How can I configure the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Windows Firewall from a command line?

Windows 2003 SP1 improves the Netsh command to let you specify the “firewall” argument to access the firewall configuration. Netsh lets you

* configure the default state of Windows Firewall (Off, On, On with no exceptions)
* configure which exceptions should be enabled, including the scope of each exception and whether exceptions are enabled on all interfaces or per-interface
* configure logging options
* configure the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) handling options
* manage the exceptions list

For example, to enable the firewall, use the command

netsh firewall set opmode enable

May 1, 2005 - General, Scripting, Windows XP    1 Comment

How can I use group policy to prevent the screen saver from activating while I am watching a video?

To prevent this behavior, disable the Allow Screen Saver group policy at User Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Media Player / Playback.

The Allow Screen Saver explain text contains:

Enables a screen saver to interrupt playback.

This policy displays a screen saver during playback of digital media according to the options selected on the Screen Saver tab in the Display Properties dialog box in Control Panel. The Allow screen saver during playback check box on the Player tab in the Player is selected and is not available.

When this policy is disabled, a screen saver does not interrupt playback even if users have selected a screen saver. The Allow screen saver during playback check box is cleared and is not available.

When this policy is not configured, users can change the setting for the Allow screen saver during playback check box.

How can I enable Internet Printing under Microsoft IIS?

The Internet Printing feature isn’t a default component of IIS. To enable it, you must install it as follows:

1. Start the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel applet (Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs).
2. Double-click the Add/Remove Windows Components button.
3. Select Application Server and click Details.
4. Select Internet Information Services (IIS) and click Details.
5. Ensure that the “Internet Printing” check box is selected.
6. Click OK to close all dialog boxes.

After you’ve installed the Internet Printing feature, users can use the http:///printers URL to view and connect to the printers on the node. Users with the correct access permissions can also control certain printing actions.

Apr 20, 2005 - General, Windows XP    2 Comments

When you visit the Windows Update Web site from Windows XP, you receive ‘0x800C0002 initialization error’?

The subject behavior occurs if the Identserver Value Name informs Windows Update that the Iuident.cab file is not located on your current computer.

To resolve this behavior:

1. Open a CMD.EXE window.

2. Type the following command and press Enter:

REG DELETE HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateIUControl /V Identserver /F

2. Close the CMD.EXE window.

When I connect a client to a Windows Server 2000 or later Terminal Services server, how can I tell the client to connect via a nonstandard port?

Typically, when you connect to a Windows-based terminal server, you connect to port 3389. However, if someone has changed the listening port on the terminal server (by changing the value of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTerminal ServerWinStationsRDP-TcpPortNumber subkey), you need to tell the client to connect to the new port. To do so, add a colon and the new port number after the server name, as this example shows:

TServer:3389

Windows Update hangs when you attempt to download and install updates?

This behavior can be the result incorrect DCOM settings.
Windows XP
1. Open a CMD.EXE window, type dcomcnfg, and press Enter.
2. Expand Component Services.
3. Expand Computers.
4. Right-click My Computer in the right-hand pane and press Properties.
5. Select the COM Security tab.
6. Press Edit Limits under Access Permissions.
7. If the Everyone group is not listed with allow local and remote access, press Add, press Advanced, and press Find Now. Select Everyone and press OK. Check the Allow for Local Access and Remote Access. Press Apply
8. Press OK until only Component Services is open and close it.
9. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each line:

regsvr32 /s Msscript.ocx
regsvr32 /s Dispex.dll
regsvr32 /s Vbscript.dll
regsvr32 /s Scrrun.dll

Windows 2000
1. Open a CMD.EXE window, type dcomcnfg, and press Enter.
2. Select the Default Security tab.
3. Press Edit Default under Default Access Permissions.
4. In the Registry Value Permissions window, if Everyone is not listed, press Add, select Everyone and press Add. Select Allow Access in the Type of Access drop-down box and press OK and OK and Apply.
5. Press OK.
6. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each line:

regsvr32 /s Msscript.ocx
regsvr32 /s Dispex.dll
regsvr32 /s Vbscript.dll
regsvr32 /s Scrrun.dll

Mar 31, 2005 - General, Windows XP    No Comments

How can I prevent Internet Explorer from prompting users to save User Names and Passwords?

To prevent Internet Explorer from prompting users to save User Names and Passwords, you can enable the Do not allow AutoComplete to save passwords Group Policy at User Configuration Administrative Templates Windows Components Internet Explorer.

When you enable this policy, it disables the automatic completion of user names and passwords in forms on Web pages, and prevents users from being prompted to save passwords. The User Names and Passwords on Forms and Prompt Me to Save Passwords check boxes are dimmed on the AutoComplete dialog of the Internet Options / Content tab.

How can I enable Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 to display filenames that have no extension?

Although the ability to display file that have no extensions was available by default in IIS 5.0, Microsoft has removed that default option from IIS 6.0. To re-enable the ability to display file types that have no extensions, follow these steps:

1.Click Start and select Programs, Administrative Tools, Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
2.Expand the Web Sites branch, right-click the Web site for which you want to enable no-extension files, and select Properties.
3.Select the HTTP Headers tab and click MIME Types.
4.Click New. You’ll see the MIME Type dialog box, which the figure at Figure shows.
5.In the Extension text box, enter a period followed by an asterisk (.*). In the MIME type text box, type

application/octet-stream

and click OK.
6.Click OK, then click OK again to display the Web site’s main properties page.
7.When you restart the Web site, you should be able to see and open files that have no extension. (To restart the server, right-click the Web site in IIS and select Stop, then select Start.)

Mar 31, 2005 - General, Scripting, Windows XP    No Comments

How can I use a script to determine the number of processors in a machine?

You can use a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) script to easily ascertain the number of processors on a machine. To do so, use these VBScript commands in a script file:

Set oShell = WScript.CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
Set oEnv = oShell.Environment(“SYSTEM”)
WScript.Echo oEnv(“NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS”)

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