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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Starting Interactive FireDaemon Services In Session via Automatic Logon and Scheduled Tasks

This article provides an alternate method of starting Interactive Windows Services and detection under FireDaemon control in the currently logged in session. In our previous article we discussed how to do this using logon scripts. In this article we discuss how to automate your Windows login and run interactive services using Scheduled Tasks.

Step 1: Install FireDaemon Pro and Setup Your Services This is fairly straight forward:

  1. Download and install FireDaemon Pro
  2. Create your FireDaemon services. Ensure they are set to Manual Start and they are running as the LocalSystem account (ie. don't specify a user in your configuration). Check out our HOWTOs if you need a guidance setting up your app under FireDaemon control.

Step 2: Setup Automatic Login You now want to set automatic login for user you want to run your services as. To do this on Windows 7:

  1. Run netplwiz.exe
  2. Uncheck "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer" then click OK
  3. Supply the autologin username and password. If you want to use a domain user account see this article.
Step 3: Create a Schedule You now need to create a scheduled to auto elevate FireDaemon the starting of your services:
    1. Create a new Task (not a Basic Task) as follows:
    2. Run sched.exe (Windows 7) or taskschd.msc /s (Windows 8). Then in the
      • General Tab
        • Name: FireDaemonServices
        • Check: Run only when user is logged on
        • Check: Run with highest privileges
        • Check: Hidden
        • Configure for: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 (change this to suite your app and version of Windows)
      • Actions Tab (add an action for each service to be elevated - click the New button. Replace ServiceA with the actual short name of your service)
        • Action: Start a Program
        • Settings / Program/Script: "C:\Program Files\FireDaemon\firedaemon.exe"
        • Settings / Add Arguments:  --start ServiceA --in-session
      • Conditions Tab
        • Uncheck Start the task only if the computer is on AC power
      • Settings Tab
        • Uncheck Stop the task if it runs longer than
        • Uncheck If the running task does not end when request
        • If the task is already running, then the following rules applies: Run a new instance in parallel
    Step 4: Create a Shortcut Lastly, create a shortcut in the Startup Folder of the user in question that points to: C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe /run /tn "FireDaemonServices" And that's it - when you boot/reboot your machine your machine will auto login and run all your nominated FireDaemon services interactively. Should a service crash or be terminated accidentally then FireDaemon will restart you app in session.
    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Useful Software: Startup Delayer - delays the startup of applications when windows loads

    Startup Delayer does just what it says; it delays the startup of applications when windows loads. By default when windows loads (after you log in), all your programs load at the same time. This can seriously slow down the load time as all the applications are competing for CPU and Hard Disk accesses. Startup Delayer solves this by allowing you to setup how many seconds after Windows has started to load each program.

    Delay Start up of a application in Windows -Startup Delayer

    Startup Delayer is freeware and compatible with Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/XP64/Vista You can download it from http://www.r2.com.au/page/products/show/startup-delayer/

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Useful Software: QTTabBar - extension that gives Windows Explorer windows a tab bar

    QTTabBar is an extension that gives Windows Explorer windows a tab bar (similar to Firefox/IE Tabs). Rather than using a separate program that displays multiple views, you can keep on using your Windows Explorer! This is very useful when dealing with multiple folders since you can have them all in the same window and switching to them is easy.

    QTTabBar

    There is some tweaking you will need to do to get it to display. Once you install it and log off, go to Internet Explorer. Right click the favorites bar and select "QT TabBar" and "QT Tab Standard Buttons". Once these are visible in your Internet Explorer, they will be visible in Windows Explorer. QTTabBar is freeware and is officially compatible with Windows XP and Windows Vista. I have personally tested it on two Windows 2003 Server boxes and it works fine with no problems. You can download it at http://qttabbar.wikidot.com

    Monday, October 08, 2012

    Useful Software: PeerBlock - an IPBlocker

    PeerBlock is an IPBlocker that let's you control who your computer can communicate with on the internet. You can block communications with advertising or spyware oriented servers, computers monitoring your p2p activities, computers which have been "hacked", even entire countries! PeerBlock is the successor to PeerGuardian (the original IPBlocker). To give you an idea of just how powerful PeerBlock is, my PeerBlock is configured to block Hijacked, Hacked and P2P IP's and in total 911,675,868 IP's are blocked for me!

    PeerBlock"

    PeerBlock is freeware and compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 (32bit and 64bit). You can download it at http://www.peerblock.com/ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeerBlock

    Sunday, October 07, 2012

    Useful Software: BlueScreenView - analyzes crash dumps and informs you

    BlueScreenView is an application that analyzes Blue Screen crash dump files and tells you information about the crash. It's very useful since it can tell you the driver or module that possibly caused the crash. This can save a lot of time since you dont have to scour the internet for the answer to your crash.

    BlueScreenView

    BlueScreenView is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (as long as Windows is configured to save minidump files during BSOD crashes). It's also compatible with 32-bit and x64 systems. BlueScreenView is freeware and you can download it at http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html

    Tuesday, October 02, 2012

    Useful Software: HLSW for Server Admins - Manage Your Game Server

    HLSW or Half-Life ServerWatch is an awesome administration tool to manage your game server. It's primarily a tool for admins, but regular players can use it too (as a server browser). With HLSW you can chat to players on your server without ever entering the server! You can execute RCON commands, change the map, etc.

    HLSW

    HLSW supports many games aside from Half-Life 1 and Half Life 2. Some of the more popular ones are; Battlefield 2, Call of Duty (all games), Crysis, Neverwinter Nights and more. You can see the complete list at http://hlsw.org/hlsw/supported_games/ HLSW is freeware and compatible with Windows 2000 SP4, XP and Vista. You can download it at http://www.hlsw.org Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLSW

    Monday, October 01, 2012

    Useful Software: TeraCopy

    TeraCopy is an application that makes copying files faster. It includes features such as: pause and resume file transfers, error recovery (retrying several times), shell integration and more.

    TeraCopy has 2 versions, a free one and a Pro one. It is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 (x32 and x64 versions) You can download it at http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

    Useful Software: Secure Password Manager: Any Password

    The biggest threat to online security and computer security are easy to guess passwords. Most people choose easy to guess passwords and this is very bad. That plus the prevalence of social networking sites makes it very easy for hackers to guess your password. Aside from guessing, they can use brute-force dictionary attacks that can break passwords in a matter of minutes or hours. You can stop this from happening by choose a complex alpha-numeric password. Remembering an alpha-numeric password is difficult and sometimes next to impossible. An example of this is a password like 2Gkb4S2q. An even better password is one that uses characters like question marks and exclamation points in addition to letters and numbers (eg. &%sZ+VLl). This is where Any Password comes into play. Any Password is a password manager. You can store passwords as well as other sensitive information in its database. The database itself can be passworded and its encrypted to prevent outside snooping. It also includes a random password generator.

    Any Password is compatible with Microsoft Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP http://www.anypassword.com/free/index.html To use it on Vista, you will need to purchase the Pro version. http://www.anypassword.com/pro/index.html

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Useful Software: Desktop Restore

    Desktop Restore is a handy little tool that lets you save the positions of icons on your desktop.  It's especially useful if you have multiple monitors and you have icons on those monitors. Saving and restoring is done by right clicking the desktop and selecting your desired action from the context menu.  You can even create multiple saves and restore different layouts.

    You can download it at http://www.midiox.com/desktoprestore.htm Desktop Restore is freeware and the latest version is officially compatible with Windows XP, 2000 and Vista.  I have personally tested the latest version on two Windows 2003 Server computers and have encountered no problems.  There are other versions that are compatible with 64Bit windows and Windows 98/ME.
    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    Useful Software: Process Explorer

    Process Explorer is an awesome task manager replacement.   With it you can view all applications running on your computer (even ones Windows TaskMan hides), get more information about your application (working memory, peak working memory, etc.) and more!  You can even see which applications are sub-processes of a parent application. It's great to use on servers because you get much more control over processes and you can see more.  There is one major problem though, if you play games on your computer, and the game uses SecuRom disc protection, the game will not run when Process Explorer is running.  You will have to disable Process Explorer  from replacing the Task Manager and restart your computer.  The reason this is, is because Process Explorer includes a Debugger and SecuRom detects it as a hack tool.  Aside from that, its safe to use.  The original programmer was hired by Microsoft a few years ago and the download site is on the Microsoft website.

    Process Explorer

    You can download it at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx. Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_Explorer. Process Explorer is Freeware and works on Windows XP and Higher and Windows 2003 Server and Higher.


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