Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Setting up Terminal Server and installing applications for TS Users

Hi everyone, I would like to share my knowledge on how to install Terminal Server role and install applications for Terminal Server users. To explain the whole process in better way, I fragmented it in to three different stages.

  1. Installing Terminal Server Role on existing server
  2. Configuring Remote connection settings for users
  3. Installing Applications on Terminal Server (TS)

Installing Terminal Server Role on existing server

Let’s start the process. First of all, we have to install Terminal Server Role on a server. Please follow these steps to install Terminal Server role:
  • Log in to server where terminal server role will be installed
  • Go to Server Manager
  • Run Add Role Wizard by clicking on Add Roles
  • Select Terminal Services role, click next twice.
  • Select below Role services to install and click Next
    • Terminal Server
  • On Uninstall and Reinstall Applications for Compatibility option, click Next.
  • On Specify Authentication Method for Terminal Server page, Select Do not require network Level Authentication. Click Next
  • On Specify Licencing Mode, select Configure later and click Next
  • On Select User Groups Allowed Access to This Terminal Sever, add Domain users and click Next
  • Click on Install
  • It will take some time to install Terminal Services. Once it is installed, click on Close and restart the server
  • Once server is restarted, installation will resume.  Click on Close once it’s finished
  • Go to Sever Manager, Click on Terminal Services. Under System services, verify that Terminal services are Running. Also, under Role Services, make sure that Terminal Server has a status of Installed


Configuring Remote connection settings for users

Once the Terminal Server role is installed on a given server, next step in the process is to configure remote connection settings for users so that they can log in to server through Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) tool. Follow these steps on your Terminal Server.
  • Go to Start -> Control Panel -> System.
  • Under Task, Click on remote Settings
  • Select Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop.
  • Click on Select Users. Confirm that Domain_Name\Domain Users is already added there. Click on OK twice.


Installing Applications on Terminal Server (TS)

At this stage, you’ve successfully installed Terminal server role and configured your server so that other users can log in to server via Remote Desktop Connection tool. Next step in the process is to install an application program for users. Here are the guidelines to install an application on Terminal Server:

  • Log in to TS using your admin account.
  • Click Start, click Run, type Cmd, and then click OK.
  • At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER: Change user /install
  • Run the automated installation exactly as you would do on a client computer.
  • When the automated installation is complete, configure the Remote Desktop Services-enabled computer for execute mode.
  • To enable computer for execute mode, At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER: Change user /execute


Congratulations!!! You’ve successfully setup a Terminal server and installed an application for domain users. Users can use either Server name or an IP address to connect to server using RDP tool.


If you find this article very informative, please leave comment in comment box. Keep visiting this blog, we regularly add more articles on IT support issues. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Windows Operating Systems life cycle

At regular interval, Microsoft stops providing support to their previous Operating System. I am wondering how many people know about it and do they really understand the effect of this on their PCs. Hence, I thought about writing this article.

Every Microsoft product has its lifecycle. It starts when it was launched and ends when it is no longer been supported. It is useful to know when your OS is no longer being supported so that you can take decision about upgrading OS and make necessary changes to your applications.

Microsoft announces End of Support date for their products that means from that particular date, Microsoft will no longer offer any fixes, updates or technical assistance of that product. As a user, you will have to make sure that you’ve installed latest update or service pack available for that program.

Here are some key dates from Microsoft:

Operating System
Latest update or Service pack
End of mainstream support
End of extended support
Windows XP
Service Pack 3
14/04/2009
08/04/2014
Windows Vista
Service Pack 2
10/04/2012
11/04/2014
Windows 7
Service Pack 1
13/01/2015
14/01/2020
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
09/01/2018
10/01/2023
Windows 10
N/A
13/10/2020
14/10/2025

Note: To continue receiving support for Windows 7, please make sure that you’ve installed Service Pack 1.

Windows Servers’ End of Life support dates are:

Operating System
End of mainstream support
End of extended support
Windows Server 2003
31/07/2010
14/07/2015
Windows Server 2008
06/05/2008
14/01/2020
Windows Server 2012
09/01/2018
10/01/2023
Windows Server 2012 R2
09/01/2018
10/01/2023


If you find this article very useful, please leave a comment in the comment box.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Unable to modify service status from Services.msc in Windows 7

Recently, I was doing a troubleshooting on one of the Windows 7 PCs and came across this situation. As a part of my troubleshooting steps, I had to check whether relevant service is running or not for that particular program. When I launched services.msc, I found that required services were not running.

