Category: Windows

Troubleshooting Windows Networking

Ok, ok. What’s a Windows article doing on a Linux blog? Well, I wanted to help a friend with a networking issue, and I thought maybe someone else might find it helpful as well. Every Linux user will end out running into Windows at some point anyway either through a remote desktop or virtual machine, so maybe it’s not too far off topic.

If you see something that I missed or a different approach to the problem, please comment below.

Here’s the issue … a friend’s computer connects to the wireless at their house but doesn’t have Internet. Other devices in their house connect, so it leads me to believe that the router is working although it could be an issue with DHCP and the other devices don’t need to renew their IP address. But, the laptop doesn’t work at their friend’s house. That makes me think that the problem is mostly with the laptop itself.

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Performance Problems with rdesktop

I have been having trouble with poor performance in my remote desktop connections using rdesktop.  I believe the problem lies in my Internet connection — the problem occurs when I have low bandwidth.

I tested with Windows, and it seems to perform better.  The thing that I finally noticed, is that performance is poor in both Windows and Linux.  The difference seems to be the cursor.  In Windows, it displays the local cursor and instead of the remote.  In Linux, it tries to display the cursor where the remote machine actually thinks it is.  When the remote machine is sluggish, you see the impact in the mouse in Linux because you feel it in the mouse movements.

I found something that helps:

UbuntuForums: Slow performance when connecting to Vista using rdesktop

The “-z” option is what made the difference for me.  From the Linux man pages, here is what that option does:

-z      Enable compression of the RDP datastream.

I am not sure this is a complete fix, and if anyone else has better suggestions, please comment.  This fix seems to treat the bandwidth problem rather than the mouse movements.

IE Tester

I saw this link on a new IE Tester.  It looks like a really great idea.  I only looked at it quickly, but I think it only runs on Windows.  My big problem is that I don’t normally use Windows period and don’t have access to any version of IE.

Here are the links for the IE Tester:

Another option: run IE in Wine.  You can have multiple Wine homes in which you could load multiple versions of IE.  I know I have seen tutorials for loading IE6 in Wine, and I think just recently some tutorials for IE7 popped up.

Installing Office 2007 on Ubuntu

Here is a little script that I put together that installs Office 2007 for me.

Now, this script makes the following assumptions:

  • I already have a directory created called wine in my home directory.
  • I want Office installed in a separate directory/wineprefix
  • I have the Office CD mounted already at /media/cdrom0
  • I have winetricks in my path (which winetricks = /usr/local/bin/winetricks)

Also, just for information, here is my setup

  • Ubuntu 8.10
  • Wine version 1.1.16
  • I believe I installed Wine with apt-get using the repository at
export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/wine/office2007

winetricks msxml3 dotnet20 gdiplus riched20 riched30 vcrun2005sp1 allfonts ie6
winetricks vista
wine /media/cdrom0/setup.exe
winetricks winxp

I hope it helps.

Recovering Windows Vista Password

I had a relative tonight forget her password to Windows Vista.  She hadn’t used her computer in three months, which is a shame because it is a relatively nice one.

Here is a walk-through of what I did.  You may want to read through the whole thing before you try it so you don’t repeat the steps that did not work.

Step 1.  I downloaded Trinity Resource Kit.  I tried to copy it to a USB key and boot from USB, but that didn’t work for some reason.  I had to burn the ISO to a physical CD.

Step 2.  At the boot menu, I tried several options before it would work.  I am guessing it had a conflict with the graphics card.  I finally got it to work by choosing the option #14, (Alternate boot 1).

Step 3.  Once it booted I got a command-line.  I typed:

winpass -u Administrator

Step 4.  Then, the command asked me to choose the Windows installation.  This computer had two Windows options.  Possibly, one of them was the recovery partition.  I didn’t know which one to choose, so I guessed the first option.  Apparently, this was a wrong guess because it just took me to a command-line registry editor.  I hit “q” to quit and it took me back to the command-line without doing anything.

Step 5.  I tried the same winpass command again.  This time, I chose the second “Windows installation”.  This time it gave me a menu.  The menu was different than my instructions, and so, I just hit q for quit.  I could have reset the administrator account, and that would have solved them problem, but I would have had to logon as the administrator and sorted out the account information.

Step 6.  I noticed in the winpass output (before the menu) that it displayed a list of usernames.  I knew which one my relative used, and I substituted the actual username for administrator:

winpass -u <username>

Step 7.  At the menu, I chose 4 to unlock the account — just in case.  I wasn’t sure that it was locked, but they had tried many guesses before I got the computer.

Step 8.  I ran the whole winpass command one more time, and at the last menu, I chose option 1 to blank out the password.

Step 9.  I typed reboot at the command-line to restart the computer.  It ejected the CD before it restarted, and I removed it to let it boot into Windows.  When it started, it bypassed the login screen and logged in automatically.

Problem solved!