Fighting the System

A blog of hacks and workarounds

Enable Bitlocker Disk Encryption via Scheduled Task

Enable Bitlocker Disk Encryption Via Scheduled Task

I’ve been working on deploying Bitlocker across our Active Directory domain via a scheduled task. My goals here were as such:

  • Enable encryption on any platform which is capable of running it.
  • Prepare the disk for encryption (if necessary).
  • On some of our devices (HP EliteBooks) the TPM was not enabled by default, so I needed to enable it.

The advantage of using a scheduled task to enable Bitlocker (versus a startup or shutdown script) is that I can configure it to run when the computer is idle. I liked this solution over a startup script because my users on laptops very very rarely reboot their computers, and so startup scripts very very rarely get a chance to run.

Schedule a Task to Update ShadowProtect After Hours

Recently I needed to deploy some updates to some computers running StorageCraft ShadowProtect. In doing this, I was faced with three problems:

  1. After installing the update, backups cannot be performed until you reboot.
  2. I cannot reboot the servers during work hours.
  3. I am going out of town this evening to see my girlfriend and I don’t want to update remotely.

The solution here is a little automation with the help of a little batch and schtasks on my workstation.

Remove All Drivers From a Windows Image by a Certain Vendor

For when you find that you just need to remove all of the drivers from a captured image, or only those of certain makes. PowerShell makes it easy to script this removal so you aren’t manually typing a ton of dism commands. I found myself needing to purge some problematic Intel drivers from an image in order to get USB working on some of our older machines. I found that it is possible to remove all drivers from a mounted Windows image and then commit the changes back to the captured WIM completely in PowerShell. Read on if you need the skinny.

Results of the 2014 /r/Linux Distribution Survey

Introduction

About two years ago, after seeing a failed comment survey on /r/Linux I decided to create a “real” survey using Google Docs to find out what Linux distributions (distros) the folks at /r/Linux were using. These past two years, the results of those surveys were very well received so I wanted to keep doing it. You can still view the 2012 survey or the 2013 survey.

Some of you may have noticed I’m hosting the results on a different domain this year. The idea behind this is I wanted to get this kind of personal stuff off of my friend’s website and on to my own. I plan on migrating the old surveys if it looks like access to the old site will disappear, but for now I see no reason to break any links to the old post(s) since that site isn’t going anywhere.

As always, I’d like to prefix this by saying I’m no statistician. My stats knowledge is limited to a college class I took four years ago and can barely remember. If you feel like I’m representing anything incorrectly or have any kind of constructive feedback I’d appreciate a reddit PM about it or a comment on this page’s reddit thread.

Getting Adobe Creative Cloud Enterprise to Install From a Network Share

I’ve been fighting geting Adobe Creative Cloud to install properly from a LiteTouch deployment share. In my troubleshooting, I was always able to install the exceptions just fine, but the MSI package created by Adobe’s Creative Cloud Packager would not run successfully from a network share. When I tried to log what was happening, I kept getting a 1603 error in the InstallFinalize step along the lines of the following:

Getting Away From Self-hosted

Well, that was short-lived. After running my webserver on my home connection for about a day I got a little paranoid about what heavy web traffic might do to me if I were playing an online game such as League of Legends or Diablo III. I know it probably would have been fine but it kept bothering me.

This blog is now hosted with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. I’ve used them many times before and they have been great. They even have SSL support in testing now!

F1rst P0st!

Out of boredom today I decided to kick togther a web server that I could host my own blog on. I plan on putting my musings and reflections on technical problems I encounter in my daily work. I’ve found that often I work on something quite complex and come up with a solution, then I promptly forget the struggle in getting there. I feel like this troubleshooting experience is worthy of writing down sometimes. The idea is to help me recollect the process I used to arrive at a particular solution, and perhaps help any Internet folks out there trying to accomplish the same thing.

I’ll try to stick to this and write whenever I have something worthy. I’m using Octopress to manage this blog. I’m not particularly great at ruby or git, but this should serve as a nice learning opportunity for me.