Windows


The disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk that is online 1

Recently, we cloned a hard disk using dd.
When we booted into Windows, the new drive was not visible.
After checking with the disk utilities, we got the following informative message:

The disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk that is online

To resolve the issue, we used diskpart.
To start diskpart, press the key combination Win + R which will pop up the Run prompt.
Type diskpart in the input box and hit the Enter key.

A new terminal window will appear.
Using that we identified the two disks and changed the label for the second one.

First step:

We issued list disk to get the list of disks.

DISKPART

Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.14393.0
Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: BYTEFREAKS-NET

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          931 GB      0 B
  Disk 1    Offline         465 GB      0 B

Second step:

We issued select disk 1 so that we could process the disk 1 that was offline and using uniqueid disk we got the signature of the disk.

DISKPART> select disk 1
Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> uniqueid disk
Disk ID: 09FC13CB

Third step:

Set the signature of the disk to a random value other than the one that it already had using the command uniqueid disk ID=FFAABBCCDD

DISKPART> uniqueid disk ID=FFAABBCCDD

DISKPART> uniqueid disk
Disk ID: FFAABBCCDD

The random value must be 8 characters long and each character must be a value between 0-9 or A-F.

Finally:

Restart the machine to get both disks running.

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Activate a wireless hotspot on Windows 10 1

Requirements

  • You must be an administrator of the machine to complete this guide.
  • You need to have at least two network devices.
  • One of them needs to have access to the internet and the other one needs to be a WiFi adapter which has Hosted Network support.

To check if your wireless adapter supports the functionality for Hosted Network, open a Command Prompt and type NETSH WLAN show drivers.

To open the Command Prompt, press the buttons Windows+R on your keyboard.
A new run command prompt will appear.
Type in the input box cmd and hit the Enter button.

In the new Command Prompt type NETSH WLAN show drivers, the results should be similar to below.

C:\Users\bytefreaks>NETSH WLAN show drivers
 
Interface name: Wi-Fi
 
    Driver                    : Realtek RTL8188CU Wireless LAN 802.11n USB 2.0 Network Adapter
    Vendor                    : Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
    Provider                  : Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
    Date                      : 3/4/2016
    Version                   : 1027.4.630.2015
    INF file                  : ????
    Type                      : Native Wi-Fi Driver
    Radio types supported     : 802.11n 802.11b 802.11g
    FIPS 140-2 mode supported : Yes
    802.11w Management Frame Protection supported : Yes
    Hosted network supported  : Yes
    Authentication and cipher supported in infrastructure mode:
                                Open            None
                                WPA2-Personal   CCMP
                                Open            WEP-40bit
                                Open            WEP-104bit
                                Open            WEP
                                WPA-Enterprise  TKIP
                                WPA-Personal    TKIP
                                WPA2-Enterprise TKIP
                                WPA2-Personal   TKIP
                                WPA-Enterprise  CCMP
                                WPA-Personal    CCMP
                                WPA2-Enterprise CCMP
                                Vendor defined  TKIP
                                Vendor defined  CCMP
                                Vendor defined  Vendor defined
                                Vendor defined  Vendor defined
                                WPA2-Enterprise Vendor defined
                                WPA2-Enterprise Vendor defined
                                Vendor defined  Vendor defined
                                Vendor defined  Vendor defined
    Authentication and cipher supported in ad-hoc mode:
                                Open            None
                                Open            WEP-40bit
                                Open            WEP-104bit
                                Open            WEP
                                WPA2-Personal   CCMP
    Wireless Display Supported: Yes (Graphics Driver: Yes, Wi-Fi Driver: Yes)

In the results you need to find the line Hosted network supported and verify that the value is set to Yes, if it is not, then you cannot proceed with this wireless network adapter.

In case you got a permission error on the above command, try to open a new Command Prompt with admin rights.

Press the keys Windows+X, in the pop-up menu select Command Prompt (Admin). If your account has enough access rights, a new run command prompt will appear. In the new Command Prompt (Admin) type NETSH WLAN show drivers, the results should be similar to above.

If this failed as well, you cannot proceed with the current account, you either need to sign in with another account or ask your system administrator to perform this task for you.

How to setup the hotspot

In the Command Prompt enter the following command:

NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=BYTEFREAKS key=0123456789

Update ssid=BYTEFREAKS with the name that you want to give your network. e.g. ssid=MY_NETWORK.

Update key=0123456789 with the password that you want to give your network. e.g. ssid=y0m2ZSQ3ng.

