Apache Spring Cleaning

Don’t forget about general housekeeping when it comes to maintaining your web server. Check logs, be sure all is good. Not only can it help your server run better without the bloat but it can also help with general syntax cleanup of web pages as well.

Located at the root level of your application (ex: Apache24/logs), the two logs are fairly self-explanatory.  You can have more if vhosts are set but in general they will be the error and access logs.

A look inside these logs will help to identify issues with general access, web page syntax, and other miscellaneous items.  Use any general text editor to view, such as notepad or notepad++.  If they are too large to open, you may have to delete them and start the recording over.  To delete, stop the Apache service, delete the logs, and restart the service.  Apache will recreate the logs.

The error log will help to identify web page issues and syntax.  I suggest cleaning up the pages to avoid bloat.  Alarm chatter is an easy way to miss important items.  You can change logging but I would suggest using this to cleanup your system as a whole.

The access log is general access of the pages for potential malicious activity.  This is a log that can grow out of control quickly, especially if you perform vulnerability scans such as Nessus.  You can tell the Apache to ignore these systems to help eliminate the excessive logging from known good sources.  To do this, go into the httpd.conf file located in the configuration folder at the root (ex: Apache24/conf).  As an example, you would enter the line below in the config file to stop Apache from logging the IP

SetEnvIf Remote_Addr “192\.168\.1\.200” dontlog

UBUNTU and Wifi Authentication Issues

UBUNTU and WIFI do not always works well together. My most recent issue involved an install of the 17.04 OS. The WIFI card was recognized and installed, hot spots displayed, but I could not establish a connection to a secured hot spot. If this sounds like your situation, this may help.

There are many sites out that explain this issue which, in a nutshell, happens within the authentication portion of establishing a connection. Regardless, hopefully below will give you all the information, start to finish, to complete this task.

Bold are what is typed into the terminal:

cd /etc/NetworkManager/

Edit file with vim (use whatever you want but the commands below are for a default installed application)

vi NetworkManager.conf

Set the application to insert:

press i

Enter the line details below on the top line of the file



Exit inserting details by:

Pressing [esc] then [:]

Enter wq to exit and save changes (If you make a mistake and want to start over, type q! to exit without saving changes.)

Troubleshooting Chrome Resource Issues

Chrome is known for memory consumption but there are things you can do to help better manage and monitor your configuration for current and potential future issues.

Similar to windows task manager there is a built in task manager for Chrome, launched when you press Shift-ESC.  Within this area, you can identify problematic tabs and/or extensions consuming too many resources.  With this knowledge, you can decide how to manage your running configuration, or kill out of control tabs and extensions.

This will not help with network or site issues within the webpage itself.  To better understand this area, you can launch DevTools from the specific tab itself.  I suggest that if you notice an out of control site, you can then use the DevTools from that page to better understand why there may be a problem, if interested.

Local Computer DNS Testing

If you need to set up a test environment for a local install, requiring actual DNS resolution to mimic a production setting, you can make one quick change to a local file.

The file is “hosts” located in:


Because of Windows permissions, the best way to approach this is to copy the file to an external folder, or to the desktop, edit and then copy it back to the original location.

It explains what to do in the file but basically all you need to do is create a new line at the bottom of the file, outside of the commented text, type in the IP address and the DNS name for the mapping, separated by at least one space.  You can type in as many as you want, just start a new line and continue.


When finished, comment out (#) or delete the entries.  If you have any further DNS issues, you can clear local cache.

Ipconfig /flushdns

System Instability Issues


If you have a Windows PC that you think may have file corruption, one easy check is to run the system file checker command below.  This scans the system for corrupt files and tries to repair them automatically.  In some instances you may need to install the original install disk, it will prompt you if necessary.

sfc /scannow (repair)

sfc /verifyonly (scan only)

System instability could also result from virus, malware, or similar.  Most already are aware of these issues and what can help prevent them.  A repair can be much more difficult and time-consuming.  One of the best methods I have found is to pull the HDD out, plug it into an HDD to USB adapter run a scan from a separate computer.  None of the files are loaded into memory, you have full control, etc.. This can save hours of trying to run safe mode, manually trying to work around the files loading while trying to isolate and remove them.  Just plug it in, run it and walk away.  The problem is you need the adapter.  It is a good cheap investment if you dig into computers at all.

In some instances what may appear to be a corruption or virus could be the result of a dying HDD.  Run a disk scan and check the results.  The results will be in the Event Viewer log.  If it finds and repairs issues, good, but be sure to start looking for a new HDD.


Windows Auto-Login

Do you require a single logged on user for a specific purpose.  Someone that is logged in automatically after a reboot?  Save the below commands in a *reg extension file and run it to automatically make the changes to your registry with the relevant details for your process.  Be sure permissions are set appropriately, do not use admin rights for this user.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

Windows 10 Legacy Applications

It can be a difficult if you work in an industry that requires older applications to run on newer PCs due to failure or obsolescence.  These are a few issues I have encountered and overcome to allow upgrades that  may help you in your upgrades.

If the application was installed under a user that lacks administrative rights, it is possible the application may not have completely installed properly.  With this in mind, you can either reinstall using administrative rights, or continue on and reinstall if none of the steps below resolve your issue.  My suggestions is to run through the following steps first due to changes you will be making to application and installation security prior to reinstalling.

Test first by running the application as administrator.  Right click on the application shortcut, select the compatibility tab and select “run as administrator”.

If this does not work, the next step would be to either set admin permissions to the the logged in user that will run the application, or log in as administrator and run the application.  If it works and the application runs, focus on application folder(s), file(s) and registry isolation and permissions.

If there are still issues after running the application under admin permissions, turn off User Access Control (UAC) and SmartScreen.  Be sure to reboot after UAC is disabled so that it changes are fully applied.

If it still will not run, completely turn off UAC.  Even with UAC completely shut down in the GUI, there are still a few control settings enabled in the local group policy.   Launch the local policy (gpedit.msc) and dig into “Computer Configuration – Windows Settings – Security Settings – Local Policies – Security Options”.  At the bottom of the Security Options list are the remaining settings you can modify and test.  This fix has been the single most effective change in my  experience.

You can also try setting compatibility mode to a previous version of windows to see if this helps.  This is in the same area as above, when making changes to run the application as administrator.  This has not helped me but it is an option.

Hope this helps.

Chrome Refresh

Ever have a problem refreshing content through chrome?  Most likely you will notice this when making changes to a website and viewing your results.  You can quickly refresh all content using the hot keys combination Ctrl-Shift-R.  If you are making a lot of changes and do not want to have to use this shortcut combination each time, you can temporarily disable caching through the network tab in DevTools.