Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How to Create Bootable Windows 10 USB on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

1. Open Disks app on Ubuntu and format the drive NTFS

Do It The Hard OCD Way:

2. Grab the source code from WoeUSB: https://github.com/slacka/WoeUSB

3. Open Terminal and create a location for WoeUSB:

4. sudo mkdir /opt/woeusb

5. cd /opt/woeusb  && git clone https://github.com/slacka/WoeUSB.git

6. In order to run mk-build-debs you need to install devscripts

7. sudo apt-get install devscripts equivs gdebi-core -y (NOTE: Remove when your done for security of your system)

8. Then prep the environment: sudo ./setup-development-environment.bash

9. cd /opt/woeusb/WoeUSB/ and then run sudo mk-build-deps

10. sudo gdebi woeusb-build-deps_*

Do It the Fast...I Don't Have Time, I'm Busy Way:

2. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 && sudo apt-get update -y && sudo apt-get install woeusb -y


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How to Fix "The Specified Virtual Disk Needs Repair" on VMware Workstation 15 on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

You try to enlarge the disk and you run into the error about the disk needing repair.

Verified that works on VMware Workstation 15 on Ubuntu 18.04.1

1. Open terminal on the machine you have VMware Workstation installed

2. /usr/bin/vmware-diskmanager -R /path/to/.vmdk file

3. Go to settings of the VM and try your advanced operation to compact the disk or expand it. Bam...done.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How to Remove Windows 10 Bloatware Permanently

First and foremost...I want to thank at least 10 different bloggers for posting general information and one of the most helpful was Daniel's IT Blog. https://bit.ly/2qtT9SH and Andre Picker http://bit.ly/2NiBeaT (This is for removal of the unwanted W10 Apps from .WIM only)

This is for an IT Image for Windows 10. Why on earth Microsoft doesn't have an "IT" script to remove all the junk they know damn well will never go on a business, enterprise or government computer is beyond me. So we IT Managers, Solution Architects, Systems Engineer's are left figuring out ways to remove the crapware so user's don't put in a million tickets asking questions about using the software or locking their machine up doing something crazy no one anticipated.

Here you go:

1. You can use a Powershell script from How-To-Geek: https://bit.ly/2p3ZjKH but for IT purposes. It's only removing the junk from one profile. Not the entire machine. As soon as you log in with another user. BAM...it's back like a software cancer.

2. You have to disable things in the registry for it to be permanent or you can rely on some task to run from SCCM, but they're not always reliable and many times it appears and then the script has to run for it to disappear. Again, this will do nothing but generate support tickets and unnecessary calls about "What is this thing on my machine? Do I have a virus?".

3. #1 Rule of IT and Troubleshooting. Never give up. Somebody has solved the problem or you will get close enough to fix the issue yourself.

4. Completed on Windows 10 Enterprise Version 1803. OS Build 17134.285

5.  Launch services.msc and stop and then disable the services you don't need (this worked for me, but you may do something different):

Touch and Keyboard and Handwriting
Hyper-V (All)
Microsoft iSCSI
Microsoft App-V Client
dmwappushsvc (Data Collection service)
Downloaded Maps Manager (Microsoft Maps)
Phone Service
Remote Registry
Retail Demo Service
Routing and Remote Access (Unless you have a business need)
User Experience Virtualization Service
Windows Backup
Xbox Settings (All) - FYI. You have to disable the Xbox Gaming Monitoring Feature in the Registry. It won't disable from services.msc. Great Tutorial to Disable in the Registry: https://bit.ly/2z2QHZc

6. Disable the crapware/bloatware permanently (Thanks Daniel: https://bit.ly/2qtT9SH):

Disable by changing to a [0]

7. Create a new local account and verify everything is disabled.

Start >> Settings >> Family & other people >> Add someone Else to this PC >> Click on "I don't have this person's sign-in information >> Click Add a user without a Microsoft Account. >> Type in your username, password and temporary recovery. You will be blowing this away. It's just for testing so don't bother getting all fancy.

8. Those of us that have been around for a while know about Computer Management. Just use this one and blow it away when your done. 

9. If you have to find the account you created (like you joined it to the domain BEFORE you removed it and started working on it locally in a VM...cough...cough). You can find the buried System Properties under Control Panel:

10. Go under Settings and delete the other profiles (Domain Accounts you cannot delete from Computer Management. (*While you're at it, Adjust for Best Performance). PRO TIP: Just leave the thing open. You will be blowing away test accounts.

11. OCD Style (Be Careful):

Delete the packages under C:\MSOCache\All Users\ (One Note/Groove). If you have MS Office installed. Do NOT just go in there and wipe out all of the folders. 

