or even in a small apartment.

Zyxel

This tiny router packs a ton of features.  Under $20, the router’s specs prove it gives a full size router a run for the money.

Zyxel Specs- USB Powered 150Mbps Wireless-N Fast Ethernet Travel Router

Features:

  • Pocket-sized router/AP for internet access on-the-go
  • 3-in-1 Functionality – Router, Access Point, and Client Bridge
  • Wirelessly share a wired Internet connection with multiple friends, colleagues, or devices.
  • 802.11n wireless connectivity for data transfer rates of up to 150 Mbps
  • USB or AC power provide flexibility for any situation
  • Hardware Specifications:
  • Ports:
  • Two (2) 10/100 Mbps (1x WAN, 1x LAN)
  • One (1) MiniUSB (For Power)Power:
  • 5V DC USB
  • System Specifications:
  • Wireless Standard:
  • IEEE802.3, IEEE 802.3u
  • IEEE802.11n auto rate up to 150Mbps
  • IEEE802.11b/g compatible auto rate up to 54Mbps
  • IEEE802.1x MDI/MDI-X adaptive flow-control
  • IEEE802.1p
  • IEEE802.3x
  • IEEE802.3az
  • Operating Modes:
  • Router
  • Access Point
  • WiFi Client Bridge   Yep, even a wireless bridge…Wireless Security:
  • WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK
  • Security:
  • 64/128-bit WPA/WPA2
  • SPI Firewall
  • WPS Setup
  • Routing and IP Management:
  • Static IP
  • DHCP
  • PPPoE
  • NATUnit Dimensions:
  • 0.61 x 2.93 x 2.32-inches (H x W x D)   Is anything smaller?

Where can you buy it?