blog.plee.me About software, technology and random things

23Nov/140

Using msysgit With PuTTY Pageant & Plink

Hi!

If you have installed msysgit and are planning on using it in combination with Pageant from the PuTTY tool suite, you might run into the problem that it does not attempt to use any of the keys you have already loaded into Pageant. You can fix this by telling msysgit which program to use for the git fetch and pull operations:

  • Open your System window (Windows + Pause or "Start" => Right-click on "Computer" => "Properties")
  • Click on "Advanced system settings" (on the left)
  • Click on "Environment Variables..." (on the bottom)
  • Add a new system variable (or user variable if you just want this setting for the current user): "New..."
  • Variable name: GIT_SSH
    Variable value: (path to plink.exe) for example: C:\Program Files (x86)\PuTTY\plink.exe (important: just the path, no quotation marks at the beginning or the end!)
  • If you haven't already on this system / user, connect to the server via PuTTY in order to get the SSH server fingerprint prompt and remember it
  • Close any existing Git Bash / msysgit instances and start it up again

This should do it!

I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for reading!

Source: http://www.bitsandpix.com/entry/git-setup-msysgit-install-with-pageantplink-from-putty/

9Nov/140

Deleting Huge Directories in Windows Via Command Prompt

Hi!

If you'd like to delete a huge folder / directory in Windows with maybe thousands or hundreds of thousands of files inside, doing that via Explorer might cost you a lot more time than via command prompt.

Here's how to do it faster:

  1. Open the command prompt by using "Start" => "cmd" and navigating to the desired path via "cd <path>" or "pushd <path>"
    - OR -
    navigate to the folder in the Explorer and use Shift + right-click and "Open command window here"
    (Note: if deleting the desired folder requires elevated privileges, you will have to start a command prompt in elevated mode and navigate the old-fashioned way)
  2. Use the following command:
    rmdir /s /q folder

A little explanation about rmdir's flags:

  • /s: removes the directory itself including all the contained files and subdirectories
  • /q: forces deletion and does not ask for approval

Doing this can be very helpful in a coding environment where you can easily end up with thousands of small files.

Thanks for reading!

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/186737/whats-the-fastest-way-to-delete-a-large-folder-in-windows

2Nov/140

Viewing Hidden Devices in Windows Device Manager

Hi!

If you are trying to find a device that has been hidden in your Windows Device Manager, for example because you don't have it plugged in at the moment, you might find this little guide handy.

  1. Open the command prompt ("Start" => "cmd")
  2. Enter
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  3. Then start the Device Manager from the command prompt via
    devmgmt.msc
  4. In the Device Manager, click "View" => "Show hidden devices"

I hope this helped 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Source: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/241257

1Dec/1333

Installing the Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad on Windows 7 x64 (XInput Driver)

Update from 2015-10-18: Windows 10 Pro (x64) does not appear to require this workaround. It automatically installed the correct driver and allowed me to use the controller right away.

Hi!

In order to be able to benefit from using the XInput mode for the Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad, of course you need to install the correct driver. This is made a little hard for Windows 7 x64 seeing as there is no driver that comes with the device itself.

I found a guide on how you can manage it by using Microsoft's official Xbox 360 Controller driver.

Be careful though, you're messing with driver files. Use this guide at your own risk.

  1. Go to the Microsoft Hardware downloads page: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/downloads
  2. Click on the category "Gaming"
  3. Click on the link "Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows"
  4. Download the correct version of the file (Windows 7 64-bit only) and install it
  5. Open the Device Manager (e.g. [Windows]+[Break] => Device Manager)
  6. Right-click on the entry with "Logitech F710" in its name and the yellow triangle icon in front of it
  7. Open its properties
  8. Switch to the "Details" tab
  9. Choose the property "Hardware Ids"
  10. Right-click on the one without the "&REV_<Number>" at the end of the name and copy it. It should look something like this: USB\VID_046D&PID_C21F
  11. Go to the directory in which you installed the Xbox 360 Accessories Software a minute ago: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Xbox 360 Accessories
  12. Open the file Xusb21.inf with a plain text editor like Notepad
  13. At the top in the commented section you can see the line containing "Wireless Common Controller USB\Vid_045E&Pid_0719". Search for "USB\Vid_045E&Pid_0719" and replace each occurence with the hardware ID you copied earlier. Afterwards, save it to the file. You might need to have your editor program in elevated privilege mode in order to do so.
  14. Go back to the Device Manager with the open F710 properties window
  15. Switch to the "Driver" tab
  16. Click on the "Update Driver..." button
  17. In the assistant, choose "Browse my computer for driver software"
  18. Choose the path "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Xbox 360 Accessories"
  19. Confirm the driver warning and you're good to go

To check if it really worked, you can just press the Logitech button on the game controller and it should cause a little frame with the Xbox logo, the text "Click for Help" and a down-pointing arrow button and an X button to pop up in the lower center of your screen.

