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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to Repair the Boot Files in Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2

clock December 5, 2016 07:09 by author Armend

How to Repair the Boot Files in Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2

When booting to the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), the drive letters are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. For example, the C: drive in Windows will often have a different letter in WinRE. The DiskPart utility can be used to keep track of the drives and what is stored on them.

Note: If there is no System Reserved partition. It is okay to select the drive containing the Windows folder.   

  • First Partition: 100 MB System Reserved (No drive letter)
  • Second Partition: 60 GB (C:) OS
  • Third Partition: 1.5 TB (D:) Data
  • DVD Drive: E:

Note: If there is no System Reserved partition. It is okay to select the drive containing the Windows folder

Restoring Boot Files

  • Boot to the Windows Server DVD.
  • Open the command prompt.
    • Server 2008 R2:
    • If no driver is needed, press Shift-F10 to open the command prompt.
    • Continue with step 3.
  • Server 2008 (or 2008 R2 if a driver is required)
    • Click Next at the first screen.
    • Click Repair your computer.
    • If no driver is needed, click Next and proceed to step vii below.
    • If a driver is needed, click Load Drivers.
    • Insert the media containing the needed driver.
    • Note: The media can be a CD, DVD, or USB storage device
    • Navigate to the folder containing the driver, select it, and click Open.
    • Click Command Prompt.
  • The command prompt appears.
  • Type DiskPart at the command prompt.

  • Type List vol at the DiskPart prompt.
  • Write down the drive letter of the DVD drive. In this example, it is F.
  • Write down the drive letter of the system reserved drive. In this example, it is C.
  • Type Select vol 1 (assuming volume 1 is the System Reserved volume, as it is here).
  • Type active. This sets the selected volume as active.
  • Type exit to return to the command line.
  • Type Copy f:\BootMgr c:\ at the command prompt. One of two things will happen:
    • If the file Bootmgr already exists on C:, type N to avoid overwriting it.
    • If the file Bootmgr doesn't already exist on C:, it will automatically be copied.
  • Type Bootrec /Fixmbr at the command prompt.
  • Type Bootrec /Fixboot at the command prompt.
  • Type Bootrec /rebuildBCD at the command prompt.
    • If no OS is found, the following appears:

This means that one of the following is true:

  • The boot configuration database (BCD) already exists.
  • The OS is not there.
  • The OS is damaged beyond the ability of BootRec to recognize it.
  • If BootRec /RebuildBCD succeeds, it will list any installations of Windows that it found. Press Y to accept and add them to the BCD. The server is now configured to boot from the proper partition. Close the command prompt and reboot the system into normal mode.

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How To Enhance Your Windows Server Security

clock November 28, 2016 07:30 by author Armend

Enhance Your Windows Server Security

There are a variety of features and settings for securing your Microsoft Windows Server infrastructure, so be sure you make the right choice. There are many techniques for getting the most out of the various security features of Windows Server 2008 R2. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which individual security features and settings you should use to adequately secure your servers.

 

When it comes to securing Windows Server 2008 R2, there are two phases you need to consider: pre-deployment and post-deployment security. You can best think of pre-deployment security as security planning. If you're going to be setting up a new server, there are certain security considerations you should take into account before you even begin the installation process.

Server Role Isolation

One of the primary tasks involved in pre-deployment security planning is taking measures to reduce your server's attack surface. Attack surface reduction is based on the concept that the more code that's running on a system, the greater the likelihood that code contains a vulnerability that could be exploited. So to reduce the attack surface on your servers, you need to ensure those servers aren't running any unnecessary code.

It's recommended you take things one step further, though, to maximize the effectiveness of your security posture. As a general best practice, you should configure each server to perform one specific task. For example, rather than running DNS services and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services on a server already configured to act as a file server, it's better from a security standpoint to run each role on a dedicated server. Not only does this help reduce the attack surface, it can also make any required troubleshooting easier because each server is running a less-complex configuration.
It's understandable that sometimes using a separate server for each role isn't practical, either because of cost or because of functionality requirements. Even so, it's a good idea to isolate server roles whenever you can.

Server virtualization can help to further bring down costs. For example, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition is licensed for use within up to four virtual machines (VMs), as long as the underlying physical server is running Hyper-V and nothing else.

Use Server Core

Another tactic for reducing a server's attack surface is to configure it to run Server Core. Server Core is a bare-bones Windows Server 2008 R2 installation that doesn't include the full graphical UI.
Because Server Core deployments run a minimal set of system services, they have a much smaller attack surface than a traditional Windows Server deployment. Server Core installations also tend to perform better than full Windows Server installations. The server has to deal with less overhead, which makes it ideal for use within VMs.
Unfortunately, you can't use Server Core for all Windows Server 2008 R2 deployments, because only certain system services and relatively few server applications can run on Server Core deployments. As such, it's best to deploy Server Core where you can, but accept the fact that you won't be able to use it on all of your servers—at least for now.