The new network will use WPA/WPA2 PSK security policy so your password needs to be at least 8 characters long.

The results will be similar to the following block.

C:\Users\bytefreaks>NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=HIDDEN007 key=0123456789
The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.

How to activate the hotspot

Once the Hosted Network is created, enter the following command as is to activate it

NETSH WLAN start hostednetwork

C:\Users\bytefreaks>NETSH WLAN start hostednetwork
The hosted network started.

After this step, your network will be visible to connect to but it will not provide its users with internet access.

Please note that due to the lack of commands in the documentation (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd815243(v=vs.85).aspx) it is not possible to prevent your hotspot from broadcasting its SSID to everyone. In other words, it is not possible to hide your network from other users, so use a strong password!

hotspot-creation-commands

How to share internet connection with the hotspot

Press on the keyboard Windows+X to open the Power User menu, and select Network Connections.

power-user-menu

You will notice that a there is a new device in this list. The name of this device will be something line Local Area Connection* 12. That device is the new virtual device you created in the previous step to create the hotspot.

network-configuration-before-sharing

Right-click the other network adapter, that has an active internet connection and select Properties.

network-configuration-right-click-device

Click on the Sharing tab.

network-configuration-share-settings

Enable the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection option.

From the Home networking connection drop-down menu select the virtual device that we created.

Click OK to close the configuration and apply the changes.

By completing this step, all devices connected to your Hotspot will have access to the internet via the connection of the second network device.


How to restart or shut down Windows through Remote Desktop

Assuming you have the following scenario: you are connected to a remote Windows machine via remote desktop and you need to restart it.
Soon you will realize that there is no restart button on the Start menu to click on….
So.. without that button, how do you restart your machine???

Do not fret as there is a way!

To Restart the remote Windows machine

Press the keys Windows+R on the keyboard together, it will pop-up the run command screen.
In the input line type shutdown /r /t 0 and hit the Enter button to restart the machine immediately.

  • The /r option instructs the machine to reboot
  • The /t 0 option sets the number of seconds to delay before executing the restart to 0 (initiate restart process immediately)

To Shut Down the remote Windows machine

Press the keys Windows+R on the keyboard together, it will pop-up the run command screen.
In the input line type shutdown /s and hit the Enter button to restart the machine immediately.

To Stop a Shut Down or Restart process

To try and stop a shut down process, type shutdown /a and hit enter, it will attempt to abort the shutdown/restart sequence.
Keep in mind though that there still is a high chance for this to fail.


Windows: Kill a service that Windows Task Manager does not stop

In some cases, Windows Task Manager cannot stop a certain service. When the user right clicks on the service and selects the Stop Process option, the status of the service becomes Stopping but never actually stops. This happens when the developer of the service did not handle properly the signal instructing the service to shut down properly.

A way to stop it by force is to use the taskkill command with the help of the task manager. Press at the same time the keyboard keys Ctrl+Shift+Esc this will show the task manager. In the new window, switch to the tab Services. Find the service you want to stop and copy from the column PID the process ID number of the service. In the following example, if we wanted to kill the WinVNC4 service we would copy the number 1828.

TaskKill-Manager

Then, press at the same time the keyboard keys Windows+R that will pop up the Run Command screen. In the input line type the following:

taskkill /pid PID

and replace the PID with the PID we copied from the task manager before. In our example the input will become:

taskkill /pid 1828

and then hit the OK button.

Run-TaskKill


Windows: How to start “Remote Desktop Connection” without the icon shortcut

On a Windows machine we were using recently, all shortcuts icons to system applications got corrupt and they were not linking to the applications they were supposed to link to.

We needed to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection without the shortcuts icons. To do so we used the shortcut key of the Run Command screen that allows us to start any application that Windows knows where the binary is.

We pressed the keys Windows+R on the keyboard together and that showed the run command screen. In the input line we typed mstsc and hit the Enter button (you can also click on the OK button on the screen).

Run-mstsc

mstsc is the name that the executable file of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application holds in C:\Windows\System32. The easiest way to find the name of a binary is to check the icon shortcut on a machine that it is not corrupted or just search the internet for it.

Using all monitors

If you have multiple monitors that are arranged to form a rectangle, you can instruct mstsc by using the /span parameter to match the Remote Desktop width and height with the local virtual desktop and span across multiple monitors if necessary.

Executing mstsc /span will create a bigger window to the remote machine that will cover all your local monitors. Unfortunately, this window will not operate as if it is composed of multiple monitors. If you set a window to full screen, it will fill ALL local monitors as if they are one.