Tag Archives: Windows

For Sale – HP Spectre Pro X360 G1 touchscreen mint condition

Hp Spectre Pro X360 G1 i5 4GB RAM 256GB SSD running windows 10.

Condition is used but the laptop is in pristine condition. I must say not having used a windows laptop for many years this came as a pleasant and very impressive surprise. It’s fast, slick and the touchscreen is excellent. The display is pretty awesome and I use an iMac all day.

Can be used as laptop, in tent mode for watching films or as a full tablet.

Selling as it was intended for my daughter who is now using a Chromebook.

i5 processor
4GB RAM
256GB SSD drive
Full HD touchscreen

Comes with HP box and charger.

IMG_20191113_154959.jpgIMG_20191113_155011.jpgIMG_20191113_155019.jpgIMG_20191113_155035.jpgIMG_20191113_155103.jpgIMG_20191113_155125.jpgIMG_20191113_155211.jpgIMG_20191113_155249.jpgIMG_20191113_155256.jpgIMG_20191113_155357.jpg

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For Sale – Dell XPS8900

Hi Andy, I spoke to him yesterday and he is interested.
His old PC is running Windows 7 and needs to be updated to 10 so now would be a good time to look at some more up to date hardware.

Just wanted to check, this is running Win 10 Home (not Pro)? I help him out with remote support via RDP, so Pro would be useful, but not a deal breaker

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Windows Server 2008 end of life: Is Azure the right path?

As the Windows Server 2008 end of life inches closer, enterprises should consider which retirement plan to pursue before security updates run out.

As of Jan. 14, Microsoft will end security updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 machines that run in the data center. Organizations that continue to use these server operating systems will be vulnerable because hackers will inevitably continue to look for weaknesses in them, but Microsoft will not — except in rare circumstances — provide fixes for those vulnerabilities. Additionally, Microsoft will not update online technical content related to these operating systems or give any free technical support.

Although there are benefits to upgrading to a newer version of Windows Server, there may be some instances in which this is not an option. For example, your organization might need an application that is not compatible with or supported on newer Windows Server versions. Similarly, there are situations in which it is possible to migrate the server to a new operating system, but not quickly enough to complete the process before the impending end-of-support deadline.

Microsoft has a few options for those organizations that need to continue running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2. Although the company will no longer give updates for the aging operating system through the usual channels, customers can purchase extended security updates.

You can delay Windows Server 2008 end of life — if you can afford it

Those who wish to continue using Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 on premises will need Software Assurance or a subscription license to purchase extended updates. The extended updates are relatively expensive, or about 75% of the cost of a current version Windows Server license annually. This is likely Microsoft’s way of trying to get customers to migrate to a newer Windows Server version because the extended security updates cost almost as much as a Windows Server license.

The other option for those organizations that need to continue running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 is to migrate those servers to the Azure cloud. Organizations that decide to switch those workloads to Azure will receive free extended security updates for three years.

Servers often have multiple dependencies, and you will need to address these as part of the migration planning.

Know what a move to Azure entails

Before migrating a Windows Server workload to the cloud, it is important to consider the pros and cons of making the switch to Azure. The most obvious benefit is financial and gives you a few years to run this OS without the hassle of having to pay for extended security updates.

Another benefit to the migration to Azure is a reduction in hardware-related costs. Windows Server 2008 was the first Windows Server version to include Hyper-V, but many organizations opted to install Windows Server 2008 onto physical hardware rather than virtualizing it. If your organization runs Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 on a physical server, then this is a perfect opportunity to retire the aging server hardware.

If your Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 workloads are virtualized, then moving those VMs to Azure can free up some capacity on the virtualization hosts for other workloads.

Learn about the financial and technical impact

One disadvantage to operating your servers in Azure is the cost. You will pay a monthly fee to run Windows Server 2008 workloads in the cloud. However, it is worth noting that Microsoft offers a program called the Azure Hybrid Benefit, which gives organizations with Windows Server licenses 40% off the cost of running eligible VMs in the cloud. To get an idea of how much your workloads might cost, you can use a calculator and find more details at this link.

