Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Things That Windows 8 Has and Windows 7 Doesn't

Microsoft radical shift to touch-centric computing in Windows 8 is far from the only difference between the new operating system and its predecessor.
Other differences include better integrated use of the cloud, better security, more options for use of multiple monitors and more. Here's a list of 10 key features Windows 8 offers that aren't part of Windows 7.
The Start screen
This is the Windows 8 answer to the Start menu that has been so familiar in Windows for years. Clicking on the Start button in the lower-left corner yielded the Start menu, a pop-up box listing apps that have been pinned there as well as quick access to search, Control Panel, Devices and Printers, photos, documents and importantly the Shut Down button to turn the machine off.
The Start menu is gone. It is replaced by the Start screen, a horizontally browsable collection of Windows 8 tiles that give one-tap access to the applications loaded on the device. Missing is Control Panel.
With a keyboard attached to a Windows 8 device, pressing Win X yields a popup box containing some of the Start menu items, but not all. You can also access some of the old Start menu features by swiping in from the left side of the screen to reveal the Charms menu, which contains a Settings charm that doesn't lead to all the features that were contained in the Start menu.
This has caused much distress among longtime Windows users, so much so that third-party developers are selling Start Menu apps for Windows 8. These include SweetLabs' Pokki, Lee-Soft's ViStart 8 and Stardock's Start8.

Snap apps
In Windows 8 users can display two applications at the same time, one occupying about three-quarters of the screen on either the left or right, the other app occupying the rest. With a touch screen, sliding the bar separating the two apps can make them larger or smaller. Both apps work.
Snap is handy if someone is working on a document, for example, and wants to draw information from a spreadsheet at the same time. But it is limited to just two apps being displayed at a time.
This differs from Windows 7 where apps can occupy as many windows as the user cares to open. Those windows can be adjusted to the exact size the user wants.

Picture password
Traditionally, users type in passwords in order to gain access to their locked computers. Windows 8 adds the picture password. When logging in, users are presented with a picture and by touching features in the photo in the right order they can unlock the device.
It's a new password paradigm, but isn't without criticism. One security expert calls it a "Fisher-Price toy" because swiping in the password can be stolen by videotaping it from a distance. It's also tricky to back up in case users forget the right points and the sequence for touching them.

Refresh and reset
When Windows 8 gets corrupted, users now have two options: refresh and reset.
The first is the less extreme of the two. It reinstalls Windows 8 but preserves personal settings and personal data. It does this by saving the settings and data on a separate partition in the hard drive, installing a fresh copy of the operating system then restoring the data and settings.
It also preserves any Windows 8 modern apps that were installed on the machine. Traditional Windows apps, however, have to be manually reinstalled.
Reset lets users start over. It wipes away the operating system, settings, data and applications and reinstalls a factory-fresh copy of Windows 8. It's as if the machine is fresh out of the box.
Windows 8 offers what it calls a thorough option for wiping out data during a reset. If the purpose of resetting was to erase sensitive data from the hard drive and make it unrecoverable, the thorough option writes random bits over all sectors of the hard drive. While it doesn't make the data unrecoverable, it would require expensive gear that most people can't afford, Microsoft says.

Windows Store
An important part of Windows 8 is Windows 8 applications, called modern applications, which are built to highlight the touch-centric nature of the operating system. They are available only through the Windows Store, an online market where developers can sell their apps once they have won Microsoft certification.
The idea is to encourage development of apps customers will want in order to promote sales of Windows 8 devices. The upside is that if the development community grows as it did for Apple and the App Store, customers will have a rich assortment of fun and useful software. Also, the store can send application updates directly to users' machines.

Secure boot, trusted boot
Secure boot ensures the operating system being booted hasn't been corrupted by verifying that the kernel is the one that was signed with a Microsoft certificate. Trusted boot calls for launching anti-malware before the operating system itself boots in order to thwart malware that might try to disable it.
This is all new for Windows and security experts say represents a significant improvement in maintaining the integrity of the system.

Skype, which is now owned by Microsoft, is integrated into Windows 8. That is, if customers buy the Skype application at the Windows Store, the app integrates with certain other apps such as the People app where the contact information for individuals is stored in the cloud and managed. Skype friends are automatically listed there. The Skype tile that appears on the Start screen is live and displays the most recent missed calls and pending messages.
Users can call others who have Skype clients or with a new dial pad in the application can call phones on the public network using prepaid minutes.

Before Windows 8, hardware for Windows machines had to be based on x86 processors -- the old WinTel model. But that changes with Windows 8.
A special version of Windows 8 called Windows RT is not only designed for devices with ARM processors, the only way you can buy it is packaged with the ARM hardware. Microsoft itself is breaking its longstanding tradition of letting its OEM partners bundle Windows software with hardware by introducing Surface RT, a Windows 8 ARM tablet with an optional keyboard.
The upside of ARM is that it consumes less power than x86 chips, extending battery life for mobile use that takes users away from power outlets.
Surface RT seems aimed at consumers who want the functionality of a tablet but also want to use traditional Microsoft productivity applications. To that end, Windows RT includes an abbreviated version of Microsoft Office. One caveat: The version of Office that comes with Windows RT devices cannot be used for commercial purposes, so a separate commercial license is needed to use Windows RT at work.