I do not usually recommend modifying driver files like that, but I have used this method before and it worked for me, so I stopped looking for a better way, as there doesn't seem to be any official solution provided by Logitech themselves (which is a shame).

Original post and the ones who can be credited with this solution: post by breakfastmonkey on the official Logitech forums (referencing a couple of previous posts in the same thread).

Thanks for reading.

20May/121

Making Traceroutes Work with a Firewall (Windows)

Hi!

Even though I've had software firewalls in action for years now, I haven't really come across too many instances where I'd need traceroutes. The few times I did, however, I noticed that I only got output like the following:

>tracert example.com

Tracing route to example.com [123.123.123.123]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  8     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  9     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 10     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 11    50 ms    50 ms    50 ms  example.com [123.123.123.123]

Trace complete.

The number of hops would of course vary for the specific host / IP address.

Today I had to use traceroute in order to analyze a couple of networking problems. That was the incentive I needed to look up why it didn't work.

The fact that not even my router was showing up was a big indicator that something was wrong with my local firewall settings.

After searching the web for a couple of minutes, I found out what I was looking for at this page: http://www.phildev.net/ipf/IPFques.html#ques34

Traceroute is using ICMP packets (plus UDP on Linux systems, but that's outside the scope of this blog entry. You can read more about it on the page I linked above). But even for an outgoing traceroute you need to accept incoming ICMP packets.

Which ones? These:

  • ICMP TTL Expired (Type 11, Code 0)
  • ICMP Port Unreachable (Type 3, Code 3)

Once you've enabled these types of packets for incoming traffic in your firewall(s), you'll see that your traceroute will now function as it should.

If your firewall does not allow you to configure accepting specific types of ICMP packets, try allowing incoming ICMP packets altogether (if that's not too much of a compromise for you).

Anyway, long-ish story short: It's working now 🙂

Thanks to the webmaster of the page I linked above! And thanks to you for reading.

30Jun/109

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and the Long Loading Splash

Hi!

If you have used Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 (or several other CS5 products as I've read), you might have encountered long waiting times during the program launching. In the case of Premiere Pro CS5, the splash screen shows "Loading ExporterQuickTimeHost.prm" and sticks with it for a couple of minutes (yes, minutes). This is not even a one-time thing or a once-per-Windows-session, it happens each and every program launch.

When I researched this, I quickly found the answer in Adobe's forums: Premiere CS5 takes 5 minutes to start up

In fact, what's causing this is not just the Adobe program, but rather the combination of a firewall and the Adobe program. If you are as restrictive in terms of Internet access as I am, you might have forbidden Adobe Premiere Pro.exe outgoing IP connections altogether. However, it is trying to establish a TCP connection to localhost / 127.0.0.1.

The fix is to allow outgoing TCP (I chose IP, which of course includes TCP) to 127.0.0.1 for the following executables:

  • <Premiere Directory>\Adobe Premiere Pro.exe
  • <Premiere Directory>\32\Adobe QT32 Server.exe
  • <Premiere Directory>\32\dynamiclinkmanager.exe

with <Premiere Directory> of course being the path to your Adobe Premiere directory.

Note: Of course you can still stop every other outgoing traffic. Regard the 127.0.0.1 rule as an exception.

If you are trying to apply this fix to other Adobe programs, you are on your own to find out which .exes require 127.0.0.1 TCP connections. With modern firewalls, however, this shouldn't be that big of a problem. Just look at the prompts your firewall pops up and/or determine the .exes via logging.

I hope that helps you enjoy your respective Adobe program(s) all the more. 🙂

Good luck and, as always, thanks for reading.

Update (2010-03-28):
I recently found out that with my kind of firewall "Adobe Premiere Pro.exe" would prompt me again for a rule for outgoing traffic to addresses different from the localhost zone. If that happens to you, make sure you don't accidentally replace or override the localhost rule you added above. Rather add an additional rule for all the remaining outgoing traffic and forbid it (or allow it, depending on what you want).

13Oct/090

OpenVPN on Windows Vista / 7 – Ping says: TTL expired in transit

Hi there!

When I set up my VPN with OpenVPN yesterday, I found out about a little difficulty under Windows Vista and 7. Thankfully it was not that much of a hurdle as the UAC was the reason for this bug just like for a series of other bugs with different software I experimented with over the last few weeks. Nevertheless I hope that this piece of information helps you get rid of the following problem.

If you have set up your VPN and got it running without any major problems, and everything seems to be running just fine (connecting works), but you still can't establish connections to the other machines, you might find that pinging returns the error message "TTL expired in transit". This is due to the fact that Vista (or Windows 7) needs administrator privileges to adjust your computer's settings properly in order to function when you've connected to the VPN successfully. I think it's about the route.exe process, but I'm not 100% sure.

