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Archive for November 2010

Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008

When you are building your new application server you normally need to download software, drivers and patches from various places. With a clean installation of Windows 2008 Server, every time that you try to download an application Internet Explorer will tell you that it is unable to do so, due to security settings.

Its not immediately obvious how to disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008. Follow the simple instructions below and you can quickly disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008.

Where to disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008

To find out where to disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008 go to:-

Start > Administrative Tools > Server Manager

Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008Once the Server Manager is displayed Click on the root of:

Server Manager (Server Name)

This is highlighted at the top left hand side of the image, on the left.

In the lower right hand corner of the Server Manager screen you will see Configure IE ESC. In the graphic there is a small green box around the information to highlight it for you.

Click on the Configure IE ESC link and the screen below is displayed. This will then let you select if you want to disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008 for just the administrators or for all users.

Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008 – for Administrators

Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008 - for AdministratorsDefault Settings

By default Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration will be set to On (Recommended) in Windows 2008.

Changed Settings

Change the Administrators setting from On (Recommended) to Off

In general normal users will never login directly to a server so the User setting is somewhat redundant, but leave this at its default setting.

Once this change has been made you will need to close any copies of Internet Explorer that you have running. After you restart Internet Explorer you will find that Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration is now disabled for your administrator user account.

Now you can download your applications and components to finish building and configuring your Windows 2008 Server. After you have finished building your server you should reset the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration back to Enabled, to help keep your server secure.

Now you know how to Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows 2008.

3CX SoftPhone for VoIPPC VoIP Softphone

I was looking for a good VoIP softphone to use my Voiplicity Hosted VoIP account. In the past I had used Xlite but was having a few problems getting it working reliably on my all of my VoIP accounts. I travel a fair amount for work so being able to use the office phone system from my laptop, in a hotel room, is a real bonus. Whilst looking for a good VoIP Softphone I tried several different ones and the one that impressed me the most was the 3CX VoIP softphone.

3CX VoIP Softphone

Not only does the VoIP Softphone look good, it looks very much like an iPhone on your desktop, but it also produces a high quality sound and is very simple to use.  One of the really nice things about the 3CX VoIP softphone is that it supports multiple SIP accounts, you can select which account (and associated number) you call out on when you make your call. I haven’t seen support for multiple VoIP accounts in a free VoIP Softphone before, so was very impressed to find this as its something I have only seen in chargeable Softphones previously.

Support for Multiple SIP Accounts

Incoming Call on VoIP SoftphoneIf you have 3 different accounts, for example, they can all be configured on the same VoIP Softphone and you can see who the call is from. At that point you can choose to answer the call, reject the call or send it to VoiceMail. You can even configure the phone to auto-answer, not something I would recommend though.

The 3CX VoIP Softphone is really simple to install, configure and get working. Below are the configuration settings to get it working with your Voiplicity account, but the process would be identical for almost any VoIP provider.

Configuring your VoIP Softphone for Voiplicity

3CX Softphone Account setting for VoiplicityTo get your 3CX VoIP Softphone configured for your Voiplicity account is a very simple process. Although there are a lot of options most of them are not required for a Voiplicity connection.

Account Settings

Account name: This is your name for the account, it is for reference only and appears in the Top Right corner of the Softphone screen so that you can differentiate between the configured accounts.

Caller ID: Enter your full Voiplicity phone number

Extension: Enter your full Voiplicity phone number

ID: Enter your full Voiplicity phone number

Password: Enter the SIP Password for your phone number. N.B. Make sure that you enter the SIP Password and not your Commportal Password

My Location: Select the ‘I am out of the Office’ option and set this to sip.voiplicity.co.uk

That’s it, there is nothing else that you need to configure. Although there are lots of other options,including the advanced set, that you can play with there is no need to change anything other than the 6 settings above. It really is that easy to get your Voiplicity account working.

I have been really impressed with how easy the PC version of the VoIP Softphone is to configure for Voiplicity and also how easy it is to use. I am looking forward to testing their VoIP Softphone on some of the other platforms that they support.

VoIP Softphone support for other platforms

3CX also provide Free VoIP Softphones for mobile phones, including the Android Platform and the iPhone. I haven’t tried either these as yet but plan the to test the Android version of the VoIP Softphone fairly soon, to see if I can answer the office phone when I am away without the expense of having to divert the call to my mobile number.

