How to get rid of Browser Hijackers and Browser Malware Toolbars

7 05 2014

Malware! Adware! Viruses!

You risk getting these when things are installed on your browser!

If your browser looks like this, you probably have malware.

If your browser looks like this, you probably have malware.

In my line of work, I have come across an issue that I see time and time again.  It’s called BO Malware- no not Body Odor, but kinda, when you think about.

Browser Helper Objects (BHO’s) is the actual term for these pesky little critters, and they can wreak havoc on your browser if you are not careful, and lead to virus leaks, identity theft, and even a major computer malfunction!  Not all BHO’s are bad, such as Adobe and Java, to name a couple.  Usually, they look like toolbars that belong on the browser.

Ever noticed as time goes by that your browser starts adding toolbars to itself that were never there before?

That’s because they weren’t and you have not been very careful about what you are clicking on.  DO NOT WORRY- most of the time, you add them inadvertently and have no idea that you are installing them.

They can slow down your online experience, not to mention your operating system if they have installed themselves in your hard drive through malware.  Your PC will be infected, your searches will all be controlled and redirected, your home page will be changed, and basically your computer will slowly be taken over.

So how do you prevent and get rid of them??

Your best bet is preventative methods.  When you install a legitimate tool, application, or any software, make sure to read everything carefully.  You would be surprised at what you are agreeing to if you ACTUALLY read some of those Terms & Conditions we all are so guilty of  just clicking and accepting.

Some of these advertisers and promoters are very sneaky and create an extra very small check box, and hide their products very well, within a legitimate product’s terms, such as a trial, complimentary feature, or “helper” object.  That’s why you have to look around very carefully and make sure nothing is already checked off by default whenever you are installing something or updating an already-installed program or utility.

Also, look out for new buttons, icons, or objects on your browser’s main bar.  If you suddenly have something on your browser like “Coupons.com” or “YouTube Downloader” where there was none before, something probably got installed inadvertently. Look at the examples above to familiarize yourself with what these little critters look like.

GETTING RID OF THEM

Often times there are heavy virus removal procedures that are involved, and you should seek professional service in order to not damage your system.  However, if you’d like to try it yourself, here is a basic procedure you can try.

First, your best bet is to restart the PC in Safe Mode.  You do this by tapping F8 when you first turn it on from a complete shutdown.  As soon as you hit the power-on button, you should already be tapping F8- fast and repeatedly until you get to a black screen with white letters that says Advanced Boot Options.  Here, you would select SAFE MODE using your up and down arrow keys on the keyboard, and press Enter.

winxp-safemode2

You will notice files loading and when this has finished, your desktop will look all messed up and the icons will all be very large- this is Normal for SAFE MODE.  ( At the end of all this, to get out of Safe Mode, just restart your PC but don’t do the “F8” thing.)

In Safe Mode, your core Windows components are loaded, and the system is running with minimal services, which is great because that means that if there is Malware (or viruses), they most likely are not loaded and running, since it’s only running the essential operating system components.  This is Safe Mode, ladies and gentlemen.

Now, the first thing you want to do [and hopefully you already have something installed] is run your anti-virus program.  You should keep in mind to update your AV program before you sign into Safe Mode, to ensure you have the latest updated virus definitions.  Once your virus scan is completed, delete or quarantine whatever it finds (if any) and then run it again, and again, until there are ZERO objects detected.

This will have removed any malware and possible viruses.  Once this is complete, you are ready to uninstall the BHO’s from your PC.  Now, in Safe Mode there are ways of uninstalling programs, but it requires some advanced knowledge and editing the registry, which is NOT recommended for a person who is not skilled at editing the registry.

For the sake of keeping this article at a ‘basic level’, we will skip the Advanced method, and REBOOT THE MACHINE back to Normal Mode.

Once the PC is back in Normal Mode and you are on your desktop, go to the Start menu, and open the Control Panel window.  Find the feature to Add/Remove programs or “Uninstall” a program, and begin to start looking for things that you do not recognize and have certain keywords like Search, Conduit, Coupons, Cleaner, and names of System Cleaners that you do not recall purchasing.  A good rule of thumb is, before you delete something you do not recognize, do not assume it is “bad” and look at the Publisher column in this Uninstall window, and make sure it is not a company you recognize, like Microsoft, Adobe, Quicken, and Sun Systems, to name a few.

