Saturday, March 06, 2010

March Madness Linkfest #2 – Windows Tips

OK. Back from running me errands.  Lavie’s looking particularly fetching today as well, causing additional blogging distractions.

Oh my.

Just saw this tip from Lifehacker: Get Gigabytes of Free, Legitimate Music from SXSW 2010.  For those who don’t know, South by Southwest (SXSW) is a celebration of film and music hosted in Austin, Texas.  Goes to figure that Texas would be one of the few states large enough to try to hold all that material.  (official SXSW web site)

While I’ve not yet attended SXSW, I’ve been in Austin last year on business when it was in full swing.  What a party town!

Anyway, Lifehacker links back to the Home of the Unofficial SXSW torrents which contains music files (apparently freely provided by the artists) from this year back to 2005.  The current torrent file has 646 legit tracks while there is a 2nd torrent coming soon with hopes of 200 more.  Sweet.  Get your jam on.

Now, here are the promised Windows tips for your perusal and studyfication…

Bonus Stupid Batch File of the Day

Running PGP Whole Disk Encryption can be a drag sometimes.  It works great and protects my system but one of the “timewasters” is when I run into a Windows Update or some other system activity that requires a system reboot.  That means that when the system bounces, I have to then re-log into my BootGuard check with my super long and complex passphrase.  Since my assigned system isn’t a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, this just adds to the reboot time by at least an unbearably long five to ten extra seconds on reboot.

So I wrote this stupid batch file that allows me to fire it off, pre-type my crazy-complex passphrase in, then hand it off to the PGP one-time boot bypass switch, and then set the system shutdown/reboot timer to as many seconds as I want.

After the system shuts down, it reboots normally and the passphrase is handed off in milliseconds and the OS boot continues; and I’ve shaved at least five or ten seconds off the reboot time!  brilliant.

I suppose in theory it creates a gaping security hole in that, were I to use this very specific circumstance operating too, then someone were to come and bonk me over the head and make off with my laptop, PGP would be bypasses so they could get at my system.  Or maybe some rouge keylogger could strip my input then the laptop could be physically stolen and the info used against me, but hey, if I’ve got spooks lurking just outside my door to do so, or in my system, then I’ve got bigger issues.

Anyway, it was more an exercise in batch file fiddling then anything else.  Tested on XP.  Your results may vary and I’ve not adjusted it for high altitude cooking.


--Claus V.


@echo off



echo This will initiate a “fast reboot” of the system and allow

echo a ONE-TIME system reboot without PGP-WDE BootGuard prompt.



echo      To initialize     type 1


echo       To cancel        type 2


set /P selection =      Type the number and then press Enter:

If “%selection% == “1”  goto PGP

If “%selection%” == “2”  goto end


set /P PGPWDEPP=       What is the phassphrase?


cd Program Files\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop

pgpwde.exe –-add-bypass –-disk 0 –-passphrase “%PGPWDEPP%”


echo  PGP passphrase set, bypass enabled.


set /P Reboot=    How many seconds should system wait for reboot?

shutdown –r –f –t %Reboot%


echo Reboot initialized



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Talk about old school. Have written a DOS batch file in a good 15+ years back when I was still using Windows 3.1!