Voip Softphone for Android

A quick update on the Android front, the 3CX softphone for Android doesn’t appear to work with Voiplicity, I just can’t get it to register. However SipDroid loads and works perfectly, over wireless at least. I will be doing some more in-depth testing, of different VoIP Softphones for Android and Voiplicity, over the coming weeks and will write a seperate blog article about using VoIP Softphones on Android based mobile devices.

Next Steps for using a VoIP Softphone with Voiplicity

Click to call me
If you are looking for a hosted VoIP solution then take a look at the  Voiplicity Hosted VoIP account that I use as its a very cost effective way of providing a business grade VoIP phone system. Not only does it provide a very flexible solution but it also supports VoIP Softphone on multiple platforms.

System Center Essentials Computer Discovery Never Finishes

If you have just installed Microsoft System Center Essentials to manage a Small Business Environment one of the first tasks, once the initial installation has completed, is to discover the computers to be managed.

SCE Discovery never completesIf the Computer Discovery process seems to continue forever and never completes, and the screen on the left is displayed forever then its likely that you have a problem with the SQL Server configuration on your SCE database. If this is the case then the System Center Essentials Computer Discovery will run forever and no error messages are generated.

Typically, on a healthy system, the System Center Essentials Computer Discovery will complete in just a couple of minutes and then display the list of computers that are available for you to install a System Center Essentials Agent on. At this point you simply select the computers that you want to install to and continue.

System Center Essentials Computer Discovery

Microsoft list 1 item on the SCE Discovery screen, which relates to the SQL Service Broker. If this is a new SQL Server installation then this will NOT be the problem, as by default SQL Service Broker is enabled.

SCE Service BrokerYou can check that the SQL Server Broker is enabled by following the link that Microsoft provide.

The most likely cause of System Center Essentials Computer Discovery running forever

The most likely cause of your SCE Discovery running forever is that SQL Server is configured to run under an account which does not have permissions to access the network. If your SQL Server is running under either:-

  • Local System
  • A Local User account

Then the System Center Essentials Computer Discovery will run forever.

How to fix a System Center Essentials Computer Discovery

To stop your System Center Essentials Computer Discovery running forever all you need to do is to set SQL Server to run under a domain account, this account does not need to be a Domain Admin, it can be a user level account.

Create yourself a ‘Service Account’ (a domain user account where the password is complex and set never to expire) and then use this account as the account to run SQL Server. Once you have changed the account to be a Domain account you will need to stop and restart SQL Server.

Once SQL Server has been restarted you can re-run your System Center Essentials Computer Discovery which will then complete within just a few minutes.

AVG Enter the Android Security Market

AVG, the well known Anti Virus maker, have entered the Android Security market and gone mobile with their products as they announced that they have bought DroidSecurity.

More about the buyout on the AVG Blog at http://product-team.blog.avg.com/2010/11/avg-goes-mobile-with-droidsecurity-purchase.html

What is Android Security?

Android Security with AntiVirusFree Download Link

So what is Android Security and why should you care? Android Security is more than just Anti-Virus for your Android phone. AntiVirusFree is available from DroidSecurity to improve your Android Security for Mobile Phones and tablet devices and covers:

  • Anti Virus Scans
  • Malware checks when downloading to your Android Device
  • Website checks when browsing
  • Checks on email and SMS Messages for Malware
  • SMS Spam protection
  • Locate Lost or Stolen devices, if they are GPS enabled
  • Remotely lock your  Android device, if its been stolen
  • Wipe the content of your phone remotely
  • Manage Android Applications Remotely

You get all of the above features for FREE and provide similar functions to HTC Sense on the HTC Desire range. There is a Pro version, which costs $9.99 and adds adds additional SMS Security features along with Premium Support. Download AntiVirusFree to improve your Android Security by following the links or by clicking on the AntiVirusFree logo, above.

Mobile Control for Android Security

There is a Mobile Control Panel which controls all of the remote management features to enhance your Android Security. The control panel features would also make the product very attractive to Businesses who are looking for an alternative to the Blackberry, but want to maintain device and application manageability.

So why did AVG buy DroidSecurity?

Of the 100,000 plus apps currently available on the Android market, DroidSecurity antivirus free consistently ranks in the top 50 most popular apps. It estimates that over 10% of all Android mobile devices today use DroidSecurity, making it the largest provider of anti-virus apps for the Android market and among the fastest growing apps today.

