Tuesday, October 30, 2012

XenApp 6 Web Interface fails to install


While installing Citrix XenApp 6 Web Interface role on to a server I received the following error:

Web Interface install failed

You check the installation logs and you see an error similar to this.XenApp Server Role Manager\Startup\StartupIndicator.exe’ exited with error code
In order to install this role, you must be logged into the server as a Local Administrator. You cannot be logged on to the server as a Domain Administrator or other Domain account.

Log into the server as Local Admin and re-attempt the install.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mac OS X: Convert DMG to ISO

Here is a simple procedure that needs no extra software.

  1. Open the mac 'Terminal' application
  2. Type the following:

    hdiutil convert /path/to/filename.dmg -format UDTO -o /path/to/savefile.iso

This will convert the DMG disk image into a ISO disk image which is more universally accepted than the DMG file type.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What does ESX stand for?

I have been wondering about what the letters ESX stand for in VMware's core virtual machine software, VMware ESX(i).

But it's not what you think it would be. I though it was something to do with computer, at least something techinical about virtualization, but nope.

According to Wikipedia, ESX means:

ESX allegedly stands for "Elastic Sky X"


According to this VMware Developer document, the glossary defines it here:



I don't know. Whatever.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quicktime X Automatically Play Videos on Open

One very annoying thing Apple did with their latest release of Quicktime was for some reason was to take away the Preferences of the app, prevent any type of customisations to be made to settings. This is a pain in more that one way.

In this case, when you open a video file, Quicktime will open but won't automatically start playing the file. This was an option in the old version, but now no options exist to set this.

I have found the following command to enable this feature maually:

  1. Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  2. Enter this command

    defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX MGPlayMovieOnOpen 1


Your files will now start automatically.

Another option I found will researching this is you can have the file open in Full Screen if prefered also by using the follow command

defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX MGFullScreenExitOnAppSwitch 0

Sunday, September 16, 2012

VMware ESXi 5.0 Update 1: Virtual Machines not auto starting

For some people, they have found that their virtual machines aren't starting up with the host, leaving their virtual machines off until manually logging into the host and forcing a start.

After some research I found that VMs not auto-staring with the host is a bug in the following host software:

  • VMware ESXi 5.0 Update 1
From the forums I found, some people found this would be the case after upgrading from previous versions to the above version. I had this fault with a fresh install of the system.

Luck for us there is a patch.

Download and Transfer Patch

Download the ESXi500-201207001 from this VMware site (free download).
Once you have it downloaded, use the vSphere client to transfer the ZIP file to the local datastore of your ESXi server by using the Datastore Manager.

Installing Patch

WARNING: A reboot of the host is required for this patch.

  1. Use vSphere to put the host into Maintenance Mode
  2. Use SSH to connect to the server. Login as root.
  3. Use the following command to install the patch
    esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/[PATCH_FILE].zip
  4. The installation should complete without error. Reboot host server using vSphere client.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NETLOGON and SYSVOL Not Shared

This article helped me out today while fixing a broken Active Directory on a SBS 2003 system I was recoverying from backup.

You will find that your SYSVOL and NETLOGON shares are missing. To reconfigure these manually can be a task in itself. The below article shows a much easier way for creating these shares.

Short Link: http://bit.ly/UdV4or


If you have a domain controller and the SYSVOL is missing you will be getting the following error in your logs:Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: UserenvEvent Category: NoneEvent ID: 1006Date: 22/02/2010 Time: 6:01:40 PMUser: NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEMComputer: ORION2\Description:Windows cannot bind to orion.net.au domain. (Local Error). Group Policy processing aborted. 
To get this fixed copy the SYSVOL folder of a healthy domain controller manually. To get the domain controller to re-establish the shares properally and publish it under the domain namespace theres a trick to this which I will show you. 
Navigate to the following registry key on the domain controller you just copied the SYSVOL to:HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ntfrs\Parameters\Backup/Restore\Process at StartupSet the value of the BurFlags registry entry to D4(Hex).Restart the File Replication Service (Ntfrs) serviceThe DC will now automatically share the SYSVOL and republish it under the domain namespace. Very handy!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

[UPDATED] VMWare Fusion: No Virtual Network Support

Virtual Machines are a big part of my life and is increasingly the case in the IT industry. In IT if you're not willing to learn or embrace VM in some sense, you will be left behind. When it comes to VMs on the desktop, my favourite piece of software is VMWare Workstation. But since getting my Mac I have changed to VMware fusion. You'd think these would have the same feature-set. WRONG!

