VMware (Workstation or Player) and Device/Credential Guard are not compatible.

If you’ve tried running a VM on VMWare’s Workstation or Player on a Windows PC, you may have run into the following error:

“VMware Workstation (or VMWare Player) and Device/Credential Guard are not compatible. VMware Player can be run after disabling Device/Credential Guard. Please visit http://www.wmware.com/go/turnoff_CG_DG for more details.”

Yeah – that site isn’t too helpful. Visit it if you want. Itwill further direct you to Microsoft’s page: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3204980/virtualization-applications-do-not-work-together-with-hyper-v-device-g

The problem is, all the additional sites weren’t too helpful either. Some say uninstall the Hyper-V additional features – which might work, but in my case I hadn’t ever installed them – while others say just try opening a command prompt (in Administrator mode) and entering bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off and the restarting your machine. Which disables Hyper-V from starting any VMs (if you had it installed) but if you don’t have Hyper-V installed it does nothing.

Other sites (such as https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/68935-enable-disable-credential-guard-windows-10-a.html) suggest a myriad of options such as gpedit.msc settings (which weren’t set on my PC) or regedit settingg (which also weren’t effective.)

But one list of commands was. Note that Microsoft considers this a security override and leaves your computer open to external bad guys to make a change to something or other. Just letting you know in advance. Hopefully if you’re working with VMs you already know enough to not leave your files and settings unsecured, but caveat emptor.

Anyhow – execute the following commands from the command prompt (with Administrator privileges). Note: Below it says to mount the volume as drive X. If you already have a drive X – use another drive letter that isn’t already in use.

mountvol X: /s
copy %WINDIR%\System32\SecConfig.efi X:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\SecConfig.efi /Y
bcdedit /create {0cb3b571-2f2e-4343-a879-d86a476d7215} /d "DebugTool" /application osloader
bcdedit /set {0cb3b571-2f2e-4343-a879-d86a476d7215} path "\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\SecConfig.efi"
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} bootsequence {0cb3b571-2f2e-4343-a879-d86a476d7215}
bcdedit /set {0cb3b571-2f2e-4343-a879-d86a476d7215} loadoptions DISABLE-LSA-ISO,DISABLE-VBS
bcdedit /set {0cb3b571-2f2e-4343-a879-d86a476d7215} device partition=X:
mountvol X: /d

Then reboot. Upon reboot you will see a text box window asking if you want to disable Device Guard or Credential Guard, and to confirm you do by pressing the F3 or Windows button/key. Confirm you do by pressing the appropriate key, and once Windows boots up, you can run VMWare VMs without the error.

One additional note: VirtualBox does not seem to have this conflict, so if you can run your VM in VirtualBox and don’t want to disable the Device/Credential Guard, this might be a preferred alternative.

Choosing/Changing ports used by Rainway (for forwarding in router)

Generally speaking you probably won’t have to do this if you’re using Rainway at home, but in case you want to limit the ports Rainway uses:

  1. Open/Edit the file C:\Users\YOU\AppData\Local\Rainway, Inc\Server\settings.json
    1. You can also easily go to Rainway Tray Icon > Dev Utils > Open Cache Folder
  2. Expand the section labled “Network”
  3. Change the lowest port in the range in the section “WebRtcLower”
  4. Change the highest port in the range in the section “WebRtcHigher”
    1. I.E if you wanted your range to be 21000-21010 you’d change WebRtcLower” to 21000 and “WebRtcHigher” to 21010
  5. Save the settings.json file
  6. Open the port range in your router

Change port range in Rainway

For more tips on connection problems, you can check their site:

https://rainway.com/support/unabletoconnect/

 

Change root folder for Radarr, Sonarr, or Lidarr and remove old path (including get rid of missing path errors)

Changing the root path for your movies, TV shows and/or music isn’t difficult or time consuming, if you know where to look.

Frequently the applications will throw an error after you move your media and delete the old path saying something similar to “missing root folder”. If all your movies and TV shows are found, that error only affects anal retentiveness. But it drove me nuts, so I had to figure out how to fix it.

Radarr add the new path:
1. Select the “Movies” page
2. Select the “Movie Editor” tab near the top of the Movies page listing
3. Click the “Select All” button near the top (currently blue colored but that could change in later versions.)
4. Change the “Root Folder” selection at the bottom to “Add a different path”
5. Click the (currently blue colored) folder near the right of the selection box, and chose /mnt/unionfs/whateverYourMovieFolderIs
6. Scroll down after the list of movie folders is shown and click “Ok”
7. You’ll be returned to the path selection screen – click the (currently green colored) check box to set your new path
8. Confirm the new path is now in the “Root Folder” box and click the (currently blue colored) “Save” button – and WAIT FOR COMPLETION.
– You should see a pop-up box after some time that says “Done Saving”.

