Smart Home: Reolink Argus Pro not detecting for Alexa / Google

I have a Reolink Argus Pro to setup. It sets up and works flawlessly in the iPhone App. It detects and does everything it is meant to. When I try to connect it as a Smart Home device, it says “No Devices support for the smart home function”.

Reolink have a great list of things to try, but nothing worked for me.

https://support.reolink.com/hc/en-us/articles/900002155306-Fail-to-Enable-Smart-Home-Skill-for-Cameras-on-Reolink-App

I see in the forums, others having the same issue. If you can’t connect it in the Reolink App as a smart device, it does not add to your account as a smart device. Then Google/Alexa devices can’t add it and can’t see it.

I reached out to Reolink whom replied almost instantly. They need the account name and the UUID from the device and can push custom firmware to the unit the next time it tries to update. They will be making this available to me in the next day or so. This means, if you have this issue, go to support. You can’t fix it under your own power. You need Reolink.

I will post back when I have a solution (I hope!)

Parental controls on HUAWEI Home Gateway HG659 (URL filters)

I see a lot of people in forums and other, looking for answers. Why when I setup the URL filters in my HUAWEI Home Gateway HG659, they do not work. In fact, they do not seem to work for many HUAWEI Routers.

I have tried them. Sometimes they work. Sometimes not. There seems to be no rhyme or reason.

Why would you want to do this ? So that when my kids are doing homework, they can’t get to Reddit.com or even Discord. Can I get this silly URL filter to work …. yes you can.

There are two things to understand. Firstly, how it works. Secondly the accepted syntax.

So, how does it work ? This is a DNS block. DNS being the database on the internet that your computer looks at to determine what place to send your browser or service to, after you have typed in the address you want.

All this router does, is send anything in your block list, to a black hole, when someone types in that listed address.

The problem is, you are likely typing in the site to block and then testing it on your target PC straight away.

The Pc has a thing called the DNS cache. This means, even though the Router is going to send the PC to a black hole when it tries to find a blocked site, if the PC already knows how to get to that site another way, other than the router, it will go to the site just fine. This is only a very basic way of filtering websites.

If you are not great with computers, a simple Pc reboot should make the block list work.

If you are great with Windows PC’s then drop to a command line, run an “Ipconfig /flushdns”

This means the DNS cache is now empty and the PC has to ask the router how to get to places and any bad trigger words, will go to the blackhole.

So what are the website entry syntaxes ?

Before you go to crazy, be aware you have a limited number of sites you can add. Think creatively about how to block sites with minimum entries. Also know that some websites you want to block, might have a different address to what you think. Here are some websites and various forms you can use

v19.tiktokcdn.com
v16.tiktokcdn.com
api.tiktokv.com
api-h2.tiktokv.com
api21-h2.tiktokv.com
mon.tiktokv.com
ib.tiktokv.com
p16-tiktokcdn-com.akamaized.net
v16-tiktokcdn-com.akamaized.net

www.youtube.com
www.m.youtube.com
ytimg.com
ytimg.l.google.com
s.ytimg.com
youtube.l.google.com
googlevideo.com
i.google.com

deviantart.com
*deviantart*
*.deviantart.com

www.reddit.com
*reddit*
*.reddit.com
reddit.com

*discordapp.com
discordapp.net
*.discord.com
*discord*
discord.com

Smart Home: Don’t use a HUAWEI Home Gateway HG659

I am off on an adventure into a smart home. A light bulb here, camera there, Amazon devices and smart switches. A few Zigbee devices and more. Suddenly, I can’t get my laptop onto the internet. My latest purchases (Some bulbs) can’t connect to the network. I ended up with all my lights on, and I could not turn them off. What is happening ?

I used my cheap, included by my internet provider, router.

I used a HUAWEI Home Gateway HG659. I could have used my SonicWall or Edimax but I decided to go with the HUAWEI. Bad idea.

Whilst I could not find it in the manual, I had hit the wifi device limit.

All my wifi devices (And all the devices I have seen so far) are 2.4 Ghz. It turns out that this HUAWEI router, has a limit of 32 devices on 2.4 Ghz. It also has a limit of 32 on 5 Ghz (64 devices across both bands in total).

