Windows 10 and WiFi Woes

Ran in to a situation today where while attempting to connect to a wifi network 10 says “checking network requirements” then “cannot connect to this network”.  This is a software problem and ideally I would have liked to just disable this “feature” in 10.  In this case I was able to install an EdiMax Nano N wireless adapter in addition to the builtin Atheros from Dell.  Manually create the wireless connection with 802.11 enforcement disabled.  The option is there if you manually create the connection; but not if windows creates the connection.  This method did not work on the Atheros adapter but was successful for the EdiMax.  Possibly switching to another driver for the Atheros would have also worked; but not having another machine or a wired connection available I was unable to explore this avenue while at the customer site.

Unison – Setup for Windows

This document describes step by step how to use Unison for a save back-up to a Linux server using ssh to make the thing more secure.

Install OpenSSH

Since Windows (still) does not come with its own ssh implementatin we need to install one. In this case we will use SSH for windows:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/sshwindows/
or here
Download the latest release and install it
Now try to connect to your ssh server
open a command promt
ssh username@serveripaddress
If you get a connection it will ask if you want to connect to the server
Type yes
Type your password
And you are connected to your ssh server
type exit to leave the ssh shell

Create a key pair

To prevent entering the password every time we create a backup we need to create a secret keypair
Open a ssh session to the server

ssh username@serveripaddress

Next type
ssh-keygen -t rsa

Some messages appear:

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/myusername/.ssh/id_rsa): press enter
Created directory ‘/home/myusername/.ssh’.
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): (leave empty and press enter)
Enter same passphrase again: (leave empty and press enter)
cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 0600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

The sshd server has to be configured to accept these auto-logins, make sure the file /etc/ssh/sshd_config containes the following lines
sudo pico /etc/ssh/sshd_config

RSAAuthentication yes
PubkeyAuthentication yes
AuthorizedKeysFile .ssh/authorized_keys

Save te file and exit
logout of the ssh server

Get the id_rsa file into each of the windows users .ssh directorie .ssh This file is your private key (i.e. your password), so don’t leave copies lying around!

Since Open ssh comes with scp, use that to download and set the correct permissions of your private key:
cd .ssh
scp myusername@my.server.com:.ssh/id_rsa id_rsa

Now test if you can connect without entering a password:
ssh username@serveripaddress

If you get a ssh version you are ready to install Unison
Type exit to leave the ssh session again

Install Unison

Download winison:
http://code.google.com/p/winison/downloads/list
Or here (This is unison version 2.32.94)
The exe is configured to install in the current directory. You can do this during installation, just tell it where to put the files. Do not put it in the Program Files folder. Windows is very picky on that. Best place to put it is in a folder under the username you want the backup to run for.

Go to the folder you extracted winison and start winison.exe
The first time it asks you if a shortcut should be placed in the start menu.
Answer yes (so you don’t have to search for it later)
A window pops-ups up.

Test the backup

Now the configuration starts. It is advised to start with a folder containing 1 or 2 small files to make sure everything works as expected. This prevents frustration while waiting. Because all data is encrypted it can take a while to synchronize large files and folders.

Make a new folder: test
Add a simple text file a.txt
Start winison from the folder you extracted it.
In the profile field enter something like Test (we will remove this later)
In the local root window: browse to your test folder
In the remote root window enter
ssh://username@serveraddress

Press Go when asked to save the changed profile click yes
Since it is the first time unison runs it give some info because no archive is found. Just press enter
Now the 2 systems must synchronize. It can take some time so don’t worry, just wait for it to finish.

When all goes well the 2 folders will be synced. You can test by changing the test file or create a new file in the test folder. Or create a folder in the test folder.
If the 2 servers finished checking questions will be asked what to do. Just press enter

Now we check if the folder and test file is created:
Open a command prompt
ssh username@serveraddress
cd test
ls

The test file a.txt (or the name you used) should be there.
If you want more testing done you can find a tutorial here.

Configuration

Copying files over an Internet connection can take a lot of time depending on the Internet speed. It can take days to copy files to your server.
You can manage this 2 ways:
1. Make the first copy to your server using FTP
2. Manage what to backup adding folders one by one (see Final thoughts on how to manage that).
You can just backup My Documents completely but you may want to specify what you want unison to do. Some files you don’t want in your backup like thumbs, tmp etc.
In the unison profile file you can include and exclude files and or folders.

Here are some basic profile settings that can be used. Modify it as needed.

