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Sat, Nov 11, 2017 10:31 pm

Configuring a VPN connection on Windows 7

To set up a Windows 7 system to use Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) for establishing a virtual private network (VPN) connection, take the following steps:
  1. Click on the Windows Start button at the lower, left-hand corner of the screen, or tap the Windows key on the keyboard and select Control Panel.
  2. From the Control Panel, click on Network and Internet
  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click on Set up a new connection or network.
  5. Click on Connect to a workplace at the "Choose a connection option" window.
  6. At the Connect to a Workplace window, click on Use my Internet connection (VPN).
  7. At the next window you will see "Type the Internet address to connect to". Type the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or IP address for the VPN provider, e.g.,, in the Internet address field. The default destination name is "VPN Connection," but you can change it if you wish to reflect the particular VPN provider, e.g., "Ajax VPN Connection". Check the check box next to "Don't connect now; just set it up so I can connect later" and then click on the Next button. Note: if you don't have a VPN service already, offers a free VPN service you can use for testing, though it has more limited features and geographical locations than the paid service. 1x1 px
  8. At the next window, you can provide the user name and password for the VPN account. If you don't want to have to provide those each time you establish the VPN connection, check the check box next to "Remember this password" then click on Create.
  9. When you see "The connection is ready to use," click on the Close button rather than Connect now.
  10. Then back at the Network and Sharing Center window, you can click on Connect to a Network and select the VPN connection. Or you can click on Change adapter settings which will show you the available network connections. You will need to be already connected to the Internet via a wired or wireless connection to establish a connection to the VPN. You can then double-click on the VPN connection entry in the list. You should see "WAN Miniport (IKEv2)" on that entry. If you need to make any changes to the settings, you can right-click on the relevant VPN connection and choose Properties.
  11. A window will open with fields for the user name and password for the domain. If you chose to save those values previously, you can simply click on Connect at this point to establish the VPN connection.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/win7] permanent link

Sat, Oct 28, 2017 10:45 pm

Checking operating system information with WMIC

You can use wmic os get commands on a Microsoft Windows system to view information related to the operating system via a command-line interface (CLI). E.g., to determine the version of the operating system you can issue the command Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) command wmic os get version.

C:\Users\Public>wmic os get version


Or if you know the system is running a particular version of the Windows operating system, e.g., Windows 10, but want to see just the build number for that version of Windows, you could issue the command wmic os get BuildNumber.

C:\Users\Public>wmic os get BuildNumber


[ More Info ]

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

Sun, Oct 22, 2017 11:09 pm

Text not printing, PowerShell cmdlets not working, etc.

A user reported that when she printed Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or QuickBooks invoices, no text would appear on the printouts. She had reported the same problem about a month ago. When I rebooted the system then, the problem went away, but this time rebooting didn't help. After I requested that she reboot the system, I was told the problem remained, so when I was able to get to the system to troubleshoot, I first checked to make sure the system had been rebooted rather than QuickBooks simply being restarted. It was then that I noticed a lot of other functionality was no longer available. E.g., when I tried to use the systeminfo command to find the last reboot time, I saw an error message instead of the time the system was last rebooted.

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.15063]
(c) 2017 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Pam>systeminfo | find /i "Boot"
Loading Operating System Information ...ERROR: Invalid class

Loading Operating System Information ...ERROR: Invalid class

C:\Users\Pam>wmic os get lastbootuptime
os - Alias not found.


[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/win10] permanent link

Sat, Oct 21, 2017 10:13 pm

Using PowerShell to determine the installed version of Windows

You can determine the version of Microsoft Windows installed on a system from a PowerShell prompt using [System.Environment]::OSVersion.Version or (Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem).Caption.

PS C:\Users\Public> [System.Environment]::OSVersion.Version

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
10     0      15063  0

PS C:\Users\Public> (Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem).Caption
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
PS C:\Users\Public> (Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem)

SystemDirectory : C:\WINDOWS\system32
Organization    : Microsoft
BuildNumber     : 15063
RegisteredUser  : Jeanne
SerialNumber    : 00330-80000-00000-AA775
Version         : 10.0.15063

PS C:\Users\Public>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Fri, Oct 20, 2017 10:57 pm

Querying disks with the PowerShell Get-Disk cmdlet

You can use the PowerShell Get-Disk cmdlet to query disk drives within or attached to a PC running the Microsoft Windows operating system. E.g.:

PS C:\Users\Public> Get-Disk

Number Friendly Name Serial Number                    HealthStatus         OperationalStatus      Total Size Partition
------ ------------- -------------                    ------------         -----------------      ---------- ----------
0      ST3320418AS               9VMNNJDN             Healthy              Online                  298.09 GB MBR
4      Generic- C... 058F63626421                     Healthy              No Media                      0 B RAW
6      Generic- M... 058F63626423                     Healthy              No Media                      0 B RAW
3      Generic- S... 058F63626420                     Healthy              No Media                      0 B RAW
5      Generic- S... 058F63626422                     Healthy              No Media                      0 B RAW
1      Lexar USB ... AA58ZF9FJCCALAOA                 Healthy              Online                   14.92 GB MBR
2      WD My Pass... WXP1A27034VH                     Healthy              Online                  931.48 GB GPT

PS C:\Users\Public>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 10:59 pm

Checking the uptime for a Windows system using PowerShell

If you want to determine how long a Microsoft system has been running since it was last rebooted from a command-line interface (CLI), you can do so using PowerShell. You can do so by subtracting the last boot time from the current date and time. The Get-Date cmdlet shows the current date and time and (Get-CimInstance Win32_OperatingSystem).LastBootUpTime shows the last time the system was booted.