IMPORTANT:  Do some research- look up the names of the ones you are suspicious about.  Chances are the first couple of search results on a web search will provide a wealth of answers as to what this product is.   If it’s bad, remove it from your system.

Speaking of “search”, your browser is still going to be hijacked, so a good thing to do in combination, or before you start searching for products you are suspicious about, is resetting your browser.  Each browser has a different way of doing this.

NOTE: resetting your browser can sometimes mean losing your favorites.  There is a way of exporting your favorites to a file and importing them back after a reset,but that will not be covered in this article.  A Google search will find those instructions easily.

Internet Explorer

  1. Close all Internet Explorer and Explorer windows that are currently open.
  2. Start Internet Explorer.  Note If you are running Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, start Internet Explorer from the desktop. Changing your settings will affect both Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer that you start from the desktop.
  3. On the Tools menu, tap or click Internet options. If you don’t see the Tools menu, press Alt.
  4. In the Internet Options window, tap or click the Advanced tab.
  5. Tap or click Reset. If you’re using Windows Internet Explorer 6, click Restore Default.

Google Chrome

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings and find the “Reset browser settings” section.
  4. Click Reset browser settings.
  5. In the dialog that appears, click Reset. Note: When the “Help make Google Chrome better by reporting the current settings” checkbox is selected you are anonymously sending Google your Chrome settings. Reporting these settings allows us to analyze trends and work to prevent future unwanted settings changes.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click help Help-29 .
  2. From the Help menu choose Troubleshooting Information.
    If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
  3. Click the Reset Firefox… button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
    Reset 29 Win
  4. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  5. Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish and Firefox will open.

SAFARI

To reset Safari:

  1. Choose Safari > Reset Safari.
  2. Deselect any items you don’t want to reset:
  3. Clear history: Clears the list of webpages you’ve viewed.
  4. Reset Top Sites: Clears any changes you’ve made to Top Sites, such as adding or pinning sites. If you also clear your history, your Top Sites page reverts to showing the webpage previews displayed when you first installed Safari 5.
  5. Remove all webpage preview images: Clears any thumbnail images Safari has saved of webpages you’ve viewed.
  6. Empty the cache: Clears the webpages you’ve viewed from the temporary location on your computer where Safari stores them. The cache helps webpages load more quickly, so you may notice it takes some websites longer to open the first time you visit them after emptying the cache.
  7. Clear the Downloads window: Clears the list of files you’ve downloaded from websites. Only the names are removed; the files themselves are still on your disk until you remove them.
  8. Remove all cookies: Removes cookies that websites have stored on your computer.
  9. Remove all website icons: Removes website icons, which are small graphics that help identify sites on the Internet. You see them in the Safari address field and bookmarks list, and other places. These icons are stored on your computer.
  10. Remove saved names and passwords: Removes user names and passwords that Safari automatically fills in at websites that require them (if the AutoFill feature is turned on).
  11. Remove other AutoFill form text: Removes some personal information, such as telephone numbers, that Safari uses to automatically fill in forms on webpages (if the AutoFill feature is turned on). Removing AutoFill information does not remove information from your address book.
  12. Close all Safari windows: If you don’t close all Safari windows, someone could use the Back and Forward buttons to view the webpages you’ve visited.
  13. Reset all location warnings: Clears any information websites have saved about your location.
  14. Click Reset.

Finally, after resetting your browser, your home page (or the default home page) should return, and not the redirecting search bar that you most likely have been using thinking this is the “normal”  search bar or home page.  You can set the home page at this point to what ever you like, usually Google.com is the preferred industry standard.

Check your browser for objects- if there are still some left, jot down the name(s) and perform a web search and look for similarities in programs and names in the Control Panel.  Uninstall the left overs bad ones.  Usually, you will not catch them all in your first sweeps, and will need to do a little research before the system is safe once again.

TO RECAP.

Start your PC in Safe Mode

Run a Virus Scan until clean

Restart your PC in Normal Mode again

Uninstall unwanted programs via the Control Panel

Reset your browser to its default settings

Lather, and repeat if necessary, like shampoo until your system is clean.

 

Good luck- and for help or service, you can always contact us, and we can provide REMOTE support and do all this for you, for a nominal fee.
Thanks for reading this article!

We hope it helps, and remember, this article is intended for beginners or people who are not very tech-savvy, so Techs…..spare us any technical objections- we know its a little more complicated, but we have faith in our readers that they can DO THIS!!

