Sunday, November 4, 2012

JahnsTek is now a Dell Registered Partner!

JahnsTek, LLC is excited to announce that we're now a Registered Partner in the Dell PartnerDirect Program. Investing the time and resources to gain this prestigious Partner status enables us to be an even more valuable, strategic partner for you.

The benefits of being a Dell Registered Partner are numerous, and the exclusive knowledge and best-practices information we have gained better position us to deliver the best solutions for your needs.

Our Dell Registered Partner status:

  • Provides you with access to Dell's award-winning products and solutions
  • Enables us to offer you flexible financing programs
  • Allows us to align with a leader in "Green IT" and offer you energy-efficient products 
  • Can help your business run faster, better and smarter

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about Dell's cutting-edge products and solutions, and how they can benefit your business.

We look forward to doing business with you.

Justin Jahns
JahnsTek, LLC

Monday, September 12, 2011

Launch IE Window at Windows Login Prompt

If your in need to launch an Internet Explorer window (or pretty much any process) at the Windows login prompt (before any user logs in) here's a solution that I've helped implement and it's working great.

On Windows XP
Displaying an IE window at the login prompt in Windows XP is relatively easy. A simple VBscript run as a startup script is all that is needed.

Set objExplorer = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
Set WshShell = Wscript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objExplorer.Navigate ""
objExplorer.Visible = true
objExplorer.ToolBar = false
objExplorer.MenuBar = false
objExplorer.StatusBar = false
objExplorer.AddressBar = false
objExplorer.Width = 340
objExplorer.Height = 560
objExplorer.Left = 0
objExplorer.Top = 0
objExplorer.Resizable = false
Wshshell.AppActivate ("Welcome to Windows")

The above VBscript will open an IE window, remove the toolbar, menu bar, status bar, and address bar, set the size of the window, and position it in the top left corner of the screen. The final line of the script, switches the "active window" back to the login prompt so that users are able to start typing without having to click in the username box. This script can be easily set to run on startup using Group Policy (Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Scripts > Startup). For computers not in a domain, local group policy can be used to set this script as a startup item (see

On Windows 7
Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft has implemented the use of different user sessions in order to increase security, and this makes it a bit more difficult to launch an IE session at the login screen. Thus if you used the same process as explained above for Windows XP, the script would run, launching the IE window, but you wouldn't be able to see it because it would be running in the wrong user session. Through some research and a little luck I found that the SysInternal's tool, PsExec.exe (which I've used for years), provides a "-x" parameter that "displays the UI on the winlogon desktop." Again, as simple VBscript is used to launch the IE window in Windows 7, but the VBscript needs to be run by PsExec.exe with the "-x" parameter to make the IE window visible at the login screen.

Set objExplorer = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
objExplorer.Navigate ""
objExplorer.Visible = true
objExplorer.ToolBar = false
objExplorer.MenuBar = false
objExplorer.StatusBar = false
objExplorer.AddressBar = false
objExplorer.Width = 340
objExplorer.Height = 560
objExplorer.Left = 0
objExplorer.Top = 0

The above VBscript is the same as the XP script, minus the two lines specific for XP. In a domain environment, this can be easily set to run on startup using Group Policy (Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Scripts > Startup) but instead of specifying the VBscript to be run, specify PsExec.exe to be run with the following parameters:
-x cscript.exe //nologo "\\<domain>\sysvol\<domain>\Policies\<policyguid>\Machine\Scripts\Startup\<scriptname>.vbs"
Note that the VBscript and the PsExec.exe files must be present in the correct directory for the GPO your using to apply this startup item. By default PsExec.exe requests for it's EULA to be accepted before it runs, which you would not want to pop up when applying this via GP to tens, hundreds, thousands of machines; so the solution to this is to apply the following registry value:
"HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Sysinternals\PsExec\EulaAccepted" set to "1"
This eliminates PsExec's EULA prompt on startup. For computers not in a domain, local group policy can be used in a similar fashion to launch the IE window on startup (see

Hopefully this information comes in handy for someone...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Switch from ATA to AHCI in Windows 7

I've been upgrading quite a few machines from Windows XP to Windows 7 lately, and for some reason, almost every time, I forget to change the SATA Operation setting in the BIOS from ATA to AHCI after wiping the drive and before installing Windows 7.
AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is a new interface specification that allows the SATA controller driver to support advanced features that can give better performance out of SATA hard drives, especially in Windows Vista/7.
After two or three times of restarting the Windows 7 installation process after changing the SATA Operation to AHCI in the BIOS, I thought their must be a way to make this change without having to reinstall Windows. After a little digging, I found out their is a simple registry change that can be made that will allow for the SATA Operation change. Here's what you can do:
  1. Start "regedit.exe"
  2. Browse to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci\
  3. Change the DWord value named "Start" from "3" (ATA) to "0" (AHCI)
  4. Shutdown the computer
  5. Power the computer back on, making sure to enter the BIOS and change the SATA Operation to AHCI
  6. Save the change


Warning: Changes made to the Windows registry happen immediately, and no backup is automatically made. Do not edit the Windows registry unless you are confident about doing so. Creating a backup before editing the registry is highly recommended.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Office 2007 Spell Check Not Working

