Windows 10 | Hack to dirty desktop

 

Hi guys

Starting from Windows 8, Microsoft has clearly switched their target consumers to mobile users and snatched the clean desktop experience from power users.

Windows 10 is basically a huge PHONE OS, however, significant efforts were made by Microsoft to reduce the gap between a mobile OS and pure desktop experience by the addition of a semi effective start button. Yet it satisfy the frustrated me? Not entirely

For example, I have multiple versions of Oracle developer installed in my box, starting from Developer 6i, Developer 10g & Developer 11g in the same box & almost all elements within the developer stacks share the common names like forms developer, reports builder etc. Using the jump list was NEVER my cup of tea as it takes time, efforts to distinguish. Though the new start menu allows one to drag and drop the apps to desktop, send to desktop is a sure missing option which could truly confuse a person who switched from XP/7 recently.

I’m responsible a middle size IT infrastructure and was promoting the usage of classicshell, the free start button/ start menu alternative that brings a kind of Windows XP/7 style start button/menu experience back to both Windows 8.x and Windows 10 OS.

image

You can obtain ClassicShell here

With periodic updates, this freeware remains one of the best solutions for crippled start menu available with Windows 10 OS.

Install it, Open Classic start menu settings, check “Show all settings” & make the few settings as seen with the below images and you are all ready to enjoy a cleaner desktop experience

image

image

You can setup the most comfortable start menu style here

image

Skin allows you to disable the frames around the icons.

image

Once the above you are all good to start experiencing the classic start menu on your Windows 8/10 box

for Windows7bugs

rajesh

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Oracle 12c | Reports | Standalone server

 

Hi guys

One of my close associates & a person I respect as a legend, Iudith said the following with one of her recent mails to me:


Regarding all this WebLogic issue … I have a feeling that Oracle “used a cannon for killing a fly” ………
Maybe that complicated setup creates an environment which can support all kinds of other products,I really don’t know because I have mostly just heard about it.

From Oracle’s perspectives, this approach may provide them better scalability, however how far such complexities will appease the developer crowd remains a big concern.

While the modernization of Oracle forms and reports, the maximum sought legacy development means remain a frequently sought and discussed topic, Oracle is definitely NOT doing enough to regain the confidence of mortals who spent decades developing, especially by making each and every newer versions difficult to install and setup.

Less said, let us go back to the topic, how to create and configure a standalone report server instance for 12c environment. This is my 3rd post in a row about installing and configuring 12c products related to Forms and Reports

I can’t exactly remember which document says “In-process reports server has better accountability against a standalone reports instance”. I have referred minimum couple of dozen 12c related documents and tens of blogs to setup stuffs. Without arguing whether in-process server or a standalone instance is better to cater the reports services, let me list the activities one have to perform in order to setup

  1. Create a reports tools instance (Mandatory, if you are planning to use the same box for reports development)
  2. Create a reports server instance (OPTIONAL, only if you want to host a standalone reports instance)

Start WLST(Weblogic Scripting Tool) console, and execute the below commands one after another (Make sure the node manager & the Weblogic admin server services are already started)

[code language=”text” gutter=”false”]
connect("weblogic","password", "localhost:7001")
createReportsToolsInstance(instanceName=’rptools1′, machine=’AdminServerMachine’)
createReportsServerInstance(instanceName=’repsvr_MYMACHINENAME’, machine=’AdminServerMachine’)
exit()
[/code]

Once successfully completed, restart the WLS_REPORTS application using the weblogic admin console. Once bitten, twice shy…I always restart the weblogic admin server and other servers to make sure nothing is broken in between…(paranoid I must be)

Restarting the WLS_REPORTS server causes the weblogic server to configure the newly created instances of reports tools and reports instance. A successful completion let you

  1. Start using the reports builder
  2. Access the standalone reports server instance

You need minimal configurations for the standalone reports server instance. Just setup the reports (.rdf files) path, disable the security elements and you are online!

Assuming you have already configured the weblogic server components following the previous posts, switch to the reports instance configuration folder

eg: D:\Weblogic\Middleware\Oracle_Home\user_projects\domains\base_domain\
config\fmwconfig\components\ReportsServerComponent\repsvr_RAJESH-PC

Where repsvr_RAJESH-PC is the name of the reports instance I have created.

image

You need to modify the “rwserver.conf” file, please check the below image for details

image

Save the file and restart the WLS_REPORTS server, so that the last modifications are in place!

