Author Archives: The Amixa Web Guru

Solution for Windows cross-subnet browsing issue in mid-2016

Hello all-

this is a follow-up to my original post in which I discussed how to setup cross-subnet browsing so that all computers come up in “Network” or “Network Neighborhood”.

For the last few months, my “Network” browse list has disappeared and would ONLY show computers from my LAN subnet.  My remote (VPN-to-VPN) network subnet disappeared from my “Network” computer list.

After >>MUCH<< research I have found the problem and will present the solution.

The problem is due to the Microsoft Windows Update (for both desktop and server OS’s) KB3161949  (read about it here).

Part of the effect of this update was to “harden” the NETBIOS service and prevent NETBIOS data from being sent between subnets.

 

THE SOLUTION:

Two ways of handling this.

  1. You can remove this specific hotfix
  2. You can add a registry setting to override it.

(YOUR CHOICE)

To REMOVE the hotfix:

On SERVERS:  Go to Control Panel, Uninstall a program, View Installed Updates… Remove 3161949.  You’ll need to reboot.  After rebooting, go check for windows updates again (MANUALLY)  3161949 will pop up.  Right click and HIDE UPDATE.

On Desktops:  Same process as above – HOWEVER – Depending on which version of windows, which OS Rollup you are on, 3161949 might not show up.  If you cannot remove 3161949, simply add the registry key below.

–OPTIONAL METHOD–

Involves a registry key addition, then you need to reboot the machine.

SUBKEY: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetBT\Parameters
Value Name: AllowNBToInternet
Type: Dword
Value: 1

 

** REMEMBER TO REBOOT after you do either the uninstall or registry key.

** It will take 5-60 minutes for the Network browse lists to refresh

*** MOST IMPORTANT ***

You MUST do this on your domain servers (Master Browsers) on each side of the subnet.  For example, I have for domain servers, two on each side.  I did this procedure on both, then rebooted all four domain servers.

Then I did this on my Windows 10 Pro workstation (via registry key) and rebooted.

When I checked my computer 30 minutes later, all machines were showing up in the browse list under “Network” in Windows 10.

 

Let me know if any questions…

Kerio Mailserver CSR generation and import of SSL Cert

This is the entire process from CSR generation to installing the CRT with all trusted intermediate certs so that your connection is a good as possible.

The primary reason for this article is due to issues that Google Gmail has with remote POP mail checking if the SSL and all Intermediate Certs aren’t installed.

Note: This applicable for Kerio Mailserver 6.X and earlier.  I cannot verify if it 100% works with 7.0 or newer.

Generating the new CSR Certificate Signing Request from Kerio

  1. download the Kerio SSL tool here
  2. extract that file to a new directory off your C:\ root, something easy like “C:\SSL”
  3. inside the Kerio interface, go to the SSL Certs config page and
  4. New->New Certificate Request
  5. complete it and make sure your hostname is your full domain name to be protected by the SSL, eg “mail.yourdomainname.com”
  6. save this file into the new directory above.
  7. Run the following command from a command line.  Feel free to change the bits if needed.  We only use 4096
    1. openssl genrsa -out server.key 4096
    2. This will output a file called “server.key”
  8. Run the following command:
    1. openssl req -new -days 365 -key server.key -out server.csr -config openssl.cfg
  9. That will generate a file called “server.csr”. You will need this for Godaddy, Comodo or wherever you get the SSL cert

 

Buy a new SSL and use the “server.csr” file to process it.

 

Handling the installation of your new CRT and installing intermediate keys as well.

  1. extract the zip file with your new CRT file into the directory above
  2. you will need to locate and download the “intermediate certificates” for your SSL if they do not already come inside the zip file.  In my case, we had an “Comodo Instant SSL” and inside it there was our domain CRT file and a second file “mail_mydomainname_com.ca-bundle”.  I used the contents of this “ca-bundle” file for my needs.
  3. using a text editor like “Ultraedit” or “Notepad++”  (NOTE: DON’T USE NOTEPAD., open the .CRT file.
  4. Copy it
  5. paste it into a new blank document
  6. open the additional file(s)
  7. Paste them directly below your .CRT file text, into the text file.  If there is more than one past them back to back to back in the file.  Note: your domain CRT must be the first one, followed by the Int. certs.
  8.  Save the file.  Call it something mydomainname with extras.CRT
  9. open Kerio
  10. SSL Certs
  11. Import New Cert
  12. first it will ask for the KEY file you generated in the first section above.  locate that file and open it
  13. second it will be looking for our new combined CRT file that we just did in this section above.
  14. once it imports, select the new cert as the active cert
  15. restart kerio mailserver
  16. go to this site and run a test on your domainname.
  17. if you’ve done everything properly, you should have all “Green Checkmarks” and a clean bill of health on your domain name.

 

PFSENSE 2.3 PPTP VPN passthru workaround

PFSense 2.3.x and up have removed the PPTP tab, and PPTP passthru options.  This is because PPTP has been depreciated and it not considered 100% safe anymore.

