Halloween is over but the the world is still a scary place. In a continuation of a thought from an article I wrote a few weeks back for Auditing AzureSQL Firewall Policies, I thought I would also include a short function for auditing azure storage accounts that are currently configured for “public” access.
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I won’t go into great detail here but in short, if VSSAdmin is not letting you delete shadow copies and is throwing this message:

Error: Snapshots were found, but they were outside of your allowed context.  Try removing them with the backup application which created them.

There is another (less safe…) program called DiskShadow which will.

It’s built into windows server… and using it to get rid of pesky shadow copies that won’t otherwise goes away looks like this:

C:\DiskShadow
DISKSHADOW> Delete Shadows All

and away they go…

One of the best blog articles I came across that details both VSSADMIN and DiskShadow tool and why VSSAdmin sometimes falls short is here:
https://danblee.com/diskshadow-vssadmins-best-friend/

Cheers!

If you use linux and have never come across this statement (or just realized this in the course of working with the OS), then let me be the first to tell you this critical truth…

Everything is a bloody file.”

While this holistic statement isn’t quite 100% true, it’s close enough that if you adopt it as your life verse and it becomes your “modus operandi” for working in Linux, you will go farther faster.

It is so ubiquitous there is a wikipedia page devoted to it.

This opens up some novel concepts… for example, because everything is represented by a file, it means almost anything can be easily scripted… hence part of the fun of Linux…

For all of you out there like me who came from the Windows world, “Everything is a File” can also be a keen point of frustration if no one has ever made this statement to you and explained some of the implications. I have done my service and made the statement, I will leave it up to you to research and discover the implications. Go forth and research and then come back and keep reading.

Now, I am going to move on and start my first article in the new “Everything is a File” series in which I am going to attempt to tackle some of the most common files found on Debian Linux variants and explain their usage. To kick things off, I am going to document a file that I have to look up commonly; FSTAB. (the whole point of my blog is to create a place that I can just search my own notes rather than Googling (and re-Googling 6 months later) for other peoples’ notes)
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I had that moment happen to me this past week… I knew it was coming but, like so many of you I said to myself “I probably have a few more months before it’s an issue”… Yep, my hard drive software warned me of impending doom on one of my data drives. I ignored it. Then a few days ago I heard that short squealing whine of death and Windows then informed me that my hard drive had no partitions and was empty of data…

That’s a bad day… especially when you realize that you may have some important documents and pictures of one of your children shortly after they were born (that aren’t kept anywhere else) that are now gone forever…

But are they gone forever? In this case, the drive in question was a “not all that old” 2 TB “spinning rust” 7200 RPM SATA drive. If this were a newer SSD drive then perhaps the situation would be more dire, but on old magnetic disks those shiny spinning platters (typically) still hold all of your precious data, it’s just hard to get to.
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