Microsoft Bob

Just a short, simple blog for Bob to share some tips and tricks.

Be sure to check out my non-technical blog at www.bobsbasement.net.

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Why I Won't Buy Another HP Computer

First of all, I have to point out that I have a few friends that work for Hewlett-Packard, so I have to apologize up front for what I'm about to write in this blog. But I just had such a horrible customer support experience with HP that I won't buy from them again.

Why I Bought an HP Computer

I have nothing against HP computers; for several years I used two beefy dual-CPU HP/Compaq ProLiant servers for my web hosting machines. (I loved those computers, and I only replaced those when Windows Server 2008 was released and I thought that it was time to upgrade my servers.)

Recently I decided to replace my aging Dell desktop computer with a newer model. I'm quite partial to Dell computers, because I've always had great experiences with their computers and their company. I had a chance to buy a refurbished HP P6510F computer for a great price, so I decided to take a chance with HP since that particular computer model had a lot of great reviews.

When the computer arrived I did what I always do - I reformatted the hard drive and I installed a brand new copy of Windows from scratch. (I have to do this because all computer companies - HP, Dell, Gateway, etc. - install a bunch of useless garbage software whenever you buy one of their new computers.) The computer ran fine for several weeks, but I'm a person that likes to keep their computer up-to-date, so this past weekend I browsed to HP's website to see if there were any updates.

Upgrading the BIOS

As it turns out, there was a new version of their BIOS that was supposed to resolve issues when waking the computer from sleep mode if you have more than 4GB of memory. I only had 4GB of RAM in the computer, but I was already shopping for another 4GB, so it seemed prudent to install the BIOS update. I downloaded the update and ran their installer. After a couple of minutes a dialog box popped up saying that the update had applied successfully and I needed to reboot my computer, which I did.

That's when everything started to go wrong.

All Heck Breaks Loose

When my computer restarted it immediately hit the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD); something very much like the following illustration:

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to
prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen,
restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow
these steps:

Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed
hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive
to make sure it is properly configured and terminated.
Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption, and then
restart your computer.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xFFFFF880009A9928,0xFFFFFFFFC0000034,
0x0000000000000000,0x0000000000000000)

It didn't matter how many times I tried to reboot, I still got the BSOD. I knew that BIOS updates changed some of the settings, so my natural suspicion was to assume that something in the new BIOS settings was causing the problem. I tweaked a few settings like disabling hardware virtualization and such - but there was still no joy in Mudville. After this I started to assume that perhaps the BIOS updated hadn't actually applied successfully, so I started trying to see if I could get my computer to boot from one of my several WinPE-based utility CD-ROMs and reapply the patch, but all of those also fell victim to the vicious BSOD.

I'll spare you the details of everything else that I tried - both hardware and software - but I finally gave up and decided to call HP's 24x7 technical support number.

The Technical Support Nightmare Begins

For geeks like me, having to call technical support is humiliating enough, but it's made so much worse by having to deal with front-line technical support people. Having spent 10 years in technical support myself, I have a great deal of patience with technical support engineers, but it can still be an aggravating experience. I spent the next half-hour answering mundane questions and following every instruction from HP's Tier 1 technical support script - all of which I had tried before. (At least the parts that actually applied to my situation.) I'm sure that the engineer with whom I was working meant well, but it was clear that she was floundering.

After a while she began to tell me that I didn't need the BIOS patch and that this was all my fault, to which I replied that she was correct - I didn't actually need the BIOS patch right now, but I would need it in the future, but that didn't really matter - the BIOS patch should not cause the BSOD. Besides - I always updated the BIOS in my Dell computers with no problems. (There's a good jab at HP to try yourself sometime.) Then she started to tell me that since I had a different version of Windows than HP had installed on my computer, the BIOS patch was not compatible. I asked her incredulously, "Do you mean to tell me that HP expects their customers to never install a new version of Windows?" She hesitated before replying "No," and then I reiterated my earlier assertion that no matter what, the BIOS patch should not cause the BSOD.

