Video of the week

This is a must-watch video about one of us trying to reach the stars :-)

Well done #HRejterzy

Share permissions along with NTFS - How To

Today I'd like to present how to combine share permissions and NTFS when granting network access to a particular resource for a particular user (or group). I've made a graphic that tells more than a thousand words.

  1. Create a root folder where other folders are to be stored.
  2. Share the root folder for Everyone with Full Control - this will allow you to focus on NTFS permissions only. Go to Security tab - Advanced and Disable inheritance. Leave SYSTEM and Administrators only. NTFS will deny access granted by Share permissions in the end. By sharing a folder with Full Control permissions we are sure that Share permissions won't interfere with NTFS. If you deny access at the level of Share permissions, NTFS won't matter. That's why we want to focus on NTFS only (NTFS is more important than Share permissions and we should rely on it).
  3. Go to a particular folder inside the root and assign proper permissions for each user individually.
  4. Optionally add proper access for other groups or anything you want or you think is necessary.

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McAfee & Kernel Pool Monitor (by P. Yosifovich)

Recently I spent some time figuring out the root cause for one of our servers getting stuck - memory usage would increase up to 98% after about five days of working. Resource Monitor (Windows native tool) wasn't showing anything interesting regarding the issue so I had to come up with a different approach. Here's an example and please, look at how a large amount of non-paged memory is in use:

non paged

As we know, non-paged memory cannot be stored on a disk and the bad news was that it kept growing. I was searching the Internet in order to find a useful tool, similar to Windows Resource Monitor (but better). I found Kernel Pool Monitor by Pavel Yosifovich. That was a real game-changer that helped me found which application was causing the issue. I found many sys files residing in the memory where pages were tagged in the following way:

C:\>findstr /S /M MFeS *.sys
FINDSTR: Cannot open pagefile.sys
Windows\System32\drivers\mfeavfk.sys

C:\>findstr /S /M NCPc *.sys
FINDSTR: Cannot open pagefile.sys
Program Files\McAfee\Endpoint Security\Threat Prevention\AMCore\mfencbdc.sys
Windows\System32\drivers\mfencbdc.sys

C:\>findstr /S /M MFE0 *.sys
FINDSTR: Cannot open pagefile.sys
Windows\ELAMBKUP\mfeelamk.sys
Windows\System32\drivers\mfeaack.sys
Windows\System32\drivers\mfeavfk.sys
/*... */

C:\>findstr /S /M NCm1 *.sys
FINDSTR: Cannot open pagefile.sys
Program Files\McAfee\Endpoint Security\Threat Prevention\AMCore\mfencbdc.sys
/* ... */

 

 I had done a few screenshots before as I was expecting that McAfee might have had something to do with this.

kernel pool memory

A friend of mine who is responsible for the enterprise antivirus solution used McAfee's Profiler and found a few processes he thought it would be safe to exclude from scanning. That was it. After he did it, everything went back to normal. McAfee is in place and all the systems work just fine. The problem is gone (plenty of allocations made by McAfee, however, not enough 'Frees' (de-allocations) so the Diff value was enormous).

 

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ZyXEL NAS326 + iSCSI + Windows Server 2012

I need to add some storage to the server I use for development purposes. I don’t want to consume anything that is considered to be a part of the enterprise resource pool. Since this is only for temporary, I’ve decided to use ZyXEL NAS326 in order to attach 100GB of storage using iSCSI protocol and fast GB Ethernet connection.

iscsi schema

In order to use ZyXEL as iSCSI target I need to create so-called LUN, which stands for Logical Unit or Logical Unit Number. I need to go the Memory management panel and then unfold options related to iSCSI (there are two of them: iSCSI LUNs and iSCSI Targets). LUN is nothing more than a logically separated storage based on physical resources – in the following example I created a LUN of 100G based on my two physical WD disks combined in RAID 1.

Read more: ZyXEL NAS326 + iSCSI + Windows Server 2012
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[Advanced Excel] Database with an Input Form

I was asked to create a database of students using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and Excel. It required an input form, print method, and some other features. VBA isn't something I play with every day at work. Nonetheless, each time someone asks me for help and it requires to have some programming skills to accomplish the task - I'm your man to face the deadline. VBA can be extremely helpful when it comes to working with Excel. One should know at least some basics in order to shorten the time they spend on working with data in a spreadsheet. The final result was quite impressive and this isn't my opinion :-) I leave some screenshots below and the whole project free for downloading and mining the code.

input

vba code 0

vba code 1

Download xlsm (7z file)

 

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[SQL SERVER] Backup set

Every time you do a backup of your database in MS SQL Server, there's the following prompt window, which gives you the option to indicate a destination place for the backup. It's located right under the Back up to dropdown option. If I asked you about the true meaning of this option, would you say that this is a simple file? Or maybe you would answer that this is something much more complex? The second version is much more close to the truth. So what is AdventureWorks2012_FULL_DB.bak exactly?

destination

It's not a simple file. This is a backup set which includes all your backups that have been done so far (unless you overwrite the backup set each time you do a backup - let's assume you don't). Every time you backup your db, you simply append a new backup to the previous ones. So it's possible that AdventureWorks2012_FULL_DB.bak consists of more than one backup (stored physically inside the bak file). I just did the first full backup of my AdventureWorks2012 database, let's look at the Backup directory:

full backup

Now let's do another one - let's append another full backup to our backup set and look at the result (especially in terms of the size):

append

double

Our backup set includes two backups. Our disk file is as twice as when we did the first full backup.

position

Now we can see clearly, that our backup set (AdventureWorks2012_FULL_DB.bak) includes two backups, first one is at the Position 1 and the second one is at the Position 2 - both in the same physical file. Don't pay attention to the dates because in the meantime I did additional two backups after removing previous ones, but it had nothing to do with the case. The case is that when we indicate a destination for our backup, we indicate a backup set which is something more complex than a simple file with the bak extension.

backup set

 

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