For those of you still in need of using PPTP passthru to allow Windows VPN remote users into your LAN, here is the easy workaround.

  1. Firewall, NAT, Port forward.
    1. add port forward from WAN (presumably your outside interface name)
      1. TCP
      2. WAN ADDRESS
      3. DEST PORT RANGE=PPTP 1723
      4. REDIRECT TARGET IP=the internal IP of your Windows RRAS server.
      5. REDIRECT TARGET PORT=1723
      6. Allow it to ADD ASSOCIATED FILTER RULE for this entry
      7. SAVE
    2. add another rule, exactly the same as above EXCEPT for GRE.  All the same settings, but use GRE
  2. Once that is complete, go look at your WAN firewall rules.  You should have two new auto-created rules.  One for PPTP and one for GRE.
  3.  Remote users should now be able to connect just fine through PFSENSE 2.3.x into your Windows RRAS server.

Remember, using PPTP in 2016 is considered a risk, so do it at your own risk.  Please consider moving towards a newer VPN standard with better security.

Solved!!! IOS GameCenter Hung / GameCenter white screen

IOS GAMECENTER WHITE SCREEN FIX – Copyright © 2016 – Shane Rolin / Amixa LLC

In late February, my iPhone 6+ (128gb) with IOS 9.0.2 started to have hiccups when launching into any game which was tied into a GameCenter account.  For me, this meant that the following game apps had problems and were not playable:

  • Madden 2016
  • Dungeon Heroes 5
  • NHL Gamecard
  • Star Wars Game of Heroes

By March 1, I was no longer able to play ANY GameCenter-tied game.  Nor was I able to get into the GameCenter app – it would hang at a white screen, and I could not get into the Settings – >GameCenter area either – same thing, hung at a white screen.

I tried rebooting, doing all sorts of other things like putting it in Airplane mode and trying to go to Settings and signing out of GameCenter – which would fail.

So for about the last 2+ weeks I have been locked out of a number of games.

For example, on Star Wars-Game of Heroes, the game would freeze at the “Loading Cantina” screen.

In NHL GameCard, the game would not log into GameCenter.

In Dungeon Heroes 5, it would hang about 1/8 into the loading bar.

I went to the Apple Support forums and posted.  Read tons of posts as well.

Apple told me to wipe the phone and restore it, and upgrade to 9.2.1.  That’s ridiculous since I saw plenty of users who were on 9.0.2 through 9.2.1 and they all had this issue, so the problem is NOT tied to 9.0.2.  I also read how users upgraded from 9.0.2 to 9.2.1 and the problem still is present.

My phone is jailbroken, but this problem affects all phones, stock and jailbroken.

Well after some poking around I have SOLVED the problem, and now my GameCenter, all games, the GC app and settings are all working.

I decided to poke around inside the IOS file system and see if I could track down where the GameCenter app and/or temporary files were stored.  After a lot of looking around and searching the IOS file system, I came across the “GameKit” User Library, which seemed to contain quite a bit of “temporary” files.  HMMM… I wonder if eliminating those files would clear up our issue?

 

Here is the fix (you must have a jailbroken phone)

  1. I am not responsible for your phone, so if you screw this up, it’s on you, and not my fault.
  2. Back up your phone in iTunes first
  3. You will need access to the RAW file system on your phone.  You can do this via several methods:
    1. Install OpenSSH and SSH into your phone from a computer
    2. iFunBox
    3. iFile or any other app that gives you FULL file system access to the machine.
  4. Go to the following path
    1. /private/var/mobile/Library/GameKit
    2. you can also get there via
      1. User -> Library -> GameKit
  5. Back up your entire GameKit directory to your local PC.  Should only take a few seconds.  (this is easy if you are using SSH or iFunBox).  This backup is just in case something really goes wrong.  You’ll probably wind up deleting these backup folders once you get your phone working.
  6. on your phone, delete any loose files inside the root of the GameKit directory.  here is what mine looked like:pic1
  7. Next, go inside the “DelayedRequests” folder.  I had 65 folders (and many other files and within each of these).  Mine looked like this:pic2
  8. select all those folders inside “DelayedRequests” and delete them all.
  9. Now your entire “GameKit” folder should contain only the “DelayedRequests” folder and nothing else at all (just an empty folder and one directory, no other files).
  10. At this point I reset my iPhone HOME+POWER and let it reboot.
  11. After reboot, logged in and went to the GameCenter app.  WORKS!
  12. Went to the GameCenter Settings app – WORKS!
  13. Launched all the games above – WORKS!

So what this means to me is that there is some corruption of data in these files inside the “GameKit” and/or “DelayedRequests” folders.

Wiping them out of Gamekit does NOT wipe your saves or anything else, it just clears out this cache of files and lets your phone start building a fresh set.

If this has helped you, please reply and let me know!

IOS GAMECENTER WHITE SCREEN FIX – Copyright © 2016 – Shane Rolin / Amixa LLC

How to uninstall MSE from Windows Server 2012 R2

We recently ran into a situation where we had a Windows 2012 R2 server with Microsoft Security Essentials installed on it (from a few years ago), and now with a recent Windows Update – the Windows update will not install because MSE is no longer compatible with this OS.

The issue is that you can not uninstall MSE via the standard “add/remove” programs.  When that is attempted I get the following error:

Error Code: 0x8004FF04

At that point you’re dead in the water and can’t remove MSE.

Here’s the EASY fix:

go to

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client

and RIGHT CLICK on Setup.exe

Go to Compatibility, check it and change to WIN 7.

Bring up a command prompt

Type in:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\Setup.exe” /disableoslimit /u

This will bring up MSE and at this point you will see an “uninstall” button.

Click Uninstall and remove it!

 

How to Migrate Office 2013 or 2016 to new computer

I recently upgraded my workstation to a new computer running Windows 10 Pro.  I needed to move over my Outlook 2016 email accounts and calendars to the new location.

 

This is a very easy process.

  1. Install Office 2013 or 2016 on the new computer.
  2. Run windows updates
  3. Make sure both computers are not currently in Outlook
  4. Copy the entire outlook data folder to your new computer.  I am not providing directions for this.  You should know what your doing here (or use google).
  5. Now you will have a copy of outlook data (PST’s) in both locations.
  6. Copy over any internet shared calendars from your old machine to the new machine.  File location is here, and it would be sitting in the root if it exists:
    1. C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  7. On your old machine run REGEDIT.  EXPORT this entire key which contains all your email account settings.
    1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles\Outlook
    2. Note: If you are on a different version of outlook the version 16.0 will be a different number.
  8. Copy that REG file to your new PC and double click and let it insert it into the registry
  9. Move over any signatures from your old computer to your new computer.  Those are located here:
    1. C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures
    2. Note: You probably should just copy the entire folder and paste it in the same place on your new PC.
  10. Launch Outlook on the new PC.  Pick your profile and set as default.  Then go update each accounts’ passwords.  Once you update the passwords you will be able to resume doing email exactly as you were doing it on the old PC.

 

Seagate Backup Exec 14.x reuse improperly allocated tape

Let’s say you have a DLT drive and you are running a backup job like this:

Full

Incremental

Incremental

{eject}

Next tape

etc.

Every so often, due to power outages, mistakes etc. a tape may eject out of the drive. So you pop it back in but the job won’t run, it ejects the tape and asks for a tape that is over writeable and the current tape is already (previously) allocated and you can’t use it.

There is an easy solution for this, but you’ll need to re-run your full backup job.

How to address it:

  1. With the current tape out, cancel the current job, so that the jobs re-queue as queued in the future
  2. pop the tape in
  3. go to the Storage tab, click on the DLT drive
  4. pick INVENTORY -> Inventory Now
  5. Let that complete
  6. pick Erase -> Erase now
  7. restart the FULL job and let it complete.
  8. the next incremental job will then run as scheduled and you are back on track with the backup cycle.

 

WordPress 4.x auto updates under windows

If you want your WordPress install to do auto-updates (in a Windows Server based hosting setup), you need to do one simple step.

 

Edit the hosts file.

Put a local IP in there for the domain name of the site.

Save the changes.

 

Example:

10.5.5.5  www.whatever-the-site-is.com

Re-log into WordPress and go to dashboard-updates and in there it should tell you “future updates will be automatically applied”

Why is all of this needed?  WordPress uses PHP CRON and that is reliant on the server being able to find the local website.  Therefore it is necessary to put a hard-coded IP in the hosts file so the CRON job can “see” the wordpress site.  Without the hosts entry the website will resolve to the external IP of the site, and you will have an unreachable IP issue and auto-update won’t work.

Proper FTP setup via IIS using Passive FTP

Since PASSIVE FTP seems to be a relative standard (that I experience), and since most clients don’t understand or want to use “ACTIVE” FTP, here is the easy way to configure your firewall and FTP software on an IIS machine to permit PASSIVE FTP.

Firewall Setup

You’ll need two rules and one “one to one” NAT mapping (this may vary a bit due to your firewall software).

The one to one NAT mapping needs to map the external IP address to the internal IP of the server.  Such as “66.33.123.21” mapped to “10.1.1.21”

One rule to allow the world into TCP port 21, mapped to the specific server in question.  (Allow * from ANY to 10.1.1.21 TCP port 21).

Second rule, specifically for PASSIVE FTP.  Allow * from ANY to 10.1.1.21 on ports range 50000 to 50100.

FTP Server Setup

We normally use Filezilla Server (latest version, of course).

Add a user and setup the standard settings.

Passive settings are as follows (below).

Most importantly, the “X.X.X.X” area below is your PUBLIC IP that is mapped through your firewall.

Click OK and save the settings.

FTP1

 

FTP Client Settings

Nothing fancy here, just check to make sure the settings look like this:

FTP2

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