Internet Explorer “RT” changes its policy towards Flash content tomorrow…

Starting with tomorrow’s Patch Tuesday updates, Internet Explorer in Windows 8 `metro’ version and Windows RT will now allow all sites to play Adobe Flash content, except for a new “Blacklist”. This is a complete reversal from the original whitelist approach that was in effect until tomorrow’s updates. What this means is that now most sites will be able to play Flash content, unless the site is Blacklisted and placed in the new updated Compatibility view list. What this update will do is actually enable Windows RT and Surface users to be able to access many sites that they have not been able to access in the past (without hacking the Compatibility List). Most likely, the reason for this change is that Microsoft has received many complaints from developers who may have been negatively affected by the Whitelist, and have been complaining to Microsoft that the old method was perhaps confusing to users, or just took too much effort to get Microsoft to whitelist their sites in order to allow tablet users to access Flash content on their devices.

This will mostly leave only Apple’s Ipad and Iphone users in the remaining frustrated users who cannot access the still largely popular Flash content enabled sites. Android users are able to get Flash content on their devices if they are technically adept and have found ways to install Adobe Flash on their Android devices. (Android discontinued Flash player many months ago, but there are still old downloads available of the now defunct Flash player for Android.

Windows Shortcut Run Commands Reference

Windows Run Commands – If you need to quickly access one of these Windows services or programs, you can try to just type the following in the Run box, or search for it and then double click it to run.

Program – Run Command
Accessibility Controls – access.cpl
Accessibility Wizard – accwiz
Add Hardware Wizard – hdwwiz.cpl
Add/Remove Programs – appwiz.cpl
Check Windows Updates – wuaucpl.cpl
Calculator – calc
Certificate Manager – certmgr.msc
Character Map – charmap
Check Disk Utility – chkdsk
Command Prompt – cmd
Component Services – dcomcnfg
Computer Management – compmgmt.msc
Create a shared folder Wizard – shrpubw
Date and Time Properties – timedate.cpl
Device Manager – devmgmt.msc

Direct X Troubleshooter – dxdiag
Disk Cleanup Utility – cleanmgr
Disk Defragment – dfrg.msc
Disk Partition Manager – diskmgmt.msc
Driver Verifier Utility – verifier
Event Viewer – eventvwr.msc
Files and Settings Transfer Tool (Migration Wizard) – migwiz
File Signature Verification Tool – sigverif
Group Policy Management Console – GPMC
Local Group Policy Editor – gpedit.msc
Internet Properties
IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration)
ipconfig /all
IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents)
ipconfig /displaydns
IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents)
ipconfig /flushdns
IP Configuration (Release All Connections)
ipconfig /release
IP Configuration (Renew All Connections)
ipconfig /renew
IP Configuration (Refreshes DHCP & Re-Registers DNS)
ipconfig /registerdns
IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID)
ipconfig /showclassid
IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID)
ipconfig /setclassid

Local Security Settings
Local Users and Groups
Malicious Software Removal Tool – mrt

Microsoft Diskpart – diskpart
Microsoft Management Console – mmc
Microsoft Paint – mspaint
Microsoft Syncronization Tool – mobsync
Mouse Properties – main.cpl
ODBC Data Source Administrator – odbccp32.cpl
On Screen Keyboard – osk
Performance Monitor – perfmon.msc
Power Configuration – powercfg.cpl
Regional Settings – intl.cpl
Registry Editor – regedit
Remote Desktop – mstsc
Resultant Set of Policy – rsop.msc
Security Center – wscui.cpl
Services – services.msc
Shared Folders – fsmgmt.msc
Sounds and Audio – mmsys.cpl
Legacy System Configuration Utility – msconfig
System File Checker Utility ( Scan Immediately ) – sfc /scannow
System File Checker Utility ( Scan Once At Next Boot ) – sfc /scanonce
System File Checker Utility ( Scan On Every Boot ) – sfc /scanboot
System File Checker Utility ( Return to Default Settings) – sfc /revert
System File Checker Utility ( Purge File Cache ) – sfc /purgecache
System File Checker Utility ( Set Cache Size to Size x ) sfc /cachesize=x
System Information – msinfo32
System Properties – sysdm.cpl
Task Manager – taskmgr.exe
Volume Control – sndvol
Windows Firewall – WF.msc
Windows Magnifier – magnify.exe
Windows Management Infrastructure – wmimgmt.msc
Windows Picture Import Wizard (Need camera connected) – wiaacmgr
Windows System Security Tool – syskey
Windows Script host settings – wscript
Windows Version ( shows your windows version ) winver

New Services in Windows 8 and Server 2012

Here is a list of new services in Windows 8 and Server 2012 that were not present in Windows 7 or Server 2008. I tried searching for this information online and could not find a dedicated list anywhere of just new services, so I figured I would post one in case someone else was curious.

