Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Windows’

Command Line Activation Tools for Windows and Office

November 21, 2013 2 comments

If your a Windows Administrator, you should be familiar with the following tools. slmgr.vbs is a command line software licensing management tool for Windows. It works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS). You can call it from anywhere in a command prompt. slmgr.vbs has many options including installing a product key, uninstalling a product key, displaying license information, and activating. For a complete list of options, visit the following TechNet article.

opss.vbs is also a command line software licensing management tool but for Microsoft Office. It also works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS).

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

For more information on opss.vbs visit the following TechNet article.

You can easily use these tools to install and activate a product key in a batch script and deploy it to a large number of machines.

How to Use a Command Prompt During GUI-Mode Setup

June 29, 2013 2 comments

In some cases, it may be helpful to have access to a command prompt during GUI-mode Setup for the purposes of troubleshooting, partitioning the disk, copying drivers, starting and stopping services, starting tools such as Task Manager, or other for other needs.

To gain access to a command prompt during GUI-mode Setup, press SHIFT+F10.

Sysprep Fatal Error With IE 10 (FIX)

March 15, 2013 72 comments

My fellow system administrators, there is a bug with sysprep and Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 7. My department maintains a Windows 7 image that we use on all our desktops. Today I installed some Windows updates which included Internet Explorer 10. When I tried to sysprep the machine like I usually do I received an error that a fatal error has occurred while trying to sysprep the machine. After looking at the logs (setupact.log and setuperr.log) I discovered what the issue was:

Error      [0x0f0085] SYSPRP LaunchDll:Could not load DLL C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll[gle=0x000000c1]

It turns out that Internet Explorer 10 was the culprit. Strangely, ‘iesysprep.dll’ does exist within C:\Windows\SysWOW64. I have posted about it on the TechNet forums and it appears I am not the only one having this issue. Another user on the TechNet forums, sgennadi, has posted what appears to be a solution. It calls for modifying sysprep registry values and changing them back from SysWOW64 to System32. I personally have not tried his/her solution. I reverted back to a previous image and installed the new updates again, minus Internet Explorer 10, and sysprep works fine. Personally, I will be waiting for Microsoft to address this in a Windows Update before I upgrade to Internet Explorer 10.

EDIT:
I decided to add the proposed solution here in case anyone wants to fix it themselves. Again, credit goes to sgennadi for the solution.

After installing IE10, open the registry editor (regedit). You should make a backup of the registry before making any changes in the event that something goes wrong. You can do this by choosing File > Export and make sure you select ‘All’ under ‘Export range’.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Cleanup

Locate: Value Name {EC9FE15D-99DD-4FB9-90D5-5B56E42A0F80} Value Data C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE
Replace the value with: C:\Windows\System32\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Generalize

Locate: Value Name {EC9FE15D-99DD-4FB9-90D5-CE53C91AB9A1} Value Data C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Generalize_IE
Replace the value with: C:\Windows\System32\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Specialize

Locate: Value Name {EC9FE15D-99DD-4FB9-90D5-676C338DC1DA} Value Data C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE
Replace the value with: C:\Windows\System32\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE

Now you should be able to run sysprep successfully without receiving the IE10 related error.

Windows 7 receives Internet Explorer 10

February 26, 2013 6 comments

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft launched the latest version of Internet Explorer; Internet Explorer 10. Windows 7 users, however, did not receive the Internet Explorer upgrade. Microsoft has now released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7. Internet Explorer 10 will be available through Windows Update in the next few weeks but if you want to download it now you can by visiting the link I have provided below.

Internet Explorer 10

New exploit for IE 7, 8 & 9 on Windows XP, Vista, and 7

September 17, 2012 2 comments

There is a new exploit for Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 browsers running Windows XP, Vista and 7. Computers can be compromised simply by visiting a malicious website, which gives the attacker the same privileges as the current user logged in. Since Microsoft has not released a patch for this vulnerability yet, Internet Explorer users are strongly advised to switch to other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, until a security update becomes available.

Microsoft has issue a security advisory about the situation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/advisory/2757760

UPDATE:

  • Sep 19th, 2012 – Microsoft released a “fix-it” solution. It has been verified working. More information can be found here.
  • Sep 20th, 2012 – Microsoft updates the “fix-it” advisory to revision 2.0.  Requirements clarified: 1) “For computers that are running 64-bit operating systems, the following Fix it solution only applies to 32-bit versions of Internet Explorer.” 2) Before you apply this Fix it solution, you must ensure that Internet Explorer is fully updated by using the Windows Update service.
  • Sep 21st, 2012 – Microsoft releases Security Bulletin MS12-063 and Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (KB2744842). Users and Administrators should install the update as soon as possible.

PDQ Inventory and PDQ Deploy

July 11, 2012 2 comments

Today there are countless Windows tools for system administrators to manage and deploy software/updates to machines. I recently came across a set of applications from Admin Arsenal called PDQ Inventory and PDQ Deploy that I love and have implemented at the organization where I work. These applications are worth their weight in gold and thought I would share them with you all. At the organization where I work, we use to rely on text files with different groups of computers and psexec to deploy software to machines before these tools. It was a nightmare to keep track of what software machines was installed and what updates were missing. PDQ Inventory and PDQ Deploy save us so much time and work.

The first tool, PDQ Inventory, is used to track the hardware, software and O/S configurations in your Windows network. Using PDQ Deploy you can gather detailed information about installed software, services, hardware, printers, and a lot more for all the machines on your network. With PDQ Inventory you can import your machines individually by name, as a list from the clipboard or a file, or from your Active Directory. You can organize your computers in collections based on their inventory. PDQ Inventory is very light-weight and does not require any agent to be installed on the client machines. It also does not interrupt users at all. PDQ Inventory has a very powerful report builder that can generate basic or more advanced SQL reports. PDQ Inventory also allows you to execute remote commands on machines and provides additional tools for rebooting, initiating remote desktop, Wake-on-LAN, and more.

The last tool, PDQ Deploy, is used to deploy software and updates to machines silently without user interruption or interaction. You can deploy software and updates to Active Directory Groups and OUs or target lists that you create. PDQ Deploy installs software on as many computers as you want. No need to “advertise” an installer and then wait to find out whether the installation succeeded. You will know right away if the deployment was successful or encountered errors. PDQ Deploy installs simultaneously on up to eight computers, queuing other targets until it is their turn. PDQ Deploy supports MSI, EXE, MSU & MSP, PowerShell, VB Script, Batch, and REG. PDQ Deploy is built to be small and impact your environment as little as possible. No need to pre-install anything on the target computers. Just put PDQ Deploy on a workstation, pick the installers, and go. PDQ Deploy communicates entirely through SMB File Sharing making firewall and security policies easy to configure. If you can remotely access the Administrative Shares (C$, RPC$, ADMIN$) on a computer you can use PDQ Deploy.

PDQ also has an excellent support staff and forum. The staff is knowledgeable, polite and extremely helpful. I personally have created several support tickets which were answered within a couple of hours. Admin Arsenal also offers both of the great tools FREE! The free version is completely free and has no ads or annoyances. They offer a ‘Pro Mode’ licenses for both applications that provides extra features and advantages. For more information on these tools, visit Admin Arsenal.