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Sun, Aug 20, 2017 10:05 pm

Remotely Restarting Windows Services or Systems

After a power outage, I found I was unable to connect to a Microsoft Windows 10 system from a Windows Server 2012 system on the local area network (LAN) using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). When I tried to connect, I saw the message "Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons..."

Remote Desktop Connection - can't connect

I knew the system had rebooted after the power outage, because I could ping it and see its shared folders using the command net view systemName where systemName is the system's name.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows] permanent link

Thu, Aug 17, 2017 11:09 pm

Obtaining information on a system's motherboard with PowerShell

You can obtain information on the motherboard in a computer running Microsoft Windows using PowerShell by means of the Get-Ciminstance cmdlet with the command Get-Ciminstance Win32_Baseboard. E.g., the following example is from a Microsoft Windows 10 system.

PS C:\> get-ciminstance win32_baseboard


Manufacturer : Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
Model        :
Name         : Base Board
SerialNumber :
SKU          :
Product      : GA-78LMT-S2P



PS C:\>

The manufacturer, model number, serial number, SKU, and product number will be displayed if that information can be queried from the motherboard. Note: not all parameters will be available for every motherboard as shown above. For another system, the serial number is available.

PS C:\> get-ciminstance win32_baseboard


Manufacturer : Dell Inc.
Model        :
Name         : Base Board
SerialNumber : .7XCTZ12.CN7016346F0331.
SKU          :
Product      : 088DT1



PS C:\>

You can restrict the displayed information to particular parameters by piping the output to select-object. E.g.:

PS C:\> get-ciminstance win32_baseboard | select-object manufacturer

manufacturer
------------
Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.


PS C:\> get-ciminstance win32_baseboard | select-ojbect manufacturer, product

manufacturer                  product
------------                  -------
Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. GA-78LMT-S2P


PS C:\>

Another command line alternative to using PowerShell is to use WMIC to determine motherboard information.

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Sat, Aug 12, 2017 11:03 pm

Using SFC to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista

The System File Checker (SFC) tool (sfc.exe) will check the operating system for missing or corrupted files. To use the tool on a Windows Vista system, take the following steps:
  1. Obtain a command prompt by clicking on the Windows logo button normally at the lower left-hand corner of the screen, then select Programs, Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator". When prompted for permission to continue, click on the Continue button.
  2. At the command prompt, type the command sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

At the conclusion of the scanning process, you will be informed whether any problems were detected.

C:\Windows\system32>sfc/scannow

Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

C:\Windows\system32>

If there were problems that could not be repaired, you can find information on them by checking the log file produced by the System File Checker tool. The log file is %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. On most systems, %windir% will be C:\Windows. Typing echo %windir% at a command prompt will show you the directory for the variable. You can open the file in Notepad by typing the command notepad %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log at the command prompt you got by following the steps above.

Or you can use the following steps To determine which files could not be repaired by the System File Checker tool:

  1. Obtain a command prompt with administrator privileges as above by right-clicking on Command Prompt, which is found under Programs then Accessories, and choosing "Run as administrator."
  2. Then type the command findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >%userprofile%\Desktop\sfcdetails.txt and hit Enter. That will extract relevant entries from the CBS.log file and place them in the file sfcdetails.txt on the Desktop of the user account you are using when you run the command.

    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6002]
    Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    
    C:\Windows\system32>
    
    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6002]
    Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    
    C:\Windows\system32>findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >%userprofile%\D
    esktop\sfcdetails.txt

Note The Sfcdetails.txt file contains details from every time that the System File Checker tool has been run on the computer. The file includes information about files that were not repaired by the System File Checker tool. Verify the date and time entries to determine the problem files that were found the last time that you ran the System File Checker tool. You can find the file on the Windows desktop or click on the Windows Start button, select Search, then For Files or Folders, then type sfcdetails.txt in the search field to search for the file.