Then she began to tell me that I needed to purchase a system restore DVD from HP to rebuild my system. I was quick to point out that doing so would reformat my hard drive - thereby erasing all of my files - and that I was willing to bet that the problem wouldn't go away since the system restore DVD was probably not going to reset the BIOS back to an earlier version. So in my estimation I would be wasting my money and my time on a suggestion that would ultimately achieve nothing. This is where I lost her - she had no idea what I meant; so after more than an hour of basic troubleshooting with Tier 1 support and lots of time spent on hold, my patience was finally gone, and I asked to speak with someone in HP's Tier 2 support.

The Technical Support Nightmare Continues

I was transferred to a guy in Tier 2 support who discussed my predicament with me, and he seemed to have a much better handle on things. One of the first things that he did was verify that there was no reason that the BIOS update shouldn't work with my version of Windows, to which I replied that I had been trying to tell the earlier engineer the same thing. We looked at several settings, but the problem persisted, and then he suggested that I needed to purchase a system restore DVD from HP to rebuild my system. I restated my earlier claim that I would be wasting my money and my time since I was 99.9% sure that the system restore DVD would not roll back the BIOS version, so he put me on hold while he checked on that.

When he came back he informed me that the system restore DVD would not roll back the BIOS version, so I needed to return the computer to HP in order for them to reset the computer's BIOS to the original factory version. He pointed out that this would be free since the computer was under warranty, and he took my address so HP could send me a box in order to send the computer back to HP for repairs. Once all that was taken care of, we hung up.

My total time on the phone was about two hours. Ugh.

Problem Resolved

The next day I went out to lunch with my good friend, Wade Hilmo, and I related my experience to him. Once I described the symptoms he said, "I'll bet the BIOS update changed the mode for your SATA controller. Switch it from IDE to AHCI or vice-versa and the problem should go away."

Darn. I should have thought of that. ;-]

Sure enough, when I got home that night and I pulled up my BIOS settings, the SATA mode was set to RAID; I switched it to IDE and the BSOD went away. Once I knew what the problem was I found the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article that allowed me to enable AHCI:

Error message when you start a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-based computer after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive: "STOP 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE"

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

My thanks to Wade for pointing that out, but Wade's follow-up comment was apropos, "I'm still a bit surprised that neither of the HP folks suggested it." So I decided that I should call HP and let them know what it took to fix the problem.

Back to Technical Support

The next day I called HP Customer Care to have them cancel my open work ticket, which was the polite thing to do since the problem was resolved. Having taken care of that, I thought that I'd give their technical support people the details of what caused the issue and how to fix it. Having worked in technical support, I always liked to know what it took to resolve an issue.

This seemed like such a good idea at the time, but it didn't turn out that way. When I called HP's Customer Care folks transferred the call to their technical support people, one of their idiots support engineers put me on hold for 20-30 minutes while he read the case notes.

Are you kidding me? It doesn't take 20-30 minutes to read the case notes, even if you're in your first year of Hooked on Phonics.

Once he took me off hold, I was pleading with him to listen to my explanation that the problem was already resolved and it was not caused by whatever stupid idea kept popping out of his wild imagination - I just wanted to share the details of how to resolve the issue if another customer calls in with the same problem, which is undoubtedly going to happen. I pointed out that I was trying to help HIM, for Pete's sake, and he just wouldn't listen. (I started hoping that HP was recording the call.)

After all that, I made it abundantly pretty clear that what he did was very unprofessional, and I asked to speak to a manager. He informed me that he'd see if a manager was available - then he put me back on hold. Fortunately I was calling from work where I have a headset for my telephone, this way I could keep working while I was on hold. (Otherwise this would have really aggravated me.)

After another 20-30 minutes I realized that this idiot engineer was not going to find a manager, he was waiting for me to hang up and go away. So I decided to put that call on hold and try to call back into technical support, but my @#$% LG-Nortel phone won't let me call a phone number if I already have that number on hold. Argh. While I was browsing HP's website to see if I could locate a different phone number for technical support I accidently hung up the original call.

Crap, crap, crap.

