Windows 10 “Enter Network Credentials” Error When Access File Shares [PROPER FIX!]

Okay, first of all, we need to be clear about the setup… I have a PC and a laptop, both running Windows 10 Pro. The PC is the Server, the Laptop is the client / user’s PC. Both of them are using my Microsoft account to log in, and I use my PIN on both. The Client is of course trying to access shared files on the Server.

It seems if you have the setup as described (particularly if you are using a PIN to log in), then this fix should help if you get the error “Enter Network Credentials” when trying to access shared files.  I tried heaps of other fixes, but none of them worked.

TL;DR:  Create a local account on the Server, then simply use that account to log in from the Client. I’m a bit surprised that this wasn’t already suggested somewhere (maybe it has and I missed it!).

I’ll get to fleshing out the specific instructions at some point….

 

Cleaning Up LastPass – One Year In

I’ve been running LastPass for just over a year now, and if you are like me and you have added lots of passwords, but haven’t ever run a Security Challenge, then read on, because I can save you stepping into the same issues that I encountered, and maybe make the tidy up of your passwords fairly painless.

Unfortunately I don’t have a screenshot of my “before” Security Challenge results. Needless to say it was bad. I had about 3 passwords used across many sites, as well as one of them also being my master password. Additionally, I hadn’t changed any passwords since I added my sites to LastPass. All of the score values were in the red (I have about 85 passwords in my database too).

This is my current score and results.  A big difference after a couple of hours of work.  You can see the red warning symbols in the steps below – they look worse than they appear.   Ill explain below.

Some important explanations and information before we proceed:

  1. Some of these Steps will have Change with one click / Auto-Change Password options. This is where you can tick the entries to change, and simply click on the Update Now button to have LastPass automatically go in to each site and change your passwords to a randomly generated password, and update those entries in LastPass with the new passwords.
  2. The Auto-Change Passwords doesn’t always work! I have found it works with the big and popular sites (eBay, Amazon, etc), but don’t use it on other sites.  Also, do not close the page or browser while its working – give it time to complete (10 minutes?).
  3. You can also click on the Launch Site button to open up the website for each given password entry.  Once there, you can go through the process of updating your password.  LastPass should see this happen, and when you click on save/update/change password it should ask you if you want to update the password entry with the new password.  This doesn’t always work either!
  4. If your LastPass database get out of whack (the password saved does not match whats on the site), edit the entry, and click on the clock looking icon to the right of the Password box.  This will show the password history.  Hopefully one of the older ones still works.
  5. Be prepared to use the “retrieve lost password” function on a few sites, if you make mistakes like I did.
  6. You probably will not be able to fix all of the issues listed in the Security Challenge results.  Ie. I have a few sites that log in with a combination of text and a pin, rather than a typical password.  LastPass views these as Weak Passwords, but there is no way to fix this unless the site changes it’s security / password process.
  7. I have a few Change Reused Passwords entries too.  I kept a few sites the same, and they are ones I need to be able to recall easily at various times.  Ie. Steam often asks for verification by re-entering the password on restarts.  Some games require a login and I prefer it to be easy enough to recall.  TBH, this is a poor practice, and I would be better off changing them all to be unique, but that’s for another day.
  8. You might wonder why LastPass does not work well on some sites, and why I’ve said above that some things do not work.  That’s a bit simplistic on my part. As a developer, I can imagine the complexity and variety of websites out there that have different ways of managing logins and security, and LastPass has to be told (by the people who make it) how to better manage each these new websites.  It is a very difficult thing to get working on all websites.

