Friday, February 27, 2015

remove user's ability to browse network on Server 2012 (Possibly windows 7 or 8 as well)

I work for a cloud hosting company where we setup all customer's servers and join them to our active directory domain controller so we can manage their users, and use group permissions to manage who has permissions to be able to log into their server.

Even though users can't log into other servers because we have them locked down, they can still see them if they browse the network.

After doing some research I found a group policy Administrative template (ADM) file that I was able to use to remove the network from the left side of the file explorer but this didn't stop users from being able to type in network up in the address bar, which would then allow them to browse the network to see other local computer systems.

I did some further digging and found this site Which had information about how to edit the registry to remove the ability to see the network tab, but as an added bonus it also removes the ability to view any computers on the network if you change the registry key.

After testing it on a test system I knew it would work, but I didn't want to have to manually edit the registry or use a reg file on every single server that we host.

Since I had previously used the other ADM file I knew it was possible to make a custom file that could be imported into active directory to make the registry change, so I started researching on how to do this.

After reading up on how to create my own ADM file I created a file that gives the ability to edit the file explorer's ability to browse the local network and have verified that it does work.

If the user types in network on the address bar the only option that shows up is network (Domain Name). If they select this it shows entire network, and if they click this it shows a blank page with nothing, so they can't see other computers on the local network. Please note that this does not remove the ability to directly access a computer on the network by using a UNC path like


Again this isn't an issue for us, due to how the servers are locked down.

For our environment our servers are server 2012, or server 2012 R2 depending on when they were setup, and this ADM file works for both after I imported the template and enabled it. The ADM file may also work for windows 7 but I haven't tested it. My recommendation would be to review the site I provided the link for and check the registry keys for windows 7 or 8 and see if they are present and if the default entry for the registry key is the same. If so then this should work for you.

If you want to try my ADM file here is the link

Friday, September 12, 2014

Super affordable Cloud Hosting available at Cloud At Cost - Discount Coupons available.

I wanted to share this with the readers of my Blog.

If you are in the market for a inexpensive Cloud hosted server I recommend using Cloud At Cost

One of their best features in my humble opinion is the ability to pay a one time charge for them to host your server forever.

I purchased one of their Developer 1 cloud servers from them for a 1 time charge of 35 U.S. Dollars.

In fact If you are interested here is a code that will get you 20 percent off this price that is good until 10/21/2014. use this code VemAjAPure

I signed up to be an affiliate thru them, so I can make a new code as needed so I will periodically update this post with new codes.

Also here is a code to get 50 percent off the cost for one of their Big Dog servers ygeGA4etEr

I remain your obediant servant,


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How to Fix a Motorola Moto-G XT-1034 that is having no sim, or radio turned off issues after receiving the 4.4.2 OTA update

I had purchased a Consumer Cellular Motorola Moto-G for my wife to use as a replacement for her Samsung Galaxy Nexus which had started developing issues with the radio stopping working until the phone was rebooted. These issues were getting more and more frequent so it was time for a replacement.

I got the phone then got CC to unlock it for me as my wife didn't want to switch her cell service to them. I then unlocked the boot loader thru motorola and proceeded to flash the phone with the retail 4.4.2 rom available from the website for the Moto G.

After doing this the phone was no longer able to recognize that a sim card was inserted, and attempts to reflash the rom did nothing.

Well I was desperate and with the bootloader unlocked I couldn't get any kind of warranty from Motorola, so I decided to experiment with flashing different modems from other versions in the hope that I could fix the issue.

after flashing the 4.4.2 radio from the Retail GB (Great Britain) rom and then restarting the phone, it was able to again recognize that there was a sim installed, and it's working.

I have packaged up a zip file with the needed files to flash a XT-1034 Moto-G with this radio and I'm sharing them here for anyone who is having this issue from the OTA update and is willing to try this before giving up on their phone.

to use this you must have a unlocked bootloader, if your bootloader is not unlocked I strong urge you to try to get the phone replaced thru Motorola, as you should have a full year of warranty and they should be willing to advance rma you a replacement phone before you send them back the defective phone.

Anyways here is the file if you want to try it.

Please be advised, I can't guarantee this will work for any other model of Moto-G, and I do not guarantee this will fix the issue for you on your XT-1034 Moto G, I'm only offering this to anyone who wants to try this as a last ditch effort before they give up on their messed up Moto-G

 UPDATE: the US Retail Blur_Version.210.12.32.falcon_umts.AWSRetail.en.US 4.4.3 Factory firmware from here fixed the issue, it also adds a handy sim tool utility.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

how-to fix a Samsung 11.6 inch ARM Chromebook if it has a blank screen during startup

OK first, you need to make sure you are having the same problem I was experiencing. On my Samsung 11.6" ARM Chromebook I was having a problem that whenever I turned my Chromebook on it wasn't turning on the backlight on my screen. You can tell if this is happening by shining a light onto the screen. If this is what is happening to your chromebook the light will allow you to see that there is a very very faint image of the normal login screen. You can also do a reset on it to get it to come on (To do a reset press and hold the power button for 30 or so seconds, then let go and then press the power button again), but it will keep doing it until you follow these steps each time the Chromebook is turned off.

