Tagarchief: Windows 7

Windows 7 and Windows 8 updates slow

The last few months, I've noticed brand new clean Windows 7 installs have a hard time updating for the first time. Doesn't matter if they are updating from the original Microsoft update service of from a WSUS server, the time until the first update sometimes can be hours.

This update is supposed to fix that. I haven't tried it myself yet:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3161608

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Microsoft updates you’d better skip

KB2952664
KB2976978 Nagware for Windows 8.1
KB2977759 Info
KB3021917
KB3035583 The original "please update to windows 10" nag screen.
KB3123862
KB3139929 Pretends to be a security fix, but is actually a nag screen for internet explorer.
KB3146449 The nag screen that is bundled with KB3139929. You probably won't come across this one seperately.
KB3150513

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Windows 7: Using symbolic links

Linux and unix have had this nifty little feature called symlinks (symbolic links) for decades. Windows has finally caught up with the new command mklink.

Windows Vista introduced the new command mklink, which was expanded in Windows 7.

Syntax

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target
 
        /D      Creates a directory symbolic link.  Default is a file
                symbolic link.
        /H      Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link.
        /J      Creates a Directory Junction.
        Link    specifies the new symbolic link name.
        Target  specifies the path (relative or absolute) that the new link
                refers to.

Examples

Link d:\myfile.txt (the file) to c:\something.txt (the link):

mklink c:\something.txt d:\myfile.txt

Make some crappy old program save its data to your fileserver directly by linking \\fileserver\data (target) to c:\program files\crappy-old-program\data (the directory).

mklink "c:\program files\crappy-old-program\data" \\fileserver\data /d
© GeekLabInfo Windows 7: Using symbolic links is a post from GeekLab.info. You are free to copy materials from GeekLab.info, but you are required to link back to http://www.geeklab.info
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Windows 7 network awareness

After switching my network to a more strict proxy server recently, I found that Windows 7 machines were reporting they weren't connected to the internet anymore. While this is partly true, unauthenticated users can no longer just access http, users don't need to get this message.

The probing software is called Microsoft NCSI. What it does, is:

  1. perform a DNS lookup on www.msftncsi.com, and request http://www.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt. This file is a plain-text file that contains only the text Microsoft NCSI.
  2. then do a DNS lookup request for dns.msftncsi.com. The answer should be an A-record resolving to 131.107.255.255. If no answer, or a wrong answer is given, NCSI assumes the internet connection is faulty.

I whitelisted www.msftncsi.com in my proxy to allow outbound http-connections from unauthenticated users to this domain.

© GeekLabInfo Windows 7 network awareness is a post from GeekLab.info. You are free to copy materials from GeekLab.info, but you are required to link back to http://www.geeklab.info
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Printing from a CUPS server to Windows 7

A colleague of mine has some family issues that require him to be home more often. However, work continues. So he started working at home with a laptop. Nothing special about that. What is special, is that we're running a piece of software ("RR") that has old-style telnet-like terminals, which is sending it's print jobs straight to the printer.

His laptop has a direct VPN connection to the company network, but his printer doesn't.

Network info

The old software ("RR") is running on a pretty new RHEL 5.6 installation. It uses CUPS to queue and deliver print jobs. In my situation, the RR printer has zero printers configured, there's another Linux server that has all printers configured and broadcasts those printers over the network. But you could leave that print server out.

Problem

RR cannot reach the printer directly. But it can reach the laptop, which is running Windows 7 Professional. I searched for an IPP server that I could install on Windows, so that the printserver could use that to relay messages to the local printer, but I couldn't find any.

Solution

Windows 7 still has the option to install an lpd server. It's not installed by default, but it's very simple to install.

Windows setup:

  • In the Windows 7 Control Panel
  • Go to the "Programs and Features"
  • Click "Turn Windows Features on or off"
  • Turn on the LPD protocol.
  • Now go to the "printers" and share all printers you want to share.
  • Don't use long names and names with spaces, like "HP Laserjet 4200 Series", which are hard to setup on the client. Use something short like hplj4200.

Client setup:
Now you can setup the client to print to lpd://[ip-or-hostname-of-client]/[printername], for example lpd://10.10.10.17/hplj4200

If you can't get it to work, please check printer permissions and the firewall of the Windows 7 machine, which must have port 515 open.

© GeekLabInfo Printing from a CUPS server to Windows 7 is a post from GeekLab.info. You are free to copy materials from GeekLab.info, but you are required to link back to http://www.geeklab.info
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Disable Windows 7 autorepair

Disable:
bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
Re-enable:
bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy displayallfailures

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