How to Check Spam Blacklists (RBLs)
article #241, updated 5 hours ago

Here is an excellent tool to check if your IP or domain is on a spam blacklist (a.k.a. RBL):

https://www.debouncer.com/

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MegaRAID appears to have been bought by Broadcom
article #1310, updated 11 hours ago

The current download site for MegaRAID (formerly LSI, Avago, et al.) drivers and Storage Manager now appears to be here:

https://www.broadcom.com/products/storage/raid-controllers/megaraid-sas-9361-8

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Lenovo System Update (TVSU)
article #1309, updated 12 days ago

A Lenovo-supplied method to update drivers, BIOS, and firmware in Windows.

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/tvsu-update

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Windows 10 Distributed Updates
article #1308, updated 18 days ago

Updates are being distributed to Windows 10 via peer-to-peer methods, in addition to cloud-to-PC. This will be essential to handle the big build files, 4 gigabyte plus, at many sites.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-delivery-optimization

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Update Windows Drivers with SnailDriver
article #1198, updated 20 days ago

Small but mighty. Recently much improved. Lightweight, powerful, and appears nicely thorough.

https://snailsuite.com/

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Rick's Super-Duper CMD Code Accelerator
article #1306, updated 21 days ago

This one is from the amazing Rick Boatright. I saw the ancestor of this thirty-plus years ago in Unix System V, had no idea it had gotten so useful in Microsoft-land. The gist of it is:

  • You have a batch file, and want to access something involving a UNC path, something like this: \\SERVER_NAME\share_name\dir1\dir2
  • Default logic often involves storage of current location into a variable, CD, resumption of previous, blah, blah, blah.
  • But we can do it in one command: pushd \\SERVER_NAME\share_name\dir1\dir2 This does multiple things:
  • First, it creates a temporary drive letter for the server and share name. It chooses an available drive letter.
  • Secondly, without any further ado, it changes the current working directory of the shell (of the script) to the very location you pointed at.
  • So, if you did the pushd above, and if Z: were available, your current working directory suddenly becomes: Z:\dir1\dir2
    where Z: is mapped to \\SERVER_NAME\share_name !!!
  • Then when you’re done with it, just put in popd, and Z: goes away and you’re back to the current working directory you had beforehand!

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Convert Noteworthy Composer to MusicXML and Vice Versa
article #1307, updated 21 days ago

A great tool here:

https://www.niversoft.com/products/xml2nwc/

And another:

http://nwc2musicxml.appspot.com/

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Latest Microsoft Group Policy Templates
article #1183, updated 33 days ago

It is often helpful to update the Group Policy templates for a domain. The most current set can be found quite easily via a Google search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Administrative+Templates+%28.admx%29+for+Windows+10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab

They install as an MSI which does nothing but dump them into a folder here:

 C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy

Once you have the above done, we have manual steps. The best way to approach this is probably in an administrative CMD.

First, look in here:

%WINDIR%\PolicyDefinitions

We will be wiping everything there. If there are many files with numbers at the end of their names, you probably have Microsoft Office templates as well as Windows templates, and you will have to replace them too. There are other templates which could be involved, so be warned and be ready.

For now, we are going to write as if you have just Microsoft default templates there. Wipe them all. Then replace them with all of the .ADMX files in the dump folder, plus just the language folder appropriate for you. The dump folder will have all of the language folders, you want just yours.

The second destination folder is:

%WINDIR%\SYSVOL\sysvol\<domain>\Policies

where is the name of the Windows domain. Do not delete everything here, if you do you will do harm to your GPO system. Do, however, remove all of the .ADMXes, and the language folder(s) here, and replace them as above.

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A new Microsoft instruction page for Windows Update troubles
article #1305, updated 34 days ago

Here’s a new one, seems to cover some good ground:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10164/fix-windows-update-errors

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When VSS Writers Fail
article #1304, updated 42 days ago

A good thing to do, is to do cleanup/improvement steps, and then restart related services:

VSS Writer Service, Short ID & Binary Service, Long Name
ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
DFS Replication Service Writer DFSR DFS Replication
DHCP Jet Writer DHCPServer DHCP Server
FRS Writer NtFrs File Replication
FRSM Writer srmsvc File Server Resource Manager
IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
Microsoft Exchange Replica Writer MSExchangeRepl Microsoft Exchange Replication Service
Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
MSMQ Writer MSMQ Message Queuing
MSSearch Service Writer WSearch Windows Search
NTDS NTDS Active Directory Domain Services
O_Search VSS Writer OSearch Office SharePoint Server Search
O_Search 14 VSS Writer OSearch14 SharePoint Server Search 14
Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
SMS Writer SMSSITEVSSWRITER SMS_SITE_VSS_WRITER
SPSearch VSS Writer SPSearch Windows SharePoint Services Search
SPSearch4 VSS Writer SPSearch4 SharePoint Foundation Search V4
SqlServerWriter SQLWriter SQL Server VSS Writer
System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
TermServLicensing TermServLicensing Remote Desktop Licensing
WIDWriter WIDWriter Windows Internal Database VSS Writer
WINS Jet Writer WINS Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation

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