References:

  1. How to use the System File Checker tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7
    Microsoft Support

[/os/windows/vista] permanent link

Thu, Aug 10, 2017 9:26 pm

Using PowerShell to obtain process information

You can use the Get-CimInstance cmdlet at a PowerShell prompt to obtain information on processes running on a Microsoft Windows system. E.g., to see a list of all the processes currently running on a system, the command gcim win32_process can be used; gcim is an alias for Get-CimInstance, so you can use the shorter alias or Get-CimInstance. The name of the process, its process identifier (PID), handle count, working set size, and virtual memory size are displayed.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Tue, Aug 08, 2017 8:39 pm

Windows 10 stuck on scanning and repairing drive

To check on a potential file system corruption issue on a Microsoft Windows 10 system, I opened a command prompt window with administrator privileges and used the chkdsk command to check and repair the file system on drive C with chkdsk /r c:. The chkdsk operation got to "Scanning and repairing drive (C:): 10% complete", but then stayed there for hours. I finally powered the system off and on again which prompted it to restart the drive scan again. It quickly got to the 10% point again and then, again, stayed there, so I powered the system off and on again. When I powered the system off and on again, I saw "Preparing automatic repair" and then "Diagnosing your PC." I then saw the following:

Automatic Repair

Your PC did not start correctly

Press "Restart" to restart your PC, which can sometimes fix the problem. You can also press "Advanced options" to try other options to repair your PC.

 

I clicked on Advanced options which led to a "Choose an option" display where I could choose from the following options:

Choose an option

I clicked on Continue. I then saw a message advising I could skip the disk check by pressing the space key within a number of seconds that counted downwards; I hit the space bar before it got to zero and the system rebooted normally.

[/os/windows/win10] permanent link

Sat, Aug 05, 2017 10:47 pm

List Installed Security Patches with PowerShell

If you want to know which security patches were installed on a Microsoft Windows system within a specific time period, e.g., the last month or the last 3 months, you can use a Get-CimInstance command in a PowerShell window. E.g.:

PS C:\Users\Lila> Get-CimInstance -Class win32_quickfixengineering | Where-Object { $_.InstalledOn -gt (Get-Date).AddMonths(-1) }

Source        Description      HotFixID      InstalledBy          InstalledOn
------        -----------      --------      -----------          -----------
              Security Update  KB4025376     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  7/12/2017 12:00:00 AM
              Security Update  KB4025342     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  7/12/2017 12:00:00 AM


PS C:\Users\Lila> Get-CimInstance -Class win32_quickfixengineering | Where-Object { $_.InstalledOn -gt (Get-Date).AddMonths(-3) }

Source        Description      HotFixID      InstalledBy          InstalledOn
------        -----------      --------      -----------          -----------
              Security Update  KB4020821     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  6/17/2017 12:00:00 AM
              Update           KB4021572     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  6/17/2017 12:00:00 AM
              Update           KB4022405     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  6/17/2017 12:00:00 AM
              Security Update  KB4025376     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  7/12/2017 12:00:00 AM
              Security Update  KB4025342     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  7/12/2017 12:00:00 AM


PS C:\Users\Lila>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Sun, Jul 30, 2017 10:48 pm

Determining Motherboard Manufacturer and Model on a Windows System

I wanted to determine the manufacturer and model number of a motherboard in a Windows server at a remote location. I didn't want to drive a half hour there, open up the system's case to make that determination, and drive a half hour back home. Since I have Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) access to the system, I connected by RDP and ran the WMIC command wmic baseboard get product,manufacturer,model,serialnumber,version from a command prompt. I saw the following output:

C:\>wmic baseboard get product,manufacturer,model,serialnumber,version
Manufacturer                      Model  Product     SerialNumber   Version

00000000000000000000000000000000         S03 Server  QCHCNB3440135  Revision A



C:\>

Since the manufacturer was listed as a string of all zeros, I decided to install the free Speccy program from Piriform. When I installed and ran the software, it also showed all zeros for the manufacturer.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows] permanent link

Thu, Jul 27, 2017 10:33 pm

Viewing monitor information on a Windows system with DumpEDID

If you want information, e.g., the manufacturer, model, serial number, maximum resolution, display modes, etc. on a monitor connected to a Microsoft Windows system, you can use the free DumpEDID utility created by Nir Sofer of NirSoft. It's a command-line interface (CLI) utility, so you will need to run it from a command prompt. There's no installation process needed; you can extract the program from the downloaded zip file and then run it. Below is output from the program showing information for an HP S2031 monitor (the manufacturer and model number apear in the Monitor Name line) attached to a system running Windows 10.