So I can only connect 32 devices?

Sounds like a lot ?

Add my mobile phones, tablets, laptops, Amazon firestick, Amazon show, Amazon Dot, Amazon Echo, some light bulbs, some light switches, then some family devices, then the Wii, Switch, PS3 and more and suddenly, 32 is not enough. Even moving some to 5 Ghz, it is not enough.

I was finding that some devices would connect, some would not. Then some got unpredictable.

If you are having issues with your smart home using a HUAWEI Home Gateway HG659, move to a better router. It is the only answer other than going with a Zigbee setup.

Let me know in the comments what router you use .. how many devices do you have connected ?

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Powershell: The term ‘Get-ADUser’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet (SBS 2008)

We have immense power over our servers with Powershell.

There is so much we can do, or in the case of SBS 2008 (Powershell 2), a lot we wish we could do. I am trying to get a lot of info our of an AD in preparation of moving to a new domain controller. None of my AD scripts work. e.g.

  • Get-ADComputer
  • Get-ADUser

I am constantly getting “The term ‘blah’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet”.

Grrr.

After lot’s of reading and playing about, I got what I needed. I was able to install Active Directory Web Service on the machine and then use RSAT on a secondary computer.

So what do you do ?

Let’s start with Server 2008 R2 

You need to have installed

  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Module For Windows PowerShell
  • Active Directory Web Services

Run this at the Powershell commandline

>Import-Module ServerManager
>Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-AD-PowerShell
>import-module activedirectory

You should now be ready to go

Server 2008 or 2003

You need to install this hotfix. The links for this are hard to get working as Microsoft released this patch to only those that actually need it. It has not had very wide testing and has not been checked for what else it could break.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=2852

Install the Active Directory Management Gateway Service (Active Directory Web Service for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008)

Install RSAT on another PC (Windows 7, Windows 10 will be fine)

In powershell

>import-module activedirectory

You should now be ready to go

SBS 2008

Trying to install Active Directory Web Service for Windows Server hotfix as per the above outline, fails. You can try the 32 bit or 64 bit version and it will tell you it is not compatible.

You need to have the file NDP35SP1-KB969166-x86.exe, install it and reboot.

(KB 969166)

It will not install. What can you do? If you really need to get this hotfix installed (Warning, it is not fully tested) then here is a work around.

md c:\temp\AD_Management_Web
expand -F:* “Windows6.0-KB968934-x64.msu” c:\temp\AD_Management_Web
cd c:\windows\system32
start pkgmgr.exe /ip /m:c:\temp\AD_Management_Web\Windows6.0-KB968934-x64.cab

Reboot

Install RSAT on another PC (Windows 7, Windows 10 will be fine)

In powershell

>import-module activedirectory

You should now be ready to go

Useful links

http://thehotfixshare.net/board/index.php?autocom=downloads&showfile=20160

https://powershell.org/forums/topic/ad-module-on-sbs-2008/

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Mstsc.exe (Remote Desktop) prompts for RD Gateway Server credentials over and over

.. or RDCMan (Remote Desktop Connection Manager) crashes to a Windows Error.

So, I have two annoying issues. They have been with me for over 12 months and no amount of Googling or talking to others about it seemed to fix anything. I gave up.

Recently, I got fed up with it again and had a fresh look and a fresh Google. Finally, fixed.

For others this might be old news, but as it took me ages to find this, I thought I would document it.

Symptom one

Open Mstsc, put in the server name, go to the Options, Advanced and setup Connect from anywhere. Setup an RD Gateway server. Return to the main logon and connect.

It pops up for credentials to access the RD gateway. You put them in, click continue. It goes away and thinks. Comes back and pops up the window for the credentials to access the RD gateway. The username and password boxes are blank again. Again, fill them in, connect. It goes away and thinks. Comes back and pops up the window for the credentials to access the RD gateway. I am in a loop. Leave the boxes empty, connect, It goes away and thinks. Comes back and pops up the window for the credentials to access the RD gateway. Press Cancel, It goes away and thinks. Comes back and pops up the window for the credentials to access the RD gateway.