Like the name suggests, SkyDrive is cloud-based storage for Windows 8 documents, photos and PC settings. It can also integrate with Windows Phone, so a copy of pictures shot with the phone are automatically sent to the SkyDrive account. With an account, users can tap into their stored resources from whatever machine is available.
Also via SkyDrive, users can share whatever is stored there with others who have been authorized to do so, making it possible to conduct a form of collaboration. SkyDrive also has APIs that are available to developers who want to incorporate access to data in the cloud as part of the apps they write.

Multi-monitor options
For those who use more than one monitor with their desktops, Windows 8 has features earlier versions of Windows lack and oftentimes giving users several options for the same feature.
For example, where should the taskbar be displayed? Windows 8 doesn't have a right answer, but offers the option of having it on all screens, having it on all screens but displaying icons only for the applications on that particular screen or only the screen where the open application is displayed.
Windows 8 features new multi-monitor keyboard shortcuts such as for moving applications from monitor to monitor, enables dragging and dropping applications from screen to screen and displaying a single image as wallpaper so it extends from one screen to another.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Password Recovery/Reset Steps for Cisco Catalyst Switch

Password Recovery/Reset Steps for Cisco Catalyst  Switch

The Cisco switch configuration allows an end user to recover from a lost password by interrupting the boot sequence during power-on with physical access and we can assign new password for theCisco Switch. These recovery procedures require that you have physical access to the switch. Theprocedure for recovering the password will vary depending upon the Cisco Catalyst series and model. You’ll need a few items in place before you begin to attempt a Cisco password reset.
I will cover password recovery procedure for Cisco Catalyst Switch 2960 and this procedure will also work for other Cisco Catalyst switches 2900XL/3500XL, 2940, 2950/2955, 2960, and 2970 Series, as well as the Cisco Catalyst Layer 3 fixed configuration switches 3550, 3560, and 3750 Series.
Next, find the below PDF document  for step-by-step instruction on how to reset and recover the password on your Cisco Catalyst switch.

Password Recovery Steps for Cisco Catalyst 2960 Switch

Step 1:
Connect your PC to the console port of the Cisco switch and open terminal emulation Software on your PC (Ex. Hyper Terminal).
Use the following terminal emulation settings:
  • Bits per second (baud): 9600
  • Data bits: 8
  • Parity: None
  • Stop bits: 1
  • Flow Control: Xon/Xoff
Cisco Password Recovery

Step 2:
First Power off the switch, then press and hold ”mode button” while you power on the switch again. Hold it for about 15 seconds until the SYS led is solid green, and then release it.
switch should then give you this prompt:
Step 3:
To initialize the flash file system, execute the flash_init command:
switch: flash_initInitializing Flash…
flashfs[0]: 5 files, 1 directories
flashfs[0]: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
flashfs[0]: Total bytes: 32514048
flashfs[0]: Bytes used: 8059904
flashfs[0]: Bytes available: 24454144
flashfs[0]: flashfs fsck took 10 seconds.
…done Initializing Flash.
The switch will now give a bunch of messages about the flash memory, hopefully one of them will be ‘done initializing flash’ as above shown
Step 4:
You can now list the contents of your flash by running
switch: dir flash:
Directory of flash: /
2 -rwx 12300 <date> config.text
4 -rwx 1906 <date> private-config.text
5 -rwx 676 <date> vlan.dat
6 -rwx 8040418 <date> c2960-lanbasek9-mz.122-50.SE3.bin
7 -rwx 2072 <date> multiple-fs
Step 5:
There should be a file named ‘config.text’, in the Flash directory. Now you have to rename this file as follows:
switch: rename flash:config.text flash: oldconfig.backup
Step 6:
Now run the Switch by using  boot command as:
switch: boot
Step 7:
When the switch is booted, then old configuration will be gone.Enable switch now using below command.
Step 8:
To recover the old configuration, change the configuration file and re-name back to “config.text”.
Switch#rename flash: oldconfig.backup flash:config.text
And now to replace the running configuration with the backup
Switch#copy flash: config.text running-config
Destination filename [running-config]?
Press enter, and you will have your old switch configuration back and you are enabled.
Step 9:
Copy the configuration file into memory.
Switch#copy flash:config.text system:running-config
Destination filename [running-config]?—–Press Return or Enter.1131 bytes copied in 0.760 secs
The configuration file is now reloaded.
Step 10:
Overwrite the current passwords that you do not know.
Switch# conf t
Switch(config)#enable secret <new_secret_password>
Switch(config)#enable password <new_enable_password>
Switch(config)#line vty 0 15
Switch(config-line)#password <new_vty_password>
Switch(config-line)#line con 0
Switch(config-line)#password <new_console_password>
Write the running configuration to the configuration file with the write memory
Switch#write memory
Building configuration..
Step 11:
Reload the switch using the reload command to cross verify new login details.
Note: The password recovery procedure can be different depending on the Cisco switch series, so you should refer to the product documentation before you attempt a password recovery.
2.CCNA Exploration 4.0 – 2.4 Configuring Switch Security
Video- Cisco Catalyst Switch Password Recovery:
Watch the Video on Cisco Catalyst Switch 2960 password recovery procedure.