• RDP (Remote Desktop) to Windows 10 with Microsoft Account Not Working

    I recently re-installed the OS on my Laptop and immediately had an issue connecting to it remotely using my Microsoft Account credentials. I knew this worked before and I was not getting any intelligent errors regarding the failure to connect.

    After doing the normal google search and reading over multiple articles and ways others have tried to fix this I stumbled across an obscure post that told me to login into Windows at least once with your MS Account password instead of the standard PIN or Windows Hello authentication that Windows 10 uses as default.

    After logging in one time with my MS Account password, voila, the RDP connection started working. Hopefully this helps anyone else out there that is having this issue.

  • PXE Server on Centos for network deployments

    Found this article for installing a PXE server on Centos for network deployments.

    NOTE: I ran into one issue that had me stumped for al long time. The PXE install would hang and after a lot of troubleshooting I added more RAM to the virtual machine I was trying to do the network install on and whammo, it worked. I added 4GB of RAM but not sure what the minimum is.

    Install the following packages for setting up PXE environment.

    yum install httpd xinetd syslinux tftp-server -y

    Configure PXE Server

    Go to /usr/share/syslinux/ directory:

    cd /usr/share/syslinux/

    Copy the following TFTP configuration files to the /var/lib/tftpboot/ directory.

    cp pxelinux.0 menu.c32 memdisk mboot.c32 chain.c32 /var/lib/tftpboot/


    Edit file /etc/xinetd.d/tftp

    vi /etc/xinetd.d/tftp


    Enable TFTP server. To do this, change “disable=yes” to “no”.

     # default: off
     # description: The tftp server serves files using the trivial file transfer \
     #       protocol.  The tftp protocol is often used to boot diskless \
     #       workstations, download configuration files to network-aware printers, \
     #       and to start the installation process for some operating systems.
     service tftp
     socket_type             = dgram
     protocol                = udp
     wait                    = yes
     user                    = root
     server                  = /usr/sbin/in.tftpd
     server_args             = -s /var/lib/tftpboot
     disable                 = no
     per_source              = 11
     cps                     = 100 2
     flags                   = IPv4


    Mount CentOS installation ISO file to any directory of your choice, for example /mnt. I already have CentOS 7 64 bit ISO image on my /root directory.

    mount -o loop /root/<ISONAME>.iso /mnt/


    Next, create a directory to store CentOS installation ISO image.

    mkdir /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7_x64

    Note: If you want to install CentOS 32 bit edition, make a relevant directory called centos7_i386 (Ex. /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7_i386).


    Copy the ISO file contents to /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7_x64/.

    cp -fr /mnt/* /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7_x64/


    Copy the boot files to /var/lib/tftpboot/.

    cp initrd.img /var/lib/tftpboot/
    cp vmlinuz /var/lib/tftpboot/


    Set the proper permissions to the above directory.

    chmod -R 755 /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7_x64/


    Create a apache configuration file for PXE server under /etc/httpd/conf.d/ directory:

    vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/pxeboot.conf


    Add the following lines:

    Alias "/centos7" "/var/lib/tftpboot/centos7/"
    <Directory /var/lib/tftpboot/centos7>
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    Require all granted

    Save and close the file.

    Start the Apache service and TFTP

    systemctl enable httpd.service
    systemctl restart httpd.service
    systemctl start xinetd
    systemctl start tftp
    systemctl enable xinetd
    systemctl enable tftp


    Then, create a configuration directory for PXE server:

    mkdir /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg


    Now, create PXE server configuration file under the pxelinux.cfg:

    vi /var/lib/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default


    Add the following lines:

    default menu.c32
    prompt 0
    timeout 300
    ONTIMEOUT local
    menu title ########## PXE Boot Menu ##########
    label 1
    menu label ^1) Install CentOS 7
    kernel centos7_x64/images/pxeboot/vmlinuz
    append initrd=centos7_x64/images/pxeboot/initrd.img method= devfs=nomount
    label 2
    menu label ^2) Boot from local drive localboot


    Save and close the file.

    Disable Firewall and SELinux

    To reduce complexity, I have disabled both firewall and SELinux in my PXE server.

    To disable firewall, run the following commands:

    systemctl disable firewalld
    systemctl stop firewalld


    To disable SELinux, edit file /etc/sysconfig/selinux:

    vi /etc/sysconfig/selinux


    Find the line: SELINUX=enforcing and change it to SELINUX=disabled

    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    # enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    # permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    # disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    # targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    # minimum - Modification of targeted policy. Only selected processes are protected.
    # mls - Multi Level Security protection.


    Save and close the file. Reboot your PXE server to take effect the saved changes.

