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How to set up WSUS on Windows Server 2008 R2


Good morning my fellow readers. Today I am going to show you how to set up WSUS on Windows Server 2008 R2.  WSUS is fantastic for centralising management of Windows Updates throughout your network.  Installing a WSUS server makes deploying patches and security fixes much easier and so by default makes your life easier too!!

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with 1.5 Gb of RAM (you would use much more than this in a production environment).

Open up Server Manager.  Right click on Roles and then click Add Roles.

When asked to select which roles you want to install click Windows Server Update Services and when prompted Add the additional roles that are required (eg Web Server IIS)

During installation you will be prompted to accept the license agreement and then you will be asked where do you want to store all the updates.  Either choose a new folder or accept the default C:\\WSUS location.

You will now be asked to choose whether you want to install the Windows Internal Database or use an existing one instead.  I tend to just install the database on the C drive in C:\\WSUS but the choice is yours.

Next you will be asked for your web site preference.  You can use the default IIS web site to access WSUS over the network or you can specify your own one.  Again I quite happily choose the default for this.

On the last page page review your options and then click next.

The installation itself takes a long time but once installed the first thing we need to do is synchronize the WSUS server with Microsoft Update (or another WSUS server on the network) so expand Server Manager – Windows Server Update Services – Update Services – Options – Update Source and Proxy Server.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will synchronise with Microsoft Update.

Next we have to choose which products to download updates for so click on Products and Classifications.

Choose all the products which you require updates for and click OK.

Next we have to decide what languages to download the updates in (if you select all available languages your downloads will take a long time and take up a loads of disk space).  Click on Update Files and Languages and then the Update Languages tab. Choose your language and then click Apply.

We now need to decide when to check for new updates and when to download them.  To accomplish this we need to click on Synchronization Schedule (shown below).

You can synchronize manually but it is better to synchronize automatically on a daily schedule.  Once you have set your daily schedule click Apply.

With all the housekeeping done all that is left to do is to perfrom the initial synchronization so expand Server Manager – Windows Server Update Services – Update Services – Synchronize and then right click and go to Synchronize Now. This will start the synchronize process.

That is the configuration for the WSUS server complete.

Distributing Updates across the network

To accomplish this we need to set up a Windows Update Group Policy and then distribute it to all computers in the domain.

To do this expand Start – Administrative Programs – Group Policy Management. Once the Group Policy Management Console is open expand Group Policy Management – Forest – Domains – “your domain” – Group Policy Objects. Right click on Group Policy Objects and go to New.

When the New GPO box appears eneter a name for the new GPO and then click OK.  Your new GPO should be visible on the screen (as shown below).  Right click on it and go to Edit.

Now in the left panel expand Computer Configuration – Policies – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Windows Update to get the screenshot below.

The first setting to configure is Specify intranet Microsoft update service location. Right click and go to Edit.

As shown above set this to enabled. Enter the location of your WSUS Server where required and then click Apply.

The next setting to configure is Configure Automatic Updates.  Set this to enabled and specify how the downloads should be installed and at what time.  Once configured click Apply.

Next we have to configure the Automatic Updates Detection Frequency policy.

Enable the policy and set to 1 hr.  Click Apply.

Last thing we need to do on the GPO front is link it to the domain.

The next time the computers on your domain restart their group policy settings will be updated and they will be pointed to the new WSUS server (screenshot of client computer shown below).

 

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

 

How to set up a Web Server on Windows Server 2008 R2 using IIS


Today I will show you how to set up a Web Server on Windows Server 2008 R2 using IIS.

Open up Server Manager, right click on Roles and click Add Roles.

When you are shown a list of available roles click Web Server (ISS) and then Next.  On the following screen read the information and then click Next.

On the Select Role Services screen which follows click any additional services that you require (or leave the defaults) and then click Next.

On the final page we have to review our selections and click Install when satisfied.

Now we need to check if IIS is working so open up a web browser and type http://localhost into the address bar.  If IIS is working perfectly then you should get the screenshot below.

Now it is time for some configuration.  We are now going to add a new site called ComTech1 so the first thing we need to do is to create a new folder called Web_Root on the C drive which will contain all the website files.  You will need to copy all your website files into this folder.