Now we have to start the reports instance.

Switch to DOMAIN_HOME\bin folder

eg: D:\Weblogic\Middleware\Oracle_Home\user_projects\domains\base_domain\bin

and run startComponent.cmd repsvr_RAJESH-PC

Please check the below image for details

image

Once the report server instance starts successfully, you are all set to.

Calling the new instance

http://rajesh-pc:7777/reports/rwservlet?usr&server=repsvr_RAJESH-PC&desformat=PDF&destype=cache&report=LIST_BANKS&paramform=Yes

That’s all folks, as you could see OHS automatically maps the new reports instance and directs the jobs to it.

for Windows7bugs

rajesh

Windows 7/8.x/10 Missing Volume Control Icon

A many times a silly something that could annoy a user while using Windows 7/8.x is missing tray icon(s) for volume control, network connection (rarely), which allow the users to toggle the volume on off and here is the quick fix to bring those tray icons back without restarting the computer

Start Task manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC altogether)

Scroll down and locate “Windows Explorer” , right click the process and restart!

1

Once the process restarted, you MUST able to see the tray icons relaunched.

Cheers guys & enjoy

Windows 8 | Wan miniport | device disconnected

For unknown reasons, the Wan miniport(s) available with Windows 7/8 could start showing errors & giving the user no apparent solutions to fix them, including uninstalling them.

I had the same situation when all of a sudden one of my PPTP connections started giving errors like “Device disconnected”, properties for the PPTP connection not shown and not allowing me to delete the connection in the corrupt state.

After few attempts, I came across a workable solution, posted with Microsoft support site. Unfortunately, this time I forgot to bookmark the page, however, still remember the entire steps. Please find them listed below

View – > Show hidden devices

1

Right click the Wan Miniport device with yellow exclamation mark

(Enlarge the images for more details)

2

3

4

5

Now force install the driver. Once the installation is over, you can safely uninstall this device. Follow the same for all the Miniport devices those are showing the exclamation mark. Once you are done with the uninstall processes, don’t do anything else. Just restart the computer and start creating the VPN connections once again.

The above exercises must have fixed the Wan miniport issues for you.

Regards,

rajesh

Weblogic Server 10.3.6 64Bit on Windows | Difference between 32Bit Installation(s)

Install & Configure Oracle Weblogic Server 10.3.6 & Forms & Reports 11g on Windows8/Windows 2008 R2

Was one of our maximum sought posts & recently I decided to go for a fresh installation of Weblogic 10.3.6 64Bit installation + Forms & reports 11g R2 64Bit. We repeat one of the best articles explain how to is available here and what we are going to provide you additional is few of the things those are different from a typical 32Bit installation.

JDK 8 is not supported (Or my two attempts didn’t bring any fruits)

Node Manager Windows service installation is not offered during the normal/custom installations. That means you MUST install the node manager service by running the .cmd file provided. Default location for the .cmd file is …\wlserver_10.3\server\bin and the file name is “installNodeMgrSvc.cmd”. You should execute this .cmd file from an elevated command prompt!

If you prefer to install a service for Admin server, we have altered the script a little bit and please find it below.

[code language=”text” gutter=”false”]
echo off

SETLOCAL

set DOMAIN_NAME=ClassicDomain

set USERDOMAIN_HOME=D:\WebLogic\user_projects\domains\ClassicDomain

set SERVER_NAME=AdminServer

set WL_HOME=D:\WebLogic\wlserver_10.3

set WLS_USER=weblogic

set WLS_PW=pass123

set PRODUCTION_MODE=true

set MEM_ARGS=-Xms512m -Xmx512m

call "%USERDOMAIN_HOME%\bin\setDomainEnv.cmd"

call "%WL_HOME%\server\bin\installSvc.cmd"

ENDLOCAL

[/code]

I really hope the above tips will make your Weblogic installation more enjoyable.

regards,

rajesh

Install Oracle Database 11g R2 on Windows 8.x, Windows 10

Update: 9th October 2015

The installation procedure mentioned below are applicable for Windows 10 also. So enjoy! I just finished installing the 11G R2 64Bit database in my computer running Windows 10 64Bit professional.

1

I believe if someone is attempting to install Oracle database in a laptop or desktop machine, it is purely for limited development requirements or learning.

A many who are new to Oracle database may not able to install the software on many versions of Microsoft client OS like Windows 7 or 8 until certain levels of hacks are made.

Ignore what “I know everything” geeks screaming across tech forums, asking you questions like “DID YOU READ THE CERTIFICATION MATRIX”

You don’t have the time, neither do I.

Let us install the Oracle database 11g R2 this time on a Windows 8.1 (Update 1) dell laptop with following configuration 8GB memory, 1TB Hdd, Windows 8.1 update 1 64Bit Other oracle software installed

  1. Developer Suite 6i
  2. Developer Suite 10g

Download the installation files from Oracle repositories

  1. There are two files to download, a total of 2GB
  2. Extract the zip files and move the files inside a single folder

Once extracted, you have something like below

  1. Folder Now Switch to the second folder, which reads as “win64_11gR2_database_2of2”
  2. Open up the “components” folder (D:\Oracle11gR2_64Bit\win64_11gR2_database_2of2\database\stage\Components)
  3. There will be four sub-folders within “Components” folder, copy them to D:\Oracle11gR2_64Bit\win64_11gR2_database_1of2\database\stage\Components folder

That’s all. Just start the installation process. Make sure you have changed the virtual memory settings of your box prior the installation (If you already have developer suite 10g, you already changed it) Start the installation by executing “setup.exe” setup You will get one warning, about not meeting the recommended environment requirements (/me chuckles). We didn’t check the 32Bit version of Oracle Database 11g R2, however the method should be same. Hope you enjoyed another post from us

for Windows7bugs

rajesh

Linux shell script file for Start/Stop Weblogic Services

 

This time we are sharing a shell script for starting/stopping Weblogic services. This shell script can

  1. Start Weblogic Admin Server (after starting Node Manager)
  2. Once the Admin server started, you can start the forms and reports services using the Admin Console
  3. Unless conflicts, you should able to access the Oracle enterprise manager console as well

Copy the content below in plain text file first, change the extension to .sh and set the execute permissions

 

 

 

 

[sourcecode language=”bash” gutter=”false” wraplines=”true”]
#!/bin/sh

if [ -z "$1" ]; then
echo "You must supply either start or stop command while calling this script! correct usage: weblogic_start_stop.sh start|stop"
exit
fi

bold=`tput bold`
normal=`tput sgr0`

case "$1" in
‘start’)
echo "Starting Management Node & Weblogic Server 10.3.6"

echo "Starting NodeManager"

nohup $WLS_HOME/server/bin/startNodeManager.sh > /dev/null 2>&1 &

sleep 10

output=`ps -ef | grep -i nodemanager.javahome | grep -v grep | awk {‘print $2’} | head -1`

set $output

pid=$1

echo "Weblogic NodeManager Service was started with process id : ${bold}$pid${normal}"

echo "Starting WebLogic Domain"

nohup $MW_HOME/user_projects/domains/ClassicDomain/bin/startWebLogic.sh > /dev/null 2>&1 &

# Sleep until exiting
sleep 60
echo "All done, exiting"
exit
esac

################################Stopping the services##################################

case "$1" in
‘stop’)
echo "Stopping Weblogic Server & Node Manager"

nohup $MW_HOME/user_projects/domains/ClassicDomain/bin/stopWebLogic.sh > /dev/null 2>&1 &

sleep 30

# echo "Killing Nodemanager process now"

output=`ps -ef | grep -i nodemanager.javahome | grep -v grep | awk {‘print $2’} | head -1`
set $output
pid=$1
echo "Killing Weblogic NodeManager Service Process : ${bold}$pid${normal}"

kill -9 `ps -ef | grep -i nodemanager.javahome | grep -v grep | awk {‘print $2’} | head -1`

echo "All done, exiting"
exit
esac

[/sourcecode]

 

 

 

 

If you have queries, please ask them using comments section.

for Windows7bugs

rajesh

Windows 8.1 Update 1 available for download now

Are you already using Windows 8.1? Microsoft has added much of the missing Windows 7 features back to Windows 8.1 through the latest update, which is optional.

W8.1update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are already on Windows 8.1 (If you are on Windows 8, you must update to 8.1 using Windows store) please go ahead.