Group Policy Planning

Pre-deployment security planning is important, but once things are up and running, your security best practices should include ongoing Group Policy management and planning. It's advisable to take Group Policy settings into account prior to Windows deployment. You'll also need to adjust policy settings over time as your security requirements evolve.
Although you can fully manage Group Policy settings using the tools included with Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft offers a free utility called Security Compliance Manager (SCM) that can simplify the process. Download SCM here. The installation process is straightforward and uses a simple wizard. Just make sure you select the check box that tells the setup wizard to check for updates.

Once you've installed SCM, you can launch it through the server's Start menu. When you run it for the first time, the software will have to import a number of different security baseline packages. This process can take several minutes to complete.
Once you've imported the security baselines, you'll see a list of baseline categories within the console tree. Expand the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 container to view the available Windows Server 2008 R2 baselines. Microsoft provides security baselines for a number of different server roles

The baselines Microsoft provides each represent a collection of Group Policy settings considered optimal for that individual server role. Although the baselines adhere to Microsoft's security best practices, blindly accepting a security baseline is considered a bad practice. Your organization will have its own unique security needs. Microsoft generally recommends you augment the default security baselines to fit those needs.

The first step in doing so is to choose a security baseline that matches the server role you want to configure. Next, click the Duplicate link found in the Actions pane. This lets you make a copy of the security baseline. That way you can modify the copy without having to worry about making irreversible changes to the original security baseline.
When prompted, enter a name for your custom security baseline and then click Save. When you do, you'll see your newly created security baseline displayed in the Custom Baselines section at the top of the console tree.
When you select your custom security baseline, you'll see all the security settings displayed in the console's center column. The console lists the default setting, Microsoft's recommended setting and your custom setting.  Initially, the custom settings will match the Microsoft settings. As you make modifications, those will be reflected in the Customized column.

You can modify individual policy settings by double-clicking on a setting and then choosing a new value  After modifying any setting, click the Collapse link to save your changes. When you do, the policy setting will be displayed within the console in a bold font to indicate settings have been modified.
When you finish reviewing the various settings and making any necessary modifications to the security baselines, export your security baseline. The Actions pane contains a number of different export options.

You should initially export the security baseline to an Excel spreadsheet. That way, you can store a documented copy of your security baseline settings independent of SCM. You should also export the settings into a Group Policy Object (GPO) Backup. You can use the GPO Backup to import the security baseline settings into the Group Policy Editor.
You can import a baseline into the Group Policy Editor by opening the security policy you want to modify, right-clicking on the Security Settings container and choosing the Import Policy option.

You can import your security settings into the Group Policy Editor. The Security Configuration Wizard is an equally handy tool you can use to secure your Windows 2008 R2 servers. This is installed by default in Windows Server 2008 R2, and is accessible through the server's Administrative Tools menu. Like SCM, the Security Configuration Wizard is designed to help you create server-role-specific security policies you can export to the servers on your network.

When you launch the wizard, you'll see an introductory screen. Click Next to clear this screen and you'll be taken to a screen that asks you what action you want to perform. You can create, edit or apply a security policy, or you can roll back the most recent security policy.
Assuming you decide to create a new policy, the Security Configuration Wizard will prompt you to provide the name or IP address of a server to use as a security baseline. This should be a server upon which you'd like to model the policy you're about to create.

Click Next a couple of times, and you'll come to a screen asking you what roles the server will perform (see Figure 5). The list of roles is automatically populated based on the roles installed on the server from which you're modeling the new policy. You can then manually modify the list of roles.
It's important for the role list to accurately reflect the roles you plan to install on the servers that receive the policy. The Group Policy settings, registry settings and firewall configuration will all be based on the roles you've chosen.

Choose the roles that will be insvers.

talled on target serClick Next, and you'll see a similar list referring to the features you'll install on the server. Once again, it's important for the feature list to be accurate. It's also worth noting that the Security Configuration Wizard doesn't actually install roles and features. It only creates policies based on the roles and features you indicate are installed.

  • The next two screens follow the same basic format as the Roles and Features screens. One screen asks you about Installed Options. These are things like such as Remote Desktop or Remote Volume Management. The next screen asks you about any additional installed services such as the Disk Defragmenter or the Adobe Acrobat Update Service. You might see some non-Microsoft services displayed on this list, depending on what software is installed on the model server.
  • The next screen asks you what should happen when startup encounters an unspecified service. You can leave the service startup type unchanged, or you can block the service. At the next screen, you'll see a list of the services whose startup types will be changed so you can make sure that you're not about to disable something critical.
    The wizard now takes you to the Network Security section. You can skip this section, if you so choose. It's designed to configure the Windows Firewall based on how you'll use the server. This section lets you review existing firewall rules and add or delete rules based on your needs.
  • The Registry section is next. The Registry portion of the wizard asks if all computers that will be connecting to the server meet certain minimal OS requirements. It also verifies whether or not the server has surplus processing power. These configuration settings determine whether or not to enable Server Message Block security signatures.
    Other screens ask you about the types of accounts you're using, and the types of domain controllers on your network. Once you finish answering the wizard's questions, it will show you the all registry modifications it's about to make.
  • The last section you'll encounter before you're asked to save your security policy is the Audit Policy section. This section asks you one question about your general auditing philosophy. Essentially, it wants to know if you want to audit successful events, successful and unsuccessful events, or nothing at all. The audit policy settings will be based on your choice.

