Using File Screening with Teams Installer

At the school I am currently working at we use File Screening in the user data areas to prevent download and storage of executables and crypto files. Over the last week as staff and students have returned this has caused some issues when it comes to Teams and how it updates itself.

Our usual method of software deployment is via Group Policy software installation. As Teams installs in each user’s AppData we deploy the Teams machine wide MSI. Most of the time Teams then silently updates without issue however occasionally it prompts the user to download the full Teams installer .exe in order to update.

This creates issues as we block all .exe files in the screen template. However there is a simple solution, you are able to create an exception within the template.

Open up File Server Resource Manager -> File Screen Templates -> Edit Template Properties. Select Executable Files and then Edit. Under Files to exclude add

Teams_windows_*.exe

The asterisk means if the user ends up with multiple installers (Teams_windows_x64 (1).exe for example) due to switching machines etc. it won’t get blocked.

Related to this one of our team has written a great article for our help desk on how the end users can update Teams.

20H2 Network Rebuild

As you’ll know if you follow my work Twitter I spent last week over at Trinity Catholic School who have recently joined the MAC rebuilding their network from a legacy RM CC4 image to a new Lourdes IT 20H2 one.

This included some great work by Dan our project lead on creating new virtual machines and some interesting technical challenges running the two networks side by side when it came to DNS and DHCP. We needed to do this due to the fact that until we got to a point where all IT rooms were imaged the children that were in school still needed access to computers to be able to complete their online learning.

The image was deployed via MDT containing 20H2 and Office 365 and then other software is picked up using the software installation Group Policy. All machines are installed with senso remote monitoring software and this makes it really easy to test an entire IT suites functionality using the log on/log off tools that are in the senso console.

Once we got going it was pretty smooth sailing and there has been a good speed improvement on their machines. Unfortunately they are a little bit dated and ideally it would have been great to upgrade some with SSDs but perhaps that’s another job for another day.

Few pics of the rebuilt machines are below.

MagicPods: AirPods App for Windows

I’m half in, half out of the Apple ecosystem owning an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods but using a Windows PC. For a while I’ve had my AirPods connected via Bluetooth to the PC but with no real way to manage them other than the Bluetooth settings pane.

Battery info and settings screen

All that changed the other day when I discovered a great little app on the Microsoft Store for the small sum of £1.69.

MagicPods brings the functionality you expect from connecting your AirPods to a Mac to Windows including battery indicator, automatic connection, volume reducing when removing them from your ears and much more besides.

Pop up as you get on an iOS device when you open the case

It introduces a great little pop up when you open the AirPods case showing you battery life and includes a battery status indicator in the taskbar.

There is a free 24 hour trial available so you can try it out and see if it works for you before purchasing.

If you are like me and enjoy using the AirPods with your Windows machine then this app is definitely worth investing in.

Available from the Microsoft Store

Uninstalling IONOS Cloud Backup Agent for Linux

I’ve used the IONOS Cloud Backup option for a while to back up my Plesk VM but having recently purchased a Synology NAS I’ve moved the backup solution to that instead.

Having tried (and failed) to find an article on the IONOS website on how to remove the agent (there’s an article on how to install here), here’s some quick steps after a bit of Googling.

IONOS Cloud Backup is essentially a rebadged Acronis service and the backup agent seems to be the same. After finding this article on the Acronis website I opened a SSH session and checked that the directory path listed was present on my VM which it was.

So uninstalling is just a case of running

sudo /usr/lib/Acronis/BackupAndRecovery/uninstall/uninstall

Obviously after that you may wish to go into the Cloud Backup panel and clean up the old backups etc. so you aren’t charged for the storage.

Making a Change

Thinking about switching a hobby or interest into a career? Read on.

I thought for my first proper post here I would take a bit of time to consider how I ended up where I am today.

I’d been mainly in security jobs after leaving University for various different companies, some worse than others, but I fell into the work even though I didn’t really enjoy any of it. Then in late 2017, motivated mainly by the enhanced salary, I decided to apply to train as a bus driver. It was while spending 40 hours a week on your own essentially that I decided I needed to make a change.

Continue reading Making a Change

Welcome Back

Vintage WordPress install on mbarn.es circa. 2012 courtesy of The Wayback Machine

8 years, numerous job changes and one pandemic later I’ve decided to throw back to the mid 2000s and kick this site back in to a blog.

It’s going to be more a holding spot of any interesting technical information for me really so if you have come here as the result of a Google in the future welcome and hopefully my ramblings will be of use to someone.

No doubt various IT technician related topics will be covered as I come across interesting problems in the day job.

There might also be some campervan related bits although most of that is covered over at T4 Travels.

Usual disclaimer from the outset that any posts on here are my own opinion and not those of my employer.