Now expand Server manager – Roles – Web Server (IIS) – Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager – Your System Name 

Right click on your System Name (e.g 2008Test1 in my example) and go to Add Web Site

 

In the above example I have called the website ComTech1 and set the physical path of the website files as C:\Web_Root.  The ip address of the site has been set to 10.0.0.170 and the Host name as www.comtech.com.  Using this information as a guide enter the relevant details for your own website.

Once configured your website should be available at the ip address you specified above.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to Schedule a Task in Windows 7


Today I will show you how to schedule a task in Windows 7.  This is very handy when you want to schedule tasks that are carried out on a frequent basis.

Ok go to StartAll ProgramsAccessoriesSystem ToolsTask Scheduler

Now go to ActionCreate Task to bring up the following screenshot.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will schedule Internet Explorer to run at a specified time.

On the General tab enter a Name for your Task and also a Description.  Also choose if you want the task to run when a user is logged in or not.  When completed click OK and then click on Triggers.

On the Triggers tab click New to get the following screenshot.

You can now choose when your task should start.  You get the options of One time, Daily, Weekly or Monthly schedule.  I will pick One time for the purpose of this tutorial.  When you have chosen click OK and then the Actions tab.

On the Actions tab click New to get the screenshot below.

Select Start a Program and then browse for a program to start.  So in this case I have chosen to start Internet Explorer.  When you have chosen click OK.

Now click on the Conditions Tab.  You will be given options for what to do if the machine is on AC power, idle etc.  Browse through all the options and choose what is relevant to you and then click OK.

Finally click on the Settings tab.  Again you are given multiple settings for your task. Review the options and then choose what is necessary for you.  Once you have chosen click OK.

All that is left to do is to check that the task is stored and scheduled to run at the specified time.  Click on Task Scheduler Library to get a list of all scheduled tasks.  In the screenshot below Internet Explorer is scheduled to run once on 13/06/2012 at 17.08.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to customise a Windows 7 ISO


Today I will show you how to customise a Windows 7 ISO before you install it on a system.  This can come in useful if you are installing onto a tiny hard drive (eg netbook) or if you don’t want certain features installed automatically during the installation (eg media center etc).

The first thing to do is get your hands on a Windows 7 ISO and copy all the files into a new folder called Win7 Files (you can change this) on your desktop as shown below.

Next we need to download and install a package called RT Seven Lite.  RT Seven Lite allows you to remove components that you don’t need prior to installation. I was originally planning to use vLite, however vLite is not fully compatible with the new WAIK so by default is not fully compatible with Windows 7.

Time to get customising!! Start RT Seven Lite to get the screenshot below.

We now have to locate the Win7 Files folder so click on Browse and navigate to it.  When the windows installation files have been confirmed RT Seven Lite will then ask you to choose which version of Windows the installation files are for.  Choose your version and click ok.

The image will now be uploaded ready for configuration.  Once loaded we can start configuring so click on Task (top left under Home).

This is where we are given loads of options on what we would like to do with the installation files.  For the purpose of this tutorial we shall choose Components Removal and remove all media files so click Components and then Features Removal.

Tick the box next to Multi-Media and then click apply.  This brings you back to the main page where you need to click commit.  The Multi-Media files will now be removed from the Windows 7 Installation Files.

Now that we have removed the Multi-Media files we need to create a bootable ISO so click on ISO-Bootable.

We need to change the mode to Create Image and then enter a name for the volume (e.g Windows7 Lite etc).  Once done click Make ISO.  Choose a place to save the ISO and then click save.

The new image will now be created.  Burn the ISO to disk using your favourite disk burning software.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to schedule a backup in Ubuntu 12.04


Today I will show you how to schedule a backup in Ubuntu 12.04 using cron.

The cron daemon uses the crontab file  (think Task Scheduler in Windows) which allows you to set the backup schedule. The beauty of using cron is that it works ON ALL LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS not just Ubuntu. You don’t even need to install cron as it comes installed by default.

Ok time to get your hands dirty.  Open up a terminal and type “su” and when prompted enter your root password.  Next you want to open up the crontab file so type “nano /etc/crontab” in a terminal.  The crontab file should look similar to the table below.