So I called HP again and I got another engineer - and I asked to speak to a manager right off the bat. I profusely apologized to the new engineer, and I stated emphatically that it was nothing that he did. He asked for my name and such, but I told him that I had a support ticket number and I gave him that instead. Then I started to explain what happened with the other idiot and how I resolved the issue, but this new engineer attempted to defend the earlier idiot engineer and started to change the subject. I politely cut him off and simply pointed out that the first guy took 30 minutes to read the case notes, whereas he took less than 30 seconds - even this guy had to admit that the first guy's behavior was uncalled for.

Cutting the rest of the story short, I did finally tell the new engineer what it took to fix the problem, which was simply resetting the SATA configuration back to the pre-update BIOS value. I also gave him the information about how to enable AHCI using Microsoft's KB 922976. He thanked me for the information, and after he tried unsuccessfully to upsell me on a new warranty for my computer we ended the call.

Closing Remarks

So there you have it - a thoroughly bad HP customer support experience. If either Hewlett or Packard somehow manage to read this blog, they should be ashamed on behalf of their employees. I'd give you the names of those employees, but no one that I talked to had a name that I could pronounce.

 

Of course, I never did get to speak to a manager at HP.

Posted: Mar 22 2011, 23:26 by Bob | Comments (1)
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Disabling Local Loopback Checks on Web Servers that Run IIS

I've run into this situation more times that I can count: I set up a new web server and no matter what I do, I cannot log into websites on the server that require authentication while I am browsing to them from the console. I used to pull my hair out over this problem until I discovered the problem is in the Windows Local Security Authority (LSA) and it can be easily remedied.

  1. Open your registry editor by going to Start –> Run and enter regedit and click OK.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa in the registry editor.
  3. Right-click Lsa, click on New and select DWORD value.
  4. Enter DisableLoopbackCheck and press Enter.
  5. Right-click DisableloopbackCheck and select Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, enter 1 and click OK.
  7. Reboot your server.

Several years later someone wrote the following KB article that includes this fix with a description of the problem, as well as an alternate workaround:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861

HTH

Posted: Dec 16 2010, 18:09 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Windows 7 Hotkeys

I put together this list for my brother when Windows 7 launched. I got the information from a variety of sources, thereby living up to the old adage that "Copying from one person is plagiarism, copying from a hundred people is research." Some of these are new to Windows 7, while others have been around a little while. In any event, here are some notes that explain how to interpret the keystrokes:

  • A plus symbol (+) between keys means to press the keys at the same time, whereas a comma (,) between keys means to press the keys one after another.
  • [Right] text stands for the right cursor key, [Left] for the left cursor key, etc.

Taskbar Modifiers

Shift+Click Open a new instance of the program
Ctrl+Click Cycle between windows in a group
Middle Click Open a new instance of the program
Ctrl+Shift+Click Open a new instance of the program as Administrator
Shift+Right-Click Show window menu

Managing Windows

Alt+F4 Close the active window
Alt+Tab Switch to previous active window
Alt+Esc Cycle through all open windows
Win+Tab Flip 3D
Ctrl+Win+Tab Persistent Flip 3D
Win+T Cycle through applications on taskbar (showing its live preview)
Win+M Minimize all open windows
Win+Shift+M Undo all window minimization
Win+D Toggle showing the desktop
Win+P Open the projection menu (generally used for laptops connected to projectors)
Win+[Up] Maximize the current window
Win+[Down] If the current window is maximized, restore it; if the current window is restored, minimize it
Win+[Left] Dock the current window to the left half of the screen
• If it is already docked left, it is moved to the right half of the screen
• If it is already docked right, it is restored to its original size
Win+[Right] Dock the current window to the right half of the screen
• If it is already docked right, it is moved to the left half of the screen
• If it is already docked left, it is restored to its original size
Win+Shift+[Left] Move current window to the left monitor (with dual monitors)
Win+Shift+[Right] Move current window to the right monitor (with dual monitors)
Win+Home Minimize all but the current window
Win+Space Peek at the desktop
Win+[Plus sign] Zoom in
Win+[Minus sign] Zoom out

