Tag Archives: windows

Windows: Missing Performance Counter Value

Not the end of the world but I did come across an annoying problem on one of my workstations, for some unexplained reason the Windows Resource Manager would not display any the drives connected to the system.

Disk resource

1. To solve this problem we’ll need a command line window. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt

2. Restore counter setting by issuing the for following command in the Windows command line.

lodctr /r

3. Just to be sure restart the system. Now the values should be back to normal.

Resources:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490926.aspx

SSHFS in Windows

This post will cover the required steps to configure a working SSHFS client set-up in Windows. With SSHFS you can mount a remote directory via SSH as if it were a local drive, while SSHFS is common on Linux/Nix* Windows is a different story. To make use of SSHFS in Windows you will need to download win sshfs a free SSHFS application.

You will need to download the following files to have a working SSHFS setup:

Let’s Start

Note:I’ve only used password for authentication, I have not tried key files yet…

You will need to download win sshfs from the following link code.google.com/p/win-sshfs/ , once the download completes install the application.

Windows SSHFS

Click on Next to continue.

Windows SSHFS

Accept the license agreement and click on Next.

Windows SSHFS

Hopefully you already installed the pre-requisites I mentioned above, otherwise the application will refuse to install. Otherwise, go back an install them. Click on Next to continue.

Windows SSHFS

Accept the default path and click on Next.

Windows SSHFS

Click on Finish to launch the application.

Windows SSHFS

Now in SSHFS Manager click on Add, we need to add a new connection.

Windows SSHFS

This is where we connect to the SSH server, in my case the server runs Ubuntu 12.04. Enter a name, server IP address, user credentials and for the rest go with the defaults if you like.

Windows SSHFS

First click on Save and then click on Mount.

Windows SSHFS

If you provided the correct server information your SSHFS connection should now be mounted.

Windows SSHFS

You can verify this by going to My Computer, the new SSHFS drive will be mounted as a removable drive.

Windows SSHFS

By default the application will start at start-up, you can change this behavior by going to Taskbar, right clicking on the application icon and un-checking Run at startup.

Windows SSHFS

Win SSHFS so far as worked quite well for me, I like the idea of having access to SSHFS from my Windows 7 computer. If you find any mistakes of have suggestions don’t to leave a comment.

Links

Dokan library 0.6.0 dokan-dev.net/en/download/

win sshfs code.google.com/p/win-sshfs/

.NET Framework 4.0 microsoft.com/en-us/download/

Mount an Image File on Windows

If you created a image from a drive with a tool like dd and are now wondering how it can be mounted on Windows, well then this post will answer that question. In my opinion one of the best tools for the job is OSFMount a free application by PassMark that can mount all sort of image files such as ISO, image files and even VMDKs.

Note:When mounting an image file in Windows they need to be formatted with NTFS, exFAT or FAT in order to be able to view the contents. Windows is unaware of other file systems like EXT2/3/4, XFS, UFS, etc….

1. First Things First

First you need to visit OSForensics download the free tool OSFMount(32-bit/64-bit) and install it, there is no need to register pretty cool of PassMark.

2. Locate the Image

Probably the image you intend to mount has an extension ending with .bin, .img, .dd.

OSFMount 1

3. Mount It

Start OSFMount and click on Mount new…

OSFMount 2

Click on the button and browse to the location where the image file you wish to mount resides.

OSFMount 3

Select the image and click on Open. The image I’ll be mounting for this tutorial was created with the help of dd from a hard drive with Vista installed.

OSFMount 4

When mounting an image with OSFMount you have mount the individual partitions, otherwise Windows will ask you to format the image instead of mounting it. I’ll be mounting Primary parition 1 50.1GB because this is the partition where all of the files I want reside. Partition 2 contains the recovery partition.

OSFMount 5

I suggest you stay within the default settings picked by OSFMount since its pretty accurate at choosing them. By default the image will be mounted as read only to prevent changes to the source image file(safer), otherwise remove the check mark and you will have write access.

Click on Ok to mount the image.

OSFMount 6

The image we just mounted was assigned the letter I:.

OSFMount 7

4. View the Results

If we open My Computer we can see the image file mounted as drive I: and is recognized as a Local disk. You can open the drive and work with the files inside.

OSFMount 8

Conclusion

In Linux image files can be mounted with the help of Mount, OSFMount is the best image mounting tool for Windows. I am working on a post where I will show you how an image file can be converted in to a virtual machine, will post when ready.