When you reach the end of the wizard, you're asked to save the new policy as an XML file. You then have the option of applying the new security policy now or later. If you choose to apply the security setting later, you can do so by rerunning the Security Configuration Wizard and choosing the Apply an Existing Security Policy setting.

You can apply a previously created security policy through the Security Configuration Wizard.
There are far too many Windows Server security features to discuss within a single article, but these are some of the highlights. The major tools such as the Security Configuration Wizard and the Security Compliance Manager can help you secure your servers without having to configure each security setting individually.

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to repair UEFI Bootloader in Windows 8

clock November 21, 2016 07:10 by author Armend

How to repair UEFI Bootloader in Windows 8

In this article we will learn how to repair Windows 8 bootloader on a computer with UEFI. The corruption of the Windows 8 bootloader can occur after the installation of the second OS (in Dual Boot configurations), be caused by the erroneous actions while failure recovering and for some other reasons. If the loader in Windows 8 on UEFI system is corrupted, it’s impossible to start the system or a blue screen with the following error appears:
The boot configuration data for your PC is missing or contains errors.

File :\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
Error code: 0xc000000f

All this can imply corruption or even total removal of Windows 8 loader configuration – Boot Configuration Data (BCD). You won’t be able to recover the BCD loader using bcdedit. When running this command, the following error appears:

  • The boot configuration data store could not be found.
  • The requested system device cannot be found

The matter is that the BCD loader configuration in Windows 8 installed in UEFI mode is stored on a separate hidden EFI volume (100 MB in size on FAT32 file system). Bcdedit can not see it and, therefore, manage the loader configuration on it.

So to recover the loader (BCD) configuration, you have to boot from the original installation Windows 8 DVD (or a recovery disk or a special EFI bootable flash drive) and open the command line choosing System Restore – > Troubleshoot-> Command Prompt or pressing Shift+F10).

 

Start diskpart:

diskpart

Display the list of disks in the system:

list disk

Select the disk with Windows 8 installed (if there is one disk in the system, it will have zero index):

sel disk 0

Display the list of volumes in the system:

list vol

In this example, you can see that the EFI volume (it can easily be recognized by its size of 100 MB and FAT32 file system) has the index volume 1, and the boot volume with Windows 8 installed is volume 3.
Assign any disk letter to the EFI volume:

select volume 1
assign letter K:

Close diskpart:

exit

Go to the bootloader directory in the hidden volume

cd /d k:\efi\microsoft\boot\

Recreate the boot sector on the boot partition

bootrec /fixboot

Delete the current BCD configuration file by renaming it (save the older configuration as a backup):

ren BCD BCD.bak

With bcdboot.exe, create BCD store again by copying the boot files from the system directory:

bcdboot C:\Windows /l en-us /s k: /f ALL

where C:\Windows – is the path to the directory with Windows 8 installed.

  • /f ALL – means that the boot files have to be copied including those for UEFI and BIOS computers (potential ability to boot in EFI and BIOS systems)
  • /l en-us – is a type of the system locale. By default, en-us – English (USA) is used.

Now you have to restart your computer. Then in the list of bootable devices there appears Windows Boot Manager where you can choose desired operating system to start.

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Windows hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to setup a Node.JS development environment on Windows

clock November 14, 2016 07:10 by author Armend

How to setup a node.js development environment on Windows

It’s easy to install node.js on Windows, just go to node.js official site and download Windows installer, then execute the installer. Congratulations!!! You successfully installed node.js on Windows!!!

 

Install mongoDB

Go to mongoDB official site to download zip file for Windows, and unzip the contents to anywhere you like. MongoDB will read data at \data\db by default, but mongoDB won’t create this folder for us, so we must create it by ourself, you can create this folder in Windows Explorer, or type the following command in terminal:

C:\> mkdir \data
C:\> mkdir \data\db

After creating \data\db, double click mongod.exe in your_mongodb_path\bin or type the following command in terminal to turn on mongoDB:

C:\> cd your_mongodb_path\bin
C:\> mongod

Then you can double click mongo.exe or type the following command in terminal to get into administrative shell´╝Ü

C:\> cd your_mongodb_path\bin
C:\> mongo

Congratulations!!! You’ve successfully installed node.js and mongoDB on Windows!!!

Update node.js

Go to node.js’s official site and download Windows installer, then execute the installer. Then your node.js is updated.

Update mongoDB

Go to mongoDB official site to download zip file for Windows, and use the files in new zip file, then you can start to use the latest mongoDB. If you have question about installng or using mongoDB, you can check the Windows Quick Start on mongoDB official site :)

Setup a node.js development environment on other OS

If you want to setup a node.js development environment on Mac OSX Lion or Ubuntu 11.04, you can take a look at:

  • How to setup a node.js development environment on Mac OSX Lion
  • How to setup a node.js development environment on Ubuntu 11.04.

npm commands and node.js basics

Now you have setup a clean node.js development environment. Let’s have a quick look at how to use npm and learn some basics of javascript and node.js.