Windows Vista and 7 have the equally famous as infamous UAC (User Account Control) that prevents even administrator privileged accounts from executing programs with administrator rights by default. In order to enable these rights you have to right-click the program (or program shortcut) and click on "Run as administrator" next to the yellow-blue shield if it does not run with administrator rights exclusively anyway (in which case you'd see the yellow-blue shield in the bottom right corner of the program icon itself and would be asked for administrator privileges automatically when you launch it as any other program).

Please note that the following steps are for on-demand OpenVPN connections. For automatic connections, read further below.

OpenVPN on-demand connection

So what you need to do is launch the connection with UAC. But how do you do that if you usually launch OpenVPN connections with a right-click and "Start OpenVPN on this config file"? Even creating a shortcut to the .ovpn file doesn't give you the "Run as administrator" option.

A simple solution is to create a batch file that simply changes to the work directory and executes .ovpn with the openvpn.exe.

Example file "ovpn_connection1.bat":

@echo off
D:
cd \Programs\OpenVPN\config-ondemand\
D:\Programs\OpenVPN\bin\openvpn.exe D:\Programs\OpenVPN\config-ondemand\connection1.ovpn

This batch file has the following parameters/assumptions:

  • Your OpenVPN dir is on the D: partition (otherwise change the drive letter in the respective paths and leave the "D:" line out altogether).
  • The path to your OpenVPN dir is D:\Programs\OpenVPN.
  • Your connection configuration file is located in the config-ondemand subdirectory.

Basically, you just switch to the work directory and execute OpenVPN's openvpn.exe located in its bin dir on the configuration. In a way, this works as a shortcut, but just as an executable batch.

The @echo off part is just so that you won't see the other commands displayed in the window each time you start the connection.

Now you either make a shortcut to this batch file or use it itself.

Whenever you want to start the connection, right-click on it and select "Run as administrator".

Done! Test your ping and it should be fine.

OpenVPN automatic connection

All you need to do is to move the .ovpn configuration file and all the other required files into the config subdirectory of your OpenVPN installation.

When the OpenVPN service (Start => Run => services.msc) is started, it will look for .ovpn files in its config subdirectory and execute them all - with SYSTEM privileges. No UAC circumvention needed.

So just set your OpenVPN service to "Automatic" and you're good to go!

OpenVPN on-demand connection with OpenVPN service

Just do what is described under the "OpenVPN automatic connection" paragraph except for setting the service to "Manual".

Now each time you want to launch the connection, you just need to type "net start OpenVPNService". To stop it, type "net stop OpenVPNService".

Note on using connections with the OpenVPN service

As the OpenVPN service feature executes *all* .ovpn configuration in the config subdirectory, there is no way to manually interfere with one particular connection of that directory and let's say disable it shortly. All config-connections are handled as a group with the OpenVPN service.

So if you need manual independency, look at the on-demand section.

I hope this wasn't all too fuzzy with the wordings and such.

Please comment or contact me if you have any questions on this matter.

Thanks for reading!

10Jun/090

How To: Migrate an Existing Windows System to Another Hard Drive Using Acronis TrueImage

Hi!

Because of a new hard drive I bought a week ago I decided to transfer my existing system, running on a 250 GB hard drive, to my new 1 TB one. I was lucky enough to at least have made some experiences with migrating an existing system to a Virtual Machine in conjunction with Acronis TrueImage Home 2009 before, so that's what came in handy for me.

What you need

  • Backup software like Acronis TrueImage Home 2009
  • BartPE with Acronis TrueImage Plug-In / bootable version of your backup software
  • Windows installation disc (preferably the same Windows version as your current system)
  • New system hard drive which is either empty or ready to be re-formatted (backup your important data on it!)

Procedure

  1. Start Acronis TrueImage Home 2009 and make a backup of your system partition.
  2. Save the backup to a partition / hard drive that you will have access to later on while using the bootable backup restorer. This means: No (TrueCrypt-)encrypted partition. Ideally it would fit on a disc or USB stick (which my didn't with a size of 7 GB). Just make sure you will be able to access it later on. I know BartPE is able to access all hard drives (without encryption at least) and should give you access to a USB drive as well, as long as you have it connected while it's booting up. If you don't want to move it over to a USB drive or DVD or anything else, there is also a nice little trick at the end of this howto: (*).
  3. Shut down your computer and make sure your new system drive is connected as the first device to avoid improper device numbering. This means using the first connector for SATA/IDE or whatever. If you are using both SATA and IDE, I don't know how that's handled. I'm just assuming you somehow have figured it out 🙂
  4. Boot from your Windows installation disc.
  5. If you haven't done it previously under Windows, partition the new system drive properly. That means to have the partitions created in the correct order. If you haven't (or aren't sure any more), delete them and do it over again just to make it right. Maybe the order is not necessary, but I had a lot of trouble with that before, so I'm just playing safe.
  6. Install Windows as usual to the point when you've started up your brand new Windows installation for the first time and are watching the Start Menu in awe.
  7. Boot from your bootable backup software (or BartPE with the plugin) and fire it up.
  8. Restore the image. Don't select MBR / Track 0, however, because we just created a proper MBR (Master Boot Record) by installing Windows.
  9. That's it! You should be done. Now a reboot should provide you with your old system on a new hard drive. Congratulations 🙂