Radarr to remove the old path (AFTER you’ve mass changed the movies to the new one!)
1. Go to “Add Movies” page
2. Start typing in a new movie (you’re not actually going to add it, just choose one you don’t have like Ishtar or Gigli)
3. In the “Path” Section, press the drop-down arrow to choose another path.
-The new one you’ve mass changed everything to AND the old one should show up as options.
4. Press the red “x” at the right of the old one.
5. Click the “Close” button.
6. Stop/restart the Radarr docker container.
7. Et voila

For “old” Sonarr it’s the same steps except obviously its the TV pages instead of Movie pages

Sonarr V3/beta (that is the default in 8.x) and/or Lidarr add the new path:
1. Select Series -> Mass Editor for Sonarr (v3/beta) OR Artist -> Mass Editor for Lidarr
2. Click the white box at the top left to select ALL series (Sonarr) or artists (Lidarr)
3. Change the “Root Folder” selection at the bottom to “Add a new path”
4. Select the folder for your TV shows or Music (i.e. /mnt/unionfs/YourTelevisionFolder or /mnt/unionfs/YourMusicFolder)
– When you see the list of folders choose “OK”
5. You’ll be asked if you want to move the series/artist folders to the new location. CHOOSE THE RED “Yes, Move the Files” button.

Sonarr v3/beta and/or Lidarr remove the old path (AFTER you’ve mass changed to the new one!)
1. Go to Series -> Import for Sonarr OR Artist -> Import for Lidarr
2. Click the black “x” at the end of the home path you want to remove (Again – AFTER you’ve mass moved everything!)
3. Stop/restart the Sonarr or Lidarr docker container.

Creating SSH key and using MobaXterm as remote access to Google Compute Engine

MobaXterm is my go-to remote access client from Windows. I prefer it to PuTTY for a number of reasons, which I won’t go into detail here, but include better GUI, better saved session information, clearer session info, macros, etc.
Ironically, I find using PuTTY (puttygen specifically) to *create* the key pair is the easiest process.
It’s free, and can be used as a Portable App or installed directly. https://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/

Anyhow – here’s how to set up your SSH keys to use it to SSH directly into your GCE rather than connecting through another PG instance.

—————————–

Creating SSH user for external app access. (This part is useful regardless of the client you use.)

1. Install PuTTY: https://www.putty.org/
2. Open “Puttygen”
3. Select the “RSA” button (ensure # of bits is set to 2048)
4. Click on generate and follow the instructions (move your mouse around to generate random info)
5. In the Key Comment textbox, put your email address
– it doesn’t matter what email you use, however the part BEFORE the @ symbol will be your login name. I.E. if you use testguy@google.com your SSH login will be testguy.
– Note that without some changes you can’t SSH directly in as root – and you don’t want to. So make sure your user has SU privileges or just switch to the root user after you log in (su root) – but make sure you’v set the root password first or that won’t work either!
6. Save your private key somewhere – you’ll use this location and key later in MobaXTerm
7. Copy all of the text from the top, greyed-out textbox – this is your PUBLIC key
!- this will be entered into the GCE Cloud Platform SSH section later, so don’t close PuttyGen yet in case you need to copy it again-!

Adding the key for use in Google Computer Engine – the recommended way (via Google Cloud Platform web interface.)

1. Go to your GCE “Google Cloud Platform Console”: https://console.cloud.google.com/?_ga=2.147913586.-473854088.1546545151
2. Select Compute Engine -> VM Instances
3. Click the name of your VM you want to create the SSH account on.
4. Click “Edit” at the top
5. Scroll down to “SSH Keys”
6. Click the box that says +Add Item
7. Paste the selection from PuttyGen – your public key – into the white box.
– it should show the username from the email address you used to create the key
– Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Your key should start with “ssh-rsa AAAA…” not “— BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY”
– More specifically, it should be in the “id_rsa.pub” format if you’re using it from a file instead of copy/paste like I suggest.
8. Scroll down and select “Save”

Adding key to MobaXTerm

1. Create (or Edit if already created) the SSH Session settings for your GCE SSH connection.
– I assume you know how to create an SSH session in MobaXterm, if not – that’s a different set of instructions. 🙂
2. Go to “Advanced SSH Settings”
3. Click the box for “Use private key” and choose the file you saved earlier when creating the private key.
4. SSH into your GCE, as the user you created. SU to root as needed.

