Go Away, Cortana

I never use Cortana, but there it sits in my task mangler, using a not insignificant percentage of cycles. Well, until now.

Winaero shows how to uninstall Cortana. Here is a mirror to the uninstall files, in case that page disappears. Basically, unzip into a dir, run the .cmd as administrator, let it do its work, and then reboot.

Add Bookmark – Google Bookmarks, um, bookmark

In Chrome, create a new bookmark. Name it what you like and set its URL to:

javascript:(function(){var a=window,b=document,c=encodeURIComponent,d=a.open("https://www.google.com/bookmarks/mark?op=edit&output=popup&bkmk="+c(b.location)+"&title="+c(b.title),"bkmk_popup","left="+((a.screenX||a.screenLeft)+10)+",top="+((a.screenY||a.screenTop)+10)+",height=510px,width=550px,resizable=1,alwaysRaised=1");a.setTimeout(function(){d.focus()},300)})();

Click it when you’re on a page you’d like to bookmark (and make sure you’re logged into the Googlez).

Windows: Updating existing ODBC Data Source Drivers

For some reason there still isn’t any easy way to update the driver used on a previously defined ODBC data source in Windows. There’s no option when stepping through the configuration. I suppose you’re expected to delete and recreate the data sources, specifying the new driver at that time. But what if you have dozens, or hundreds, of existing sources?

Do it though the registry.
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Detect unresponsive applications using Powershell

Change the variables, save as a ps1 and schedule this:

$to  = "user@email.com", "user2@email.com"
$from  = "user@email.com"
$smtp = "address of SMTP server"
$engine = $env:computername
$log = "C:\pathto\log.txt"
$now=Get-Date -format "dd-MMM-yyyy HH:mm"

$Processes = Get-Process -EA Stop          
$nProcesses = @($Processes | ? { $_.Responding -eq $false })
if($nProcesses) {          
  foreach($nProcess in $nProcesses) {          
   $nProcess | select Name, id, MainWindowTitle, Responding  
                Write-Host "Non-Responsive Processes found!"
                $msg = "Non responsive processes found on $engine! -- $nProcess"
                $body = "Non responsive processes found on $engine!    


                Add-content $log -value $now
                Add-content $log -value $msg
                Send-Mailmessage -From $from -To $to -Subject $msg -Body $body -Priority High -dno onSuccess, onFailure -SmtpServer $smtp

OpenVPN reconnect

My OpenVPN likes to have difficulty and go yellow from time to time.  The problem with this is twofold – I have any and all downloads stop at the absence of VPN, and when I’m not home connecting to my server is more difficult when VPN has hundged up.  The simplest fix for now is just to restart/reconnect VPN on the daily.

I use OpenVPN with PIA.
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Windows 10 – Can’t enable System Restore

System Restore.JPG

For some reason on my most recent build of Win 10 (don’t get me started) the option to enable System Restore was grayed out.  I fixed it by running the following in a admin level CMD prompt:

reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\SystemRestore" /v "DisableSR" /f
reg delete "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\SystemRestore" /v "DisableConfig" /f
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SPP\Clients" /v " {09F7EDC5-294E-4180-AF6A-FB0E6A0E9513}" /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d "1" /f

The first two lines didn’t find those keys, FYI.  Still, the third enabled my ability to set up System Restore.

Windows 10 – Here comes ads

I’m kinda shocked by it, but it looks like Microsoft’s going to be pushing ads into the File Explorer in Windows 10.

The good news is, for now, you can turn it off. Within File Explorer, click on View > Options > Change folder and search options. Click the View tab, scroll down to Show sync provider notifications, and uncheck it.