PS C:\Users\public\documents> (Get-CimInstance Win32_OperatingSystem).LastBootUpTime

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:12:14 PM

PS C:\Users\public\documents> (Get-Date) - (Get-CimInstance Win32_OperatingSystem).LastBootUpTime

Days              : 3
Hours             : 1
Minutes           : 29
Seconds           : 26
Milliseconds      : 717
Ticks             : 2645667172021
TotalDays         : 3.06211478243171
TotalHours        : 73.4907547783611
TotalMinutes      : 4409.44528670167
TotalSeconds      : 264566.7172021
TotalMilliseconds : 264566717.2021

PS C:\Users\public\documents>

You can use the alias GCIM for Get-CimInstance to save some typing, if you wish.

PS C:\Users\public\documents> (GCIM Win32_OperatingSystem).LastBootUpTime

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:12:14 PM

PS C:\Users\public\documents>

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Tue, Oct 10, 2017 11:31 pm

Wget and curl functionality via PowerShell on a Windows system

If you are accustomed to using the wget or cURL utilities on Linux or Mac OS X to download webpages from a command-line interface (CLI), there is a Gnu utility, Wget for Windows , that you can download and use on systems running Microsoft Windows. Alternatively, you can use the Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet from a PowerShell prompt, if you have version 3.0 or greater of PowerShell on the system. You can determine the version of PowerShell on a system by opening a PowerShell window and typing $psversiontable. E.g., in the example below from a Windows 10 system, the version of PowerShell is 5.1.15063.674.

PS C:\Users\public\documents> $psversiontable

Name                           Value
----                           -----
PSVersion                      5.1.15063.674
PSEdition                      Desktop
PSCompatibleVersions           {1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0...}
BuildVersion                   10.0.15063.674
CLRVersion                     4.0.30319.42000
WSManStackVersion              3.0
PSRemotingProtocolVersion      2.3

PS C:\Users\public\documents>

If you have version 3.0 or later, you can use wget or curl as an alias for the Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet, at least up through version 5.x. E.g., if I want to download the home page for the website to a file named index.html, I could use the command wget -OutFile index.html at a PowerShell prompt. Or I could use either of the following commands, instead:

curl -OutFile index.html
Invoke-WebRequest -OutFile index.html

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Mon, Oct 09, 2017 11:13 pm

Checking the version of a Dynamic Link Library (DLL) file

You can check version information for a Dynamic-link Library (DLL) file, i.e., a file with a .dll filename extension, or a executable file, i.e., a .exe file, from a command-line interface (CLI) on a Microsoft Windows system by using the Get-Item cmdlet. E.g.:

PS C:\> (Get-Item C:\Windows\explorer.exe).VersionInfo

ProductVersion   FileVersion      FileName
--------------   -----------      --------
10.0.15063.0     10.0.15063.0 ... C:\Windows\explorer.exe

PS C:\>

If you can't see all of the information, i.e., if you see three dots indicating that not all of the information is displayed, you can append | format-list to the command to have the output displayed in list format.

PS C:\> (Get-Item C:\Windows\explorer.exe).VersionInfo | format-list

OriginalFilename  : EXPLORER.EXE.MUI
FileDescription   : Windows Explorer
ProductName       : Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
Comments          :
CompanyName       : Microsoft Corporation
FileName          : C:\Windows\explorer.exe
FileVersion       : 10.0.15063.0 (WinBuild.160101.0800)
ProductVersion    : 10.0.15063.0
IsDebug           : False
IsPatched         : False
IsPreRelease      : False
IsPrivateBuild    : False
IsSpecialBuild    : False
Language          : English (United States)
LegalCopyright    : © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
LegalTrademarks   :
PrivateBuild      :
SpecialBuild      :
FileVersionRaw    : 10.0.15063.608
ProductVersionRaw : 10.0.15063.608

PS C:\>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Sat, Sep 16, 2017 11:05 pm

Determining the antivirus software on a Windows system from the command line

You can determine the antivirus software present on a system, if the antivirus software is registered with the Windows Security Center, using Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC). E.g., for a Windows 10 system using Microsoft Windows Defender:

C:\>WMIC /Node:localhost /Namespace:\\root\SecurityCenter2 Path AntiVirusProduct Get displayName
Windows Defender


[ More Info ]

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

Tue, Sep 05, 2017 10:55 pm

Using the PowerShell Get-WmiObject cmdlet to get BIOS information

You can get BIOS information on a system running the Microsoft Windows operating system using the PowerShell cmdlet Get-WmiObject cmdlet. E.g.

PS C:\> Get-WmiObject win32_bios

Manufacturer      : Award Software International, Inc.
Name              : Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
SerialNumber      :
Version           : GBT    - 42302e31

PS C:\>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

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