How to install an exe via Command Prompt

  1. Introduction
  2. Navigating to downloads
  3. Checking the switches
    1. What are switches?
  4. Installing the software
  5. Summary
  6. Tl;dr

Introduction

In todays post I will be showing you how to install a program via Command Prompt. This can also be setup as a bat file and used in conjunction with something like PDQ Deploy to install software remotely.

We’re going to assume you already have Command Prompt open and running as an Administrator, so the first thing you’re going to want to do is navigate to the file using the ‘cd‘ command or any other method of navigating to a directory using Command Prompt.

We cover some methods of navigating through Command Prompt here.

Checking the switches

Now you’ve navigated to the correct directory in Command Prompt you’re going to want to check the switches of the file you’re going to install, in this scenario we’re going to install Python because I already have it in my downloads, so lets check out it’s switches.

The command you need to run is ‘filename /?‘ where filename is the whole name of the file, so for me it is ‘python-3.9.13-amd64.exe /?‘.

Once this command is entered you should get a window pop up much like this one:

There are a few switches here, notice the ‘/quiet’ one, this is the same as ‘/silent’ so we now know we need to use ‘/quiet’ in our command as oppose to ‘/silent’, otherwise it won’t work. Now we have that let’s move onto the next step.

What are switches?

Switches are essentially modifiers that can be added to commands in Command Prompt to change how that command will run, e.g. in this example we will be using the ‘silent’ modifier so the software will install ‘silently’ (without any user interaction needed).

Installing the software

Now let’s actually get into this, the command we now need to type is: ‘python-3.9.13-amd64.exe /quiet‘. Of course yours may differ if you’re doing your own software so it will be something like ‘filename /command‘.

Once we run this technically nothing should happen, you might notice it working because your cursor may flicker or something might pop up in the taskbar/tray; but essentially because of the /quiet switch we used nothing should appear and (in my case Python) it should install itself.

Summary

That’s all there is to installing software via Command Prompt.

There are a couple of ways you can implement this in the workplace, for example you can create a bat file which you can then put onto PDQ, I have a few batch files like this which I use to install software remotely (there is a guide to creating a batch file here).

You could also copy the batch file onto a USB and go from machine to machine to install software that way, albeit not as efficient but I once had to do this.

An example of the text you would have in a batch file for this would be something like ‘C:\Users\username\downloads\python-3.9.13-amd64.exe /quiet’.

Tl;dr

Run Command Prompt as an administrator > navigate to the file > type the filename followed by ‘ /?’ as a command to find the switches > type the filename and any switch you want and then run it.

How to setup a Teams meeting via Outlook

How to setup a Teams meeting via Outlook
  1. Introduction
  2. Outlook online
    1. Outlook calendar
    2. Setting up the meeting
  3. Outlook client
    1. Outlook client calendar
    2. Setting up the Outlook client meeting
  4. Tl;dr
    1. Outlook online
    2. Outlook client

Introduction

In todays day and age meetings are probably more than likely to be virtual, particularly after the pandemic. So in todays post I’m going to show you how to organise a Teams meeting through your Outlook Calendar and how to invite people to it.

Outlook online

Outlook calendar

The first thing you need to do is open up your Outlook calendar, if you don’t know how to do this then go to your emails and click on the calendar icon on the left of the screen.

It’s located under the 9 dots in the top left.

Once you’re in there, click on ‘New event‘ in the top left corner.

Setting up the meeting

Now that you’re in the new event setup, you can start to organise the meeting. The below images point out some of the important parts of the setup.

You must toggle the Teams meeting on otherwise it will just be a regular event, if it’s setup as a Teams meeting then people will get an invitation to the meeting and will be able to join it from their calendars.


Outlook client

And what if you’re using the Outlook client? Well that’s even easier as there’s an option for it in your calendar!

Outlook client calendar

Head to your calendar which is located in the bottom left of your Outlook client window.

The calendar is located at the bottom of your client.

Once you’re in there, there is a button at the top of the window that says ‘New Teams Meeting‘, click that.

The ‘New Teams Meeting’ in the top of the calendar.

Setting up the Outlook client meeting

Once you have the meeting window up, simply fill in the details such as the attendees, the date and time and a subject if you wish.

The Teams Meeting options.

