Sunday, December 04, 2011

Mostly for Sysadmins and Windows Tweakers

One last linkfest dump before I turn my attention back to a freshly arrived hardback copy of George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones to close out this dark, drizzly and fast-chilling night here on the Gulf Coast. My brother is deep into the book/HBO series and I think he runs an underground distributed book club network of sorts on it. Hence his gifting me this newfound wonder.

This linkfest is a collection of stuff mostly of interest to system administrators and Windows tweakers…your interest level may vary.

Looking at page hits (which I rarely do) it seems that the following posts remain all-time GSD favorites for some reason.

Blocking IE 8 "InPrivate" Mode

Blocking IE 8 "InPrivate" Mode – Updated

Some folks had issues following the steps to make their own REG files to enable/disable “InPrivate” mode on their own system, so I did some and posted the download linkage in the comments section.

I've created the registry keys myself and uploaded them to a shared folder on

Click that link (or copy/paste it into your browser address bar) then download the "IE8InPrivateMode-Disabled.reg" file directly to your PC.

Depending on your anti-virus application it may complain as .reg files could be malicious. If you want to check, simply open it in Notepad to see that it matches what I have listed on my blog post.

Once you have it download it, right-click on the file and select the "Merge" option.
Depending on your version of Windows and the user-rights of your profile, you may have to confirm some warnings. If all goes well it should be added to the registry and when you re-launch IE8, you should see the option grayed out.

The other registry key in that folder re-enables the option. Follow the same steps and it will allow InPrivate Mode option to work again, unless blocked differently by one of Microsoft's Family Safety programs...

They work on both IE 8 and IE 9 by the way despite the posts being IE 8 centric at the time.

Anyway, the other day I noted this post Internet Explorer InPrivate Browsing Enable or Disable - Windows 7 Forums.  In it, “Brink” also offered some download REG files for merging into the registry.  Out of curiosity I compared them and they were pretty much the same except where my REG files just cover the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key location, Brinks keys have that as well as one for the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key location as well. So basically with Brink’s you get a two-fer deal.

Mine or Brinks…take your pick.

How to REALLY hurt yourself with PSEXEC - Deleting the Undeletable Registry Key and More - Scott Hanselman Computer Zen- Scott’s battle with a “undeletable” registry key makes for a fun read. That said, while his PsExec method worked, I’ve had fantastic success when I’ve run into similar keys on malware-infected systems by using Malwarebytes : RegASSASSIN. I don’t know for sure if it would have helped in Scott’s issue, but I would try that first via the GUI it offers before dropping to the PsExec CLI work (though it is really cool). Related for difficult to delete files: Malwarebytes : FileASSASSIN.

It has been over 4 years now since I set Dad up on his Vista system at his house. In that process I ran into a challenge; how to get his and his wife’s profiles to display at different screen resolutions? She liked a relatively low resolution to see things larger, while dad liked the highest resolution to get the best screen display quality.  In my post of my fix Vista/XP Quick Screen Resolution Toggle Tip I used ResSwitch & ResCopy to create custom desktop icons that lets them just click-to-set the display level at their preference rather than digging into the properties each time.  So when I read this post at Windowshacker How To Set Different Screen Resolution for Individual User in Windows 7, I was curious.  Turns out there is a neat freeware product called Carroll that almost automagically can set individual screen resolution for every user when they log in.  No more clicking desktop icons. And it only took 4 years to get here!

Just in case it keeps you up at night fretting about the text for your Windows desktop icons being underneath them, the Windows Club offers a tip on D-Color which can Display Desktop icons text on the side in Windows 7. Now you can sleep easier.

Decoding Intel’s Laptop Processor List [Technology Explained] - MakeUseOf blog.  Nice explanation.

Dynamic Computer Naming in ZTI Deployments - The Deployment Guys - For you Zero Touch Installation (ZZTI) fans with that issue and need.

Any tech mystery that can combine low-level Windows troubleshooting and analysis with Hello Kitty makes it a Must Read in my book!  Submitted for your education--seriously.

Need more standard low-level troubleshooting tips? How about this exercise.

I’m not yet a Hyper-V guy, but I think it is really cool stuff and read up when I can.  I found this Series: Hyper-V upgrade posts at 4sysops to be helpful stuff.

Tenniswood Blog serves up some awesome remote access card P0rn with a nice Review: HP Microserver Remote Access Card.

Create internet bookmarks as browser-independent files on your desktop with HTMtied - Freewaregenius.  I’ve always found it frustrating that I can’t do this as easily as it seems it should be. Turns out the free tool HTMtied can assist with that process and make it a bit more bearable to do.

How to fix incorrect logon information for Windows XP mode - Virtual PC Guy's Blog - Ben’s solution is pretty easy to follow and will get you running again in no time.

Windows 7 Background Customization - The Deployment Guys blog. There are a number of ways to change the background image in Windows 7, doing so is a “signature tweak” I like to perform on all the systems I am asked to help set up for friends and family members; leaving them with an image that reflects their home/personality is a nice touch.  This post is a bit more technical and geared for pushing such changes for enterprise branding and such. Still good stuff.  I personally prefer to use Julien Manici’s free Windows 7 Logon Background Changer but there is also the Logon Changer for Microsoft Windows 7 and the Windows 7 Logon Screen Tweaker 1.5. Many Windows7 tweaking suites also include this feature in them.

FREE Download Preassembled Windows 7, Vista, and XP VPC Images From Microsoft - Windows7hacker. I try to always keep the latest versions of these handy for ad-hoc testing in Virtual PC. Although at home we now exclusively run WIndows 7, there may be times when I want to trial something in XP or Vista. Rather than dual-booting or keeping another physical test-bed around, I just fire up one of these in a virtual session and away we go! They do have some operational limits baked in, but nothing that should be too much of a headache if you use em regularly.

FREE: Delprof2 – Reliably delete a user profile - As reviewed by 4sysops.  Seriously, if you ever deal with Windows user profiles and occasionally deleting them, you really need to refresh yourself on this post as well as the great freeware tool Delprof2.  While you are there, check out some of the other cool Free Tools from Helge Klein such as DiskLED and ListRegistryLinks which could be handy when doing some incident response work.

MoonPoint Support Weblog - List Installed Programs - This post tips us to a Bill James VBScript script, InstalledPrograms.vbs which when run from the command line prompts for a IP or PC name to remotely check for installed software (or leave blank to check your own). Save the resulting text file for review.  There are a number of “system audit” programs that can do something similar for local systems, but this is the first I’ve seen quite like this.  For generating a list of installed Windows programs on a local machine for reporting purposes and review, I prefer Nir Sofer’s MyUninstaller which seems to be significantly faster than Add/Remove Programs (XP) or Programs and Features (Win7) anyway for adding and removing programs. With MyUninstaller, after running I just select all and save the file in whatever supported format I prefer (usually tab-delimited).


--Claus V.

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