Tag Archives: Secure

Windows 7 + CUPS – Problem Solved

I have been trying to get my Windows 7 (Pro) machine to connect to the CUPS printer on my Linux server. Whilst it used to work with Windows XP (Home) via IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) I was having no luck with Windows 7. One reason for the problem is my network security and firewalls. I lock down everything unless it is actually needed. This means that all the auto discovery services on the network can't talk to each other. Still knowing the IP address and ports of the relevant machine/service to connect to is normally enough to get things working. Not in this case however. For some reason either at the Windows or CUPS end the IP address was causing a problem. The problem being that the it wasn't being resolved to a machine name when trying to setup the IPP connection.

Example:
Machine "Server" with IP "192.168.7.7"

http://192.168.7.7:631/printers/ # Connection will setup but fails to communicate
http://Server:631/printers/
# Connection established and working.

Solution:
The solution to the problem in the end turned out to be quite simple. On Linux machines there is a file /etc/hosts in which you can specify a mapping between IP addresses and hostnames. It turns out that Windows has the same file, its just hidden away in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. Copying in the hostname information gives Windows the information it needs which it cannot find out itself due to the network discovery restrictions.

Background Notes:
This has solved my problem but it was useful to be able to connect another Linux machine to the printer first confirming my CUPS setup was initially working. I had also tried disabling the firewall on the server to ensure that it wasn't a bad configuration, when that didn't work it was obvious that the problem was not in my case CUPS related. It is also a good idea to backup any working config files for future reference/use.

Secure Hard Disk Erase

When a hard disk dies the main priorities are to ensure that there has been little or no data loss and getting the effected system(s) back up and running. The faulty drive is removed and placed to one side. What happens to this drive next? Is it casually discarded, finding its way into the nearest bin?

Dropping a faulty drive into the bin could be one of the most costly mistakes you ever make. Hard disks contain an extensive amount of information about our digital lives, photos, email, contact details of family and friends, banking and financial information and other documents you might not want others to poses. But the drive you have thrown away is faulty, who is going to want a faulty drive? Criminals, thats who.

The information that you leave on a drive could allow criminals to apply for official documents in your name, effectively stealing your identity. This could cause you all sorts of problems further down the line, I'm not going to go into further details just understand that you want to make sure your data doesn't get into the wrong hands.

So how can the data on a drive be destroyed? There are quite a few methods but the ones available to the general public are probably of most interest.
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