Monthly Archives: September 2009

Windows 7 and the WiFi connection does not connect

Windows 7 and the WiFi connection does not connect

I’ve had Windows 7 beta installed on my Lenovo S10 for a few weeks now and I’ve been constantly plagued by a problem with my wireless connectivity.  I set up my wifi connection to my router, and I selected the checkbox to automatically connect to the network whenever it is in range.  I could connect and disconnect from my wireless network all day long.  The problem would occur when I rebooted or shutdown.  When the machine would come back up, I’d have to manually connect to my wireless network again!  All the settings were there except for that checkbox to automatically connect.  Every reboot would reset that checkbox to be blank.  Which meant that every reboot would force me to manually connect again!

Finally, I think I found the solution.  I searched high and low in the registry and couldn’t find an appropriate registry setting to change that would force this automatic connection.  That meant that Windows must be storing the connection profile in a different place.  After using some file access monitoring tools, I narrowed it down to an xml file.  If you’re having a similar problem, either in Windows 7 or Vista, try the following steps:

1.  Go to the Start menu -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools.  Double click on the Services icon to open the Services management console.

2.  Scroll to the bottom of the Services console until you see WLAN AutoConfig.  Right click on it and select Stop from the menu.  Wait until the service is stopped.

3.  Now, open Windows Explorer and go to C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWlansvcProfilesInterfaces.  You should see a directory or directories in there with long names like {FBDADD33-7552-4D1E-B3B0-71C6128AFE14}.  If you have multiple directories in here, then you’ll have to hunt for the correct directory.  Follow the next steps for each directory you have until you find the directory you need.

4.  Inside the directory with the long name, there will be an xml file with another long name.  You can double click on the xml file to open it and see it’s contents.  Inside the xml file are the settings for your wireless connection, including the name and various configuration settings.  If you have multiple directories from step 3 above, then you can open each xml file in each directory until you find the one that matches your wireless name.

5.  Once you find your xml file, open it in Notepad.  There will be one setting in that file that reads <connectionMode>manual</connectionMode>.  Change the word “manual” to “auto”, without the quotation marks.  Save the file.  Don’t change the name or the location.

6.  Now that the file is edited, we need to make sure that the SYSTEM account can’t change the auto setting back to manual, which is what was happening to me.  So we need to change permissions on the file to deny SYSTEM and Administrators from being able to write to the file.  Right click on the file you just saved and select Properties.   Click on the Security tab.  Click the Advanced button.  Click on the Owner tab and click on the Edit button.  Select your user account in the list and select Apply.  You now have full ownership of the file.

7.  After taking ownership, go back to the Permissions tab.  Click on the Edit button.  Remove the checkmark from the “Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent”.  A dialog window will pop up.  In Vista, click on the Copy button.  In Windows 7, click on the Add button.

8.  Now you can edit all the permissions easily.  Highlight the SYSTEM account in the list and click on the Edit button.  Check the box to DENY full control.  All checkmarks underneath Full Control will move from Allow to Deny.  Now, we can’t deny ALL permissions because the system needs to be able to READ the contents of this file, so we need to move some of the checkmarks back over to the Allow column.  Check the box to Allow the following permissions:  Traverse folder / Execute file, List folder / read data, Read attributes, Read extended attributes, and Read permissions.  Pretty much any permission that says “Read” is good to go.  Just deny all the other settings that would allow SYSTEM to write or modify the file.

9.  Do the same things in Step 8 for the Administrators account.  After you’ve changed the permissions for those two accounts, you can apply and OK your way out of all those windows.

10.  Go back to the Services management console and start up the WLAN AutoConfig service again.  Right click on the service and select Start from the menu.

Now, your wireless connection should start up and connect automatically and it should survive a reboot.  My wireless connection is listed as Access Point.  I’m not sure if these settings would work for Adhoc networks or other connection types, but it’s worth a shot.  Any questions, let me know in the comments.

Categories: Windows 7Bookmark

DD-WRT is basically an aftermarket linux firmware for your Linksys router

DD-WRT is basically an aftermarket linux firmware for your Linksys router

If you are like most folks who don’t know about DD-WRT and your Linksys router is dying on you, it’s time to switch your OS to DD-WRT .

DD-WRT also works on over 80 other routers, so be sure to check the supported devices list here .

DD-WRT is basically an aftermarket linux firmware for your Linksys router. It’s like putting an aftermarket turbo system on your hot import carHow-to-Import-Your-Own-Supercar , except this one is open-source and free to download.

There are many instructions floating on the internet but the most important thing is to identify what type of Linksys router you have.

You can refer to the instructions on the DD-WRT website wiki here . It might look a little hairy but usually it takes 3 simple steps of uploading a new firmware via the web GUI admin interface, TFTPing another file, then simple rebooting and wala you have a .