 

M H Dom Mon Dow User Command
1 9 * * * Root Tar -cvf/media/dev/sdb/backup.tar /home

Where:

M = minutes

H = hours

Dom = every day in the month

Mon = every month

Dow = every day of week (e.g 1-5 would be Monday to Friday inclusive)

User = user who can perform this task

Command = what is getting backed up and where is it getting sent to

Lets explain this a bit. In the above example I have backed up a folder called home (/home) to a folder called backup.tar which is on sdb (/dev/sdb/backup.tar) at 1 minute past 9 everyday in the month, every month.  The authorised user is root and the command to be used is Tar -cvf.

When you have configured the crontab file save it and exit.  Your backup schedule is now set.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients throughout Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more!!

How to resize an image using GIMP


Imagine the scenario.  You are trying to upload a picture to a website but the picture resolution is too high and the size of the file is also too high.  So what do you do? Today I will show you how to resize an image using GIMP.

GIMP is an open source picture editing and manipulation tool that can be run on Linux, Windows and OS X.  You can take a picture and resize, crop and edit in a thousand different ways to your hearts content.  Think open source Photoshop and you would not be far wrong.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using the Linux version of GIMP on Linux Mint 12.  I will be taking a file that has a resolution of 1440 * 900 and size 1.8Mb and reducing it 800*600 and less than 200Kb.

Open up GIMP and go to File – Open to choose your image.  Click on your image and then click open.

So lets sort out the resolution first.  Go to Image – Scale Image to get the screenshot below.

Change the Width value to 800 and the Height value to 600 (hence 800*600 resolution) and click Scale.

Now onto the size of the file.  Go to File – Save As pick a name and location for your image and then click save.  You should then be presented with the box below.

Click the box next to Show preview in image window as this will show you the image size and move the Quality slider left and right until you get the required file size.  So mine would look like:

When you have the required file size click Save and voila your image will now have a resolution of 800*600 and be less than 200Kb in size.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

How to tether your Blackberry Playbook to your Blackberry Phone


Today I will show you how to tether your Blackberry Playbook to your Blackberry phone.  Once completed this will allow you to use your phones 3G connection through your Playbook.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using a Blackberry Bold 9780 and a Blackberry Playbook on OS 2.0.1.358.

Ok first step is to turn on bluetooth on both devices.  Now on your Playbook go to Settings – Bluetooth and click on Add New Device.  Once the phone has been found add it.

Now go to Internet Tethering and your phone should appear on the screen under Select a Bluetooth device to tether to. Click on it.

You should be asked to select a wireless service profile for your internet connection. In the search box type in your carrier (mine is vodafone uk) and click add profile.

On the next screen you will be asked for a username and password for access to the internet.  Leave the defaults and click connect.

You will now see some information on tethering charges.  If you already have a data plan with your phone then there will be no extra charges (unless you go over your allowance).  Any data used comes off your monthly data allowance.  Have a read and then press continue.

The system will now authenticate and then you should receive a message : Your tablet is now connected to the internet.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

How to use your Blackberry internet connection through your computer


Today I will show you a handy little tip on how to use your Blackberry internet connection through your computer.  This comes in very handy when you don’t have an internet connection on your desktop PC or laptop but you do have 3G on your phone. Any data you use will come out of your existing phone data plan so you shouldn’t incur any excess charges (unless you go over your data allowance).

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using a Blackberry Bold 9780Linberry Blackberry Desktop Manager for Linux and Linux Mint 12 but the steps work on all Linux Distributions.  For Windows users you will need to use Blackberry Desktop Software to accomplish the same task.

First thing to do is connect your phone to your computer via its usb cable.  Then we need to download Linberry and install it.

Now we need to click on the ‘Use your Blackberry as a modem to surf the internet” icon (bottom left).

On the next page read the information and then click proceed.

We will now be told that your Blackberry phone needs to be restarted (shown below) so click on Restart my Blackberry

On the follwoing page (shown below) follow the instructions on how to reconnect your Blackberry to the system when it has restarted.

On the next page click Connect.

Your phone will now authenticate with your data carrier and in a minute or so you will be able to access the internet on your computer.

WORD OF WARNING Your mobile data plan is designed for use on your phone.  If you start accessing the internet through your computer you will use up your data allowance a lot quicker than you usually would.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

Tutorial – How to Subnet


Today I will show you a technique I learnt for my Cisco exams on how to subnet and choosing subnet masks.

The best way to explain subnetting is by showing some examples.

