May 26 2015

How to access a Bitlocker encrypted Windows disk using Ubuntu 15.04

Today has been one of those days where you think to yourself. “Self, you should have backed up your data more often!”

My work laptop running Windows 8.1 decided to commit suicide. The laptop froze up and when I rebooted I received an error stating that werkernel.sys is missing and it won’t boot in to Windows.
I took the laptop in and IT tried recovering Windows but could not get it repaired. The problem is that we use Bitlocker which meant it would be a challenge to just boot up with a Live Linux Distro and copy off my needed data.

After a few hours I managed to access my Bitlocker encrypted drive using Ubuntu Gnome 15.04. Below are the steps I followed from different articles. Please see the links to the articles below.

1. First you need to find your Bitlocker recovery keys. This is the most important part as without them, well I hope you have a recent backup ūüėČ
2. Click Find your Bitlocker Keys to find out how to get your Bitlocker keys.
3. Download Ubuntu Gnome 15.04. I refer to it as that is the distro I used.
4. Install the image to a USB stick. (Don’t be lazy, search the internet on how to do this)
5. Boot your computer with the USB stick. When the menu appears choose the option to try Ubuntu, not install Ubuntu.
6. Once Ubuntu has loaded to the desktop, press ctrl+alt+t to open the terminal.
7. In the terminal type mkdir /media/windows and press enter.
8. In the terminal type mkdir /media/mount and press enter.
9. Open Firefox and download Download dislocker. You want to download the file named dislocker.tar.bz2
10. After the download browse to Downloads and right click on dislocker.tar.bz2. Choose extract file.
11. Go back to the terminal and type sudo apt-get install libpolarssl-dev libpolarssl-runtime libfuse-dev and press enter.
12. In the terminal type cd /Downloads/dislocker/src
13. In the terminal type sudo make and press enter.
14. In the terminal type sudo make install and press enter.
15. In the terminal type cd /usr/bin and press enter.
16. In the terminal type fdisk -l and press enter. Note which disk is the one that is encrypted. It should be something like sda1 or sda2 etc.
17. In the terminal type¬†sudo dislocker -r -V /dev/sda1 -p315442-000000-000000-000000-000000-000000-000000-000000 — /media/windows and press enter.(note that the sda1 needs to correspond to the disk you noted down when running fdisk -l and the 0’s are where you enter your Bitlocker key. Also not the space before and after the — )
18. In the terminal type cd /media/windows and press enter. (if that does not work and you receive an error first type sudo -i and then cd /media/windows)
19. In the terminal type mount -o loop,ro dislocker-file /media/mount and press enter. (I needed to include ,ro as I could not grant myself full access and read only helped as I only needed to copy data to an external disk)
20. You should now see a pop-up asking if you’d like to open the drive/disk. Click on open and access you Bitlocker encrypted disk.

I used the below articles/Forum posts to get this working and would like to thank all the contributors on those pages.

superuser.com

Tux Diary

 


Mar 18 2015

Windows reports incorrect free space on a disk

I had an interesting one today. Received a call for a disk that is running out of disk space and I thought, easy, quickly log on and clear some space.

It turns out that the total data on the disk was 5GB in size, with the disk being 40GB in capacity, but the available free space reported was 4GB. This baffled me a bit but after some assistance from an internet search and colleague we quickly found that the problem was related to shadow copies taking up space.

In our scenario, shadow copies were disabled but running vssadmin list shadowstorage in the cmd line told us a different story. The output showed that shadow copies was indeed taking up most of the disk space.

To resolve this we enable and disabled shadow copies for the disk. Set the limit for shadow copies to a small amount of disk space and then enabled shadow copies again.

Voila! We got back our used disk space.


Jan 8 2015

Outlook Web Access stops working after renewing 3rd party Certificate

We had an interesting issue this week. We renewed our Exchange certificate with a 3rd party vendor. Installed the certificate on Exchange and ISA Server.