12. PRO TIP: Turn the Hidden Files feature back off before you forget and do something terrible.

13. Windows System Apps Location: C:\WindowsSystemApps. This is where the files and executables are stored. 

14. Location of the files in the registry (FYI. Microsoft makes it difficult to edit these entries): 

15. Disabling the "PackageRoot" and "PackageRepositoryRoot" could cause unintended consequences. Test and configure to your liking.

16. Appx >> Config >> Microsoft.Windows.CloudExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy >> SetupPhase [Default is 27] Changed to 0 (launches the new profile quicker)

17. Appx >> Config >> Microsoft.BioEnrollment_cw5n1h2txyewy >> SetupPhase [Default is 81] Changed to 0 (launches the new profile quicker)

18. At this point, the bloatware is still coming up on launch. Now we kill it. (FYI. I didn't mess with Windows Store at all since it can break all manner of things on updates, etc)

19. Before you run any PowerShell Scripts. You have to enable the ability to run Scripts on Windows 10. Right-click on PowerShell and "Run As Administrator"

PS C:\Windows\system32> Get-ExecutionPolicy
PS C:\Windows\system32> Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted

Click Y or S (Suspend) and then run your script

cd ~ to return to your profile location and then cd into your location of the PowerShell Script

20. Powershell easy peasy...Save it as "CleanUp.ps1" and cd to the folder from PowerShell and run it.

#Retrieved on 9.26.2018 from https://bit.ly/2p3ZjKH
#Be careful removing Windows Store from Windows 10 since it can
#have unintended consequences for Windows Updates
Get-AppxPackage *3dbuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsalarms* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *officehub* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *skypeapp* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *getstarted* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsmaps* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *solitairecollection* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingfinance* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingnews* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *people* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsphone* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingsports* | Remove-AppxPackage
#Do Not disable if you have any visually impaired
Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingweather* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage

21. None SCCM Option/Failsafe Option:

Save the file under c:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\CleanUp\CleanUp.bat
The actual powershell file will live under c:\%WinDir%\system32\CleanUp.ps1

Batch File under AppData:
REM Run an unsigned PowerShell script and log the output
Powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted .\%WINDIR%\system32\Cleanup.ps1 >> "%TEMP%\CleanUpLog.txt" 2>&1

REM If an error occured, return to errorlevel.
EXIT /B %errorlevel%

22. Setup a Task and configure it to run weekly or on login in or script in in SCCM

23. Remember when you are setting up a Task Scheduler item that you have to have a  bypass for the script to run. I don't recommend turning PowerShell scripting off because it can have a nasty impact on your environment is PS execution is off for all of your machines. Definitely, not a good idea.

Under Actions: Start a Program >> Program/Script: >> Type in powershell.exe >> Add Arguments (Optional): -ExecutionPolicy Bypass c:\path to your script

24. Test it under a demo user. (You will see now why I said just keep Computer Management Open.)

25. Before you shutdown the system and convert it to the .wim image. Make sure that you run disk cleanup and that you delete the unnecessary Windows Update files to shrink the image and cleanup the junk:

CMD Prompt:
C:\ net stop wuauserv
C:\ cd %windir%\SoftwareDistribution
C:\del /F /S /Q Download && Start .

Once in Downloads. Wipe it all out.

c:\net start wuauserv

c:\shutdown /s /t 00

26. Use this to remove the apps from the .wim http://bit.ly/2NiBeaT (This is for removal of the unwanted W10 Apps from .WIM only)


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How to Disable SharePoint Features for Adobe Document Cloud Reader

1. Disable Adobe Cloud Features:


2. This is how you Disable SharePoint features:

2a. Right Click on FeatureLockDown and add a New Key and type cSharePoint

2b. Right-click on cSharepoint and add bDisableSharePointFeatures. Enter and type 1. 

3. You can also block all of the cloud services if you don't want your users doing anything from the cloud.

4. Now it's nice and clean! 

5. FYI. You can disable the "Sign In" button up top but it wipes out the tools. It's up to you.

6. Lastly, the more things that you disable. The more features will be locked down. If you disable bToggleAdobeDocumentServices your users will not be able to edit PDF files, create PDF's, Export PDF's, Combine files, etc.

How to Install VMware Workstation 15 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

1. Do a clean uninstall of any previous versions for a clean installation.

2. VMware Workstation 14 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

3. Open Terminal and run the following command:

sudo vmware-installer -u vmware-workstation

4. Download the file from VMware's website

5. from terminal cd to the location where you saved the downloaded file. Run the following command to make the package executable:

chmod a+x VMware-Workstation*

6. Execute the Installer from the command line:

sudo ./VMware-Workstation*

Create your location/path for the shared VM's. I made mine /opt/vmware/shared instead of the default



Saturday, December 2, 2017

AWS Cloud9

Development has stepped into 2017 and there is no better time to have the flexibility of development and shared coding like AWS Cloud9.

One of the best challenges during any development and merging code and seeing what someone wrote and fixing their mistakes or sharing information if you need help fixing something. There is no greater joy than doing this in real-time. It's also a way to monitor development activities of contract or freelance developers.