Given that there are sometimes issues with these more automatic functions, here is the process I found was easiest and most painless:

  1. Note: These are general steps, and will vary from site to site.
  2. Start up your web browser of choice, and open the LastPass Vault via the add-on/plug-in/extension.
  3. Run the Security Challenge, and be prepared to get a really bad score (or you are already here because you have run it, and have seen the results).
  4. Note: Do not close the Vault and Security Challenge pages.
  5. Security Challenge’s Improve Your Score area: Click on each Step to open up the list of entries. Compromised Passwords are your passwords that have been used in any leak from various website hacks. This will hopefully be small. If you want to know about what hack they each were involved with, click on the grey information icon. The other steps should be pretty self explanatory.
  6. Click on the Launch Site button next to the entry you want to improve. Hopefully the link you have on that entry is correct, and it will open up the login page for that site. If not, find the correct page, then go back to your Vault and find the entry, edit it, and update the webpage link. Don’t forget to save any changes you make.  Note: This will not make the Security Challenge Launch Site link work – but next time you run the challenge, it will be.
  7. With the website open, log in with your existing information, then find the Change Password link / area.  This will probably be in an area called something like Account Settings, Security, Profile, User Details etc.
  8. Right Click on any part of the main window, and choose LastPass -> Generate Secure Password. Keep this tab open too.
  9. This generator tool will let you set rules about the password it is generating, and the red Refresh button will randomly generate a new password with those rules.
  10. Click Refresh, then highlight the new password, and Copy it (right click -> Copy, or CTRL+C).
  11. Go back to the website’s tab where you are changing the password.
  12. Paste the new password into the New Password box (right click -> Paste, or CTRL+V)
  13. Also Paste it into the Confirm Password box
  14. If it has a requirement to supply your old password (it should), use the icon/symbol in the text box to get the current password from the Vault.
  15. Check for any errors. Some sites will automatically tell you, other will only let you know when you Update / Save the new password.
  16. Press the Update / Save button and check for any more errors.
  17. If you encounter a problem, see what it says, and adjust the Generator settings to suit, and go back to Step 10 above. Do not forget that you should change the settings back before generating another password for the next site.  The default settings are very good for security.  Only, I did find a few sites that particularly did not like symbol characters ($%#&^% etc).
  18. If it is all good, then LastPass should pop up an option to update your entry with the new password.  Again, this may not always happen. If it does not happen, go to Step 19. Otherwise you are done for this site. Go to Step 6.
  19. If you have to update the LastPass entry manually, go to the Vault tab, find the entry, and click on the Pencil / Edit button.
  20. Highlight the existing password (shown as a line of dots), and Paste the new password in here (remember, it was copied to the clipboard in step 10).
  21. Click Save, and the tab should close, and LastPass will update the password.

Do this for all of the entries in each Step of the Security Challenge’s Improve Your Score area.

After you have made a bunch of changes, re-run the Security Challenge and see how much of a difference these changes have made.  I did this a few times to keep up my motivation to work through the list.

Having done that, a fair chunk of your passwords should be updated, and your Security Challenge Score should be a lot healthier.

Get started with LastPass today! 😀

Light Adjusting Wallpaper Changer (LAWC)

LAWK256I’ve released the BETA of my handy little tool for Windows which allows you to change your wallpaper images, not only just at random, but it will also adjust the images for a Day / Night cycle which can be set to any time of the day. LAWC stores the library of pictures catalogued from user selected folders, and will select randomly from those images.

It also supports multi-monitors, showing different images on each screen, as well as many more features.


Best of all, its FREE!! But feel free to support me, and the application, by Donating whatever $ you can spare.

Click here to Read More about, and Download LAWC…

Great Free Windows Apps For All New PCs

oh-yes-its-freeIve been meaning to post up a list of the great (completely) free apps out there…. and here it finally is…

  1. http://ninite.com/ This site / tool is great!  You just tick off all the FREE apps you want to install, then download the installation tool.  This little program will download and install all of the software you ticked off, skipping unwanted toolbars, ads, and other annoying stuff.  It will also automatically skip things that you have already installed.  The programs in Ninite that I reccommend are:

    1. Chrome Browser
    2. Auslogics – Disk Defragmenter
    3. CDBurnerXP – for burning CDs / DVDs
    4. Classic Start – a Start Button for Windows 8 users
    5. Skype – well, a lot of people seem to use it
    6. VLC – video / audio player that doesn’t require any Codecs to be installed
    7. Audacity – if you want a good sound file editor (MP3, Wav, etc)
    8. Media Monkey – Music / Video organiser (like iTunes but with much more)
    9. Java – Needed for some other apps eg. LibreOffice
    10. .NET – Needed for some other apps (not necessarily in Ninite’s list)
    11. WinRAR – great for creating / opening compressed files of many types
    12. Inkscape – handy vector drawing program, similar to CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
    13. Adobe Reader – lots of PDFs out there
    14. LibreOffice – for editing / viewing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations etc (Similar to MS Office)
    15. PDFCreator – for creating PDF documents (incase the title wasnt obvious 😛 )
    16. Avast – Decent anti-virus software thats not too annoying.  Just remember to turn off the sounds!
    17. MalawareBytes – a different sort of malware detection / scanning software.  I usually check things with both an anti-virus program and MalawareBytes
    18. uTorrent – do you have to ask…. ?
    19. Evernote – great tool for managing notes, recipes, information.  It will sync to lots of different devices (Android, iPhone, PC)
    20. Google Earth
    21. Steam – Great platform for browsing / buying games.  Lots of free games on there too.
    22. DropBox – my preferred web storage too.  Integrates very well into Windows 7 / 8
  2. HTC Home:  This is a stylish weather / clock for your Windows desktop
  3. Coming Soon…..ish

Go Greens!

Im not a very political person, but I just read this new report, saying that Australian Senator Rachel Siewert will spend a week experiencing what it is like to live on unemployment benefits.

Its fantastic to know that there are at least one or two politicians in Australia that want to pull their head out of the sand and see what is really going on in this country.

The Centrelink payments here are a joke.  I pay more in rent than my total weekly payment, leaving me to cover ALL other costs with my own life savings which are now nearly gone.  Hopefully something good will come of this.

Drum Practice – I’ve Nearly Nailed ‘The Unforgiven’

It’s funny… I get more nervous doing a recording of my drum playing than I do when playing in front of someone?!  I think it’s because a recording can be scrutinized, rewound, etc.  Whereas a live performance isn’t as liable….

I didn’t realise how long a song it was – 6:27 … so much fun to play

Anyway, here is my latest attempt at Metallica’s The Unforgiven.

Maybe NSW Would Prefer Carrier Pigeons to the NBN?

I used to be amazed at the lack of thought and forward planning demonstrated by Australian politicians, but now Im just saddened and disappointed that such narrow minded backwards thinking has been elected to state government in NSW.  Apparently, the newly elected O’Farrell Coalition Government has Banned the National Broadband Network (NBN), which could spell disaster for the rest of the country.  When will all the idiots out there realise that we are lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to our internet infrastructure.

Just to get the petty stuff out of the way…. why the hell have they even said “Banned”?  What, is the government going to scourge the land search for anyone who may have a fiber optic connection, and send them to jail for it?  What sensationalist narrow minded bullshit.

Do politicians even know what an internet connection is?  Stephen Conroy continually proves he has no clue about his own portfolio as Communications Minister.  Don’t they realise, that while fiber may be an expensive initial outlay, it will give us capability to transfer data at very high speeds, for a very long time to come.  Instead the shortsighted wankers will feed bucket loads of cash to Telstra and competing telcos, to patch up and already dated network.  What do they care – they will most likely be out of office in 4 years, so it wont be their problem.

So, to really hammer the point home (because it seems people’s heads are so far up their arses they cannot hear anything but their own voice), there are 43 countries around the world with a faster and probably much better quality service.  These countries include many obscure places you would probably think are third world – like Lithuania, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, the Ukraine, Ghana, Faroe Islands, Vietnam… need I keep going?

Also, do any of these self serving assholes have kids?  You only have to walk down the street and see all the mobile phones, laptops, iPads, etc in use these days.  Do the politicians not realise that our kids are growing up with an internet connection in their hands.  Each one of them will be streaming video, music, etc, and as more and more people become “internet savvy”, and more of these online services become available (would anyone like to see Hulu in Australia?), our already bogged down network will be brought to its knees due to lack of foresight.

