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Please turn down the lights, that interface theme is just too bright!

Recently, as you may have noticed, KACE has released new versions of the appliances with K1000 KACE Systems Management Appliance (KSMA) 8.0 and K2000 KACE Systems Deployment Appliance (KSDA) 5.0.  One of the changes for both appliances that was delivered is change to the webui theme color, it's bright white with splashes of orange for the logo and lines.  For some users it has become a sensitive issue with how bright it is against the eyes. 

 

Fantastic feedback have been provided under the following Uservoice:

KACE Systems Management Appliance
KACE Systems Deployment Appliance

The great news is that the feature to add the option for a darker theme is being planned for both appliances.  Please continue to add your votes and comments to the Uservoice links above.  Unfortunately, the enhanced feature will not arrive fast enough!  What can we techies, who may have to work with huge monitors in a dark room, to do?  Wear sunscreen lotion and shades??

 

Luckily, there are numerous workarounds available while we wait for the official release of the enhanced feature theme for the webui.  Below are some suggestions but definitely not an exhaustive list to try out.  Several browsers are mentioned below, but not all.  Keep in mind that at this time KACE appliance webui currently only supports Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.  That does not mean other browsers will not work when accessing the KACE appliance, but it's use at your own risk.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find an easy method to invert the color for Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge by itself, it was all or nothing.  Below are some options with simple methods to invert color for a specific browser or the entire operating system.  Hopefully, this can be a useful resource to find a temporary workaround solution.

 

Windows 10 operating system "Magnifier":

  • If you have serious issues with bright screens and your eyes just can't handle it, Microsoft does offer the Magnifier option that's built into the operating system. 
  • Magnifier includes different settings to help suit your needs. To get to them, select Start  > Settings  > Ease of Access  > Magnifier . You can also press Windows logo key  + Ctrl + M or select the Settings Magnifier options button button on the Magnifier toolbar.
  • It does not just inverse the color of the browser, it will invert the entire desktop color scheme.  So, it doesn't really matter what browser type you end up using as the color will be inverted.  The look is pretty cool, you can easily check the box "Turn on color inversion" (in 1709 it is called "Invert colors") as a test to see what it looks like and uncheck it if you dislike it.

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Google Chrome:

  • One of the most popular browsers used today, it has multiple methods to invert the color of the browser.

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Scroll down to the bottom of the Extensions list and click on "Get more extensions" to view the chrome web store.

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In the search field type in "high contrast" then press enter, this should display the results for several color scheme/theme options.  I just picked the High Contrast (Google Accessibility) created by Google, which works well, but there are other options from the list you can try out. 


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After you click on ADD TO CHROME, an icon will appear on the upper right corner of the Chrome browser.

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The High Contrast will be enabled by default using Inverted Color.
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Mozilla Firefox:

This browser has Add-ons option to invert colors, here is the link for one that I found that works:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/invert-colors/

 

Opera:

While Opera is not an officially supported browser, I use as many different types of browsers as possible.  Opera has a few add-on extensions, but this is the one that I found to work:

https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/night-mode-2/?display=en

 

Vivaldi browser currently does not seem to have any extensions that can invert the color of the specific browser.


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Rearrange Desktop files with file extension

Rearrange files in Desktop with their extensions

We may have lot of files in desktop some times 20,40 and go on. Too many word doc, excel, Jpeg and screenshot, text files. we would have face a situation where we will be searing a file in desktop one by one. So thought of having a folder for each extension. This script will create a folder with extension name and move those files with respective folders.

Script:

 

$DesktopPath = [Environment]::GetFolderPath("Desktop")

$Dir = get-childitem $DesktopPath -file

$Dir | foreach-Object{

  

    $extname= $_.extension

    $Dname=$_.DirectoryName

    $Fname=$_.FullName

    $extFolder=$Dname+"\"+$extname

    CreateFolder ($extFolder)

    MoveFile ($Fname,$extFolder)

}

Function CreateFolder ($extFolder){

    If(!(test-path $extFolder))

    {

        New-Item -ItemType Directory -Force -Path $extFolder

    }

}

Function MoveFile ($source,$destination) {

 

  Move-item -path $Fname -Destination $extFolder

}

 

 

Here is the output

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Same script has been hosted in GitHub

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How to Run a Powershell Script from K1000

There is probably a better "best practices" that you should do, but here is the down and dirty way to just run a powershell script through the "Script" feature in KACE. 