I thought it’s very simple; I will double click on service to open its properties box. Within that properties box, I will change Startup Type to Automatic and run service by clicking on Start button. But it wasn’t that easy because options to Start and Startup type were disabled and I could not change them. (I ran Services.msc as an Administrator)

Now, I had to find a way to enable options in Services so that I can start it. To di this, I had to make changes to Registry key. I went through following steps to make necessary changes in Registry to allow me to make amendments in services’ properties box.
  • Open Registry as an Administrator (Start > type Regedit in the search box)
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\<Program name>
  • Right-click the registry key and choose Permissions.
  • Click Advanced, and then click Owner.
  • Choose Administrators and check the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects box.
  • Exit the permissions dialog and then open it again.
  • Click Advanced, then choose Administrators and click Edit…
  • Check Allow underneath Full Control, and then click OK.
  • Check Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object.  Click OK and confirm; exit.

Now, go back to Services.msc and open services’ properties box. You should be able to make changes.

If you find this article very useful, please leave a comment in comment box.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Having difficulty to redirect your blog to sub-domain URL?

Hi all, today I want to share my experience of setting up redirect my blogs to custom sub-domain URL. Well, you might think that’s very easy, search for help on website on which you have your blog and you will get your answer.

I partially agree with the above statement. Here is my story. I started to write blog on blogger.com and have http://arpitbhavsar.blogspot.com URL for my blogs. I also own www.TechieTalks.co.uk domain. I am also working on designing a website that helps IT support professionals all latest news and security updates for various platforms like Microsoft, VMWare, Linux, Apple, Android and third party applications.

After I logged in Blogger.com, I followed the below steps to setup redirect to my custom sub-domain URL.
  • I clicked on Basic option under Settings in left-side column.
  • In the Publishing section, I clicked on link to add custom domain.
  • An option appeared to write sub-domain like. Blog.aarsuh.co.uk. I clicked on Save button.
  • An error message (Error 12) prompted and two CNAME records were shown on the screen. I was advised to enter these CNAME records in to control panel in my Domain Registrar’s DNS settings. There was nice handy link to follow steps on how to add these CNAME records in to control panel of my domain’s DNS settings on domain registrar’s website.

I followed those steps, but my redirect wasn't working. After spending reasonable amount of time on Internet to find some help, I was going nowhere. Every page, I had seen, suggested to follow same steps. They were assumed that domain registrar and hosting provider is same. If this was the case, steps mentioned in help articles on Blogger.com would have worked. But in my case, domain registrar and hosting provider are different. I am sure there will be other people who would have been in same position as me.

So, my domain registrar has been updated with DNS server info provided by my Hosting provider. Hence, Anyone trying to resolve my domain name, the request has been forwarded to my hosting provider. Then, I decided to create the CNAME records (mentioned by blogger.com) in control panel of my hosting provider’s.

As soon as I have created required CNAME records in hosting provider’s control panel, Blogger.com was able to verify my sub-domain URL and redirected my request. Within few minutes, I was able to access my blogs from my customer domain i.e. http://blog.TechieTalks.co.uk.

If you find this information useful, please leave comment in the comment box.

How to recover lost local admin password on Windows Server 2008

Today, I received a query from one of the followers of my blogs about how to recover lost local admin password on Windows Standard 2008. From the given information, I understand that he had installed Windows Standard 2008 server on a PC and made it a domain controller. He used to log in to server locally by using Administrator account. Now, he can’t log in to PC, as he doesn’t remember the password. He asked me if I could suggest some solutions to overcome this situation and save his time to install Server again. In addition to that, he said that he doesn’t have server installation disk.

I thought, it’s very challenging, as he doesn’t want to reinstall server. So, my first reaction was, let me test this on virtual PC running on my Server. I installed Windows Server Standard 2008 and made it domain controller.

Now, I was ready to try different things to see if I can recover local admin password. So, I started to search on Internet. I found couple of ways to do it. First option is if user has official Windows Server 2008 DVD from Microsoft and second option is to use third party tool to recover password. I will go though both options one by one.

Using Official Windows Server 2008 DVD:
  1. Insert the disk into PC and boot PC from DVD
  2. Select “Repair your computer”
  3. Launch CMD (Command Prompt)
  4. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32
  5. Rename Utilman.exe file to Utilman.exe.bak
  6. Copy Cmd.exe to Utilman.exe
  7. Restart PC
  8. When login screen appears, press Windows key + “U” key together.
  9. Type following command in to Command prompts: net user administrator <newpassword>
  10. Restart server and boot it using DVD. Follow the above steps from1 to 4 and rename Utilman.exe.back to Utilman.exe



Note: I haven’t tried ISO image downloaded from Microsoft but it’s worth giving a try, if you don’t have official DVD.