 





Cannot Connect to a Certain Webpage or Website, but Have Internet Connection

3 10 2012

For the sake of explanation, we will format this article in as “elementary” as possible.  Although we know “techies” will think it’s very primitively written, those that will actually need the information contained within, will thank us for its prose.

There are times when you cannot connect to a certain website, yet your Internet connection is fine.  The problem could be numerous things.  When all else fails and you’ve gone through the usual troubleshooting, and you still can’t figure it out, the result may be surprising.

First, let’s check and assure that you have taken the following steps, to rule out the common culprits.

Domains and Home:

– Check with your ISP that you indeed have service and the lines test out OK.

– If you are using a server, make sure IP and DNS server addresses are OK.

– Router and switch users, make sure you don’t have unusual traffic or blinking lights on these devices.  If so, look into that.

– Make sure you can at least access other websites.

– Make sure that the block is on all computers in the same network, and not just one computer.  If you are using multiple browsers, this fix only applies if you are not able to access the one website from any of the browsers on any of the computers in the network.  If this is not the case for you, then try using other browsers, and if using IE, try adding the site to your Trusted Sites in Internet Options.

– Do a ping test to google.com, yahoo.com, and also ping your Gateway and make sure it is communicating with these points.  A ping test can tell you whether packets are reaching the destination within your network and beyond.  Then PING the website you are trying to reach, and if there is no communication or you are receiving Request Timeouts, then you are ready to check the following things.

– Run a TRACERT CMD from the command prompt to the website in question.  See where the packets are dropping.  Usually it will send fine, and then suddenly start timing out.  At the last point it times out, is where you can begin your investigation.  An example would be:

tracert thewebsite.com AND THEN PRESS ENTER –  You should see something like this:

With this command, you will be able to see at what “HOP” does the problem begin.  By doing so, you can see if it’s within your network, in your ISP’s network, or beyond.  Usually after the first 3-6 hops, it’s usually already passed your ISP’s CO network.

Now, the following only applies to businesses, small home offices, and basically anybody who has their own IP address.  All users, home and business, have an assigned IP address either from an ISP or a domain hosting service like GoDaddy.  The only difference is that this FIX may not apply to HOME users, as they have an IP that has passed verification by their Internet Service Provider.  In other words, your ISP would not compromise your IP address, unless you have been engaging in suspicious activities as a home user.  Also, sometimes your passwords or accounts get hacked, and others can be doing malicious things using your profile, emails, home computer, you name it.

So, moving forward with the assumption you have checked all of the above, we can now get to the root of the problem.  For this discussion only, we will be examining the phenomenon of a blacklist.

Blacklisting it when your IP address is being blocked of access and service to a certain site, server,or service.  Sometimes, a compromised email is all it takes for major internet companies to put you on their blacklists.

If you are a company, or use business accounts and emails, and cannot access a website with any of the units in the network, chances are that you are being Blacklisted.  The only way to get access back, is to be removed and authorized to enter again.

There are many helpful tools that can determine if you are on a blacklist, such as Barracuda, SpamCop, McAfee, etc.  We would need to write an article just about Blacklist Check services, so we’ll leave that part up to you and Google.

Once you have confirmed you have made it on a blacklist somewhere, your next step will be to “whitelist” yourself.  This basically means, GET OFF THE LIST!

You do that numerous ways depending on the reason you were blacklisted.  For example, in some cases, IP addresses are blacklisted because an email account is being used to spam.  Big name hosts like AOL and Yahoo will block your IP completely to any and all their users, not just one email account, if you make it on their list.  If you do a search and find that you are not on any of the major blacklists, you still may be on private “internal” blacklists.

One solution is to sign up with an email forwarder, if you are planning on sending many emails from your company’s accounts, to random emails for marketing purposes.  One such service is NO-IP.com.  They can provide a service where they offer their server to forward your emails, thereby making your SMTP a different one than the one associated to your  IP and ports.

Another solution, if you are not able to reach the host or hosts that are blocking you, is changing your ip address.  This is only a good option is you indeed are not engaging in any malicious activities and are genuinely the victim of a mistake, and cannot find the assistance you need.

Finally, the best way to get off a blacklist, is to use the method mentioned above with the TRACERT command.  You can narrow it down to the host that first blocks you.  Then, you can usually look them up by WHOIS domain lookups, and contact them.  Sometimes, the website you are unable to reach does not house their own servers, and their website may actually be hosted by some other company completely unrelated to their business.  A domain parked on another company’s server may be harder to contact, but not impossible.  Many ISPs can help if you ask the right questions.

