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RunningLow – A free PowerShell script to check for low disk space and send e-mail to System Administrators

Today I would like to share with our readers RunningLow, a simple yet effective PowerShell script I coded a while ago to get to know when one of my servers is running low of disk space.

Whoever works with physical and/or virtualized Windows Servers is well aware of the importance of keeping this constantly under control: as soon as a server runs out of disk space it will be unable to fullfill a number of tasks, such as: create temporary files, store data on a database, performing system maintenance / backup / updates, create or update web sessions – assuming they are handled through I/O – and so on. Things can be even worse for those servers who host DBMS services such as MySQL and MS-SQL, as the sudden I/O unavailability could cause non-trivial damages to indexes, filesystem-based tables and data integrity.

The main purpose of RunningLow is to prevent all that: it will check one or more local and/or network drives to see if their available free space went under a certain quota, and send a customizable alert to one or more e-mail addresses if that’s the case. I know, there are A LOT of admin suites and maintenance software that could be easily configured to the same thing: even Piriform’s CCleaner PRO does that! However, if you don’t have the money, the time or the amount of system resources required to install these apps, you might find out that this lightweight alternative could be worth a shot.

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How to stop (or prevent) massive login attempts to Remote Desktop RDP on Windows Server

A couple days ago I published a post regarding how to protect CentOS server from unwanted SSH login attempts by changing the default port and/or using File2ban. Today I will talk about a very similar issue that affects Windows Server, which is often only accessible from the administrator by using a Remote Desktop (RDP) connection: that’s a very common case for any VPS or dedicated server hosted through an ISP.

The issue is the same of CentOS: your system is receiving an insane amount of (failed) login attempts in terms of thousands per day by random attackers who are trying to get in using standard brute-force techniques. Depending on given scenario they can be bots, zombies or hackers running BFA scripts. Luckily enough, there are some rather trivial countermeasures that can be adopted to shielding your system even if you can’t afford to purchase and install a Firewall with Intrusion-Prevention System (IPS) – which is something you should really do anyway, expecially if you’re hosting some valuable and/or sensitive data. The methods below will work on any Windows Server release: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008,  Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and the new Windows Server 2016.

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Windows 7, Windows 8.1 & Windows 10 ISO Download – MS Official Links (Product Key not included)

Just like we did some weeks ago with MS Office we share here a list of official URLs to download the ISO images of the most recent versions of Windows OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Don’t worry, this is not warez or pirate software: all of these URLs come from the official Microsoft installation tools or are a link to download the tool itself. This also means that if you want to activate the software after installing it you still need to purchase a valid Product Key (not included) from the Microsoft Store or from any official reseller.

If you want to download the ISO images for the latest versions of Microsoft Office (Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016 and Office 365) you can also check this post.

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How to increase the 2GB memory limit of a 32-bit (x86) EXE in 64-bit (x64) Windows

If you’re reading this, you are most likely dealing with an issue regarding a 64-bit Windows machine (such as Windows 2008 Server, Windows 2012 Server, Windows 7, Windows 10 and so on) and a rather old, 32-bit (x86) executable file with some memory issues.

If you already did some research, you might also be already aware of the fact that any single 32-bit application can use a maximum amount of 2GB of RAM, regardless of what your system actually has. This basically means that you cannot fix your issue with an hardware upgrade.

This leaves you with two alternatives, both software-based:

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How to check if a binary file is 32 bit (x86) or 64 bit (x64) on Windows

Yesterday we had the urgent need to check if a rather old executable file that we still use on one of our x64 Win2012 production servers to do some automation tasks was built for an  x86 or x64 machine type. Normally you know that in advance, but the guy who originally built the file was no longer with us and both the file name and the folder wasn’t clear about that.

The tool we did use to solve our issue was the great Sigcheck by SysInternals, which is available here for free.

Once downloaded and unpacked, using it is as simple as type the following in the command-prompt:

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