REGISTRY | User logon challenge configuration

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  • LegalNoticeCaption (REG_SZ Short Caption. To simulate paragraphs in the Legal Notice text, enter the text with a space where the paragraph should break. Edit the value using Binary and replace the space character with 0D00 . Remember that one letter of normal text is equal to four characters in the binary editor. )
  • LegalNoticeText (REG_SZ max 255 chars)
  • LogonPrompt (REG_SZ displayed in standard logon screen)
  • Welcome (REG_SZ displayed in standard logon screen)
  • DisableCAD (DWORD disable/enable ctrl-alt-delete requirement)

REGISTRY | MS Outlook settings

Outlook autodiscover

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover
    • PreferLocalXML
    • ExcludeHttpRedirect
    • ExcludeHttpsAutoDiscoverDomain
    • ExcludeHttpsRootDomain
    • ExcludeScpLookup
    • ExcludeSrvRecord

Outlook anywhere proxy server

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\<usersid>\13dbb0c8aa05101a9bb000aa002fc45a01f6622

Outlook cached mode

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\<usersid>\13dbb0c8aa05101a9bb000aa002fc45a01f6610

VIRTUALIZATION | Run ESXI 4.1 on HP Compaq dc5750 Workstation

I purchased a 5750 on the cheap with an eye to making it a virtual host. It’s dual core and can accept up to 8GB of RAM. I confirmed it runs Hyper-v without a hitch, but I am partial to vmware esxi. Unfortunately, it’s SATA controller is not supported for esxi 4.1, so I worked a bit to arrive at the following methods to make enable support for the controller.

Here’s an overview of the steps, which are provided in detail below:

  1. Install esxi 4.1 to a usb drive
  2. In the running esxi host, enter the support mode shell to create a custom oem.tgz (with support for the storage controller as a result of an addition to the which you place in /bootbank
  3. Restart, and the oem.tgz is appended to the boot and enables your usb-based esxi host to recognize your local SATA drives as available datastores.

Section 1 – Install esxi 4.1 to usb drive — this will serve as your hypervisor drive (adapted from

  • Download the ESXi 4.1 ISO and burn to CD.
  • Insert your 1GB USB stick into the server and pop-in the CD to the server.
  • Boot from the CD
  • Select (Enter) Install
    Press F11 To accept the EULA and continue.
  • Select to USB Device (remember must be at least 1GB, but anything larger than 1GB will essentially be unused) and click Enter to continue.
  • You will get a notification (potentially) about overwriting the device, click Enter to continue.  All data on the USB will be lost so please use a blank USB or move data off of it before proceeding.
  • Press F11 to confirm the installation.
  • Press Enter to Reboot after install completes and eject the CD.
  • During the boot up process press the appropriate key to enter your server’s BIOS settings.
  • Ensure that Boot from USB is enabled and that the USB boot device is in the proper boot order  for your preferences (above Hard Drive but below CD/DVD in my case).
  • Save your setting and let the server complete the boot up process.
  • At this point your server is booted up to ESXi via USB and you can complete the customization of your specific ESXi deployment by setting the hostname, IP address and so forth.

Section 2 – Create and deploy a custom oem.tgz on your usb flash boot drive (adapted from

Let your dc5750 boot esxi from the usb drive. After esxi boot has completed, press F2 (customize system), go to Troubleshooting Options, and Enable Local Tech Support. Now you can do Alt-F1 to obtain shell access. From the the shell, complete the steps below:
1. cd /tmp/
2. mkdir -p oem/etc/vmware
3. cd oem/etc/vmware
4. cp /etc/vmware/
5. vi

— scroll to the 1002 section and add a line before the first 1002 as follows: 1002:4380 0000:0000 storage ahci (added line shown here). clip6. close vi – press ESC and enter :wq
7. cp /etc/vmware/pci.ids pci.ids (note that the pci.ids does NOT need modification, as it already has an entry for the 1002:1038, shown below)
pci.ids excerpt 8. cd /tmp/oem
9. tar -cvzf oem.tgz etc
10. cp oem.tgz /bootbank/oem.tgz
11. reboot

Section 3 – You are set to go. Set your network settings on the esxi host and then access it using the vsphere client to begin operations.

REGISTRY | Accessing/Editing offline registry hives

With REGEDT32 one can load and edit offline registry databases:

   1. Start REGEDT32
   2. Highlight the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-window and select the root of the tree
   3. In the menu select "Registry" -> "Load Hive"
   4. Select the wanted registry database file:
          * [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM] (%windir%/system32/config/system)
          * [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE] (%windir%/system32/config/software)
          * [HKEY_USERS \.Default] (%windir%/system32/config/default)
          * [HKEY_CURRENT_USER] (%userprofile%/ntuser.dat)
   5. When prompted for a name give it whatever name you like (etc. test1). The name will be used to create a new node in the tree so one can browse the offline registry.
   6. Go to the newly created node and edit whatever you like (The changes are written immediately to the offline registry database). One can import/export between the newly created node and the current registry just browse between the corresponding keys.
          * To export a single key(with subkeys) into a file: Select the wanted key and in the menu "Registry" use "Save Key".
          * To import a single key or tree from a file: Select the location where the key should be imported and in the menu "Registry" use "Restore". Be very careful to select the same location from which is was exported as the restore will erase everything below the import location and replace with the contents of the file.
   7. When finished editing select the newly created node and in the menu select "Registry" -> "Unload Hive"
This method can be useful in numerous scenarios as follows:
    * Load another users HKEY_CURRENT_USER (ntuser.dat) and change the users settings without logging in with the user.
    * Load an offline registry database and extract settings to import in the current registry database.
    * Load an offline [HKEY_USERS \.Default] and change the login screensaver to Reset Administrator Password
    * Load and edit the registry database on a parallel installation without needing to boot it first.