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My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

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Kraken
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:44 pm

hitbyambulance wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:03 pm
you can enable Firefox Sync to keep all settings/bookmarks/passwords/cookies/etc constant between Firefox browsers
Good tip, thanks. Heretofore I have kept a firm separation between my personal and business computers (and haven't let my phone talk to either of them), but this is a good reason to let my two desktop machines sync up, at least for a moment. Really, my browser settings and bookmarks are the only thing I can't easily move via thumb drive or reinstalling. I presume I can disable the sync after doing it once.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:05 pm

The Workgroup thing seems to be completely random. Right now my old Cyberman's Network displays all three machines, my laptop can't see any of them (including itself), and my new Desktop is currently not plugged into the monitor so I can't check it...but so far it hasn't displayed any other machines. They all belong to WORKGROUP, they all have unique names, and they all have discovery and sharing turned on. My wireless printer is the only thing all three machines consistently display. If I could get them all to communicate reliably, I might keep my old Cyberman as a file backup machine. Otherwise I'll depersonalize it and give it away.

Despite the lack of network connectivity, I have migrated everything that I want to the new Desktop (mostly via that thumb drive). That motivated me to delete a lot of the cruft that has built up over the years (doc files going back to 1997). I have a little more fiddling to do, but am just about ready to move it onto my desk and promote it to main computer.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Z-Corn » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:01 pm

Is the button to join a Workgroup still greyed out? Just because the PCs all say "Workgroup" doesn't necessarily mean they are all joined to "Workgroup".

Joining them all to a uniquely named Workgroup (ie. KrakenNet) might do the trick. Hard to say, like I mentioned it's sometimes wonky at my house.

Like my wife's PC upstairs in her office is on WiFi. It backs up nightly to the Home Server in the basement in my office but she can't browse files on the Home Server. It just doesn't make sense...

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by hitbyambulance » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:36 pm

Kraken wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:44 pm
I presume I can disable the sync after doing it once.
yup

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm

Been running and enjoying the new machine all day. It's fast and it's silent. I am happy. Still got a little installing and organizing to do, but it's officially in service. I'm less than thrilled about having the ports on top instead of in front, but that's a minor quibble. It's not like I had a lot of cases to choose among.

After it's been stable for a week or two I'll purge my old machine and figure out what to do with it.

EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:29 pm

Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm
EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.
Shouldn't be that difficult. Try following these instructions.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:29 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm
EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.
Shouldn't be that difficult. Try following these instructions.
OK I did rename the workgroup, and my new PC can see itself and my laptop. My laptop, however, is still blind. It sees the printer (whose network is "unspecified") and nothing else. If only there were a way to force it to look for and display KRAKENNET, which it is definitely on...frustrating!

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:06 pm

Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:29 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm
EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.
Shouldn't be that difficult. Try following these instructions.
OK I did rename the workgroup, and my new PC can see itself and my laptop. My laptop, however, is still blind. It sees the printer (whose network is "unspecified") and nothing else. If only there were a way to force it to look for and display KRAKENNET, which it is definitely on...frustrating!
Try following the steps listed here on your laptop.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Z-Corn » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:21 pm

Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:29 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm
EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.
Shouldn't be that difficult. Try following these instructions.
OK I did rename the workgroup, and my new PC can see itself and my laptop. My laptop, however, is still blind. It sees the printer (whose network is "unspecified") and nothing else. If only there were a way to force it to look for and display KRAKENNET, which it is definitely on...frustrating!
Ugh...you might be into network voodoo land now. Try stuff you already tried. Reboot everything, especially your router. All devices in the house.

Pretty cool running on KRAKENNET now though, isn't it? Just sounds better...

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:10 pm

Z-Corn wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:21 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:29 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm
EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.
Shouldn't be that difficult. Try following these instructions.
OK I did rename the workgroup, and my new PC can see itself and my laptop. My laptop, however, is still blind. It sees the printer (whose network is "unspecified") and nothing else. If only there were a way to force it to look for and display KRAKENNET, which it is definitely on...frustrating!
Ugh...you might be into network voodoo land now. Try stuff you already tried. Reboot everything, especially your router. All devices in the house.

Pretty cool running on KRAKENNET now though, isn't it? Just sounds better...
Yeah, I appreciate that name sugg. I've cold-booted the computers many times but hadn't thought about the router. Will try that and look at AB's link tomorrow. This is one of those Windows Being Pigheaded situations. If I can whip the laptop into line, I'll reanimate my retired desktop machine to bring it into the fold, and if that works I'll then try to corral Wife's machines as well. I've tried and failed several times over the years to make all of our machines play nice together.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:40 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:06 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:29 pm
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:17 pm
EDIT: There is no way to create, rename, change, or join a workgroup that I can find. Might be a Pro thing.
Shouldn't be that difficult. Try following these instructions.
OK I did rename the workgroup, and my new PC can see itself and my laptop. My laptop, however, is still blind. It sees the printer (whose network is "unspecified") and nothing else. If only there were a way to force it to look for and display KRAKENNET, which it is definitely on...frustrating!
Try following the steps listed here on your laptop.
I did all of that except for the two Homegroup items, because they don't exist. Now Desktop can still see itself and Laptop, but can't connect to Laptop. Error message says computer can't be found on the network, make sure it's turned on and connected. Laptop displays itself (which is progress) but not Desktop. Tried leaving and rejoining KRAKENNET: now Desktop asks for my username and password (network credentials) to connect to Laptop, so that's more progress -- it is apparently finding Laptop now.

A website told me how to remove the password requirement for homegroups, but of course there is no HomeGroups section, because homegroups don't exist. So I found the Windows Credentials Manager and I entered the same info on both machines:

Network address: KRAKENNET
user name: kraken
password: (a password)

As expected, that didn't work. I am guessing that the network name is not its address. And so I am stuck again.

EDIT: I am guessing that "network address" wants my wireless network name, so what's the format for that field? Do I just give it the network name, or (network name)/KRAKENNET, or what? ALSO, if it's just the network name, am I now requiring a credential for joining the network? Because that would essentially lock everything else out.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:14 pm

Try following the suggestion on the last page of that same thread and turning on SMB 1.0 on all PCs. Here's a tutorial that walks you through turning Windows features on/off in Windows 10.

Image
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:07 pm

No change. Exact same behavior as my last post.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:03 pm

Something's obviously FUBAR'd on that laptop, so the option of last resort would be to reset your entire network on the laptop and start from scratch.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Z-Corn » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:06 pm

This is annoying. I've looked over the sites you linked to and looked at my own setups and I've got most of the recommended settings set. I can see all PCs from my WiFi laptop except the one Win7 device left in the house. Reminds me I need to update that to Win10...

I'm just not sure what could be going on here but, like I said, it gets wonky in my house too.

The only PC that ALL devices in the house can see is the HomeServer but that's running a stripped down version of Server 2003 and I think there's extra networking voodoo baked into that OS.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:10 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:03 pm
Something's obviously FUBAR'd on that laptop, so the option of last resort would be to reset your entire network on the laptop and start from scratch.
Hmmm, not eager to nuke it from orbit since everything else works fine. I think I'll leave it alone rather than let the perfect become the enemy of the good enough. Thanks for all the legwork, even if it ultimately didn't go anywhere.

EDIT: Actually, two thoughts. If I solve the login/credentials problem, my desktop can talk to my laptop, even if the conversation is only one way. Even if I do get KRAKENNET up and running, all of our machines are still going to need to get past that login requirement (unless there's a way to disable it instead). So I should figure out the proper way to create or bypass credentials without imposing them on the WiFi network in general.

Then, I need to figure out if my laptop is the only odd man out. I can bring Cyberman back online and see if that will integrate, and I can also see if any of Wife's computers will join KRAKENNET. If so, then I suspect that my laptop might be suffering a Dell problem rather than a Windows problem. Dell does ship its machines with a lot of mysterious proprietary crapware.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Sepiche » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:48 am

Kraken wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:38 pm
The new PC arrived today. Unexpectedly, Windows is completely up to date, so I'm ready to go. Got it online and installed Classic Shell and Open Office.
How's the system working out in general Kraken? Based on this thread I'm pricing a similar PC to replace my wife's, just curious if you liked the company and the specs. Thanks!

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:51 am

Sepiche wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:48 am
Kraken wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:38 pm
The new PC arrived today. Unexpectedly, Windows is completely up to date, so I'm ready to go. Got it online and installed Classic Shell and Open Office.
How's the system working out in general Kraken? Based on this thread I'm pricing a similar PC to replace my wife's, just curious if you liked the company and the specs. Thanks!
I already answered this in your thread, but I'm a very satisfied customer so far. Really nice machine at a good price. No crapware and it was ready to go right out of the box. I don't expect to need another computer for quite a few years, but I''ll shop there first if I do.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:16 pm

What's a quick, easy, reliable way to sanitize an old PC? I'd like to avoid spending hours individually uninstalling programs and deleting data, and make sure that none of my passwords or logins are recoverable, so that I can give the machine away worry-free. Assume that I don't have a Windows CD to do a full reformat/reinstall. Is there a free utility that will strip Windows down to its essence and purge all trace of me?

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by jztemple2 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:54 pm

Kraken wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:16 pm
What's a quick, easy, reliable way to sanitize an old PC? I'd like to avoid spending hours individually uninstalling programs and deleting data, and make sure that none of my passwords or logins are recoverable, so that I can give the machine away worry-free. Assume that I don't have a Windows CD to do a full reformat/reinstall. Is there a free utility that will strip Windows down to its essence and purge all trace of me?
I was going to suggest using DBAN to wipe the hard drive (this doesn't work for SSDs), but I see you want to keep Windows. Without the install CD that might be tough. I've given away old PCs, but on the understanding that the recipient has to install their own operating system software. Honestly, I'd be very nervous that some personal data might still remain on the drive if I didn't do a full wipe.

I did find this article from Consumer Reports, How to Wipe a Computer Clean of Personal Data. It says this about Windows:
The process for resetting your PC differs slightly for each version of the operating system. For Windows 10, go to the Start Menu and click on Settings. Then navigate to Update & Security, and find the Recovery menu. Next, select Reset this PC and choose Get Started. Follow the instructions to revert your computer back to when it was first unboxed.

You’ll be asked to choose whether you want to erase data "quickly" or "thoroughly." Opt to erase data thoroughly. It’ll take a little longer, but it makes it more likely that your data is deleted permanently. While there’s no absolute guarantee the data can’t be retrieved after a reset, this simple step increases your security.
Sorry that I didn't find a solution like you mentioned, a free utility. Probably Windows is too damn complicated to be sure of getting everything.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:04 pm

As long as you have the key for Windows, you can reinstall it. You can download the software for everything from 7 forward. Download it, burn it to disk, DBAN it, and reinstall to a clean drive.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:22 am

Reckon I'll do it that way, then. Not as simple as I had hoped, but a lot easier than uninstalling and deleting stuff individually. Even if I do still have my original Windows CD, it's Win7. If MS won't let me download Win10 with my old Win7 key then I'll just nuke the disk with DBAN and let the new owner worry about an OS.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:22 am

Don't bother with DBAN.

There's a more secure and much faster method built into the firmware of most drives, namely the Secure Erase command which -- unlike DBAN -- has access to every portion of the drive. HDDErase makes it fairly simple to access and use. It's built into Hiren's Boot CD, which is probably the easiest way to use it (as you'd otherwise need to create a bootable CD/flash drive for HDDErase yourself). However, like DBAN, it will securely erase everything on the drive, so don't use it until you're ready to reinstall.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:50 pm

I'm having a dickens of a time with this. First it took me multiple tries to make a Windows DVD; I finally gave up when the DVD drives on both of my machines complained that the old disks I have on hand are not supported media. Finally I sacrificed my Windows recovery thumb drive and managed to copy a Windows install onto that. Then I had comparable trouble making Hiren's Boot CD, which isn't a CD at all; I ran into the same DVD problems, found out how to install it to my other recovery thumb drive, and then it would not boot -- there's no startup or exe of any kind on it. (Yes, I did change the boot priority in my BIOS.) So I tried the Windows Recovery thing; that brought up a BSOD. Went looking around and found "Secure Erase," which mercifully is a zip file and not an iso. Unmercifully, my trial version of Winzip expired, so I had to install a freeware zip program. All of this took 3+ hours and I still hadn't gotten anywhere.

