Bypass Excel Protection with Google Docs

If you have a spreadsheet that has cell protection on it, and you can’t even select the cells to copy and paste them into another workbook, here’s an easy way around it. Upload the spreadsheet to Google Docs. Their spreadsheet program will remove the protection. You can then export the file from Google as XLS and open it in Excel, without the protection.

The formatting may be a bit different, and you might lose some macro functions, but it should get most everything. I have not tried it with a password protected Excel sheet yet.

Manage a Child Domain as Enterprise Admin

Say your AD root is ‘smashcorp.local’, and you have a child domains of ‘flowerco.smashcorp.local’ and ‘oilchange.smashcorp.local’  The oilchange domain was migrated into your AD directly from NT4, while the flowerco domain was already AD, so a new DC was created for it and it was kind of ‘copied’ into the smashcorp forest.

If you are a member of the Enterprise Admins group of smashcorp, you might notice that while you can manage oilchange just fine, flowerco throws some strange permissions errors (like being able to delete but not create GPOs) and is always nagging you for a password for operations. Running a dcdiag from a smashcorp DC gives you “failed test NetLogons” errors, and access denied errors on Services, frssysvol, frsevent, kccevent, and Systemlog.

After scratching my head over this for a couple of days, and getting tired of RDPing into flowerco, I finally found where Enterprise Admins was missing from flowerco. In AD Sites & Services, go into the Builtin folder and add Enterprise Admins to the Administrators group. Apparently this didn’t happen with the way flowerco was brought into the forest initially.

Change File Associations via Command Line

You can change file type associations in Windows from the command line with 2 simple commands: assoc and ftype. Use assoc to associate a file extension with a file type or check the existing association. File types are defined arbitrarily, you can make up your own if you wish:

C:\>assoc .pdf
C:\>assoc .pdf=SomeOther.PDFViewer

Then use ftype to check or set a command line to open those file types with:

C:\>ftype AcroExch.Document
AcroExch.Document="C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" "%1"
C:\>ftype SomeOther.PDFViewer=C:\Program Files\My PDF Viewer\pdfview.exe %1

These commands will edit the system-wide file associations (stored in HKLM). User-set preferences (stored in HKCU) will take precedence over this. These commands also require local admin rights, or need to be run in an elevated context (such as System during a login script, or a RunAs command).

Lan Party – January 17

You know the drill.

Confirmed list:

Criff & GF, Heath & Leighann, Kyle,  Chris, Eric, Flander, Dave, Bret, Patrick, Murry & Tia, Daryl, maybe Stevie & Fran

‘Tournament’ game will be some old-school FPS, possibly Q3, with some new maps.  I’m tossing up a P4 mobo (no proc or ram) as a prize. Other games will probably be L4D, RA3, and NFS:UC.

Food will be provided, BYOB.

Its winter and parking absolutely sucks. If you’ve got 4WD, I’ll have the right-hand part of the driveway cleared as best I can. If you’re parking on the street, park on the opposite side from the house.

This is turning out larger than expected, so parking will likely be an issue.  Lets try to keep the driveway somewhat clear to begin with so people can pull in and unload their stuff. Street parking may be full.  Might have to end up shuttling some people around.

If you’re crashing at my place, bring a sleeping bag or cot or something, all my sleeping spots are taken.

There’s a good amount of snow expected Saturday. Drive careful.

Strip Comments from Config Files

Having comments in your config files is a good thing. However, many of the ‘stock’ config files come with loads of comment lines in them, and eventually you’ll want to get rid of them all without having to completely rewrite the file or manually remove them.  This command will do that:

grep -v “^#” configfile.conf | grep -v “^$” > new-configfile.conf

This will remove all lines starting with a #, along with any blank lines. For my setup, it took the default Squid config file from 4300+ lines down to a very manageable 56.