1. Background Tasks Infrastructure Service – Coordinates execution of background work for WinRT (Metro) applications.
2. Claims to Windows Token Service – Service to convert claims based identities to windows identities. (Not installed by Default)
3. Device Association Service – Enables pairing between the system and wired or wireless devices.
4. Device Install Service – Enables a computer to recognize and adapt to hardware changes with little or no user input. Stopping or disabling this service will result in system instability. (This seems like it is the same as the old Plug N Play service.)
5. Device Setup Manager – Enables the detection, download and installation of device-related software. If this service is disabled, devices may be configured with outdated software, and may not work correctly. (Device Driver Automatic Update)
6. DS Role Server -This service hosts the DS Role Server. (This service is used by Domain Controllers in place of DC Promo.)
7. Hyper-V Data Exchange Service. Provides a mechanism to exchange data between the virtual machine and the operating system running on the physical computer.
8. Hyper-V Guest Shutdown Service – Provides a mechanism to shut down the operating system of this virtual machine from the management interfaces on the physical computer.
9. Hyper-V Heartbeat Service – Monitors the state of virtual machines by reporting a heartbeat at regular intervals. This service helps you identify running virtual machines that have stopped responding.
10. Hyper-V Remote Desktop Virtualization Service – Provides a platform for communication between the virtual machine and the operating system running on the physical computer.
11. Hyper-V Time Synchronization Service – Synchronizes the system time of this virtual machine with the system time of the physical computer.
12. Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Requestor – Coordinates the communications that are required to use Volume Shadow Copy Service to back up applications and data on this virtual machine from the operating system on the physical computer.
13. Local Session Manager – Core Windows Service that manages local user sessions. Stopping or disabling this service will result in system instability.
14. Microsoft Account Sign-In Assistant – Enables user sign-in through Microsoft account identity services. If this service is stopped, users will not be able to logon to the computer with their Microsoft account.
15. Network Connected Devices Auto-Setup – Network Connected Devices Auto-Setup service monitors and installs qualified devices that connect to a qualified network. Stopping or disabling this service will prevent Windows from discovering and installing qualified network connected devices automatically. Users can still manually add network connected devices to a PC through the user interface. (sounds like more UPNP Crap)
16. Network Connectivity Assistant – Provides DirectAccess status notification for UI components.
17. Optimize Drives – This service is new for Windows 8 and it is a renamed version of the Disk Defragmenter Service.
18. Printer Extensions and Notifications – This service opens custom printer dialog boxes and handles notifications from a remote print server or a printer. If you turn off this service, you won’t be able to see printer extensions or notifications.
19. Sensor Monitoring Service – Monitors various sensors in order to expose data and adapt to system and user state. If this service is stopped or disabled, the display brightness will not adapt to lighting conditions. Stopping this service may affect other system functionality and features as well.
20. Spot Verifier – Provides Disk Corruption Spot Verification Capabilities.
21. Still Image Acquisition Events – Launches applications associated with still image acquisition events.
22. System Events Broker – Coordinates execution of background work for WinRT application. If this service is stopped or disabled, then background work might not be triggered. (Most likely Live Tiles use this service to update.
23. Time Broker – Coordinates execution of background work for WinRT application. If this service is stopped or disabled, then background work might not be triggered. (Also for Live Tiles and Updating Modern Apps.)
24. Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service – Enables Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel pen and ink functionality. (similar to the old Tablet PC Input Service.)
25. All User Install Agent – Install AppX Packages for all authorized users.
26. Windows Connection Manager – Makes automatic connect/disconnect decisions based on the network connectivity options currently available to the PC and enables management of network connectivity based on Group Policy settings.
27. Windows Store Service – Provides infrastructure support for Windows Store.This service is started on demand and if disabled applications bought using Windows Store will not behave correctly.

Thats 27 more services that Windows added for Windows 8.

Block Ask toolbar (apnstub.exe) from phoning home, in case it ever gets on your system.

