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Dec 31, 2009

Where Has All My Drive Space Gone?

Many moons ago I wrote about a really powerful tool called Glary Utilities that can do a boat load of stuff, one of them being analyze hard disks to see what is hogging all of your available drive space. The only problem with that tool is that it is only free for personal use. If you want to use it legally in the office to find out where your drive space is going on your company servers, you have to purchase their pro version.

My boss told me about another little tool that can do the same thing. By same thing, I mean the drive space analysis part. This tool is called TreeSize Free. Here is a description from their website:

Every hard disk is too small if you just wait long enough. TreeSize Free tells you where precious space has gone to. TreeSize Free can be started from the context menu of a folder or drive and shows you the size of this folder, including its subfolders. You can expand this folder in Explorer-like style and you will see the size of every subfolder. Scanning is done in a thread, so you can already see results while TreeSize Free is working. The space, which is wasted by the file system, can be displayed and the results can be printed in a report.

Here is a screen shot from their website as well:

TreeSize Free Disk Analysis

What tools do you use for disk space analysis/cleanup? Is it free? Is it payware? Let us know in the comments.

Dec 30, 2009

Dwight Schrute ASCII Art

Do you love The Office on NBC? I certainly do. I remember the first season kind of sucked because they tried too hard to copy the British version. NBC tried to do the same thing with Coupling, and it failed miserably. When they decided to break from their British counter parts, and make it their own then it really started to shine!

Arguably the best character on the American version is Dwight Schrute. Dwight is such an over-the-top, arrogant, ass kisser, and we love him for it! If you are not familiar with Dwight, here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

[Dwight] is a physically imposing man at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) with little sense of humor, a hunger for authority (however meager it may be), and a gullible nature that often makes him the target of pranks, primarily at the hands of Jim Halpert. Despite his severe naivety, he is very knowledgeable on a wide range of topics including bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica.

If you remember correctly in the opener for the fall 2008 season, Pam showed us what she had been working on in Art school. It was an ASCII version of Dwight!

dwight_schrute_Ascii

NBC has the PDF version available for download here: (Dwight Schrute ASCII Art Download)

Dwight has some great lines. If you are a Dwight fan, I want to hear your favorite Dwight quotes. Lets hear them in the comments! If you love The Office, you may also be interested in some great DirecTV Specials!

Dec 24, 2009

RemoteWipe – Autoit Tool To Wipe a Drive Remotely!

My buddy Karl over at AskTheAdmin.com once wrote an article about running a script from Outlook when a particular email comes in. It got me to thinking if there was a way to remotely wipe a hard drive when an email comes in. I couldn’t find a program that could be scripted to remotely wipe a drive, but I once wrote about a program called HDD Wipe that can at least wipe a drive while Windows was running.

So all that was left was a way to automate HDD Wipe. Well, HDD Wipe is GUI only, so that got me thinking about another program I wrote about called Autoit that lets you automate GUI programs. I decided to write my own program that automates HDD Wipe to wipe out a hard drive remotely. Here is a teaser video of me wiping a drive using an email. I used this in one of my old Youtube episodes on how to wipe a hard drive remotely. Check it out!



Download RemoteWipe here: (RemoteWipe.exe)

To use it drop it in the HDDGURU FreeWipe Tool programs file directory, and run it via script, double click, PSExec or however you feel you need to run it!

Do you know of a better way to remotely wipe a drive in windows? If so, let me know. Preferably a scriptable program please. If you have something better, I will use it in Episode 18 of Bauer-Power and I will give you full credit for the tip!

Dec 23, 2009

A Suite of Free Tools To Boost Your PC's Performance

I loves me some freeware! I guess that is the biggest reason I started this blog. Well I just found another freebie that is really cool, and I would say is a must have for anyone in the business that gets stuck on the phone with those users complaining that their computer is slow.

You know the type. The dreaded call saying simply in a whiny voice, "My computer is sooooooo slooooowwww. Can you help?"

Luckily I don't do phone support anymore, but I did do it for quite a while so I feel your pain!

There are lots of spyware cleaners, registry cleaners, defrag utilities etc out there. Many of which have already been reviewed here on Bauer-Power. This particular utility though is an all-in-one suite that does almost everything in a one stop shop.

