Windows 8 PC Reset


If you upgraded your PC from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and your PC has a Windows 8 recovery partition, resetting your PC will restore Windows 8. You’ll need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 after the reset has finished.


All of your personal files will be deleted and your settings will be reset. All apps that you installed will be removed. Only apps that came with your PC will be reinstalled.

 To reset your PC

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then clickChange PC settings.)
  2. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
  3. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, tap or click Get started.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

You’ll be asked to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using special software. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer but it makes recovering data less likely.

Severe Wireless Broadcast Packet Storm Warning

I think it was late one night (5 years ago maybe?) I was sitting at Rick’s place playing with Audacity and making joke recordings. This is during a time I was into Wireless networking pretty heavily and I believe we were discussing DSSS and FHSS spectrums with some of the technology we had been working with (Motorola/RayLink).

This was created with Festival for Linux; I don’t have the original text file, but if someone wants to transcribe it and drop it to me in an email that’d be cool.

Internet Explorer Developer Preview

Microsoft has released (6/16/2014) Internet Explor Developer Channel which includes features/enhancements that will probably make it to the next release of Internet Explorer, 12.

Internet Explorer Developer Channel is a fully functioning browser designed to give web developers and early adopters a sneak peek at the web platform features we’re working on.

For Windows 8.1 Download:

For Windows 7 SP1 Download:

MAC Address Lookup

Spent a little time at lunch today creating a MAC lookup tool for my site. There is now a new menu, Tools, which will have some of the online tools I setup over time.

I use perl script to parse the IEEE oui.txt file and dump it into an SQlite3 database. From there I wrote some PHP to query that database.

You can visit and start searching.

The following are all valid formats for supplying a MAC. You can supply the whole MAC if you want, I try to be smart about my filtering.


If you find any bugs, or features, drop me a line.

Extract KB Number from WSUS Excel Report

While reviewing my WSUS reports (exported to Excel) I found that I could streamline extracting the KB article from the exported report using a basic formula in Excel.


Here’s the excel formula.


Crypto Ransomware CTB-Locker (Critroni.A)

Move over CryptoLocker, there’s a newer and meaner kid on the block.

CTB-Locker, or Curve-Tor-Bitcoin Locker, makes use of the Tor ((Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.)) network to maintain anonymity, making tracing the culprits more difficult and detected infections are on the rise since June of this year.

This strain of ransomware also compresses the files it encrypts, using Zlib, and employs ECDH (Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman ((Elliptic curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH) is an anonymous key agreement protocol that allows two parties, each having an elliptic curve public–private key pair, to establish a shared secret over an insecure channel.[1][2][3] This shared secret may be directly used as a key, or better yet, to derive another key which can then be used to encrypt subsequent communications using a symmetric key cipher. It is a variant of the Diffie–Hellman protocol using elliptic curve cryptography.))) encryption, another unusual feature. The ransomeware’s author insist that decryption of files without payment is impossible due to RSA-3072 encryption

Like Cryptolocker, CTB-Locker/Critroni generates a public and private key pair for every infected system. The public key is stored on the infected computer and given to the victim, who is then asked to pay a ransom in Bitcoin in order to recover the files.

The private key, which is used to decrypt the files, is stored on a remote command-and-control server that, in the case of Critroni, can only be accessed over the Tor anonymity network. This is a precaution that the creator has taken in order to make it difficult for law enforcement agencies or security researchers to identify and shut down the server.

Critroni was designed to complete the file encryption operation locally before connecting to the command-and-control server. This also makes it hard for network security products to detect it early and block it by analyzing traffic.

Again, similar to CryptoLocker, there is a 72 hour window of “opportunity” to pay up and get a decryption key.

A more in-depth analysis and walkthrough of this new crypto ransomware can be viewed on the Kafeine’s, a French security researcher, blog.

Touted as the CryptoLocker replacement, this is just another reminder call to make sure you have a good backup strategy.

SharePoint 2013: 8 Steps to Migration from Sharepoint 2010

Eight steps to migration of SharePoint 2013 from SharePoint 2010.

  1. Install SharePoint 2013 (don’t forget language packs)
  2. Copy customizations over to the new server
  3. Run configuration and configure farm settings
  4. Move databases to new SQL Server
  5. Migrate Service Applications (that can migrate)
  6. Create Web Applications
  7. Test and Attach Databases
  8. Upgrade site collections

VMWare ESX 4.1 Upgrade to ESXi 5.0 Checklist

I’m starting to plan for an upgrade of VMWare ESX 4.1 U1 to ESXi 5.0 and since ESXi 5.0 makes this possible to do an in place upgrade, I’m hoping things will go smoothly for my environment.

Here’s a checklist/pre-requisite for upgrade.

  • Upgrade vCenter Server (vCenter Server 4 does not support connecting to ESXi 5 hosts)
  • Check the server hardware you are installing ESXi 5 onto is supported and on the VMware HCL.
  • Login to the VMware license portal to check/upgrade/buy your vSphere licenses.
  • Read the ESXi Setup Guide to ensure you understand the pre-requisites.
  • Download the VMware ESXi 5 ISO file from the VMware download area.
  • Burn the ESXi 5 ISO to a CD.
  • Disconnect all Fibre Channel connections (if any) and boot the server from the CD.

Upgrade vCenter Server

Some notes collected from around the ‘net.

Popping Clouds:

  • Don’t use a “!” in your administrator@vsphere.local password. It will cause the SSO installation to roll back.
    • I actually run into this one every time with SSO. For some reason I cannot help but put an exclamation point in the password.
  • When upgrading from 4.1 to 5.x you typically have to pay attention to your SSL certificates. They are (at least in my case) usually expired. In this installation we are using self-signed certificates, so simply renaming the SSL directory in “ProgramDataVMwareVMWare VirtualCenter” to something like “SSL.old” will cause the install to generate new SSL certificates.
  • Make sure you enable certificate validation in vCenter prior to the upgrade from 4.1. Found in the vCenter client under Administration/Server Settings/SSL settings
  • Eject or upgrade any 3.x hosts prior to the upgrade.
  • Make sure that the Microsoft Error Reporting service is set to “Manual.” If it is set to “Disabled” the installation of the SSO components will fail.

Ingress is on iPhone

I’m in Resistance. I first played this when I had my invite and was using my Samsung Galaxy S2. I never really got into it, but maybe I’ll put some effort into it and see how it goes.