Contact the administrators of the host that is blocking you, explain to them the situation, and they will remove you from their internal blacklist.

Remember, many situations can land you on those lists out there.  The most common are emails or accounts being compromised, hacker attacks on your network, mass emailing,  and unusual activities on your DNS or Exchange server.





8 Things To Keep In Mind When Creating a Network

7 09 2012

Planning a network requires 8 things to consider.  Otherwise, the alternative is to jump right in to it, and, before you know it, ip addresses are conflicting, people can’t login, and techs are playing Detective and working together burning hours to ‘figure out’ how to fix things.

Network Diagram

We at Techsuperforce always implement and follow these 8 principles when we first attack a new network design job.  Do the same  and you will breathe easier, suffer fewer headaches, and save money and time.

POLICY

policy is a document that describes the overall goals and requirements for a network. A policy identifies what should be done, but may not necessarily define how the goal is to be reached. Depending on your network, you might define policies for different areas of implementation such as policies for:

  • Administrative delegation
  • Network documentation
  • Security

REGULATION

regulation is a requirement published by a government or other licensing body that must be followed. While you are not responsible for writing regulations, you are responsible for knowing which regulations apply to your organization, and making sure that those regulations are understood and adhered to. Policies are often written in response to regulations.  For smaller networks, such as a Home Server, you may still want to make sure you adhere to regulation politics to not cause conflict for yourself.

PROCEDURE

procedure is a step-by-step process outlining how to implement a specific action. The design of a procedure is guided by goals defined in a policy, but go beyond the policy by identifying specific steps that are to be implemented. The use of consistent procedures ensures that the goals defined in a policy are met, and provides consistency of action by multiple administrators.  Examples are procedures for hardware demotion, user promotion, password retrieving procedures, etc. (the list goes on).

NETWORK DIAGRAM (Good Choice)

A robust diagram is always highly recommended.  This one is NOT one of the ones you should leave out, in fact, this key is one of the most important ones and should be in your top 3 priorities.

network diagram shows the logical and/or physical layout of your network. The network diagram could be a collection of diagrams showing the following information:

  • The location and IP addresses of hubs, switches, routers, and firewalls.
  • The relationship of remote locations and the WAN links that connect remote locations.
  • Subnets within your network, including the subnet addresses and routers connecting each subnet.

Really, this is important when down the road you no longer remember by heart your layout, and someone else needs to take a look at your network without running into pesky trouble situations that waste time hunting for cables, patch panel paths, which brings us to our next point….

WIRING SCHEMATICS

One of the top three most important principles, a wiring schematic is a type of network diagram that focuses on the physical connections between devices. The wiring diagram typically shows:

  • The location of drop cables and ports within offices or cubicles.
  • The path that wires take between wiring closets and offices.
  • A labeling scheme that matches endpoints in offices and cubicles with specific switch ports or punchdown block locations.

CONFIGURATION (This is CRITICAL to troubleshoot, maintain, and expand your network.)

Configuration documentation identifies specific configuration information for a device. For example, a configuration document for a firewall might include information about the IP addresses assigned to each interface and opened firewall ports. Configuration documentation has two goals:

  • Document the configuration so that the device can be restored to the original configuration.
  • Document the configuration so that the current configuration can be compared to the desired configuration to identify any changes.

CHANGE or HISTORY DOCUMENTATION

Change or history documentation keeps track of changes to the configuration of a device or the network. Change documentation is often included as a part of the configuration documentation. For example, you might record a change in a network interface card in a device, or a repair to a WAN link. Change documentation is useful for troubleshooting to identify what has been done to the device, and keeps track of changes in the configuration as well as the rationale behind those changes.

BASELINE

baseline is a snapshot of the performance statistics of the network or devices. The baseline is used as a logical basis for future comparison. Baselines enable you to effectively monitor the performance of your system to determine when changes negatively impact performance or when systems need upgrading or replacing. It is important to measure network performance at subsequent intervals to see how your server is performing compared to the baseline.

There are many monitoring programs that can show you live statistics and help you document the performance of your systems, helping you create profiles that will help you determine the health and state of those systems.  We like using Nagios, but there are a few programs out there.  Even the Windows Performance monitor can be a useful utility that you can pull information from and chart the system’s progress.