In times past, if you weren't writing the application yourself, you paid, gave requirements and then developers would send you back a project without fully understanding what was done. With AWS Cloud9, this becomes a legacy problem that is now fixed.

Since AWS has thrown their weight behind their recent purchase of AWS Cloud9, this should be very exciting to comes of the shared collaborations on Open Source or even Blockchain projects with the advent of AWS Cloud9 and true shared coding capabilities.

After launching the platform, it's extremely easy to use. The complexity of the old platform is gone and it's a joy to use!


Sunday, October 22, 2017

How to Connect to Panera Bread Wi-Fi using Ubuntu (Linux)

1. Use a VPN Software (VPNVPR): https://support.goldenfrog.com/hc/en-us/articles/227258228-VyprVPN-OpenVPN-Setup-for-Linux-Ubuntu- or (SurfEasy). Something you actually pay for preferably.

2. Connect to Wifi (PANERA)

3. Open Google Chrome and go to https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/wifi.html

4. Accept the Terms and Conditions

5. Connect and Turn on your VPN.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on HP Envy (2017)

1. Boot to BIOS and disable Secure Boot (F10)

2. If your not sure what to do and you do not fully understand how to troubleshoot hardware on Linux and your Google Kung-Fu is novice...you likely shouldn't be installing Linux on the physical hardware. Use Virtualbox on Windows/Mac instead.

3. Create a bootable USB (Use another machine) or when you take it out the box, connect to the Internet, grab the iso. Create a bootable file with Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie/

Ubuntu Download: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop (*Use the LTS for software like VMware Horizon View, or other software that require LTS releases...it's more stable)

Kali Linux Download: https://www.kali.org/downloads/ (*Do not use Kali if your new to Linux)

4. Boot the USB and install how your normally would.

5. HP Envy doesn't launch Wi-Fi natively. It's using a softblock for some reason when Linux is installed. (I'm too busy to really dig or even care...)

6. This version of the HP Envy (16GB RAM/i7 CPU) is using the Intel wifi 7265. Download it and extract it into /lib/firmware (I used my Android Nexus to download the file and then just copied it and extracted it to /lib firmware just using USB tethering).

Intel wifi 7265: https://www.intel.co: m/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005511.html 


cd Downloads/ && tar -xvf iw* && cd iwlwifi* && sudo cp iwlwifi-7265* /lib/firmware

7. Check for the softblock:

rfkill list
rfkill unblock all (*doesn't work sometimes. If it doesn't run this below. Doesn't matter that it's not an Acer...yeah..headscratcher moment.)

sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-acer.conf <<< "blacklist acer_wmi" && sudo reboot

8. Post reboot connect to your wi-fi. Your done. Make sure you enable/turn on your firewall. Be safe out there folks!

Note: Tested with Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, Linux Mint 18 and Kali Linux Rolling


Friday, July 21, 2017

How To Install VMware Horizon View 4.5 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

1. Prepare Your System with updates & latest patches

2. sudo apt-get update -y && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

3. Setup, Install and Symlink Libraries: 

sudo apt-get install libgstreamer0.10-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev
sudo apt-get install v4l-utils
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio
sudo ln -sf /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libudev.so.1.6.4 /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libudev.so.0
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libffi.so.6 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libffi.so.5

4. Now download and install the VMware Horizon View Client

cd ~/Downloads/
sudo chmod u+x VM*
sudo ./VM*

FYI. You don't have to type/tab the whole path as long as this is the only VMware files in the path. It's Linux baby!! 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to Quickly Import 100TB+ Data into AWS, GCP or Azure

How do you quickly import large volumes of data into the Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud platforms?

This is an enterprise or SMB safer option over copying data over the internet. Especially, when it is over 10-500TB in size.

AWS Snowball:  (50TB and 80TB Blocks of Data)

AWS Snowmobile (Enterprises up to 100PB per Vehicle which is a ruggedized shipping container that comes with help from AWS Engineers to connect to a high-speed switch)

Google Cloud Platform (100TB and 480TB)
AWS Competition Play: https://cloud.google.com/storage/transfer/

Microsoft Azure (Import/Export Service) - Microsoft's Azure Import offering is the most clunky
Process: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/storage-import-export-service
Pricing: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/storage-import-export/

Azure/Snowball Application: https://goo.gl/k73Tyg

NOTE: AWS has the huge lead in the import functionality and application support and it's also helpful that they have a business that is all about shipping and receiving which is a consideration to factor when making your operational decisions (always consider if you have to export everything "OUT" of the platform in the future "if" that becomes a problem and needs to be done, but likely it's a low prospect of changing when that much data is moved in. 

Google is really moving quickly though to compete with Amazon. Their 100TB and 480TB options are much cheaper than Azure and way less complicated.

Research Articles: