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Tips & Tricks : BitLocker requires recovery key when USB device connected at startup

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Sometimes when you start machine with BitLocker enabled and same time some storage device was connected to USB port, BitLocker might request Recovery Key. This happens because USB ports is listed on boot device search list. To avoid this type of event best idea is to remove USB from boot search list. However, changing list of boot devices might also trigger BitLocker.

How to deal with this type of situation? Follow steps below:

  1. Suspend BitLocker  – command: manage-bde -protectors -disable c:
  2. Reboot machine
  3. Go to BIOS and remove all USB devices from available boot devices list
  4. Boot up to Windows
  5. Resume BitLocker – command: manage-bde -protectors -enable c:
NOTE: All above commands have to be issues from Command Prompt with elevated privileges.

After that no more issues with BitLocker during startup when USB storage devices are connected.

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Tips & Tricks : Office 365 Error 30088-4 “Something went wrong”

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What to do when Office 365 shows you message “Something went wrong”?

o365-error-30088-4-01

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How-To : Enable BitLocker PIN on computer in workgroup

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If you have machine which is not connected to domain, but has TPM chip you might want to encrypt disks with BitLocker and enable PIN protection at boot-up.

In order to do that you have to make sure TPM is activated and enabled for provisioning in BIOS. Next step will be to allow PIN use, as by default that option is not active especially on machines not connected to Active Directory domain.

So, to enable ability to set PIN follow the steps:

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Tips & Tricks : Issue with SmartCode VNC Manager License

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Sometimes i thappens that SmartConde VNC Manager fails to activate. In that case follow steps below to fix issue with licensing:

  1. Open cmd.exe and change directory to:
    • Enterprise Edition: C:\Program Files\SmartCode Solutions\VNC Manager (Enterprise Edition)\
    • Standard Edition: C:\Program Files\SmartCode Solutions\VNC Manager (Standard Edition)\
  2. Run the following command: vncmanager.exe /licdev
  3. You will be prompted to enter a serial number. You must complete this step. After that the application will close.
  4. Start SmartCode VNC Manager normally via the start menu shortcut.

Source: SmartCode Knowledgebase

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Config snippets : Activating Windows Server 2012 Core

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As there is no GUI in Windows Server 2012 Core, we have to use command line and script in order to acivate system.

slmgr.vbs is a VBscript which allows to set product key and activate operating system. Below most common use of slmgr.vbs.

Set product key

slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Activate Windows

slmgr.vbs /ato

Display information about licenses

slmgr.vbs /dli
slmgr.vbs /dlv
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Code snippets : Enable remote administration on Windows Server 2012 Core

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By default remote management on Windows Server 2012 Core can be blocked by firewall.

In order to enable this functionality, issue following command from Command Prompt window:


Netsh.exe firewall set service remoteadmin enable ALL

Once it’s done you should be able to manage server remotely.

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Code snippets : Handy wmic commands

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Some handy wmic commands which might be helpful when automating OS deployment:

wmic bios get serialnumber
wmic computersystem get manufacturer
wmic computersystem get model
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Tips & Tricks : iTunes store crashes on Windows 8.1

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NOTE: iTunes version 11.1.4.62 or above is free from that issue.

When trying to access iTunes Store from iTunes installed on Windows 8.1 it crashes. Problem is that iTunes can’t find specific DLL which is used to display content of the store.

In order to fix problem cop: QTMovieWin.dll

from:  C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support

to: C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes

and now you can access iTunes Store without any problems on Windows 8.1.

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Cheat Sheet : Windows 8.1 Shortcut

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Some handy keyboard shortcuts you can use in Windows 8.1

WINKEY - Toggles between Desktop and Start Menu

Esc  Key - If you have the Desktop running it will exit to desktop whenever in Start Menu

WINKEY + ,  Provides Peak of Desktop if open

WINKEY + B Switch to the Windows Desktop and select the tray notification area.

WINKEY + C  Display Charms and notification

WINKEY + D Switch to the Windows desktop and toggle Show Desktop.

WINKEY + E Switch to the Windows desktop and launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.

WINKEY + F - Search Files using the new Windows Search pane.

WINKEY + I - Display Settings pane for the Start screen.

WINKEY + L - Lock PC and return to Lock screen.

WINKEY + M - Minimize the selected Explorer window.

WINKEY + O - Toggle orientation switching on slate and tablet PCs.

WINKEY + P - Display the new options for items like projectors.

WINKEY + Q - Search within Apps using the new Windows Search pane.

WINKEY + R - Switch to the Windows desktop and display the Run box.

WINKEY + U - Switch to the Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.

WINKEY + X - Switch to the Windows desktop and Administrative tools.

WINKEY + Z - Display the App Bar in a Metro-style app.

WINKEY + 1, WINKEY + 2,  WINKEY + 3 ,,,,  Launches each of the classic desktop Task Bar apps from Left to right.

These are Windows Classic Desktop Keys

WINKEY + .  List all Running Apps

WINKEY + 1, WINKEY + 2,  WINKEY + 3 ,,,,  Launches each of the classic desktop Task Bar apps from Left to right.

WINKEY + B - Select the tray notification area.

WINKEY + C - Display Charms and notification

WINKEY + D - Toggle Show Desktop. Very cool feature to help find other apps / shortcuts on desktop

WINKEY + E. Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.

WINKEY + F - Search Files using the new Windows Search pane.

WINKEY + I - Display Settings pane for Windows Desktop

WINKEY + L - Lock PC and return to Lock screen.

WINKEY + M - Minimize the selected Explorer window.

WINKEY + O - Toggle orientation switching on slate and tablet PCs.

WINKEY + P - Display the new options for items like projectors.

WINKEY + Q - Search (within) Apps using the new Windows Search pane.

WINKEY + R - Display Run box.

WINKEY + U - Launch Ease of Access Center.

WINKEY + W - Search Settings using the new Windows Search pane. Defaults to Settings first

WINKEY + X - Switch to the Windows desktop and Administrative tools.

WINKEY + Left or Right Arrow - Aero Snap Moves position of selected app.

WINKEY + Up Arrow - Will Maximize Selected App

WINKEY + Down Arrow - Will Change app from Maximize to Normal then to Task Bar of Selected App
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Tips & Tricks : CMD Batch parameters

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Handful list of parameters possible to use in CMD scripts:

%~I         - expands %I removing any surrounding quotes ("")
%~fI        - expands %I to a fully qualified path name
%~dI        - expands %I to a drive letter only
%~pI        - expands %I to a path only
%~nI        - expands %I to a file name only
%~xI        - expands %I to a file extension only
%~sI        - expanded path contains short names only
%~aI        - expands %I to file attributes of file
%~tI        - expands %I to date/time of file
%~zI        - expands %I to size of file
%~$PATH:I   - searches the directories listed in the PATH
environment variable and expands %I to the
fully qualified name of the first one found.
If the environment variable name is not
defined or the file is not found by the
search, then this modifier expands to the
empty string

%~1         - expands %1 removing any surrounding quotes (")
%~f1        - expands %1 to a fully qualified path name
%~d1        - expands %1 to a drive letter only
%~p1        - expands %1 to a path only
%~n1        - expands %1 to a file name only
%~x1        - expands %1 to a file extension only
%~s1        - expanded path contains short names only
%~a1        - expands %1 to file attributes
%~t1        - expands %1 to date/time of file
%~z1        - expands %1 to size of file
%~$PATH:1   - searches the directories listed in the PATH
environment variable and expands %1 to the fully
qualified name of the first one found.  If the
environment variable name is not defined or the
file is not found by the search, then this
modifier expands to the empty string

%~dp1       - expands %1 to a drive letter and path only
%~nx1       - expands %1 to a file name and extension only
%~dp$PATH:1 - searches the directories listed in the PATH
environment variable for %1 and expands to the
drive letter and path of the first one found.
%~ftza1     - expands %1 to a DIR like output line

Very useful for automated software installations for example.

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