Windows 10 hotspot and Killer Wireless (including Alienware laptops)

For a number of years, Windows 10 security settings and the drivers it certifies have stymied some WiFi adapters from working as hotspots (i.e. sharing a wired/LAN connection through your computer’s/laptop’s WiFi adapter so other devices can connect to the Internet through your computer.)

Killer Wireless adapters are definitely susceptible to this issue

Bottom line up front: You need to “roll back” your Windows 10 driver to the Windows 8.1 version for it to work cleanly and consistently.

If you have a Killer Wireless AC 1525 or 1535 you can download the driver here: 11AC1525-1535 Win8.1 driver

I understand if you don’t trust a driver from my site (or if you have a different WiFi NIC) you can [edit: as of 6 Aug 2018] also get them from Killer’s website. You just have to do some creative searching for older drivers there.

If you want to confirm the ZIP file of the driver I’ve uploaded hasn’t somehow been changed by someone else (you still have to trust my original file, of course) the SHA1 text to compare the downloaded file is: 28F0219598DC9F6F2E0A18C8B52BB144A6CD91C3 or you can download that file here too.  11AC1525.zip SHA1


One way to confirm a suspicion that your WiFi driver is the culprit – for example, you’ve been getting errors from your devices that they can’t pull an IP from your shared connect (DHCP isn’t working – is to run the following command from a Command Prompt (doesn’t have to be admin.)

netsh wlan show drivers

 

This will give you a relatively large readout of your WiFi driver’s capabilities. They key verbiage to look for is:

Hosted network supported : Yes

This is usually about 9-12 lines down, after the driver info and radio types supported.

 

If it says “no” there is a good chance your WiFi will have issues using the built-in Windows 10 Hotspot feature, and you should try installing the Win 8.1 version if it doesn’t work.

Chromecast announces what is playing to and allows control from ALL ANDROID devices on your LAN

The solution for this is fairly simple. Thanks to the How-To Geek site and their simple instructions.

Summarized the resolution is:

  1. Open the Google Home appGoogle Home
  2. Click the three vertical dots in the corner of the device you want to change the settings for – NOT the app itself.
  3. Click on “Settings”
  4. Near the bottom of the screen when you first open, there is a sliding button that controls “Let others control your casted media” – Turn this off.

 

Note the description for this fantastic little feature, that is enabled by default. Thankfully, when my 14 year old daughter got the media control bar popping up on her phone, the only damage was she kept pausing it because she couldn’t figure out what or why it was happening. I kept trying to figure out why my stream seemed to be buffering and pausing. Also thankfully it was an innocuous stream of The Arrow and not something more…uncultured.

Let me state this again. This feature is enabled by default. WTF, Google?

Why would you think my default preference would be for everyone on my network to suddenly see what I am watching, and control it without me knowing or giving them permission?

Netgear ReadyNAS with MOCA and FIOS: DHCP and WAN access problem and solution

Problem: My ReadyNAS 6 would not pull an IP via DHCP when connected via MOCA. Even when a static IP was assigned, it had no Internet access. With a static IP and the router assigned as gateway it was accessible by all LAN participants, but no WAN – a problem for cloud backup.

Solution: Static IP, Bonded NIC using XOR (even though I don’t have it connected to a managed switch or one that should permit XOR connections) using Layer 2+3 connection.

Update 25 AUG 17: Layer 2 only appears to be faster at switching (no pun intended.) I used 2+3 originally because I expected the Layer 2 association would work for LAN/devices behind the router and IPs for the Internet past the home router would be seen via Layer 3. This worked…intermittently. Layer 2 alone works much more consistently so far.

Facts:

  1. Other PCs (minus VMs – see #4 below) did pull IPs via DHCP when connected either directly to the MOCA bridge (I use the Actiontec ECB6200K02).
  2. There is a mix of MOCA 1.1 and MOCA 2 devices on the LAN, but neither exceeds the total amount of MOCA devices permitted by MOCA standards.
  3. If I connected the ReadyNAS to the wireless bridge connected via AC (5GHz) to the Fios provided wireless router, the ReadyNAS would get an IP via DHCP and could access Internet
  4. (Possibly relevant) my Hyper-V virtual machines also had difficulties pulling IPs or getting WAN/Internet access even with static IPs when going through a switch connected to the MOCA bridge. Again, any stand-alone PCs had no issues, including the machine hosting the VMs
  5. Tried assigning separate static IPs in IPV4 and IPV6 to the two NICs in the ReadyNAS
  6. Tried static routing one NIC to LAN IPs (192.168.1.0) and the other to Internet/WAN (didn’t work)
  7. Tried connecting one NIC to the switch connected to MOCA bridge and the other to the wireless bridge in conjunction with #6 (also didn’t work)
  8. I needed to use the MOCA bridge because it gives me Gbit connectivity to separate building housing the ReadyNAS. The wireless bridge is decent, but at best ~300Mbps and often less.
I do highly recommend these Actiontec coax to Ethernet adapters.