1. first make sure anything you have saved on your chromebook that you want to keep is saved to a thumbdrive or external hard drive, or to your google drive. We will be turning developer mode on, and doing this will wipe the 16 GB SSD drive on your chromebook and reset it to factory settings (no user profiles,etc.)

2. next power off your chromebook using the reset method described above (otherwise recovery will show up with the same issue where the backlight is turned off).

3. press and hold the esc and the refresh key (the one that looks like a arrow going in a circle), and then tap the power button. this boots the Chromebook into recovery mode.

4. you are now in recovery mode, the next step is to press control-d and you will then it will ask you to confirm that you are about to go into developer mode once you have confirmed the system will reboot into dev mode and show a progress bar across the top. once this finishes it will reboot again and take you back to a screen where you are prompted to press space to exit developer mode.

5. Press space and the system will erase the storage on your chromebook again and then reboot to normal mode.

If you wish to keep the Chromebook in developer mode you can press control-d and then skip step 5, however you will have to do this each time the Chromebook is turned on or alternately wait 30 seconds afterwards the Chromebook will then boot normally.

Another thing to try is doing a reset as described above, then pressing the refresh button and then tapping the power  button, this is supposed to do a hard reset without entering recovery. I haven't tried this method yet, if my Chromebook acts up again I will give it a try and if it works I will update this post.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Comcast sucks... AKA my experiences with using comcast's service

I just bought a new home and found out my only option for high speed at the new house is comcast.

So I signed up for Blast Plus service which gave me 50 meg cable internet service and digital economy cable tv service.

I didn't realize that this tv package didn't come with SyFy and several other channels that I used to watch on Dish Network.

so I went on the website and chatted with a service rep about getting upgraded to digital starter which didn't sound too bad price wise.

BUZZZ!! wrong!! If I upgrade my total price jumps from 70 dollars (after the 49.99 promotion ends) to 144 dollars if I switch to digital starter service.

my chat transcript is below for your consideration

chat id : f99daef4-9ef1-4b8b-a0ca-80ab44454188
Problem : TC assisted Order

Pradeep > Hello Doctorevil30564, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Pradeep. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Pradeep > I see you are interested in adding Comcast services. It's my pleasure to process your order and answer any questions you may have. How are you doing?

Doctorevil30564 > Yes Sir, I need to upgrade my current tv service from digital economy to digital starter

Pradeep > That's a great value! It shouldn't take very long to process this order for you. I'll be asking you just a few questions to make sure you get the best deal.

Pradeep > After I complete your order, we will go over all of the charges to make sure you don't have any questions. Sound good?

Doctorevil30564 > ok

Pradeep > For the integrity and security of the account, can you verify the last 4 digits of the Social Security Number listed on the account, please?

Doctorevil30564 >XXXX

Pradeep > Thank you for verifying the Social Security Number.

Pradeep > Doctorevil30564, as I can see currently you are using Blast Pluas package at promotional price. If you break this bundle package and upgrade to Digital starter then your your monthly bill will be approximately $140.90/month before taxes.

Doctorevil30564 > no way in hell I am paying that much

Doctorevil30564 > I'll cancel my digital TV service and drop back to the cheapest level internet and go back to using dish network before I will pay that much.

Pradeep > I certainly do understand, let me see what best we can do for you.

Doctorevil30564 > ok

Pradeep > Doctorevil30564, I have a great offer for you. I would recommend you to go for our Starter XF Triple Play package. With this package you have access to over thousands of On Demand movies and TV programs that you can watch on your television or, with the super fast internet connection that comes with this package, you can watch online without any buffering or lag time.

Pradeep > You also get unlimited nationwide talk and text with XFINITY Voice. No longer do you have to be home to check your voicemail. It's available to you on the go - you can check it online or read it as an email – on your smartphone or computer.

Doctorevil30564 > only interested in tv and internet service

Doctorevil30564 > I already use straight talk for my cell service and I am happy with it.

Pradeep > This package has a regular monthly rate of $149.95/mo but if you choose to sign up now, I can give you the package at $99.00/mo for the first 12 months.

Doctorevil30564 > not interested

Pradeep > I understand the hesitation. However, XFINITY Voice is not your ordinary phone service.

Pradeep > With our phone service, you get Text Messaging service on your Android or Apple devices, or online at, at no additional monthly charge.

Pradeep > Would you like to reconsider the offer?

Pradeep > You have opened a window for Comcast Support and I don't want to miss an opportunity to support you. Are we still connected?

Doctorevil30564 > not interested. I only want TV and internet service

Pradeep > I understand your hesitation for this promotion; I just wanted to save you some money.

Doctorevil30564 > I only want to upgrade my TV service to Digital starter, but only if I can get it for the amount shown on the website 62.99

Pradeep > Alright!

