How to find a domain controller

December 1st, 2009

Found this today which is marvellous.

Start -> Run -> nslookup
set type=all
_ldap._tcp.dc._msdcs.DOMAIN_NAME

IIS7 Request Filtering via the GUI or appcmd.ex

September 28th, 2009

Request Filtering is IIS7  is a nice feature allowing an excellent level of customisation on virtually every level of an HTTP request.

To enlabe request filtering in Win 2008, follow these steps

  1. On the taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.
  2. In the Server Manager hierarchy pane, expand Roles, and then click Web Server (IIS).
  3. In the Web Server (IIS) pane, scroll to the Role Services section, and then click Add Role Services.
  4. On the Select Role Services page of the Add Role Services Wizard, select Request Filtering, and then click Next.

Request Filtering for IIS7

Once installed you set the various options through appcmd.exe.  Or, if you prefer, you can install IIS7 Admin Pack, which will create a GUI for easier configuration of this feature.

A list of the various options can be found here:
http://www.iis.net/ConfigReference/system.webServer/security/requestFiltering

Enabling Server side includes in IIS7

July 22nd, 2009

A relatively little used feature now, but still important if your HTML passes server side includes. Mainly used for templated html structures which call various blocks of layout to the page, this feature is not enabled by default in IIS7.

To switch the feature on, firstly:
Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off

control panel

Next you need to enable the SSI feature as shown:

enabling ssi includes in IIS7 on Vista

If you’re in Vista -the next time you go into the Handler Mappings in IIS, you’ll see that .shtml, .shtm and .stm file types have been automatically added with the correctly configured handler. If you’re not using Vista, you may need to add these mappings yourself manually through the Add Module Mapping section.

Should be relatively easily tested by setting a test .shtml page to call another section using the standard include:

< !–#include file=”foo.html”– >

As long as the content of that file pulls through, you’ll know it’s working.

Creating nlite image discs for your PC/server

July 10th, 2009

For anyone who regularly (or even irregularly) has to re-install operating systems in a business environment, you’ll know exactly how time consuming, dull and repetitive this can be. Thankfully there are products out there for making this process a little easier, and this one is even free!

One such product is called nlite (or vlite for vista products). It’s not a fully fledged imaging product- but instead allows you to take a huge amount of the hassle out of the re-installation process by bundling together service packs, windows updates, drivers and pretty much anything else you might want, into one neat iso.  What this means for administrators who look after just a few different models of workstation, is that you can build up and keep a library of up-to-date disc images, so that in the event of needing to re-install – you’ve got a disc on hand which will leave the machine in a much more ready state than a standard OS disc.

So, first of all, download nlite

http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

Once installed, launch the Appnlite in action

Now, you’ll need to point the installation at your OS disc, for nlite to start to build it’s own image.

At this point, you’ll be prompted to chose the various features of nlite’s features,

nlite features

the most important (read as: useful) features are

1. Slipstreaming Service packs and updates
2. Including Drivers

You can then customise pretty much every aspect of Windows, ripping out services, languages, all kinds of features can be remove to save space, or for security – but the real risk here is that you might rip something out that you’ll later need, so take care here.

In the customisation section there’s some really good features, such as being able to setup your default windows explorer views, customising your ‘start’ toolbar and many many more – one of my personal favourites is the ability to add the OS, Service Pack and version to the bottom right hand corner of your desktop background. Until I saw this in nlite, I didn’t even know that it existed in Windows!

Once you’ve finalised all of your options, you’ll get a page where you’re prompted to begin the build

nlite ready to build

nlite will then build you a bootable image which you simply write to disc with your favourite CD writing software and you’re ready to install your machine.

Where’s the Disk Cleanup option in Windows Server 2008?

July 3rd, 2009

Windows Server 2008 doesn’t have the Disk Cleanup option switched on as a default.  In order to enable it, you’ll need to install the ‘Desktop Experience’ which actually contains rather a lot of other stuff. Not quite sure why Microsoft have bundled so much stuff into this ‘Desktop Experience’ when 99% of most people will just want the Disk Cleanup option, just another MS idea which *could* have been good, but not quite.

To enable the ‘Desktop Experience’

Step 1 – Open the Server Manager (Start -> Administrative Tools -> Server Manager)

Step 2 – In the Features Summary section, click on Add Feature.

Step 3 – Select the Desktop Feature experience and click through the various ‘Next’ steps to install

Step 4 – Reboot your machine and then you should find the Disk Cleanup option now appears in the usual place. (Right click on disk name -> properties)

That’s it, you’ll now be able to easily delete the swathes of junk that Windows builds up, easily and from one place.  If you’re going to De-frag a disk, always run this first and get rid of as much junk as you can.