Merc's Useful Tools of the day

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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mklink is functionally the same thing as the ln command on a Unix system, but symlinks are new enough that not everything in Windows handles them correctly. There's a tool called WinLibraryTool from Zorn Software that does, however, allow you to add un-indexed network locations to library folder locations. That might be a better idea than using a symlink or moving the profile folder locations.

The IT people at school probably don't want to deal with network user profiles and they may not even know how. Even if they do, modern Windows profiles can occupy a lot of space and create a lot of network traffic if they're not managed carefully, which they might not have time to deal with. It's usually easier to just tell people to save things to the S: drive or whatever they give you to dump your crap in.
 

Chewy509

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Even if they do, modern Windows profiles can occupy a lot of space and create a lot of network traffic if they're not managed carefully, which they might not have time to deal with.
Reminds of a time many moons ago (NT4.0 Wkstn/Server days), that users had roaming profiles enabled, and logging on at 8:30-9am at the start of the work day would result in 30min login times due to the fileservers being so overloaded... (typically log in time outside of the peak was typically 2-3mins once all the login scripts completed)...
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Yup. That was the start of my career as a Windows admin as well. And then something would happen, NTUSER.DAT would shit itself and you'd have a user freaking out that all their stuff is gone. Good times indeed.
 

sedrosken

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I thought symlinks just looked like the file it referenced to everything, that the FS handled redirection itself?

And I wasn't necessarily saying they should've mapped their whole user profile to the network drive, just their Documents directory and perhaps pictures as well, especially since they're supposed to be saving that stuff to their network shares in the first place. I may not know much about networking, but I do know that putting the whole profile on a network share would be all kinds of stupid. If the network goes down, all of a sudden you can't even log on to a machine that you've already logged on to (doesn't that make it so that it authenticates with itself instead of a domain server when no domain server can be found?).
 

sedrosken

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T-Clock is a replacement for the standard taskbar clock in Windows. Don't quote me on it but I think it works with XP/Vista, and it is confirmed to be working on 7/8/8.1/10.
The latest preview build (if it's not the latest, then build 9879) breaks T-Clock. It won't even give an indication that it isn't working -- the executable simply fails to execute.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The Multi-OEM project works exceptionally well for building a Windows installer image that automatically configures product keys. I've found this to be useful several times, particularly for Windows 8 machines with no product key or recovery media. I've tested it on Acer and Toshiba machines and found it to work.
 

CougTek

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I don't see the download link. I read that in order to download, we're supposed to click thanks, but there's no link there. I've tried on two different browsers. Is it so fucking hard to provide an obvious download link?

That should be quite useful if I'm able to get it. I have to install Windows on many different laptop brands and models on a daily basis.

Thanks for sharing.
 

sedrosken

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WindowPad (scroll down in the first post and click the attachment to download) is a neat little utility that enhances Windows 7+'s Aero Snap capabilities to do snapping in quarters and in the center of the screen. It will also run on XP/Vista, giving them Aero Snap functionality.

Yes, WindowPadX is a better version, supposedly, but it leads to a GitHub page and for the life of me I can't figure out how to build from Git on Windows.

For those of you with multimonitor setups, the program works on whichever monitor the cursor is located on when you use the key combinations. You will get better results and far less confusion if you use the Windows key in conjunction with the number pad, as the numbers on the number pad roughly correspond with the direction you'll be snapping the active window. It's earned a spot in my startup folder along with T-Clock.
 

Handruin

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WindowPad (scroll down in the first post and click the attachment to download) is a neat little utility that enhances Windows 7+'s Aero Snap capabilities to do snapping in quarters and in the center of the screen. It will also run on XP/Vista, giving them Aero Snap functionality.

Yes, WindowPadX is a better version, supposedly, but it leads to a GitHub page and for the life of me I can't figure out how to build from Git on Windows.