Please read this article to know what is included within the update http://www.cnet.com/news/the-windows-8-1-update-everything-you-need-to-know/

for Windows7bugs

rajesh

Oracle Reports Developer 10g starts, remains minimized

 

(Not tested on Windows XP)

We came across a small annoyance with Oracle product Reports developer 10g. We are yet to pin point the exact reasons, however, if you are experiencing the same issue which is as elaborated below:

Start Reports Developer 10g

Flash Screen appears

image

Then gets automatically minimized to the taskbar (Windows 7/8/8.1), and pointing the mouse shows the preview, as in below image.

image

However, clicking the preview window doesn’t bring up the Reports Builder 10g to maximized mode and remains unresponsive

What has changed from the last time the software was used?

We uninstalled and re-installed Weblogic Server 10.3.6 & Forms & Reports 11g R2, which has added multiple entries into the PATH environment variable. Order of path variable and pointers towards the java libraries are very sensitive for multiple Oracle products. May this could be a problem? Not sure!

 

Solution:

Right click the Preview window

image

and select “Maximize”

image

Once maximized, exit the reports developer. Restart to confirm the builder starts in Maximized mode next time.

We hope it helps few out there :)

for Windows7bugs

rajesh

Windows 8.1 re-lock Bitlocker unlocked drive

Updated on 12th October 2016

The below hack is applicable to Windows 10 also, however, after the RedStone update, the registry hack entry “might” get removed and if you still prefer to right click and lock the drive without restarting, you will have to import the registry once again.

Start registry editor (double click to merge is NOT anymore supported), from the “File menu” Select import and point to the lock-bde.reg or whatever name you have given to the registry file that was manually created.

End of update //12/October/2016

 

The major difference between Windows 8.x Professional and Windows 7 Professional? Well you have free Bitlocker encryption for your 8.x Windows box(professional onwards), while the same is limited to Ultimate and Enterprise editions for Windows 7

Enabling Bitlocker on a drive is pretty easy, right click and go on.

image

Obviously we will not recommend you to bitlock your root drive. If you do, you are on your own :)

Now we have a problem, to unlock you must enter a password or other bitlocker supported authentication methods, which is fine. The concern is the unlocked drive remains unlocked for any user logs into the same computer until a restart.

For me this is a clear concern. I have some stuff which is not appropriate for my 7 years old daughter, or for a friend who just wants to “check his emails” during a visit.

After loads of searches, I found some nice leads which helped me to re-lock a drive by right clicking the bitlocker enabled drive in the explorer window.

Below listed were the actual links, which helped me to achieve the objective on my Windows 8.1 boxes (Office laptop & Home PC)

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/41607938-7452-440d-8253-67fe8657bc0f/how-to-relock-a-drive-with-bitlocker?forum=w7itprosecurity

http://spreadbytes.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-to-lock-bitlocker-encrypted-drive.html

spreadbytes solution had one problem, I am using the boxes without UAC, thus while the .vbs script fires, nothing happens and the drive remains unlocked

Technet thread had the exact requirement addressed & all I needed to do was, alter the scripts a bit here and there to achieve my target

Open notepad or notepad++ and copy the below text and save it as lock-bde.reg

[code gutter=”false”]

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\relock-bde]
"AppliesTo"="(System.Volume.BitLockerProtection:=1 OR System.Volume.BitLockerProtection:=3 OR System.Volume.BitLockerProtection:=5)"
@="Relock drive…"
"HasLUAShield"=""
"MultiSelectModel"="Single"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\relock-bde\command]
@=hex(2):77,00,73,00,63,00,72,00,69,00,70,00,74,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,\
00,6d,00,61,00,6e,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,2d,00,62,00,64,00,65,00,2d,00,6c,00,\
6f,00,63,00,6b,00,2e,00,76,00,62,00,73,00,20,00,25,00,31,00,00,00

[/code]

The hex values mentioned over here creates an entry like following

image

Once the value created, you can change the text as you desire to suite your situation (for Example, my development machine was not reading the PATH information properly, hence I was forced to add C:\Windows\system32 in front of the command

Open notepad or notepad++ and copy the following text into it.  Then save as “manage-bde-lock.vbs”, and copy to c:\windows\system32

[code gutter=”false”]

Args = ""
Last = Wscript.Arguments.Count – 1
For i = 0 To Last
Args = Args & " " & Wscript.Arguments.Item(i)
Next
Args = Replace(Args,"\","")
CreateObject("Shell.Application").ShellExecute "manage-bde.exe", "-lock -forcedismount " & Args, "", "runas", 1

[/code]

That’s it. You should get “Relock Driver…” context menu by right clicking on the bitlocker enabled driver from now onwards

image

Hope this helps few out there.

for Windows7bugs

rajesh