I don't guarantee anything, and I admit to having tried several methods for half a day till I got it right 🙂 This should work fine though, because it basically is what I did the time when it finally worked.

If you have partitions with programs on it that would be started on bootup, make sure you copy it (file by file) before you start your system on the new hard drive.

While you could do that by connecting your old system drive and booting from that, then copying the files over, you could also do it beforehand by using the Windows Disk Management tool to erase all partitions and partition it properly before the Windows installation. This allows you to format the specific partitions and copy the files over to it while you're still on your old system. (*) Also, you can add the backup image onto that partition, so you don't have to burn a DVD or move the image over to a USB stick or ... (you get the point). However, if you create and format the partitions on your old system, make sure to

  • (naturally) not touch them during the Windows installation progress or your data on them will be inaccessible
  • rename your partitions properly after booting up your new system because your old Windows already assigned them (probably different) drive letters. You can do that in the Windows Disk Management tool as well.

I hope I didn't forget anything. If I did, I'll be sure to add it later on 🙂

Thanks for reading and good luck!

8Jun/090

How To Migrate Your Live Windows System To VirtualBox

Hey!

Ever regret that Sun didn't include something like a migration assistant for your live Windows system in VirtualBox?

My method concentrates on these basic steps:

  • Create a backup of your whole system partition
  • Create a new VirtualBox Hard Disk
  • Install Windows onto the VirtualBox Hard Disk to create a function MBR (Master Boot Record)
  • Apply the backup onto your VirtualBox Hard Disk

Done!

What you need:

Process:

    1. Start Acronis TrueImage and create a backup of your whole system partition. For version 2009 doesn't mean System State but My Computer => Disk 1 => C:. Leave Back up sector-by-sector unchecked. Adjust the other settings to your liking and start the backup process.
    2. Go to Tools => Create Bootable Rescue Media and create the image as an ISO file.
    3. Use your File-to-ISO converter or burning software to convert your .tbi backup file to an ISO that you will be able to mount it as a CD/DVD later on. (Reason being that I had problems selecting the right partition to be replaced by the backup when I had two partitions mounted to the virtual machine - the other one included the backup file. Also you won't be able to install the Guest Additions, so you can't mount folders over the VirtualBox shared folders.)
    4. Start VirtualBox and create a new Machine. Choose your current OS and name it as you like.
    5. During the process create a new Boot Hard Disk and give it the same size as your current system partition (maybe less if you know the size will be enough).
    6. Adjust the settings of your new machine and start it.
    7. Mount the Windows installation disc and install Windows. This is so that a proper MBR (Master Boot Record) is created because we will need one in order to boot from the final system.
    8. After the Windows installation (as soon as you see the Windows Start Menu and stuff), mount the Acronis Bootable Rescue Media ISO as a CD/DVD and boot from it.
    9. Select Acronis True Image Home (Full Version) and you'll see the TrueImage program like you did in Windows.
    10. Dismount the current CD/DVD image.
    11. Mount your the ISO with your backup file.
    12. Click on Manage and Restore => Browse for backup... and open the CD/DVD Drive which should have the backup image file right there. If it doesn't, try unmounting and remounting it again.
    13. Right-click on the backup in the list and select Restore.
    14. Select the hard disk (partition) you just created and continue. Make sure that the Restore MBR (Master Boot Recover) / Track 0 checkbox is unchecked.
    15. Let it run through.
    16. Now reboot your machine.
    17. Congratulations! You should have a working copy of your live system in VirtualBox!

      I guess there are a couple of kinks here and there because I didn't actually do it like that (I installed Windows on the virtual machine before I attempted to restore via Acronis Bootable Rescue Media ... yeah, silly me 😀 ) and it was about 3 days ago, so I'm writing off the top of my head.

      Please give me feedback if it worked! (And also if it didn't!) 🙂

      In the case of Windows XP (and probably Vista and 7) because of the major change of hardware (actual drivers replaced by virtual drivers) you will be required to re-activate your Windows copy. XP gives you a maximum of 3 days for that.

      Just thought I'd mention it for clarity's sake 🙂

      Good luck and have fun!

         
      %d bloggers like this: