Windows Deployment Services and Your Business – What You Need to Know.

Recently, we had a client who needed to setup 30+ laptops for their employees. The plan for this client is that once all of these laptops are deployed, we can have a couple of imaged laptops ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. They’ll already have the standard apps necessary installed and we can spend just a few minutes customizing it for the particular user and overnight it to them. This is a handy backup plan to get a remote user online quickly in the event of a major problem on their machine. Now, anyone who has ever setup a single computer knows that it isn’t very difficult to setup […]

Read More

The “Boss’ Nephew” IT Support Model

We come across many small businesses who use the “boss’ nephew” IT support model. The boss’ nephew is good with computers, and comes in every now and then to remove a virus, add a printer, or help with user issues. He works part-time somewhere else, so he can’t make it out during normal business hours. He only comes out when something major happens, so the office is “on their own” for day-to-day issues. He setup a backup but isn’t responsible for checking it. He setup a secure wireless network but didn’t leave the password. Does this sound familiar? Does it leave you with the uneasy feeling that nobody is really […]

Read More

Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 transition / migration to Server Standard 2008 R2

(First appeared here) This is an action plan from Microsoft tech support.  I’m going to be testing this in my Lab over the next week or so.  I’ll post any significant notes or corrections that I find. 1.       Run ADprep on SBS 2008 with the Windows 2008 R2 disk. ·         Insert the media for Windows Server 2008 R2 into the Small Business Server 2008 server. ·         Browse to the following folder: ·         <DVD drive >:SourcesAdprep> Adprep /forestprep ·         Press C, and then press ENTER. Wait for the process to complete. ·         <DVD drive >:SourcesAdprep>Adprep /domainPrep ·         when this step completes, you should receive a message: “Adprep successfully update the domain-wide Information”

Read More

On Google Apps for Business

We’ve deployed Google Apps for dozens of businesses, large and small, and have encountered a lot if heartburn and headaches as well as sighs of relief. We decided this would be a great techblog post to shed light on some of the recurring issues that seem to arise when we move people to Google Apps. The key benefit to Google Apps is that it is 100% cloud-based (or, it is meant to be), eliminating the maintenance and configuration nightmares of on-site exchange servers. Back in the day, everyone had an SBS with Exchange, had to manage spam filtering, incoming and outgoing firewall configurations, SMTP relays, remote users connecting over HTTP, […]

Read More

After system repair, Windows Activation Wizard won’t run

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/itproxpsp/thread/b991ce21-db5b-46eb-8c9b-f8d4aa14a35a?prof=required HERE’S THE FIX… Download Internet Explorer 8 and Hotfix KB946501, burn them to disc Hotfix KB946501 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/946501 Internet Explorer 8 http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/default.aspx Start your PC and repeatedly hit F8 to get the safe mode menu. Choose safe mode with command prompt only (if you are unable to enter safe mode otherwise) When the command prompt appears type “explorer” Should load the Windows GUI behind the cmd window Install the KB946501 hotfix from your disc (may not need if you’re not multicore) Install IE8 Reboot normally in to Windows, you should be able to activate as usual. Apparently the activation Window is dependant upon IE. Hope this works, let me know.

Read More

Charm City Networks has a Beautiful New Sign!

If you drive by our office and repair shop at 1414 Key Highway, you will notice a beautiful new sign above the storefront.  The all-metal sign was produced by Gemini, and purchased through Sign-a-rama in Federal Hill.

Read More

CCN’s New Website Design is Live!

Charm City Networks’ website has a new look and feel!  The new design includes a javascript based slider, enhanced navigation, techblog, news, convenient affiliate links, and more.  It also includes integration to CCN’s Twitter and Facebook pages! Please let us know your thoughts on the new design, and remember that we are available for website design or enhancements for your organization using the WordPress content management system.

Read More

New malware redirects all major search engine results to Gala search

If you are being redirected to galasearch every time you search for something it may be because this shitworm planted few manual hosts on the hosts file. First thing it does is hide the host file, so by going to C:WINDOWSSYSTEM32DRIVERSETC you will not see hosts at all. To show hosts, click on Tools from any open folder, and then go to Folder Options, switch to View tab and check “show hiden files and folders” and also uncheck “hide extension…” and ” hide protected operating system files”.

Read More

Repair Shop Manager

We are currently seeking a manager for the retail shop operation at 1414 Key Highway. Applicants should have a solid foundation of general computer repair skills including virus removal, system rebuilds, general troubleshooting, soldering connectors, etc. Computer repair skills are the foundation, but the key to success in this job is communication with customers, sales, and organization of shop time and resources. The applicant will also be engaged in selling Clear wireless internet and other services. Experience in retail sales/management is preferable. Compensation will be a below average base wage with considerable commissions or profit sharing based on the performance of the shop.

Read More

Apple hard drive failure, teaches an important lesson

Recently we have had a slew of MacBooks come into the shop all having the same issue with hard drive failure. After taking their macs to the apple store, where they are told the drive has failed and there is nothing they can do.  The customers then approached Charm City Networks for their data recovery needs. After inspecting the hard drives and not hearing any physical issues with the drives, we were able to mount the drives on a local windows file system and access them. After copying a few files over during the recovery process, a few errors would pop up showing read/write errors not allowing all the files […]

Read More