Thursday, February 28, 2008

Top 10 of CIO Mistakes


Interesting article about the 10 mistakes that CIO consistently make to weaken enterprise security.

How many of them you find in your own company?

http://blackwhiteforest.blogspot.com/2008/02/cios-top-10-mistakes.html

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Change Color for your BSOD

In case you don't know what is BSOD, see some BSOS through the ages.

In Windows 2000/XP/2003, each time the Windows Kernel crashes, a blue screen appears, giving the administrator some clues and information as to what has caused the error. This screen, because of its blue color and catastrophic nature, was nicknamed BSOD - Blue Screen Of Death.

Why blue - no one knows, but what I do know is the fact that the blue screen can be changed to a different color, thus creating your own YSOD or RSOD or even WSOD...

To do so follow these steps:

1. Hit Win-R (Run), and type "notepad %systemroot%\system.ini" (without the quote). Or you can run the command "sysedit" (without the quote).

2. In system.ini file, locate the [386enh] section in the file:

3. If not already present, create the following new entries:
MessageBackColor=
MessageTextColor=

and give it a value according to the following list:
  • 0 = black
  • 1 = blue
  • 2 = green
  • 3 = cyan
  • 4 = red
  • 5 = magenta
  • 6 = yellow/brown
  • 7 = white
  • 8 = gray
  • 9 = bright blue
  • A = bright green
  • B = bright cyan
  • C = bright red
  • D = bright magenta
  • E = bright yellow
  • F = bright white
For example, to have Red Screen of Death (white text):
MessageBackColor=4
MessageTextColor=F
Note: Use CAPITAL LETTERS, i.e. F and not f.

4. Save SYSTEM.INI file and restart the computer.

If you want to test it (cause the system kernel to crash), try manual BSOD.

The reason behind this tweak is for people that have certain forms of visual impairment and are only able to use Windows when it is set to high contrast mode. This setting allows the BSOD to be set to high contrast colors as well, making it easier for the visually impaired to read the information in them.

Check this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/90740

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Manual BSOD

Do you know you can "cause" BSOD manually? This isn't a bug, it's a "feature" in Windows that is designed to let users trigger a crash dump for testing purposes. There's even a whole Microsoft KB article on the subject.

To enable this feature, open up regedit and then browse down to one of these keys, depending on your keyboard type:
USB Keyboard
 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\kbdhid\Parameters
PS/2 Keyboard
 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters
Now right-click on the right-hand pane and add a new DWORD key named CrashOnCtrlScroll, giving it a value of 1.

Reboot your computer, and when it starts back up you can trigger the Blue Screen of Death by using the following keyboard shortcut:
 Hold down Right Ctrl and hit Scroll Lock twice
To remove this "feature" you can just delete the registry key and then restart your computer again.