How to recover the Chromebook

Chromebook is very popular and easy to use, most of the services we use today are cloud-based, so no need to install any software on your local computer. Your data sync up with Google drive account, in case some reason your Chromebook does not work and reset does not work, here is how you can recover it by using Chromebook recovery utility.

What you will need:

USB stick 4GB+
Chromebook Recovery Utility
Working computer, so you can create recovery Image

Download the Chromebook Recovery Utility which can be installed on your Chrome browser.

When you open the Chromebook Recovery Utility, you will get see something like this: click Get started

Select the Model of your Chromebook or next option by model selection

Or by Selecting Model from list, then click Continue

If you have not put in your USB or SD card put and click Continue

Make sure you have selected correct media, it will wipe out any data on it. If you are sure, click Create now

Once you click Create now, it will start downloading, then it will install on your external media, you should see Success and done option if everything goes well.

Enter into recovery mode

Now that you have the image, You can plugin USB or SD card to your Chromebook then Press and hold Esc + Refresh then press Power.  Let go of Power, when a message shows on the screen, let go of the other keys. Once done you should see fresh installed Chromebook welcome screen



How to Compact Virtual Hard Disk

These days most of us using virtual storage drives for a server, most of the time these virtual storage disks are configured dynamically, so it grows as we use it, but does not shrink when you delete data unless you do compact. If you are using Hyper-V servers, it’s very easy to do, other hypervisors also offer similar compacting, you may just have to look around.

Here is screenshot of before compacting drive:

To compact in Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor:

Open the Hyper-V Manager
Select the VM
Right-click on VM, click Settings
Select the Hard Drive that you want to compact, then click Edit
It will give you the location of the Disk and warning, please make sure you have a good backup, just in case something goes wrong
Click Next

If you only see Expand option, that means your VM is running, you can’t Compact
Click Next

Summary of Disk, click Finish and it will start compacting, time it takes to compact are depends on speed of drive and how much data you have deleted.

This is what it looks like after compacting, the size will vary depends on how much of your data being deleted.

After Compacting:

That’s it, if you don’t get the drive space back, make sure to do the Drive Optimization first then re-do the compacting

To drive Optimize:

Login into server and right click on the drive select Properties

Click on Tools tab
Click on Optimize

Then select the drive if you have more then one and click on Optimize



How to delete Active Directory user with privilege issue

There may be a number of reasons you can’t delete some users from Active Directory, one of them could be domain admin or enterprise admin privileges. Another could be some objects are still in use or not sync up with an exchange, they both have some many references, so can’t delete active directory user with exchange ActiveSync

I had come across one after migration to Office 365, some user account that may have old Exchange attributes that cannot be deleted and you will have to manually give your self full access. here is how to delete those account that has privilege issues.

First you need to change the view to: use the “view -> users, Contacts, Groups, and Computers as containers”

Then go to the user you are having issue deleting, give you self full permission to object then you should be able to delete it



How to extend your screen to the second monitor

Display Rearrange your displays

It’s very common these days people are working from home and doing multiple tasks so they use the second monitor. The second monitor could be attaching directly to a laptop, desktop, tablet, or wirelessly. Some devices have built-in options some you have to use an adaptor, converter, or external docking station. Here are some options and settings to help you extend your screen to the second monitor.

Types of connections:

VGA, HDMI, DVI, min HDMI, micro HDMI, Type-C you can do a search on the specific type to get a picture if you don’t know what these are. There are so many others but these are common.

On Windows 10 computer:

Once you have your second screen connected or ready to connect if using wirelessly.

Click Notification icon near the bottom clock
Then click on Project
Click on Extend (if using a wireless click on Connect to a wireless display)
you should see now both screen

on Windows 10 Connecting to Wireless display

Click Notification icon near the bottom clock
Then click on Project
Click on Connect to a wireless display
It will give you options to choose your wireless display, some have code you need to enter some devices just connects. then you should see both screens

Some settings you should know:

Display resolution, higher the resolution clear the image, but texts and windows will get smaller. You can also use Scale (zoom) some apps may not display correctly. Every display has it’s own settings you can change that works for you, just look around for options.

If you need to change the way the arrow mouses from one screen to another, you can just rearrange the displays and so your mouse pointer moves the monitor way you have physically. If you don’t know you can click on Identify it will display 1 and 2.

If you need to make the second monitor as primary, so any application you open will open by default on the second monitor.

Select second monitor then under Multiple displays, check the box Make this my main display

That’s it, there are so many other settings you can look around to find what works for you, also based on the selection and type of device you will see more options.



How to setup Kiosk using Raspberry Pi 4

There are many open-source and paid versions out there to set up Kiosk.  I have set this up on Raspberry Pi version 1, 2, 3 and now 4.  It’s a very simple setup, I am going to set website URL default to loading when Raspberry Pi 4 boots up, but you can change it to whatever you like, it could be a slide show, video, etc.….  You can even use it as Signage, there as some other out there are better for Signage.

What you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi 4 (you can use older version too, your settings may be different)
  • SD memory card 8GB or larger
  • Network connection LAN or WiFi
  • Terminal to SSH to Raspberry or run the command on the Raspberry
  • Unzip program and image burner software

Sections:

Update Raspberry Pi 4

Create a script file

Adding script file to auto-start when Raspberry Pi boots up

Enable SSH

common issues and solutions:

Download the “Raspbian Buster with desktop” or if you want the one with an application you can do so as well it’s Raspbian Buster with desktop and recommended software image, then you will need to unzip the download file.  If your computer doesn’t have the unzip program you can download the 7zip from https://www.7-zip.org/download.html

Next, you will need the image burner software, if you have one use it or download this one https://www.balena.io/etcher/, it supports many operating systems including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Portable.  Or https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/ it’s a little outdated, but still works.

