A little while ago, I had a user call in and ask when their password would expire. Luckily, this information is readily accessible if you know where – and how – to look. Here’s how:
Last week, I wrote about the importance of establishing a routine, and of keeping in touch with your team. I did not, however, talk about specific tools. This is the post where I do that. Without further ado, here are the tools I’ve been using:
Some software comes and goes, and other software is there for you for the long term. Spacemonger is one of the latter category. Simply put, it scans a hard drive and shows you what’s on it using blocks to represent relative file/folder size, like so:
One of the questions that pop up every now and again, yet not often enough for me to consistently remember how to do it, is some variant on “What user is blocking my file access?” A user will typically call in, complaining that they are unable to open/edit/delete a given file on a file share, and ask the support tech they reach to solve the issue.
Five years ago, I showed you how to export a list of members of an Active Directory group, using a command line query. One issue I’ve run into using this query, is that I get their user name, not their actual name, which tends to make the resulting list hard to parse. As I had a need to export a relatively large number of group members names as part of a recent ticket, I needed a solution that gave me what I wanted straight out of the box.
For a number of reasons, I often find myself needing to find information about a system that can be somewhat difficult to source, such as when it was last rebooted, or when the system was installed originally. Luckily, there’s a tool to help us out, called System Information. A command line utility,
systeminfo.exe, offers a lot of information. This is both good and bad. It is good, because there are lots of things to be found. It is bad, because it can be hard to find the specific thing you are looking for. Enter the Pipe. By adding a vertical bar and a search query, we can find the exact information we are looking for without having to wade through irrelevant information.
Content note: several years after this was published, Microsoft discontinued RDCMan, having identified a security bug in the system.
EDC, short for Every Day Carry, has become a common term to many, myself included. The underlying philosophy of “what do I need to bring with me on a daily basis” is an interesting one, and one which has prompted me to think about what I bring with me on a day to day basis. While the specifics may – and do – change, in general, what I bring with me is:
Every now and again, I find that I need to have a look at, or even edit, the local group policies on a computer. To do this, we use a tool called Local Group Policy editor. Here’s how to start it:
A user called in, wanting help troubleshooting an installation of Internet Explorer 11 that repeatedly and persistently failed. The error code was the same, 0x9c47. The error code means that a Windows Update, KB2729094, could not be found on the computer. Because it is listed as a prerequisite for IE11, the installation failed. It did not matter one bit that the update was already installed. Luckily, resolving it is pretty straight-forward – here’s how: