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Tue, Jul 20, 2010 10:10 pm

Installing a New SMF Theme

For Simple Machines Forum (SMF) 1.1.11, if you have downloaded the Zip file for the theme to your PC, you can take the following steps to place the theme on the server where your forum resides:
  1. Log into the forum as the administrator for the forum.
  2. Click on Admin.
  3. Click on Themes and Layout under Configuration.
  4. Under Install a New Theme, click on the Browse button beneath the "From a file" option and browse to the location of the .zip theme file you downloaded and select it.
  5. Click on the Install button.
  6. Another small window will open where you will see "Install a new theme?" Click on the OK button. You should then see a page stating "Installed Successfully". If you click on the Themes and Settings tab, you should see the new theme listed.

If you ever want to delete the theme, take the following steps:

  1. Log into the forum as the administrator for the forum.
  2. Click on Admin.
  3. Click on Themes and Layout under Configuration.
  4. Click on the Themes and Settings tab.
  5. Find the theme you want to delete. At the right-side of the entry for that theme, you should see an icon that looks like a piece of paper with a red "x" over it. Click on that icon to delete the theme.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Fri, Jul 16, 2010 3:37 pm

Hpbpro.exe and Hpboid.exe Processes Slowing System

A user reported that her system had been running abysmally slow for quite awhile. I scanned the system for malware, but found none. Instead, I found the problem to be a multitude of hpboid.exe and hpbpro.exe processes running on the system. I've seen this problem before and many others have experienced the same problem. The processes are associated with an HP printer - this user shares an HP printer, which is connected by USB to her system, with others on her Local Area Network (LAN). It appears that they are created when someone sends output to the printer associated with the processes.

Below shows the number I found once when I checked to see how many of each of these processes was running. I've seen even more instances of the processes running at other times. They consume memory and, when a significant number of them accumulate, they can slow a system significantly.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBOID.EXE                  4044 Console                 0        532 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3152 Console                 0        572 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3748 Console                 0        580 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1340 Console                 0        560 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3712 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1984 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                   760 Console                 0        780 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3412 Console                 0        772 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3772 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  2756 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1372 Console                 0        740 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5636 Console                 0        796 K
HPBOID.EXE                  4200 Console                 0      2,308 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5472 Console                 0      2,324 K
HPBOID.EXE                   960 Console                 0      2,316 K
HPBOID.EXE                   836 Console                 0      2,312 K

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBPRO.EXE                  2460 Console                 0        552 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  1476 Console                 0        568 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  4028 Console                 0        584 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  2708 Console                 0        776 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  5056 Console                 0      2,384 K

I created a batch file, kill_hp_processes.bat to deal with the problem.


@echo off

REM Name: kill_hp_processes.bat

REM Created by: Jim Cameron
REM Created on: July 9, 2010
REM Last updated: July 16, 2010
REM Version: 1.2

REM Description:
REM Check for errant HP processes: hpboid and hpbpro.exe.
REM These processes can start and never end until the system
REM is rebooted. When they accumulate they can consume 
REM significant amounts of memory and potentially CPU cycles
REM reaching the point where the system's performance is
REM considerably degraded.

REM Specify log file
set log="c:\kill_hp_processes.log"

REM Put the date and time in the log file
echo %date% %time% >> %log%

REM List the hpboid.exe processes running.
tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" >> %log%
REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a 
echo.
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses%  >> %log%
if %numprocesses$ NEQ 0 taskkill /f /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe"


REM List the hpbpro.exe processes running.
tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe" >> %log%
REM Count the number of hpbpro.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpbpro.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo. 
echo Number of hpbpro.exe processes running: %numprocesses%  >> %log%
if %numprocesses$ NEQ 0 taskkill /f /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe"

REM put a blank line in the file to separate the entries added at this time
REM from those that will be added at a later time.
echo.

I log the killing of the errant HP processes to see how many are killed every time the batch job runs. Log file entries for a particular instance of the batch file running are shown below:

Fri 07/16/2010 15:00:00.71

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBOID.EXE                  4044 Console                 0        532 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3152 Console                 0        572 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3748 Console                 0        580 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1340 Console                 0        560 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3712 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1984 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                   760 Console                 0        780 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3412 Console                 0        772 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3772 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  2756 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1372 Console                 0        740 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5636 Console                 0        796 K
HPBOID.EXE                  4200 Console                 0      2,308 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5472 Console                 0      2,324 K
HPBOID.EXE                   960 Console                 0      2,316 K
HPBOID.EXE                   836 Console                 0      2,312 K
Number of hpboid.exe processes running: 16

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBPRO.EXE                  2460 Console                 0        552 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  1476 Console                 0        568 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  4028 Console                 0        584 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  2708 Console                 0        776 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  5056 Console                 0      2,384 K
Number of hpbpro.exe processes running: 5

I used the Windows at command to schedule the process to run at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM on weekdays to kill any instances of the two processes. I used the at command twice since when I first had it running only at 3:00 PM, too many of the processes were accumulating during the day before the batch job ran. I use progra~1 for the "program files" directory, when submitting the batch job to run with the at command, because that is a "shorthand" version that Windows understands for that directory, which allows me not to worry about spaces in the directory name.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>at 11:00 /every:M,T,W,Th,F 
c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat
Added a new job with job ID = 5

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>at
Status ID   Day                     Time          Command Line
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        4   Each M T W Th F         3:00 PM       c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat
        5   Each M T W Th F         11:00 AM      c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat

References:

  1. Multiple Hbpoid.exe and Hpbpro.exe Processes Running
    Date: October 23, 2008
    MoonPoint Support
  2. HPBPRO.EXE & HPBOID.EXE
    Date: February 12, 2007
    Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

[/os/windows/printers] permanent link

Mon, Jul 12, 2010 11:33 am

Setting a Variable to be the Output of a Command

In a Windows batch file, I needed to set a variable to be the output of a command. You can use the for command for that purpose as shown below. In the example below, I wanted to count the number of hpboid.exe processes running on a system.

REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses% >> %log%

The tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" command uses the tasklist command with the /fi option to filter the output of running processes to just those named hpboid.exe. I then want to "pipe" the output to the find command. I use the /i option to have find ignore the case of the letters in hpboid.exe, i.e., I want to count a process whether it is named hpboid.exe or HPBOID.exe, etc. I use the /c option to tell find to display only the count of lines containing the string hpboid.exe.

For Windows, and I presume DOS as well, you need to put a caret, i.e., a ^ in front of the pipe character, | character to "escape" how it would otherwise be interpreted.

The variable numprocesses is set to be the count of the hpboid.exe processes running, which I then send to a log file, i.e., %log%, which is a variable that was set earlier in the batch file.

References:

  1. Escaping a Character in a Windows Batch File
    Date: July 12, 2010
    MoonPoint Support
  2. Escape Characters
    Date: January 17, 2008
    Batcheero
  3. Escape character
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[/os/windows/commands/batch] permanent link

Mon, Jul 12, 2010 11:16 am

Escaping a Character in a Windows Batch File

I had the following in a Microsoft Windows batch file:

REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" | find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses% >> %log%

When I ran the batch file, I would see | was unexpected at this time.. I then realized I needed to "escape" the meaning of the | at that point in the code. For Windows, and I presume DOS as well, you can put a caret, i.e., a ^, in front of a character to "escape" how it would otherwise be interpreted. So the following worked, instead:

for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a

If you are using a variable, e.g. %myvariable% in a for loop in a batch file, you need to use another percent sign, i.e., a % before each of the % characters used for the variable name. I.e., you need to use %%myvariable%%. You can think of the additional % "escaping" the meaning of the other one.

References:

  1. Escape Characters
    Date: January 17, 2008
    Batcheero
  2. Escape character
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[/os/windows/commands/batch] permanent link

Sat, Jul 10, 2010 10:10 pm

Creating a Shortcut When Installing With WPKG

When installing software with WPKG, you can create a shortcut under Start/All Programs that will allow a user to start the program by using the %WPKG_ROOT%\tools\CreateShortCut.js script.

For instance on a particular Windows 7 system, there is an Audio & Video item within All Programs. I want to add a shortcut for the GSpot Codec Information Appliance, which has an executable program named gspot.exe, which I am installing in C:\Program Files\Audio and Video\GSpot. To add the shortcut when I install the program, I can put the following in the gspot.xml package file I use for its installation. The value for name is the name I want to use for the menu item. The target value is the location where the executable file, in this case, gspot.exe, is located.

<!-- Create the shortcut pointing to gspot.exe. By default, this will get created in %PUBLIC%\Desktop, which is usually C:\Users\Public\Desktop, so it will need to be moved under the start menu. -->
<install cmd='cmd /c %WPKG_ROOT%\tools\CreateShortcut.js /target:"%ProgramFiles%\Audio and Video\GSpot\gspot.exe" /name:"GSpot"' />
<install cmd='cmd /c move "%Public%\Desktop\GSpot.lnk" "%PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Audio &amp; Video\."' />

Note: I have to use &amp; in place of the & in "Audio & Video", because otherwise WPKG will complain about white space not being allowed whenever I try to install the package, since the ampersand has a special meaning in HTML/XML code.

I also have to use the move command to move the shortcut to the appropriate location for a Start Menu item, since it will be placed at %PUBLIC%\Desktop by default. You can determine the value of %PUBLIC% on a particular system by getting a command prompt and issuing the command echo %PUBLIC%. It usually equates to C:\Users\Public.

The complete gspot.xml file.

References:

  1. Create Desktop Icon
    WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution
  2. Using GSpot to Identify Missing Codecs
    Date: August 23, 2008
    MoonPoint Support

[/os/windows/software/wpkg] permanent link

Sat, Jul 10, 2010 12:20 pm

Disabling Guest Logins

To disable guest logins on a Simple Machines Forum 1.1.11 forum, take the following steps:
  1. Log into the forum under an administrator account.
  2. Click on the ADMIN tab.
  3. Under Configuration, select Features and Options.
  4. Uncheck "Allow guests to browse the forum".
  5. Click on the Save button.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Sun, Jul 04, 2010 4:56 pm

Windows NT 5.2

If you run the winver command on a system and see the operating system listed as Windows NT 5.2, there are actually several versions of Windows as well as ReactOS that identify themselves as Windows NT 5.2
  1. Windows Server 2003
  2. Windows Small Business Server 2003
  3. Windows XP 64-bit Edition
  4. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  5. Windows Home Server
  6. ReactOS

References:

  1. Windows NT 5.2
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

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