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Ask Dr. Bob Your NT Questions - 01 Jul 1999

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Q: I want to give users access to their Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) accounts, but I'm having trouble establishing security. Unless I give domain administrator rights to my users, they either can't log on or lose files. Giving these users domain administrator rights isn't an option. How can I solve this frustrating problem?

You can solve this problem easily. You simply need to give system permissions to the shares. Screen 1, page 176, shows the Add Users and Groups permissions screen, which you access by selecting Programs, Administrative Tools, User Manager. Double-click the Users group, then click Add.

Q: I unsuccessfully attempted an unattended installation of Service Pack 4 (SP4). Is an unattended installation of SP4 possible?

An unattended SP4 installation is possible. First, because of the service pack's large size, obtain the SP4 CD-ROM that contains already-extracted files and copy the \i386 directory to a share directory on a network server. From this point, you can run the update in silent mode (which requires no user input).

You need to be familiar with Windows NT's AutoAdminLogon (which automatically logs on the administrator after NT 4.0 installation completes) and RunOnce (which will run the custom command update.cmd). I always use the Edit command-line program for runtime scripts because Edit allows only ASCII characters.

  1. Using Edit, create a file named autolog.reg that contains the following information:
    \[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\WindowsNTCurrentVersion\Winlogon\]

    Setting DefaultPassword blank is essential because NT disables the AutoAdminLogon feature after it runs once. Standard NT LAN Manager (NTLM) authentication occurs on subsequent logons.

  2. Using a text editor, create a file named runonce.reg that contains the following information:
  3. For an automated installation, set up the $oem$ directory on your installation share. Copy autolog.reg, runonce.reg, and regedit.exe to the $oem$ directory. By default, regedit.exe is located in the \winnt (i.e., %systemroot%) directory.

  4. Use Edit to create a new file named update.cmd.

  5. Create an $oem$\c\batch directory on your distribution share, and copy your update.cmd file into this directory. You also need to include the following command line, which you will use to automate your customizations for NT 4.0:
    \\<share point>\update.exe /u /z

    in which share point is the network share containing the service pack files. Table 1, page 176, shows the switches available for update.exe (i.e., the executable that runs update.cmd). This line tells update.exe to run in an unattended and silent mode.

  6. If cmdlines.txt doesn't exist, use Edit to create it. Add the following lines to the \[Commands\] section of cmdlines.txt:

    ".\regedit.exe /s .\autolog.reg" ".\regedit.exe /s .\runonce.reg"

  7. Ensure that OEMPreInstall is set to YES in your unattended script.

Q: I recently bought a Mylex BT-950 RAID controller for my Windows NT system. I configured a 15GB RAID 0 set on the controller. During installation, NT installed the driver, but when NT creates partitions, it limits me to 8GB of disk space. What's happening?

During the initial phase of the RAID controller installation, NT recognizes only 8GB of disk space. Don't make any extended partitions until you've completed the installation (i.e., make only a small partition for the OS). After NT is running in protected mode, you'll see the entire array.

Q: I want to upgrade our Windows NT 3.51 machines to NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4). Can I rename the NT directory to \winnt rather than \winnt35?

You're out of luck. NT and installed applications have settings that are dependent on the default Windows root directory name. All upgrades will use these settings. One look at the Registry will show you how extensive these settings are. The only way to install into a \winnt directory is with a new installation.

Q: I'd like to be able to print from a faster drive. How can I change Windows NT's default print spool directory?

I receive this question frequently. Here are a couple of ways to complete the task.

To change the default print spool directory, simply select the printer from the Printers applet in Control Panel. Select File, Server Properties. On the Advanced tab, change the Spool Folder directory.

Alternatively, you can edit the Registry using a Registry editor such as regedt32. (Remember to always use care when running a Registry editor.) You can perform this change for all printers or for a specific printer. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Control\Print\Printers key.

To change the default printer spool directory for all printers, add the value DefaultSpoolDirectory of data type REG_SZ, in which the string is the full path to the printer spool directory.

To change the default printer spool directory for a specific printer, add the value SpoolDirectory of data type REG_SZ, in which the string is the full path to the printer spool directory.

In each solution, you must enter an existing path. Otherwise, NT will use the default directory.

Q: I have several clients who want their dial-up connection to remain active after they log off the server. How can I set up Windows NT to maintain network connections when I log off a server?

Open a Registry editor, and go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\Winlogon key. Add the value KeepRasConnections of data type REG_SZ. Set the value to 1.

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