I have also exported my xml file that you could import and modify as needed. 

Manually create a new script with these settings.
Create New Script. 
Upload the .ps1 file you want to run and add a task with these settings. Again this is down and dirty. You should probably do a verify task and run this in an "On Success" or somewhere else that would help you in debugging when not running as planned.
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Here is an export of the .xml I have. You will have to upload your .ps1 (that you are trying to run) and change the name in the task, but maybe this will help. 
Just got Scripts->Choose Action->Import
Paste this xml in the wysiwyg
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<kbots xmlns="http://kace.com/Kbots.xsd">
<kbot>
<config name="Set LSE Variables" type="policy" id="122" version="1513263821" description="Set variables to be used when in scripting. Put description below in the notes for each one. ">
  <dependencies>
    <dependency name="/orgs/3/kbots/122/Sample.ps1" checksum="4f5c378ccea4e98597951bd3d4f7c6b5"  />
  </dependencies>
  <execute disconnected="false" logged_off="false">
  </execute>
</config>
<compliance>
  <verify on_failure="break" attempts="1">
    <launch_program path="$(KACE_SYS_DIR)\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0" program="powershell.exe" wait="true" parms="-executionpolicy remotesigned -File $(KACE_DEPENDENCY_DIR)\Sample.ps1" />
    <on_verify_success>
    </on_verify_success>
    <on_verify_failure>
      <on_remediation_success>
      </on_remediation_success>
      <on_remediation_failure>
      </on_remediation_failure>
    </on_verify_failure>
  </verify>
</compliance>
</kbot>
</kbots>
Hope this helps somebody.
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CRP 12X Premium Register & Update

Hardware Requirement:
1. A computer that can access the Internet.
2. A TF card reader/writer and a TF card that need to be updated.
Follow the steps described as below to proceed registration and update:
1. Go to http://mycar.x431.com and click the CReader CRP129 Premium (crp123 premium) once, then click updating icon.

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2. Download and install the update tool and launch the program when installed.
3. You will be prompted to type in the Serial Number (located at the back of the tool).

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4. After the Serial Number is entered, click [Update] and enter the following information. Click [Submit].

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5. The Register Code can be found by connecting the supplied USB cable to the tool and inserted into the computer.
6. When the tool has powered up, place the cursor on the Help icon and press the [OK] button.

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7. Select [Tool Information], press [OK].

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8. This is the Register Code number for inputting into step 4

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9. Install the TF card from the Launch CReader Professional CRP129 Pro into the supplied USB TF card adapter and insert into USB port of CPU.
10.Reopen the CRP update Suite and select the updates you would like to perform or click [Select All] and click [Download].

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11. Once all steps are complete, reinsert the TF card into the tool and power the tool via USB in computer or via OBD2 port in vehicle. The tool will prompt you to upgrade, click [OK] to start updating and a progress bar will appear. It may take several minutes to finish update if your upgrade package file is too large, please wait.

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12. The registration process is now complete!

http://emilyzhang.nation2.com/crp-12x-premium-help

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Agents not checking in! Best troubleshooting practices

Endpoint system management is a critical component of KACE SMA and its understanding play an important role for using side features that rely on device periodic inventory.

Let’s get started by reviewing the ports required for KACE Agent to communicate with KACE SMA:

·        Port 80 – Agent check-in

·        Port 443 – Agent check-in (Mandatory for KACE 8.0)

·        Port 139/445 – Agent/Client provisioning

·        Port 52230 – Agent AMP Persistent connection (6.4 and lower Only).

Note: For additional information please check the following article - Which network ports and URLs are required for the KACE?