I can’t get out of this without using Task manager and killing mstsc.exe

Symptom two

In conjunction with this, when I RDP direct to a machine, it pops up the certificate warning message, click ok, “Windows has caused an error” and Mstsc.exe exits. No amount of trying, gets me in.

Symptom three

When I use Remote Desktops Connection Manager (RDCMAN) and I add a new server, tell it the RD gateway settings, then try and connect, it crashes.

 

Direct RDP via Rdcman seems to work fine.

Environment

  • Windows 10 Home
  • Latest RDP version from Windows Updates
  • Latest Rdcman I could find
  • Connecting to Windows 7, Windows 10, server 2008, 2008R2, 2012, 2016 and 2019 via RD Gateways

What was the cause?

Incorrect use of NTLM by my Windows 10 Home PC.

There are two ways to address this.

Windows 10 Home

Firstly, I have Windows Home. I lack the local Security MMC console so, I had to make my changes by the Registry.

All changes in the registry carry risks. Please be sure to backup your registry. Please only change what I mention here. If you are at all doubtful, back away from the keyboard !

Go to start > run (Right click the Windows icon on the left hand side, select Run)

Type: “regedit” and press enter.

After making a backup, navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Lsa

Modify the following key: “LmCompatibilityLevel” by double clicking on it, then change the value to 3

If that key does not exist:
right-click in the right pane, then select New > DWORD (32-bit value)
Type in: LmCompatibilityLevel
Double-click on the new value, and set it to 3 (Hexadecimal)

Now close Regedit. Wait for time for the changes to apply. Try Mstsc and see how it goes !

Windows 10 Pro

Go to start > run (Right click the Windows icon on the left hand side, select Run)

Type: “gpedit.msc” and press enter.

Go to Computer Configuration\Windows\Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options – Network security: LAN Manager authentication level

set item to “Send NTLMv2 response only/refuse LM & NTLM”

(I ended up having to set it to Send NTLMv2 only).

Exit Gpedit.

Go to start > run (Right click the Windows icon on the left hand side, select Run)

Type: ” gpupdate /force” and press enter.

Gpedit on Windows 10 Home

ok, so when using Gpedit, there were some cool settings I wish I could use on my Windows 10 Home PC.

Can’t I get Gpedit on Windows home ?

Yes, you can.

You can download the Gpedit installer here

If you have 32-bit Windows (x86) then the setup should install smoothly without any problems and you should be able to access the Group Policy Editor through the Microsoft Management Console by going to Run –> gpedit.msc.

(You can check if you are 32 bit by going to Run –> Control,  Once in Control Panel go to “All Control Panel Items” and “System”. Here will be the name of your computer and a lot more into including what you need to know).

If you have 64-bit Windows (x64) then you will need some extra steps after running the installer. Follow the steps below after running the installer:

  1. Go to C:\Windows\SysWOW64 folder
  2. Copy the following folders and files from C:\Windows\SysWOW64 to C:\Windows\System32
    GroupPolicy“, “GroupPolicyUsers” and gpedit.msc.

You might be prompted to overwrite empty folders “GroupPolicy“, “GroupPolicyUsers

now go to the Widows 10 Pro instructions above and it will work the same.

Resources

some helpful links for you

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/ie/en-US/1383007d-677a-4e3e-83f0-a11869a2ac25/rds-server-remote-app-prompting-for-password-repeatedly?forum=winserverTS

https://www.tenforums.com/general-support/111678-local-security-policy-editor-not-found.html

https://www.itechtics.com/enable-gpedit-windows-10-home/

https://support.gotomyerp.com/portal/kb/articles/receiving-a-remoteapp-disconnected-upon-connection

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Mickyj Whitehat now podcasting

I have heard many can’t make the time to watch a video online on YouTube.

They would rather listen on the way in to work.

It is for that reason, I am now podcasting. If you want to get a slightly different feel of the YouTube Channel as a podcast, tune in now.

I need your comments, feedback and/or suggestions.

Yes, this will go to iTunes at some point 🙂