Here are a few stats:

  • Number of Connections:  We are #11 when it comes to the number of people connected to the internet.
  • Speed: We are listed as #44 in the world, on this site.  Our internet connections are that much slower than everyone else listed.
  • We are approximately 7% below the average world internet speed
  • Our average internet speed is approximately 75% SLOWER than the top performing country – South Korea
  • Also in terms of speed, the average of the top 10 countries is 24.24 Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second).  Australia’s average is 8.01 Mbps.
  • We are approximately 67% SLOWER than the average of the top 10 countries in terms of internet speed.

As the saying goes, we get the government we deserve.  Seems we deserve as backwards thinking, narrow minded, ignorant government.

Do you still think Australia is “the lucky country”?  If you consider #44 in the world to be lucky then I’d love to have some of what you are smoking.

Performance Problems? And I mean your PC ;)

Having trouble with your PC just not being as fast as it used to be?  Personally, I reinstall the whole OS every 6-12 months, but I have a few friends who are a little daunted by that task, so Ive suggested a few things that might help clean up their computer.  It’s a fairly regular question too, so for anyone stumbling upon this, here are a few good, cheap/free applications that should make your system run better without any (or little) out-of-pocket expense.

Also, I have tried many other applications, some of which have not helped, and others which have made things worse.  These tend to be reliable and do what they say.  BUT, of course make your your system is backed up to a memory stick, hard drive, or burnt DVD, before running these sorts of applications just in case the unforeseen happens.  When was the last time you backed up your PC?  (Now that I think about it, its been a few months for me…)

First things first, head into the Control Panel, and uninstall any programs you don’t use anymore… after that, try these to finish off the cleanup process:

With all of that, the machine should be a little snappier.  After that, you could always overclock it!  Once your PC is out of warranty (as overclocking can void warranties) then its a relatively easy way of getting 10-20% more power with very little, or no cost.  Think of it like boosting the performance of the engine in your car…

Oh, one last word of advice, if you want to know more about how to do things Ive mentioned then just type it in to Google.  Don’t forget, Google is Your Friend!

Drumming Update

If anyone is interested, I did another recording to track my progress with learning the drums. I have been making myself go back and redo any sections I stuff up, but that doesn’t make for a fun listen, so I did a single run straight through the two songs Ive started learning (The Unforgiven and Nothing Else Matters). Oh, the stuff up at about 2 minutes in was because Miki (one of my dogs) decided to jump up onto my lap 😛 The rest (as always) are mine.

The Unforgiven [5mb]
Nothing Else Matters [5mb]

Let me know what you think 🙂

Cyclone Yasi Part 3: Return of the Disorganisation (aka Why So Disorganised?)

joker-1 (Small)Oh, before I get onto a cynical spin, I would like to say I was pleased that just about everyone stayed so safe.  Being an ex-NQ guy myself (Cairns and Townsville), Ive seen the mixture of panic and apathy the public presents when a Cyclone looms. It looks like the North Queenslanders may have paid attention to the cyclone preparation.

Now, on to the real cynicism 😉

It’s all rather self serving. Ie.  If the government and the media have exaggerated the danger presented to start with, then after the threat passes we find less damage and problems than they told us would occur, people will automatically assume that they did an excellent job and that’s kept people safe.  When in reality there was less danger to start with…

I thought I’d check off all the usual stuff that happens after a cyclone (some mentioned in a previous post):

Other things that always happen after a cyclone, that I didn’t put in the post (they are so obvious it’s probably not worth mentioning, but I will just for completeness 😛

You’d think by now they would be pretty well versed in how to respond to a disaster in North Queensland by now, especially after Cyclone Tracy, Cyclone Larry, and many others.  But, I have a friend who has registered to volunteer with the cleanup etc, but as yet none of the organisations (he registered with multiple) have not called him back, even just to tell him whats going on, let alone to tell him to head to North Queensland to clean up after Cyclone Yasi.

Maybe someone should point out to Gillard and team that they could probably set up a template in their preferred word processor software?  😉