  • Enable Remote Root Login

    Enable root login over SSH:
    1. As root, edit the sshd_config file in /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

      nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    2. Add a line in the Authentication section of the file that says PermitRootLogin yes. This line may already exist and be commented out with a “#”. In this case, remove the “#”.

      # Authentication:
      #LoginGraceTime 2m
      PermitRootLogin yes
      #StrictModes yes
      #MaxAuthTries 6
      #MaxSessions 10
    3. Save the updated /etc/ssh/sshd_config file.
    4. Restart the SSH server:
      service sshd restart

  • Converting PAL DVD to a NTSC DVD

    So many years ago i bought the entire set of “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps“. One of the funniest shows I’ve ever watched and had to look up some of the UK slang but well worth it. It was only sold overseas so the set I got was set to region 2 (PAL). Back then I had an old DVD player that I was able to reflash to be region free and play them. Fast forward to today and from what i can tell there is no way to set my Xbox One to be region free nor would I probably want to so I was looking for a way to create a NTSC DVD from a PAL one. Read many tutorials and they all seemed VERY complicated using multiple tools.

    I decided to try things on my own and was able to do it using two tools:

    1. DVD Decrypter
    2. Nero Recode (2016 version I bought several years ago)

    Basically I used DVD Decrypter to remove the region and copy the DVD files to my hard drive and then Nero Recode to burn them back to a DVD-R. Works perfectly with all the menus intact and everything.

    Gonna go watch season 1 now! 🙂

  • iOS 12 Beta 2 and updating Apple WatchOS to 4.3.2

    Hit another snag on the iOS 12 Beta this morning. Seems that when i go to update my Apple Watch, it throws an error stating that my iPhone “Could Not Connect to Apple Watch”. Tried multiple various things including rebooting both devices, install the beta profile on my watch and find found that if you remove the beta profile from your iPhone, restart it and then try to update the watch, it works. Then you can just reinstall the Beta profile again and your good to go. Other than that I’m not seeing any new bugs with Beta 2.

  • iOS 12 Beta 1 – GPS issue

    So i installed the new iOS 12 Beta 1 and everything worked fine for a while and was impressed by the new features but after 24hrs my GPS stopped working on any application that used it. Waze, Apple Maps, Google Maps, etc. Tried everything, researched and people had luck turn off/on locations services, resetting network, open multiple GPS using apps all at once, multiple different things and I tried all of them with no luck. What I found is that it was hit or miss. I would open an app and it worked, an hour later it wouldn’t work. I believe that all those people that were resetting and trying multiple things just happened to hit a time when it was working. Good news is that with Beta 2 it looks like it’s resolved.

  • Remotely managing Hyper-V server not on domain

    So I decided to downsize my environment and got rid of my desktop, server and multiple other devices. So all I have now is my Alienware laptop and an old desktop I built with Server 1709 to play around with. Well since i no longer have a Domain, I was having major problems connecting to it remotely from my laptop.

    Luckily I stumbled on to this post that walked me through the security setup and I’m now good to go.

    Quick and Dirty commands but keep in mind this adds ALL to the trustedhosts. If you want to lock it down, change * to “FQDN-HyperV-Server”

    On Hyper-V Server:

    • Open Powershell session as Admin
    • Enable-PSRemoting
    • Enable-WSManCredSSP -Role server

    On Computer you want to manager Hyper-V Server from:

    • Start Windows Remote Management Service and set to automatic
    • Open Powershell session as Admin
    • Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value *
    • Enable-WSManCredSSP -Role client -DelegateComputer *
    • You might also need to configure the following group policy:
      • Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Credentials Delegation > Allow delegating fresh credentials with NTLM-only server authentication
      • Click Enable and add wsman/fqdn-of-hyper-v-host.

  • Unable to connect to Admin$ shares with local accounts

    When trying to access the admin shares on my systems, after removing them from the domain, I found that only the local administrator account was able to access them. It seems this is by design and you need to turn off Remote UAC from the registry.

    Here is the article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/951016/description-of-user-account-control-and-remote-restrictions-in-windows


  • Adding a Library Server in SCVMM 2012 R2 ends in no jobs

    So I installed System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 to do some playing around with it on the network that I share, via an IPSEC tunnel, with my friend. I installed at his location and tried to bring up a new Library Server in my location. Ran through the wizard, added the SCVMM service account as a run as account, chose the server and the share and up pops the job frame but the only job there is the creation of run as account job. No error, nothing. Ran it a couple more times, changing permissions on the share to see if that was it and nothing. No jobs at all after finishing the wizard.

    So off to Google I go, search for 20 mins and finally found this article from System Center Central. It sees that even though the library created on install uses the SCVMM service account, you can not use the same account to add additional libraries. Would have been nice for MS to have this error pop up or at least give us an easy way to know what the issues was.

    Hope this helps!