Tl;dr

Outlook online

Go to your Outlook calendar > New event > enable the ‘Teams meeting‘ toggle.

Outlook client

Go to your Outlook client calendar > ‘New Teams Meeting

How to compress photo sizes using Microsoft PowerPoint or Word

  1. Introduction
  2. Note
  3. Insert the photo into Word
  4. Compress the photo
  5. Tl;dr

Introduction

You don’t feel like uploading your picture to a website that will compress your photo so you take a look at paint, nothing. Well luckily you can compress files using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint!

Note

In this post we will be writing the tutorial in Word, but this can also be done in PowerPoint if you’d prefer, the steps are the same!

Insert the photo into Word

Firstly you need to open up ‘Word‘ and click on the ‘Insert‘ tab, in the ribbon click on ‘Pictures‘. Browse to your photo, select it and click the ‘Insert‘ button.

Compress the photo

Next up now that the image is in Word, you need to select it and go to ‘Format‘ under ‘Picture Tools‘ along the top. Inside of there click on ‘Compress Pictures‘.

When you click compress you will be given a few options, pick one that suits you. You can choose to compress all photos or leave it ticked to compress only the selected picture.

Choose the size of compression you’d like to do, the lower the PPI (that’s pixels per inch and not payment protection insurance so don’t worry!) the lower the size the image will be.

Note: The default resolution in Office is 220ppi.

Now you just need to copy and paste it into paint and save it in the required format you need! Note JPG is the go to choice as it favors lower file size over image quality.

Tl;dr

Insert the photo into Word/PowerPoint > select the photo > Under ‘Picture Tools‘, click ‘Format‘ > Click ‘Compress Pictures‘ > Choose your options > Copy and paste the image into Paint and save it in your chosen format.

How to remove the red grid from PDF’s when printing

  1. Introduction
  2. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader
  3. Removing the Line Weights
  4. Tl;dr

Introduction

When printing a PDF, sometimes you might find that there is a red grid all over the pages that doesn’t appear when viewing the document. In this post I will take you through how to remove it.

Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader

So you’ve just printed out a document but you don’t really want the red checkered lines all over the pages, that’s okay. To remove them you need to open the PDF in ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader DC‘. To do this simply ‘right click‘ the file > ‘Open with‘ > Select ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader DC‘ and open your PDF that way.

An image showing how to open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
How to open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

Removing the Line Weights

When the PDF has opened in Adobe Acrobat, you need to go to ‘View‘ > ‘Show/Hide‘ > ‘Rulers & Grids‘ > Click on ‘Line Weights‘ to untick it.

An image showing An image showing the steps to turn off the line weights in Adobe that cause the red checkered grid to appear on printouts.
How to turn off the line weights in Adobe that cause the red checkered grid to appear on printouts.

And that’s it! As is shown in the image you can also just open the PDF in Adobe and then press ‘Ctrl+5‘ to turn off the line weights without having to go into the ‘View‘ options.

Tl;dr

Open the PDF in ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader DC‘ and press ctrl+5

Uninstalling TPM to fix BitLocker recovery boot loop

Uninstalling TPM to fix BitLocker recovery boot loop
  1. Introduction
  2. Disable BitLocker
  3. Uninstalling TPM
  4. Re-enable BitLocker
  5. Tl;dr

Introduction

Further to our previous post on how to stop the BitLocker recovery boot loop, there are situations that may require a little more work to fix as oppose to simply decrypting and encrypting the drive again.

In todays post I will take you through uninstalling the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) driver and then re-enabling the BitLocker.

Disable BitLocker

Note: Because I’ve touched on this subject already, I won’t be showing you how to enable or disable the BitLocker in this post. Instead I will just be uninstalling the driver, if you’re not sure how to disable or enable BitLocker on your machine then click the links above to find out how.

Uninstalling TPM

Now let’s get into it! The first thing you will need to do is disable the BitLocker, once that has been done you will need to open ‘Device Manager‘ as an admin and look for ‘Security Devices‘.

Image of device manager showing the trusted platform module.
Image of device manager showing the trusted platform module.

In there you will find your ‘Trusted Platform Module‘, simply click that and then click the red cross at the top of the window to uninstall it.

Note: You may need to click ‘View > Show hidden devices‘.

Re-enable BitLocker

Now restart your machine and enable BitLocker. This should sort out any issues with the TPM data that may have become corrupt in some way causing you to have to enter the recovery key all the time.