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: 10 Features in Windows Server 2016 sysadmins

clock November 7, 2016 06:55 by author Armend

The newest release of Microsoft’s server operating system, Windows Server 2016, hit general availability on September 26th, along with System Center 2016. We’ve been hearing about new and improved things coming in Windows Server 2016 for months, so you most probably know about the container support and the improved security and networking tools. Maybe you’ve even used some of them in the technology preview versions.
But in case you’ve been holding out for GA, or your working day consisting of endless tickets simply doesn’t allow you to find time to tryout betas and technology previews, we’ve prepared a closer look at the top 10 features in Windows Server 2016 that every sysadmin needs to know about.

 

Server footprints get even smaller with Nano

The next evolution of Server Core – Nano Server, is an even more thinned down version of Windows Server 2016. A Nano server must be managed remotely and can only run 64 bit applications, but it can be optimized for minimum resources, requires far less patching, restarts very quickly, and can perform a number of specific tasks very well with minimal hardware.
Good uses for Nano Server include IIS, DNS, F&P, application servers, and compute nodes. So if you liked Server Core, you will love Nano; and if you never really understood Server Core, you should give Nano a chance, especially if patching and downtime are challenges in your 24×7 shop.

Improved server management with PowerShell 5.0

Windows Server 2016 comes with PowerShell 5.0, a part of the Windows Management Framework 5.0.
including support for developing your own classes, or a new module called PackageManagement, which lets you discover and install software packages on the Internet.
The Workflow debugger now supports command or tab completion, and you can debug nested workflow functions. To enter it in a running script you can now press Ctrl+Break, in both local and remote sessions, and also in a workflow script. And PS5 now runs in Nano server directly, so administration of this lightweight server platform is made even simpler.

Versatile container support for enhanced density

Windows Server 2016 offers two kinds of containers to improve process isolation, performance, security, and scalability. Windows Server Containers can be used to isolate applications with a dedicated process and a namespace, while Hyper-V Containers appear to be entire machines optimized for the application.
Windows Server Containers share a kernel with the host, while Hyper-V Containers have their own kernel, and both enable you to get more out of your physical hardware investments. On top of this, Microsoft announced that all Windows Server 2016 customers will get the Commercially Supported Docker Engine for no additional cost, enabling applications delivered through Docker containers to run on Windows Server on-premise installations or in the cloud, on Azure.

More secure identity management

WS2016 brings some huge improvements to Active Directory, security, and identity management, such as Privileged Access Management (PAM), restricting privileged access within an existing Active Directory environment. In this model you have a bastion forest, sometimes called a red forest, that is where administrative accounts live and which can be heavily isolated to ensure it remains secure. Just-in-Time administration, privileged access request workflows, and improved audition are all included, and best of all – you don’t have to replace all of your DCs to take advantage of this.

Simplified administrative work

“Just Enough Administration” is a new capability in Windows Server 2016 that enables administrators to delegate anything that can be managed through PowerShell. Do you have a developer who needs to be able to bounce services or restart app pools on a server, but not log on or make any other changes? With JEA you can give him or her exactly those abilities, and nothing more. Of course, you may have to write some PS1s to let them actually do that, but the point is that now you can.

Improved HA remote desktop management

Customers who want to set up highly-available RDS environments, but not go to the trouble and expense of setting up HA SQL, can now use an Azure SQL DB for their Remote Desktop Connection Broker, making it both easier and less expensive to set up a resilient virtual desktop environment.
The RD Connection Broker can now handle massively concurrent connection situations, commonly known as the “log on storm”, and it has been tested to handle more than 10k concurrent connection requests without failures.

Software-defined storage for easier management

Software-defined storage enables you to create HA data storage infrastructures that can easily scale out, without breaking the bank. With software defined storage, even SMBs can start to take advantage of high availability storage with the existing budgets.
Three new features take over the stage: Storage Spaces Direct enables you to combine commodity hardware with availability software, providing performance for virtual machines, Storage Replica replicates data at the volume level in either synchronous or asynchronous modes, while Storage QoS guards against poor performance in a multitenant environment.

Time slips into more accuracy

If you have set up an NTP server on your network, or subscribed to NTP services from an NTP pool, you know how important accurate time can be. Typically, Windows environments were less worried about accurate time, and more concerned with a consensus of time, with a five-minute drift being acceptable.
Now in Windows Server 2016, the new time service can support up to a 1ms accuracy, which should be enough to meet almost all needs – if you need more accuracy than that, you probably own your own atomic clock.

Connection flexibility with software-defined networking

Immensely valuable in a virtualization environment, software-defined networking enables administrators to set up networking in their Hyper-V environment similar to what they can in Azure, including virtual LANs, routing, software firewalls, and more.
You can also do virtual routing and mirroring, so you can enable security devices to view traffic without expensive taps.

Boosted security

There are so many security improvements in Windows Server 2016 that we could do an entire post just on that, which, as a matter of fact, we will in the coming weeks. For now, be aware that WS2016 includes improvements to protect user credentials with Credential Guard and Remote Credential Guard, and to protect the operating system with Code Integrity, with a whole host of improvements with virtual machines, new antimalware capabilities in Windows Defender, and much more.

