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Windows server passive port range

Really quick one.

To set Windows server passive port range you should use adsutil.vbs which is one of the administration scripts located usually at: C:>\Inetpub\AdminScripts . I am saying usually as the Windows server installation could be on a different drive.

The issue with the Windows passive port range is that the default firewall (firewall.cpl) does not have option or field to open port range, and often when you setup FTP on your Windows server an try to connect with FTP client it may appear with error similar to this one bellow.

 

directory listing denied because of missing opened passive port range

 

As you can see from the log, you can connect to the server using FTP, but when you try to do something like listing directory content or copying files it times our. The reason is because the FTP client is trying to connect trough any opened port above 1024 one. (The usual default range is a big one. For example between 40000 and 45000)

You can add several ports manually, but if you have many FTP users, their FTP clients may exceed the port range number and will face the same issue as above. Try using this for testing purposes only (to make sure the issue is because passive port range is not set).

Manual setup of passive port range on windows firewall

 

To set passive FTP port range on a Windows server the command should be executed via the command line. So go to Start -> Run… type cmd and then:

 

The result should be similar to this one:

Passive port range sring

Once executed you should not have further issues with Passive mode using your FTP client.
 

Another method to enable Passive Port Range on Windows 2008 is to execute the following command:

 
It should return one big ‘OK’, and passive FTP access will be possible.

Log off user in Windows

This will be a quick one. There was inquiry from one of our visitors how to log off remote users on Windows server, and I will provide a quick example.

To have a view on the currently logged users, the best way will be trough the Task Manager. To open it remotely just right click on the Windows Task Bar.

Right click Windows Taskbar

Once the Task Manager is opened, click on the Users tab and you will find a list of the currently logged users.

Taks Manager currenlt logged users

Right-click and log off Windows user according to your needs.

Log off Windows user remotely.

You can log off remote user as well as the local ones.

Preview website without IP change

You will find this tutorial about how to set IP address for a domain name (website) manually in hosts file on Windows useful in case you are transferring your domain from one company to another, and the domain is still not pointed to the new hosting IP address. Basically this will allow you to preview website without DNS change.
Another case is if you just want to domain name instead of IP address. We all know that Onlinehowto.net is easiest to be remembered instead of 66.235.184.90 (the IP of the hosting).
Certainly you just can do a joke with someone as setting often used domains like Google.com, Yahoo.com, MSN.com to point to a different IP address.
Here I will tell that this is common trick used by hackers to set Yahoo.com (for example) to point to an IP on a server where exactly the same (as Yahoo’s) web page will be set, but the login form there will just still your password and generate error message line ‘Incorrect password’ and will forward you to the real website.

Anyway, how this can be done? How to preview website without IP change?

This can be done in a file called ‘hosts’, and all Windows OS’ are using it to define certain domains or IP addresses.

The mentioned file is always located into the ‘%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\drivers\etc’ folder. Usually this is ‘C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc’, but it depends on where your Windows is installed.

For example if you copy the next string:

%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\drivers\etc

And paste it into Windows Explorer like on the next picture, when you hit Enter, you will be directed to the ‘hosts’ file location.

Windows hosts file location

The address will be converted as per the Windows installation location C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\.

Hosts file directory content

Now locate the file called ‘hosts’ and open it with your preferred text editor. My advice is to use Notepad to avoid any special characters in this file.

The Windows ‘hosts’ file content by default is:

As you can see this file describe itself, and what it is doing is the mappings of IP addresses to host names.

There is always one record for the local host and as you can see I have set up mywebsite.com to point to a local IP address where I am running Web server.

If you open this domain in your browser, you will see the original website. In my case it will open a page which I am using for creating tutorials.
For example you can see how this trick is used in this tutorial:

Setup a website in IIS on Windows Server

Just add an entry to the hosts file and save it. Then all your browsers will open the new location allowing you to preview website without IP change, and all FTP clients, etc. will open it from the new IP address as well.