CEO of AVG, JR Smith says:

“Our acquisition of DroidSecurity will accelerate the delivery of sophisticated mobile security so that Internet users around the world have the reliable and secure technology they need to securely mitigate the risks associated with mobile device usage.”

Getting a foothold in the Android Security market is a good move for AVG, I am sure we will hear more of AVG as they move further into Android Security.

Ccleaner from Piriform Get back Disk SpaceGet Back Disk Space using CCleaner

If you are running low on disk space on your computer but don’t know where to start looking then take a look at CCleaner from Piriform software. Ccleaner will help you get back disk space by performing an analysis of the common areas that take up space, but are normally hidden. As well as tidying up the files and helping to get back disk space Ccleaner can also help to tidy up the Registry on your computer to get rid of old unused Registry entries.

How does Ccleaner help get back disk space?

Ccleaner - Get Back Disk SpaceCcleaner has been around since 2004 and is a market leader in removing unwanted stuff from PC’s.

Ccleaner does this by analysing the hidden spaces of your computer and finding all the unwanted, space hogging, files and components.

The types of thing that Ccleaner roots out and offers to clean up to get back disk space inlcude:-

Internet Explorer – Temporary Files, history, cookies (optional), Autocomplete history and index.dat files

Firefox – Temporary Files, history, cookies (optional), download history and from history

Google Chrome – Temporary Files, history, cookies (optional), download history and form history

Opera – Temporary Files, history, cookies (optional)

Safari – Temporary Files, history, cookies (optional), form history

Windows – Recycle bin, Recent Documents, Temporary Files, Log Files and Memory dumps

So you can see that Ccleaner looks in lots of different places and works with most of the standard applications that people will have installed on their computer. Most of these files are in hidden, or obscure, locations where people are unlikely to look.  Even if you knew where to look for the files would you know which files you can safely delete? I am not sure that I would, so for me Ccleaner is a great option as I can get rid of the rubbish without having to spend a lot of time thinking about what to do.

Before you Start

Before you start using Ccleaner you should really carry out a full backup of your computer. That way if you make any mistakes and accidentally delete something that you later find that you need you will be able to restore it.

How do I get back Disk Space?

Once you have downloaded Ccleaner from Piriform run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. Ccleaner fully supports both 32bit and 64bit environments.

Get Back Disk Space with Ccleaner

Using Ccleaner to get back Disk Space

When you run Ccleaner initially you should do it in Analysis mode. In this mode it just looks at your computer and tells you what how much space the different files and applications are taking up.

In my case you can see that  Analysis Mode shows that I can reclaim over  1.7 GB of disk space. I hadn’t realised that temporary files and general rubbish could claim so much of my valuable disk space and  that I could get back disk space so easily.

So the short analysis is the first thing that you should do to see what is filling up your disk. However you shouldn’t be over zealous and tick all of the boxes, as that can remove information that is still valuable to you. On most systems you probably don’t want to remove Cookies, otherwise all of the stored account details that you use to login to websites etc. will disappear.

The default values, which are pre-set when you install the product, are a very good balance between cleaning up rubbish from your computer and keeping valuable information. In most cases you will not need to make any changes to these selected values.

The default values for Windows are:-

Ccleaner Analysis CompleteInternet Explorer

  • Temporary Files
  • Cookies
  • History
  • Recently Typed URLs
  • Index.dat files
  • Last Download Location
  • Autocomplete Form History

Windows Explorer

  • Recent Documents
  • Run (in Start Menu)
  • Other Explorer MRUs
  • Thumbnail Cache

System

  • Empty Recycle Bin
  • Temporary Files
  • Clipboard
  • Memory Dumps
  • Chkdsk File Fragments
  • Windows Logfiles
  • Windows Error Reporting
  • DNS Cache
  • FTP Accounts
  • Start Menu Shortcuts
  • Desktop Shortcuts

Advanced

  • Old Prefetch data
  • Menu Order Cache
  • Tray Notification Cache
  • Window Size/Location Cache
  • User Assist History
  • IIS Log Files
  • Custom Files and Folders
  • Wipe Free Space

Run Cleaner button and get back disk space.

What should I do Once I get Back Disk Space?

Disk Defrag

Once you have used Ccleaner and claimed back all of your disk space you should then run a disk defrag. The defrag will reorganise the free space into contiguous free space, which will optimise it for speedy access.

Backup

Now you have a clean and optimised disk you should take a new full backup of your system.