An important feature for me when testing an operating system and even at times a whole network, is the ability to isolate the network connection between two or more VMs using Virtual Networks. By standard you have three main options, Bridged, NAT, Host-only. To quickly explain:

  • Bridged - Connected directly to the host network. Act like another computer on a real network.
  • NAT - Route through the host computer to access the outer network
  • Host-Only - Direct and restricted connection between the VM and the host computer
Network Settings window from VMWare Fusion 4


One thing that is missing on the VMWare Fusion that is available on the Windows version is the ability to specify a virtual network. An isolated network that is separate to the host and real-world network. Completed disconnected.

While that doesn't sound right or even beneficial, when testing and learning, isolating systems from existing networks is very handy.

So why not include it with the Mac version? I have not freaking idea. I am still looking for answer for this or even a workaround. When and if I find a solution, I will post it up.

Such a simple feature, but completely missing.

UPDATE: So I have found today that VMware have release Fusion 5 Professional which no incorperates a Network editor and the advanced options that I have been wanting for a while now.

To check out the new release and its features, check out http://www.vmware.com/products/desktop_virtualization/fusion/professional.html

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just get over it! Flash is dead!


I can't believe there are still people out in this world that complain about Apple (and other devices) not supporting Adobe Flash. Even Adobe doesn't support flash. This is one thing that still gets under my skin.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Mystery Q: Drive in Windows 7

Some people have come across an issue where they suddenly find a inaccessible Q: drive appear in My Computer in Windows 7. However I have found that this isn't Windows but Microsoft Office.

If you use Office 2010 Starter Edition or similar lite versions of Microsoft Office products, you will find a new Q: drive setup on you computer.

This Q: drive is setup by Microsoft Office for Click-to-Start type applications. This can be thought of a virtual drive that can only be used by Microsoft Office. This is a allocation where the applications can be downloaded and run from. Click-to-Start applications aren't fully install and are downloaded partially each time you run the application.

The Q: cannot be access in any form. The new Q: drive is need for Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition. You cannot hide or remove this Q: drive.

For more information, see here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Windows Network Card Configuration Script


As part of my job, I work in the field on various different sites configuring routers, testing network etc. This can be a dedious task especially when I need to constant change my network adapter settings, like IP Addresses and Gateway settings.

I have developed a simple script that allows me to quickly change between Dynamic IPs and Static IPs. If using Static, I am able to enter the values I need to complete my work.

While it isn't hard to change an IP Address in Windows 7, I find it requires more clicks than Windows XP and that is why I developed this script.

You can download the script from the link below and modify as needed. You will need to modify it to identify with the label of your intending Network Adapter. In my case, my Network Adapter is labelled "Local Area Connection", however yours may differ.



If you find this script helpful, please let us know in the comments below.

HP LaserJet P3005 Cold Reset


To perform a factory / hard / cold reset on a HP LaserJet P3000 Series printer wasn't that straight forward in my eyes. Although in the menus there was an option for Reset Factory Defaults, this did very little in erasing the configuration and returning the printer to a default state. After reading through a few manuals I found the following performed what HP call a Cold Reset.

Cold reset
A cold reset unlocks menus that have been previously locked and sets all control panel menu items(including EIO settings) back to the factory defaults. However, it does not clear the values in the SERVICE menu (such as the serial number and page counts).
NOTE  
Before performing a cold reset, print a menu map and a configuration page. Use the information on the configuration page to reset any customer-set device configuration values that the cold reset procedure changes.