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to implement Windows authentication and authorization in ASP.NET

clock October 31, 2016 08:47 by author Armend

How to implement Windows authentication and authorization in ASP.NET

This step-by-step article describes how to implement Windows authentication and authorization in an ASP.NET application. To use the built in security of Windows and ASP.NET, implement Windows authentication and authorization on groups and users. To use Windows authentication, you must adjust settings in both Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and the ASP.NET application Web.config file.

Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft .NET Framework
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET

Authentication and authorization

Windows authentication and Windows authorization are two terms that are frequently interchanged. However, they do not have the same meaning. Windows authentication permits the recipient to determine the user's identity. Windows authorization determines the resources to which a user may gain access.

Configure Web application for Windows authentication

To configure your Web application for Windows authentication, follow these steps:

  • Create an ASP.NET Web Application named ASPNETWinAuth. By default, theWebForm1.aspx file appears.
  • In the HTML view of WebForm1.aspx, replace the existing code with the following sample code:

    <%=User.Identity.Name%>

  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative tools, and then click Internet Information Services.
  • The Internet Information Services MMC appears. Expand Computer, and then expand a Web site that uses Windows authentication.
  • Click the ASPNETWinAuth Web site application.
  • On the Action menu, click Properties.
  • In Properties, click the Directory Security tab.
  • Under Anonymous access and authentication control, click Edit.
  • In Authentication Methods, click to select Integrated Windows authentication. Click to clear all other check boxes.
  • Click OK.
  • In Properties, click OK. The ASPNETWinAuth Web application is now configured to accept valid user accounts.

Configure the ASP.NET application

After you configure the IIS Web site for Integrated Windows Authentication, you must configure the ASP.NET application to recognize authenticated users. To do this, you must change the Web.config file. In the Web.config file, locate the <authentication> tag, and then set the mode attribute to Windows, as in the following example:

<authentication mode="Windows" />

Test authentication

To test your Windows authentication setting, follow these steps:

  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer, view the WebForm1.aspx page. This page is located in the Http://Localhost folder. For example:

    http://Localhost/ASPNETWinAuth/WebForm1.aspx

  • Because Integrated Windows Authentication uses the current Windows user information on the client computer for the authentication, it does not immediately prompt the user for a user name and password. However, if the authentication exchange cannot identify the user, a dialog box appears that prompts the user for a Windows user account user name and password.
  • Type a valid user name and password. When the page loads, your user name appears in the following format:

    Domain Name\User Name

Restrict access

In ASP.NET, you set authorization to the application by adding settings in the Web.config file. You can specify which users or groups are permitted to have access to what resources as follows:
To permit all users of an NT Group named Managers to have access to your resources, use the following code:

<configuration>
      <system.web>
        <authorization>
          <allow roles="domainname\Managers" />
          <deny users="*" />
        </authorization>
      </system.web>
    </configuration>

To permit only specific users to have access, use the following code:

<configuration>
      <system.web>
        <authorization>
          <allow users="domainname\user1,domainname\user2,domainname\user3" />
          <deny users="*" />
        </authorization>
      </system.web>
    </configuration>

Note You can specify multiple roles or users by using a comma separated list. Verify that you use the correct case when you specify the configuration file element and the associated attribute values. This code is case sensitive.

 

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to change DNS Servers in Windows 7

clock October 24, 2016 08:31 by author Armend

This article is for people to change their Windows 7 DNS settings.  It will also override the DNS settings sent through DHCP so it is acceptable for most users of Windows 7.  You will need admin rights in order to preform some of these steps.
1. Choose two or more IP addresses from here, then open the Control Panel and click on Network and Sharing Center as seen below.

2. Click “Change Adapter Settings” in the left bar.

3. Right click on your network device and choose properties. In my case this was Local Area Connection, but it could also be a wireless adapter or named something else.

 

4.  Choose the IP version you would like to set the DNS settings for and click “properties”.  I will be choosing IPv4 for this guide, but the steps are basically identical for IPv6.

5.  In the window that pops up, click “Advanced” in the bottom right of the windows

6. Click the “DNS” tab at the top.

7. Click Add and then type a Tier2 server IP in the box that pops up and click add again.
You may repeat the add step as many times as you want to add more DNS servers. DNS servers added to the list are being tried consecutively after a short timeout when one or more of them are offline.
8. Click OK until you are out of dialogue boxes! 

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Demystifying the Windows Registry

clock October 10, 2016 19:40 by author Armend

Demystifying the Windows Registry

The registry is a key component of the Windows operating system. It is so important, that without it, Windows would not even run. When a new piece of hardware or software is installed in Windows, it stores its configuration into the Registry. This allows Windows to retrieve that information at later dates such as when it is starting up. As Windows starts it will read the configuration in the registry and know what drivers need to be loaded, what settings to be applied, and what resources need to be allocated in order for this equipment to work. Because this information is stored in the Registry on your hard drive, Windows has this information available each time it boots up.

The registry, though, is not only for operating system settings. User preferences and application settings are stored in the Registry as well. When you change your desktop background or screen saver, these details are stored in the Registry. Now when you shutdown Windows and start it up again at a later date, your preferences are available and loaded automatically. Application settings such as what directory you would like to download files to or what your default font is in a word processor are stored here as well. As you can see the Registry contains information that is not only vital to the use of the operating system, but also essential in allowing you to customize Windows to your particular tastes.

Structure of the Registry

The Registry is a hierarchical structure similar to what you see when looking at a directory/file tree on your computer. You have a main key, or Hive, with Keys, Subkeys and then Values. Each of these are discussed below:
Hives - Hives are the top most portions of the hierarchical data tree with each Hive containing a certain category of information. For example one Hive may contain the configuration that applies to the particular user logged on, while another Hive will contain information about the hardware installed in the computer. Depending on the version Windows that you are running there will be 5 or 6 different hives. Below we have outlined the 6 possible hives:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) -
        This Hive contains the preferences and configuration for the particular user who is currently logged in. If a different user is logged onto the same machine, then the information in this Hive would change corresponding to that particular user's configuration.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM) -
        This Hive contains the configuration for the actual computer. The information in this Hive remains the same regardless of the user currently logged on.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (HKCR) -
        This Hive contains the information which pertains to the core user interface such as file associations and shortcuts.
  • HKEY_USERS (HKU) -
        This Hive contains the user information for all the users that have ever logged onto this computer.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG (HKCC) -
        This Hive contains the information about current hardware configuration. This Hive is linked to the HKLM Hive.
  • HKEY_DYN_DATA (HKDD) -
    This Hive is found only on Windows 95/98/ME. It contains information about hardware Plug and Play. This Hive is linked to the HKLM Hive.
  • Keys - Keys are an organizational unit in the Registry. Keys are containers that can either contain values or further subkeys. Subkeys themselves, can contain further subkeys. Keys are similar to folders in that they can contain further subkeys or the file, or what we call values in the Registry.
  • Values - Values contain the actual data that is being stored in a Key or a Subkey. There are quite a few different types of values that can be stored in the Registry, but the most common that you will see are binary, strings, and DWORD values.
    When visualizing the Registry you should look at the Hives, Keys, and Subkeys as the path that you will need to navigate in order to reach the final stored information which is the Value.

An example Registry key can be seen below. This Registry key controls what your initial start page will be when using Internet Explorer.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\\Start Page

When we break this Key down to its components we can see the following:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER is the Hive that this key is associated with.
Software is a Key
Microsoft - This is a Subkey
Internet Explorer - This is a Subkey
Main - This is a Subkey
Start Page - This is the Value that the actual data is stored in. For this particular Value, the data will be the start page that you want Internet Explorer to use.

Where the Registry is stored

The Registry itself is stored on your computer in certain files. Below we detail what files and their locations are used to store the Registry based upon the particular version of Windows.
For Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003, the Registry files are stored in the following directories:
%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\Config
%USERPROFILE%\ntuser.dat

The names for the registry files are:

Sam, Sam.log, Sam.sav
Security, Security.log, Security.sav
Software, Software.log, Software.sav
System, System.alt, System.log, System.sav
System, System.alt, System.log, System.sav, Ntuser.dat, Ntuser.dat.log
Default, Default.log, Default.sav
For Windows 98, the registry files are named User.dat and System.dat and are stored in the C:\Windows directory.
For Windows Millennium Edition, the registry files are named Classes.dat, User.dat, and System.dat and are stored in the C:\Windows directory.

How to edit the Registry

In order to modify values in the Registry you need to use a program called a Registry Editor. Windows comes with a program called regedit.exe or otherwise known as Registry Editor. To launch this program you should click on the Start button, then click on the Run option, and in the field type regedit.exe and press the OK button. This will launch the Registry Editor.
When you open Registry Editor you will see two panes. The left pane is your navigation pane. By default it will list all the Hives with a + or - next to each one. You can click the + to expand the tree underneath that Hive revealing Keys and Subkeys. You would keep navigating the Subkeys until you reach the desired location and then click on it once to highlight it. Then you will see in the right pane a listing of the values associated with that key.
In the screenshow below you will see an image of the Registry Editor where I have navigated to the key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

In Figure 1 above, the Hive that we are in is HKEY_CURRENT_USER. They Key is Control Panel and the Subkey is Colors. The right hand portion shows all the Values contained in the subkey Colors.
To modify a Value, you would double-click on the value name and a screen similar to Figure 2 below would appear.

You then would type in the appropriate information into the Value data field and press the OK button.
To delete values, instead of double-clicking on a value name you would right-click on the value and then select Delete. This method can also be used to delete keys or subkeys. To add a value you click on the Edit menu option and then select New and pick the appropriate type.
It is also possible to export and import Registry values into your Registry. To export a particular Key or Subkey you would click once on the key you would like to export and then click on File and then Export. Then select a directory and filename to export the Registry key to. Likewise, you can also Import keys into the Registry by clicking on Import and then selecting the file that you had exported previously.

