Disable ASUS Mini Bar (AsPowerBar.exe)

asusminibarNot 100% work related but computer related. I reinstalled my home PC last week and also installed the ASUS AI Suite 3 tools to make it easier with overclocking and handling the fans and pump for my custom liquid cooling system.

One annoying thing is the ASUS Mini Bar (also called ASPowerBar.exe if you check in Task Manager) that automatically starts. When you logon to Windows. Easy to remove I thought and just downloaded one of the best (and free!) tools ever, called Sysinternals Autoruns which makes it super easy to see and disable all programs that automatically starts for various reasons including the ones launched form Task Manager or as Shell Extensions.

But there was no reference at all to be found related to the Asus Mini Bar. Ehh?  Well turned out that it was a lot easier than that.

asus

Just right click on the Asus AI Suite icon in the systray and remove the checkbox for ASUS Mini Bar! It’s the AI Suite tool that launches the Mini Bar…

I hope it can help someone else who’s like me digging through the Registry and Autorun folders and what ever else.

 

Enable driver verifier for all none-microsoft drivers with powershell

I’ve been doing some debugging for a customer, who has multiple industrial Client PC’s who are rebooting regularly. And to get more information in the memory dumps I had a need to configure the system to do a complete memory dump but also to enable extra verification of all drivers in the system to find the cause of the bluescreens.

Window has a built in tool called “Verifier” where you can enable extra checks on calls done by specific drivers. You generally don’t want to enable it on all drivers as that will slow down the system notable. And truthfully, the number of times it’s a Microsoft device driver who’s causing the issue is so small, because they check and stress test their drivers so much better than all the other vendors. Thus, it’s always better to enable the extra checks for all drivers, except the ones from Microsoft to start with.

As I didn’t want to run around to all the Client PC’s and configure verifier, I’ve made a small powershell script that reads the name of all none-microsoft drivers from the system and enabled verification for just those drivers. Which can then be execute in any number of ways.

It’s using both the Get-VMIObject and Get-WindowsDrivers to get a complete list of thirdparty drivers in the system. And it will also configure the system for a Complete Memory Dump.

Just to be safe, I’ve added /bootmode resetonbootfail so it will reset the verifier settings in case the system is bluescreening during boot due to verifier notificing a bad driver in the boot process.

Reboot the PC, get a big cold Coke and wait for the bluescreen to happen.

Addition to new-wifimac address script

A reader asked if there was a way to reset the mac-address to the original value after using my script to set a random MAC address. But also if it’s possible to schedule the script to run every XX minutes as the local coffee shop restricts internet access to 15 minutes per custo…ehh sorry, per MAC Address!

Here is a small function to reset the mac-address, by changing it to 00-00-00-00-00-00 windows will use the default hardware MAC Address of your card.

Regarding the automatic scheduling of the script. There are a couple of different ways to do that with pros and cons. It’s for example possible to start the script with Windows Task Scheduler ever X minute or let it automatically run, sleep for XX minutes and then execute again, over and over again until you stop it.

It’s even possible to have Windows Task Scheduler monitor the Event log for new Wifi Connections and if there is a connection to the Coffee House WiFi network, then start the script.

But for now, I’ve just added a very basic Loop, which you can add to the script and execute. It will generate a new random MAC Address every 13 minute (13*60 = 780 seconds) and do that 4 times before you have to restart it or you can just adjust the numbers.

Change MAC Address with PowerShell of a Wireless Adapter

As I mentioned in my post a week ago, I’m commuting each day and there is a 200MB Quota on the Wireless Network. Luckily it’s based on the MAC Address of the WiFi Card, so it’s quite easy to get another 200MB Quota if you want  😉

wifi1

Here is my small powershell script that automatically Releases the IP Address, set’s a new random MAC Address and Re-Connects to the SSID, all done in a second or two.
Yay! Another 200MB Quota to burn.

 

I’m using a Window 10 client with Hyper-V, and I’ve created a Virtual NIC for the WiFi adapter, that’s why it’s called ‘vEthernet (External Wi-Fi)’.  But you should be able to use the script with a normal WiFi Adapter too.

I’m using a Virtual WiFi Adapter, to be able to give my Virtual Machines access to internet also when I’m without a LAN.

Here is the script for creating a Virtual WiFi NIC;

 

 

Block a Service (BITS) when on Wireless and specific Subnet

I’m commuting by train each day, working. The train has a free wireless network, but it’s limited to 200MB traffic, and is then reduced to snail speed. Luckily, it’s restricted by MAC-Address so it’s quite easy to get another 200MB when you run out 😉
Though, yesterday, I ran out of my 200MB quota in less than 7 minutes, which made me confused. A quick check confirmed what I suspected. Yepp, a new build of Windows 10 – fast ring is being downloaded and eating my quota.

Quick solution; create a Windows Firewall rule that blocks BITS from downloading stuff when on Wireless and using the trains subnet.

fw1

Here is the PowerShell syntax to create a similar rule.

Yay! No more problems with eating the quota while on the train.

Working with Virtual NIC’s in Windows

At times when I’m for example at a customer and need to connect my Laptop to different VLAN’s it’s really nice to add new virtual Network Cards (vNIC’s) on the fly, and be connected to multiple networks at the same time. vnics

By transforming the Network Cards in your computer, into a virtual switch, and then add Virtual Network Cards connected to that switch, it’s possible to do a bit of network magic.

Here is a part of the script that I run each time I reinstall my PC’s to create the vNIC’s that I need and use the most. The script is also installing the software I need and doing some other minor changes (always a work in progress).

Pre-Requisits: Hyper-V Role installed

Thanks to my friend and colleague Mikael Nyström who showed me this a few years ago.