I am talking about Glary Utilities. Here is a brief rundown of what it does from their website:

  • Optimize, clean and boost the speed of your Windows.
  • Protect your privacy and security.
  • Block spyware, trojans, adware, etc.
  • Fix certain application errors.
  • Simple, fast and User friendly interface


Here is a screenshot of Glary Utilities running a 1-click maintenance scan on my PC:

Glary Utilities ScanningOh and looky here.... It found some problems:

Glary Utilities Problems Found
I am seriously loving the tracks eraser which erases many things from your internet browsing history and last ran programs history. It will even clear out your Start > Run history.

Along with the one click maintenance, you also have different modules built in. One of my favorites is the Uninstall Manager which is like Add/Remove Programs on steroids! It allows you to select multiple program at once and perform one big batch uninstall!

Now Glary Utilities is free for private use. If you want to incorporate it into your company's IT arsenal, then you will have to purchase the Pro version for a nominal fee of $39.95.

Have you used Glary Utilities? What are some of your favorite features?

Dec 21, 2009

Episode 16 – How To Schedule Spyware Cleanup in Spybot S&D

Two weeks in a row? Well, it isn’t going to happen again. I am planning on releasing these once per month now. Next Month, Sundance and I are getting together to knock out four episodes, which will be released once per month for January, March, April and May. I had to head into work on a Saturday,so I had some time to do this one.

Anyhoo, in this episode I wanted to show how easy it is to configure Spybot to do scheduled updating and scheduled scanning. One thing I didn’t mention in the video is for the update task, you can add a /autoimmunize line after /autoupdate to have Spybot keep your machine immunized.

Here it is, Episode 16!

What do you like to use to keep your computer free of spyware? I know everyone has their favorites. Hit me up in the comments!

Dec 16, 2009

Gmail tip – send email directly to a label from anywhere.

I recently made the switch from my private email server to Google for Applications. This made Gmail my primary mail client and I have dedicated some time to mastering all of it’s features – and there sure are a bunch. Today’s tip will show you how to simply and easily auto-label your incoming messages to your account. Before I get into how let me tell you why I want to do this…

I send emails from my HTC Tilt2 to my Gmail account from NewsBreak. This is a RSS reader and these stories are story ideas. So I created a label in Gmail called StoryIdeas.

Next all I have to do is send an email to Karl+StoryIdeas@MyDomain.com and the email will automatically be labeled for you without any other intervention! Awesome!

Do you have a Gmail tip – send it in to tips at AskTheAdmin dot com! Or hit us up in the comments

By Karl Gechlik of AskTheAdmin

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Dec 15, 2009

Stay Up To Date With Google Alerts

Lately there has been a lot of public news in my home town that I am extremely interested in. Mainly because it could affect my life  at work. Now, I am not going to get into details, but this news could create an epic boat load of work for me if the worst happens.

Every once in a while, I catch wind of an update in this issue from someone else and have to go search for it in Google to find out what is going on. Well, I am tired of that frankly, so I signed up for Google Alerts on the subject.

If you didn’t know about it, when you do a search in Google News, at the very bottom there is a link saying, “Create an email alert for…” where the dots are the search term:

google alerts

Alternatively, you can just go to the Google Alerts page, and fill in your search term there. It’s the same thing really. Either way, you can be alerted to Google search results for

  • News
  • Blogs
  • Web
  • Video
  • Groups
  • Or comprehensive results on everything!

You can have alerts emailed to you once a day, once a week or as things happen. You can also limit the number of email alerts you receive per day. All in all, very handy when you want to stay current on a subject.

Do you use Google Alerts? What kind of stuff do you want to be alerted on? Hit me up in the comments!

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Dec 14, 2009

Bauer-Power Episode 15 – How To Schedule Defrag on Servers

As promised with Episode 14, Sundance and I switched to a new format. This format will keep the show under 10 minutes, so we can post to sites like Youtube that only have a 10 Minute time limit. Also, we are well aware that 30 minutes on the Internet is like a friggin’ eternity!

Speaking of Youtube, please feel free to subscribe to our new Youtube channel here: http://youtube.com/tvbauerpower

In this episode, I go solo in the new shorter format so we can be on Youtube. Also, I show you how easy it is to schedule disk defrag on Windows Server 2008 using the built-in defrag program, and in Windows Server 2003 using Defraggler.