Backing up the Registry

Viruses, Spyware, and other Malware can cause corruption and damage to the Registry. With this in mind, it is important to backup your registry so that you know you have a clean copy stored safely on your hard drive in case of an emergency. Below we have outlined the steps to backup and restore your Registry under the various versions of Windows.

Backing Up the Windows 95 Registry

  • Reboot your computer and when you see "Starting Windows 95" press the F8 key. Then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the startup menu and press enter.
  • At the command prompt type the following lines, pressing ENTER on your keyboard after each line:
  • cd \windows

attrib -r -h -s system.dat
attrib -r -h -s user.dat
copy system.dat *.bak
copy user.dat *.bak

WARNING: These steps make the assumption that you do not have any files named system.bak or user.bak. If you do have files with these names, change the extension in the steps above to something else.

  • Restart your computer.

Restoring the Windows 95 Registry

  • Reboot your computer and when you see "Starting Windows 95" press the F8 key. Then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the startup menu and press enter.
  • At the command prompt type the following lines, pressing ENTER on your keyboard after each line:

    cd windows
    attrib -r -h -s system.dat
    attrib -r -h -s system.da0
    attrib -r -h -s user.dat
    attrib -r -h -s user.da0
    ren system.dat system.daa
    ren system.da0 system.da1
    ren user.dat user.daa
    ren user.da0 user.da1
    copy system.bak system.dat
    copy user.bak user.dat

WARNING : This will restore the previous backup that you had made. If you had chosen an extension other than .bak when you had backed up the Registry previously, then substitute that extension above.

Restart your computer.

Backing Up the Windows 98/ME Registry

  • Click the Start button, then click Run.
  • Type scanregw in the field and press the OK button.
  • When the program has finished scanning the Registry for errors it will ask if you would like to back up the Registry.
  • Click the Yes prompt and the program will create the backup.
  • When it is completed, press the OK button.

Restoring the Windows 98/ME Registry

  • For Win98, reboot your computer and press and hold the CTRL button. Then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the startup menu and press enter. For Windows ME, start your computer with a startup disk and select Start Computer without CD-ROM Support.
  • You will now be at a command prompt. Type c:\windows\command\scanreg /restore and press enter on your keyboard. A screen will will appear with a list of the previous Registry backups sorted by date. Using the arrow keys, select the Registry backup you would like to restore and press enter. A known previously working Registry backup will have the word Started next to the date.
  • Scanreg will now restore the Registry and check it for errors. When it is done you will receive confirmation and you should now press enter to reboot your computer. If you had booted your computer with a floppy, please remove the floppy first before rebooting.

Backing Up the Windows XP/2000/2003 Registry

  • Click on Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and then click on Backup. If you do not see the Backup utility you will need to install it using your XP or 2003 CD.
  • When the program launches, if you are not in the wizard, select the Backup Wizard Option.
  • When the Wizard opens press the Next button.
  • Select "Only back up the System State Data". Keep pressing next until you see Finish.
  • Press the Finish button to start the Registry backup.
  • When it is completed you will see a report of the backup. You can then press the Close button and then exit the program.

Restoring the Windows XP/2000/2003 Registry

Option 1:

  • Click on Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and then click on Backup. If you do not see the Backup utility you will need to install it using your XP or 2003 CD.
  • When the program launches, if you are not in the wizard, select the Backup Wizard Option.
  • When the Wizard opens press the Next button.
  • This screen will list all the known backups that were done previously. Select the System State backup that you would like restored.
  • Press the next button and then the Finish button.
  • When it is completed you will see a report of the backup. You can then press the Close button and then exit the program.

Option 2 (Only for XP and 2003):

  • Insert your Windows CD into your computer and reboot.
  • When it prompts you to "Press Any Key to Boot from CD", press any key.
  • When the screen appears that gives you the options to Setup, Repair or Quit, press R on your keyboard to enter repair mode.
  • At the next screen select the installation of windows you would like to work on. For most people there will be only one option.
  • When prompted enter your administrator password and press enter on your keyboard.
  • When you get the prompt, type cd repair to enter the directory where a Registry backups is stored.
  • Type the following lines, pressing enter on your keyboard after each line:

    copy default c:\windows\system32\config
    copy sam c:\windows\system32\config
    copy security c:\windows\system32\config
    copy software c:\windows\system32\config
    copy system c:\windows\system32\config

NOTE: If it prompts you to overwrite the existing files, select Y for yes.

  •     When you are finished, type exit and press enter.
  •     Remove your Windows CD and reboot.

Conclusion

Understanding and knowing how to backup the Registry is an important part of keeping your computer secure and running efficiently. It must be stressed that modifying any portion of the Registry should be done with the utmost care as incorrect usage of the Registry could make your computer inoperable.

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How To Fix Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine

clock October 3, 2016 19:58 by author Armend

How To Fix Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine

If you receive this Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine, Contact your administrator for details message box, on your Windows 10/8/7 computer, then this post may interest you. Today we will see how you can enable or disable Windows Script Host.

Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine

Windows Script Host or WSH, is a Microsoft technology that provides scripting abilities like batch files, but includes many more features. Such Scripts can be run directly from the desktop by double-clicking a script file, or from a command prompt. It can be run from either the protected-mode Windows-based host wscript.exe, or the real-mode command shell-based host cscript.exe.
Several “HTML malware” have been reported to use WSH objects as a result of which, those who do not require this feature, tend to disable it. But disabling WSH, will prevent users from running any scripts, including VBScript and JScript scripts, that rely on this technology – and some software may require this feature to be enabled.

Enable, disable Windows Script Host

To enable or disable Windows Script Host, type regedit.exe in Run box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
Navigate to the following key:


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script Host\Settings

 

In the right panel, you will see Enabled. If you see the entry 0, it means that the Windows Script Host access is disabled on your Windows machine.

Double Click on it and give it Value Data 1 to enable it.

  •     A value of 1 will enable Windows Script Host
  •     A value of 0 will disable Windows Script Host.

Click on OK and exit the Registry. If you don’t see this entry, then you may need to create it, as it does not exist by default in Windows.
You will now, no longer receive the Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine.

 

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Windows Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Easy tips to protect your Windows from hackers and malware

clock September 26, 2016 20:20 by author Armend

Easy tips to protect your WIndows PC from hackers and malware

In the news recently there have been some high-profile security scares for computer users. Common sense alone isn’t enough to protect your Windows PC from malware – malicious software that disrupts your computer’s operations or gathers sensitive information about your online behaviour.
Hackers can attack your PC in so many different ways that employing several layers of anti-malware protection is the only way to keep your PC malware-free when it’s online.
Here are seven steps to protect your computer from Malware. Check out the video above to find out more.

Tip 1: Install, update and use anti-virus software

Installing antivirus software may sound like an obvious first step to protect against malware, but not everyone bothers to do it. With so many options now available, though, there really is no excuse. Microsoft offers its own free download in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows Vista and 7, while Windows 8/8.1 has Microsoft Defender built in.
Once installed, it’s vital to regularly update your anti-malware software’s database and run system scans at least once a month.

Tip 2: Keep Windows up to date

Hackers often discover new ways to bypass Windows’ built-in security features, which is why Microsoft issues small operating system updates every Tuesday and larger ‘service pack’ updates once or twice a year. These will be downloaded and installed automatically by Windows update, but only if this feature is properly configured.
To check that it’s working normally, type Windows Update in the Start menu search box in Windows Vista/7, or at the Start screen in Windows 8/8.1. Look on the left of the Windows Update window and click Change settings and use the drop-down list to check that Install updates automatically is selected - anything other than this risks a crucial update being missed.

Tip 3: Turn on the Windows firewall

Windows has a built-in ‘firewall’ that protects your PC from unwanted attention via the internet. This software firewall is enabled by default and works alongside any hardware firewall that’s built into your home broadband router. Check its settings by typing “check firewall” in the Start menu search box or on the Windows 8 Start screen and choosing Check firewall status from the results.
Two green tick marks mean the firewall is working normally, else you’ll need to select Turn Windows Firewall on or off on the left of the window and enable one or both options that appear.

Tip 4: Use the latest version of your web browser

Web browsers are vital applications, but just like other software, they can contain bugs. Hackers are quick to capitalise on these and create bogus (or infect genuine) web sites with data designed to exploit them. Once a web browser has been compromised in this way, a hacker can monitor everything you type, including passwords to credit card numbers. That’s why it’s vital to use the latest version of your web browser - anything other than this may be a security risk.
Microsoft includes updates for Internet Explorer. Search for Windows Update and check its optional updates section to ensure you’re also using the latest version of the application - which is Internet Explorer 11, if you’re using Windows Vista, 7 or 8/8.1.

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will also update themselves automatically, but don’t ignore their requests to restart the browser when such an update has been downloaded and is ready to be installed.
Emails that appear to be from a recognisable online service asking you to log into a site to confirm some personal details are always fake. These emails are usually caught by your email application’s spam filter, but if one does slip through and you click its link, your web browser should detect and block the site it takes you to. This does depend on your web browser being aware of the fraudulent site, though, which is another good reason to always use the most recent version.

Tip 6: Use the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

If you suspect your PC has succumbed to malware and your anti-malware software doesn’t detect it, there are two steps to take.
The first is to download and run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the Windows Download Centre. This will detect and remove specific types of malware and is very simple to use, although it isn’t a replacement for a full anti-malware application.

Tip 7: Still infected? Use a boot CD.

Some malware can hide within Windows and make itself difficult to detect and remove. If your own anti-malware software and the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool fail to shift it, you’ll need to download and burn a free anti-malware boot CD – refer to your computer’s manuals for instructions on how to boot from a CD as the process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

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About ASPHostPortal.com

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Success for us is something that is continually experienced, not something that is reached. For us it is all about the experience – more than the journey. Life is a continual experience. We see the Internet as being an incredible amplifier to the experience of life for all of us. It can help humanity come together to explode in knowledge exploration and discussion. It is continual enlightenment of new ideas, experiences, and passions


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