How-To

How to demote a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller

In this short write up I will go over steps to demote a Server 2012 domain controller.

If you have worked in Active Directory and Windows Domain Administration over the years you may recall that in previous version of Windows Server that you would use the command line tool of ‘DCPROMO’ to promote or demote a server. Since Server 2012, the use of DCPROMO has been deprecated. In fact, if you attempt to use it you will be inform of this via the Active Directory Domain Service Installed.

In Server 2012 and later versions the use of Server Manager or PowerShell is required to promote / demote a server to/from a Domain Controller (DC). Below I provide steps on how to demote a server with some illustration along the way. Also, here is a quick YouTube video on the process: https://youtu.be/sBK2_APaDdg

Log into the domain controller you intend on demoting and Launch the Server Manager, select the Manage drop down menu, select Remove roles and features.

On the server selection page, select the desired server from the pool.

On the Remove Roles and Features Wizard, un-tick the Active Directory Domain Services box

The Remove Roles and Features dialog box will open. Click Remove features

On the Remove Roles and Features Wizard dialog box Validation Results box will appear. The domain controller must be demoted before continuing. Click on Demote this domain controller.

On the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard enter the required credentials to demote this server, click Next.

You will have several removal options. From the forced remove of failed domain member, to removing of the last domain in your forest. Make the selections which is appropriate for your remove task and click Next

Finally you will arrive on the New Administrator Password, enter and confirm the new local administrator account password, click Next.

On the Review Options verify the information is correct and click Demote.

After the server has restarted it will no longer be a domain controller

And that is it.

VMware vSphere 6.5 Nested Virtualization – Create and Install ESXi 6.5

With vSphere 6.5 and nested ESXi 6.5 hosts I enable myself to get hands on with vSphere advanced features with vCenter without having the physical hardware in my home lab. The advantages to this setup allows me to test out new VMware features or simulate issue that could happen in production.

The term “nested virtualization” is used to describe a hypervisor running under another hypervisor. In this case, I will be installing ESXi 6.5 inside a virtual machine hosted on a physical ESXi 6.5 host.

Requirements:

  • Physical ESXi Host (ESXi 6 – 6.5 – )
  • Physical hardware supporting either Intel EPT or AMD RVI

Steps to setup ESXi 6.5 virtual machine guest:

Log into vCenter or ESXi host with a user with admin credentials. In my case I am using the vSphere web client. *spoiler alert* no more C# (Thick) client for vCenter. However it still works with the ESXi 6.5 hosts.

Switch to the “VMs and Templates” view. Right click a folder and select New Virtual Machine > New Virtual Machine…

Choosing “Custom” configuration select type Other for OS family, doing the same for Guest OS version. *note* Ensure you are choosing 64-bit (Other 64-bit)

Once at the configuration hardware screen; Make a few modifications to the default values.

VM Guest Configuration Settings:

  • Define the CPU to a minimum of 2 or more. This includes cores.
  • Define memory to a minimum of 6GB RAM
  • Define Disk to 2 GB (Thin Disk)
  • Change network adapter type to VMXNET 3
  • Add an addition network adapter (also VMXNET 3)

Additional Configuration Step: Enabling support for 64-bit nested vms

Locate the and expand the CPU properties page and tick the check box next to “Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS”. This setting will allow you to 64-bit vms inside nested ESXi hosts. Read more about this feature here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware-assisted_virtualization

Click next and exit configuration

At this point you are ready to install ESXi 6 – 6.5 as a Guest VM.

I leave you with this video of the full process. Thanks for visiting and I hope this helps any of you looking to do the same.

 

Originally posted on my LinkedIn Page:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vmware-vsphere-65-nested-virtualization-create-install-jermal-smith

Quick How To Share a Document with OneDrive for Business


You can share file(s): Documents and such with Onedrive for Business

1.      In the file list, right-click a document, or select a document and then select Share.

2.      Select Get a link.

3.      Choose who to share with, and if they can view or edit the file.

4.      To share with people inside your organization, choose:

5.      View link – account required – people inside your organization can view, copy, or download the document.

6.      Edit link – account required – people inside your organization can edit, copy, or download the document.

7.      To share with people outside your organization, choose:

8.      View link – no sign-in required – people outside your organization can view, copy, and download the document.

9.      Edit link – no sign-in required – people outside your organization can edit, copy, and download the document.

10.  For external links, select SET EXPIRATION, and choose when you want the link to expire.

11.  Click Copy and paste the link in an email or post it.

Note: Links created that don’t require a sign-in can be opened by anyone, so make sure the content can be shared publicly. Consult your Corporate Information Security Policy and IT if needed.

Note: Sharing of folders is not possible at this time.

How to Remove Users From the Office 365

The time may come to clean up. Here are steps I have taken

To delete the account for one or more users

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.
  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.
  3. Go to Users > Active Users.
  4. Choose the names of the users that you want to delete, and then select DELETE Delete.
  5. In the confirmation box, select Yes.