Question 1:

If a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0 were used with a Class A network how many subnets and hosts per subnet could exist?

Answer:

The best way to answer this question is to break it down into individual sections.  The sections are:

1. No of Network bits

2. No of Host bits,

3. No of Subnet bits,

4. No of Subnets

5. Hosts per Subnet.

Lets take them one at a time.

No of Network bits = 8 (This is defined by Class A = 8, Class B = 16 and Class C = 24)

No of Host bits = 16 (This is defined by the number of zeros in the subnet mask)

No of Subnet bits = 8 (This is defined by 32 – No of network bits – No of Host bits)

No of Subnets =  256 (This is defined by  2ˆ No of subnet bits)

Hosts per Subnet = 65534 (This is defined by 2ˆNo of Host bits – 2)

So to answer the question  No of subnets = 256 with 65534 hosts per subnet.

Question 2:

Which of the following are valid subnet numbers in network 180.1.0.0 when using mask 255.255.248.0?

a) 180.1.8.0

b) 180.1.4.0

c) 180.1.40.0

Again the best approach is to break the question down into sections.  This time the sections are:

1. Find the Subnet Number

2. Calculate the First address in the range

3. Calculate the Broadcast address

4. Calculate the last address in the range

Lets take them one at a time.

Subnet Number = 180.1.0.0 (This is defined by 256 – 248 = 8 (Subnet Magic Number). 8 *0 = 0 (Interesting Octet) which is the closest multiple <=0 which is the 3rd octet in 180.1.0.0)

First number in the address range = 180.1.0.1 (This is defined by adding 1 to the subnet’s last octet)

Broadcast Address = 180.1.7.255 (This is defined by the Subnet Magic Number (8) + Interesting Octet (0) minus 1

Last address in the range = 180.1.7.254 (This is defined by the broadcast address -1)

So to answer the question the subnet numbers begin with 180.1.0.0 (zero subnet) and then 180.1.8.0, 180.1.16.0 and so on therefore a and c are the correct answers.

I hope that the steps outlined above help when it comes to subnetting your own networks.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

How to create a DFS Namespace on Windows Server 2008 R2


Today I will show you how to create a DFS Namespace on Windows Server 2008 R2.  For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using two domain controllers running Windows Server 2008 R2 – 2008Test1 and 2008Test2.

On 2008Test1

The first thing we need to do is install File Services so go to Server Manager and add the File Services Role.

On the next screen you are given a set of additional options to install.  Choose Distributed File System, DFS Namespaces and DFS Replication.

On the next page choose a name for your Namespace and then click next.

You will now be asked what type of namespace you want to configure.  For the purpose of this tutorial I will choose a Domain-based namespace.

You now need to specify a user account that is a member of the domain admins group as shown below.

You are now given the option of adding any folders you require into your namespace before it is created.

On the summary page review your options and then click install.  Repeat the steps on 2008Test2 but do not create a namespace when asked to do so.

Adding a server to the DFS Namespace

A DFS Namespace would be pretty pointless if it was only hosted on one server so we are going to add 2008Test2 as an additional server.

On 2008Test1 go to Server Manager and right click on Roles – File services – DFS Management – Namespaces – <your domain> – <your Namespace> and then choose Add Namespace Server.

Click on the browse button.  Enter 2008Test2 in the Select Computer dialog box and then click ok.

In the details pane you should now have two servers listed.

Creating a Shared Folder and Publishing it to the DFS Namespace 

On 2008Test1 go to Server Manager and expand Roles – File services – Share and Storage Management – and then right click and go to Provision Share.

We now have to specify a location for the shared folder.  Enter C:\Files in the location and click next.

We now need to set the NTFS permissions for the folder.  Click on Yes, change NTFS permissions and then Edit Permissions.  Give Users Modify permissions and then apply.

On the next page you will be asked for a share name for the folder.  Call the folder Files.

On the SMB Settings page leave the defaults and click next.

On the SMB permissions page, select Administrators Have Full Control; all other users and groups have only Read access and Write access.

On the DFS Publsihing Page browse to the location of the DFS Namespace you created earlier and type Files in the Folder name.

On the Summary page review your settings and click create.

You will now have a folder named Files hosted on both 2008Test1 and 2008Test2 and published to a DFS Namespace for redundancy.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients throughout Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more!!

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