Upgrade LibreOffice 7.1.5.2 on Linux Mint

Commands to install LibreOffice 7.1.5.2 from the Terminal in Linux Mint. Get link to most recent version from https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/

# tip: cache password with "sudo ls"
# uninstall currently installed version
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-*
sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-*

# download and install LibreOffice
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/7.1.5/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_7.1.5_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_7.1.5_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_7.1.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# download and install offline help files 
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/7.1.5/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_7.1.5_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_7.1.5_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_7.1.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# delete extracted installation files
cd ~/Install
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_7.1.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_7.1.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US

Upgrade LibreOffice 7.1.2.2 on Linux Mint

Commands to install LibreOffice 7.1.2.2 from the Terminal in Linux Mint. Get link to most recent version from https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/

# tip: cache password with "sudo ls"
# uninstall currently installed version
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-*
sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-*

# download and install LibreOffice
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/7.1.2/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_7.1.2_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_7.1.2_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_7.1.2.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# download and install offline help files 
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/7.1.2/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_7.1.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_7.1.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_7.1.2.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# delete extracted installation files
cd ~/Install
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_7.1.2.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_7.1.2.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US

Upgrade LibreOffice 6.4.5.2 on Linux Mint

Commands to install LibreOffice 6.4.5.2 from the Terminal in Linux Mint. Get link to most recent version from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/

# tip: cache password with "sudo ls"
# uninstall currently installed version
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-*
sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-*

# download and install LibreOffice
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/6.4.5/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_6.4.5_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_6.4.5_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_6.4.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# download and install offline help files 
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/6.4.5/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_6.4.5_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_6.4.5_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_6.4.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# delete extracted installation files
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_6.4.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_6.4.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US

Copy filename and path from Office

You can copy to the clipboard the full filename, including the path, of the current document in Microsoft Office applications. This is helpful in increasing productivity since you do not have to open Windows Explorer then hunt down your file and copy the path from there (by holding down the SHIFT key – even MORE work!!)

In the Office application, in this case Excel, click on the File tab:

In the Info section the document name is displayed with the document’s location displayed right below it. This line is clickable. When clicked on you get the option to copy the link location to the clipboard:

Upgrade LibreOffice 6.2.5.2 on Linux Mint

Commands to install LibreOffice 6.2.5.2 from the Terminal in Linux Mint. Get link to most recent version from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/

# tip: cache password with "sudo ls"
# uninstall currently installed version
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-*
sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-*

# download and install LibreOffice
cd ~/Install
wget https://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/6.2.5/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_6.2.5_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_6.2.5_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_6.2.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# download and install offline help files 
cd ~/Install
wget http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/6.2.5/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_6.2.5_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_6.2.5_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_6.2.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# delete extracted installation files
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_6.2.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_6.2.5.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US

Upgrade LibreOffice on Linux Mint

Commands to install LibreOffice 6.2 from the Terminal in Linux Mint. Get link to most recent version from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/

# tip: cache password with "sudo ls"
# uninstall currently installed version
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-core
sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-core

# download and install LibreOffice
cd ~/Install
wget https://www.libreoffice.org/donate/dl/deb-x86_64/6.2.3/en-US/LibreOffice_6.2.3_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_6.2.3_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_6.2.3.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# download and install offline help files 
cd ~/Install
wget http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/6.2.3/deb/x86_64/LibreOffice_6.2.3_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
tar -xvzf LibreOffice_6.2.3_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US.tar.gz
cd LibreOffice_6.2.3.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

# delete extracted installation files
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_6.2.3.2_Linux_x86-64_deb
rm -rf ~/Install/LibreOffice_6.2.3.2_Linux_x86-64_deb_helppack_en-US

Command-line Compression Options

A comparison of command-line options to compress files using 7-Zip and native commands in Windows and Linux.

For testing I created a Word document of Lorem Ipsum and saved it in Word and PDF formats.

Windows Command Prompt

There is no built-in Windows program able to run in a CMD prompt that does what is wanted.* However, the open-source utility 7za.exe can be copied to any Windows folder without installation and be executed from a batch file.


Command: 7z.exe a -t7z target.7z C:\source\folder\

C:\_Tools\7zip\7za.exe a -t7z C:\Temp\Zip\test.7z C:\Temp\Zip\Files\

Changing the archive type to “zip” causes 7Zip to create a slightly larger archive.