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Turn the device on. When the memory count begins, press and hold the green Check button. Continue holding down the Check button until all three device control-panel lights flash once and then remain on. This might take up to 10 seconds.
  3. After the message SELECT LANGUAGE appears on the display, press the up or down button until COLD RESET is highlighted.
  4. Press check button. The device performs a cold reset and then continues its power-on sequence.
  5. Check all I/O settings and reset any customer-set device configuration values.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Outlook 2007: Type to Search not working

Different people will call this feature different things like:

  • Type to search
  • Type to jump
  • Instant Search
and more. But the feature I am talking about can be defined as the ability to start typing in a list and jump straight to an item.

For example, you have a list of item in your Outlook inbox, sorted by From/Sender. You want to skip to 'S' without scrolling. You press S on the keyboard, and the list will jump to the first item starting with S.

I had the issue today where this would work in some Outlook folders but not others.

I have found that this is not related to search but actually View settings. After attempting to re-index and everything like that I found that the following worked.

Under the View menu, select Advanced View Settings.

In the dialogue box, click to Reset Current View. This will reset all settings for View to default. Although this will require you re-modify any settings you made, but this will no resolve your Type to Search feature.

If this article help you, please leave a comment and even help out by making a donation.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Windows Update from Command Line

Although it's not essential, there is a command line command that will search and start Windows Update on Windows PC.
wuauclt

Some documented switches for this command are listed here:

From a dump of the .exe (W2k3 R2 version ) we can extract the following options:
/DetectNow
/ReportNow
/RunHandlerComServer
/RunStoreAsComServer
/ShowSettingsDialog
/ResetAuthorization
/ResetEulas
/ShowWU
/ShowWindowsUpdate
/SelfUpdateManaged
/SelfUpdateUnmanaged
/UpdateNow
/ShowWUAutoScan
/ShowFeaturedUpdates
/ShowOptions
/ShowFeaturedOptInDialog
/DemoUI

More information can be found here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Self-Issued Security Certificate has expired on Windows SBS 2008

I came across this issue today with a client where all their Outlook clients were reporting that the server security certificate had expired.

Outlook errors with a notice of two out of three ticks like this image:


As mentioned, I found this to be the case with all clients in the organisation. Looking on the server it was all reporting the same thing (SBS Console > Network > Connectivity > Certificate > Properties )


To fix this issue:

  1. Logon on to your SBS Server.
  2. Open the SBS Console
  3. Go to Network > Connectivity tab
  4. On the right-hand side, click on "Fix My Network"
  5. Run through the wizard, and it will detect the expired certificate and issue a new one.

Source:
The Official SBS Blog - TechNet Blogs http://bit.ly/GICfWd

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Uninstall Trillian 5

Applies to: Trillian 5 for Windows
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

While this may seem like a simple task and should be obvious, it isn't.

For whatever reason, my instance of Trillian didn't create an entry in Add/Remove Programs, nor an option in the Start Menu.

Using the following run line I was able to uninstall the software:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Trillian\trillian.exe" /uninstall

Note: Check the location of your installation and modify where necessary.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reduce Memory Usage and Speed Up iTunes in Windows

It is commonly accepted that iTunes in Windows is a terrible bit of software. Not only is it slow, but is a memory hog.

This is one method to reduce the amount of memory used by iTunes on your system. Take the following screenshots:


With Cover Art

Without Cover Art

Cover Art in iTunes on Windows uses DirectX graphics engines to generate the 3D graphics and the processing to reference and index the covers. Disabling this feature eliminates the need for DirectX and reduces the amount of memory used by iTunes.

If you have further ways to reduce memory usage by iTunes, please tells us in the comments below.

Also, if you like the content on my blog, support it by making a one-time donation.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Repair Windows 7 after removing a Linux partition (Dual Boot)

I have seen the appear alot in the forums of people are running a dual boot scenario on their computers, dual-booting Windows with Linux, and no longer want the Linux system. Simply removing the paritions causes Windows to longer boot. In this article I explain how you can fix this problem.

In this article, I will show you how to repair Windows 7 after removing Ubuntu 11.10. Although, this will work regardless of the distribution of Linux you are using.




When you remove the Linux partition(s) you essentially remove the boot loader and screw up the master boot record. This need to be repaired for Windows to work again.