Download Raspbian Buster with desktop: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/

Once you have downloaded and used one of the image burner software to burn into SD card, then put in the Raspberry Pi 4 and start it up and if everything goes well you should see, click Next to go through basic settings

Welcome to Raspberry Pi

Set your local Country, Language and Timezone, then click Next

Set Country, Language and Timezone

Change Default Password, enter new password and click Next

Change Default password

Setup up screen settings, You may need this to enable or disabled, click Next

Set Up Screen

Select WiFi Network or click skip

Select WiFi Network

Update Software, you can skip or let it search and install

Update Software

Running very good even while searching for updates, see Task Manger

Task Manager

Once it’s finished searching, installing new updates or if you skipped you will see option to restart, click restart so all settings takes effects

Setup Complete

Once the Raspberry Pi 4 restarts, open the Chromium once so it creates the Default/Preferences automatic, then just close it

Update the Raspberry Pi 4:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Create a script file:

Now setting up the script file, you can name it whatever you like: example StartApp.sh, inside copy and paste this code and change the URL to whatever you like

!/bin/bash
# If Chromium crashes (usually due to rebooting), clear the crash flag so we don't have the annoying warning bar
# waits for 10 seconds before opening URL
# To disable screen saver timeout
xset s 0
# To disabled Monitor going to sleep
xset -dpms
# clean up if the power or ssh in and poweroff or if hostname changes
rm -rf ~/.config/chromium/Singleton*
# Waits for 10 seconds before starting up
sleep 10
# Make sure to change the user name if it's not default pi
sed -i 's/"exited_cleanly":false/"exited_cleanly":true/'  /home/pi/ .config/chromium/Default/Preferences
sed -i 's/"exit_type":"Crashed"/"exit_type":"Normal"/'  /home/pi/.config/chromium/Default/Preferences
chromium-browser --kiosk --disable-restore-session-state --disable-session-crashed-bubble --noerrordialogs --disable-infobars http://YourURL.com

You can add other options –no-default-browser-check –no-first-run that you like to prevent from pop up

Now make the .sh file executable:

chmod +x name_of_file.sh

Adding script file to auto-start when Raspberry Pi boots up

sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

@lxpanel –profile LXDE-pi
@pcmanfm –desktop –profile LXDE-pi
@xscreensaver -no-splash
# add the following, if your script file located other location then the root of the user, then you will need to put the path

sh StartAuto.sh

autostart

Other setting you may need to change so it runs smooth, without any issue:

If you want to enable SSH, so you can make changes via Remote:

sudo systemctl enable ssh
sudo systemctl start ssh

That’s it

common issues and solutions:

To remove the Mouse pointer:
sudo apt-get install unclutter

Preventing Sleep of Monitor:
it’s already included in the script file, but just in case you need to change it
sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf
In that file, look for:
[SeatDefault] or [Seat:*]
#uncomment and insert -s 0 dpms:
xserver-command=X -s 0 dpms

If you need to fill your screen, you will need to disable the Overscan:
raspi-config
once it loads, choose Advanced Options> Next, choose Overscan:

To Disable chromium update message:
sudo touch /etc/chromium-browser/customizations/01-disable-update-check;echo CHROMIUM_FLAGS=\”\${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} –check-for-update-interval=31536000\” | sudo tee /etc/chromium-browser/customizations/01-disable-update-check

To check the monitor resolution settings currently set to:

/opt/vc/bin/tvservice -s
Should display something like this:
state 0xa [HDMI CUSTOM RGB lim 16:9], 1920×1080 @ 60.00Hz, progressive

To check what’s available settings for your monitor:

/opt/vc/bin/tvservice -m DMT
You should see something like this:
Group DMT has 12 modes:
mode 4: 640×480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:25MHz progressive
mode 5: 640×480 @ 72Hz 4:3, clock:31MHz progressive
mode 6: 640×480 @ 75Hz 4:3, clock:31MHz progressive
mode 8: 800×600 @ 56Hz 4:3, clock:36MHz progressive
mode 9: 800×600 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:40MHz progressive
mode 10: 800×600 @ 72Hz 4:3, clock:50MHz progressive
mode 11: 800×600 @ 75Hz 4:3, clock:49MHz progressive
mode 16: 1024×768 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:65MHz progressive
mode 17: 1024×768 @ 70Hz 4:3, clock:75MHz progressive
mode 18: 1024×768 @ 75Hz 4:3, clock:78MHz progressive
mode 35: 1280×1024 @ 60Hz 5:4, clock:108MHz progressive
mode 39: 1360×768 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:85MHz progressive

Or
/opt/vc/bin/tvservice -m CEA
You should see something like this:
Group CEA has 10 modes:
mode 1: 640×480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:25MHz progressive
mode 2: 720×480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:27MHz progressive
mode 3: 720×480 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:27MHz progressive
mode 4: 1280×720 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:74MHz progressive
mode 5: 1920×1080 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:74MHz interlaced
mode 6: 720×480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:27MHz x2 interlaced
mode 7: 720×480 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:27MHz x2 interlaced
(prefer) mode 16: 1920×1080 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:148MHz progressive
mode 32: 1920×1080 @ 24Hz 16:9, clock:74MHz progressive
mode 34: 1920×1080 @ 30Hz 16:9, clock:74MHz progressive