Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Edit Environment Variables without Admin Rights

As a System Admin in an organization one always comes across a situation when users want Admin Rights because they cannot modify System Environment Variables(generally required by developers to change JAVA_HOME and CLASSPATH). However there is no need to give users Admin Rights for such small task.

Instead, they can create User Variables that override System Variables when they log on. The only exception to this rule is the PATH variable whose contents is composed of the system and user variables, separated by a semicolon.


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Tags: Windows XP

Published Date: 20081002

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Remaining Part

To check the previous par of this post click here.


i8042 is a system service that controls ps2 mouse and keyboard ports. Some of the features of this driver are:

  • Hardware-dependent, simultaneous operation of a PS/2-style keyboard and mouse device
  • Management of I/O Port and IRQ settings and routines
  • Plug and Play and power management
  • Operation of legacy devices
  • Other interface and interaction components between the operating system and these types of devices

However if your server does not have a ps2 device attached or your BIOS disables ps2 ports to save IRQ, i8042 would still search for hardware and if it deos not find any ps2 device OR gets a weird data from BIOS, it would error out.

There are two ways to fix this:

A. Create a parameter in i8042 service properties to identify it as a headless node.

  • Go to Start > Run and put "regedit.exe" and click "Ok"
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters in Registry Editor
  • Add a new REG_DWORD "Headless" and set the value to 1
  • Reboot the server.

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B. Disable the i8042 service from registry.

(**Be careful you may not be able to use PS2 Mouse and keyboard if you do so**)

  • Go to Start > Run and put "regedit.exe" and click "Ok"
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt in Registry Editor
  • Change the REG_DWORD value "Start" from  "1" to "4". This sets the i8042 service from SERVICE_BOOT_START to SERVICE_DISABLED
  • Reboot the server

The reason why it only happens in some cases only is because some BIOSes have a setting to enable/disable ps2 ports. You can set this to enable, disable or auto.

In auto mode, if it does not detect a ps2 device it might disable the ps2 port to save an irq. However, some BIOSes have no setting at all and behave as "auto" mode by default. If i8042 search for hardware and finds no ps2 or gets a weird data from BIOS pnp, might error out.


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Tags: Windows Server 2003

Published Date: 20090101