Saturday, November 25, 2017

Block Unwanted Traffic in Windows using Windows Firewall

I was unable to find a tutorial for this on Windows so I've created it. Windows in general allows applications and services on your machine to connect to the Internet and potentially send out data without the user ever knowing. This tutorial sets your firewall to block all connections that have not been approved, the opposite of allowing all connections that have not been blocked. Note that on Linux, this configuration is as simple  as one line,"sudo UFW block all"

Note the formatting is all over the place, Blogger is hardcoded in old school HTML with a theme applied and has inconsistent output. 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Part 1: Blocking Incoming and Outgoing Connections

1. Open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. 

2. From the left sidebar, right click on Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

3. Click Properties from the dropdown click the Private Profile tab. 

4. Change Firewall state: to "On" by clicking the dropdown panel

5. Change Inbound connections: and Outbound connections: to "Block" by clicking on the dropdown panels.  

6. Apply the same options to the Public Profile tab (and Domain Profile tab if connected to a Domain).

7. Click Apply > Click Okay.

Note that this will not block all traffic, only traffic that is not otherwise allowed. Any program that has an "Allow Rule" enabled marked by a 'green check' will not be blocked. Some programs automatically create these rules when installed. 

To disable these rules, simply right click on them then click Disable as shown. The checkbox will disappear. 

I disabled built in rules for some Microsoft apps like Cortana and Microsoft Edge, these might re-enable after I reboot my computer as there may be entries in the registry set to recreate them.

Part 2: Creating an Allow Rule for Chrome

Now we need to allow Chrome and other programs to connect through the firewall. Normally we would find out what local ports an application uses for a specific protocol, HTTP is generally port 80 and port 443 is usually used for HTTPS connections. 

To keep things simple, in this tutorial we will simply creating a rule that allows all ports for the TCP and UDP protocols, commonly known as Internet Protocols. 

We'll need to make four rules for Chrome. One for each protocol for incoming connections, and one for each protocol for outgoing connections. 

Part 2A: Inbound Chrome TCP Allow Rule

To create the first firewall rule for Chrome, 

1. Right click Inbound Rules > Click New Rule

2Click the Program option and choose Next

3. Choose This program path: > Click Browse...Navigate to C:/ > Program Files (x86) > Google > Chrome > Application > chrome.exe and click Open > Click Next 

4Click Allow the connection > Click Next > Click Next > Enter "Chrome Inbound TCP" for the name > Click Next > Click Finish 

5. Right click Chrome Inbound TCP > Click Properties > Click the Protocols and Ports Tab > For Protocol type: choose TCP > Click Apply > Click Okay

Part 2B: Inbound Chrome UDP Allow Rule

Now we're going to create a copy of the same rule for the UDP protocol. 

1. Right Click Chrome Inbound TCP  > Click Copy

2. Right Click again anywhere in the same window area > Click Paste

         A second entry of the rule will appear at the top.  

3. Right Click either of the Chrome Inbound TCP rules Click Properties 

4. From the General tab, change Name: to Chrome Inbound UDP. 

5. Click the Protocols and Ports tab > Change Protocol type: to UDP > Click Apply > Click Okay

Part 2C: Inbound Chrome UDP Allow Rule

1. Follow the same instructions from Part 2A and 2B to create two Outbound Allow rules.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Acer Aspire R7-570 Keyboard Replacement Guide

I decided to write my first repair guide as I found that there were no other tutorials for this on the web, excepting this write up

While I found it very helpful, some misunderstanding almost led me to break the replacement keyboard. 

Note that the order in which I removed parts may not be optimal, and that while some can be removed in any order, others cannot.

Disclaimer: Attempt this repair at your own risk. I am not responsible for your actions.

You'll need a T9 torx screwdriver and a regular Phillips. Below is what I worked with.

Follow this guide to remove the back cover. 

Part 1: Removing the Motherboard

After removing the back cover, remove the battery connector and take out the battery. 

1. Remove the screws holding the HDD to the motherboard. Lift up the silver flap on the right and pull left to disconnect.

2. Remove the tape covering the left speaker connector.

3. Remove the left speaker connector and screws. 

4. Remove the connector and screws from the right speaker. 

5. Remove the left port module and bottom LED module ribbon connectors and screws. 

6. Remove the connector under the yellow tape and set the cable off to the side. 
(can be done later) 

7. Detach the WiFi connectors and remove the single screw. 

8. Remove the two display connectors. 

9. Remove the screws connecting the heat sink. Replacing the thermal paste under the heat sink is your call.

10. Remove the screws connecting the fan and the fan connector. Also detach the blue ribbon cable.
Do not remove the fan. 

11. Remove the top left module connector. 

12. Remove the keyboard connectors.

13. Remove the 3 (or more) screws holding down the motherboard. 
(Note the Wi-Fi module should already be removed)

14. Shift the fan to the left as shown to uncover the motherboard. 

15. The mobo should now be ready for removal excepting a single connector on the bottom side. 
I did not remove this connector, I just moved the mobo out of the way of the keyboard. 

Part 2: Removing the Keyboard

I believe there are around 50 screws to be removed here. 
I would take note of the locations of the screws you remove. 
(I drew circles on paper and set them inside the circles)

1. Remove the screws holding down the right shield. 

2. Remove the screws holding down the left shield. 

3. Remove the microphone with the help of a flathead as shown.

4. Remove the screws holding down the center shield. 

5. Remove all screws in center and carefully lift the black ribbon cable. 

7. Lift the keyboard as shown.

DO NOT remove the clear plastic from the black as I halfway did (luckily without damaging anything), misunderstanding the original write up linked at the top. 


8. Remove all screws around the edges. 

9. Remove all remaining center screws and make note of their locations. (I used a sharpie)

After removing all screws the keyboard can be removed.
These steps can be repeated in reverse order to rebuild the machine. 

Here is a clearer shot of where the center screws go on the replacement board. 


All parts dismantled: 

All back together! 

tags: removal, repair, tutorial, laptop, 5893

Update June 2017

I'm going to be blogging about arch linux and other projects soon. stay tuned.