Microsoft Visio is a great program to use to design networks.  As simple to use as Word, it can help you build, implement, and document all of these principles mentioned above, and keep a good record for technicians and engineers that may need a map to your network.

Snapshot of Microsoft Visio diagram

We hope you have enjoyed this article.  Don’t forget, for more information. please visit our main website, www.techsuperforce.com.  We are honored to provide services and information for those that welcome this art.

Thank you!





Malicious Viruses and What To Do If Your System Becomes Infected

26 08 2012

Malicious code (sometimes called malware) is a type of software designed to take over or  damage a computer, without the user’s knowledge or approval. Malware includes:

  • Viruses that attach to legitimate files and spread when the files are opened.
  • Worms that infect systems and spread automatically through the network.
  • Trojan horse programs that appear to be useful programs but which perform secret or  malicious acts.
  • Spyware that tracks your computer or browser activity.
  • Adware that displays pop-up advertisements based on your browser activity.
  • Spam that is unwanted, unsolicited e-mail, often carrying viruses or advertisements for    questionable or illegal products.

You should protect all systems with malware protection software to help prevent and control   malware on your system.

Here are two of my favorite programs to use, Malwarebytes and Avast.  Malwarebytes is reactive program that you install in a non-infected system and run and update to keep your computer safe.  You can also use it in a ‘cocktail’ of programs to run in Safe Mode if you ever have to clean up your system from infections.

Avast is a free anti-virus that has worked pretty good to keep our systems protected.  It is simple, very stealth, and low resource-consuming on any operatating systems we have tested it on.  It has picked up many viruses and removed them from infected systems.

  • Common symptoms of malware on your system include:

    • The browser home page or default search page has changed.
    • Excessive pop-ups or strange messages being displayed.
    • Firewall alerts about programs trying to access the Internet.
    • System errors about corrupt or missing files.
    • File extension associations have changed to open files with a different program.
    • Files that disappear, are renamed, or are corrupt.
    • New icons appear on the desktop or taskbar, or new toolbars show in the browser.
    • The firewall or antivirus software is turned off, or you can’t run antivirus scans.
    • The system won’t boot.
  • Some malicious software can hide itself such that there might not be any obvious signs of its presence. Other symptoms of an infection include:
    • Slow Internet access.
    • Excessive network traffic, or traffic during times when no activity should be occurring.
    • Excessive CPU or disk activity.
    • Low system memory.
    • An unusually high volume of outgoing e-mail, or e-mail sent during off hours.
  • Conducting regular system scans can detect and fix many problems.
    • Most software lets you schedule complete system scans, such as daily or weekly.
    • If you suspect a problem, initiate a full system scan immediately.
  • Remediation is the process of correcting any problems that are found. Most antivirus software remediates problems automatically or semi-automatically (i.e. you are prompted to identify the action to take). Possible actions in response to problems are:
    • Repair the infection. Repair is possible for true viruses that have attached themselves to valid files. During the repair, the virus is removed and the file is placed back in its original state (if possible).
    • Quarantine the file. Quarantine moves the infected file to a secure folder where it cannot be opened or run normally. You might quarantine an infected file that cannot be repaired to see if another tool or utility might be able to recover the file at another time.
    • Delete the file. You should delete files that are malicious files such as worms, Trojan horse programs, or spyware or adware programs. In addition, you should periodically review the quarantine folder and delete any files you do not want to recover.
  • If a scan reports a serious problem, disconnect your computer from the network. This prevents your computer from infecting other computers until the problem is corrected.
  • Some malicious software warnings, such as those seen in pop-ups or received through e-mail, are hoax viruses. A hoax virus instructs you to take an action to protect your system, when in fact that action will cause harm. Two common hoaxes are:
    • Instructing you to delete a file that is reported as a virus. The file is actually an important system file that will lead to instability or the inability to boot your computer.
    • Instructing you to download and run a program to see if your system is compromised or to add protection to your system. The file you download is the malicious software.

    Before taking any actions based on notices or e-mails, search the Internet for a list of virus hoaxes and compare your notice to know hoaxes.

