As the last email stated, I would like to give the above pictured computer to a well deserving non-profit or struggling business that would benefit from a technology infusion. There was an underwhelming single response to my request, so I have decided to give the computer to the one suggested organization:
Woodland Charter School
This computer is suitable for normal office work and will be replacing an aging laptop used in there front office by the staff. I will be including free setup of the computer to help get them connected properly.
Please contact us with ideas on who could best use our next free new computer.
As a partner with Lenovo and Intel, I have been given the opportunity to give one of my clients (or perspective clients) a brand new computer and workstation as pictured above. It contain a new memory cache chip from Intel that they would like some feedback on, so the company that accepts this will have to fill out a survey and be on a single phone interview. The computer will be used with the cache enabled and disabled to see the difference the chip makes. Once the testing is done the computer is FREE to keep.
I would like to give this computer to a well deserving non-profit or struggling business that would benefit from a technology infusion. This computer is suitable for normal office work. I will include free setup of the computer to help get them connected properly. I will decide who gets the computer at the end of March 2019.
Please contact us with ideas on who could best use this free new computer.
I was chatting with my son who works for a large local company who
contracts with a local Managed Service Provider to help with their IT
needs. Due to a clause in their contract they are now locked into paying
over $15,000 per month for IT services for the next three years. This
includes $300 per server (they have 5 of them) and $70 per workstation
(they have over 100 of them) plus some other mysterious charges for the
network. Personally I think that this is outrageous.
Here at Farmhouse Networking we do not believing in locking our clients
into a contract. Our IT services are always month to month so that if
either of us are dissatisfied with the relationship then we can easily
end things with no obligations. Our services are also reasonably priced
due to keeping our overhead low – we charge $65 per server and $25 per
workstation plus a small per device charge for other network devices.
That is a mind boggling 280-460% savings over the local competition. For
that large company that would be a realized savings of somewhere
between $9,600 and $11,700 per month – enough to hire several new
employees or purchase new equipment to increase production.
If your company is looking to keep the costs of IT services down and keep more working capital for true business needs, then contact us for assistance.
Phase 1: Break-In: Hackers are still using phishing emails, bad passwords, social media links, and poorly patched systems to make their way in with the initial infection. Employee training is the first step towards preventing breaches for 9 out of 10 companies now (and it is included in the price for all our monthly clients).
Phase 2: The Inside Man: Once inside the hacker will scan the network for further vulnerable systems, employees with more access rights than they need, and systems that allow access into other parts of the network. Having systems in place that detect strange or malicious activity are key to stopping an infection in its tracks.
Phase 3: Spread Out: This is where the hacker has all the access they need and start to find the data that is worth selling. Hackers will usually start moving data to places it doesn’t belong on the network then downloading it to their computers for resell. This is where strong access policies that are clearly defined and enforced make the greatest impact to protect sensitive data.
Phase 4: The Long Con: Once a hacker has taken all they need for the short term payout, they will setup remote access back doors to allow for future access whenever they want to. It almost pays to assume that a breach has already occurred and continually scan the network for these kinds of activity to catch the hackers in the act.
Take the time to read this article, it is a wake-up call on security.
If you would like to learn more about creating an effective cyber defense strategy and mitigating risk, then contact us for assistance.
With Windows 7 quickly moving to End of Life within a years time, it is time to consider replacing current workstations with newer ones.
Why make the move to Windows 10 Pro?
You’ll get the familiar yet improved desktop and Start Menus as well as all-new features, such as the Cortana personal digital assistant, Live Tiles, Tablet Mode, cloud services integration, improved support for touch, pen and voice and so much more. More importantly, you’ll get hardware and software enabled features that help protect device and company information from ever- evolving security threats. Most importantly, you will meet compliance requirements before they become enforceable.
If your company is still using Windows 7 in your business environment, then contact us for assistance.
According to the following Microsoft Support Post published in October 2018, the HomeGroup feature has now been removed from Windows 10. Most people won’t need to worry about this, but recently ran across a business that had relied on this feature to run their network. With HomeGroup removed from Windows 10 they were left without the ability to share properly with a new computer on the network. So here is how to fix the issue:
How to fix Windows Networking after HomeGroup Removal
Turn off all sharing:
Open Network & Sharing Center
Click on Advanced Sharing Settings
Turn off network discovery (Private & Public)
Turn off file and print sharing (Private & Public)
Turn off Public folder sharing (All Networks)
Turn off Password Protected Sharing (All Networks)
Remove old password:
Open Credentials Manager
Change to Windows Credentials
Remove all $HomeGroup users credentials from networked computers on all computers formerly in HomeGroup
Find Function Discovery Provider Host and set to Automatic Startup then Start service
Find Function Discovery Resource Publication and set to Automatic Startup then Start service
Find SSDP Discovery and set to Automatic Startup then Start service
Find UPnP Device Host and set to Automatic Startup then Start service
Get username and password for all computers on network
On each computer on the network, open command prompt
For each username, use the command – net user [username] [password] /add
Turn on all sharing:
Open Network & Sharing Center
Click on Advanced Sharing Settings
Turn on network discovery (Private)
Turn on file and print sharing (Private)
Turn on Public folder sharing (All Networks)
Use 128-bit encryption (All Networks)
Turn on Password Protected Sharing (All Networks)
Recreate Shares (if needed)
Right-click on folder and choose Properties
Click on Sharing tab
Click on Advanced Sharing
Check Share This Folder
Name the share
Click on Add
Select username and add Full Control then click OK
Repeat for each username
Click OK to return to Properties window
Click on Security Tab
Click on Advanced
Click on Add
Select username and add Full Permissions (or appropriate level) then click OK
Repeat for each username
Check Replace Child Permisssions and click OK
Click OK on all previous windows
Hope this post helps some other techs save the time in fixing Windows 10 networking when HomeGroup is removed.
