Category Archives: Windows

Packt celebrating International Day Against DRM


TODAY Packt Publishing is offering all its DRM-free content at $10… All 2000+ eBooks and Videos at

Get an inexpensive and DRM FREE fix for all your tech urges in virtualization, end-user computing, Dig Data, eCommerce, Cloud computing, programming, elearning systems (including Moodle!), automation, operating systems, systems and performance monitoring, game development, Rasberry Pi, networking, advanced security, etc etc. SO MANY!!!

Here’s a short link to share:





System File Checker finds corrupt files after June 10 update

After installing Microsoft Windows 8 KB2821895 you may notice a few quirks. The first is that you might see the update is listed as having been applied – in multiple places. This seems innocuous but can be confusing.

The second issue is that running SFC directly or via other tools like the wonderful D7 from FoolishIT will report corrupt files in Windows that _cannot_be fixed. Thankfully there is a work around to this corruption reporting issue. From an elevated command prompt as depicted in the graphic,  run the following Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command:

dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

KB2821896 workaround

Once this dism process completes, you can rescan for Windows file integrity:
sfc /scannow


Resist the urge to flush

Example DNS Client cache on Windows 8
Example DNS Client cache on Windows 8

Every IT guy eventually learns how to flush the local cache for a system’s DNS client. The following command has probably wore many a helpdesk or admin keyboard:

ipconfig /flushdns

There are certainly times where that is the best or only course of action in diagnostics or recovery. For instance, a replacement service may be running with a different IP address such as when a VM or service is moved from one Data Center to the other.

Sometimes the better course is to observe (passively) before any action is taken. Windows PowerShell offers a simple commandlet, Get-DnsClientCache that can be very helpful showing each entry of a host and other useful information such as record type, TTL and the IP addresses. Combine the basic command with some simple processing for more power (below):

PS C:\Users\User> Get-DnsClientCache | where entry -Contains

Entry                     RecordName                Record Status    Section TimeTo Data   Data                                      
                                                    Type                     Live   Length                                           
-----                     ----------                ------ ------    ------- ------ ------ ----                                                       A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                              A      Success   Answer      58      4                                              A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                              A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4                                             A      Success   Answer      58      4


Go ahead and try it out on your Windows system the next time you feel the urge to flush.


Set Visio 2010 for an Instance per Document

Multiple Window VisioEditing multiple Visio diagrams at the same time leaves something to be desired with the default installation of Visio. Though the View ribbon can help to a small degree, hot keys to move to another Visio document would be ideal.  One simple way to increase usability in this scenario is to have Visio 2010 open each document in a new instance so that you can rely on Alt-Tab and Shit-Alt-Tab keystrokes.

Change Visio 2010′s Options

First, go into Visio 2010′s Advanced Options  (File -> Options -> Advanced) and select “Put all settings in the Windows registry” as seen below.  


Modify Registry

Then launch regedit (Start -> Run -> regedit) and disable SingleInstanceFileOpen by changing the value of its key from a 1 (one) to 0 (zero) . Navigate in regedit by the following:

  • Software
  • Microsoft
  • Office
  • 14.0
  • Visio
  • Application
Once there, double-click SingleInstanceFileOpen to modify its value.

Stuck Windows Public Networks

Windows 7 offers three types of networks as managed within the Network and Sharing Center: Home, Work, Public. Each type allows for customization of security policies such as what services are allowed through the Windows Firewall.

While the Home and Work types are relatively straight forward, what is Public is not always so. Sure, I have a string of thirty Starbucks and other Wifi hotspots that are obviously Public (as I set them to be upon connection), but you may encounter Public networks defined within your system that you were never given the choice to select in which category it fell. This special case of Public in fact is a network to which you connect that does not have a defined default gateway attribute. Microsoft further decided that these “unknown” Public networks cannot be made “known” with a reassignment to another class such as Work. So what’s the best way to handle this situation should you encounter it?

There is no single answer to the best means of addressing this Windows quirk, but there are common sense approaches that will allow consistent and predictable results. I outline the here one such avenue.

One of my typical use cases is creating special networks for my clientele. For example, in the graphic above I needed to demonstrate accessing a public static NAT through a next-generation firewall from a system within the same zone and interface upon which the “public” server resided. As the demonstration system is running virtual servers which are multi-homed, firewalled with true Internet access via another interface, adding a generic default gateway is never an option. So how can you have your cake and eat it too?

The answer is simple, add a weighted gateway to the interface then assign the connection to the zone in which you want it. :-)