Recovery from malware could include the following actions:

  • If scans detect malware, then repair, quarantine, or delete the malicious software.
  • Some malware cannot be removed because it is running.
    • If possible, stop the program from running, then try to remove it.
    • If you are unable to stop the malware, try booting into Safe Mode, then run the scanning software to locate and remove the malware.
  • If malware has caused damage to the system, it may be permanent and could require that you reinstall applications, features, restore files from a backup, or even restore the entire operating system from scratch.
  • If malware has damaged or corrupted system files, you might be able to repair the infected files using Sfc.exe.
    • Before running Sfc, be sure to remove the program that caused the damage (or it might re-introduce the problem after the fix).
    • You might need to boot into the Recovery Console to check system file integrity and repair any problems found.
  • Some malware can corrupt the boot block on the hard disk preventing the system from starting. To repair the problem, try using the Recovery Console in Windows XP, or perform an automatic repair in Windows Vista/7. Use fixmbr or fixboot in the Recovery Console to try to repair the damage.
  • If the organization uses imaging solutions, you can quickly reimage a machine if it is infected with malware. Reimaging or installing from scratch is often faster and more effective than malware removal and cleanup.

To conclude, the best thing to do in case the virus is not removed is to boot up in Safe Mode (restart the computer and right when it turns on press F8 until you are prompted to start in Safe Mode).  Then run your virus removal utilities.  If you will need the Internet, boot in Safe Mode with Networking (this mean you can connect online with minimal resources loaded).

Sometimes virus removal can be like peeling an onion- you remove one and it reveals another one that was not detected before.  IF this happens a lot, then as you go removing the viruses, some parts of your operating system can become corrupt, like system files and applications .  In this case, and in the case of rootkits, sometimes it’s just best to salvage whatever information you can and then re-install the operating system.

If you need help with any of the things mentioned above, or guidance, please feel free to contact technical support by visiting www.techsuperforce.com.

We are always available through phone, chat, or email.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and feel free to leave comments or questions here.





WDS Deployment Facts – Windows Server

25 08 2012

Did you know that if you have the resources (which can be anywhere from affordable to bust-the-bank expensive), you can populate a very nice and resourceful network in your small or regular business.

Most office have machines that host the operating system, such as Windows XP Professional, right inside the actual machine.  This is called a local installation because it resides locally in the computer.

With Windows Servers, you can implement a different kind of hosting system.  You can have hard drive-less workstations that boot right off the server operating system image files stored in a file server.  This is called WDS or Windows Deployment Services.

Now although this may not be the right fit for every business, it certainly has its benefits.  One of the benefits is increased security, as the local machine does not have anything stored in it, and another one is data is securely stored in the server and there is more fault tolerance.

WDS Facts

The Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server role enables the deployment of Windows operating systems to client and server computers. Using WDS, computers without an operating system installed boot from the network, contact the WDS server, and download and install the operating system.

WDS uses disk images for the installation. An image is a single file containing the contents of an operating system installation. Image files have the .wim extension. There are four types of WDS images:

An install image is an image of the operating system that will be installed on client computers.

  • A default install image (Install.wim) is included on the operating system DVD in the <DVDroot>\Sourcesfolder.
  • Install.wim includes all editions of Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 within the single image file, including the Enterprise and Datacenter editions and the Server Core installations.
  • When you add the install image in WDS, you identify the editions within the install image that are available for clients to install.
  • When a client computer connects to the WDS server, and if there are multiple install images available or multiple editions within a single install image made available, a menu will be shown allowing the user to select the version and edition to install.
  • Each install image is architecture specific. For example, you must have either the 32-bit, 64-bit or 64-bit Itanium version.

boot image is a minimal operating system that is sent to the client when it first connects to the WDS server. Boot images are used as follows:

  1. During the boot process, the client computer locates the WDS server.
  2. The WDS server sends a boot image file to the client. The boot image file contains the Windows PE operating system and the WDS client software.
  3. The client installs the Windows PE operating system in the boot image and starts the WDS client.
  4. The WDS client retrieves a list of available full operating systems to install.
  5. The client computer downloads the appropriate install image and installs the full operating system.

When working with boot image files:

  • A default boot image file (Boot.wim) is included on the operating system DVD in the <DVDroot>\Sourcesfolder.
  • You can use multiple boot image files. If the WDS server has multiple boot image files, the client computer will display a menu of boot images to use.

