Windows – Disable Balloon Tips

Windows task bar balloons are a constant annoyance for me.  Today I finally took the time to hunt down the correct registry tweaks to permanently disable them.

balloon

To disable balloon tips in the notification area, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then press ENTER.
  2. Locate the following subkey:
  3. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. Right-click the right side pane, create a new DWORD value, and then name it EnableBalloonTips.
  5. Double-click EnableBalloonTips, and then give it a value of 0.
  6. Close Registry Editor.
  7. Log off Windows, and then log back on.

Reference: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;307729

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Windows – Force Remote Reboot

While working in enterprise environments specifically those in remote locations servers sometimes do not respond properly to reboot requests.  In situations like this the admin attempting to perform updates on the server can sometimes feel helpless.  Fear not helpless admin… there is a little trick which will save you both time and grief.  The trick/command allows you to force a remote reboot of a system provided you have the proper admin credentials.  

Command: shutdown -r -m \\<IP or DNS name> -t <wait time> -f 

-r = shutdown then reboot
-m = the server in question
-t = wait time between shutdown command execution in seconds
-f = force all applications to close

After executing this command open a new command window and run a continues ping against the server to monitor if and when it goes down and also when it comes back up.  Be sure to judge the required reboot time based on the number of devices on the server, number of apps, and also the amount of memory etc. The more complex the box the longer the reboot time.  

ping <DNS name or IP address> /t

Unconventional weather Sites that deserve my attention…

These days there are a plethora of weather sites popping up on the net.  The old days of “Weather Channel” ruling weather forecasting is OVER.  Here are the sites I frequent to get the low down on what’s about to hit my area. 

http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Map.aspx

Quite possibly the best overall considering it’s map & forecast in one place view.

intellicast

http://www.forecastadvisor.com/Virginia/Arlington/22204/

Simple & clean in terms of presentation.  It also boasts that all predictions are based off of the accuracy of multiple sites combined.  

forecast-advisor

And last but not least… StormPulse! This site is specifically targeted to those of us who live in an area where Hurricanes are of interest.  It tracks any and all major storms near the US.  Their path, predicted path and the historical paths of similar storms can be compared and viewed.  

I searched for “Katrina” to pull up this example. 

stormpluse

Recover partition tables – TestDisk

Just another handy free utility designed to streamline recovery of lost partitions & or file systems. 

Link for all those interested… http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

Capabilities:

  • Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
  • Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
  • Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
  • Fix FAT tables
  • Rebuild NTFS boot sector
  • Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
  • Fix MFT using MFT mirror
  • Locate ext2/ext3 Backup SuperBlock
  • Undelete files from FAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
  • Copy files from deleted FAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3 partitions.