Poor man’s enterprise remote support solution


There are tons of  remote support tools for AD environments, but most of them are commercial, and some of them are user initiated (like Lync 2010+ desktop sharing feature), today we will implement an agentless (sort of), free and pretty effective solution, the end result is a box that you enter the destined Username in (the person you’re trying to help), et voila, you have control over his screen ! (gentlemen, after his permission, of course)

Chapter I :

The base application that we will use is “Windows Remote Assistance” which ships for free with most Windows 7 flavors, the rest is scripting gimmicks.

Out of the box, Windows remote assistance will work if the requester sent an invitation file to the helper, but in our case, we want to initiate the process by offering our help before we even hear the nagging.

To do so, we need to create and link a GPO to our computers OU that enables just that :

Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Remote Assistance

Enable the “Offer Remote Assistance” option and select who can offer remote support, typically you will add your Help Desk group

Enabling WRS in a GPO

After you gpupdate the end-user’s machine, try it:

Open “Windows Remote Assistance” from your helper workstation, then click on Continue reading


Producing an Intentional BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)


In some cases you may feel an urge to experience a lucid nightmare intentionally: to Generate a Blue Screen of Death !

Why ? You may have some sort of cluster configuration or some kind of HA solution that you want to dirty-test

This can be done using several ways, one including editing the registry and using the NumLock key, but the one we’ll check today is much simpler

First you need to have PowerShell installed (you can produce the same outcome by using any tool that can interface with WMI, PowerShell is the easiest)

Then open a elevated PowerShell console and type :

Get-Process | Stop-Process

A nice BSOD will appear

If you want to produce a BSOD on a remote machine, you need to have PowerShell remoting enabled and some firewall exceptions added to the target. To do so, open an elevated command prompt console (on the remote machine) and run:

winrm quickconfig

Then from your machine, issue the following:

Enter-PSSession ComputerName

That’s my time for today, see you in a few days (or weeks…or months)

RDP 7 vs RDP 8: Wan Optimization, Zombies Style


Yes, 5 months have passed since my last post, I was busy,with uhmm, stuff…

Now enough with my hypocrisy, today my curious monkey refused to sleep before i test the new “Wan Optimization” that Microsoft allegedly added to its new RDP v8.0 feature set that ships natively with Windows 2012.

So i setup 2 client machines, one with RDP v7.1 client and another with RDP v8.0, i will be connecting to my remote machine from home via an RD gateway server which is located in our remote branch’s DMZ.

Now we have to find some material worth testing on, and what is more frustrating than playing flash games over RDP? Their rich graphics, high frame rates and fade in-out effects (alpha) makes it the best candidate.

 I decided to go with something zombies related, “Earn to die 2012” is a great game (Disclaimer above): www.flashgames247.com/play/15994.html

*Round 1: RDP client v7.1 connecting to RDP v7.1 (or v8.0)

  • Of course RDP v8.0 is backward compatible so if you connect from a v7.1 client it will work but you will not get v8’s features
  • General Experience: Very slow and choppy gameplay, hangs when fading effects come into play, quality is good
  • Judgment: Unplayable

 not choppy

Continue reading

Creating new Wireless Guest with PowerShell


Wireless access in the enterprise can be a huge PITA ! Because you have to find the correct balance between usability and security, you don’t want everyone contacting the help desk asking on how to connect, and based on your hardware, it can be tricky.

In my case, we are using Trapeze wireless controllers (Trapeze recently acquired by Juniper), it has all the functions we need to create a robust wireless access scheme.

I decided to go with 3 SSID’s: Continue reading