So how do you like the new format? Short, sweet and to the point right? One of our biggest complaints was that it is way too long to sit through. I frankly don’t blame you guys who felt that way. Hopefully these quick how-to’s and funny bits will be more appealing in this shorter format.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Dec 11, 2009

Getting Backup Exec To Work with Windows Server 2008 R2

If you read yesterday’s article you know I am working to get the kinks out of our Backup Exec deployment. My goal is to have a smooth, self sufficient backup server running, that I only need to look at when an alert tells me something is wrong rather than daily. I know daily checks are a good thing, but I would rather stare at a bunch of successes than failures.

One of the errors I was seeing was on our Windows Server 2008 R2 servers. In fact, when you install the agent you get a warning about compatibility problems. Does that mean Backup Exec won’t back up Windows Server 2008 R2? Not in this case.

The error I was seeing was this:

V-79-57344-65225 - A failure occurred accessing the Writer metadata.

V-79-57344-65225 - AOFO: Initialization failure on: "System?State". Advanced Open File Option used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).

Snapshot provider error (0xE000FEC9): A failure occurred accessing the Writer metadata.

Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.

At first I thought that maybe it was related to the VSS issues I blogged about a few months ago. It wasn’t related at all as the writer status was fine. No the problem is with the 100MB System Reserved partition windows creates when you install it.

To get the error to go away all you have to do is assign that partition a drive letter:

drive letter system reservedI know! So simple it almost makes you want to puke right? What? Am I the only one? Okay, sorry then. Still, it is pretty awesome how easy it is to fix that.

Know of any other 2008 R2 tricks for backup exec? Hit me up in the comments!

 

Dec 10, 2009

Backup Exec - V-79-57344-33928 - Access is denied

If you have been reading the blog regularly for the last three of four months, you know that I recently had the pleasure of setting up a Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 server. I did the best I could, but I frankly was not that familiar with the product.

Well, I just got a new boss who is a wizard with Backup Exec and showed me a really good way of setting it up. Now I am in the process of tweaking some of the selection lists, and troubleshooting some errors here and there.

One error I came across was the following:

Backup- \\<servername>\C:
V-79-57344-33928 - Access is denied

Access denied? WTF? The account I was using was a local administrator. I looked at the permissions of C: and administrators had full control. What could it be? I tried to edit the security of C: but I got an access denied for that too. I tried taking ownership, but got an access denied for that as well. WTF?

Did any of you guess UAC? If so, you just won a pat on the back! UAC was on, and was denying access for Backup Exec. I went to control panel, and opened up User Accounts to turn off UAC, but when I clicked the Turn User Account Control On or Off link nothing happened.

I had to use an alternative method of turning off UAC. What I did was:

  • Run msconfig from the run line
  • Clicked on the Tools tab
  • Scrolled down and clicked on Disable UAC then clicked Launch

Disable UAC

  • Copied the Selected command and pasted it in the command prompt that opened when I clicked Launch
  • Rebooted

After UAC was off, I re-ran the failed Backup Exec job with no errors!

Dec 9, 2009

Mail Not Flowing From Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007

So here is the latest scenario. I am setting up a new Exchange 2007 server in an effort to migrate Exchange 2003 users over to it. During the setup of Exchange 2007 we ran into some schema permissions issues, and in an attempt to correct them we tried uninstalling Exchange 2007 and deleted the SMTP connectors that Exchange 2003 needs in order to deliver mail to Exchange 2007.

While working with Microsoft to correct our AD Schema permission errors, the Microsoft Technician gave me a commandlet to run to rebuild the connectors. The problem was the commandlet did not build them correctly. When I migrated my test user over to 2007, it could send outbound mail fine, and could send email to users on 2003, however since all inbound mail flowed through the 2003 server, no mail could go to the new user.