Starting Programs

Win+1 Open the first program on your Quick Launch bar
Win+2 Open the second program on your Quick Launch bar
Win+n Open the nth program on your Quick Launch bar
Win+U Open the ease of access center
Win+F Open the search window
Win+X Open the Mobility Center
Win+E Open Explorer
Win+R Open the Run window
Win+B Move focus to notification tray (the right-most portion of the taskbar)
Win+Pause Open the System Properties portion from the Control Panel
Ctrl+Shift+Esc Open Windows Task Manager

Logging In And Out

Win, [Right], Enter Shutdown
Win, [Right], [Right], R Restart
Win, [Right], [Right], S Sleep
Win, [Right], [Right], H Hibernate
Win, [Right], [Right], W Switch Users
Win+L Locks computer

Viewing Folders With Explorer

Alt+[Left] Go back
Alt+[Right] Go forward
Alt+[Up] Go up a directory
Alt+D Move focus to address bar
Alt+D, Tab Move focus to search bar
Alt+Enter Open the Properties window of the current selection
Ctrl+Mousewheel Change the view type (extra large, small, list view, detail, etc.)
Alt+P Show/hide the preview pane
Posted: May 02 2010, 03:15 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Batch File: Delete Duplicate Files

Using this Batch File

Some time ago a friend of mine gave me a bunch of JPG files, but for some reason she had two copies of every image in the collection. The names of the images had all been randomized, and since there were hundreds of files in the collection it would have taken hours to find and delete the duplicates. With that in mind, I wrote the following batch file that loops through the collection of files and does a binary comparison to find and delete duplicate files.

To use the example code, copy the batch file code from below into Notepad and save it as "_del_dupes.cmd" in the folder where you have duplicate files

Note: As with many utilities that I write - this is a destructive operation, meaning that it will delete files without prompting, so you should always make a backup just in case something goes terribly wrong... ;-]

Batch File Example Code

@echo off

dir *.jpg /b > _del_dupes.1.txt

for /f "delims=|" %%a in (_del_dupes.1.txt) do (
   if exist "%%a" (
      dir *.jpg /b > _del_dupes.2.txt
      for /f "delims=|" %%b in (_del_dupes.2.txt) do (
         if not "%%a"=="%%b" (
            echo Comparing "%%a" to "%%b"...
            fc /b "%%a" "%%b">NUL
            if errorlevel 1 (
               echo DIFFERENT
            ) else (
               echo SAME
               del "%%b"
            )
         ) 
      ) 
   )
)

del _del_dupes.?.txt
Posted: Dec 24 2008, 14:27 by Bob | Comments (3)
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How to Record Logon Activity in W3C Extended Log File Format using WSH

Many years ago I put together a bunch of information about logging system activity in W3C format by using Group Policy Objects and Windows Script Host. All of that information was supposed to become Microsoft KB article 324414, but I changed teams and I eventually lost track of its status. Recently I had a need for the information in that KB article and discovered that it was never published, so I had to look for my notes to reconstruct what was supposed to be in the KB article, and I thought that all that effort would make a good blog post.

(Note: This blog post has been updated a few times since it was first posted in order to keep it up-to-date.)


IN THIS POST


APPLIES TO

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2000

SUMMARY

The steps in this blog post will show you how to configure your network for additional logon/logoff information for all domain clients by using a sample Windows Script Host (WSH) script to create log files that conform to the W3C Extended Log File (ExLF) Format.

The W3C Extended Log File Format is currently used on Windows servers by the various web services that install with Internet Information Services. These log files are kept in your %SystemRoot%\System32\LogFiles or %SystemRoot%\Inetsrv\Logs\LogFiles folder. By configuring this sample logging script through a domain-level Group Policy, a new folder named Activity will be created under the %SystemRoot%\System32\LogFiles folder containing log entries formatted like the following example:

#Description: Log file for all LOGON/LOGOFF activity
#Date: 2002-01-01 21:28:50
#Fields: date time s-computername cs-username cs-method
2002-01-01 21:28:50 MYCOMPUTER LOCALHOST\SYSTEM STARTUP
2002-01-01 21:32:55 MYCOMPUTER MYDOMAIN\userone LOGON
2002-01-01 21:45:58 MYCOMPUTER MYDOMAIN\userone LOGOFF
2002-01-01 21:47:00 MYCOMPUTER MYDOMAIN\usertwo LOGON
2002-01-01 21:52:02 MYCOMPUTER MYDOMAIN\usertwo LOGOFF
2002-01-01 21:53:09 MYCOMPUTER LOCALHOST\SYSTEM SHUTDOWN

Since there are a wide variety of applications that can process log files in the W3C Extended Log File Format, recording logs in this format allows domain administrators to use tools they are already familiar with when analyzing network logon/logoff information.