Even though Office 2010 has since been released I recently upgraded a client's workstation from Microsoft's Office 2003 to Office 2007. The upgrade installed without a hitch, including the service pack 2 update, but after a few days the client noticed the Spell Check feature of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and even Outlook was not working.
Through a little google'ing I found several articles mentioning a specific Registry entry that was the culprit. These articles and forum posts where saying to delete an entire key from the HKCU registry hive. Interestingly enough, I delete this key and the spell check feature still doesn't work. To make a long story short, I found that the entire key cannot be deleted, but rather only two values within the key. So here is the fix that worked for me:
  • Click "Start" > "Run" > "regedit" > click "OK"
  • Browse to: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Proofing Tools\1.0\Override\en-US
  • Delete the "DLL" and "LEX" values pointing to non-existing files
  • Restart any open Office applications

You can also merge the following .REG file, which will also delete the two above mentioned values:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Proofing Tools\1.0\Override\en-US]

I hope this post saves you several hours of troubleshooting this specific issue. Feel free to post any comments.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Enable or Disable File and Printer Sharing with snetcfg.exe

For a recent work project I needed to be able to be able to enable File and Printer Sharing on 2000+ machines for a few weeks while some software was deployed then disable File and Printer Sharing once the deployment was complete. I quickly found out that their was no group policy to easily do this and with a little google searching I found snetcfg.exe was the way to do this. Snetcfg.exe can be used to install/uninstall network protocols, services, and clients. Unfortunately, I found it really hard to find any documentation on this executable so I though I'd write up this short little post in hopes it would help someone else out with this delema...

Command I Used To Enable File and Printer Sharing
snetcfg.exe -c s -u MS_Server
snetcfg.exe -c s -i MS_Server
The first line above uninstalls File and Printer Sharing and the second reinstalls it. This ensures that File and Printer Sharing is installed and enabled. After the software was deployed I removed the second line from the start up script and File and Printer Sharing was once again disabled.

SNETCFG Command Line Help:
C:>snetcfg /?
snetcfg [-v] [-l ] -c -i
    -l provides the location of INF
    -c provides the class of the component to be installed
        p == Protocol, s == Service, c == Client
    -i provides the component ID
    The arguments must be passed in the order shown.
    snetcfg -l c:\oemdir\foo.inf -c p -i foo
    ...installs protocol 'foo' using c:\oemdir\foo.inf
    snetcfg -c s -i MS_Server
    ...installs service 'MS_Server'
snetcfg [-v] -q
    snetcfg -q MS_IPX
    ...displays if component 'MS_IPX' is installed
snetcfg [-v] -u
    snetcfg -u MS_IPX
    ...uninstalls component 'MS_IPX'
snetcfg [-v] -s
    -s provides the type of components to show
        a == adapters, n == net components
    snetcfg -s n
    ...shows all installed net components
snetcfg [-v] -b
    snetcfg -b ms_tcpip
    ...shows binding paths containing 'ms_tcpip'
General Notes:
    -v turns on the verbose mode
    -? Displays this help

Hope this helps some people... feel free to comment...

Friday, January 12, 2007

5 Good Computing Habits (5 of 5)

5. Run Antivirus Software and a Spyware Detection and Removal Tool

Updating your Windows software is just the first step in keeping your computer safe. Next, you'll want to download and install antivirus software and keep it up to date. Your computer may have come with a free trial of antivirus software, but if you don't renew your subscription, you won't be protected from all the latest threats. If you don't already have antivirus software, or if you'd like to get different antivirus software, check the Windows Marketplace Antivirus section for products that will work for you.
If your computer seems sluggish or if you begin to see lots of pop-up advertisements, even when you're not surfing the Web, your computer may be infected with spyware, adware, or other unwanted software. Learn more about spyware and what it can do to your computer, then download the free antispyware program from Microsoft.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

5 Good Computing Habits (4 of 5)

4. Keep Windows and Office Up To Date

Computer programs are continually changed and improved based on customer feedback and continuing product testing. Problems are resolved, features are added, and security is improved throughout the life of the program—and, as a registered user, you should benefit from those improvements. By checking Microsoft Update regularly, you can make sure you've got the most recent Windows and Office improvements available to you.
Visit Microsoft Update to start the update process. If it's your first time to visit Microsoft Update, you might need to sign up to the service.

To use Microsoft Update:
1. For high-priority updates, click Express Install (recommended). If you're just looking for general updates that aren't critical, choose Custom Install.
2. The site will do a quick check of your system to see whether any new updates are available that have not been downloaded to your computer. When the check is finished, a window appears showing you any new updates ready for download.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions and click Install Now to update your computer with the latest software improvements.
Once you've visited the Microsoft Update site, you should also configure your computer to receive critical updates automatically. This service is called Automatic Updates and it's free.

To turn on Automatic Updates:
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click Performance and Maintenance.
Note: If the Performance and Maintenance category is not visible, click Switch to Category View.
3. Click System.
4. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Automatic Updates tab.
5. Select a setting. Microsoft recommends selecting Automatic: Automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them. You can schedule Automatic Updates for any time of day. Remember, your computer must be on at the scheduled time for updates to be installed. We recommend choosing a time when you will not be using the computer for other tasks.
6. If you choose to have Automatic Updates notify you in step 5, you will see a notification balloon when new downloads are available to install. Click the notification balloon to review and install updates.
Important  If you choose an option in step 5 other than the one we recommend, you must download and install every critical update. If you download the updates, but forget to install them your computer will not be protected with all the latest enhancements.