Contents
  1. Removing the Linux Partitions
  2. Repairing Windows Boot Loader
Removing the Linux Partitions

Boot to Windows 7 and open Computer Management. Do this by either right-clicking My Computer and selecting Manage, or simple search for Computer Management from the Start Menu. Once open, select Disk Management.



Here you will see the layout of the Hard Drive. Right-click and delete the Linux partitions. In the above screenshot, the Linux partitions are the two on the right. Windows 7 partitions are the System Reserved and C: Drive.

Once you have deleted these partitions, the space will become a logical partition, indicated by the green, remove this also.




With the now Unallocated space, you can resize the Windows 7 C: Drive partition to occupy this space. Right-click on the C: partition and select Extend Partition.


This will start the wizard that will guide you through extending the partition. At the main screen it will ask you by megabye (MB) how much you want to extend the partition by. For me, I extended it for the entire of the available space. Once you have done this, Windows is now the only OS on the Hard Drive.


Repairing the Boot Loader

Once you have successfully removed the Linux partitions, we now have to repair the Windows Boot Loader. Insert and boot from you Windows 7 DVD.


At the above screen select Repair you computer. This will take to the System Recovery Options screen.


From this screen, select Command Prompt. In this scenario, the Startup Repair function does not work. Although it detects there is a problem with the system, it does not repair the Master Boot Record or the Boot Loader.
Once at the Command Prompt, type the following:
  • Bootrec /fixmbr
  • Bootrec /fixboot
These commands repair the Master Boot Record which contain information regarding the Hard drives partitions and then repairs the Windows Boot Loader.


Once these commands have completed, reboot the computer and Windows will now boot.



If this article helped you, please leave a comment below. Also consider making a donation to keep this blog going.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Ever since my last Microsoft mouse stopped working I have hard pressed to find a decent replacement (short of buying another on eBay). I tried a variety of mouse, even borrowed a very basic mouse from work to get me buy. But this mouse has always stirred a curiosity in me and today I broke and bought one to test out.

The Microsoft Arc line of computer mouses are widely known for their unusual design. The mouse nothing more than a curved slate of plastic (forming and arch). The design doesn't look, nor feeling very ergonomical, which is something that is important when it comes to keyboards and mouse regardless of the frequency of use.

Out of the box, the mouse comes flat. I guess they did this for portable reasons, but as I think about this concept, I think that in my laptop bag, this are going to press it and bend it back into it's "Arc" form. Which incidentally is also the power switch.

As most wireless mouses these, it comes with a set of batteries (AAA) and the USB Receiver dongle to connect to your computer. Installing this on my Windows 7 laptop was painless as the drivers and software were downloaded and installed from the internet. Interestingly, the receiver is magnetic to the underside of the mouse itself for "portability". However I can see it getting lost in somebody's laptop bag.


For the buttons themselves, the main left and right button feel rather hard to click, while the centre section is actually a touch surface which responds to gentures for scrolling and clicking. Sliding your finger up and down the surface will resulting in the associatied scroll on the screen. This surface also gives a slight vibration as feedback for scrolling.

Holding it does feels awkward as your fingers sort of end up under the Arc and you feel like you should be holding on to something rather than just letting them slide under the mouse.



Ultimately, this mouse is more about looks than practicality. I couldn't recommend this for daily use, and I feel my hand is cramped from using this mouse. It's great that Microsoft is thinking out of the box with these devices, but has somewhat missed the mark with this design.

For Microsoft Hardware Mouses, see http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/mice

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DOS Printing to USB or Shared Printers on Windows XP


In some case still today there are people who are required to use old DOS-based systems for their business. Not necessarily by choice but still be the case. When it comes to printing from these system it is simple in that DOS simply pushes the print straight on to the static port whether it be Parallel or Serial. However USB doesn't work in DOS.

If this post, or any of my other posts, have been helpful to you please leave a comment. Also consider making a donation.

This is how I have setup printing to USB (or network) printers from DOS-based systems. Here I create a virtual printer port pointing to a network shared printer (even locally connected).

