How To

Advice for IT Support in working with End Users

I was lucky in having an amazing teacher when I was saved from the retail world of technology and brought into the real world. "The technology you know isn't as important as your ability to deal with people, anybody can be taught technology" was one of the first lessons I was taught and have kept it close. Between much talk on people's view of IT as a department and a new addition to my team I decided to document what I've been taught, learned over the years, or get bad results when I constantly ignore good advice.Read full article...


How to Provide Remote Support

The ability to connect to a users workstation from a distance and quickly solve the problem at hand has dramatically increased IT's coverage area. You no longer need a corporate IT budget and department behind you to offer remote assistance capabilities. Here's a few ways to get started...

Microsoft Remote Assistance (Free included with XP on)

MSRA offers a few options for offering or requesting help.Read full article...


Using Sysinternals Disk Usage to create CSV file of Folder Sizes

Windows Sysinternals Suite has a bunch of really useful tools to make any system admin's life easier. One of those tools is Disk Usage, DU.exe. One can utilize DU to get a breakdown of folders and sizes. Anyone who was trying to find out what's utilizing all their storage knows how important this utility can be. Below is how to utilize DU as well as print the findings to a CSV file.

These are the standard instructions...

Using Disk Usage (DU)

Usage: du [-c[t]] [-l <levels> | -n | -v] [-u] [-q] <directory>Read full article...


Disable MySite in Sharepoint

Developing a Sharepoint intranet that doesn't confuse users and give free reign to click happy staff can be a daunting task. One of the biggest issues I've come across in the deployment of SharePoint is the idea that yes it can do that but no we shouldn't use the feature. The My Site feature is a prime example of this since users are on their own to make profiles, bog the system down with extra material and want things fixed when the maze of linked items doesn't flow correctly. Here's step by step directions on disabling My Site in your Sharepoint installation.Read full article...


Host your own URL shortening service and QR codes to take control back

It's safe to assume that most people visiting my site like to take things into their own hands with technology. Recently I've been looking at URL shortening services with the feeling that I could do something other than relying on an outside service. After investigating the answer turned out to be a lot easier than thought.Read full article...


Add Users to local admin and remote desktop group using GPO

This tutorial will show you how to use the GPO Restricted Groups to add IT support technicians into the local administrator group of all PC's the policy is applied to. Using Group Policy to add users to the local admin group is a safer and better practice than providing domain admin privileges to technicians that do not have the need or experience to be working beyond the workstation level.

1.Define Security Group

First you need to define a security group in AD users and computers. In this example I am creating a security group called IT_TechRead full article...


Disable Internet Explorer Toolbars with GPO

Using GPO to disable Internet Explorer toolbars is an easy way to keep systems from running endless toolbars added usually without a user’s knowledge. The method below will not prevent them from installing but will prevent them from running. This saves system resources, network bandwidth, and certainly screen space if things got out of control.

Start Group Policy Management

in windows XP; Start > Programs > Adminstrative Tools > Group Policy Management.

in Windows 7; Start (jewel) > Administrative Tools > Group Policy Management

Find and Edit

If your organization has multiple containers, find the pertinent container and right click on the GPO linked to it and select Edit.Read full article...


Taking on the Network Rack full of Spaghetti Cabling

Spaghetti CablesWe've all seen the rack from hell, but not many have the courage (maybe blind ambition) to take on the project of making it right. The bravery pays off since any management in your department will be able to physically see the difference and it cuts down on future tasks the rack requires.Read full article...


Effective Questioning Skills for IT Staff

It takes more than technical knowledge to be able to provide the best solution available for any given situation. Having a clear understanding of the requirements is crucial to meeting them and foreseeing future needs others may have overlooked. These requirements aren’t always clearly stated however. This is where effective questioning benefits Information Technology.

Simply put, you should be able to explain why this solution is the best avenue and what the benefit/cost is using the facts gained from your questions.Read full article...


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