Managed Solution Earns 2024 Great Place To Work Certification™

San Diego, CA — Managed Solution is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place To Work®. The prestigious award is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working at Managed Solution. This year, 98% of employees said it’s a great place To Work – 41 percent higher than the average U.S. company.

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

"Great Place To Work Certification is a highly coveted achievement that requires consistent and intentional dedication to the overall employee experience," says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, the Vice President of Global Recognition at Great Place To Work. She emphasizes that Certification is the sole official recognition earned by the real-time feedback of employees regarding their company culture. “By successfully earning this recognition, it is evident that Managed Solution stands out as one of the top companies to work for, providing a great workplace environment for its employees."

"Receiving the Great Place to Work-Certification™ is a moment of immense pride and joy for all of us at Managed Solution. It's a reflection of our collective commitment to foster a culture where integrity, heart, innovation, and teamwork are not just valued, they are practiced daily. This achievement is a testament to the spirit of our team—every individual's dedication to not just doing their job, but contributing to a community where everyone feels they belong, can thrive, and grow. Let's use this recognition as a stepping stone to reach even greater heights together." - Sean Ferrel, CEO, Managed Solution

According to Great Place To Work research, job seekers are 4.5 times more likely to find a great boss at a Certified great workplace. Additionally, employees at Certified workplaces are 93% more likely to look forward to coming to work, and are twice as likely to be paid fairly, earn a fair share of the company’s profits and have a fair chance at promotion. Take a look at our Great Place To Work® profile HERE.



Looking to grow your career at a company that puts its people first? Visit our careers page at:


About Managed Solution

At Managed Solution, our core objective is to empower organizations to thrive by delivering comprehensive and innovative IT services. Leveraging our expertise as a Certified Microsoft partner and Cloud Service provider, we aim to provide seamless managed and professional services, robust backup and disaster recovery solutions, cutting-edge security measures, responsive helpdesk support, strategic staffing consulting, efficient procurement services, and thorough compliance consulting. Through our commitment to excellence, we endeavor to create environments where businesses and individuals flourish, driving sustained growth, resilience, and success for our clients.


About Great Place to Work Certification™

Great Place To Work® Certification™ is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition that companies aspire to achieve. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience. Every year, more than 10,000 companies across 60 countries apply to get Great Place To Work-Certified.


About Great Place To Work®

As the global authority on workplace culture, Great Place To Work® brings 30 years of groundbreaking research and data to help every place become a great place to work for all. Their proprietary platform and For All™ Model helps companies evaluate the experience of every employee, with exemplary workplaces becoming Great Place To Work Certified™ or receiving recognition on a coveted Best Workplaces™ List.

Learn more at and follow Great Place To Work on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



Contact: Amanda Penharlow

Phone: 858-429-3096



Managed Solution, a leading technology solutions provider based in San Diego, proudly announces its participation in Giving Tuesday by making a generous donation to the San Diego Humane Society. This contribution not only reflects the company's dedication to corporate social responsibility but also secures its place on the esteemed donor wall of the San Diego Humane Society.

Giving Tuesday, celebrated globally on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, encourages individuals and businesses to give back to their communities and support charitable causes. Managed Solution is delighted to contribute to the vital work of the San Diego Humane Society, an organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals and providing compassionate care.

In a unique twist to this year's Giving Tuesday initiative, Managed Solution invited its employees to nominate non-profit organizations for consideration. CEO Sean Ferrel, known for his commitment to community engagement, has personally selected ALL five charities nominated by employees. Each charity will receive a donation in kind on behalf of the employees below.

The selected charities are:

  1. Youth on Their Own (Nominated by William Ford)
  2. American Heart Association (Nominated by Josh Ose)
  3. Teddy Bear Care (Nominated by Sarah Wolf)
  4. Frosted Faces Foundation (Nominated by Alecia Wilson)
  5. CASA - Louisiana (Nominated by Kat Grunzinger)


The company encourages other businesses to embrace similar initiatives that empower employees to make a difference in the causes they care about. By supporting multiple charities, Managed Solution aims to amplify the positive impact on communities and create a ripple effect of generosity.

About Managed Solution: Managed Solution is a leading technology solutions provider based in San Diego, offering a comprehensive suite of services, including IT consulting, cloud solutions, and managed services. With a commitment to innovation and community engagement, Managed Solution strives to make a positive impact on businesses and society.


