Thursday, 7 February 2019

NowTV broadband with your own/custom router (Draytek Vigor 2830n)

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since my last post, since I have now moved to Essex and work in London and now I have my new home! Obviously the first task of the new home was getting an internet connection setup and WiFied UP :) 

After researching of the possibilities of my area of what the best ISP I should go for, I have chosen NowTV and it's cheap and cheerful. NowTV was doing an offer fiber with speed up to 36Mbps down and 5Mbps up with Quidco cashback of £80, which works out £19 a month and £229 a year! (Thanks to HotUKDeals (You guys saved me loads of money but also makes me spent loads of money too!)

Anyway, enough of my shopping story and let’s get to the technical stuff. NowTV has sent me a router which does a good job for normal home users, provide dual-band 2.4/5Ghz 802.11ac WiFi network standard and two 1GB LAN ports. NowTV router is very locked down and the configuration page only gives you to the basic security, WiFi, parental control and DMZ setting.

The purpose of this article: To show how to replace NowTV router with your own router. In my case scenario so I can have more advanced settings in the router to fiddle with.

On the other side, with a custom router you can do so much more hence,

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Manually Deploy Microsoft Office 365 Offline

Now everyone know's that Microsoft is slowly moving their software in to the cloud as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and sometime for us Microsoft engineer is making us a little harder on jobs.

In fact in this project I have been working on, we have few numbers of computers need Office 365 Business Premium to deployed, with the slow broadband connection (I mean it is really slow...) it will take sometime to download/install Office 365 individually to the PCs.

After searching on the internet, I have managed to find some references and info of how to get a copy of Office 365 for offline installation using "Office 2016 Deployment Tool".

Let's start!

1. Create a folder called Office 365 in the C:\ drive

2. Go to Office 2016 Deployment Tool download page and download the file, run it, choose the C:\Office 365 to extract.

3. Edit the configuration.xml file in Notepad

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Microsoft Outlook 2016 Reading Panel Font Size Increase/Zoom

It is a shame that Microsoft did not include this feature to allow users to default the font size of email messages for reading. It makes it hard for some users who have bad eye sight.

To set a default text size for the email messages, I will recommend you changing the standard mail text to plain text.

1. Open Microsoft Outlook and click on File

2. Options, Trust Center and Trust Center Settings

3. Email Security and Tick "Read all standard mail in plain text" and "Read all digitally signed mail in plain text.

4. OK to apply the settings.

5. Go back to File, Options, Mail and select Stationery and Fonts

6. Go to individual tab settings to change the font size.

  • Change new mail messages, 
  • Replying or forwarding messages
  • Composing and reading plain text messages

7. Close Outlook and reopen, huala!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Windows10 Font Sizing issues - Windows GPO Work Around!

Problem in this scenario: Windows 10 domain user whose have limited permissions in changing the font size of the operating system.

Now normally if you just have a standard computer and everything works perfectly fine as you can customise however the operating system look, i.e. make every words on the screen look bigger so you can read better without making the screen blurry (if you use the zoom option).

We would then need to change the "Advanced sizing of text and other items" in Advanced Display Settings window.

Above method mostly solve the issue with a standard computer setup, however now with a computer that is part of a domain as group policy may have locked down the option the user to change it or another issue that is known as Windows 10 Bug for domain user/computer, even if you have selected a higher text size and hit apply to save the changes. The computer does not visually does not change anything.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Microsoft Windows 7/8/8.1/10 Windows Sync Center Best Practice - Always Offline Files

If you are using Windows Sync Center in a domain environment along with home folder profile setup, please use this guide for the correct way of setting up always offline files for remote users.

In order to have Sync Center to work, the user's home folder must have "Offline files" enabled.

1. Go to Control Panel and select Sync Center

A window like above will shown up and now select "Manage Offline Files" on the left

2. Click on "Enable Offline Files" and restart your computer.

3. When computer boot back up, go to "My Computer" or "This PC" then H:\ drive.

Now what most people do is right click the drink and select "Always available offline", what the Sync Center do is make the drive goes offline and it does. However, what if the drive has been disconnected or not available anymore as H:\?

Users will not be able to access them drive as the H:\ has been maybe overtaken by a portable device or drive just gone missing.

The resolution for this is to go in to drive and select all, right click, "Always available offline".

Result of this will synchronize all the files in the drive and what happen if the H:\ is missing or the computer has been disconnected from the domain network.

The files are accessible via Sync Center Offline Files Folder.

The laptop when joined back to the domain network, Sync Center automatic sync the files with the server and in order to be 100% sure all the files are synced correct. Microsoft suggest to use the manual sync option by right clicking the Sync Center icon at the notification bar and click Sychronise All.

Last note:
  1. Disable Sync Center and restart your computer.
  2. To reset Sync Center back to default so you can start over again with the correct way of setting up available offline files, use below steps.
  3. On user's machine, go to C:\Windows\.
  4. Right click CSC folder.
  5. Select Security tab and click Advanced.
  6. Folder's permission is set to SYSTEM only therefore no one can access or make changes to it, so what you need to do is to take ownership of the folder.
  7. Click on "Change", give yourself full permission, OK and select OK to apply.
  8. Open CSC folder and delete the folder inside it, usually it calls v2.16.
  9. Delete CSC folder.
  10. Enable Sync Center and restart machine.
  11. Now you have a fresh Sync Center.
  12. Follow this article for a correct way of setting up your Always Offline Files.
If you are struggling to take the ownership or delete the folder under C:\Windows\CSC folder use below command:

Step 1: Disable the Offline Files.

a.   Open Sync Center and click on Manage Offline Files on the left.
b.  Select the Disable Offline Files Button and reboot the computer.

Step 2: Give yourself all the permissions.

a.   Press Windows key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
b.  Type these commands and press Enter after each one.

cd c:\Windows
takeown /f csc /r /a /d y > NUL
icacls csc /grant Administrators:(F) /t /l /q

c.   Delete the folders under C:\Windows\CSC.

Have fun!

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