NOTE: The W3C Extended Log File Format requires that all times must be kept in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). As such, all logon/logoff activity recorded by the script in this article will be listed in GMT. This allows a uniform standard for large-scale networks that traverse multiple time zones.


MORE INFORMATION

Step 1 - Create the Sample Logging Script

  1. Log on to your Windows Domain Controller as a Domain Administrator.
  2. Open Windows Notepad by clicking Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, and then Notepad.
  3. Type or paste the following WSH code into notepad:
    Option Explicit
    On Error Resume Next

    ' declare all variables
    Dim objFSO,objFile
    Dim objNet,objShell
    Dim objProcess,objArgs
    Dim strFolder,strFile
    Dim blnFileExists
    Dim objDateTime,lngTimeZoneOffset
    Dim strYear,strMonth,strDay
    Dim strLongDate,strShortDate
    Dim strShortTime,strMethod
    Dim strComputerName,strUserDomain,strUserName

    ' create all objects
    Set objNet = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Network")
    Set objFSO = WScript.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    Set objProcess = objShell.Environment("PROCESS")
    Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments

    ' process arguments
    If objArgs.Count <> 1 Then WScript.Quit
    strMethod = UCase(objArgs(0))

    ' perform date operations
    lngTimeZoneOffset = GetTimeZoneOffset()
    objDateTime = Now() - lngTimeZoneOffset
    strYear = CStr(Year(objDateTime))
    strMonth = Right("00" & CStr(Month(objDateTime)),2)
    strDay = Right("00" & CStr(Day(objDateTime)),2)
    strLongDate = strYear & "-" & strMonth & "-" & strDay
    strShortDate = Right(strYear,2) & strMonth & strDay
    strShortTime = FormatDateTime(objDateTime,4) & ":" & Right("00" & CStr(Second(objDateTime)),2)

    ' get network information
    strComputerName = objNet.ComputerName
    If Len(strComputerName) = 0 Then strComputerName = "LOCALHOST"
    strUserDomain = objNet.UserDomain
    If Len(strUserDomain) = 0 Then strUserDomain = "LOCALHOST"
    strUserName = objNet.UserName
    If Len(strUserName) = 0 Then strUserName = "()"

    ' get windows directory name
    strFolder = objProcess("WINDIR")

    ' check for and create "System32" folder
    strFolder = strFolder & "\System32"
    If objFSO.FolderExists(strFolder) = False Then
    objFSO.CreateFolder(strFolder)
    End If

    ' check for and create "LogFiles" folder
    strFolder = strFolder & "\LogFiles"
    If objFSO.FolderExists(strFolder) = False Then
    objFSO.CreateFolder(strFolder)
    End If

    ' check for and create "ACTIVITY" folder
    strFolder = strFolder & "\ACTIVITY"
    If objFSO.FolderExists(strFolder) = False Then
    objFSO.CreateFolder(strFolder)
    End If

    ' set up log file name
    strFile = "ex" & strShortDate & ".log"

    ' check if log file exists
    blnFileExists = objFSO.FileExists(strFolder & "\" & strFile)

    ' open or create the log file
    Set objFile = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strFolder & "\" & strFile,8,True)

    ' write headers if new file
    If blnFileExists = False Then
    objFile.WriteLine "#Description: Log file for all LOGON/LOGOFF activity"
    objFile.WriteLine "#Date: " & strLongDate & " " & strShortTime
    objFile.WriteLine "#Fields: date time s-computername cs-username cs-method"
    End If

