Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Create Bootable USB to install Windows 7 or 8

There are many tools available on internet that help create a bootable USB/Flash drive to install Windows 7. But if you are running Windows 7 we can use built-in tools like diskpart to create a bootable USB drive without any third party tools.

All you need for this is a Windows 7 or 2008 R2 machine, a USB Flash drive with minimum of 4 GB capacity (Note that all data on this drive will be erased), Windows DVD and privilege to run command prompt in elevated mode.

Note:This post assumes you have only one physical hard disk on your machine and no other USB disks attached

First attach a USB flash drive to your system and if auto run kicks in close all related windows.

Fire up an elevated command prompt, invoke diskpart by typing diskpart at the command prompt and key in below commands one by one

list disk
select disk 1
create partition primary
list partition
select partition 1
format quick
assign letter=m
This finishes the USB disk preparation. Now key in the below command to copy the installation files of Windows 7/8/2008/2008R2/Server 8  to the above USB disk. Replace X: in below command with path to Windows installation files on hard drive or DVD drive on your machine

xcopy X:\*.* /s/e/f M:\

When the last command finishes, a bootable USB disk with Windows installation files is ready

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Enable PING Response on Win 7 with Firewall ON

If you are a person managing or using systems running Windows Operating Systems, you would know that starting from Windows XP, Microsoft has provided built in firewall and is by default enabled blocking ICMP response to PING. Though blocking PING response is considered a security best practice when connected to network, it is a general practice by many SysAdmins to disable Windows Firewall whenever a system is built, leaving it vulnerable with all ports open.

Today we will see how to enable ICMP response on Windows machines without disabling firewall.

From Command Line
On Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 run the following command to enable ICMP response without disabling the firewall

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request - ICMPv4-In)" new enable=yes

If you ever want to disable ICMP response run below command

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request - ICMPv4-In)" new enable=no
Refer screenshot below for output from both the commands


Monday, October 03, 2011

Launch VirtualBox VMs from Windows 7 Jumplist

VirtualBox is one of the most popular Type 2 hypervisors and natively does not support Windows 7 Jumplist. If you install and run many virtual machines on VirtualBox on your Windows 7 machine you will like VBoxLaunch which is a tiny script around 900 KB in size written by Nic Bedford to add Jumplist functionality (actually a workaround) to VirtualBox.

We just have to download the free script and unzip VBoxLaunch.exe to VirtualBox install directory usually C:\Programs Files\Oracle\VirtualBox

You may be asked to provide administrator permission to copy the exe to the folder


Click on continue to finish the copy

Now right click on the VBoxLaunch.exe and select Pin to Taskbar and Start Menu


Now Right Clicking the VBoxLaunch icon in the Taskbar will pull up the jumplist of all your VMs inside VirtualBox.


If you have pinned VBoxLaunch to Start Menu you can access VMs and launch from there.


This works on both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows 7. VBoxLauncher is a very handy and must have tool for those running VirtualBox on Windows 7


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Undersea (Submarine) Cable Map

All of us know that undersea cables connecting different countries across the globe form the backbone that carry more than 90% of our voice and data traffic (Internet). Ever wondered how many such cables have been laid, which countries are connected and who owns those cables.

TeleGeopgraphy a research and consulting firm since 1989 based on their Global Bandwidth Research has released an interactive world map with nearly 200 active and planned submarine cables and their landing stations.

Clicking on any cable on the map provides data like its name, length, owners, website if any, year (RFS – Ready For Service) and landing points. Selecting a landing point gives a list of all cables landing at that station.


List of undersea cables that land in India
1. The Bharat Lanka Cable System
2. Europe India Gateway (EIG)
3. FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA)
5. i2i Cable Network (i2icn)
8. SEACOM/Tata TGN-Eurasia
9. Gulf Bridge International Cable System (GBICS)
10. SeaMeWe-3
11. SeaMeWe-4
12. Tata TGN-Tata Indicom
13. WARF Submarine Cable