Check the back of your Linksys router to see what model it is. I have several different Linksys routers ranging from Linksys WRT-G V8, WRT-GS V5, and WRT-GS V7.

I’ve successfully installed the DD-WRT on my WRT-GS V5 and my WRT-G V8, but have bricked my WRT-GS V7.

If you have WRT-G V8 or WRT-GS V7, you can try this guide here . I’ve successfully installed the WRT-G V8 but bricked my WRT-GS V7, so be careful.

If you have one of the newer models or thinking about buying one, I highly suggest trying to get an old one off eBay or get the WRT-G models. Although WRT-GS V8 is supported, sometimes, it can brick your router just like it happened to me.

Bricked your router while trying to upgrade to DD-WRT?

Well, normally this doesn’t happen, but here’s resources just in case you do brick your router.

The only choice I have is to make a hairydairymaid JTAG cable which allows you to directly program and erase the flash and the Broadcomhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcom chip inside the router.

If you ever brick your router, you can always refer to the WRT54G revival guide before trying the hairy dairy method .

Click below for on the rest of the guide to tweak the settings and make the router go 10 times faster!

Modify the setting on the DD-WRT and make your internet go 10 times faster!

Okay, just by installing DD-WRT, you made your internet connection and your network about 5 times faster. With more little tweaking with the admin settings, you can squeeze out some more performance.

Now comes several steps that can REALLY make your internet and network faster.

Here’s how to do it:

After installing your new DD-WRT firmware and everything is working smoothly, go to Administration->Management and set the Maximum ports to 4096 from the default 1024. (This is basically the maximum number of ports available at any given moment. ) Now, I have cable internet and doing this made my internet much much faster, especially since I got about 7 computers hooked up to my network. My cable download speed went from 6 Mbps to 20 Mbps!

Another hack is you can also overclock your router, so set that to 250 Mhz and off you go! (I belive this overclock method is only supported with full versions of DD-WRT, not micro…so if you don’t see the menu, you can’t overclock it… :p )

QoS (Quality of Service) HACK

This is probably the most overlooked setting. I used to work with VOIPVoice over Internet Protocol phones so QoS was always important in setting that VOIP packets to be high priority.

Basically QoS allows you to prioritize the data depending on what you type of data transfer you want to make it super fast. Although you might not see whole lot of improvement if your network is hummin’, you will see a great performance increase under network congestion.

Simply go to Application & Gaming->QoS like shown above, and add the services you want to prioritize and set them to “Exempt”.

For me, I put http (Port 80), which is my web browser. Since I use the web mostly, I want my web pages to load fast!

I also put in some other ones like ftp, pop3 (my Outlook e-mailhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail ), and httpvideo.

Other than those services, I don’t really use other stuff much but if you use bittorrent or something, you can set them here too.

You need to know the port numbers in order to set this up. You can refer to common list of port numbers here.

MAC Address QoS HACK

I used to work as an IT admin long time ago and I usually have admin access to all the routers where I worked. (or wherever I worked that is)

Since I like to browse the web faster and do things faster than everybody, I would always go into the admin and put in the MAC address of my network adaptor.

Basically, by doing this, your computer will always get faster network speeds than other computers in the network. This worked great so I could download videos, music, and etc…etc… while my co-workers complained that their internet was slow.

In the same screen as QoS screen more towards the bottom, you can enter your MAC Address of your network adaptor and add it. Now, your computer will be the fastest at your work! Yes, don’t blame me if you get fired for it, but I don’t think it’s THAT evil, it’s only increasing your work productivity.

How to find your MAC address?

Simply check the Details of your network connection on your computer. (You could probably google this if you get stuck.)

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s not just installing the DD-WRT firmware that makes your network and downloads faster, it’s also the little tweaking here and there that can make your router work like a race-horse.

Categories: Linksys routersBookmark

How to Make your own Network Attached Storage server, and keep your computers backed up

How to Make your own Network Attached Storage server, and keep your computers backed up

Backing up our documents. It’s something we all know we need to do, but surprisingly few people actually do. We’ll take a look at one of the best solutions for backing up on a home network using a NAS, or Network Attached Storage device. We’ll show you how to build your own using a spare PC, a $10 adapter board, a Compact Flash card, FreeNAS, an open source BSD distribution. And then we’ll put it all together with a simple script that automates the backup job for you.

First we’ll need a spare PC, so grab that old clunker out of the closet and lets put it to work. It will need at least the following system requirements:

  • A PC with at least 96 MB RAM
  • Bootable CD Rom Drive
  • A USB or CF drive (In our example we’ll use an IDE to CF adapter)
  • A Bootable Hard Drive (Preferable something with a large capacity)

Next we’ll need to download the latest version of the FreeNAS image from www.freenas.org. Write the image to CD using a CD-R/RW drive.