For more information about Managed Solution and its philanthropic efforts, please visit

How to Force-Quit a Program in Windows

By Tim Fisher as written on

Push to Exit

Push to Exit

Ever try to close a program in Windows but tapping or clicking on that big X doesn't do the trick?

Sometimes you'll get lucky and Windows will tell you that a program isn't responding and give you some options to Close the program or End Now, or maybe even to Wait for the program to respond.

Other times all you get is a Not Responding message in the program's title bar and a full-screen gray-out, making it really clear that whatever program is going nowhere fast.

Worst of all, some programs that freeze or lock up do so in a way that even your operating system can't detect and inform you about, leaving you wondering if you have a problem with your mouse buttons or touchscreen.

Regardless of what program won't close, or what the specific situation is, there are several ways to "force quit" a program in Windows:

Try to Close the Program Using ALT+F4

The little known but very handy ALT+F4 keyboard shortcut performs the same, behind the scenes, program-closing magic that clicking or tapping that X in the top-right of a program window does.

Here's how to do it:
1. Bring the program you want to quit to the foreground by tapping or clicking on it.

Tip: If you're having trouble doing this, try ALT+TAB and progress through your open programs with the TAB key (keep ALT down) until you reach the program you want (then let go of both).

2. Press and hold one of the ALT keys.

3. While still holding the ALT key down, press F4 once.

4. Let go of both keys.

It's super important that you do #1. If a different program or app is selected, that's the program or app that will close.

If no program is selected, Windows itself will shut down, although you'll have a chance to cancel it before it happens (so don't skip trying the ALT+F4 trick for fear of shutting off your computer).

Because ALT+F4 is identical to using the X to close an open program, this method of force-quitting a program is only helpful if the program in question is working to some degree, and it won't work to close any other processes that this program "spawned" at any point since it started.

That said, knowing this force-quit method can be particularly helpful if the batteries in your wireless mouse have quit, your touchscreen or touchpad drivers are making your life really difficult right now, or some other mouse-like navigation isn't working as it should.

Still, ALT+F4 takes just a second to try and is much easier to pull off than the more complicated ideas below so I highly recommend you try it first, no matter what you think source of the problem might be.

Use Task Manager to Force the Program to Quit

Assuming ALT+F4 didn't do the trick, truly forcing an unresponsive program to quit - no matter what state the program is in - is best accomplished via Task Manager.

Here's how:
1. Open Task Manager using the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keyboard shortcut.

Tip: If that doesn't work or you don't have access to your keyboard, right-click or tap-and-hold on the Desktop taskbar and choose Task Manager or Start Task Manager (depending on your version of Windows) from the pop-up menu that appears.

2. Next you want to find the program or app that you want to close and get Task Manager to direct you to the actual process that supports it.

This sounds a bit hard, but it's not. The exact details do differ depending on your version of Windows, though. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure.

Windows 10 & 8: Find the program you want to force close in the Processes tab, probably under the Apps heading. Once found, right-click or tap-and-hold on it and choose Go to details from the pop-up menu.

Windows 7, Vista, & XP: Find the program you're after in the Applications tab. Right-click on it and then click Go To Process from the menu that pops up.

Note: You may be tempted to simply End task directly from that pop-up menu but don't. While this might be perfectly fine for some programs, doing this "the long way" as I'm describing here is a much more effective way to force quit a program (more on this below).

3. Right-click or tap-and-hold on the highlighted item you see and choose End Process Tree.

Note: You should be in the Details tab if you're using Windows 10 or Windows 8, or the Processes tab if you're using Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.

4. Click or tap the End process tree button in the warning that appears. In Windows 10, for example, this warning looks like this:
Do you want to end the process tree of [program file name]? If open programs or processes are associated with this process tree, they will close and you will lose any unsaved data. If you end a system process, it might result in system instability. Are you sure you want to continue?
This is a good thing - it means that not only will this individual program you want closed actually close, it means Windows will also end any processes that that program started, which are probably also hung up but much harder to track down yourself.

5. Close Task Manager.

That's it! The program should have closed immediately but it could take several seconds if there were lots of child processes connected to the frozen program or the program was using a lot of system memory.

See? Easy as pie... unless it didn't work or you can't get Task Manager to open. Here are a few more ideas if Task Manager didn't do the trick...

Confuse the Program! (Prompting Windows to Step In and Help)

That's probably not advice you've seen elsewhere, so let me explain.

In some cases, you can actually give a problematic program a little nudge off the cliff, so to speak, pushing it into a full-blown frozen state, sending a message to Windows that it should probably be terminated.