Feel fee to leave a comment below.

Links

Home Page: Passmark

Download Page: OSFMount

Roll Back A Problematic NVIDIA Driver

Device driver or software driver are a must if you want to get the most out of what ever hardware you are using and in my case it happens to be a graphics card but this time updating to the latest driver released by NVIDIA resulted in an annoying problem. Whenever I play Battlefield 2 Bad Company I sometimes get a black screen right when I am about to shoot some punk. NVIDIA drivers now support Braille ?.

In Windows rolling back to a previous driver version is surprisingly easy all you have to use is the Windows Device Manager.

As of this writing the latest driver for my NVIDIA 8800GTS graphics card is 296.10.

Device Manager

From Windows go to Start > Administrative Tools > Computer Management or go to Run and type compmgmt.msc.

On the left sidebar search for and click on Device Manager.

Search for Display Adapters and right click on yours, click on Properties.

Select the Driver tab.

Click on Roll Back Driver.

In order to revert back to the old drive you have to click on Yes. Wait for the changes to take effect you might get a temporary black screen.

To see if the changes were successful check in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Hash The Contents Of An Entire Drive With md5deep

Previously I wrote about Hashing a directory with md5deep since that post was written I’ve received a few comments asking how to accomplish the same but with an entire drive which is why I’ve decided to write this post.

The actual command to hash an entire drive with md5deep is quite easy to understand and execute just like before.

Normally if all you want it to do is hash a single directory you would use the exact command below.

md5deep -rel E:Encoder_Output > Encoder_Output.md5

The command to hash the contents of an entire drive is similar to the one above, but instead of using the directory path we only need to use the drive letter.

md5deep -rel E: > E_Results.md5

Command Explanation

  • r = recursive operation
  • e = compute estimated time remaining for file name
  • l = print relative paths for file name
  • E: = Drive you need to hash
  • > E_Results.md5 = output file

Once you have the resulting hashes from the operation in a text file you can refer to my second post on how to Compare Hashes With md5deep.

How To Backup And Restore The MBR

You are a geek therefore you can’t trust your self to not render a system unbootable. Specially if you are about to boot from more than one operating system which is done incorrectly could result in getting a blank screen. BTW: The MBR holds partition data and Operating System boot essential data. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to backup the MBR, fortunately we can backup with a few simple steps and only using free tools.

MBR = Master Boot Record

This tutorial uses a Live CD which includes the utility know as dd with can be used to copy entire drives or just sections of it.

First of all you should boot in to your Linux environment and mount a second drive where we can store the MBR backup.

Do not save the backup file in the same drive from which you are making the backup.

Create a directory.

mkdir mountusb

Use the ls command to identify the second drive. In my case I have a SATA drive and a USB drive, the SATA drive is always assigned the first letter of the alphabet in this case it’s named sda and the USB drive was assigned the name sdb.

root@PartedMagic:~# ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda  /dev/sda1  /dev/sdb  /dev/sdb1

You can’t mount the drive itself, instead you have to mount partitions. In this case I will be mounting a USB drive which is where I will be storing the MBR backup, remember to mount the partition not the drive.

mount /dev/sdb1 mountusb

And now we back up the MBR aka the first 512 bytes.

dd if=/dev/sda count=1 bs=512 > mountusb/sda.mbr
  • mountusb – Is the previously created directory
  • sda.mbr – Represents the actual backup

Restoring the MBR follows similar steps, you first need to mount the drive where the MBR was backup to and use the dd command to restore the backup to the desired drive.

dd if=mountusb/sda.mbr of=/dev/sda

Now that you know how to backup the MBR go ahead and start playing with multiple operating system, if at a latter time you decided to remove them you can always revert to the original MBR with a single command. Thanks for reading.

Download The Windows 8 Developer Preview

If you are looking for something to download then why not download the Windows 8 Developer Preview and have a taste of the next desktop OS from Microsoft. Keep in mind this is a pre-beta which means you should expect bug and instability.

Recommended hardware is similar to what you should already using with either Vista or Windows 7:

  1. 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  2. 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  3. 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  4. DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  5. Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

Use the following links to download the version you find adequate:

Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64) 4.8GB
SHA-1 Hash: 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF
Download

Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64) 3.6GB
Sha 1 hash – 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF
Download

Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86) 2.8GB
SHA-1 Hash: 4E0698BBABE01ED27582C9FC16AD21C4422913CC
Download

Don’t forget to watch the Microsoft preview of Windows Server 8 @ 9am Pacific time, Sept. 14.