Tl;dr

Disable the BitLocker, uninstall the TPM driver, restart and re-enable the TPM in the BIOS then enable BitLocker again.

How to stop BitLocker recovery boot loop

  1. Introduction
  2. Disable Windows BitLocker
  3. Enable Windows BitLocker
  4. End
  5. Tl;dr

Introduction

So you turn on your computer to find yourself stuck in a BitLocker boot loop, oh no! Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix providing you have the Windows BitLocker recovery key!

An image of BitLocker asking for recovery key.
An image of BitLocker asking for recovery key dell.

So windows is asking for a BitLocker recovery key every time you boot up your machine? Not a problem, the first thing you need to do is to unlock it by typing in the recovery key, this can be found depending how you saved it:

  • You printed it off.
  • You saved it to a file somewhere.
  • If you’re using Active Directory it’s likely it’s been setup so you can find it under the computer on there.

Disable Windows BitLocker

Assuming you’re in, the first thing we want to do is decrypt Windows BitLocker, you want to head over to ‘This PC‘ and ‘right click‘ your encrypted drive, ‘left click‘ on ‘Manage BitLocker‘.

Image of a file explorer window showing the Manage Bitlocker option.
A file explorer window showing the Manage Bitlocker option.

Once on the ‘BitLocker drive encryption‘ screen comes up, click on ‘Turn off BitLocker‘ to disable windows BitLocker drive encryption on your selected device.

Image of Bitlocker drive encryption to

Now you just need to confirm you want to deactivate Windows BitLocker by clicking on ‘Turn off BitLocker‘.

Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption asking if you want to turn off BitLocker.
BitLocker Drive Encryption asking if you want to turn off BitLocker.

Simply wait for the drive to decrypt.

Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption decrypting drive to turn off windows BitLocker.
BitLocker Drive Encryption decrypting drive to turn off windows BitLocker.

Enable Windows BitLocker

Note: Before this step, I would recommend booting into your BIOS and enabling ‘TPM‘ (Trusted Platform Module), it will likely be in the ‘Security‘ tab.

Afterwards we want to enable Windows BitLocker, you will first need to go back to ‘This PC‘ like you did at the start of the guide, right click the drive you want to encrypt and click ‘Turn on BitLocker‘.

Image of a file explorer window showing the turn on Bitlocker option to enable Windows BitLocker.
A file explorer window showing the turn on Bitlocker option to enable Windows BitLocker.

Next you will be taken through a number of settings pages, you will want to choose the options based on your requirements.

When it comes to backing up the recovery key I would recommend saving it to a file and saving it somewhere secure. Furthermore when choosing how to unlock your drive at startup, I have decided to go with the bottom option ‘Let BitLocker automatically unlock my drive‘ as it is what we use here, it uses TPM to unlock the machine automatically.

  • Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption asking how you would like to unlock your drive at startup.
  • Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption asking how you want to backup your recovery key.
  • Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption asking how much of your drive to encrypt.
  • Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption asking which encryption mode to use.
  • Image of BitLocker Drive Encryption asking if you're ready to encrypt the drive.
  • Image of the BitLocker drive encryption setup.
  • Image of the Bitlocker Drive Encryption screen with the TPM options.
Image of BIOS asking for confirmation to enable, activate and allow creation of an operator authentication value.
Image of BIOS asking for confirmation to enable, activate and allow creation of an operator authentication value.

If you get the two screens that I mentioned you might not get, you will likely get this screen after restarting it, simply press F10 to enable and activate TPM.

End

And that’s all there is to it! Not only have we covered BitLocker enabling, we’ve also covered how to disable it which will sort out your computer when BitLocker keeps asking for recovery keys!

If this post doesn’t help, we have another post here that might help!

Tl;dr

Disable the Windows BitLocker encryption, let it decrypt, then restart the machine and re-encrypt the drive by enabling BitLocker.

Two easy ways to navigate to a directory in CMD

  1. Introduction
  2. The drag and drop method
  3. The cmd method
  4. Tl;dr

Introduction

In todays post I’m going to show you two easy ways to navigate to a directory using Command Prompt. Let’s not waste any time.

The drag and drop method

Open a Command Prompt window and type ‘cd ‘, then open an explorer window and navigate to the required directory.