Powershell Core on Windows and Linux

Powershell Core can be installed on both Windows and Linux. The following commands will work with Windows Powershell (deprecated) and Powershell Core (open-source).


# Command syntax:
# Compress-Archive -Path C:\source\folder -DestinationPath C:\target\target.zip
  
Compress-Archive -Path C:\Temp\Zip\files -DestinationPath C:\Temp\Zip\powershell.zip


# Command syntax:
# Compress-Archive -Path C:\source\folder -DestinationPath C:\target\target.zip
  
Compress-Archive -Path /home/joey/temp/zip/files -DestinationPath /home/joey/temp/zip/powershell2.zip

Tar command on Linux and Windows 10 BASH

Linux includes the venerable “tar” command, once used to create tape-archives. Installing the Ubuntu Linux subsystem on Windows 10 brngs this feature to Windows as well.


# Command syntax:
# tar -czvf name-of-archive.tar.gz /path/to/directory-or-file
tar -czvf files.tar.gz /mnt/c/temp/zip/files/

Same command run on Linux Mint.


# Command syntax:
# tar -czvf name-of-archive.tar.gz /path/to/directory-or-file
tar -czvf files2.tar.gz /home/joey/temp/zip/files/

Bonus: Windows Compressed Folders

Just to compare how efficient Windows built-in feature is to the command-line options above.

 

Resources:

https://superuser.com/questions/1105516/comparing-7z-exe-and-7za-exe

* There are compression tools built-in to Windows such as compact and makecab that are not covered here.

Move Dropbox files on Linux Mint

I have the Dropbox client installed on my Linux Mint machine and it has worked flawlessly for years. Suddenly, I started getting a notification pop-up telling me to move my Dropbox files as they will stop being synced in November.

A quick search revealed the rather cryptic message is a result of Dropbox’s decision to stop supporting certain file systems across all operating systems. With Linux appearing to be the most impacted as they will only support Ext4 without encryption (unless whole-disk; e.g. LUKS) going forward. Of course, I running Ext4 with my Home directory encrypted.

So, after looking for alternatives I decided to stay with Dropbox and try to work-around the problem. I decided I would create a partition that Dropbox would like. Since my laptop (an old Dell 6250) has an SD card reader I rarely use I decided to use an 16GB SD card (8 times more storage than I have with Dropbox).

First, I formatted an SD card as Ext4:

Then I moved the folder location in the Dropbox client to use the new directory. The client automatically moves the file and deletes the old location folder.


Next step was to create a symlink to make the old location still work for applications/scripts that would look to the old location:


ln -s /media/joey/Sync/Dropbox /home/joey/Dropbox
  

The only real risk is the SD card getting corrupted and losing the files. To address this a simple bash script will backup the files each night:


#!/bin/bash

# Backup Dropbox folder to local disk

# Run from via cron:
# /home/joey/Scripts/backup_dropbox.sh
# ---------- copy ----------
# Backup Dropbox at 1AM each day
# * 1 * * * /home/joey/Scripts/backup_dropbox.sh 1> /dev/null
# ---------- copy ----------

RUNDATE=`date +%Y%m%d`                     # append date to file
FILENAME=Dropbox_backup-$RUNDATE.tar.gz    # name of backup file
SOURCEDIR=/media/joey/Sync/Dropbox         # Dropbox location (real location)
TARGETDIR=/home/joey/Backups               # Destination of backup file

# run archive command
tar -cpzf $TARGETDIR/$FILENAME $SOURCEDIR 

  

Fix broken trust using Powershell

When trying to log in to PC using a domain credential you get the following error:

“The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed” error when you log in to Windows 7

At this point I would usually re-join to the domain or run the Network Wizard, reboot, and continue on. There has to be a better way. And in-fact, there is via the Powershell command:

Reset-ComputerMachinePassword –server -credential

However, when I ran the command to reset the password I got an error stating the account could not be found on the domain controller:

PS C:\A3336> Reset-ComputerMachinePassword -server DELLR710 -credential AP\client_admin
Reset-ComputerMachinePassword : Cannot find the computer account for the local computer from the domain controller DELLR710.
At line:1 char:1
+ Reset-ComputerMachinePassword -server DELLR710 -credential AP\client_admin ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : OperationStopped: (A3336:String) [Reset-ComputerMachinePassword], InvalidOperationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CannotFindMachineAccount,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.ResetComputerMachinePasswordCommand

PS C:\A3336>

The fix was to create the account on the domain controller which I was able to do with Powershell on another PC that had Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed.