Done; not so fast.  The deleted users is not fully gone yet. It takes 30 days after you have deleted the user for it to purge from Office 365.  However there is a way to do this faster

To delete, deleted users in Office 365

Connect to Exchange Online using the Windows Azure Powershell module.

To connect you enter the following cmdlet’s:

This will prompt you for your credentials and stores them within $msolcred.

Next we enter to connect using the stored credentials

Now that you are connected you can issue the following command to list deleted users

Display deleted user

To remove the deleted user

If you had multiple users, this method would work to remove all deleted users recycle bin

 

Dryer Cleaning / Troubleshooting

This week like many weeks before it we are doing laundry as we normally do when noticed a smoke smell coming from our laundry room.  The smell was like that of a cigarette. The smell seemed to be coming from the dryer.

So why not open it up and take a look inside.

On inspection I noticed that the inside of the dyer was filled with a carpet of dryer lint.
Dryer lint built up over a five year period of usage and the lack of proper maintenance

This amount of dyer lint would cause excessive heat build up in your dyer causing the thermal sensor to stop the dyer before your items are dyed out. In-fact on further inspection this lint which covered the the bottom of the dyer seem to be burnt; shockingly to my surprise.  This would eventually cause a fire

The advice I can now offer any of you, is to open up and clean out your dryer *NOW* if you have never done so.
The risk of property damage and your life is a reality and all can be avoided with some simple steps.

While I was in the dyer I was able to remove the fins on the internal drum to remove the lost change and even found a few missing socks

Info on my dryer

Type: Kenmore Elite

Video I found online and used to assist me in working on my dryer

 

Other Photos 

Lint Tray assembly

Dryer Exhaust

How to start an argument online

If your looking to start an argument online, all you need to do is follow these simple yet effective steps. 

  1. Express an opinion; especially about a heated topic in the media
  2. Wait 

With these two simple steps you will have an argument in no time.

Good Luck

Configuring & Hosting Hidden Services

Here are some simple steps to get you going with getting services you want to host under the Tor network hidden service. While they don’t seem simple up front they are.

These notes are based on my own testing and using my headless tor proxy server setup.

Requirements

  • Tor installed
  • Tor running

Now my steps

Step 1

  • Install the services you want to host (http, https, ssh, chat service…) for the most part; anything you bind a port to for allow connections.
  • Once you have a  service setup, make sure you can connect to it from your local network.
  • If it’s listening and allows you to connect, you are well on your way to setting up your hidden service on the Tor network.

Step 2

  • The next step involves you configuring your hidden service to point to the local machine service you have setup (*note* it doesn’t have to be) 
  • Using your favorite text editor (nano is mine) to edit the torrc file located (/etc/tor/)
  • Scroll down until you find the section that has the configuration options for hidden services. I just search the file in nano  for hidden.
  • Here you will find line groups, each representing a hidden service. They will be commented out. I suggest keeping the the originals for reference and just copy new lines for the service I am configuring.
  • Look for the following two lines: HiddenServiceDir and HiddenServicePort lines.

Some additional information about the hidden service directory and service port

HiddenServiceDir is a directory where Tor will store information about that hidden service. In particular, Tor will create a file here named hostname which will tell you the onion URL. You don’t need to add any files to this directory. Make sure this is not the same directory as the hidserv directory you created when setting up thttpd, as your HiddenServiceDir contains secret information!

HiddenServicePort lets you specify a virtual port (that is, what port people accessing the hidden service will think they’re using) and an IP address and port for redirecting connections to this virtual port.

The default lines look like:

#HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/
#HiddenServicePort 80 127.0.0.1:80

In my case I host the service not on my small tor proxy server, but on another system in my local network. So I add the following lines:

HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/
HiddenServicePort 80 <ip of host in my network>:80

  • Next I restart Tor. You can issue: service tor restart or /etc/init.d/tor restart
  • Once Tor start again, a new directory will be created (if it didn’t exist already). Note it’s the one you had specified above (I use the default, but you can change this).
  • Two files will be created in this path: private_key and hostname
  • This is the part that had me confused when first setting up because I didn’t know where to find my .onion address for the Tor network.

The file Tor created called “hostname” contains a short summery of the file ‘private_key’ will look something like: jaindiknajnwoue33.onion. This will be the public name of your service and what you give to clients that connect to it.

*note* you can change this simply by stopping tor and deleting the hostname and private_key files.

It takes a few moments for your .onion address to show up.

How to Enable Data Compression & Bandwidth savings in Google Chrome Mobile Application

A new feature in Google Chrome Mobile which allows you to enable compression to  save on data usage is available.

To enable this feature the following needs to be done:

If you don’t have Google Chrome installed – download it from the Play or App Store.

