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Sat, May 25, 2024 10:05 pm

Using MakeMKV for ripping DVDs and for other A/V tasks

If you wish to "rip" a DVD, i.e., create a video file on a disk drive from the DVD, one free program you can use on Microsoft Windows systems or Mac OS X systems is MakeMKV. The software can also be used to extract a video file from an ISO image of a DVD.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/audio-video] permanent link

Fri, May 17, 2024 3:10 pm

View RDP Firewall Rule using PowerShell

If a Microsoft Windows system is running the Microsoft Defender Firewall, firewall software that comes with Microsoft Windows systems, you can check on whether connectivity is allowed on a particular network port from a command-line interface (CLI) using PowerShell. You can determine whether the Windows Firewall is active on a system from a command prompt using the command netsh advfirewall show currentprofile. If the value of "State" is "ON", then the Windows Firewall is active on the system.

C:\>netsh advfirewall show currentprofile

Domain Profile Settings:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
State                                 ON
Firewall Policy                       BlockInbound,AllowOutbound
LocalFirewallRules                    N/A (GPO-store only)
LocalConSecRules                      N/A (GPO-store only)
InboundUserNotification               Enable
RemoteManagement                      Disable
UnicastResponseToMulticast            Enable

Logging:
LogAllowedConnections                 Disable
LogDroppedConnections                 Disable
FileName                              %systemroot%\system32\LogFiles\Firewall\pfirewall.log
MaxFileSize                           4096

Ok.


C:\>

You can check on whether the firewall is permitting connectivity on a particular network port, e.g., TCP port 3389 for the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), from a PowerShell prompt, which you can obtain by typing powershell in the Windows "Search" field at the bottom of the screen and then clicking on Windows PowerShell when you see it returned by the search function. At the PowerShell prompt, you can issue the command Get-NetFirewallPortFilter | Where-Object { $_.LocalPort -eq 3389 } | Get-NetFirewallRule. If you wished to check on whether firewall connectivity is permitted for some other protocol, substitute the port used by that protocol, e.g., port 22 for Secure Shell (SSH) connections.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/security/firewall] permanent link

Mon, May 06, 2024 10:31 pm

Stopping automatic updates to Microsoft Paint and other Microsoft Store apps

When I sat down at a system running the Microsoft Windows 11 operating system on Saturday, I saw a message stating that Microsoft Paint had updated itself automatically. I had at least a dozen Paint windows open where I had posted screenshots over the past week for things I wanted to check later. I had not saved those Paint windows; I had anticipated going through them on Saturday, extracting information I wanted to keep from some images and then closing the windows and saving others. But I found the update had just closed them all without any prompt asking whether I wanted to save them and without saving the images. So I lost all the information from them irretrievably. Certainly, I should have saved the images in those Paint windows or used some other graphics application that automatically saves the contents of windows for that application or at least won't automatically update itself without saving any unsaved work, but I'm still irritated at the mindset of Microsoft developers regarding not caring about the impact to users if users have unsaved content in Microsoft applications, in addition to being irked with myself for not saving the information. I do use Paint a lot for simple graphics tasks, such as cropping and resizing screenshots, and I don't want it updating itself without warning when that may lead to a loss of information I haven't yet saved. You can determine when a Microsoft Store app was last updated and turn off automatic updates for apps obtained from the Microsoft Store, though you have to turn off the auto update feature for all apps, since there is not a way to do it only for a particular app, such as Paint.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/graphics/mspaint] permanent link

Mon, Apr 15, 2024 9:01 pm

Calculating a hash value for a file with Get-FileHash

The PowerShell cmdlet Get-FileHash provides a cryptographic hash function that will allow you to determine a hash value of a file on a Microsoft Windows system. By default, the cmdlet uses the SHA-256 hash function, but you can specify other functions, such as MD5, using the -Algorithm parameter. You can change the output to a list format by piping the output of the cmdlet to Format-List.

PS C:\users\public\downloads> Get-FileHash ".\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe"

Algorithm       Hash                                                                   Path
---------       ----                                                                   ----
SHA256          B7B4C0A191E315686A2481DCC8BBB27D6D7A156FBF689768E48CF08207B86560       C:\users\public\downloads\rel...


PS C:\users\public\downloads> Get-FileHash ".\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe" | Format-List


Algorithm : SHA256
Hash      : B7B4C0A191E315686A2481DCC8BBB27D6D7A156FBF689768E48CF08207B86560
Path      : C:\users\public\downloads\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe



PS C:\users\public\downloads> Get-FileHash -Algorithm MD5 ".\rel_x64_Xming-7-7-1-1-setup.exe"

Algorithm       Hash                                                                   Path
---------       ----                                                                   ----
MD5             BA200636A596A84E0877901CE89D1C2E                                       C:\users\public\downloads\rel...


PS C:\users\public\downloads>

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Mon, Apr 01, 2024 10:10 pm

Determining the default gateway and subnet mask from a Windows command prompt

From a command prompt on a Microsoft Windows system, you can obtain details on the network configuration by issuing the command ipconfig or ipconfig /all, if you wish to see more details. If you are only interested in a specific value or values, though, you can pipe the output of the command to the findstr command. If you wish to see multiple values, e.g., the subnet mask and the default gateway address, you can put text associated with both values, separated by a space, within double quotes. Findstr will treat the space between strings as instructing it to perform a logical OR operation, i.e., it will find any lines that contain either of the strings. Findstr uses a case sensitive search, so you need to either match the case of the text or use the /i option with findstr, which instructs it to ignore the case of text and perform a case insensitive search.

