Archive for December, 2005

Restart Windows Remotely through VPN

December 3rd, 2005 Tony 2 comments

I often remotely control Windows machines at my office via Remote Desktop and VPN when I’m traveling. Ocassionally a Windows machine will stop responding to requests for Remote Desktop and the only solution I’ve found is to restart the machine but thats difficult to do when you are in London, its 3AM EST, and there isn’t anyone in the office to flick the reset switch for you.

The Solution
First install OpenSSH. This handy app creates a Windows NT service on your machine that allows you to SSH to the box and run DOS commands remotely. Once the installer completes you need to setup the local Windows users that you want to be able to SSH with. (In my example I won’t specify a user which defaults to all Windows users)

Open up DOS and execute the following (change d:\apps\OpenSSH to your install folder):

cd d:\apps\OpenSSH\bin
mkgroup -l >> ..\etc\group
mkgroup -d >> ..\etc\group
mkpasswd -l >> ..\etc\passwd
mkpasswd -d ..\etc\passwd

Now start the OpenSH service for the first time:

net start opensshd

The OpenSSH service should be running now. To test it go to another machine and attempt to SSH in.

SSH control of Windows computer

Cool! We’re in.

Finally we want to reboot the machine. Executing the following in the SSH client will restart the machine and force any apps to close. You will lose any unsaved work on the machine.

shutdown -r -f -m \\computername

The shutdown alert is displayed on the remote machine and 30 seconds later it is restarted!

Shutting down!.
I had to work fast to capture that screen shot! :)

Categories: Computers Tags:

Trouble setting up the guide in Window Media Center Edition?

December 1st, 2005 Tony 82 comments

windows mceIf you are receiving the following message when trying to setup a new machine as a PVR with Windows Media Center Edition, the solution is simple albeit not obvious:

Guide listings could not be retrieved. Internet connection failure

Details: Unknown discovery service error. Code: 14

Would you like Media Center to try again?

The error message is so deceiving. The actual problem is that you haven’t set the clock on the machine. In my case it was set to January 1, 2004. I set the clock and continued downloading my local listings. I really thought Microsoft was getting wise and starting to produce meaningful error messages but apparently not.

Categories: PVR/HTPC/DVR Tags: