My previous article, The new way to configure Internet Explorer proxy settings with Group Policy, spoke about how the Internet Explorer Maintenance section of Group Policy has been killed off in favour of ADMX templates and Group Policy Preferences. One benefit of this is that you get rid of the time-consuming “Branding Internet Explorer” section when a user logs on to a PC.
Thanks to the lack of communication from Microsoft, we now need to scramble around to get all of our Internet Explorer Favorites re-deployed for any PC with IE10 or above. Thankfully it is a relatively simple, if tedious task. I used the GPMC on a 2008 R2 member server
Internet Explorer 10 was released for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 machines back in February 2013. Nine months later and we are going through it again with Internet Explorer 11. For SysAdmins and IT Pros managing software updates, these new versions led to quite a significant change in how we use Group Policy to manage them.
I only recently discovered that when Windows 8 (and along with it IE10) was released they finally got rid of the “Internet Explorer Maintenance” Section of the Group Policy Editor. This section always struck me as an odd place to configure IE settings and I’m still not sure why they couldn’t just use the normal Administrative Template section.
Internet Explorer Maintenance in Server 2003 Group Policy Editor
Is your hard disk overloaded?
I love my little Windows 8 HP ElitePad but if I had one major complaint its that I got the one with only 32GB. I knew, from years of maintaining PCs, laptops & netbooks, that the space would quickly be eaten up by Windows Updates alone! In fact, when the ElitePad was brand new out the box it unbelievably only had 11GB free.
I went to upgrade to Windows 8.1 now it has been publically released but discovered that I only had around 750MB free on my c: drive! The Win8.1 Pro download was 2.1GB itself so I had to do some serious freeing up of disk space. Unfortunately, Windows is quite good at hiding this stuff and a lot of online guides make recommend pointless “tips” such as “to save space, flush the DNS cache”!
So here is my guide on several options you have to free up space on your restricted device. Some of them, like removing the recovery partition, are one-offs but others can be repeated whenever space starts to get a bit tight
Just a quick post because I wanted to give a worthy bit of software a shout-out.
Double Driver from http://www.boozet.org/dd.htm
This little free program lets you back up all of the drivers on your PC for safe keeping. This is really handy if you want to save them all before a major update or re-installation. I also use it a lot on PCs with older operating systems (like Windows XP) because sometimes they are a real pain to try and find from the official OEM website (HP, I’m looking at you). It’s the kind of utility you wished Microsoft had just built directly into the Windows Device Manager.
We are in the process of changing over our Print Server and the first step on the plan was to get some data from all the computers on my network about which printers they had installed. This needed to grab the data from all users on all PCs so the only logical way to do this was to create logon script below and let it run for a week. In a previous post I discussed how PowerShell Export-CSV turns lovely tables in to garbage but now I needed to get a CSV from hundreds of separate text files …
Users press buttons.
If something stops working as expected, they will probably press every button they can see before reaching out to IT for help.
While I’m all for self-service when it comes to IT issues, we had a recent problem where a user managed to perform an NVRAM reset* on one of our HP LaserJet printers! This wipes out the serial number, page counts etc. and replaces them with XXXXXXXXXX. Unfortunately the page counts seem lost for good but to reset the serial number you need to send PJL commands directly to the printer.
This used to be done by connecting a PC to the printer via a parallel cable. You would then enter some DOS commands to copy a “PJL” file onto the printer for processing
As I am writing this in 2013, I only have network printers and Windows 7 x64 to hand. After a lot of digging I managed to work out how to do it.
Following on from my promise to do better blogging in 2013, here’s something that frustrated me in PowerShell.
It stems from me being very much a beginner still in the PoSh ranks. Although, I’m using it more and more of late and starting to get the hang of it all
One issue I recently struggled with was when a user asked me if I could create a spreadsheet containing all the London staff phone numbers and email addresses. This sounded easy enough, I ran the following line of code and was happy with my results