For those of you with multimonitor setups, the program works on whichever monitor the cursor is located on when you use the key combinations. You will get better results and far less confusion if you use the Windows key in conjunction with the number pad, as the numbers on the number pad roughly correspond with the direction you'll be snapping the active window. It's earned a spot in my startup folder along with T-Clock.
If you don't really need to build it, download one of the supplied releases of the source from their release section. If you want to build it yourself, click the button on the right side that says Clone in Desktop and then follow their instructions for downloading GitHub on Windows. You can also download the Git client for windows and do a clone of their code base onto your own system. First create a new folder on your own system and change dir into it. Then you would type:

Code:
git clone https://github.com/hoppfrosch/WindowPadX.git
This will pull down all the code from their repo. You can now integrate their code. I don't think this needs to be built. It looks like an ad-on to the original auto hot key utility.
 

sedrosken

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I'm just imitating his style for the posts in this particular topic so it seems more cohesive with the others. I'm not about to start my own thread about it, that'll just make me seem like even more of a copy-cat. Also, I'm pretty sure most of the things I'm learning about and find useful are things you already know about.

Thanks for the tip Handruin!
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The Product Comparison Chart is made to help users pick the right tablet, phone or notebook for their needs by process of elimination. If nothing else, this is helpful to keep from having to dig through page after page of specs to determine if something has the right screen resolution and weight to be suitable.
 

LunarMist

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The Product Comparison Chart is made to help users pick the right tablet, phone or notebook for their needs by process of elimination. If nothing else, this is helpful to keep from having to dig through page after page of specs to determine if something has the right screen resolution and weight to be suitable.
I suppose it has some useful info, but only to brands that pay? In laptops there is no Fujitsu or Sager for example.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Have I mentioned Chocolatey.org here? I don't think I have. It's a *nix style package manager for anything that's new enough to have Powershell and .NET 4 on it.

Run this from an Administrative Command Prompt:
Code:
@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin
To install chocolatey.

Once it's installed, you can do little bits of wizardry like
choco install -y flashplayerplugin
choco upgrade -y firefox


To keep third party installed or applications current.

Note that if you're wanting to script installation of the Powershell installer, you'll need to call it with START rather than a traditional batch file CALL since CALL will do weird things with special character expansion inside that big hideous powershell command, e.g.

start installchoco.cmd (which would contain that mess of powershell).

In other words, you have a really straightforward way to push out common third party apps if you have administrative control over machines and no particular desire to repackage them yourself. Just throw the commands in the login script or something.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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It's a bit of a wash, really. But ninite is definitely limited to the .exe files you might have for it. I happen to have some with the set of internet helpers, but I don't have the perfect combination for every environment I support.
On the other hand, it was pretty trivial for me to whip up scripts to do what I want for just the apps I need.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Rufus definitely works a lot faster than the Windows 7 ISO to USB tool for making bootable Windows flash drives. I haven't tried using it for Linux yet, but since it doesn't depend on .NET 2.0, which isn't part of a default Windows 8/10 install, it's still a pretty handy tool.
 

Handruin

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I use Rufus for building bootable Linux USB sticks at work all the time and it works well. It even works through a VirtualBox windows VM on a Mac.
 
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15.2 is still the latest version of Hiren. I didn't run Rufus from Hiren, I made Hiren boot off a thumb drive using Rufus. Crazy fast on USB3. And if you haven't installed Win8 off a fast thumbdrive, you've wasted too much of your life.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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It's pretty straightforward. You can build a Windows machine the way you normally would, let updates happen, install apps to taste and then run sysprep from C:\windows\system32\sysprep\.
After it runs, shut down, boot in to your drive imaging software (TrueImage or WinPE/ImageX or whatever) and write your image to a portable drive or something.
If you want to get all fancy, you can build out a whole unattend.xml, configure scheduled tasks and pre-configure browser profiles and the like.
When you're ready to deploy, just boot your imaging software and blow your image back on to the drive. It'll re-do the final stage of the Windows install, which is basically hardware detection and user account creation and the out of the box image will be as updated as your source machine was.

If you have time, you can explore how to modify your source images with extra drivers and updates to make things easier and how to make things more maintainable with the AIK (Windows up to 7) or ADK (8+), but that's probably a hassle. I normally use consumer Windows for my image sources since I can always Anytime upgrade to a Pro-grade license if I want. The AIK/ADK supposedly lets you set the image version you want but in practice I've found a lot of things that say "Hey, this isn't Windows Pro or Enterprise so you can't do that with this file."
 
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