Now we need to boot our NAS Computer from the CD we just made. We will be presented with a FreeNAS console setup menu. From here we can configure our network and install FreeNAS to disk. In our example we will press 7 to install to HD/CF/USB Key. Then we will select 1 to install to HD, CF, or USB Key creating 1 UFS partition. By following the on screen instructions the FreeNAS software will be installed to our CF card. When complete we should be back to the FreeNAS console setup menu. From here we will configure out network by selecting option 1. Enter the name of the Ethernet Interface and press enter. At the Optional 1 Interface prompt, select Y and reboot.

Once rebooted we should be back at the FreeNAS console setup menu. This time we need to select option 2 and enter an IP address for the computer. In our example we used 192.168.1.66, however this may change depending on your network configuration.

After configuring our network IP address we should once again be at the FreeNAS console setup menu. From here we can select option 6 to ping another computer on the network and verify that the network settings are configured properly. If you run into problems at this step I advise consulting the troubleshooting section of the FreeNAS documentation at http://www.freenas.org/downloads/docs/

From here we can remove the CD and boot from the CF card. Now from another computer on the network we can configure the drives. To do this open your preferred web browser and head to the IP address we configured in the steps above. In our example this is http://192.168.1.66/

We should be prompted for a user name and password. By default the username is admin and the password is freenas. It is advised that this is changed when setup is complete.

So now that we have FreeNAS installed we need to configure the drives. In our example we are configuring one hard drive. Select Management from the Disks menu and click the plus (+) icon to the right of the table. Select the hard drive from the list and keep the default settings. Click Add and the drive should appear in the Disk Management menu.

Next we need to format the hard drive. By doing this we will be completely removing all data from the drive. Be sure that there is no important information on the drive before performing this step. The data will not be recoverable. Once you are sure it is safe to proceed, select the hard drive from the list and click Format. This process should take about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the disk.

Once the drive has been formatted we need to mount it. From the Disks menu select Mount Point and click the plus (+) icon to the right of the table. Then select the drive you wish to mount and click save.

Now the final in configuring the NAS is to setup CIFS (Samba), which will allow the computers on our network to use the drive. To do this simply click the CIFS link from the Services menu, check Enable, and click Save.

If you are feeling adventurous you may want to look into the other services such as FTP and NFS.

Now to verify that we can use the NAS, click Start, then Run, and enter \<IP ADDRESS OF NAS>. In our example this is \192.168.1.66. Now click OK and you should see a window with your new network drive.

Categories: NASBookmark

Windows SBS 2008 certificate installed locally?

Windows SBS 2008 certificate installed locally?
This is for external users, no need for internal users:

 

 

If you open the Company Web Site inside the company, you’ll notice an announcement that tells users how to obtain this package.

  They can browse to “\your-domainuserspublic downloads” on the server and obtain the zip file shown on the left.  This zip file can then be copied to a USB key or floppy drive and taken to the remote PC. 

 Alternatively, it can be run inside the network to install the certificate onto a Windows Mobile device that is connected to the user’s PC. 

It is not necessary to use this package on client computers that are joined to the domain because Group Policy will push the certificate to these client computers, for the case of a laptop that leaves the domain, it will already have the certificate installed in the trusted root store.

One thing to note, is that each time the Fix My Network wizard is run, it checks the validity of the certificate, if it’s invalid, it’ll go ahead and re-create the certificates and fix everything up for you.. including dropping a new package to the Public Downloads share.

Once you have the tool at the remote location, un-zip it, and run it.  The tool is very simple, and runs on XP SP2 or higher clients, including Vista.  When you run it, you will see the following UI:

As you can see from the screen shot, you can install the certificate on the remote PC, or any device running Windows Mobile 6.

While using self-issued certificates got easier with 2008, its still a pain to have to install the certificate every 5 years onto remote devices, it’s far easier to use a Trusted Certificate.

Categories: Windows sbs 2008Bookmark

How to setup an email forward Exchange 2007

To setup an email forward for a user within Microsoft Exchange 2007, follow the instructions below:

1) Open Exchange Management Console
2) Expand Recipient Configuration
3) Click Mailbox
4) A list of all mailboxes will be appear in the right hand pane. Right click the mailbox you wish to setup the mail forward on.
5) Click properties
6) Click the mailflow settings tab
7) Double click Delivery Options
8.) Click the check box forward to
9) Browse for the mailbox you wish to forward emails to
10) Click OK to apply settings

Categories: Exchange 2007Bookmark