Sharing a Printer in Windows XP

  1. Open the printer's Property Page
  2. Select the Sharing tab
  3. Select the Share this printer radio button
    In the Share name box, enter in a share name for the printer. Something short and simple is preferable. If you are using a HP LaserJet 1020, maybe your share name could be HPLJ1020.
  4. Once you have your printer shared, click OK


Note: Also make sure that File and Print Sharing is except through any software firewalls including Windows Firewall

Mapping the Printer in DOS / Windows XP Command Prompt

Note: Map the printer share to an emulated local port.  If you also have a Local Printer on your parallel port, use a different emulated local port (e.g. LPT2).  In step 7, use this other port's name (e.g. lpt2) instead of LPT11.
  1. Open a Command Prompt (Start > Run > cmd)
  2. Type :
    net use LPTx: \\computername\printersharename  /persistent:yes
  3. Then press Enter.
Note: Where x is in LTPx:, replace with prefered port number. E.g. LPT1.

Note: For computername, use the name of your computer and for printersharename, use the share name you keyed in step 4


Note: The /persistent:yes  parameter makes the mapping of the printer to the emulated LPTx port persistent, so you don't have to issue this command every time you logon or otherwise create a batch script.

Now in the DOS application, printing to the mapped printer LPT port should print to your assigned printer.

Reference: http://members.shaw.ca/bsanders/printfromdos.htm

Monday, January 9, 2012

How to find a Unknown Device Driver

Often at work when I have to rebuild a PC there are occasions where I cannot work out what device that is labelled Uknown Device under the Windows Device Manager. However I have since found an easy way to find out what device the "Unknown".

Image Source: http://bit.ly/wR6CZr
Every device has a Vendor and Device id associated with it. If you can find this ID, you can find the manufacturer.

Open Device Manager by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Manage. Once Computer Managment is opened, select Device Manager.

The hardware whose drivers are missing will appear as Unknown device, so it's easier to locate the device.
Right click on the unknown device and click on Properties.
Under the Properties window click on Details tab and select Device Instance Path from the drop down box.

PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27DC&SUBSYS_30868086
&REV_01\4&1E46F438&0&40F0
There are two portions to this that we are interested in; VEN and DEV. The numbers following are the Vendor and Device IDs.

For Example:
Vendor ID = 8086
Device ID = 27DC

Once you have obtained both the IDs, you can now take these and search them in the PCI Database. There you can either search for the vendor from the vendor ID or directly get information about the device along with the vendor name by searching with the device ID.

I have found this to be a sure way to discover you missing and unknown devices and start to download their associated drivers.

Reference: How to find drivers for unknown devices - http://www.instantfundas.com/2008/06/how-to-find-drivers-for-unknown-devices.html?m=1

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Internet Explorer 6 usage continues to fall

Not that this is really news, I mean who in their right mind would be using this software but it still needs to be said.



Internet Explorer 6 was once on top of the world despite being a terrible web browser (even for its time) with poor rendering skills and security.

However Microsoft has report that in the US, Internet Explorer has dropped to below 1% usage share according to its source NetApplications.

As new web technologies develop and HTML5 and Javascript continue to advance, this old browser becomes less and less capable of displaying these pages.

According the the IE6Countdown.com website, Australia continues to sport a 1.6% market share. While it's a low percentage, that's still I high number of users.

If you know someone that is or might be using the browser, for the love of God, update them to Internet Explorer 8/9. Or even better, get them to use an alternate browser.

Foxtel on XBOX 360 Data Usage

I get asked this question every now and then I honestly could give an answer until now.


According to the Foxtel on XBOX 360 FAQ this is the data usage rates using Foxtel on XBOX 360 over your internet connection
The approximate data usage used when viewing one hour of Live TV is:
High Quality: 800MB/hr
Medium Quality: 540MB/hr
Low Quality: 360MB/hr

For Telstra Bigpond customers, the usage is unmetered or unlimited, however for other ISPs, your usage is charged.

For those looking to use Foxtel on XBOX, it does work great on ADSL(2+) and is on par with standard Foxtel service. You do get that same variety of channel although some changes and shows are unavailable on this service. For a list of the packages available, see here.