Once you have it downloaded and installed open Google Chrome (wonderful isn’t it, having the best browser made on your device).

*plug alert* Oh and don’t forget to visit jermsmit.com from your device to stay up to date with whats new.

Once installed you just need to enter the “settings”  menu

select  bandwidth management,  then reduce data usage and turn this feature on.

Now you’re on the path of saving bandwidth and money.

If this feature is not yet available to you, check your device for updates it will be here very soon.

 

Installing Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2013

Tonight’s “home work” Assignment:
Update  Companies Exchange 2013 to Cumulative Update 3

Purpose

  • Address many of the issues that existed in Cumulative Update 2.
  • Bring additional value to the company

Oh and some of the newly introduced features / enhancements should help also:

  • Usability improvements when adding members to distribution groups in the Exchange Administration Console (EAC)
  • Windows Azure AD Rights Management available for use for IRM protection in on-premises Exchange deployments
  • Improved administrator audit logging experience
  • Windows 8.1/IE 11 no longer require the use of OWA Light

To get the Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 3 just click here

Here are some steps to keep in mind when / if you are preforming this update yourself.

Preparation Tasks

Like that of installing any updates get ready. Read about what your installing and know why you are installing it.

  • Download the Cumulative Update 3 Install – here is a link hope it still works, if not just go to the download center and download it to each exchange server.
  • Backup Active Directory – Exchange CU3  will modify your schema
  • Backup you existing Exchange  2013 server(s)
  • Backup your existing Exchange databases (data/log volumes)
  • Have documented info on anything that you may have customized; such as configurations.
  • If you use 3rd party add-on to exchange (GOD HELP YOU)
  • And if you have no idea of what your doing and not 100% confident then you should not proceed further – my advice

Preforming the update

Locate your downloaded package containing the Cumulative Update 3 and extract it.  Once completed run the Setup.exe

If your server is connected to the internet you will be asked if you can check for updates. It’s a good idea to do this.

 

When the update had completed its check click Next to continue. The setup will being to cop files. This will take some time. Once completed the setup will detect that you are installing an update to Exchange 2013

You will presented with the normal license agreement, and as always you will accept them so you can proceed with the install. Once you have done so the installer will check for existing and new prerequisites it needs to continue the installation

After the readiness checks have completed the setup process continues and this my friend will take a very long time. In my case it was about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.

 

The setup process saves the exchange configuration and removes all the previous exchange installation

It then copies the new installation files to the server, in addition to other files such a languages etc..

Closer to the end of the update it configures your services again

And when the setup has completed you are prompted to restart the server if required.  *please* restart your server as you would want to test to ensure all services start up as expected.

Congratulations you have just updated to Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 3

Post Install Tasks

  • Review windows event logs on your Exchange server(s)
  • Review services
  • Review connectivity to Exchange – Outlook Web Access, Outlook Clients, Mobile Device Connectivity
  • Write up a summery of what you did to share with team members are supervising management types – I included my actual report at the end of this post.

 

My Summery:

I have completed the work on Exchange.
Completion time was 12:30 AM Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tasks Preformed before Update Process
• Exchange Server was shutdown to adjust memory resources
• Exchange Data & Log Volumes moved  to Volume Collection
• Volume Collection of Exchanges Data & Log Volumes were made into a full snapshot as part of a backup / rollback plan
• Exchange Server was also made into a snapshot for backup / rollback plan

Update Process
• After exchange was restarted, began the verification of  files
•  Started update process,  monitored resources during the upgrade
• Update ran for 2 hours from start to finish.
• Once update was completed, restarted exchange
• Upon resuming, verified services were started automatically and storage volumes were attached
• Inspected event logs for any errors.
• Tested connectivity with OWA, Mobile and Outlook access

 

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S4

Hello All,

Today I got my hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S4 (AT&T). I wanted to test how to take a screenshot. For sometime now I have used my rooted Galaxy S2 with CyanogenMod which allowed for me to simply press the power button and get a menu context which allowed me to take the screenshot of my choice. Now with a stock out of the box device there isn’t a menu to do this, but rest assured there is a way and best of all its simple to do.

To take a screen shot with the Samsung Galaxy S4 you simple do the following.

  1. HOLD down the POWER button and the HOME button at the same time.
  2. Now go look for your screenshot to upload or email

If look for it you can find them in the directory /Pictures/Screenshots, or simply use the Gallery app.

HOLD down the POWER button and the HOME button at the same time

 

Wait… I’m not done. I found another way to take them also. This involves using the new Palm Motion feature which allows you to wave your hand magically over the Galaxy S4 to take the shot.

You enable this setting by:

Clicking on the MENU button and select SETTINGS

On the top menu bar, selection the “My Device” tab. Then select “Motion and Gestures”

Under “Palm Motion” settings, check “Capture Screen” button is set to ON.

Have fun! and Like me on Facebook