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Portable DHCP and DNS with Dual Server

Recently I needed at quick DHCP server for some testing and didn’t want to build a full DHCP server.  So I went to the Internet and found this handy tool that was both a DHCP and DNS server in one.  It was called Dual Server and it did everything I needed and more.  Here is a list of features:

  • Either DHCP or DNS or Both Services can be used.
  • DHCP hosts automatically added to DNS, If both services used
  • DHCP Supports 125 ranges, all options, range specific options
  • DNS Supports Zone Transfer and Zone Replication
  • DHCP Supports BOOTP Relay Agents, PXE Boot, BOOTP
  • Dynamically Detects Listening Interfaces, can listen on 125 interfaces
  • HTTP Interface for Lease Status
  • Filtering of Ranges by Mac Range, Vendor Class and User Class
  • Very easy configuration, no Zone files required
  • Allows Replicated operations for DHCP and DNS
  • Very Low Memory and CPU use
  • Can be installed and used by person not having DNS/DHCP Concepts
  • Designed to run as Replicated Load sharing Duplex Operation

I extracted the files and ran it from a flash drive which makes this portable and handy for a quick DHCP server on the fly.  It has pretty straight forward configuration using a INI file and a HTML file to monitor the leases that have been handed out.  It can be ran as a service or from a command terminal.  Here is a few pic of the interface.

Web Interface

CMD Terminal

I am sure you can use this on a more permanent basis but I only used it for a short while.  So I don’t know how well it performs for a full network of devices.  However it performed well for my use and I added it to my tool bag for future use.  To get it up and running just run the EXE file which will extract the files.  Then open the DualServer.ini file and put in your range and machine IP address to listen on.  There is a ton of other options that can be configured such as the domain your on, replication to other DNS servers, and the level of logging you want.  These are just a few things you can do.  The INI file is loaded and I am sure it can be configured to fit your need.

So if you need a quick DHCP server or you don’t have a server OS and need a simple to use option look into Dual Server.  It can be found at the following link.    The Dual Server website is at the following link:


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Custom Linux Live CD using Tiny Core Linux


Recently I needed to develop an easy way to get a PXE image pushed out to 400 or more clients for temporary operations.  I already have one build but it tended to be too large and would take a while to boot all the machines.  So Tiny Core and it’s small file size really makes a big difference.  My original image was 250 MB and with Tiny Core it was whittled down to about 12 MB.

To modify the and build a custom live CD is rather easy.  First you should start with a computer that you can install Core Plus on to.  This version is about 64 MB and has everything you need to remaster from the get go.  Plus using a hard drive allows you to move the files to an area that will not be cleared as soon as you reboot the machine.

I booted up CorePlus and installed it to the hard drive that way I didn’t have to keep reloading and I could save changes I have made.  So once it is install you can use the ezremaster app.  This is pretty easy to use and allow you to add in packages and of course take them out.

So you can change the location that you want the files extracted to and then the core.tgz file that you want to use to build the image.  Next you get to pick packages that you want, but I only selected the once that were installed and the removed the wireless and erremaster apps.  I don’t need them for the PXE image I plan to use.  So I open the extracted file directory and began to add the Linux binaries that I need to the Bin directory.  After that was completed I wrote a few scripts that would auto launch once it fully loaded.  This distro loads by default into the tc user.  So to make things auto launch you need to add the scripts to the .X.d directory.  you will have to do a little testing and I had to use the sudo command in several locations for it to work correctly.  Here is what my login screen look like with my script launch automatically.

Now that all of my editing is complete I opened back up the ezremaster app and created an ISO of the extracted files.  Then I opened up the extracted files and created a directory in /mnt for my ISO to be auto mounted.  Then I copied over the ISO to the mnt directory and edited my auto launch script to mount my ISO to /mnt/ISO.  This way I could remove the CD once it booted up and I could use it somewhere else if needed.  So I ran ezremaster once again to create the ISO I would use to test.

I burned a disk and booted it up.  It worked great.  I would load the disk, start the control panel, launch the mount tool , and launch the terminal server.  Then I would unmount the CD and configure the terminal server pointing it to /mnt/ISO.  Then of course I would finish the IP scheme and the rest of the terminal server configuration.  Once all of this was done I could eject the CD and begin testing the PXEboot on other machines.  I worked and auto launched right into the script.  I did find one problem though, once my script was done running the windows would exit and I didn’t want this to happen.  Well it turned out my script had an exit statement that needed to be removed.  So I had to repeat the entire process to finally get my fully functional disk.

We used the disk the very next day on 430 some workstations and laptops without any problems.  Plus you still had the ability to run the disk by itself to accomplish the same task for individual machines if needed.

This had all come about because the previous disk I had made was around 250 MB and it had problems with VLANs.  This disk fixed both by shooting across the network really fast and booting even faster and the VLANs were never a problem because you could use IP space that is on that VLAN.  So if you find a task that needs to be accomplished with a PXEboot you may want to look into Core Linux to build a small, fully configurable image to accomplish your task.

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Free Partition Recovery Tool

 Recently I was adding a second drive to my laptop and I was extending the partition on the old drive to use all the space.  During the extending it error ed and I lost the partition.  So I found some tools and tried to recover some of the files.  Well after running the supposedly free tool for about 8 hours it found all the files I wanted to save.  The popped up the warning saying it would only recover a Gigs worth of files.  That was no where what I needed.  So I looked into buying a tool.  After an hour of looking most tool were anywhere from $100 to $500.  Well I didn’t want to spend that much on a tool I would use one time.  I did some more searching and found this tool called TestDisk.  This tool recovered the partition and best of all was free.  So I gave it a shot.  In about 5 minutes I had my files back and the drive was up and running.

The tool it a portable app and it is a command line tool but it works great.  Here are some pic of the interface and a brief from the website it is hosted on.

TestDisk Free Portable Data Recovery

TestDisk is a Free Portable Data Recovery Software tool. The tool was designed to help recover lost partitions and or make non bootable disks bootable again. TeskDisk is particularly useful when a system is not bootable because of a virus, software, or human error (accidentally deleting a Partition Table). This tool can fix a partition table, recover a deleted partition, rebuild or recover NTFS, FAT boot sectors, fix MFT, undelete and or copy files from NTFS, FAT, ext2, ext3 partitions. Backup recovery is also supported.

You must remember I used this on a drive that I killed the partition on.  I didn’t format it or re partition it.  So I can’t say it will work in thoughs situations.  But it worked quickly and recovered the disks partition with out any problems.  So if you find your self needing to recover a partiotion give this app a try.  You can download it at:

If you need to recover deleted files you may want to try Portable Data Recovery also.  This is also a free portable app that recovers deleted files.  You can find this at as well.

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