#Folders to synchronize
root = Your folder to backup
root = ssh://username@servername/sync

# Folders to backup
path =

#Folders to exclude
ignore = Path

Files to exlude
ignore = Name *.tmp

#Don’t ask about normal files
auto=true

# Prevent chmod issues
perms = 0
dontchmod=true

#Work silent
batch=true

#Prevent deletion of all files if all files are localy deleted
confirmbigdeletes=true

#Check fast, don’t compare bit by bit
fastcheck=true

# Make a backup if the same file is changed local and in the backup
prefer=newer
backuploc=central
backupcurr=Name *
backupdir=/home/username/backup/conflict
backupprefix=$VERSION.conf.

# When running from the command line be silent, only show errors
silent = true

#Use file time not folder time for changes
times=true

# Don’t delete old files but keep them (it is a backup)
backup= Name *
backuploc=central
backupdir=/home/backup
maxbackups=4
backupprefix=$VERSION.

See the offical unison manual for more settings.

Schedule the backup

We are all human and forget things. Computers never forget anything and are good at keeping track of time. So why not use that to schedule the backup?
Winison comes with a handy feature: it creates batch files for you to do the work. You will find them in the directory you install winison <profilename> full background.bat is the one you can use if you use the windows scheduler.

Make sure the user has a password or the windows scheduler will not run.

Thats it. That is how you can backup your windows file to a linux machine.

Make Bootable USB Flash Drive

I did this on a Windows 7 machine.  It should work on any version of windows that has diskpart.  So go ahead and plug in the flash drive you want to make bootable (note that this process will wipe the contents of the drive you select to use)

Open Command Prompt

diskpart

Now that you are in diskpart we need to identify the flash drive.

DISKPART> list disk

Gives you a list and status of drives available to use.  In my case disk 0 is my hard drive and disk 1 is my flash drive.  If yours is a different number use the number for the flash drive you want to be bootable.

DISKPART> select disk 1

This tells diskpart we are working with the flash drive.

DISKPART> clean

This wipes the drive we previously selected.

DISKPART> create partition primary

Tells diskpart to create a primary partition on the previously selected drive.

DISKPART> select partition 1

Says to select partition 1 on the selected drive.  list partition can be used to show a list of partitions on a disk

DISKPART> active

Makes partition 1 the active partition.

DISKPART> format fs=fat32

Formats a FAT32 filesystem on the active partition.  For bootable flash drives this seems to work the best right now anyway.

DISKPART> assign

Assigns a drive letter to this partition.

DISKPART> exit

Now look and see what drive letter your flash drive is and copy the OS disk you want to boot over to the flash drive and you now have a bootable USB flash drive.

 

Download Symantec CleanWipe Tool

How to download the current version of the CLEANWIPE removal tool utility. (Cleanwipe-v12.1.1101.401)

The Cleanwipe removal tool utility is used to completely remove Symantec Antivirus and Symantec Endpoint Protection products. You can use CLEANWIPE from Symantec to remove Symantec Endpoint Protection as well as Symantec Antivirus and all other associated applications:

Alert Management Server
Firewall Administrator
Quarantine Console
Quarantine Server
Symantec AntiVirus (Version 9.x and above)
Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition
Symantec Client
Symantec Client Firewall
Symantec Client Security
Symantec Endpoint Protection
Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager
Symantec LiveUpdate
Symantec Network Access Control
Symantec Sygate Enterprise Protection
Symantec System Center
Symevent

If you have other Symantec applications on the computer that depend on any of the applications listed above, those applications may not function properly. The customer may need to re-install the missing applications after running CleanWipe.

To download the utility, open the following web page in a browser:

https://fileshare.symantec.com

Log in with the following information:

Login ID: cleanwipeutility
Password: CL3@nw!p3

Once you have downloaded the utility, please follow these instructions.

Note: The .zip file may be password protected.
Un-Zip Password: symantec

1. Extract the file to a new folder in a convenient location, such as the Desktop, using the un-zip password provided above.
2. Browse to the new folder and execute the utility by double clicking ‘CleanWipe.exe’
3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

The utility runs in verbose mode and will ask you about the components you want uninstalled.

***USE AT YOUR OWN RISK***

Windows 10 Good, Bad, or Ugly?

The free upgrade is nice for those who already have either 7 or 8. If you’re on 7 right now don’t bother. If you’re on 8….consider it just to get away from 8.
Most of our customers who have tried 10 seem to fall into 3 main groups. 1) upgrade went smoothly and works fine. 2) upgrade went fine hated 10 tried to roll back and failed. 3) upgrade did not go well. I’ve personally only upgraded one of my machines at the shop to 10. At this point in time I see no reason to upgrade as there is really nothing to be gained. Follow the rule of thumb for Microsoft products…..Don’t touch it until service pack one is released. Typically this is when the major problems are fixed and it has evolved enough to be a usable product.

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