    PS C:\AP01-1255-915> New-ADcomputer –name "A3336" –SamAccountName "A3336" -Enabled $true
    PS C:\AP01-1255-915>

Now when the command is run on the client PC I am prompted to enter a username and password with permission to join computers to the domain and the command completes successfully.

    PS C:\A3336> Reset-ComputerMachinePassword -server DELLR710 -credential AP\client_admin
    PS C:\A3336>

http://implbits.com/active-directory/2012/04/13/dont-rejoin-to-fix.html
https://ss64.com/ps/reset-computermachinepassword.html
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2771040/the-trust-relationship-between-this-workstation-and-the-primary-domain

Start remote PC using WOL and Powershell

How to power-on remote PC using wake-on-lan (WOL) and Powershell. Run from a Windows 7 Pro with Powershell running with domain admin credentials.

$Mac = "f0:92:1c:e3:8f:60"
$MacByteArray = $Mac -split "[:-]" | ForEach-Object { [Byte] "0x$_"}
[Byte[]] $MagicPacket = (,0xFF * 6) + ($MacByteArray  * 16)
$UdpClient = New-Object System.Net.Sockets.UdpClient
$UdpClient.Connect(([System.Net.IPAddress]::Broadcast),7)
$UdpClient.Send($MagicPacket,$MagicPacket.Length)
$UdpClient.Close()

PS C:\Install> ping -4 -t AP01-1221-314

Pinging AP01-1221-314.AP.local [10.10.1.130] with 32 bytes of data
Reply from 10.10.1.179: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 10.10.1.179: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 10.10.1.179: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 10.10.1.179: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 10.10.1.179: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 10.10.1.179: Destination host unreachable.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Reply from 10.10.1.130: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=128
Reply from 10.10.1.130: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=128
Reply from 10.10.1.130: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=128
Reply from 10.10.1.130: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=128
Reply from 10.10.1.130: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=128
Reply from 10.10.1.130: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 10.10.1.130:
  Packets: Sent = 19, Received = 12, Lost = 7 (36% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
  Minimum = 1ms, Maximum = 2ms, Average = 1ms
Control-C
PS C:\Install>

Just change MAC address and copy and paste. Of course, WOL must be enabled on remote PC for this to work.

Note: you’ll need Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed which you can download from Microsoft:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2693643/remote-server-administration-tools-rsat-for-windows-operating-systems

Reset LEDE/OpenWRT using Failsafe boot mode

I had just installed OpenWRT and was making changes (of course without reading the documentation) when I had changed the networking settings losing access to the router’s interface.

Fortunately OpenWRT provides a way to recover according to OpenWRT’s website: “LEDE allows you to boot into a failsafe mode that overrides its current configuration. If your device becomes inaccessible, e.g. after a configuration error, then failsafe mode is there to help you out. When you reboot in failsafe mode, the device starts up in a basic operating state, with a few hard coded defaults, and you can begin to fix the problem manually.”

First, thing is to set your computer’s IP address to something like 192.168.1.2. The router will use 192.168.1.1 when booted in Failsafe mode.

Then connect the computer to the router’s WAN port.

Now the hard part. According to the documentation the router’s LEDs will display a moderate 0.1 second blinking rhythm during those two seconds, when router waits for user to trigger the failsafe mode. After plugging in the router I just guessed at when the 2-second window arrived and pressed the QSS/WPS button. After which the SYS LED started blinking rapidly.

Back on the computer I SSH’d to the router using root@192.168.1.1 for the username and address. There is no password for root.

joey@HAVEN-E6520 ~ $ ssh root@192.168.1.1
The authenticity of host '192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is SHA256:PAkYhCNr1sBDT/ADAn/iPh3ztT1yvlgR+RTHYVM0/fA.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '192.168.1.1' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.

