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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.

How to remove Thumbs.db file

This tutorial will help you to remove the Thumbs.db from Windows machine.
I am a Linux guy and usually do not have problems with this file, but Windows OS is well spread all over the world and often when I am giving my iPod to a friend to upload some music or video, as well as the media files often I have Thumbs.db file uploaded.
Sometimes this is causing error on my player or interrupts my play list, so if your case is the same and you want it removed – I will show you how.

What is the Thumbs.db purpose? – When you have pictures, images or movies, Windows tries to recognizes them and then creates so-called image thumbnails. After their creation Windows generates this file Thumbs.db, which contains information about photos and their little friends, so when you open the same media folder next time to load the previews faster.

However, if you do not like Thumbs.db, you can delete all these files without worrying about your operating system.


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 is easiest to be remembered instead of (the IP of the hosting).
Certainly you just can do a joke with someone as setting often used domains like,, to point to a different IP address.
Here I will tell that this is common trick used by hackers to set (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:


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 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.

Check uptime on a Windows server

This tutorial explains how to check the uptime on your Windows server or personal computer (the time that a particular server or personal computer has been working).

To check the uptime on your Windows server is useful when the server has crashed and restarted itself and you find it after couple of hours.
Then to check on the logs will take much time if many processes are ran in the same time.

Also if you need to do an update you may use the uptime for certain scripts or scheduled jobs.

To view the uptime on Windows server simply type the following command in the command prompt:


Restore show desktop icon

This tutorial is about how to restore show desktop icon which usually is located at your "Quick Launch" section on your task bar.
Restoring the Show Desktop icon can be done in few steps, but first let start with the physical location of this icon.

The link actually is a file called "Show Desktop.scf" located in:

C:\Documents and Settings\%User name%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Consider two things. FIrst the above example is if your Windows is installed on your ”C:\" drive. The second thing is that ”%User name%” is the username of your Windows login.

When you go to that folder you shold see your quick links as it shown on the next image. If you see the Show Desktop icon you do not have to restore it. Maybe it is not enabled in ”Taskbar and Start Menu Properties”.

Concurrent remote desktop without log off other users

First, lets start with that, this tutorial wont work if your computer is connected to Windows domain. If you are not sure whether you are connected or not, following the next steps will not change anything fatally.

Anyway, if you want to be able to use several parallel sessions of Remote Desktop, you must have at least basic knowledge of Windows OS, in particular with Windows registry. If you do not have any experience with the adjustment of the registry, it is better to use the help of someone more experienced, or did not go further, even that if you just follow the next steps you will be able to enable concurrent remote desktop without log off other users.

The first thing that you have to do is to create one file with name add-to-registry.reg and put the next lines inside before save it:


How to start Windows in Safe Mode

This tutorial will show you how to start Windows XP in Safe Mode.
Safe mode is often used to remove some drivers and/or to do some changes on crashed configuration. This can help you diagnose and solve many serious problems.

To start in Safe Mode, turn your PC on or restart it. You should press \"F8\" key before appearance of the usual Windows XP screen shown bellow.

Change Windows remote desktop port number

This tutorial will explain how using registry editor to change the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) port number on your Windows 2003 / XP / Vista, Windows 7 .
This will be useful when you are behind a firewall or NAT and the default port 3389 is disabled.

Also, there are many scanning bots ran on hacked servers trying to brute-force the administrator password on other computers with Windows OS. As it takes a lot of resources the whole range of port to be scanned on every server, the bots are set to try only a short range to see whether particular service is running.

Changing the port will decrease the chance your server to become a target of brute-force attacks via Remote Desktop Protocol. Basically this will hide the server from automated scans looking for RPD.

To change the port you will need to start Windows Registry Editor.

Go to : Start -> Run… type ”regedit” and press OK