To do this, do as many "things" as you can think to do in program, even if they don't do anything because the program is crashing. For example, click on menu items over and over, drag items around, open and close fields - whatever you do in this program that you're hoping to force quit.

Assuming this works, you'll get a window with a [program name] is not responding heading, usually with options like Check for a solution and restart the program, Close the program, Wait for the program to respond, or End Now (in older versions of Windows).

Tap or click Close the program or End Now to do just that.

Execute the TASKKILL Command to... Kill the Task!

I have one last trick to force quit a program but it's an advanced one. A particular command in Windows, called taskkill, does just that - it kills the task you specify, completely from the command line.

This trick is great in one of those hopefully-rare situations where some kind of malware has prevented your computer from working normally, you still have access to Command Prompt, and you know the filename of the program you want to "kill."

Here's how to do it:

1. Open Command Prompt. No need for it to be elevated and any way you get it open is fine.

A common method to open Command Prompt in all versions of Windows, even in Safe Mode, is via Run: open it with the WIN+R keyboard shortcut and then execute cmd.

2. Execute the taskkill command like this:
taskkill /im filename.exe /t
...replacing filename.exe with whatever filename the program you want to close is using. The /t option makes sure any child processes are closed as well.

If in the very rare situation that you don't know the filename, but do know the PID (process ID), you can execute taskkill like this instead:
taskkill /pid processid /t
...replacing, of course, processid with the actual PID of the program you want to force quit. A running program's PID is most easily found in Task Manager.

3. The program or app that you force-quit via taskkill should end immediately and you should see one of these responses in Command Prompt:
SUCCESS: Sent termination signal to process with PID [pid number], child of PID [pid number]. SUCCESS: The process with PID [pid number] child of PID [pid number] has been terminated.
Tip: If you get an ERROR response that says that a process was not found, check that the filename or PID you used with the taskkill command was entered correctly.

Note: The first PID listed in the response is the PID for the program you're closing and the second is usually for explorer.exe, the program that runs the Desktop, Start Menu, and other major user interface elements in Windows.

If even taskkill doesn't work, you're left with having to restart your computer, essentially a force-quit for every program running... including Windows itself, unfortunately.

How to Force-Quit Running Programs on non-Windows Machines

Software programs and apps sometimes stop responding and won't close on Apple, Linux, and other operating systems and devices, too. It's certainly not a problem exclusive to Windows machines.

On a Mac, force quitting is best done from the Doc or via the Force Quit option from the Apple menu. See How to Use the Force Quit to Terminate a Wayward Mac Application for details.

In Linux, the xkill command is one really easy way to force quit a program. Open a terminal window, type it, and then click the open program to kill it. More on this in Gary Newell's Linux Terminal Commands That Will Rock Your World.

In ChromeOS, open Task Manager using SHIFT+ESC and then select the program you want to terminate, followed by the End process button.

To force quit an app on iPad & iPhone devices, double-press the Home button, find the app you want to close, and then swipe it up, as if you're tossing it right off the device.

Android devices have a similar process - tap the square multitasking button, find the app that's not responding, and then toss it off the screen... left or right.

I hope these were helpful tips, especially for Windows! Have any tips of your own for killing misbehaving programs? Let me know and I'd be happy to add them.

Check out our events page for on demand content and tips.


By Jeff Lizerbram Solutions Architect, Systems Integration:

When the recent news stories broke out across the nation on the data breach at Equifax, one of three main credit reporting companies (the other two which are Experian and TransUnion), the damage was already done almost 3 months earlier. According to the top news sources, over 143 million people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have had their credit data accessible by hackers as early as May 2017. This data includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and other private financial data.  One of the major sources of the vulnerability to blame was the main public Equifax website itself, in which there were un-hardened web application security configurations in place.

The cause of the hacking can go even deeper into the organization, where there may have been a lack of a strong IT security policy enforcement.  Can this issue happen to any organization? Of course. As a Managed Services Provider, we see instances of incomprehensible amounts of hacking attempts hitting publicly-facing firewalls all the time. And we are constantly learning that our data is at the mercy of the ever-changing best practices in Information Technology security. Can an organization work to prevent such a massive vulnerability? Absolutely, and here’s one way to accomplish this:

