Tech Tip: Open command prompt from a shortcut menu/Secure SMTP service in Win2K

Learn how to open the command prompt from a shortcut menu and secure SMTP service.

Windows 2000 Professional: Open a command console from the shortcut menu

Many power users, particularly those who've used computers since the early days of DOS, prefer to work from a command console. While you can easily open a command console in Windows, it offers no built-in mechanism to open a console in a target folder from Windows Explorer.

One way to add this capability is to install PowerToys, a set of add-on tools for Windows. This set of tools is available as a download from Microsoft's Web site.

However, you can also add this capability without installing PowerToys by adding an entry to the registry. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start | Run.
  2. Enter Regedt32.exe, and click OK.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory.
  4. Go to Edit | Add Key, and name the new key Console.
  5. In the Console key, create a subkey, and name it command.
  6. Open the properties for the default value in the command subkey, set its value to cmd.exe /k "cd %L", and click OK.
  7. Close the Registry Editor, and restart the system.

To open a command console within a folder, open My Computer, right-click the folder, and choose Console.

Windows uses the Console key name as the name of the command in the shortcut menu because you didn't set the default value for the Console key. If you edit the default value in the Console key, Windows will use that value for the command name in the shortcut menu instead.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

Windows 2000 Server: Secure traffic between SMTP servers

Windows 2000 Server's SMTP service won't turn your server into a full-blown mail server, but it can be useful for relaying mail to other servers. For example, you can use the SMTP service to route incoming mail to a smart host running Exchange Server or another mail server application.

One of the ways you can prevent relay through the internal SMTP server is to require authentication between the external server running the SMTP service and the internal server. By requiring authentication at the internal server, you help eliminate the possibility that unauthorized users--including those inside your organization--will use the internal server for relaying or spamming.

To secure a connection between servers, start by configuring the SMTP service on the external server to use the appropriate authentication method for outgoing connections. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the IIS console, and connect to the external server.
  2. Select the SMTP virtual server, and click the Properties button on the toolbar.
  3. On the Delivery tab, click Outbound Security, and choose Windows Security Package.
  4. Enter the username and password from the internal server that the system will use to authenticate the connection, and click OK.
  5. Click Advanced, and enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the internal server in the Smart Host field. If you specify an IP address instead of an FQDN, enclose the address in square brackets, such as [].
  6. Deselect the Attempt Direct Delivery Before Sending To Smart Host option, click OK, and click OK to close the server's properties.
  7. Configure the internal server to require authentication, and configure it for Windows authentication.

Configuring the connection in this way doesn't secure the e-mail system by itself; it simply secures the connection to the internal server and helps prevent unauthorized access to the internal server. You should still take steps to secure the external server to prevent unauthorized relay.