I was skeptical of the Touch Bar when I first read rumors about it earlier this week. Those rumors turned out to be true: The newest MacBook Pro has a small touchscreen above the keyboard, where there used to be a row of physical “function” keys.
If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you’ve probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage – it’s software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren’t Windows.
Windows 7 was released back in 2009. That’s seven years ago, and a lot has changed in the tech world since then. Even so, Windows 7 remains the most popular desktop operating system on the planet. This in spite of Microsoft’s insistence that users upgrade to Windows 10.
Do you still have QuickTime for Windows on your PC? Get rid of it, pronto. That’s the advice coming from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), following an“urgent call to action” by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro. The version of QuickTime on Apple computers is not affected.
A new strain of ransomware replaces the Master Boot Record (MBR) and encrypts the Master File Table on an infected Windows computer’s hard drive, thereby essentially locking a victim out of all of their files.
So this week I had a client having massive problems connecting to SMB shares on their Mac Mini Server running Lion Server 10.7.4 using their Windows 7 workstation. This has happened several times to various clients running multiple versions of Windows and Mac OS X. This happens when attempting to connect to SMB shares on the OS X device from the Windows device. The error displayed on Windows is generally “The specified network password is not correct”. Of course you’ve checked the passwords, permissions, and verified that all other settings appear to be correct.
I was able to get the Windows workstation to connect to the Mac SMB share by altering the following settings on the Windows side:
If running the Pro versions of Windows 7 or Vista:
1. Click Start ---> Run --> secpol.msc
2. Browse to the following path: Local Policies --> Security Options --> Network Security: LAN Manager Authentication
3. Change NTLM2 responses only to LM and NTLM - use NTLMV2 session security if negotiated
If running the home version of Windows, there is no secpol.msc, so you must edit the registry instead using the following procedure:
1. Start --> Run --> regedit
2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlLsa
3. Find the Key "LMCompatibilityLevel" and change the 3 to 1
4. Reboot your machine
The reason this is necessary is because of the way Vista, Windows 7, and newer versions of Windows handle NTLMv2 authentication. Other/older implementations of SMB/SAMBA don’t support this method of authentication and will return a password failure.
These instructions may also work when attempting to connect Windows systems to shares hosted by other NAS devices or Linux SMB shares.
Spiceworks, my favorite tool for managing IT networks, has released a new version. Spiceworks scans your entire network and audits the devices in you infrastructure. Not only does Spiceworks create a comprehensive IT inventory, but it also monitors the health of vital systems. It can alert you when certain conditions are met, errors are found, systems run out of hard disk space, printer ink is low, and much more.
Another cool feature is to have Spiceworks scan multiple sites, and report back to a central collector. This is great for me, as the company I work for, is an outsourced IT Helpdesk for several medium sized businesses. We’ve deployed Spiceworks at all of our clients with more than 10 PCs. This allows our business to be proactive in our approach to IT instead of reactive.
Don’t even get me started on how good Spiceworks has been for License Management.
Spiceworks 4.6 brings a host of new features include:
- View and Kill Processes Remotely
- Ability to discover virtualized servers on VMware (vSphere & ESX/ESXi), showing all the virtual machine data and configuration details
- Better Helpdesk ticket management
- Network mapping improvements
- See network alerts and notifications in your Spiceworks Toolbar
- And more…
If you have never tried Spiceworks, you should. It is free, and after you use it, you will be converted. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s FREE (As in BEER)? I used to work for a software company that developed one of the premier Enterprise IT Discovery platforms, and believe me, Spiceworks can do a lot more than even some multimillion dollar Enterprise platforms. That was always the “dirty little secret”. Anyways, check it out, you’ll love it.