From my own experience in working with best-in-class cloud security solutions, there is a strong need for other factors, including human factors, to be in place, in addition to the security solution itself. A great security product protecting a company’s assets is just one small part of preventing attacks. A strong and secure organization should hold an internal policy foundation which includes 3 important pillars: Security, Audibility, and Accountability. For Security, upgrading to the best-in-breed security products will definitely help. And while most security products out in the market include auditing features, quite often the auditing portion is left in a disabled state and not used. It is crucial to enable auditing to view and alert on sensitive data going out as well as coming into the organization. And finally, security and auditing must result in holding those accountable for correcting any configuration issues that have been alerted. All in all, a good organizational IT policy should have a foundation based on these principals to stay ahead of the bad guys.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Stability in Technology for San Diego 501 (c) 3 Non Profit
Business Needs: Since 2009, Managed Solution has been providing the San Diego Opera with Managed Services from Silver to Platinum Support. We are an affordable resource when their budgets fluctuate and have been cost effective by outsourcing their IT needs instead of hiring full time staff. They initially came to us because their server was not getting emails and they had several domains needing to be safe guarded. They had a small internal team managing over 100 users and were looking to find a trusted provider who could manage their day-to-day support with printers and email.
Solution: Managed Solution was able to service their company with Platinum Support, visit on site every other week and take care of all requests. We rectified VPN client issues, set up new users, normal daily crisis issues, file permissions, log in issues, WIFI challenges and set up Back Up Disaster and Recovery because they were using tape prior. We upgraded them from tape backups to redundant cloud BDR services.
Success: Managed Solution was able to streamline internal processes, quickly resolve issues and increase productivity. We continue to provide a high level of quality service with our on-going relationship between transitions in leadership and with different levels of support. SD Opera is grateful for the stability provided by Managed Solution during a challenging transition period.


“Managed Solution has been a great asset to the team and my field engineer, Jake, is wonderful, also the help desk is always extremely responsive”. - Michael Lowry, CFO


For decades, areas such as computer vision, deep learning, speech, and natural language processing have challenged the field's top exerts, yet today, it seems that computer scientists are making more progress every day in these areas (among many others).

Because of these breakthroughs, tools including Microsoft Translator are coming to life, and it is only up until recently that things like this were the stuff of fantasy and science fiction. In turn, so many people are being helped in so many ways by, for example, breaking down language barriers and facilitating communication.

Just the beginning

Last September, Microsoft announced the creation of Microsoft AI and Research, a new group that brings together approximately 7,500 computer scientists, researchers and engineers from the company’s research labs and product groups such as Bing, Cortana and Azure Machine Learning.

Microsoft Research AI, a research and incubation hub within Microsoft's research organization, is focused on solving some of AI’s most difficult challenges. The team of scientists and engineers will work closely with colleagues across Microsoft’s research labs and product groups in order to tackle some of the hardest problems in AI and accelerate the integration of the latest AI advances into products and services that benefit customers and society.

A core goal of Microsoft Research AI is to reunite AI research endeavors, such as machine learning, perception and natural language processing, that have evolved over time into separate fields of research. This integrated approach will allow the development of sophisticated understandings and tools that can help people do complex, multifaceted tasks.


Microsoft believes AI will be even more helpful when tools can be created that combine those functions and add some of the abilities that come naturally to people, like applying our knowledge of one task to another task or having a commonsense understanding of the world around us.

As AI moves from research to product, Microsoft is maintaining their commitment to foundational, open, and collaborative research in addition to their dedication to solving society’s toughest problems in partnership with all members of society. All the while, Microsoft is actively pursuing a mission in common with us here at Managed Solution, to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.

With time, your Active Directory (A/D) database can malfunction and become filled with data that you do not need anymore, such as references to users or servers that do not exist anymore. Here are 10 things to know before "de-gunking" your Active Directory.

1: Think simple before anything else

Erratic Active Directory behavior is not always due to a corrupt Active Directory database. For example, not being able to create or remove a domain may be due to the fact that the domain controller hosting the FSMO roles for the domain is down, or even more simple, the user attempting to perform the operation may not have the necessary permissions.


2: Make sure DNS is properly functioning

Active Directory is completely dependent on DNS, so if this server fails, Active Directory begins to have problems too. Indications of a DNS server issue include error messages such as "Domain Not Found", "Server Not Available", or "RPC Server is Unavailable".


3: Know the power and ease of DCDIAG

Windows domain controllers include a command-line utility called DCDIAG. Running this utility performs a number of diagnostic tests on a domain controller, and often times, DCDIAG will help you quickly determine the cause of the problem.