C:\Program Files\NirSoft\dumpedid>dumpEDID
DumpEDID v1.06
Copyright (c) 2006 - 2017 Nir Sofer
Web site: http://www.nirsoft.net

*****************************************************************
Active                   : No
Registry Key             : DISPLAY\HWP2904\1&8713bca&0&UID0
Monitor Name             : HP S2031
Serial Number            : 3CQ0311PV2
Manufacture Week         : 31 / 2010
ManufacturerID           : 61474 (0xF022)
ProductID                : 10500 (0x2904)
Serial Number (Numeric)  : 16843009 (0x01010101)
EDID Version             : 1.3
Display Gamma            : 2.20
Vertical Frequency       : 50 - 76 Hz
Horizontal Frequency     : 24 - 83 KHz
Maximum Image Size       : 44 X 25 cm (19.9 Inch)
Maximum Resolution       : 1600 X 900
Support Standby Mode     : No
Support Suspend Mode     : No
Support Low-Power Mode   : Yes
Support Default GTF      : No
Digital                  : No

Supported Display Modes  :
     720 X  400  70 Hz
     640 X  480  60 Hz
     800 X  600  60 Hz
    1024 X  768  60 Hz
    1280 X  720  60 Hz
    1440 X  900  60 Hz
    1280 X 1024  60 Hz
    1600 X  900  60 Hz

*****************************************************************

*****************************************************************
Active                   : No
Registry Key             : DISPLAY\HWP2904\4&2199b20&0&UID16843008
Monitor Name             : HP S2031
Serial Number            : 3CQ0311PV2
Manufacture Week         : 31 / 2010
ManufacturerID           : 61474 (0xF022)
ProductID                : 10500 (0x2904)
Serial Number (Numeric)  : 16843009 (0x01010101)
EDID Version             : 1.3
Display Gamma            : 2.20
Vertical Frequency       : 50 - 76 Hz
Horizontal Frequency     : 24 - 83 KHz
Maximum Image Size       : 44 X 25 cm (19.9 Inch)
Maximum Resolution       : 1600 X 900
Support Standby Mode     : No
Support Suspend Mode     : No
Support Low-Power Mode   : Yes
Support Default GTF      : No
Digital                  : No

Supported Display Modes  :
     720 X  400  70 Hz
     640 X  480  60 Hz
     800 X  600  60 Hz
    1024 X  768  60 Hz
    1280 X  720  60 Hz
    1440 X  900  60 Hz
    1280 X 1024  60 Hz
    1600 X  900  60 Hz

*****************************************************************

C:\Program Files\NirSoft\dumpedid>

[/os/windows/software/utilities/nirsoft] permanent link

Sun, Jul 23, 2017 4:43 pm

Setting the default application for a file extension in Windows 10

When you click on a file in Microsoft Windows, the operating system opens the file with whatever application, if any, that has been set as the default application to open files with the filename extension on the file. The file extension is a dot at the end of the file name followed by a sequence of other characters, often 3 characters, e.g. for myfile.doc, the extension is .doc. If some program has changed the default setting on a file type so that it now opens files with the relevant extension, but you want to revert to the application that previously opened those types of files, you can do so on a Microsoft Windows 10 system by taking the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button, usually in the lower, left-h and corner of the screen, then click on Settings.
  2. From the Settings window, click on Apps.
  3. Click on Default apps.
  4. In the Default apps window, scroll down until you see Choose default apps by file type and click on that text.
  5. Scroll down the list of file types until you see the one for which you wish to change the default application, e.g., .doc.
  6. Click on the the icon for the current default application shown to the right of the file type. You will then be able to choose another application to become the default application for opening files of that type, e.g., Microsoft Word for .doc files.
  7. You can then close the Settings window by clicking on the "X" at the upper, right-hand corner of the window.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/win10] permanent link

Mon, Jul 10, 2017 10:47 pm

Viewing Partition Information on a Windows System

One way to see how disks are partitioned on a Microsoft Windws system is to view the information using Disk Management. You can start the utility from a command prompt with administrator privileges by typing diskmgmt.msc. That will provide a graphical display of the partitions on the drives in the system and externally attached to the system.

Another method is to use the diskpart command, which can be run from a command prompt - obtain a command prompt with administrator privileges. You can obtain help on using the utility by typing help at the DISKPART prompt.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

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