Now, moving on to another stage where we don’t have official server disk. In this case, there are third party utilities available on Internet that we can try. I came across one of such utilities, called “Windows Password Rescuer Advanced”. It will not only recover lost local and domain password but also password for Active Directory Domain administrator. You can use this application to reset Windows Local administrator and user password from Windows Vista and above plus Windows server 2000 and above.

  • Download “Windows Password Rescuer Advanced” full version on other PC and install it.
  • Run the application to create Windows password recovery disk with disk or USB.
  • Insert Windows password recovery disk/USB to server and boot PC from it.
  • Application will start automatically and graphical interface appear.
  • Select the appropriate Windows Operating System from the list.
  • Click on Administrator account from users’ list.
  • Click on Reset Password option when a confirm message pops up, click Yes
  • Click on Restart button to reboot server. Eject your disk/USB to so that server boots in normal way.
  • At the logon screen, login as Administrator with new password.



You can find more information this utility by visiting this link: http://www.wimware.com/windows-password-recovery/



I hope you find this article information. If you like this article, please leave your comments in comment box.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Free alternative of Microsoft Office program

There is no doubt that Microsoft Office is most popular among home and business users to create, modify or edit documents, spread sheets and presentations. I was wondering that if there are any other similar products available which are free. Then I began my search and found some useful information which I thought to share with all.

  • Google Docs – Google Docs is been front runner of open office suite for various reason. The reason I like it most is it’s free and can be access virtually from anywhere. Google provides Word process, spread sheets, presentations tools other basic stiff via cloud-based Google drive. User will need a Google account to log in to Google Drive.
  • OpenOffice – OpenOffice is available free and suitable for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms. OpenOffice software package comes with tools for creating word documents, spread sheets, databases, presentations and a slew of other common file types.
  • FreeOffice – As the name suggest, FreeOffice is available free for Windows and Linux OS. To get a serial key from company, user will need to provide his/her email address only.
  • LibreOffice 4 – libreOffice 4 is compatible to run on Windows Mac OS X and Linux platforms and is available free.
  • WPS Office – WPS Office is available free and suitable to run on Windows, iOS and Android OS.



I suggest checking the features of each of the above in details and deciding which option suits your needs better. If you like this article, please feel free to leave your comments here or send your suggestions / feedback to us via Contact US link.

Monday, 17 August 2015

To download Microsoft Office 365 Home / Personal edition

One of my friends told me that he would like to download latest Microsoft office application suite and looking for some guidance on it. It was obvious that he wasn’t aware of Microsoft Office 365 application suite.

There are two editions for home use: Office365 Personal and Office 365 home. Both versions are free to try for a month. After trial period is over, users will have to pay subscription fees (can be paid monthly or yearly) User can cancel subscription at any time. There are other versions available for students and businesses.

Next question is, whether to buy Home edition or Personal edition? Well, Home edition will cover 5 PCs or Macs, 5 Tablets and 5 Phones, Online versions of office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPpoint and OneNote, 1 TB online storage each for up to 5 users, Skype – 60 Minutes/month for up to 5 users each and many more. In Personal edition, one gets same benefits as Home edition but it is limited for 1 user only. One should consider on how many PCs/Tablets/Phones they would like to install Office application and how many users will be using it?

To download new Office 365 Home or Personal edition, click on following link:


I am sure, I will be asked if there are any free alternatives to Microsoft Office application suite. I will answer that in my next blog. I hope you find this information very useful.

Friday, 14 August 2015

How to remove program name from Add/Remove Program list

My nephew and I were having a conversation about his current IT project. He asked me that he has removed an application using its uninstaller file from that application folder but it is still being listed in Add/Remove Program list. He wants to know how can he remove it from there also.

Most of the time, whenever we launch uninstaller of an application, it removes everything related to that program from a PC. In some cases, a program's registry key that is used to display program name is not removed correctly during uninstall process. To fix this, follow these steps:
  • Click on Start, type Regedit.exe and press Enter key. (Make sure you have taken backup of your registry before you move on to next step).
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
  • You will find several keys under Uninstall option. Each key represents a program which is been listed in Add/Remove program list.
  • To find out correct key of your program, click on each key. Information will be shown in right side box related to that key.
  • Check DisplayName - it shows the name of program that appears in Add/Remove program list
  • Find the appropriate key by matching your application name in DisplayName field.
  • Once you've identified the correct key that represents the program, you would like to remove from your Add/Remove program list, right click on key and select Delete.
  • Now, go to Start \ Control Panel \ Program and Features and confirm that program is not being listed there any more.
I can't stress more that you should backup your registry first before making any changes. I hope that you will find this article very useful.  Enjoy your rest of the day. :-)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

How to retrieve data from faulty Laptop/PC

One of my friends called me today and asked for an advice on how to retrieve data from his faulty laptop. Few months' back, his laptop had physical damage but it was running OK. As he just uses laptop to surf Internet, access his emails and watch videos, he never bothered to get his laptop repaired or checked at that time.