BusyBox v1.25.1 () built-in shell (ash)
     _________
    /        /\      _    ___ ___  ___
   /  LE    /  \    | |  | __|   \| __|
  /    DE  /    \   | |__| _|| |) | _|
 /________/  LE  \  |____|___|___/|___|                      lede-project.org
 \        \   DE /
  \    LE  \    /  -----------------------------------------------------------
   \  DE    \  /    Reboot (17.01.4, r3560-79f57e422d)
    \________\/    -----------------------------------------------------------

================= FAILSAFE MODE active ================
special commands:
* firstboot	     reset settings to factory defaults
* mount_root	 mount root-partition with config files

after mount_root:
* passwd			 change root's password
* /etc/config		    directory with config files

for more help see:
http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/generic.failsafe
=======================================================

=== WARNING! =====================================
There is no root password defined on this device!
Use the "passwd" command to set up a new password
in order to prevent unauthorized SSH logins.
--------------------------------------------------
root@(none):~# 
root@(none):~#

Because I had just installed OpenWRT I decided to just reset the router and start over. To do this I just entered the command firstboot and hit enter.

TP-LINK 300M Wireless N Gigabit Router
Model No. TL-WR1043ND
https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/generic.failsafe
https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/troubleshooting/failsafe_and_factory_reset
https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr1043nd#installation

Transfer files using Bluetooth in Linux Mint

On Linux computer make sure Bluetooth is enabled and is discoverable. I’m running Linux Mint 18.2 using Blueman package.

From the Bluetooth applet open devices. This is not necessary to pair the device but, is helpful to have open. This will display all the devices already paired with the computer.


On the phone the computer should be listed under Available Devices if the computer is discoverable. If it is not listed press Scan on the phone.

Tap the device that represents the computer. The phone will display a message about confirming the passkey for pairing.

A message will appear on the computer prompting you to confirm. This is not readily apparent and the message is not displayed for long. Click on the word Confirm to allow the pairing. The phone will display the key icon indicating it is paired.

On the phone the computer will be listed under Paired Devices.

On the computer trust the phone to allow receipt of files from the paired device.

Now that the phone and computer are paired we can trasnfer files between them. In this example I am going to transfer pictures from the phone to the computer. Starting the Gallery app select the pictures to transfer and tap Share. The following screen appears where Bluetooth is an option.

After tapping Bluetooth this screen appears where you select the Bluetooth device to receive the files. Tap the paired device that represents the computer.

The phone will start transferring the files to the computer.

In Linux Mint a notification will display stating that a file is being received from the phone.

Bluetooth is configured on my computer to put received files in the Downloads folder. Opening the Downloads folder shows the new files received from the phone.

To change the location where received files are saved click on View in Bluetooth Manager and select Local Services. Then change the location under Incoming Folder.


How to format SD card on Linux Mint

When an SD card is inserted into a computer running Linux Mint the card is automatically mounted and an icon is displayed on the desktop. Using this icon you can view and modify files. It also would appear that you could format the card as well by right-clicking on the icon.

When the option to Format is selected a dialog box to format the card is displayed but, the button to Format is not clickable:

The trick is to use the Disks utility to format the partition on the card. First, open the Disks utility:

Next, select the SD card on the left then click the gear icon under the partition on the SD card:

Then select Format… from the context menu:

Now a dialog box is displayed with the Format button enabled. Provide a name then click the button Format:

The next window is confirming your actions. Click Format to begin formatting the partition on the card:

That’s it!

Note: if you click the single gear icon at the top-right corner (near the SD card’s name) the same dialog box will be displayed. It will appear to format the card but, it doesn’t. You have to format the partition on the card.

PDF files not included in Windows Search on Windows 7 and 8

As you probably know searching is the most efficient way to find documents, applications, and settings in Windows 7 and 8. By clicking on the Start button and typing you can quickly find files containing specific text and phrases.

The mechanism that allows this is Windows Search that runs as a Windows service. Windows Search has it’s roots in the Indexing Service that first appeared in NT4 and Internet Information Services (IIS). Indexing involves building a catalog (index) that contains the meta-data for files and applications. The meta-data is retrieved via plugins called IFilters.

Windows Search by default includes IFilters for common filetypes, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, HTML files, text files, MP3 and WMA music files, WMV, ASF and AVI video files and JPEG, BMP and PNG images. PDF files are indexed by Windows Search using an IFilter installed automatically when Adobe Reader is installed. However, on 64-bit versions of Windows the IFilter is not installed and the Indexing Service is unable to parse and index these files. Fortunately, the fix is easy and can be done without a reboot.

