Dusty Cables dot com

a tech blog

Tag Archives: tweaks

How to access Administrative Shares on Vista (C$)

November 23rd, 2009. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Found this gem recently about turning on the hidden administrative shares in Vista.

Text clipped from http://www.paulspoerry.com/2007/05/09/how-to-access-administrative-shares-on-vista-c/

To enable administrative shares you gotta make a registry change. Click on the orb and in the search box type ‘regedit’ and hit enter. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System. Add a new DWORD called “LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy” and give it a value of 1. Reboot and yer done!

Install any Windows application as a service

December 24th, 2008. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

This is very handy for making applications run before user login on a Windows box.  The instructions are pretty simple:

  1. Acquire instsrv.exe and srvany.exe from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.  You can put these files wherever you want, but it is probably best to dump them into %WINDIR%\System32 (which is usually “C:\Windows\System32” on Windows XP.  The srvany.exe application must remain where you put it because the service is going to use it to run your application.
  2. Open a command prompt (Start -> Run -> type “cmd”) and change directory to where you put these files.
  3. Type “instsrv ServiceName PathToSrvany.exe.  For example, if I desire the name of the service to be BiteMe and I saved the executables where I suggested in Step 1, I would type “instsrv BiteMe C:\Windows\System32\srvany.exe”.
  4. Lauch the Registry Editor (Start -> Run -> type “regedit.exe”) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ServiceName.  Right-click the key named ServiceName and select New -> Key.  Name the new key “Parameters” and click it.  Right-click the new Parameters key and select New -> String Value.  Name this new String (REG_SZ) Value “Application” and set the value data to the path to the executable of the application you desire to make a service.  So if I wanted to make Firefox run as a service, I would put “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” in the value data field.
  5. OPTIONAL: Services usually just run in the background and do not need to be messed with.  However, if you must interact with this service, you’ll want to open the Services snap-in (I like to use Start -> Run -> type “services.msc” to launch it) and find your new service in the alphabetical list.  Right-click it and select Properties (or just double-click it).  On the Log On tab, check the checkbox that says “Allow service to interact with desktop”.  This will allow you to interact with the GUI of the application.
  6. ALSO OPTIONAL: You can add dependencies, which are other services that must be running prior to this service to start, by adding a Multi-String value to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ServiceName key called “DependOnService”.  In this value you put the actual service name (not the “display”) service name, one service name per line.  You can see the actual service name by opening the properties of the service from the Services application.  For example, if you wanted to add a dependency for the Windows Time service, you would add “w32time” to the DependOnService value.

That’s about it.  The service you just made will show up as srvany.exe in the process list, just like many Windows services run under svchost.exe.  If you want to see what services are running under either of these processes, you can use the following command in a comand prompt:

tasklist /svc /fi “Imagename eq svchost.exe”


tasklist /svc /fi “Imagename eq srvany.exe”

Try it out.

Oh, also worth mentioning is removing your service if desired.  You can do this by typing “instsrv ServiceName remove”.

A field guide to Firefox 3

June 27th, 2008. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Yes, there are a lot of articles about Firefox 3 out there, since it just came out.  FF3 is a great browser (my browser of choice, along with a few million other people).  I certainly have not read all of these articles, but here is a great one from dria.org that has links to more specific information on each topic.