Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sysadmin Linkfest Grab-Bag Collection

Over the past several months I’ve collected the following interesting links, articles, blog-posts, and utility notices that caught my fancy.

I’m pretty confident you will be able to find at least one link here to entertain yourself with.

ComputerZen Ultimate Utility List 2014 Edition

Scott Hanselman's 2014 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows - Scott Hanselman - I found more than a few power-tools listed here that I use and several new ones I made the note to explore further. Many of the tools here are developer specific but that doesn’t mean the average sysadmin cannot locate something they could use.

Utility Rundown

Updates: Coreinfo v3.21, Disk2vhd v2.0, LiveKd v5.31 - Sysinternals Site Discussion

Using Autoruns to validate system drivers - Clint Huffman's Windows Troubleshooting in the Field Blog

RawCopy - - NTFS file copier for low-level disk reading by parsing the $MFT, including locked ones.  Spotted via this BetaNews post: RawCopy lets you copy any NTFS file -- even if it’s locked

Of course that “RawCopy” shouldn’t be confused with these other (also great) file copiers:

USB Related

USB Image Tool 1.64 released. See the USB Image Tool main page for one of the best USB device imaging apps I’ve ever used.

Having trouble making files contiguous on a USB drive? - RMPrepUSB, Easy2Boot and USB booting.  Great tip on using Defraggler to make specific files contiguous on your USB drive.

Sysadmin Tips and Talk

How to Copy Recovery Drive to an External Drive in Windows 8.1 - Next of Windows

Adobe credentials and the serious insecurity of password hints - Troy Hunt’s blog

How to Get a Windows XP Mode Virtual Machine on Windows 8.1 - Lenny Zeltser - very clever!

Remotely query user profile information with PowerShell - 4sysops

WinSxS Folder Cleanup – Regain disk space in Windows 7 - 4sysops

Remoting Week: Non-Domain Remoting - Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog

Case Of The Missing Ini Files – A WinDbg Reconstruction - chentiangemalc - Brilliant explanation on how with tremendous patience and WinDbg, some missing INI files were re-created for customer program operation.

Video: Checking the Digital Signature of Windows Executables - Didier Stevens

Virtual Machines

Releasing IE11 virtual machines to modern.IE - Windows blog

IE11 Virtual Machines Now Available on modern.IE - IEBlog

Basically, IE 11 for Windows 7 and IE 11 on Windows 8.1 virtual machines have now been released by Microsoft. Go get ‘em!

Oracle VM VirtualBox - Version 4.3.6 was released a while back. See the Changelog for details.

Project Management Software

I hesitated dropping these links here rather than giving them their own post. But here they will sit.

Project Management Tips and Software - my original post from back in 2007. Been a while…

Express Project - free project planning software. I think this is what got my re-hunt for project management software restarted. Screenshots

GanttProject - free desktop project management tool

Bridging the Gantt - PDF Link - SANS Institute Reading Room paper. Nice intro to the Gantt tool.

OpenProj - Project Management - Free project management program.

Open Workbench - another free project management program.

TaskJuggler - free project tool.

dotproject - Open Source project and task management software

ΤΙΜΙΟΣ Gantt Chart Designer - almost as simple as you can get.

Manual Gantt Charting in Excel - David Seah

Miscellaneous Software Finds

NimbleText - a fine little freeware (for now) tool

PhotoFilmStrip - Ken-Burns Slideshows in Full-HD - just updated to version 2.0 in late November 2013. I love this tool and it really makes doing videos of static digital picture files much more interesting for presentations.

LibreCAD, 2D-CAD - version 2.0 was recently released.  MS Visio does all my heavy lifting, but I’ve seen some CAD masters do amazing floor plans with their CAD app that can run circles around my Visio work. So this seems like a great place to get your feet wet in CAD software at a great price point - Free! See also the large list of YouTube video tutorials: librecad - YouTube. For those who want to really try with no commitment, check out LibreCAD Portable 2.0.0 (2D computer-aided design (CAD) tool) over at

Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3.0 for Windows 8 - I’ve not done much tweaking to Lavie’s Windows 8 system. We did add a start-button replacement utility and make some minor tweaks but that was pretty much it. That said, this would be a great tool for doing some more advanced tweaks to Windows 8.

Projects - Bitdefender Labs - Bitdefender has a number of free security-focused tools here for the interested.


Claus V.

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