    ' write the log data
    objFile.WriteLine strYear & "-" & strMonth & "-" & strDay & " " & _
    strShortTime & " " & _
    strComputerName & " " & _
    strUserDomain & "\" & _
    strUserName & " " & _
    strMethod

    ' close the log file
    objFile.Close

    Function GetTimeZoneOffset()
    On Error Resume Next
    Dim tmpShell,tmpOffset
    Set tmpShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    tmpOffset = objShell.RegRead("HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation\ActiveTimeBias")
    If Len(tmpOffset) = 0 Then
    tmpOffset = objShell.RegRead("HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation\Bias")
    End If
    ' set a default offset if none can be determined
    If Len(tmpOffset) = 0 Then tmpOffset = "0"
    ' calculate offset in hours
    tmpOffset = (CLng(tmpOffset) * -1) / 60
    ' calculate offset in 1/24 of a day
    tmpOffset = tmpOffset / 24
    GetTimeZoneOffset = tmpOffset
    End Function
  4. Save the file:
    • Click the File menu, and then Save.
    • When the Save As dialog appears, choose your desktop as the destination.
    • Enter activity.vbs for the File name.
    • Click the Save button.
  5. Click the File menu, and then Exit to close Notepad.

Step 2 - Copy the Sample Logging Script to your Group Policy Folders

To use the sample script with the Default Domain Policy Group Policy Object (GPO), you first need to determine the Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) for the GPO. To do so, use the following steps:

  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). To do so, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Right-click your domain, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab.
  4. Highlight the Default Domain Policy, and then click the Properties button:
    • The GUID for the GPO will be listed as the Unique name property in the Summary section of the properties dialog.
    • The Default Domain Policy GUID will always be {31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}, if you choose enable logging in a different policy this will be a different GUID.
  5. Click the Cancel button to close the GPO properties dialog.
  6. Click the Cancel button to close the domain properties dialog.

To use the sample script with the GPO, you will need to copy the activity.vbs script on your desktop to each of the following paths:

%SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\<DOMAIN>\Policies\<GUID>\USER\Scripts\Logon
%SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\<DOMAIN>\Policies\<GUID>\USER\Scripts\Logoff
%SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\<DOMAIN>\Policies\<GUID>\MACHINE\Scripts\Startup
%SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\<DOMAIN>\Policies\<GUID>\MACHINE\Scripts\Shutdown

Where <DOMAIN> is the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of your domain, (e.g. mydomain.local ), and <GUID> is the Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) for the Default Domain Policy GPO.

Step 3 - Configure the Script to Record LOGON/LOGOFF Activity

  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). To do this, click Start , point to Programs , point to Administrative Tools , and then click Active Directory Users and Computers .
  2. Right-click your domain, then click Properties .
  3. Click the Group Policy tab.
  4. Highlight the Default Domain Policy , then click the Edit button.
  5. In the console tree, click the plus sign (+) next to the Windows Settings under User Configuration , then highlight Scripts (Logon/Logoff) .
  6. Add the Logon script:
    1. In the right pane, double-click the Logon item.
    2. Click the Add button.
    3. Click the Browse button.
    4. Highlight activity.vbs , then click the Open button.
    5. Type LOGON in the Script Parameters box.
    6. Click OK to add the script.
    7. Click OK to close the Logon scripts dialog.
  7. Add the Logoff script:
    1. In the right pane, double-click the Logoff item.
    2. Click the Add button.
    3. Click the Browse button.
    4. Highlight activity.vbs , then click the Open button.
    5. Type LOGOFF in the Script Parameters box.
    6. Click OK to add the script.
    7. Click OK to close the Logoff scripts dialog.
  8. Close the Group Policy Editor.
  9. Click OK to close the domain properties dialog.