On the Exchange 2007 server I used the mail flow troubleshooter tool, and received the following error:

Mail submission failed: Error message: The SMTP host was not specified

I was able to correct the issue though by doing the following:

  • Migrated my test user back to Exchange 2003
  • On Exchange 2003, I opened Exchange System Manager
  • I navigated to Administrative Groups> Exchange 2003 Server>Routing Groups>Connectors
  • I deleted the connector for the Exchange 2003-2007 Server
  • I navigated to Administrative Groups> Exchange 2007 Server>Routing Groups>Connectors
  • I deleted the connector for the Exchange 2007-2003 Server
  • On The Exchange 2007 server, I went to Start > Control Panel> Programs and Features
  • I selected Exchange 2007 and clicked Uninstall
  • I uninstalled the Hub Transport Role
  • I rebooted Exchange 2007
  • When it booted back up, I went to Start > Control Panel> Programs and Features
  • I selected Exchange 2007 and clicked Change
  • I re-installed the Hub Transport Role
  • When I did, it provided me with an option to create an SMTP connector with Exchange 2003
  • Moved my test user back to Exchange 2007
  • Done

After that, mail flow was working perfectly! Ever have this problem? How did you fix it? Hit me up in the comments!

Dec 7, 2009

How To Install Windows 7 From USB

I was having some performance issues on my Dell Mini 9 recently and decided to start doing some optimization. One of the things I was going to do was change the Page file settings from system managed, like they are by default, to a static size.

Well, I had filled up my drive, and didn’t have enough room to do that, so I decided to re-build my Dell Mini. Why not? It’s the weekend, and I didn’t have anything important save on it anyway. So like normal, I pull out my external DVD drive that I purchased with my netbook, and began trying to re-install. That is when I started having problems.

This actually happens every time I try to install anything via CD or DVD on the Dell Mini. The external drive that came with it is hit or miss. I looked online, and it appears to be a common issue with the Dell Mini. Let me tell you it is frustrating as hell!

The good news is that I can boot off of a USB stick no problem. In fact, that is how I install my Bauer-Puntu partition on the Dell Mini. What about the Windows half though? Well it turns out it is fairly easy to make a bootable USB Windows 7 install stick!

All you need is a Windows 7 install DVD, and a 4GB USB Flash drive. Don’t have one? You can get a Bauer-Power one here: Bauer-Power 4GB USB

Better yet, you get one for only $10.99 from Amazon here: 4GB USB

Once you have your materials, just do the following:

  • On another computer, open a command prompt as administrator
  • Plug in your 4GB USB thumb drive
  • Run DiskPart
  • Type List Disk and hit enter (Note the number of your drive, e.g. Disk 1)
  • Type Select Disk 1and hit enter (Where 1 is the number of your disk)
  • Type Clean and hit enter
  • Type Create Partition Primary and hit enter
  • Type Select Partition 1 and hit enter
  • Type Active and hit enter
  • Type Format FS=NTFS and hit enter (This will take a while)
  • Type Assign and hit enter
  • Type Exit to quit DiskPart

Windows 7 USB

Once that part is complete, keep your command prompt open and pop in your Windows 7 DVD, then do the following from command line:

  • Type in F: and hit enter (Where F: is the drive letter of your DVD Drive)
  • Type CD Boot and hit enter
  • Type Bootsect /NT60 M: (Where M: is the drive letter of your USB Flash drive)

bootsector

  • Now copy the contents of your Windows 7 DVD to your thumb drive and you are ready to install from USB!

After performing the above steps, I recommend creating an image of your install thumb drive so you don’t have to remember all of the above later. To do that just download Roadkil’s Disk Image tool, and save an exact copy of your USB stick to your hard drive some place. If you ever need to use it again, you can re-image your USB stick with the same tool.

Are you a Dell Mini user? Are you having problems with your external DVD drive? Know of an easier tool to create a Windows 7 install USB thumb drive? Hit me up in the comments!

[Via Into Windows]

Dec 3, 2009

Add HTML Signatures to Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL

I love Google apps! I have blogged about it in the past, and personally use it for my Bauer-Power emails. The only problem with it is that Google only has options for plain text email signatures. Some of you might be cool with that, but I’m not. I like to add a little color with my signatures.

If you use Firefox, then you are in luck! There is a Firefox add-on that will let you create a custom HTML signature for Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo mail, Hotmail and AOL. It is called WiseStamp.

Here is a video I grabbed from their site:

Here is a screen shot of from my editor:

WiseStamp

After you make your customizations, WiseStamp automatically inserts you signature into new emails. Don’t forget to turn off your signature options within Gmail of Google Apps though, or you will get double signatures. Here is a screenshot of mine:

HTML Signature Gmail

Know of any other ways to get HTML in Gmail or Google Apps? Perhaps a better Firefox extension? What about IE? Hit me up in the comments!



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