C:\>ipconfig | findstr "Mask Gateway"
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.224
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

C:\>ipconfig | findstr "mask gateway"

C:\>ipconfig /all | findstr /i "mask gateway"
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.224
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

C:\>

You can also use a Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) command to obtain the same information.

C:\>wmic nicconfig get defaultIPGateway, IPSubnet
DefaultIPGateway  IPSubnet

{"192.168.1.1"}   {"255.255.255.224", "64"}












C:\>

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sun, Mar 31, 2024 8:11 pm

Configuring PuTTY for X forwarding

The X Window System, aka X11 or simply X, provides a mechanism that allows you to have the graphical user interface (GUI) for an application running on a remote system to be displayed on the system on which you are running X server software. For systems running a Microsoft Windows operating system, you can use the free PuTTY program to establish a Secure Shell (SSH) connection to an SSH server and configure PuTTY to allow X forwarding so that you can run programs on the SSH server, but have their GUI displayed on the Microsoft Windows system on which you are running PuTTY.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/network/ssh/putty] permanent link

Fri, Mar 22, 2024 9:44 pm

PowerShell Get-Content equivalents to Linux head and tail commands

The Windows PowerShell Get-Content cmdlet can provide the equivalent to the Unix/Linux head and tail commands. E.g., suppose a file named somefile.txt contains the following ten lines:
line 1
line 2
line 3
line 4
line 5
line 6
line 7
line 8
line 9
line 10

The following Get-Content commands could be used to obtain the first 5 and the last 5 lines in the file.

PS C:\Users\Arnold\Documents> Get-Content somefile.txt -Head 5
line 1
line 2
line 3
line 4
line 5
PS C:\Users\Arnold\Documents> Get-Content somefile.txt -Tail 5
line 6
line 7
line 8
line 9
line 10
PS C:\Users\Arnold\Documents> Get-Content somefile.txt -TotalCount 5
line 1
line 2
line 3
line 4
line 5
C:\Users\Arnold\Documents>

The TotalCount parameter can function like the Head parameter and will return the first x number of lines specified with x being 5 in the example above. You can also use it to obtain a specific line, though. E.g., if you wished to see the 7th line in the file, you could use the command below.

PS C:\Users\Arnold\Documents> (Get-Content Somefile.txt -TotalCount 7)[-1]
line 7
PS C:\Users\Arnold\Documents>

By default the delimiter for lines is the newline, aka end-of-line character, \n, but you can change that with the -Delimiter parameter.

References:

  1. Get-Content
    Microsoft Learn

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Thu, Mar 21, 2024 9:06 pm

Determining Excel's autosave value from the Windows registry

Microsoft Excel provides an autorecover feature that allows you to recover updates to spreadsheets or other files that were open in Excel even if changes were made since the last time the file was saved. Excel will automatically save files at a specified time interval so that if Excel crashes or the system crashes or loses power, you can recover the latest version of the file, or at least the file as it was the last time Excel automatically saved it. For the Office 365 version of Excel, you can find the autosave interval by clicking on File in Excel then selecting More, then Options, and then Save. The default value is 10 minutes but you can have Excel save more or less frequently.

Excel Save Options

You can also find the value by checking the Windows Registry, which you can view or edit by using the Registry Editor program that comes with Microsoft Windows. You can find the value by navigating to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\Options and checking the value for AutoRecoverTime.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/registry] permanent link

Tue, Mar 19, 2024 9:38 pm

Obtaining information on a CD/DVD drive with WMIC

If you want to determine the model number of an optical drive, such as a CD or DVD drive, in a system running a Microsoft Windows operating system from a command-line interface (CLI), you can open a command prompt window and issue a Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) command: wmic cdrom get name (the value for caption may return the same information). E.g.:

C:\>wmic cdrom get name
Name
HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM DU90N


C:\>wmic cdrom get caption
Caption
HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM DU90N


C:\>

If you wish to determine whether media, such as a CD or DVD, is in the drive, you can use the command wmic cdrom get medialoaded. If there is no disc in the drive, the value for MediaLoaded will be FALSE. If there is a disc in the drive, the value will be true as in the example below where there is a CD in the drive.

C:\>wmic cdrom get medialoaded
MediaLoaded
TRUE


C:\>

[ More Info ]

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

Mon, Mar 18, 2024 8:47 pm

Removing admin rights from programs running in a Sandboxie sandbox

Sandboxie is a free and open-source program that runs on systems using the Microsoft Windows operating system that allows you to run other programs in a secure sandbox. If you wish to run programs in Sandboxie without the programs having administrative rights, even if you are running Sandboxie from an account that is in the system's administrator group, you can do so by editing the Sandboxie configuration file, Sandboxie.ini. The file will usually be in the C:\Windows folder on most systems running a Microsoft Windows operating system. Sandboxie will first look for its configuration file in C:\Windows, but if it doesn't find the file there, it will then look in the Sandboxie installation folder, which will usually be C:\Program Files\Sandboxie or C:\Program Files\Sandboxie-Plus. When it finds an instance of the file, it will not check other locations. There is a DropAdminRights setting that can be used in the file. If you set the value to y for a sandbox, then any programs running in the sandbox will have administrative rights stripped from them, i.e,. the security credentials used to start the sandbox won't include membership in the Administrators and Power Users groups. If you are running Sandboxie from an account that is not an administrator account, then the setting won't have any effect.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/security/sandboxie] permanent link

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