Now, his laptop doesn't boot up. He had saved his photos & videos of his holidays and some other personal data which he would like to have them back before he dispose it. 

I explained him that if his HDD is not failed, he will be able to retrieve his data. He will need a HDD docking station and another PC/Laptop (You can buy it either online or from nearest IT shop). I have advised him to follow these steps:

  • Remove HDD from his faulty laptop.
  • Connect the docking station into another laptop/PC.
  • Insert his Hard Drive in to HDD Docking station.
  • Switch on the Docking station.
  • His Hard Drive will be detected as external drive on running laptop/PC. You can access it in  Windows Explorer. 
  • From here, you can copy data to currently running PC or to another external HDD.
Thanks for taking time to read this article.I hope you find this useful.

Unable to add client PC (VM) to Domain controller (VM) running on Hyper-V host

I would like to share my knowledge I gained while troubleshooting IT related issues. Recently, I set up a Host server that runs Windows Server 2012 Standard R2. I made this server as my Hyper-V host. My plan was to add few VMs and setup my own small lab at home.
I added a VM on my host PC that runs Windows Server 2012 Standard R2. I made this VM as my domain controller (DC1.Contoso.com). I setup few users and group policies. Then I added another VM that runs Windows 10. I wanted to add this PC to domain so that I can test group policies and other stuff. But, while trying to add my client PC to domain, I received an error message.
Error message:
Note: This information is intended for a network administrator.  If you are not your network’s administrator, notify the administrator that you received this information, which has been recorded in the file C:\Windows\debug\dcdiag.txt. The following error occurred when DNS was queried for the service location (SRV) resource record used to locate an Active Directory Domain Controller for domain contoso.com:
The error was: “DNS name does not exist.”
(error code 0x0000232B RCODE_NAME_ERROR) The query was for the SRV record for _ldap._tcp.dc._msdcs.contoso.com Common causes of this error include the following: - The DNS SRV records required to locate a AD DC for the domain are not registered in DNS.
These records are registered with a DNS server automatically when a AD DC is added to a domain. They are updated by the AD DC at set intervals. This computer is configured to use DNS servers with the following IP addresses:
192.168.1.1
192.168.1.151
- One or more of the following zones do not include delegation to its child zone:
contoso
.com
. (the root zone)
For information about correcting this problem, click Help.
I was a bit surprised as I could ping all three PCs (host PC, DC1 and Win 10 PC) from each other and from a laptop. I could even RDP to all 3 PCs. I have rechecked all IP configurations on DC1 and Win 10 PC. I have assigned a static IP addresses to my PCs.
NameIP AddressSubnet MaskGateway
Hyper-V Host PC192.168.1.100255.255.255.0192.168.1.1
DC1.Contoso.com192.168.1.151255.255.255.0192.168.1.1
Win 10 PC192.168.1.201255.255.255.0192.168.1.1
 Router’s IP address: 192.168.1.1
To resolve this, I added manual DNS entries in my Win 10 PC. I assigned 192.168.1.151 and 192.168.1.1 as DNS servers in Win 10 PC. But I was not able to add client PC to domain. I had searched for the help on Internet but almost all the pages suggested, assigning correct IP address as my DNS server, which I had already done.
Hence I had to think something different to fix this issue. I decided to turn off IPv6 on my Win 10 Client PC's network adaptor (By default, this is enabled on all network adaptors). As soon as I had disabled IPv6, I was able to add Win 10 PC to my Domain controller.
Hope you find this article informative.

Uninstall option is missing in Add/Remove programs

Uninstall option is missing in Add/remove programs

Hi All,

Recently, I had to remove one of the applications from Windows 7 PC. I followed usual way by going to the Control Panel and launching Program and Features option to uninstall an application. When I selected the application remove, I found out that Uninstall button was missing. 

Then I thought I could remove it by going to Start \ All Programs \ <Application_Name> and click on Uninstall application option there. But Uninstall option was missing there also.

To rectify this, I had to tweak the registry. 

To launch Registry editor:

  • Click on Start
  • Type "Regedit" in Search  program and files box
  • Select "Regedit" in the box

Once the Registry editor is open, Navigate to 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

  • Search for an application you would like to remove. E.g. Google Chrome
  • Change the following values to '0': 
    • NoRepair 
    • NoRemove 
    • NoModify
You will now have the option to uninstall in add/remove programs. I hope you find this article useful. Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.