First, to confirm the IFilter is not installed you need to open Indexing Options in the Control Panel. To do this click on Start and enter the text index. Windows will search for anything with “index” and display the Control Panel option Indexing Options.

Search for Indexing Options

When selected the Indexing Option window appears. This window tells you the status of the Indexing Service, the number items in the catalog, and the options to add or remove search locations. In the following example my computer has indexed 12,033 items.

Indexing Options before installing the PDF IFilter

Click on the button Advanced and then click on the tab File Types. Scroll down to the PDF extension. If the IFilter has not been installed the filter description will state Registered IFilter is not found as in the following screenshot:

Missing IFilter in Indexing Options

After confirming the IFilter is missing you can close the Indexing Options window and download Adobe’s IFilter for 64-bit Windows. The current version as of the time of this writing is PDF iFilter 64 11.0.01 and can be downloaded from Adobe’s HTTP site or FTP site.

Once downloaded, you can install it using an elevated command prompt (run Command Prompt as administrator) with the following command:

msiexec /i “C:\Install\PDFFilter64Setup.msi” REBOOT=R /qb /L*v c:\temp\install_ifilter.log

After the installation completes go back into Indexing Options and confirm the IFilter was installed and registered. The following screenshot shows that the Indexing Service will use an IFilter named “PDF Filter”.
Installed IFilter

Now, all that is left to do is to rebuild Windows Search index. Click on the Index Settings tab and then on the button labeled Rebuild.
Rebuilding Windows Search index

After clicking the Rebuild button Windows will display a warning, click OK to start the rebuild.
Rebuild warning

The status of the rebuild can be monitored on the Indexing Options window. While you are using your computer Windows will reduce the speed of the indexing operation.

Eventually (within an hour or two, depending on size of catalog) the index will be rebuilt and now contain search items from PDF files. On my computer the number of indexed items increased to 40,913.
Indexing Options

How to re-enable Recovery Media creation on Lenovo T530

I had to restore a Lenovo T530 laptop running Windows 8 back to Windows 7. I tried to use the recovery media that I put on an SD card but, the laptop couldn’t boot from the SD card. So, I decided I would just recreate the recovery media using DVDs.

I went to another T530 laptop running Windows 7 to create the recovery media but, was presented with the following message:

You can have only one copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
The Product Recovery Media Creator will exit now.

Apparently, I had already created recovery media from this machine. Setting aside the stupidity of this tactic or it’s implied meaning (creating recovery media = piracy), I needed to trick this machine into letting me do this.

A quick Google search shows just how common this problem is and fortunately a fix. Unfortunately, many of the results are for older Thinkpads that reference a file that no longer exists. Fortunately, the latest fix was found in this forum post on superuser.com.

To fix, just run this command from a CMD prompt:

echo 0 > Q:\FactoryRecovery\RECOVERY.INI:Done

After running go back into ThinkVantage Tools and retry creating recovery media – it should work.

Create custom wallpaper for your servers

I like to set the Windows Desktop to a specific color to easily identify it from other desktops I may have open. This way when I have multiple Remote Desktops running I can quickly see which one I need to click on. At a minimum I usually set the background color of the Desktop.

Recently though, I started making custom images that I use as wallpaper that incorporate color idea and adds information to positively identify the server I am working on. This information usually includes the host name, IP address, a brief description, and the type of OS running.

I try to make the color the same as the color associated with the primary software installed on  the server. For example, our Prophet21 server is purple since that was their primary color in their logo, orange is used for our Shoretel server, etc. Some servers just have a color that was picked randomly years ago and stuck. Our database server uses olive while our webserver uses teal.

I use Gimp to make the images and put them on the root of the C: drive of the server. Since these are servers themes are usually disabled. To make the image appear as wallpaper I have to open them in Paint and from the File menu select “Set as Wallpaper”. The following are examples of wallpaper for a few of my servers.

This is a screenshot of my Taskbar showing how helpful these wallpapers are:

Use 7-Zip to install ISO files

Challenge: You download an ISO (like Office 2010 from Microsoft) but, cannot install it because your computer doesn’t have a CD-ROM.

Solution: Use 7-Zip to extract the contents to a folder and install from there.

Note: Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 can mount ISOs to virtual CD drives natively but, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 cannot. However, Microsoft has created a utility to enable this functionality which can be downloaded from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38780