Pradeep > I am working on it. Please stay connected.

Doctorevil30564 > ok

Pradeep > Thank you.

Pradeep > Doctorevil30564, I would like to inform you that price of Digital Starter is $67.95/month instead of $62.95/month in your area.

Doctorevil30564 > thats fine, that is still affordable

Pradeep > That means your total monthly bill will be $145.90/month approximately before taxes.

Pradeep > *8which includes your Blast Internet.

Doctorevil30564 > that's ridiculous

Pradeep > But, no need to worry. As a good will gesture I am able to provide you Blast internet on promotional price of $29.99/month for the first 6 months.

Doctorevil30564 > just forget it, I'll be cancelling my TV service shortly. I haven't turned my dish network equipment back in yet and I can get it setup and reactivated at my new house for less than what you're trying to charge me

Doctorevil30564 > this is bullshit

Doctorevil30564 > I'd been told that comcast service sucked, I think I understand why now

Pradeep > I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

Doctorevil30564 > I may have to use comcast for my internet, but I don't have to use it for my TV service.

Pradeep > I have tried my best to reduce your monthly charge.

Pradeep > Analyst has closed chat and left the room

Monday, January 28, 2013

how to configure your APN for better download speeds with Net10 if you are using an AT&T BYOD sim.

Back around the end of July, I made the mistake of changing my cellular service over to sprint.

Sure I loved the new samsung galaxy nexus phone, and 4G cellular was great in the 4 or 5 places I could get a 4G signal at in the Roswell / Alpharetta Georgia area (none of which were at my home where I could barely get 2 bars of 3G service). Combine this with having a lot of trouble with their 3G network where I would have full signal strength but wouldn't be able to access anything on the data network, which was absolutely fricking ridiculous.

Well at the end of December I was completely fed up, and I started researching on finding a cheaper way to have decent cell service. See, I used to have AT&T which gave me great coverage, but their policies on data usage sucked. I rarely go over 1 1/2 to 2GB of data usage per month, but when I had to spend 4 days in the hospital and only had my cell phone for internet usage I racked up a whopping 2.1GB of data and got charged an extra 20 dollars on my bill, which prompted me to look for something with unlimited data. Having unlimited data plus the supposedly great 4G coverage Sprint advertises suckered me into signing up with them.

Anyways, after some research I decided to go with the Net10 BYOD (Bring Your own Device) unlimited plan using one of their AT&T compatible sim cards and my old Samsung Captivate phone that I still have. You might say why in the hell are you going from such a nice phone like the galaxy nexus back to the captivate which has issues with the GPS lock not working very well, random shutdown issues, and in general just being an older model phone.

The answer is, I already own it, and that I'm also in the process of getting the needed parts in to repair a unlocked International model GT-I9250 GSM model Samsung Galaxy Nexus that I purchased off ebay that has a damaged micro USB charging port. I ordered the flex cable part with the usb connector on it that I will swap out after I take the phone apart.

Anyways back to the info about how to configure your APN for better download speeds with Net10 if you are using an AT&T sim.

I followed the instructions on setting up the APN on my captivate using the APN settings that Net10 gave me, but ran into issues with download speeds being very sub par, especially with me having a HSPDA signal with 4 bars on my phone.

thru a little trial and error I determined that the issue was with the proxy settings that net10 wanted me to use so I wanted to share the APN settings that gave me the best speeds both for uploads and downloads.

Name: NET10

APN: wap.tracfone

Proxy: not set

Port: not set

username: not set

server: not set


MMS proxy: not set

MMS port: not set

MCC: 310

MNC: 410

Authentication type: not set

apn type: not set

apn protocol : IPv4

Bearer: Unspecified.

the main differences between this and the settings that Net10 wanted me to use were the proxy, proxy port, mms proxy and mms port. Once I removed these I went from very slow download speeds of less than 100K per second, to nearly 3 MB per second download, and 1 MB per second upload speeds.

for cheap unlimited service this isn't bad, and by me setting it to auto renew every month on their website I was able to get my monthly service for $45 per month instead of $50.

You might be asking youself, now if he signed up with sprint back at the end of July, isn't he going to have to pay an ETF fee? Well the answer for that is yes, but I'm getting a nice refund back from the IRS and plan on using it to pay the ETF, and I plan on selling my phone after everything is settled and square for whatever I can get out of it, to help recover some of the ETF.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How-to: Windows 8 Professional Upgrade install and activation on system without OS installed

Using this info you should be able to do a clean install of the Windows 8 Upgrade on a system without an Operating system.

  • Open regedit by pressing Windows-q, entering regedit and selecting the result from the list of hits.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
  • Change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0
  • Go back to the start screen and enter cmd there.
  • Right-click Command Prompt and select to run it as administrator.
  • Type slmgr /rearm on the command line and hit enter.
  • Reboot Windows now.
  • Run the activation utility afterwards, enter your product key to activate Windows.
This is the same method that worked for Windows 7.