Category: Windows 8

Script to Re-Map Windows Shares

I had some problems with the Windows Shares becoming unavailable at odd times, just randomly now and then. This meant I could no longer list and open my media files from my LG Home Theater or my Raspberry Pi.

I discovered that restarting a few services associated with Windows Folder Sharing solved the problem without the need to reboot.

This is a quick little script that I use to re-map my shared folders in Windows, including the disk shares (i.e. d$, e$) every night:

net stop LanmanServer /y
net start LanManServer
net start Browser
net start HomeGroupListener

Copy these lines in to a text-file using Notepad and save the file as “Sharemap.bat”, for example.

To set up an automatic scheduled job to run the script, open Task Scheduler (Start -> Run -> taskschd.msc) and set up a basic task: Right-click the folder area on the left and select “Create basic task”.

For the actions pane, select “Start a program” and point to the Sharemap.bat script.

For the triggers, you can set it to run every night at 5 in the morning or something similar.

If you’re using TrueCrypt and need to make disk shares (d$, e$ etc) map up after TrueCrypt mapping has taken place, create a trigger and set it to run “At log on”, with a delay that’s long enough to allow you to mount the TrueCrypt volumes before it runs (5-10 minutes maybe).

Alternatively, you can simply create a shortcut to “sharemap.bat” or save the file directly to your desktop and run it manually as needed.

How it works:
Stopping the LanmanServer service automatically stops the child services Browser and HomeGroupListener as well, automagically – so we only need to start those services, or at least I chose to do it that way to be on the safe side.

These network services are responsible for making Windows Shares available on the network, so it is sometimes necessary to restart them if there are any issues with finding shares, especially disk shares that are not automatically mapped by Windows, caused perhaps by delayed mounting from TrueCrypt or similar applications.

A First Look at Windows 8 – Finally Some Tablet Power!

Microsoft posted this first of several upcoming “Building Windows 8” videos a few days ago.

I think it showcases some interesting features that look very promising for a good tablet enabled OS, such as a logical app layout and full seamless multi-tasking support for the apps.

We learn that HTML5 and JavaScript are going to be the core technologies for developers looking to make apps for (codename) “Windows 8”, so if you’re aspiring to do so, you might as well get started on sharpening up those skills asap.

Anyways, moving pictures say more than a thousand words, plus Jensen Harris does a great job at presenting through the spoken word. Check it out:

How To: Create a Bootable USB to Install Windows

Windows 8It’s simple to create a bootable USB to install newer Windows, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista as long as you follow this guide.


You can now easily skip most of the steps further down in this guide. Why? You can simply download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from Microsoft and create a bootable USB to install your desired Microsoft Windows operating system.


Click here to download the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool


Despite its name, this tool works with both Windows 7, Windows 8 and newer.

The tool will automatically format the USB stick you select to make it bootable, then extract the ISO-file you choose and copy the files onto the USB stick. Once the process is done, you’re good to go!

Click here to check the official USB/DVD Download Tool guide if you get stuck or have any issues downloading the tool.


Quick note for Windows 8: Please check for any new BIOS versions before installing. Many motherboards have been getting new BIOS updates for Windows 8 optimization. Read the notes carefully before updating your motherboard using these new BIOS versions, as the manufacturer may have special instructions for updating the motherboard to support a completely new BIOS file format known as .CAP, before you can update to the absolutely latest BIOS version.

First you need to fulfill the following list of prerequisites, which I have expanded on much more than most guides similar to this one, so that you will be prepared for everything:

  • A USB stick or similar USB storage device (aka” USB Flash Drive”) with a minimum of 3 GB capacity
    (Tip: Some USB drives don’t work well as boot devices on certain systems. If you experience any issues, try a different flash drive.)
  • Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista source files (from an ISO file or DVD)
    (Tip: If you have obtained an ISO file, you may extract it using 7Zip or WinRAR.)
  • BIOS Settings and Hardware Checks:
    1. Change the boot priority of USB devices so that they are above any harddisks.
    2. Check the boot order for your hard disks. If your USB connected device shows up here, usually you need to hit “Page Up” (PGUP) to move it all the way to the top.
  • Check that your computer supports booting from USB devices. If not, then you probably can’t boot from your USB media. You would need to run the installation from your DVD-drive or obtain an external DVD-drive or adapter.

(Tip: See your PC manual or a tech savvy friend if you have issues with this step. Normally you need to press either F2, F3, F5 or F12 to access the boot menu. Sometimes it helps to press ESC to see what you need to press if neither of those are working.)

Now let’s make a bootable USB device!

But first…

  • You need to obtain the correct version of BOOTSECT.EXE (64-bit/x64 or 32-bit/x86)
    If you’re making the USB bootable media for a 64-bit version of Windows on a 32-bit version of Windows, you need to get yourself the 32-bit version of the BOOTSECT.EXE tool used in this guide, as the 64-bit version found included in the 64-bit source files won’t run on a 32-bit OS. You should be able to get this from any 32-bit install source for Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista. I cannot put it on my blog, because it is prohibited by the Microsoft EULA.
  1. Plug in your USB stick and backup any important files that you may want to keep.
  2. Open Command Prompt with administrator rights using either of the following methods:
    • Hit the Windows key + R and type CMD. Hit CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER.
    • Type CMD in the Start menu search box. Hit CTRL¬† + SHIFT + ENTER.
    • Go to Start > All programs > Accessories and right-click on Command Prompt, then select “Run as administrator“.
  3. Type the following commands in the Command Prompt box to find the disk number of your flash disk:
  4. Identify your flash disk and note the disk number, then enter the following commands – assuming your USB stick’s disk number is 1:
    • CLEAN
    • ACTIVE
      (QUICK is the switch for Quick Format. Run the command without QUICK if you want all sectors checked. This could take a long time depending on the size and speed of the disk.)
    • ASSIGN
    • EXIT
  5. Still in Command Prompt? Good, because¬† you’ll need it again in a few seconds…
  6. If you have an ISO image of Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista, you may now extract it if you haven’t already, then follow step 6.1. If you have a DVD, follow step 6.2:
    6.1: Assuming you extracted the ISO to C:\Win7, bring up your Command Prompt again, then browse to the BOOT folder by typing: “CD C:\Win7\boot
    6.2: Assuming your DVD drive letter is “D”, bring up Command Prompt and browse to the BOOT folder by typing “D:CD boot”.
  7. Assuming your USB stick drive letter is “E”, type the following command to make the USB stick bootable:
  8. You should see a message saying “Successfully updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.”
    [notice]If you get an error about x64/x86 incompatibility at this stage, you need to obtain the correct version of BOOTSECT.EXE – see the 4th bulletin at the very top of this guide for more info.[/notice]
  9. Copy all of your previously extracted Windows installation source contents to the USB stick.
  10. Your USB stick is now ready for use! Remember to enable USB boot and change boot priority so that USB-drives are above any harddisks in the boot priority in the BIOS. Refer to your system manual for instructions on how to do this. Also, remember that some USB sticks don’t work as well as others as boot devices, especially with certain older systems that claim to have USB boot capabilities. I can confirm that it worked with a SONY 4GB USB stick on a Dell Latitude E4200 for me, and has worked with many others for people I know. The least reliable kind of USB stick seems to be the variety that come as USB adapters for different memory cards, like SD Card or Memory Stick, BUT they may work even if they don’t appear as USB devices, as they will often simply be listed as harddisks instead.