Change The Default Text Editor In WinSCP

I consider WinSCP to be the best free SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows but like other similar clients the bundled text editor is not what I would consider to be the best or adequate for the type of work I do.

In this post I will describe the necessary steps to replace the default text editor WinSCP uses whenever a file is opened, instead of executing the default text editor the replacement editor will be executed. Although this tutorial uses Intype as the third party text editor of choice you can substitute for the text editor of your choice.

Start WinSCP and make sure the Advanced options check box is checked.

Click on Preferences.

Once again click on the Preferences… box.

Click on Editors.

Click on the Add … box.

Select External editor: and Browse… to the path where the replecement text editor resides in the case of Intype the path is C:Program Files (x86)Intypeintype.exe.

WinSCP will format the path for you!. Click on OK to save the changes.

In my case the text editor was recognized as Intype, click on it to highlight it. Click on the Up button till the new text editor is at the top making it the default choice.

Click on the OK button to save.

From now on whenever you edit a file WinSCP will execute the replacement text editor instead of the bundled one.

Feel free to leave comments below.

Schedule A Shutdown In Windows

Useful tip if you need to schedule a Windows PC to shutdown after a certain amount of time. Thanks to the Shutdown command we can either shutdown or restart a Windows PC after a pre-determined amount of time. Shutdown is an easy command to understand and use, a basic yet useful example would be shutting the system after 60 minutes.

shutdown /s /t 3600

Brief explanation of the command above:

/s – Shutdown the computer.
/t – Set the time-out before shutdown to xxx seconds.

60 seconds X 60 minutes = 3600

After the command is entered you should see an alert similar to the one below.

To cancel the shutdown all you have to do is enter the /a parameter after the shutdown command.

Now know your way around the Shutdown command, then let me tell you about the GUI. Although the Shutdown command is easy to follow you can make use of its optional graphical user interface by using the /i parameter.

shutdown /i

If you want to learn more about other options that can be used in conjunction with the Shutdown command type.

shutdown ?

To display a complete list.

Keep this command in mind I’ve come to appreciate its usefulness.

Links:

More info about the shutdown command

Securely Erase A Drive With CCleaner

By know you probably already know of CCleaner and how its commonly used to remove unwanted files from a system make registry changes and other system related tasks. Another great feature is the included ability to securely wipe drives called Drive Wiper.

Drive Wiper supports both hard drives and USB drives and can be instructed to either erase Free Space only or erase the Entire Drive (all data will be erased).

Compared with other applications you can have CCleaner wiping a drive in a matter of minutes. You can choose from four sanitation methods: Simple Overwrite (1 pass), DOD 552.22-M (3 passes), NSA (7 passes), Gutmann (35 passes).

For demonstration purposes I will be using a 512MB Flash Drive as the target drive, always make sure you are wiping the intended drive.

Let’s Start

Start CCleaner and on the sidebar located on the left and click on Tools

Click on the Drive Wiper button.

Here you can select what what parts of the drive will be erased, your options are Free Space only and Entire Drive (all data will be erased). I want all the data in the drive gone, therefore I am going with Entire drive option.

You also have to choose the sanitation method, or how the data will be erased. You can choose between Simple Overwrite (1 pass), DOD 552.22-M (3 passes), NSA (7 passes), Gutmann (35 passes), the more passes the longer it will take but also the more secure it is(depends on who you ask). For my purpose Overwrite (1 pass) will be enough for my Flash Drive.

And click on Wipe, we are almost there.

Because humans can’t be trusted you will be asked to type the following text exactly as it is and then click on OK.

My 512MB Flash Drive took a total time of three minutes and twenty seconds to complete, the larger the drive the longer it will take to erase the contents.

After the process is done you will be taken back to Drive Wiper Menu.

With CCleaner and Drive Wiper securely erasing the contents of a drive could not be easier. Users will appreciate the clean interface that removes unnecessary options that only serve to take space and confuse the user. It doesn’t get any better for a tool that is freely available.

If you have any questions leave a comment below and I will try to respond as soon as possible.

Links:

CCleaner Home Page