I have a rule hard-coded into my firewall (on my windows 7 machines) from a few years ago when something I installed alerted Eset Smart Security and the HIPS (Host intrusion prevention service) notified me that apnstub was trying to access the internet, well I immediately blocked access and added a rule to my ESET firewall, BLOCK APNSTUB.EXE from accessing anything. When I heard about all this noise that Ed Bott was making about Java installing the ask toolbar quietly and it waiting 10 minutes to install on your system, it reminded me of this rule that I added years ago, which would help me if I ever sloppily allowed ask toolbar back on my system. Now of course, the best way to protect yourself against this annoying spyware being installed on your system is to slowly go through any application installer, being sure to uncheck any default options that will sneakily install malware such as the ask toolbar on your system. However, there is also software that does not ask you to uncheck anything and may just sneak some crapware right in there.
Be sure to always deny apnstub.exe from ever accessing anything. Deny apntoolbar.exe also, this is not new news and has been available on the internet for years, as the ask toolbar has been included in Avira and many other free programs in the past. The problem with this is that someone who only has the windows firewall installed, will never know that the ask toolbar was trying to phone home, and may not know that the software was installed. This is why I recommend third-party firewalls to anyone who is security conscious, and on my windows 8 machine I am trying out a program called windows firewall control, however I am not receiving any notifications as of yet when a program tries to access the internet, I suspect this has something to do with Windows 8 and a change to the operating system that seems to prevent any program from displaying desktop notifications. I am not sure about this yet, but it seems that Windows Firewall control does not work well with Windows 8 yet, and I am currently looking for an alternative third-party firewall that works well with Windows 8.

Upgrading from Windows 8 (basic) to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99

First of all, I want to say that many people think that HP sucks and I agree that there are many things wrong with how HP packages its computers (Bloatware), but I have an 3-year-old HP G62-435DX and it is still running like new almost 3 years after purchasing it. So, when I saw that HP had a 2.4ghz Intel-I7-3630 quad-core processor inside the new Envy dv6 for less than $1000 with 8gb of RAM, with Dr.Dre’s Beats Audio speakers built-in, I thought about it for a bit and bought it. For the price I was looking to spend it was really only Toshiba, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo with what I needed, and I wanted an I7 processor. That narrowed it down to HP, Toshiba and Acer and HP gave me the most features for the price, plus I know that HPs are easily upgradeable, the Lenovos I looked it had an 8gb Max RAM. So far, I am very happy I went with the HP, as it is a beautiful black machine, with the only problems so far coming from Windows 8 bugs that refuse to install programs when I repeatedly click on the installer files.

Also, Norton Internet Security came with the computer and the Windows Security Center seems to have a real problem identifying that Norton is running. I solved this problem rather quickly by reregistering the WMIUTIL.dll, but that’s not something an ordinary computer user would know how to do. Here’s a link to an article on The Windows Club that explains how to troubleshoot and fix this annoying Anti-Virus missing Notification… After a few more days I noticed that with Norton Internet Security installed I would choose to restart the computer and it would try to restart it just could not. I would see a blue screen that says Windows is Restarting and have a bunch of circles going around in a small circle, but it would never make it past that point. I did some research and discovered that many people had this same problem, and they all had Norton installed as well. So I uninstalled Norton Internet Security and was now able to shut down and restart without the same problem so far.

However, I have been noticing some other problems with Windows 8. Normally when you have problems with files on a hardrive and the hard drive starts clicking and acting strange, you would never blame it on the operating system, however the drive that I plugged into this new laptop was only 2 months old and had never been used much. When I did use it worked fine with Windows 7. I know it might be a long shot but I have a feeling that just hooking this 750gb more than halfway filled hard drive up to Windows 8 machine and then saving my backups on it may have created a problem. Checkdisk will not work on it and I am currently putting it to the spinrite test to see what is going on with this drive. I know that drives can just go at any time but I have never had one of mine act up in only 2 months. Anyway I was backing up an image to it after saving a bunch of new files from my WIndows 8 install (in preparation for the Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro), and it started clicking and macrium reflect just hung and then erred out after about 15 minutes. I tried Windows Backup Create a System Image and that looked like it was working, until the progress bar got half way done and finally it stuck (For An Hour). Then Finally a message popped up that said I/O failure, The disk is not connected or something to that effect. Well I tried to run chkdsk on it, since it was still connected and the blue light was lit on the drive. No dice, Windows cannot access this media. Several errors that I have never seen before started popping up, so I first tried to eject the drive, but Hardware Remove wizard says The Drive is still in use, so I reboot the computer and blam Black Screen. Good thing this happened now because i was just about to install my windows 8 Pro Upgrade right over the top and I would have lost some of my backup maybe.