Another disadvantage with moving a server workload to Azure is the increased complexity of your network infrastructure. This added complication isn’t limited just to the migrating servers. Typically, you will have to create a hybrid Active Directory environment and also create a VPN that allows secure communications between your on-premises network and the Azure cloud.

Factor in these Azure migration considerations

For organizations that decide to migrate their Windows Server 2008 workloads to Azure, there are a number of potential migration issues to consider.

Servers often have multiple dependencies, and you will need to address these as part of the migration planning. For instance, an application may need to connect to a database that is hosted on another server. In this situation, you will have to decide whether to migrate the database to Azure or whether it is acceptable for the application to perform database queries across a WAN connection.

Similarly, you will have to consider the migration’s impact on your internet bandwidth. Some of your bandwidth will be consumed by management traffic, directory synchronizations and various cloud processes. It’s important to make sure your organization has enough bandwidth available to handle this increase in traffic.

Finally, there are differences between managing cloud workloads and ones in your data center. The Azure cloud has its own management interface that you will need to learn. Additionally, you may find your current management tools either cannot manage cloud-based resources or may require a significant amount of reconfiguring. For example, a patch management product might not automatically detect your VM in Azure; you may need to either create a separate patch management infrastructure for the cloud or provide the vendor with a path to your cloud-based resources.

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Tips for ransomware protection on Windows systems

Ransomware. Just the word quickens the pulse of every Windows administrator who might have lingering doubts about the effectiveness of their security approach.

Many IT folks lose sleep over the effectiveness of their ransomware protection setup, and for good reason. Your vital Windows systems keep most companies running, and thoughts of them going offline will have many IT pros staring at the clock at 3 a.m.

Unfortunately, ransomware will hit you in some capacity, despite any measures you take, but it’s not a futile effort to shore up your defenses. The key is to fortify your systems with layers of security and then to follow best practices for both Windows and your backup products to minimize the damage.

Give a closer look at your backup setup

Backups are something companies make with the hope that they are never needed. Oftentimes, backups are a secondary task that is shuttled to an ops group to be done as a daily task that is a checkbox on some form somewhere. This is how trouble starts.

You need to make backups, but another part of the job is to secure those backups. A backup server or appliance is a very tempting target for attackers who want to plant ransomware. These servers or appliances have network access to pretty much everything in your data center. It’s your company’s safety net. If this massive repository of data got encrypted, it’s likely the company would pay a significant amount to free up those files.

Anyone with IT experience who has seen organizations wiped out after a ransomware attack might change your mind if you feel old data is not worth having in an emergency.

Most backup products are public, which means ransomware creators know how they work, such as how the agents work and their paths. With all that information, an attacker can write software tailored to your vendor’s backup product.

Now, most backup offerings have some level of ransomware protection, but you have to enable it. Most people find the setting or steps to protect their data after the backups have been wiped. Don’t wait to verify your backup product is secured against ransomware; do it today.

An old security standby comes to the fore

This also brings up a secondary practice: air-gapping.

This methodology was popular in the days of tape backup but fell out of favor with the introduction of replication.

Some would argue that data that is several weeks or several months old has little value, but is the alternative — no data — any better? Anyone with IT experience who has seen organizations wiped out after a ransomware attack might change your mind if you feel old data is not worth having in an emergency.

[embedded content]
Windows Server 2019 ransomware protection settings.

A small network-attached storage product you use for a data store dump every six months and lock away suddenly doesn’t sound like such a bad idea when the alternative is zero data. It’s a relatively inexpensive addition to the data center used as an extra repository of your data.

Think of it this way: Would you rather get hit with ransomware and lose a few months’ worth of data or all 15 years? Neither is a great situation, but one is much preferred over the other. These cold backups won’t replace your backup strategy, but rather supplements it as a relatively economical airgap. When it comes to ransomware, more layers of safeguards should be the rule.

Air-gapping is a practice that is not followed as closely now with the pervasiveness of online deduplication backup products. For organizations that can afford them, these offerings often replicate to online backup appliances in remote locations to make the data accessible.