In this example I’m just navigating to an Adobe Photoshop folder.

Now, simply drag and drop the folder you’d like to navigate to, into CMD.

cmd window with cd command and a file path

Now press ‘Enter‘ and I kid you not that’s it, you’re now in that directory. This method can also just be used to paste a file path without having to type it out or copy and paste it in.

cmd window with cd command and a file path

The cmd method

This method is even easier for navigating to a directory using CMD. Open a file explorer window and navigate to where you’d like your directory to be, I will use the same Photoshop Folder.

File explorer with cmd typed into file path

Now type in ‘cmd‘ in the box highlighted and press ‘Enter‘.

cmd window with the example directory as the current directory

And there you have it, a CMD window will open with that folder as the directory… Even easier!

Tl;dr

Drag and drop the folder into the CMD window.

Type in ‘cmd‘ in the file path box when in the current directory you’d like to start CMD in.

How to rename a computer remotely using PowerShell

How to rename a computer remotely using PowerShell
  1. Introduction
  2. The PowerShell command
  3. Tl;dr

Introduction

Often it can be a tedious venture renaming a computer, particularly on a network, this command will easily rename a machine for you and update it on Active Directory.

The PowerShell command

First things first you will want to run PowerShell, I’m using PowerShell ISE simply because I like to write out a script and then run it afterwards.

Next you want to write out the command ‘Rename-computer –computername “oldname” –newname “newname” –domaincredential administrator –force‘ where ‘oldname‘ is the current name of the machine and ‘newname‘ is the name you wish to change it to. In this case I’m changing it from ‘Odyssey‘ to ‘STORM‘.

Press ‘Enter‘ if using regular PowerShell or press the green play button if using ISE.

Powershell ISE window showing the command

Now, you’ll need privilege’s for this which is what the ‘-domaincredential administrator‘ command is for, where ‘administrator‘ is the admin username you will be using, e.g. your network administrator login. Login using an account with the correct permissions and press ‘OK‘.

Windows powershell credential request

Once you’ve logged in, the command will run and if it worked correctly you will get a message saying ‘WARNING: The changes will take effect after you restart the computer ‘computer name’.‘ Simply restart the machine and you should find that the name has been changed.

Powershell ISE window showing the command

That’s all there is to it!

Tl;dr

Rename-computer –computername “oldname” –newname “newname” –domaincredential administrator –force

How to convert a WAV file to MP3

How to convert a WAV file to MP3
  1. Introduction
  2. Downloading VLC
  3. Converting a WAV to an MP3
  4. Tl;dr

Introduction

There are a multitude of reasons you might want to change the audio format of a file, perhaps you need to upload it somewhere but you can only upload it in a particular format, or maybe you just want to shrink the size of it. Regardless of your reason, I’m going to show you how to convert an audio file into a different audio format!

Downloading VLC

First things first you’ll need to download VLC if you’re not already using it! You can download it from here: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Converting a WAV to an MP3

Now that that’s out the way, let’s get started. Run VLC and head to Media > Convert / Save.

VLC convert save

In the next window you will want to click ‘Add‘.

VLC add media to convert

Next, you need to browse to the file you want to convert. Select it and click ‘Open‘.

Note: You can shift+click to choose more than one file, this will slightly change the remaining steps but those will not be covered here.

VLC select file to convert

On the next window you can double check the correct files are in the ‘File Selection‘ box, when you’re happy click ‘Convert / Save

VLC open media to convert

Next you want to choose the profile (the format you’d like to convert to), we will be using MP3.

VLC choose profile

In the ‘Destination‘ box you want to click on ‘Browse‘ to choose where you want the final converted file to be placed.

VLC Browse destination

Choose where you’d like to save the file and then choose the file name, once you’ve done that click ‘Save‘.

VLC save destination

Now simply press ‘Start‘.

VLC start convert

The VLC window will close and VLC will start to convert the file, the progress can be seen in the timeline as outlined below, once this has gone through the whole file (it’ll be different depending on the length of the file, in this case it’s 10:26) it will then be done.

VLC converting progress

And that’s all there is to it! You can now go to the destination location you set and the file should be there in it’s converted format.

Tl;dr

Open VLC > Go to ‘Media‘ > ‘Convert / Save‘ > Follow the instructions to convert the file

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