KACE Agent performs a number of periodic activities based on communication settings schedules (Settings | Provisioning | Communication Settings); for this configuration, KACE Support recommends to keep the number of connections per hour under 500. The reason for this is to allow KACE SMA manage the different activities on schedule without major delays.

Note: For multi-org KACE SMA this value will apply to all the organizations in total. Example, if KACE SMA has 5 organizations, that would mean each organization should be under 100 connections per hour.

Another value that needs attention is “Load average Score” (Settings | Provisioning | Communication Settings); this particular value should not exceed 8 – 10 rate. In case that this number is high, it would be recommended check communication settings.

What would be the next step?

The next point to be considered is checked how are the services running. A service under failed status will create a direct impact on the agent proper communication; How do we check KACE SMA Services status?

Settings | Support | Run Diagnostic Utilities | Select “Services” Hit Run.

Important Note: If any of services are appearing as” Failed” Status contact KACE Support immediately for assistance.

Additional items to be checked:

A misconfiguration in communication settings, for example, if the schedules exceed 500 connections per hour or let’s say that multiple tasks (Patching, Scripting, etc.) were launch simultaneously these most likely may generate high congestion or a high agent task traffic; in those cases, it will be necessary to see the number of activities being handled by the agents.

How do we find these agent activities? And What specifically we are looking for?

·        Click on Settings | Support | Display Agent task status

·        Use “View By: In Progress”

·        Under “Timeout” column look times showing as negative

If that would be the case, proceed to remove all those showing negative numbers under “Timeout”. Wait for the next inventory cycle and wait for the results.

Let’s review troubleshooting steps and integrate some additional solutions.

What to do when the check-in issue is happening to all or most of the devices?

·        Check that all services are up and running

·        Check communication settings and make proper adjustments – KACE recommends no more than 500 connections per hour overall.

·        Check Agent Tasks – Look if there are activities showing negative numbers

·        Check Device Smart labels: Labels within labels, labels assigned to software and device metering may become corrupted and generate delays or prevent agents to check in.

Other KB articles to take in consideration for troubleshooting:

·        How fast can the KACE SMA appliance complete different tasks per machine? - https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/116816   

·        Agent Communication Issues Checklist (190297) - https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/190297

·        Troubleshooting Agents That Are Not Checking In Windows (112029) - https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/112029

 

What to do if inventory issue is occurring with only one system or a particular system?

-        Check the number of license nodes and devices in used

-        Is inventory.xml file created, does it show 0 KB, is it updating? - Check C:\ProgramData\Quest\KACE

-        Are the agent services running?

-        Is “amp.conf” file containing the right KACE SMA hostname? – Check C:\ProgramData\Quest\KACE

-        Are PEM cert files correct or present? – Check C:\ProgramData\Quest\KACE – Folder should contain two *.pem files.

Note: In some cases, it will be required to apply a re-trust if PEM files are corrupted. How to apply re-trust command, check following article AMPTOOLS.EXE Command Switches (146458) - https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/146458

-        Check that required ports are opened and KACE folders are not affected by antivirus software (whitelist - C:\ProgramData\Quest\KACE and C:\Program Files (x86)\Quest\KACE)  - For additional details see - Which directories and executables do I need to whitelist for the SMA agent? (111785)

-        See if HDD space in the machine is not full, a full disk will make agent services to fail.

-        Look for WMI related errors. For additional information check the following resources.

·        How to repair or fully rebuild Windows WMI Repository (231983)

https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/231983

·        WMI Isn't Working!

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff406382.aspx

·        WMI Diagnosis Utility

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff404265.aspx

 

Several important features in KACE SMA make use of the agent inventory cycle and its correct functionality is essential for all the activities to properly run.

What features depend on Agent inventory?

·        Managed installations

·        File Synchronization

·        Replication Shares

·        Smart Labels

What should we know about KACE Agent 8.0?

·        KACE 8.0 exclusively communicate via port 443 - Using KONEA Technology.

·        IPv6 Appliance Support - Agent can provide inventory to the Systems Management Appliance via IPv6

Visit our Website KACE Support where you will be able to find additional documentation, videos, and tutorials.  Need additional assistance, contact KACE Tech Support.

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