Don’t overlook built-in ransomware protection

There are more than a few ways to mitigate the ransomware threat, but using a layered approach is recommended.

These malicious applications quickly move east-west across flat networks. Internal firewalls, whether physical or virtual, can do a lot to stop these types of attacks.

An often-overlooked option is the Windows firewall. When it first came out, the Windows firewall had a few stumbles, but Microsoft continued to develop and improve it to build a solid software firewall. This is a low-cost offering that is free but does require some administration work. The Windows firewall is not going to stop all possible ransomware, but very few products can.

Looking at the big picture, the Windows firewall gives an additional layer of protection against ransomware. It’s already there and should have little performance impact.

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For Sale – HP Spectre Pro X360 G1 touchscreen mint condition

Hp Spectre Pro X360 G1 i5 4GB RAM 256GB SSD running windows 10.

Condition is used but the laptop is in pristine condition. I must say not having used a windows laptop for many years this came as a pleasant and very impressive surprise. It’s fast, slick and the touchscreen is excellent. The display is pretty awesome and I use an iMac all day.

Can be used as laptop, in tent mode for watching films or as a full tablet.

Selling as it was intended for my daughter who is now using a Chromebook.

i5 processor
4GB RAM
256GB SSD drive
Full HD touchscreen

Comes with HP box and charger.

IMG_20191113_154959.jpgIMG_20191113_155011.jpgIMG_20191113_155019.jpgIMG_20191113_155035.jpgIMG_20191113_155103.jpgIMG_20191113_155125.jpgIMG_20191113_155211.jpgIMG_20191113_155249.jpgIMG_20191113_155256.jpgIMG_20191113_155357.jpg

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For Sale – Mini PC; Gigabyte Brix GB-BKi3A-7100, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit, 16GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe, USB 3.1

Gigabyte Brix GB-BKi3A-7100
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Intel i3 7100U
16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM Crucial (2x8GB)
Intel SSDPEKKF256G8L 256GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4
Intel 620
Intel Bluetooth
Intel Ethernet I219-LM
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168

Boxed with genuine power adaptor. Wall bracket, screws. Full specifications here;
GB-BKi3A-7100 (rev. 1.0) | Mini-PC Barebone (BRIX) – GIGABYTE U.K.

Like new and hardly used. Literally three weeks old, everything new. Was used for 4K movie/tv show streaming and ripping Blu-ray disc. Ended up getting i5 laptop so therefore I have no use of this Gigabyte Brix.

Grab a bargain!

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How to manage Server Core with PowerShell

After you first install Windows Server 2019 and reboot, you might find something unexpected: a command prompt.

While you’re sure you didn’t select the Server Core option, Microsoft now makes it the default Windows Server OS deployment for its smaller attack surface and lower system requirements. While you might remember DOS commands, those are only going to get you so far. To deploy and manage Server Core, you need to build your familiarity with PowerShell to operate this headless flavor of Windows Server.

To help you on your way, you will want to build your knowledge of PowerShell and might start with the PowerShell integrated scripting environment (ISE). PowerShell ISE offers a wealth of features for the novice PowerShell user, including auto complete of commands to context-colored commands to step you through the scripting process. The problem is PowerShell ISE requires a GUI or the “full” Windows Server. To manage Server Core, you have the command window and PowerShell in its raw form.

Start with the PowerShell basics

To start, type in powershell to get into the environment, denoted by the PS before the C: prompt. A few basic DOS commands will work, but PowerShell is a different language. Before you can add features and roles, you need to set your IP and domain. It can be done in PowerShell, but this is laborious and requires a fair amount of typing. Instead, we can take a shortcut and use sconfig to compete the setup. After that, we can use PowerShell for additional administrative work.