4: Delete extinct metadata correctly

While you can use ADSI Edit to manually remove references to extinct servers, doing so often does more harm than good. With Active Directory being a relational database, removing an entry for an extinct server can orphan other database entries and cause a whole slew of problems. A better approach is to use the NTDSUTIL tool's METADATA CLEANUP option. This TechNet article provides a full set of instructions on the process.


5: ADSI Edit is unforgiving

You can use ADSI Edit to manually create and delete Active Directory entries, however, making a mistake can destroy your entire Active Directory. Therefore, it is important to know when and when not to use it. For example, Exchange 2007 can't be uninstalled until the last public folder has been removed, but a bug prevents you from removing the remaining public folders. ADSI Edit is useful to work around this issue, but take extreme caution in using it for other purposes.


6: Don't use domain controller snapshots

With virtualization being so popular, many organizations have virtualized their domain controller and server virtualization products on the market allow you to create a snapshot of a server. That way, in the event that something goes wrong with the server, you can roll it back to a previous state without having to restore a backup.

While backing up your domain controllers before attempting to repair Active Directory is a good idea, you shouldn't use snapshots. Rolling back to a snapshot of a domain controller can have catastrophic consequences. Active Directory transactions are numbered and rolling back a domain controller causes the numbering sequence to be disrupted. This leads to all sorts of domain synchronization issues.


7: Active Directory is based on the extensible storage engine

Normally, NTDSUTIL is the tool of choice for repairing Active Directory problems. But in the case of severe corruption, NDTSUTIL may not be enough for the problem at hand. In this case, the best option is to restore a backup. If that isn't possible, though, you can try using ESEUTIL.

ESEUTIL is a database maintenance tool for extensible storage engine databases and it can be used to repair structural problems within the database. This technique should only be implemented as a last resort due to the possibility of data loss during the repair process.


8: The difference between authoritative and non-authoritative restore

When you restore the Active Directory database on a domain controller, the restoration is usually non-authoritative, meaning that the restoration process restores the domain controller to the point at which it existed when the backup was made. The domain controller is brought into a current state by the replication process. Other domain controllers replicate any missing entries to the recently restored domain controller.

An authoritative restore does not backfill a restored domain controller using data from other domain controllers. Instead, you are effectively telling Windows that the recently restored domain controller contains the desired data and that you want to remove any subsequent data from the other domain controllers in the organization.


9: Check NTFS permissions

When Active Directory related services fail to start on a domain controller, the problem is often mistaken for database corruption while often, an administrator has recently tried to secure the system volume. Excessive NTFS permissions can actually prevent Active Directory from starting. Microsoft discusses this problem in Knowledgebase Article 258062.


10: Back up your domain controllers

Before performing any major repair or cleanup work on your Active Directory, it is imperative to perform a full system state backup of your domain controllers. Countless knowledgebase articles talk about the importance of backing up a system prior to modifying the registry — and modifying the Active Directory database is much more dangerous than editing the registry. If you make a mistake while editing the registry, you can destroy Windows. If you make a mistake in Active Directory, you can destroy the whole thing which potentially affects every system in your organization. Therefore, the importance of a good backup should never be underestimated.

One may talk to Cortana everyday and everywhere, whether it is to get information about the day, to set reminders, or to answer questions. However, many people don’t just use one digital assistant. They may also speak to Alexa on a daily basis to listen to audio books or to add things to an shopping list. Due to this fact that many people use and interact with all kinds of products, Microsoft and Amazon have announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Cortana and Alexa, offering more choice, value, and access to both personal assistants.

Available later this year, this collaboration will allow you to access Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, followed by Android and iOS in the future. Conversely, you’ll be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show. By bringing Cortana to Alexa and Alexa to Cortana, more value and choice has been added for consumers and developers alike.

Alexa as a Guest on Cortana

Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on and manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa’s third-party skills by asking Cortana to open Alexa.

For example, say you are at work and you receive a text from your partner saying, “We’re running low on diapers.” In the future, on your Windows 10 PC, iPhone or Android phone, you could simply say, “Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” and ask Alexa to order diapers using your preferred payment method for your Amazon account.

Cortana as a Guest on Alexa

Alexa users will have access to Cortana’s world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance, and location-based reminders by simply asking Alexa to open Cortana. For example, what if you’re making breakfast in the morning and need to know if you have enough time to drop off the dry-cleaning before work? On your Alexa device, you can say, “Alexa, open Cortana,” and ask when your first meeting is. If you won’t have enough time, simply ask Alexa to open Cortana again and set a reminder for the end of your workday to drop off the clothes.

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