Well I wrote this article because I was searching online for anybody who had any experience with upgrading a new Windows 8 computer to Windows 8 Pro with the $39.99 upgrade deal. Microsoft said themselves that you can install it on another computer, so i am about to do it, and The product key worked. I had the ISO burned onto a DVD in the dvd drive and I right clicked on it to try to see the contents of the drive, and it just started spinning and started up. I should have turned off the Autorun, but I notice that Microsoft turned it bACK on for CDs and DVDs in Windows 8, (or it was never turned off), either way, I prefer to choose what to do when a dvd is inserted in the drive and I like to explore the contents first.

So the point of this story was just to say that you can install the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade over your new Windows 8 Basic edition, However they will only give you the option to save your personal files only, No applications will remain installed, which is a real pain in the ass since I just spent 2 days activating all my software and reinstalling my essential tools. I never thought upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro would only have the same functionality as Upgrading from XP to Windows 8, so I am backing up everything, making images, and then i will not be going for a clean install because of HP’s drivers and whatever shims they had to put in here to run this operating system on this hardware, I just don’t want to have to go through this again, and my OS is only 1 week old so why should I have to do a clean install again, Good luck guys, get the upgrade before it’s over on the 31st, if you need the extended features of the Pro edition (which I definitely need to join my domain, Mount VHDs, use Bitlocker, etc.

Shopping for Best Laptop (for under $800) with QuadCore i7 for the new year.

Heres some deals that I am looking at. My goal is to buy the best laptop for under $800 since I can now get one with a i7-quad core processor and I like to upgrade them myself, there’s no reason to pay over $1,000 for a laptop anymore, unless you want a Mac and I prefer Microsoft to Mac so here are the best deals I am finding so far on Amazon…

HP Envy dv6-7247cl 15.6″Laptop, Intel® CoreTM i7-3630QM, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Beats Audio, Windows 8
HP Envy dv6-7247cl 15.6″Laptop, Intel® CoreTM i7-3630QM, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Beats Audio, Windows 8

Toshiba Satellite S855-S5379 15.6-Inch Laptop (Ice Blue Brushed Aluminum)
Toshiba Satellite S855-S5379 15.6-Inch Laptop (Ice Blue Brushed Aluminum)

HP Envy dv6 Laptop(Latest Model), Intel 3rd generation Core i7-3630QM 2.4Ghz, 8GB RAM, 750GB HD, 15.6″ 1366×768, Beats Audio, Windows 8
HP Envy dv6 Laptop(Latest Model), Intel 3rd generation Core i7-3630QM 2.4Ghz, 8GB RAM, 750GB HD, 15.6″ 1366×768, Beats Audio, Windows 8

Toshiba 15.6″ Laptop with Intel® CoreTM i7-3630QM Processor, 6GB memory, 640GB Hard Drive, Windows 8 – Mercury Silver
Toshiba 15.6″ Laptop with Intel® CoreTM i7-3630QM Processor, 6GB memory, 640GB Hard Drive, Windows 8 – Mercury Silver

Acer Aspire V3-571-9890 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)
Acer Aspire V3-571-9890 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)

Dell Inspiron i15R-2369sLV 15-Inch Laptop
Dell Inspiron i15R-2369sLV 15-Inch Laptop

And then we have this Lenovo Edge E430 3254ALU i7-3720QM 2.60-3.60GHz 8GB 500GB 7200rpm DVD-RW 14″ LED which is right now being sold for $814 by third-party dealer.

Mark Russonovich demonstration of Stuxnet, Flame, & more.

In between troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 SysVol Replication errors this week, I remember wanting to mention Mark Russonovich’s videos on Technet from when he demonstrated Stuxnet and Flame in Virtual Machines last year. I think I forgot to post the link so here it is, it was pretty entertaining. You can watch the video from June 11,2012 at TechEd here:

I solved a pretty annoying problem today when I finally found the solution to my SYSVOL replication error on a 2008 Server Domain Controller that was being improperly labeled with a \?C:WindowsSysVolSysvolDomainname.
The solution was simple but took me awhile to find it. All you have to do is go into ADSIEdit on the 2008 Domain Controller and maneuver to the msDFSR root path then edit the path that has the question mark and delete the first three characters. For the exact steps just check out the link at the end… Here is one of the technet articles that helped me get to the bottom of this.

Here is a link to the workaround which enables you to remove the bloody questionmark that was causing me grief.

Anderson Cooper Near Miss in Gaza

Bomb explodes near Anderson Cooper during live broadcast from Gaza (via Raw Story )

Covering the Israeli Palestinian conflict from the Gaza Strip, Anderson Cooper had a frightening moment when a bomb exploded in his vicinity during a live report. Cooper was giving an update on the shelling that has rocked Gaza for the past several days when an orange flash flared up on screen behind…

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