OWA access from the internet stopped working after we installed the certificates. We tested OWA internally and it worked which pointed to something on the ISA server. After a long investigation we found the issue to be ISA running on Windows 2003 which is not compatible with the Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA2) family of hashing algorithms that the certificates from our 3rd party cert provider issues.

Microsoft has a hotfix available to get around this. We were able to access OWA from the internet after installing this hotfix on the ISA server running Windows 2003 Server.

The Microsoft article can be found below. You will find more technical detail within this article and have the opportunity to download the hotfix. Note that you need to restart your Windows 2003 Server after installing the hotfix.

Microsoft KB938397


Nov 20 2014

How to disable IE Enhanced Internet Security in Windows Server 2012

If you are like me and build a lot of labs for testing then you’d probably been hampered by the popups caused by IE Enhanced Internet Security when opening and trying to access webpages. This happens to me all the time. Try and download dependencies for Exchange when IE Enhanced Security is turned on. It’s a pain in the neck.

In this video I show you how to disable IE Enhanced Internet Security so that you can get on with the job of downloading dependencies and install your applications in your lab.

 


Nov 16 2014

How to install the telnet client in Windows 8 and 8.1

I’ve built a Ubuntu Server to backup my Home server data and needed to test a few ports to see if they are open. Windows 8 and 8.1 does not have the telnet client installed by default so I decided to post an article to show you how to enable it. Below are the steps involved and a video showing how to enable telnet.

  1. Open up the control panel.
  2. Click on Programs and Features.
  3. Click “Turn Windows Features on of Off” on the left in the Programs and Features window.
  4. Scroll down till you see “Telnet Client” and check the check box.
  5. The telnet client will now install.
  6. Windows needs to restart after the telnet client has been installed.
  7. Open the command prompt after Windows loaded and type telnet. You should now be able to use telnet.

Here’s a quick video I made for a step by step:


Aug 11 2014

Extract Audio from video using Audacity

In this tutorial we show you how to extract audio from video using Audacity in Windows. The same will work in Linux but we had to pont Audacity to FFmpeg in Windows.

To download the FFmpeg dll for Windows go to this site:


Aug 11 2014

Virtual Desktops for Windows

Being so used to virtual desktops in Linux makes Windows quite hard to use. We found an application called Deskpot that “enables” virtual desktops in Windows.

Below is a short video on how it works in Windows 8.

 


May 1 2014

Unable to mount a disk in Linux – The disk contains an unclean file system

This morning I logged into my Linux Mint installation and could not access any of the disks that I could access before. The disks are shared between my Windows 8 and Linux Mint operating systems since I’m dual booting.

I received the below error:

Error mounting /dev/sdc1 (lots of detailed text) The disk contains and unclean file system (0,0). Metadata kept in Windows cache, refused to mount.

An explanation on how to solve this problem is detailed in the video below where I show you how to switch off the Windows 8 feature that is know to cause issues with Linux and Windows dual boot systems.

Remember to watch in 720p


Apr 30 2014

Internet Explorer is not opening any websites but other browsers work

I had a problem on Windows 8 where Internet Explorer could not open any websites anymore.. Chrome and Firefox could access and open websites though.

After a long hard search and consulting with friends a solution was found. Follow the below steps to get Internet Explorer working again.

  1. Click on start and in the search bar type cmd. (if using Metro then start typing cmd from your search in the metro screen)
  2. Hit the enter key.
  3. In the command prompt type netsh winsock reset and press enter.
  4. Now type netsh advfirewall reset and press enter.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Now go to the upper right hand corner and click on the magnifying glass. Type firewall and click on settings below that. Otherwise open the Control Panel and open the Firewall.
  7. On the left click on allow an application or feature through the Windows Firewall (something like that).
  8. Check to see if Internet Explorer is allowed and if not add it.

This solved the problem for me.


Oct 26 2013

How to run a Memory Diagnostic in Windows 8

Ever needed to check your memory for problems from within Windows 8/8.1 ?

Then check out the video below to show you how to run a memory test from within windows.