Posts about Administration

Manipulating settings.dat File with Settings from Windows Store Apps

Windows Store apps store their settings in a registry hive file named settings.dat. Even after loading it into registry the values inside it are non-standard which makes them difficult to read and edit. The post dives into their serialization format and guides the reader through developing a PowerShell function for editing the values.

Install .NET Windows Service with a Different Name

Creating a Windows service in .NET could hardly be any easier. Installing multiple instances of such a service on a single computer is not that easy. Since there's not much documentation about it, many articles are describing over-complicated custom solutions instead of taking advantage of the APIs that are already available.

Connecting to Local IIS Express Server from WP8 Emulator

January 13th 2014 Windows Phone IIS Administration

If you're developing a Windows Phone 8 application which doesn't only connect to public web services to get its data, but also communicates with you own custom web service, you'll want to be able to connect to it from the Windows Phone Emulator with as little hassle as possible. Usually that means that you'll want it to connect to your local IIS Express server.

Changing Network Location to Private in Windows 8.1

September 30th 2013 Administration Windows

Windows 8.1 doesn't seem to always ask for location (public or private) when connecting to a new network for the first time, instead it often defaults to public. While this certainly is more secure than the opposite option, it can cause difficulties when trying to take advantage of features that are by default disabled on private networks, such as network discovery and remote access. Since enabling them for public networks would be insecure, the only option to use them on such a network is to change the location to private as it should be.

Automatically Backing Up TeamCity

September 23rd 2013 TeamCity Administration

After switching to TeamCity one of the first tasks was setting up proper backup of its configuration. There are multiple ways to backup TeamCity data. The only one that can be performed remotely is exposed over TeamCity's web UI. Fortunately it can also be triggered via REST API for easier automation.

WCF: IIS Hosting, Windows Authentication and File Permissions

July 25th 2012 WCF IIS Administration

Troubleshooting WCF services is often challenging, mostly because of cryptic and uninformative error messages. When you combine that with complex usage and configuration scenarios, it takes time to get to the bottom of the problem. The issue I'm about to describe manifested itself on a production server running a WCF service with HttpModule based Windows authentication. Other authentication methods worked fine, while with Windows authentication WCF returned a rather cryptic error message.

Peculiarities of Subversion Path Based Authorization

February 18th 2012 SVN Administration

If you're using Subversion in a corporate environment you might need to rely on path based authentication to revoke users' read or write access to parts of a repository. Unfortunately the feature is not documented very well and there are a couple of specifics you should be aware of in advance to prevent unpleasant surprises later. I decided to describe two of them that I recently stumbled upon.

Playing DivX and XviD Videos Natively on Xbox 360

December 31st 2007 Xbox 360 Administration Windows

The Xbox 360 Dashboard update released on 4th December 2007 added support for playing DivX and XviD videos natively. Unfortunately this only works for media played directly from the dashboard and not within Media Center Extender. The only thing left to do was to setup Windows Media Player media sharing.

How to Enable Hibernation in Windows Vista

May 21st 2007 Administration Windows

Windows Vista unlike the previous versions doesn't have an option to enable or disable hibernation in the Power Option of Control Panel. If you end up with disabled hibernation, the only way to turn it back on is from a command prompt.

Worker Process Group in IIS 6

May 19th 2007 IIS Administration

Any custom identity being used for an application pool in Internet Information Services 6.0 must be a member of the IIS_WPG group which grants it all the necessary privileges, otherwise IIS reports only Service Unavailable when the site gets accessed.

Run Applications with Preselected User Credentials

January 3rd 2007 Administration Windows

The functionality of the Run as context menu item is often an invaluable tool. The downside of this command is that unless you want to use the administrator's account, you have to enter the desired username every single time which quickly becomes tedious.

Windows Desktop Search on Network Shares

Microsoft Office 2007 applications (at least Outlook and OneNote in particular) require Windows Desktop Search 3.0 to be installed for their built-in search capabilities to work fully.

Changing the Port Number for Remote Desktop Access

June 3rd 2006 Administration Windows

The default port number 3389 for RDP (Remote Desktop and Terminal Services) can be changed through a registry value.

Show or Hide Users from Windows XP Welcome Screen

June 3rd 2006 Administration Windows

By default the Windows XP Welcome screen shows the users created through the control panel applet. You can change all that by setting up the correct values in the registry.

Missing Security Tab in Certificate Private Key File Properties

March 18th 2006 PKI Administration Windows

Simple file sharing hides Security tabs on all Properties dialogs. You need to disable this feature to explicitly set permissions on any object in Windows Explorer.