Antimail

Adi Oltean's Weblog - Flashbacks on technology, programming, and other interesting things

  • Antimail

    Useful copy/paste trick in CMD.EXE

    • 12 Comments
    Many people have trouble doing copy/paste in CMD.EXE. Indeed, there are no keyboard shortucts for this thing, and the selection of the text to copy can only be done through the mouse. You have to go to the system menu, select "Copy", then do your selection...
  • Antimail

    Running CMD.EXE as Local System

    • 4 Comments
    Many times in the past I had to run an interactive command-line shell under the Local SYSTEM account. That is, a CMD window on your desktop running under the system account. This technique is extremely useful in many cases, for example to debug ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED...
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    Script recipe of the week: how to copy an opened file

    • 27 Comments
    I just read recently a post on the newsgroups - someone wanted to backup her PST file. The problem is that Outlook keeps this file open all the time, therefore we are unable to just copy this file once in a while. Argh... A cute little script ...
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    A bit of black magic: How to assign drive letters to VSS shadow copies... on Windows XP !

    • 13 Comments
    A while back, I wrote a post on how to assign drive letters to shadow copies. On Windows Server 2003, the solution is simple, as there is already an API (called ExposeSnapshots()) to assign a drive letter to a shadow copy device. This API can be exercised...
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    Don't disable system services! (unless you REALLY know what you are doing)

    • 11 Comments
    (1) The problem While searching the newsgroups I found out an interesting issue. It seems that many people are manually disabling some System Services, like "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSS) or "MS Software Shadow Copy Provider" (SWPRV). While this seems to...
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    How to write a DCOM server in C#

    • 12 Comments
    Updated 12/06/2006 : http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/system.runtime.interopservices.registrationservices.unregistertypeforcomclients.aspx states that PInvoking CoRegisterClassObject is a technique which is not supported. Well, why DCOM and...
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    When CoCreateInstance returns 0x80080005 (CO_E_SERVER_EXEC_FAILURE)

    • 3 Comments
    A sneaky error The following post summarizes my personal experience with a subtle COM error. CO_E_SERVER_EXEC_FAILURE (0x80080005) is an error which can be randomly returned by CoCreateInstance() if you are using an out-of-process COM server. As far...
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    Attack of the clones: how to assign a drive letter or directory to a shadow copy

    • 17 Comments
    In one of my previous posts I mentioned a simple script to copy a file from a shadow copy. This allows you to access files that are opened exclusively by some application. You won't have enough drive letters... Here I present a similar script (let...
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    Creating shadow copies from the command line.

    • 3 Comments
    A less-known feature in Windows XP and Server 2003 is the command-line support for shadow copies. The command is called VSSADMIN.EXE and is already present in the operating system - just run it without parameters and you will see some sample usage. Here...
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    NTFS Curiosities (part 2): Volumes, volume names and mount points

    • 14 Comments
    In the old days of MS-DOS and Windows 95 you could identify any volume by its drive letter. Things were so easy. But not anymore after we shipped Windows 2000. In W2K you could also have mount points - volumes mounted under certain directories. This feature...
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    DOSDEV.EXE - a misterious tool

    • 4 Comments
    Once in a while, you might encounter this tool in some Microsoft-provided SDKs, or Resource Kits, for example in the Windows Resource Kit, the Exchange Report Toolkit, and others. But this tool never came with any relevant documentation. It just displays...
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    The VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) SDK is available for download

    • 7 Comments
    This is the link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0B4F56E4-0CCC-4626-826A-ED2C4C95C871&displaylang=en You can use this SDK to develop VSS requestors, writers and providers. For example, you can write code that define and...
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    A simple way to access Shadow Copies in Vista

    • 29 Comments
    In the past, I presented various ways to browse these mysterious device objects called "shadow copies". Shadow copies are static images in time (snapshots) of your volume contents, at some point in the past. These shadow copies are volumes on...
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    Downloads - Microsoft Research

    • 4 Comments
    Accidentally, I just discovered an interesting web page with all sorts of curious (downloadable) projects developed by various teams from Microsoft Research: http://www.research.microsoft.com/research/downloads/
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    VSS writers and inconsistent shadow copies

    • 0 Comments
    A few days ago, a customer told me that he encountered a weird error while using NTBackup to backup the system. The error text looked like this in backup log: Media name: "System State.bkf created 8/29/2005 at 5:38 PM" Volume shadow copy creation...
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    NTFS curiosities (Part I): Short file names

    • 7 Comments
    Aaron Stebner noted that it is possible to configure Windows to always use short file names. This is a legacy feature left over from the Windows 95 land. Sometimes, you just have to run some old MS-DOS applications. These apps will get confused about...
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    How you can uniquely identify a LUN in a Storage Area Network

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    A SAN is a complex animal From the first minute you try to understand it, you might be overwhelmed by the cascade of new things: fibre switches, multi-path software, redundant controllers, disk enclosures etc. But the idea is pretty simple. In a few words...
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    Who hogs down my CPU?

    • 6 Comments
    I always wanted to find a simple way to figure out the answer for this puzzling question. Usually I ended up opening Task Manager to find out what process eats all my CPU resources. But this doesn't work in most of the cases. For example, what about the...
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    How to do atomic writes in a file

    • 3 Comments
    Let's assume that you want is to write some simple code that writes to a text file. A few assumptions: 1) You need avoid corruptions of any kind. 2) Either all of your writes have to make it to the disk, or none of them. 3) The file is updated serially...
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    Puzzle: geometry problem

    • 18 Comments
    Here is a fun one: The triangle ABC is isoseceles, with angle (ABC) = angle (ACB) = 80°. We draw now two segments inside the triangle. First, we choose the point D on segment AC such that angle (CBD) is 60°. Also, we choose the point E on AB, where angle...
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    Windows Server 2003 R2 Beta is now available for download/preview

    • 6 Comments
    First - what is R2? Think of it as an "storage enhancement pack" for Windows Server 2003 SP1. It comes as an additional CD with a set of optional Windows components, mostly for storage management (DFS/FRS, Storage and SAN management, a better NFS implementation...
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    Hurricane Katrina: Plea for help revealed by satellite imagery

    • 5 Comments
    I hope that the right people already know about this particular message for help: This message was noticed three days ago by Scott Stanfield, on the latest NOAA imagery released on the web on September 1, and posted by Jeff Atwood in his blog. ...
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    Launching a CMD window as Local System

    • 5 Comments
    What is your favorite method of launching CMD.EXE as Local System? I found the following method after a little experimentation. Just run the command below to create a generic service called TESTSVC. C:\>sc create testsvc binpath= "cmd /K start" type...
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    Tips for deploying Shadow copies for Shared Folders

    • 2 Comments
    Shadow copies for shared folders (in short, SCSF) requires two steps in deployment: 1) Enabling shadow copy creation at the file server side. With this, you ensure that files exposed in your shares on this server will have previous versions. 2) Ensuring...
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    Nostalgia: Turbo Pascal 5.5

    • 8 Comments
    I recently noticed that Borland made the famous Turbo Pascal 5.5 available for free download. I couldn't resist to give it a quick run: During my college years at University of Bucharest this was the development IDE that everyone used it. I liked it because...
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