Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Windows Server tracks the sessions that have been authenticated into the system, those that have been timed out, those that have errored, kb sent/received, response time, errors, permission problems, password problems, files opened, print job spooling and buffers quickly and easily. Simply use the net command we’ve all been using for 20 years, followed by stats or statistics:

net statistics

When prompted choose server or workstation. In this case, we’ll use Server.

net statistics Server

Here’s the output from a new server:

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 11.21.50 PM

And if you’re trying to troubleshoot client/server communications, keep in mind that you can look at much of this on the workstation side as well, but from the client perspective:

net statistics Workstation

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 11.23.34 PM

December 16th, 2013

Posted In: Windows Server, Windows XP

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Seven Remix XP is a theme for Windows XP that will make it look eerily like Windows 7. So if you’re not yet ready to jump into running full on beta software but you want to get used to the look and feel of Windows 7 you can download Seven Remix XP at this site.

April 5th, 2009

Posted In: Windows XP

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Windows 3.x and earlier used what was known as an 8.3 naming scheme, meaning that files had eight places for a name, three for an extension and a dot in the middle.  Name decorating is programatically how Windows 3.x and DOS clients interact with files that have more than 8 characters followed by a dot and then three characters for a file extension.  Those of us who can remember doing mass migrations of data from Windows 3.x to Windows 9x and/or NT will remember well the naming changes that had to happen to maintain backwards compatibility during this trying time.  Especially if we had been using *nix boxen to store our shares. 

And you put SMB: in the title of this post, right Charles?  Well, Samba doesn’t use the term name decorating – instead they use name mangling, which is honestly a bit more accurate a representation.  Essentially, Samba presents file names to clients  and shortens, or mangles them to normalize the data for presentation (for example, using a dir command with a network volume as your working directory.  For example, you have mapped H to a Samba box using the net use command.  You have a document called H:Document.doc: you cd to the h: drive and you see H:DOCUME~1.doc.  Samba uses name mangling for backwards compatibility and provided you don’t have any Windows for Workgroups clients or previous then you should be able to disable it.  However, if you don’t want to disable it due to some random problems you might be having, then you could do some troubleshooting and experiment with the other options provided in relation to name mangling. 

For starters, ‘mangle case’ is a per share setting, which allows mangling but only in mixed case environments (although in modern computing aren’t most environments mixed case…).  You could also increase the number of names allowed to keep on a local mangling stack.  Basically, this stack simply counts up in the event of files that have names too long for the local operating system to handle yet also have the same first six characters in the name.  Because everyone assumed this would happen rarely and because it can slow down processes this item is set to 50 by default but can be updated in your [Global] section using ‘mangling stack’.  It’s also sometimes helpful crossing platforms to look at what happens with the mangling character itself, the ~.  You can swap this out with something different, like ! or maybe for us Mac users something a bit more *nix friendly like an _.  Either way, you aren’t stuck with a ~.  Finally, if you’re really froggy you can create what is known as a mangling map using oddly enough the ‘mangling map’ per-share setting in Samba.  

Name mangling isn’t just an issue you see with samba.  You can physically take a drive and move it and see issues that way.  I’ve also seen them in other systems, such as Netatalk, but not for some time…

February 23rd, 2009

Posted In: Mac OS X, Unix, Windows XP

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Microsoft is getting more and more picky about that product key and the Genuine Advantage program.  So if you’re finding that the warnings and annoy-ware are getting to be too much to handle then reset it.  To do so, first edit the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrent VersionWPAEventsODBETimer registry key to be some number or letter.  This will overwrite your existing product key and allow you to enter a new one.  Next, click on Start and then Run and enter the following command (assuming Windows is installed in the c:Windows directory):

C:Windowssystem32oobemsoobe /a

This will bring up the Activate Windows wizard.  Here, select to update using a telephone service representative.  Here, select a location and type in your new Windows product key.  Then click Next and restart.  When Windows comes back up if the product key is taken then you will be looking at the Registration wizard.  Complete and you’re done.  Much easier than reinstalling Windows XP.

October 21st, 2008

Posted In: Windows XP

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Windows XP is a 7 year old operating system.  Microsoft ads on TV tell us that we should move to Vista.  They put a deadline in place.  According to Devil Mountain Software and a few others, more than one third of Windows systems are still being downgraded to XP though.  What more can Microsoft do?  Well, the deadline of January 31st to stop allowing OEM manufacturers to sell XP has been extended.  You will now be able to purchase Vista and then have a downgrade option through to July of 2009, at which point XP will be well over 8 years old.  Pundits say Vista sales are up, but really it makes you wonder how much of that is actually software being immediately downgraded back to XP.  Is it possible that Vista is the worse disappointment in Microsoft’s storied history?  Will corporations ever truly trust Vista?

October 19th, 2008

Posted In: Windows XP

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When using Mac OS X Server as a PDC you may find that you need to tell a Windows system to cache login (aka logon) information for longer than the Windows system allows by default. In an Active Directory environment it is fairly straight forward to deploy this type of setting through a GPO; however, the policy settings for an NT4 style PDC environment (aka – via SMB) won’t necessarily allow you to perform this task. To do so you might need to fire up the registry (or script an event in the login script to do so) and edit the following key with a Value (in terms of login attempts) between 1 and 50:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrent VersionWinlogon
ValueName: CachedLogonsCount
Data Type: REG_SZ
Values: 0 - 50

September 12th, 2008

Posted In: Mac OS X Server, Windows XP

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Some New Features:

Faster: Especially with scripts

Web Slices: Alerts you when changes occur to sites

Improved Search Box: There are now images in your Search Box and it Auto-Fills

Accelerators: Similar to Data Detectors for OS X folks

Tabbed Grouping: Group your tabs

Compatibility View: Downgrade to 7 for certain sites

Address Bar: Auto-fills based on History, RSS Feeds and Favorites

inPrivate Browsing: Activities, History and Cookies are not used when enabled

Reopen to last session: Similar to the same feature in Firefox

Suggested Sites: Search for sites similar to those in your browsing history

Overall I found IE 8 to be, well, not much like a Beta.  I only had one crash during my first round of testing.  It seems much closer to RC than a Beta.  The new features are nice, but most are similar to features already present either natively or using plug-ins with other browsers.  It’s got a new glassier look and feel and it’s definitely faster.  But I’ll have to augment my own workflow before I can really harness many of these new features.

September 1st, 2008

Posted In: Windows XP

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You can set various policies for Microsoft Office.  When you install the Office Resource Kit (orktools.exe) you will be able to go into the Start->Programs->Microsoft Office Tools-> Microsoft Office Resource Kit -> System Policy Editor to do so. 

July 24th, 2008

Posted In: Windows XP

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To disable roaming profiles you can just edit the smb.conf, adding a blank path to the logon path setting disables roaming profiles.  So just add this line to your global /etc/smb.conf settings:

logon path =

July 22nd, 2008

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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If you want the “admin” group to map to the NT “Directory Admins” group, the best way is to use dscl(1) to set the SMBSID or SMBRID attributes on the “admin” group record to 500.  If there is no SMBRID attribute then open the appropriate group, enable inspector and create an attribute called SMBRID.  You can give it a value that corresponds to the table below:

PS – Thanks Joel!

July 18th, 2008

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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