Step 4 - Configure the Script to Record STARTUP/SHUTDOWN Activity

  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). To do this, click Start , point to Programs , point to Administrative Tools , and then click Active Directory Users and Computers .
  2. Right-click your domain, then click Properties .
  3. Click the Group Policy tab.
  4. Highlight the Default Domain Policy , then click the Edit button.
  5. In the console tree, click the plus sign (+) next to the Windows Settings under Computer Configuration , then highlight Scripts (Startup/Shutdown) .
  6. Add the Startup script:
    1. In the right pane, double-click the Startup item.
    2. Click the Add button.
    3. Click the Browse button.
    4. Highlight activity.vbs , then click the Open button.
    5. Type STARTUP in the Script Parameters box.
    6. Click OK to add the script.
    7. Click OK to close the Startup scripts dialog.
  7. Add the Shutdown script:
    1. In the right pane, double-click the Shutdown item.
    2. Click the Add button.
    3. Click the Browse button.
    4. Highlight activity.vbs , then click the Open button.
    5. Type SHUTDOWN in the Script Parameters box.
    6. Click OK to add the script.
    7. Click OK to close the Shutdown scripts dialog.
  8. Close the Group Policy Editor.
  9. Click OK to close the domain properties dialog.

TROUBLESHOOTING

If the Logon Script does not run, you may need to check your network connection speed as the script may not run when you first log on to the network. For additional information on this issue, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

302104 The Logon Script Does Not Run During the Initial Logon Process


REFERENCES

For more information on the extended log file format, see the specification in the W3C Working Draft at the following URL:

http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-logfile

For additional information on assigning Logon/Logoff Scripts, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322241 HOW TO: Assign Scripts in Windows 2000

For additional information on the Extended Log File Format, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

194699 Extended Log File Format Always in GMT

271196 IIS Log File Entries Have the Incorrect Date and Time Stamp

242898 IIS Log File Naming Syntax

Posted: Jun 11 2002, 16:03 by Bob | Comments (1)
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IIS 5: Setting up SSL - Appendix C: Processing a Certificate Request

When you manage a certificate server, you will periodically need to issue certificates to requestors. To to so, use the following steps:

  1. Open the "Certificate Authority" administrative tool:

  2. Click on "Pending Requests":

  3. Right-click the pending request and choose "All Tasks", then click "Issue":

  4. The certificate will now show up under "Issued Certificates":

Posted: Sep 20 2001, 21:27 by Bob | Comments (0)
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IIS 5: Setting up SSL - Appendix B: Obtaining a Root Certificate

Obtaining a root certificate is one of the most important steps for servers or clients that will use certificates that you issue. While this step is not necessary on the server where you installed Certificate Services, it is absolutely essential on your other servers or clients because it allows those computers to trust you as a Certificate Authority. Without that trust in place, you will either receive error messages or SSL simply won't work.

This process is broken into two steps:


Downloading the Root Certificate

  1. Browse to your certificate server's address, (e.g. http://<server-name>/certsrv/), and choose to retrieve the CA certificate:

  2. Click the link to download the CA certificate:

  3. Choose to save the certificate file to disk:

  4. Save the file to your desktop:


Installing the Root Certificate

Before using any certificates that you issue on a computer, you need to install the Root Certificate. (This includes web servers and clients.)

  1. Double-click the file on your desktop:

  2. Click the "Install Certificate" button:

  3. Click "Next" to start the Certificate Import Wizard:

  4. Choose to automatically choose the store:

  5. Click the "Finish" button:

  6. Click "Yes" when asked if you want to add the certificate:

    NOTE: This step is very important. If you do not see this dialog, something went wrong.
  7. Click "OK" when informed that the import was successful.

Posted: Sep 20 2001, 21:16 by Bob | Comments (0)
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IIS 5: Setting up SSL - Appendix A: Installing Certificate Services

In this blog post I'll discuss installing Certificate Services for Windows 2000 in order to test SSL in your environment. To install Certificate Services, use the following steps:

  1. Run the "Windows Component Wizard" in "Add/Remove Programs", choose "Certificate Services", and click "Next":

  2. Choose "Stand-alone root CA", then click "Next":

  3. Enter all requested information, then click "Next":

  4. Accept the defaults for the data locations and click "Next":

  5. The wizard will step through installing the services:

  6. When the wizard has completed, click "Finish" to exit the wizard:

Posted: Sep 20 2001, 21:16 by Bob | Comments (0)
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