Note: Client computers must support PXE boot (network boot) to use boot image files. PXE boot allows a computer without an operating system installed to locate and download the operating system through a network connection.

capture boot image is an image that you use to create custom install images. To create a custom install image you do the following:

  1. Create the capture boot image from a regular boot image. The capture image includes Windows PE and the WDS Image Capture Wizard.
  2. Install the operating system on a reference computer. Once the operating system is installed, you can customize the installation as desired.
  3. On the reference computer, run the Sysprep utility. Sysprep prepares the computer so that an image can be created from the installation.
  4. Boot the reference computer from the network. When the computer connects to the WDS server, select the capture boot image you created earlier.
  5. After the computer boots, it runs the WDS Image Capture Wizard. Use the wizard to select the disk partition containing the operating system installation you want to capture, and a location to save the resulting image file.
  6. When the wizard completes, the resulting install image file is uploaded to the WDS server.

discover image is a boot image that is placed on removable media (such as a CD, DVD, or USB drive) that can be used by non-PXE clients to boot and locate a WDS server. To use a discover image:

  1. Create the discover image from an existing boot image.
  2. Use the Microsoft Windows AIK tools to create an ISO image that contains the discover boot image.
  3. Burn the ISO image to disc. You must use a tool capable of creating a disc from an ISO image; simply copying the image to the disc will not work.
  4. Insert the media in the client computer. Boot the computer from the media.
  5. The computer installs the Windows PE operating system and connects to the WDS server. Select a desired install image to install the full operating system and complete the process.

A few more things to keep in mind…

Windows Server 2008 R2 supports IPv6 for deploying images, but does not support IPv6 for network booting.

Windows Server 2008 R2 also adds the ability to deploy virtual hard disk (.VHD) images under the following limited conditions:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate are the only supported operating systems.
  • The WDSUtil command line utility must be used to import and configure .VHD images.
  • Deployment must be automated, which requires creation of two unattend files. It is valid only for a physical computer (not a virtual machine).
  • The .VHD image must contain only one OS and one partition. It may not contain applications or data (only the OS) or a 64-bit Windows edition partitioned with a GUID partition table (GPT).

THAT WRAPS IT UP here at Superforce for WDS Facts.  We hope you enjoyed our article and found it useful, and please feel free to write any comments or if you have any questions.  We will be more than happy to assist you.

If you need further technical support, you may visit our main technical support website at TECHSUPERFORCE!





Realtek Ethernet driver ERROR Microsoft Windows XP and 2000

25 08 2012

If you downloaded a driver for your VGA display adapter on Windows XP and you still cannot get rid of the error after running it, you might be missing one more thing.
Here’s what to do….

Make sure to find out if your display is NVIDIA or INTEL first!  The way to do that is by right clicking in Device Manager the (!) device and going to Properties, and from the drop down menu select HARDWARE IDs.

This will show you something like….

USB\VID_1B96&PID_0001&REV_0000&MI_02

 

If you do some research on these Hardware Ids, you will get a wealth of information back.

NOW-  we have the necessary info to determine what driver manufacturers we need to download from.  Never get third party drivers, NOT RECOMMENDED!  Always go to the Manufacturer’s Website.

(The following is an example of a driver installation for an Ethernet adapter and we will use Windows XP as the environment. We will use a random .exe file as a demonstration, however the concept is the key to apply to your specific driver.)

Now, follow the instructions after you have unsuccessfully fixed the problem if you are sure you have the correct drivers:

Downloading the package
=======================
1. Click the file link to download the file from the Web page.
2. When prompted, select a drive and directory in which to save
   the downloaded file.

Extracting the package
======================
1.  Click Start, click Search, then click All files and folders.
2.  Type q4etn11us13.exe in the search field, then click Search.
    This will locate the file you just downloaded.
3.  Double-click the q4etn11us13.exe icon.
4.  Click Next. Read the license agreement.
5.  Click I accept the terms in the license agreement. 
6.  Click Next.
7.  Ensure that "Save files in folder" is set to
    C:\SWTOOLS\drivers\ethernet\Q4etn11US13.
8.  Click Next.
9.  Click Finish to extract the necessary files to your hard drive.

Installing the package
======================
1.  Click Start, then click Run.
2.  Type C:\SWTOOLS\drivers\ethernet\Q4etn11US13\Setup.exe, then click OK.
3.  Follow the onscreen prompts and choose to reboot at the end of
    installation.

That’s it.  Hope this helps.  Feel free to leave comments and advice yourself, and we will answer you promptly if you need technical assistance.

If you need any type of Technical Support on any other operating systems or hardware, please visit our main Tech Support website at http://www.techsuperforce.com.





GRAPHIC DESIGNERS AVAILABLE NOW –

2 06 2010

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