April 30 2016

1&1 Speed Test on Cloud Server | 1and1 NGCS

So I know a few customers have asked me for the speed of the 1and1 Cloud Servers, since it doesn’t appear to show up anywhere on the site, and the official answer we give is that the Cloud Server is limited to a maximum theortical speed of 400mbit/s. As always with this sort of thing, this is the maximum possible and not the guaranteed real world connection that you’ll get all the time. This is no different then your typical ISP when you get a “75/50” connection at home, but I figured it’d be worth posting what I get on my personal account. Please note that I receive the same package as any customer with no added perks (unfortunately 🙁 ).

 

March 28 2016

CentOS 7 | Reset Root Password | Grub Method

Imagine the situation where your Administrator is fired/quits, and with him takes the root password of the server and need access to the server right now. Fortunately, Linux makes the process incredibly easy since you have local access, at least in the eyes of the Linux OS. All this method requires is the ability to manipulate GRUB, so if you have a way of seeing the grub menu and working with it, then this method is for you.

Let’s Get Started

  1. Reboot the server and get to the Grub Menu
  2. Go to the line that says “linux16”.
    1. There’s going to be a few more lines compared to CentOS6‘s method, just scroll slowly, it’s there.
  3. Using the Right arrow, go into the “linux16” line and find the word “ro”.
    1. This is telling the server to boot into Read Only. The server boots that and then upon login/mounting you get a Read/Write access. We want to bypass that.
  4. Change “ro” to “rw” and follow it up with “init=/sysroot/bin/sh”
    1. “ro” becomes “rw init=/sysroot/bin/sh”
  5. Press Ctrl-X to boot with this configuration
    1. Note that this doesn’t save the configuration, just lets you boot into it for this Session
  6. Now you should have Root access, type the “passwd” command to change the password.
  7. Reboot the server and use your new password to login.

This method is great for 1&1’s Dedicated Servers using the Serial Console, 1&1’s Cloud Servers using either the KVM/VNC console, and Digitalocean’s KVM console. As long as you can see GRUB, you can change the root password.

March 20 2016

SSH Keys with 1and1 Cloud Servers

1&1 has updated their NGCS (New Gen Cloud Server) platform to include the ability to have your Public SSH key added to the server upon creation. SSH keys gives you a secure Public/Private key solution that is much safer than using passwords. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to do a few security tasks such as disable password logins, change ports, and disable root login altogether for a nice and secure system, but for now this is a pleasant addition!

 

2016-03-16 20_38_48-1&1 Cloud Panel

Create your Public key using PuttyGen , then simply paste the contents of the Public Key into “SSH Key”. After the server is complete, you can use Pageant from the same Putty creator, or if your SSH client like MobaXterm allows it, load the Private Key then connect to your server.

December 21 2015

Reset Windows Password on 1and1’s Cloud Server

Let’s take a scenario:
You created a Windows Server VM at 1and1.com and decided to use your own super secret password. Since you specified the password, it doesn’t show up in the cloud panel. Since this is a windows, we can’t just load up a LiveCD of Linux, CHROOT and run the command “passwd” and be done with it. We also don’t have the ability to use our own ISOs which may have a nice Bootdisk to that resets passwords in the SAM file. We need to get this data somehow, and I figured out how to do it.

The golden ticket here is we need to be able to run Command Prompt and we need to change our password. Since we have KVM access, we only need to rename the Command Prompt “cmd.exe” to a system program like “Utilman.exe” or “Magnifier.exe” so we can run it at the logon screen.

For the new Cloud Servers, which has the “Cloud Panel” and dubbed “NGCS” or “1&1 Cloud Server”, the only DVD/Application available that works seems to be GParted which is Debian based. For older 1&1 Cloud Servers, which went under the names “Dynamic Cloud Server”, “Virtual Dedicated Server”, “VDS” / “DCS”, you can use the “Recovery Tool” in the 1&1 Control Panel as the “Linux Rescue” both stable and unstable are Debian Based as well.

For the NGCS:
– Go ahead and load up the KVM from you Cloud Panel by going to “Actions” => “Access KVM Console”
– In the Cloud Panel also load the GParted by clicking “DVD” => “Applications” => select “GParted”
– Reboot server and watch it in the KVM Console
– When you follow the prompts, you’ll get to a desktop, choose “Terminal”

For VDS/DCS:
– Go to 1&1 Control Panel => 1&1 Servers => Recovery Tool => choose either Linux Rescue
– Use your VNC Console or SSH into your server using IP address, Root, and the Recovery password created
– Either option will bring you into the server’s Terminal

 

In Terminal

  1. Mount the Windows partitions
    1. NGCS
      1. mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
    2. VDS/DCS
      1. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
  2. Change Directory to “C:\Windows\System32”
    1. cd /mnt/Windows/System32
  3. make backups of Utilman.exe or Magnifier.exe
    1. mv Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak
  4. Copy and Rename CMD as previous application
    1. cp cmd.exe Utilman.exe
  5. Reboot Server with back to regular mode
    1. NGCS
      1. Remove DVD from CloudPanel
      2. Restart Server
    2. VDS/DCS
      1. Recovery Tool => Windows Server (normal)

Now the server should be starting up and getting to the Logon Screen. Both the VNC Console and the KVM console should show you at the Windows Login Screen, and in the bottom left there’ll be a little square button. This is your “Ease of Access” button or “Utilman.exe”. If you renamed CMD to Utilman, then clicking this will bring up a Command Prompt, otherwise Open that and click on your Magnifier to bring up the Command Prompt

In Command Prompt

Change User Password

  1. net user <USER> <NewPassword>
  2. Login with User and it’s new password

Create a new user with Local Admin Rights

  1. net user <USER> <Password> /add
  2. net localgroup Administrators <USER> /add
  3. Login (no need to reboot)

 

Note:

  • Always remember to change the applications back to the originals with the backups you made. While unlikely someone would get KVM/VNC console access, if they find an exploit (like the one needed for Dedicated Servers) then they can reset/add Admin users.
  • Changing user passwords this way may cause loss of access to “Encrypted Files/Folders”. Do this as a last resort when the only other option that’s been given is to Reimage.