If your company is still using HomeGroup or needs any help with advanced networking, then contact us for assistance.
It seems lately that the power company in the area has not been able to offer consistent service power to the city. This has left many businesses down without the technology they need to operate properly. These power outages cause data loss and damage computer components.
My own unexpected outage
Once upon a time, about two weeks ago, the unexpected happened at our offices. A semi-truck carrying a large backhoe on a trailer drove between two buildings in the area. The landlord had wired power between buildings and the truck driver did not lower the arm of the backhoe low enough. Sure enough the wire was snagged by the backhoe’s arm and pulled from the building. Needless to say the power was out to that part of the building until the landlord took care of the matter.
What can be done?
Farmhouse Networking recommends that all business workstations, servers, and networking equipment be protected by an uninterruptible power source aka UPS or battery backup. When the power goes out the right size battery backup will keeps things running for about 15-30 minutes to allow the last touches to be added to whatever was being worked on and things to be shutdown gracefully.
Ran into an issue with Scan to Folder on Windows 10 Home from a Xerox Versalink C7025 via SMB. Contacted support and they stated that Xerox does not support this setup. Further digging found that Windows 10 Home folder shares need passwords in a [Computername]\[Username] format that the Xerox Versalink could not provide correctly. I found another option that works well in this situation:
Scan to Folder via FTP
Create a Scan folder in the Users directory
Download and install Filezilla FTP Server with the defaults (I prefer to set “start user interface: to manually)
Click on the Edit > Users menu item.
Click on the Add button and create a username (case sensitive)
Check the password box and create a password
Click on the Shared Folders tab on the left then click on the Add under Shared Folders
Browse to the Scan folder and click OK
Check all File & Directory permissions then click OK at bottom left
With this setup on the Windows 10 Home computer an Address Book entry can be created for Scan to Folder via FTP on the Xerox Versalink. The only thing that could be a problem after that is a software firewall link Windows Firewall or McAfee LiveSafe.
If your company wants to utilize more functionality from your multi-function device, then contact us for assistance.
Ran into a brick wall with a client wanting to have a Workcenter C7225 by Xexox scan to folder. What worked on one did not work on another but I eventually figured out the pattern and wanted to share it. Basically all MacOS X versions before the High Sierra build were not compatible with Xerox’s SMB protocol. (They fixed the SMB protocol in High Sierra so that Xerox Scan to SMB works perfectly.) Here is the workaround:
Xerox Scan to Folder MacOS X pre-Sierra:
The easiest way that I found to allow scanning to these systems is to enable the dormant FTP server.
Type in – sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist
Enter your administrator password
Create Scans folder in Home directory
Go to Preferences > Sharing > File Sharing
Choose + under Shared Folders
Navigate to the Scans folder and click Add
Check all available sharing methods.
Go to the printers IP address in the browser of your choice
Click on Scan
Create a template
Enter IP address
use /Scans as file path
enter full username and password (MacOS takes out spaces by default)
Test scanning successfully
If your company wants to utilize more functionality from your multi-function device, then contact us for assistance. And yes, we support MacOS in the business environment.
Had a client that repeatedly had troubles with network drives disconnect happening randomly. I did explain that this would happen normally if they kept their workstations logged into the server, but they did not want to change their habits. I performed the usual registry fixes on the workstations and the server, but these did not seem to work. Finally I got to look at the error and figured out the Group Policy Object that was causing the problem.
Usual Registry Fix:
The default method for this is to edit the registry as follows on both and run a command on the server to lengthen the disconnect time on the workstations and disable disconnect on the server.
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
In the right pane, click the autodisconnect value, and then on the Edit menu, click Modify. If the autodisconnect value does not exist, follow these steps:
On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click REG_DWORD.
Type autodisconnect, and then press ENTER.
On the Edit menu, click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
Finally the following command should also be run:
net config server /autodisconnect:-1
Group Policy Object Fix:
Even though I changed the systems as above, it still disconnected regularly. The clients were getting this message when disconnected -“The system has detected a possible attempt to compromise security. Please ensure that you can contact the server that authenticated you.” Some research found that Windows Small Business Server created a Group Policy Object that by default times out authentication to the server after 10 hours. Here is how I changed it:
Open Group Policy Management
Look for Default Domain Policy
Click on the Settings tab and then Show All
Under Account Policies/Kerberos Policy look for Maximum lifetime for user ticket which by default was 10 hours.
Right click on the policy and choose Edit
Dig down to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Account Policies > Kerberos Policy
Change the Maximum lifetime for user ticket to 100 hours (>4 days)
Change the Maximum lifetime for user ticket renewal to 4 days
This combination will keep the ticket lifetime timeout longer than the time for renewal which will cause the renewal to happen before the timeout. Problem solved.
If your company is having issues with Network Drive Disconnect, then contact us for assistance.