As mentioned, they use MOCA 2.0 with bonded channels to get actual 1000Mb/Gbit speeds between the two buildings. Even over multiple coax splitters, and while using MOCA to get my WAN connection from Frontier (yuck) Fios.

If you already have a MOCA service (i.e. most fiber to the home providers), you probably only need one as your router is pushing information to your TV set boxes via MOCA, and the Actiontec can pair up with it.

If you don’t, you’ll need at least a pair. I only needed one, but they work so well I’m glad I purchased two. The latency and speed really is equivalent to running Ethernet and all the rooms in both buildings (main house and in-law apartment) were already wired with coax but not completely with Ethernet.

 

 

Xbox One controller(s) won’t reconnect wirelessly to Windows 10

Symptom: Xbox One controller connects initially to the wireless adapter, but after turning off or disconnecting they will not reconnect. Requires a reboot to allow controller(s) to reconnect.

Work around:
1. Close Steam until the controller is connected, then restart Steam (if desired.) This was my and the majority of the people with the issue’s solution – See Gabriel Barsali’s post on the 4th page of Xbox One Wireless controller keeps disconnecting.

2. If you have the newer (Xbox One S and later with Bluetooth) controllers, try removing the Bluetooth Xbox Controller adapter from the Bluetooth & other devices window in Settings/Devices. If you disable Bluetooth (or remove the Bluetooth dongle) before removing the Bluetooth Xbox Controller Adapter it will appear “grayed out” in the Bluetooth & other devices window; you can’t delete it without Bluetooth on. (Of course.) This was not my issue, but is a potential solution listed by others.

3. Some feel uninstalling GeForce Experience is required. I have GeForce Experience running and this did not cause a conflict for me. It was definitely a conflict with Steam and the new Steam capability to manage non-Steam controllers.

Run Plex app (Windows 10) from Steam – or how to run a Win 10 app from a shortcut

Update 2: 18 June 2017. Added quotation marks around the command in the batch file to allow for any spaces.

Update 1: 20 NOV 2016: Added a tweak to the batch file before you make it an executable to add some compatibility with Steam and nVidia streaming.

Background: I use the Steam Link to remotely play games on my family room TV. It’s basically a glorified remote desktop/streaming device.

Wouldn’t it be great if it could play Plex remotely so I could watch movies, TV, etc? In order to do this, you have to launch the application you want to view from within Steam. Easy enough for a “traditional” x86 app (i.e. one that is the type “something.exe”) but more difficult to launch a Windows Store application. As anyone who has tried knows, they are not only hidden, but don’t launch with an executable file.

Attempt 1: I tried launching using the shortcut to the Plex app – which sort of worked.

If you want to get a shortcut to any application, Windows Store or traditional, the best way I’ve found is to open the hidden “Applications” folder and create/drag a shortcut. You can open this hidden folder by going to “Run” (shortcut: Windows key + R) and type shell:AppsFolder then hit OK (or press enter.)

I created a shortcut to the Plex app, moved it to my D: drive, and used that shortcut in Steam as a non-Steam app to launch the Plex App. Problem was, although it would launch, it would always have an error box behind it.

Attempt 2 – Et voila!: A bit more complicated, but works very well. Basically you create a batch file that runs the shortcut, and turn the batch file into an executable file.

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Verizon Unlimited plan ads

Okay, I’m not normally one for rants (ed. yeah right) but watching Thursday Night Football lead in and the Verizon commercial comes on.

Unlimited: adjective ˌənˈlimidəd/   

Full Definition of unlimited (source: Merriam-Webster):

  1. 1:  lacking any controls :  unrestricted <unlimited access>

  2. 2:  boundless, infinite <unlimited possibilities>

  3. 3:  not bounded by exceptions :  undefined <the unlimited and unconditional surrender of the enemy — Sir Winston Churchill>

 
Verizon’s definition of unlimited: 
verizonunlimited
Apparently somewhere between 2GB and ~24GB.