On a whim I ran the Windows Recovery tool again, and this time it took. It's 4% of the way through resetting, and it looks like it's going to take a couple of hours. Once it's done I'll use my Windows thumb drive to install Win 10 (I'm assuming that Recovery will revert me to Win 7), and then I think I can consider this machine virginized, assuming no further snafus. A determined thief might still be able to coax personal data from the hard drive after all of this, but I'm planning to give the machine to somebody trustworthy, so not too worried about deep nuking.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by hitbyambulance » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:56 pm

it's funny there are those out there still using WinZip trial editions. if you're reading this and still participating in this silliness, move to the freeware applications 7-zip or PeaZip

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:49 pm

Two hours later...48%... :lol:

I think winzip must've come preinstalled on this machine. That's the first zip file I've encountered in the six months since I got it.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:12 pm

...and, 20 minutes later, still 48%. Uh-oh. Either it's found something very important to do, or it's hung.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:25 pm

It completed and reinstalled Win 10. Unfortunately, in order to make sure that everything was copacetic I let setup create a login for me, so it's not quite virginized. Tomorrow I'll reinstall Windows from the thumb drive, and this time shut it off when cortana wants to configure it. Then the next owner can pick it up at that point and really make it his or her own.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:41 pm

FWIW, the open source Rufus utility makes creating a bootable USB flash drive from a bootable ISO fairly effortless.
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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by Kraken » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:26 pm

FREE COMPUTER (just pay shipping)

I'd like to offer my old desktop PC to the members of this forum who have helped me so many times over the years. It's all boxed up and ready to go, with a fresh install of Win 10 waiting to be customized, and it was working fine when I boxed it up. No guarantee that it will still be working when UPS is done with it, but it's well packaged. It is still suitable for lightweight gaming, and a video card upgrade could squeeze more life out of it. The main case fan crapped out a few weeks ago. It's not overheating without its fan (even in my 90-degree office), but that really ought to be replaced.

It's a Cyberpower PC from 2010.
i5 760 at 2.8 GHz
8 GB RAM
Radeon HD 5700
650W power supply
DVD drive
Black case with a window in one side.

The wireless antenna (included) will need to be attached. The Windows license key is stickered on the side of the case, if that needs to be activated.

Shipping to a California residential address would cost $55. It will be cheaper if it goes somewhere closer to New England, and/or to a business address.

First PM gets it. If nobody claims it by the end of Saturday, I'll widen my net.

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Re: My turn, at last: Help me configure a PC

Post by hitbyambulance » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:52 pm

Kraken wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:26 pm
FREE COMPUTER (just pay shipping)

I'd like to offer my old desktop PC to the members of this forum who have helped me so many times over the years. It's all boxed up and ready to go, with a fresh install of Win 10 waiting to be customized, and it was working fine when I boxed it up. No guarantee that it will still be working when UPS is done with it, but it's well packaged. It is still suitable for lightweight gaming, and a video card upgrade could squeeze more life out of it. The main case fan crapped out a few weeks ago. It's not overheating without its fan (even in my 90-degree office), but that really ought to be replaced.

It's a Cyberpower PC from 2010.
i5 760 at 2.8 GHz
8 GB RAM
Radeon HD 5700
650W power supply
DVD drive
Black case with a window in one side.

The wireless antenna (included) will need to be attached. The Windows license key is stickered on the side of the case, if that needs to be activated.

Shipping to a California residential address would cost $55. It will be cheaper if it goes somewhere closer to New England, and/or to a business address.

First PM gets it. If nobody claims it by the end of Saturday, I'll widen my net.

i may have a use for this. let me get back to you via PM.

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