PowerShell uses a verb-noun format, called cmdlets, for its commands, such as Install-WindowsFeature or Get-Help. The verbs have predefined categories that are generally clear on their function. Some examples of PowerShell cmdlets are:

  • Install: Use this PowerShell verb to install software or some resource to a location or initialize an install process. This would typically be done to install a windows feature such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
  • Set: This verb modifies existing settings in Windows resources, such as adjusting networking or other existing settings. It also works to create the resource if it did not already exist.
  • Add: Use this verb to add a resource or setting to an existing feature or role. For example, this could be used to add a scope onto the newly installed DHCP service.
  • Get: This is a resource retriever for data or contents of a resource. You could use Get to present the resolution of the display and then use Set to change it.

To install DHCP to a Server Core deployment with PowerShell, use the following commands.

Install the service:

Install-WindowsFeature –name 'dhcp'

Add a scope for DHCP:

Add-DhcpServerV4Scope –name "Office" –StartingRange 192.168.1.100 -EndRange 192.168.1.200 -SubnetMask 255.255.255.0

Set the lease time:

Set-DHCPSet-DhcpServerv4Scope -ScopeId 192.168.1.100 -LeaseDuration 1.00:00:00

Check the DHCP IPv4 scope:

Get-DhcpServerv4Scope

Additional pointers for PowerShell newcomers

Each command has a purpose and means you have to know the syntax, which is the hardest part of learning PowerShell. Not knowing what you’re looking for can be very frustrating, but there is help. The Get-Help displays the related commands for use with that function or role.

Part of the trouble for new PowerShell users is this can still be overwhelming to memorize all the commands, but there is a shortcut. As you start to type a command, the tab key auto-completes the PowerShell commands. For example, if you type Get-Help R and press the tab key, PowerShell will cycle through the commands, such as the command Remove-DHCPServerInDC, see Figure 1. When you find the command you want and hit enter, PowerShell presents additional information for using that command. Get-Help even supports wildcards, so you could type Get-Help *dhcp* to get results for commands that contain that phrase.

Get-Help command
Figure 1. Use the Get-Help command to see the syntax used with a particular PowerShell cmdlet.

The tab function in PowerShell is a savior. While this approach is a little clumsy, it is a valuable asset in a pinch due to the sheer number of commands to remember. For example, a base install of Windows 10 includes Windows PowerShell 5.1 which features more than 1,500 cmdlets. As you install additional PowerShell modules, you make more cmdlets available.

There are many PowerShell books, but do you really need them? There are extensive libraries of PowerShell code that are free to manipulate and use. Even walking through a Microsoft wizard gives the option to create the PowerShell code for the wizard you just ran. As you learn where to find PowerShell code, it becomes less of a process to write a script from scratch but more of a modification of existing code. You don’t have to be an expert; you just need to know how to manipulate the proper fields and areas.

Outside of typos, the biggest stumbling block for most beginners is not reading the screen. PowerShell does a mixed job with its error messages. The type is red when something doesn’t work, and PowerShell will give the line and character where the error occurred.

In the example in Figure 2, PowerShell threw an error due to the extra letter s at the end of the command Get-WindowsFeature. The system didn’t recognize the command, so it tagged the entire command rather than the individual letter, which can be frustrating for beginners.

PowerShell error message
Figure 2. When working with PowerShell on the command line, you don’t get precise locations of where an error occurred if you have a typo in a cmdlet name.

The key is to review your code closely, then review it again. If the command doesn’t work, you have to fix it to move forward. It helps to stop and take a deep breath, then slowly reread the code. Copying and pasting a script from the web isn’t foolproof and can introduce an error. With some time and patience, and some fundamental PowerShell knowledge of the commands, you can get moving with it a lot quicker than you might have thought.

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For Sale – Dell Optiplex 7020 SFF Windows 10 Pro PC, i5 4590, 16GB Ram, 500GB HDD

Dell Optiplex 7020 Windows 10 SFF PC, i5 4590 3.3GHz, 16GB, 500GB. Condition is Very good.

In full working order, had a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro which is fully activated using the motherboards license key.

Current specs are,

Intel i5 4590 cpu
16GB DDR3 Ram
500GB Hard drive
Dvd writer drive
USB 3.0
Vga
Diaplay port

Great small computer if you are short on space.

Price and currency: 120
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bt or paypal
Location: Leeds
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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