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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.

Speed up Windows 7 by forcing it to unload unused DLLs and delete cached ones

Windows is often quite slow in unloading DLLs. Even when programs using given DLLs quit, Windows can ‘carry’ around the DLLs for quite a while until it unloads them. Well we will show you how to force Windows 7 to unload them and to delete the cached ones.
Like so many ‘hacks’ this one is done by modifying the registry.

Open the Start menu, enter regedit in the Start menu search box and press Enter:

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How to disable the Win+Key shortcut keys in Windows 7

The Win+Key shortcut keys encompass a lot of functionality for those who prefer utilizing the keyboard as much as possible. If you are not sure what we are talking about let’s point out a few of the most used shortcut keys:

Win+D for showing the Desktop

Win+E to launch the Explorer

Win+X for Windows Mobility Center

Win+L for locking your workstation

Win+<number> for launching and switching between applications in your taskbar

Win+P for switching between presentation modes
and many, many more. However it gets extremely annoying when you press one of these by accident (especially until you realize you have pressed it). And, for those who don’t use the keyboard that much, these shortcuts don’t provide much functionality. Not to mention that if you want to use one of these shortcut combinations in another application, things get rather messy. So in this short tutorial we will show you a rather quick and simple way to disable the Win+Key combinations in Windows 7 using a little registry tweak.

Note: This trick will not disable the Win+Arrow shortcuts.

First we will open the Registry Editor. Open the Start menu, enter regedit in the Start menu search box, wait for the regedit.exe result and press Enter:

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How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

Windows 7 introduced a new taskbar and a really cool feature of the taskbar called Aero Peek. Showing live thumbnails for every window in the given group, it quickly became a favourite feature of many people. However, there is one little feature that people quickly began hating. When you hover over one of the buttons you get a preview of all the open windows:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Naturally, one would expect a click on a button to open the last active window of that group. Well’¦ nope. Clicking on a button opens the preview of all windows. And this is really annoying when you have 10 instances of an application and actively use only one.
One way to open the last active window is to hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on a button. However why not make this behaviour the default one? This is easily achieved with a simple registry tweak.

First we will open the Registry Editor. Open the Start menu, enter regedit in the Start menu search box, wait for the regedit.exe result and press Enter:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

The registry editor will open:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Using the left pane, navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\Advanced”:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Right-click on an empty space in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value LastActiveClick:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Double-click on the value and a new window will open. In the textbox Value data enter the value 1:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Press OK and close the Registry Editor. Log off and on, for the changes to take effect. To revert to the default behaviour, simply delete the LastActiveClick value or set it to 0.

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.

Windows 7 RC installation instructions

Windows 7 is the newest desktop (OS) operating system, announced by Microsoft. As many application developers and users were left not satisfied by previous MS OS Windows Vista, Windows 7 is more abided now.

To install Window 7 RC (release candidate) you will need to know few important things:

1. Windows 7 installation cannot upgrade your current Windows XP or Vista edition. It must be done with clean installation, so if you have already an OS on your PC you have either to backup all your data before the install, or if you want just to see it and you are not sure whether you want it, to install it on VMWare.

2. Microsoft officially announced that Windows 7 RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, when your PC will shut down every 2 hours

3. Minimum system requirements:

– 1 GHz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor;

– 1 GB RAM for 32-bit processors and 2 GB RAM for 64-bit processors;

– 8,7GB disk space for 32-bit processors and 17GB for 64-bit processors;

– Good graphics processor compatible with DirectX 9;

First download Windows 7 RC from official Microsoft site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx

From there you will download an ISO file, so if you are not going to use VMWare, you need to burn it on a DVD with DVD burner. For example:Burn ISO image with Nero Burning ROM

I presume you have the Windows 7 installation already ”baked” on a DVD and you have ‘blank’ PC or you have all your data stored as backup.

So turn on your computer and put the DVD with Windows 7 installation in your CD/DVD ROM.
Note: ‘Your CD/DVD ROM should your first bootable device!’

Then you shall see this screen: