Cincinnerdi Tech Stuff

A mind-numbing read if ever there was one

Find the elusive Start button on Hyper-V 2012 VM consoles

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a tough time getting the start button to show on Hyper-V connected consoles for Windows Server 2012 VMs.

This video shows that just hovering over the red X in the upper corner of the VM console seems to do the trick.

Written by scottledyard

2013, July 11th at 3:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How to turn off Google Search history on Google Apps

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There seems to be a bit of concern that Google is recording search history. Now that Google is changing their privacy terms, this is becoming a new topic despite the fact that they’ve offered search history for some time.

It’s been my experience setting up Google Apps for Business that this service is turned off by default, but I suppose that could vary. My personal preference is to leave it on, as I find it useful for later research.

Anyway, it’s quite simple to turn this off for your Google Apps domain. Go into your domain management menu. Lately, this can be the biggest challenge as they’ve moved this around. It’s in the SECOND gear icon.

ManageDomain screenshot

Then go to Organization & users, and finally the Services tab.

Scroll down, and you’ll see the Web History where you can turn it off, or on.

GoogleAppsWebHistory

BTW, if you want to see what your Google Search history has been, visit https://www.google.com/history/

Written by scottledyard

2012, February 28th at 4:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Microsoft links to Adobe Reader fix

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MS links to adobe reader fix 1

How often have we seen one of these: The “Send Error Report” option after a program crash?

This one after a clear case of a bug in a newly installed XP instance with a newly installed Adobe Reader X. After attempting to print, instead of the Print dialog popping up we got the standard Microsoft Windows popup:

Adobe Reader has encountered a problem and needs to close. … Please tell Microsoft about this problem.

 

But instead of getting nothing, we got the prized “Click here” to find out more and, voila, we were provided with an ACTUAL SOLUTION! The MS page linked to an Adobe page with a patch for Reader X -  AdobeReaderPatch10.1.2_cpsid_92870.exe

MS links to adobe reader fix 2

See the patch here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/928/cpsid_92870.html

After a restart, all was well. Thanks Microsoft!

MS links to adobe reader fix 3

Written by scottledyard

2012, February 10th at 5:27 am

Can’t access Dell DRAC after update?

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Image

I have to admit that I’ve stumbled into this problem at least twice before – and forgot what caused issue. The problem is that you attempt to access the web interface on the Dell DRAC (Dell Remote Access Card) and you cannot. It appears the DRAC disconnects.

Easy enough to solve: Simply clear your browser cache or use a different browser temporarily.  By pointer the web browser to same IP – the browser tries to pull the content from cache, but it doesn’t jive with the actual content from the updated firmware. 

Written by scottledyard

2012, January 25th at 2:13 pm

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Seven rolling logs – vSphere log files

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Each time a VM is powered on, a new log file is created in the main directory of the VM. These files all have a ".log" extension and the active log file is named vmware.log (though this can be defined in the VMX configuration file.)

VMware records the key events affecting each VM in the log files.

At VM start, the  oldest log file is deleted, the vmware.log file is renamed by appending a "-##" sequence and a new vmware.log file is created. For example, here are some of the files in a VM before starting. Note the vmware.log file has a size of 487,490 bytes and is date stamped Jun 18.

ScreenClip(70)

The VM is started and you can see that the old vmware.log file is now called vmware-19.log. Also, vmware-13.log is gone.

ScreenClip(69)

If we restarte the VM, the same thing happens: vmware-14.log is gone and a new one is begun.

ScreenClip(68)

You can find more about VMware files that make up a VM at this link.

Written by scottledyard

2011, July 7th at 4:40 am

Posted in ESXi

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We still need floppies? Seriously, Microsoft?!

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Only one installation issue

The end of a long marathon, migrating to SBS 2008

Running SBS 2008 migration on a virtual server takes us on a detour down memory lane

Working on a migration of Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 to SBS 2008, I had jumped thru the previous 283 migration hoops (I exaggerate, but just a little) and was ready to boot the 2008 installer DVD with my handy SBSAnswerFile which Microsoft wants me to put on “…the root of a USB drive, floppy disk or a partition on the destination server.” Hmmm….

– USB drive is a no-go on the ESX server.
– Let’s put it on a 2nd virtual hard disk. No, the migration installer didn’t “see” it.
– OK, let’s put it on a virtual CD drive. No. It didn’t see it again.
– Finally, I went to the extra hassle of putting it on a virtual floppy. Success!

The blow by blow follows:

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Written by scottledyard

2010, March 4th at 7:00 pm

Changing DRAC timeout

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If your DRAC looks like this, you really need to put it back in the server.
Am I alone in finding the DRAC timeout default to be way too short? It seems whenever I connect to a host using Dell’s Remote Access Controller (DRAC*) that it’s re-asking me for credentials way too often.

Not only that, but finding out where to change this default timeout proved illusive until recently when I stumbled upon it. It’s easy to change once you know where to look.

After logging into the DRAC, click on “Remote Access” in the left panel, then the “Configuration” tab, and on the “Services” header. The “Web Server” settings allow you to change the default of 300 seconds (5 minutes) up to 1,920 seconds (32 minutes).

The 3D click sequence, left panel, top tab, tap header

Your mileage may vary, every DRAC version comes with a complete GUI re-design.

* DRAC is the lights-out managment feature for a Dell PowerEdge Server. It is a “must have” option, allowing you to remotely access the server, access the monitor, notify you of errors, and even turn the server off and on.  It’s like having a computer in a computer.

Keywords: Dell, PowerEdge, Servers, DRAC, RAC, 2950, 2950III, 2900, timeout, lights-out, Scott Ledyard

Written by scottledyard

2010, March 1st at 4:38 pm

No tool like an old tool

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Administration Tools Pack gets a refresh

and Server Administration Tools

Another eNerd called me yesterday wondering how to let a non-admin user at his client’s business have access to their virtualized server. The hope was to have the vSphere Client locked down in some way.

When I asked what the user needed to do, it was “Manage users and reset passwords and such.”  I realized then that this was not a VMware access issue at all, but a Windows Server rights issue.

In fact, this can readily be handled by the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) which can be installed on the user’s workstation – no need to give the user login to the Windows or VMware server at all.

This is not a new trick by any means, but is one worth remembering.

Also, I’ll add that there is now a version for Windows 7 (Win7) and Vista, in both 32 and 64 bit flavors. (Sorry, they don’t let this run on “Home” editions of Windows.)  The following give some details.

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Written by scottledyard

2010, February 27th at 4:41 pm

The 2nd 95% – tracking VMware snapshot removal progress

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“The first 99% of the project flies by. But the 2nd 99%! Sheesh…” – anonymous

If you ever removed a snapshot in VMware ESX / ESXi, you’re presented with the ubiquitous progress meter. It chunks right along, increasing by 5% every so often. Encouraging.

And then it gets to the dreaded 95%. You’d think you’re almost home.

This would make you think you're almost done. Wrong!

But you’re probably nowhere close. Stuck.

This is really kind of dangerous. I’ve been tempted to assume that something is hung up. And that leads to thinking a hard reset of the host is required.

How CAN you see the progress? What follows is not an elegant solution, but you’ll at least be able to see what’s going on.

First, you’ll need to go to the ESXi command line (see other posts on the internet for accessing ESXi via SSH.) In this case, I used PuTTY ( http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html ) to get to the host IP and command line.

Go to the storage directory of the host, usually /vmfs/volumes, then the LUN directory and finally the VM directory.

Use the following linux command to list the files in time order, latest files last:

ls -ltr

This will show you what files have been most recently processed. Repeat this command over time (remember up-arrow to repeat bash commands) and you should notice a progression, disk files progress from lowest to highest, and within a disk, the delta files progress highest to lowes.

For example, if you have a VM called Server with 3 disks, they would be called

Server-flat.vmdk
Server_1-flat.vmdk
Server_2.flat.vmdk

And you’d see that they’d progress (latest file change time) in that order.  The delta files, created by snapshots, have 6 digit sequence numbers in their names that would progress in reverse order.

Server_1-000005-delta.vmdk
Server_1-000004-delta.vmdk
Server_1-000003-delta.vmdk
Server_1-000002-delta.vmdk
etc.

Not very exciting, true. But at least you can see some progress. I recently removed a snapshot that took 2:40 hrs. It was up to 99% in about :15 of that.

Written by scottledyard

2010, January 19th at 9:37 pm

Posted in ESX, ESXi, Linux, Virtualization

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Westell UltraLine Series3 9100VM configuration tips

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StartWestellConfigWanting to make changes to the wifi and DNS settings of the new routers that Cincinnati Bell (CB) is routinely installing now, I went about researching and using trial and error. The goal was to implement WPA2 wifi security and OpenDNS at a router level, so as to help clients be a bit more secure.

Overview of high speed modem/router

Near as I can tell, Cincinnati Bell is using its installed fiber in urban locations to offer a high speed internet, combined with television channels via internet, so-called IPTV. Westell has long been a provider of equipment to our local phone company and this device is meant to offer “Advanced, dual-core processing power with Ethernet, MoCA, or VDSL2 WAN interface for fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-curb networks.” (link) These are hunka-chunka, white bricks and I’ll leave it to others to show us what’s actually inside them and perhaps explain their hugeness.

Getting access to advanced settings

As made clear on Westell’s web site their stuff is marketed to ISP’s, not thru retail / wholesale channels. As such, finding a manual is like pulling teeth. I must give credit to others’ posts on for helping me just figure out the interface and that you need to click on menus up top AND on the left.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by scottledyard

2009, September 19th at 12:49 pm

Level Platforms install does it all, but must add MWService to admin groups

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Summary:
While installing Level Platforms (LPI) Onsite Manager onto a Windows Server 2003 (a member server running on as and ESXi guest and added to a SBS 2003 domain) all went well, but one service would not start. Final, solution was that the MWService account did not have sufficient permissions. LPI tech support said to add that account to Administrators, Domain Administrators and Enterprise Administrators. This solved the problem.

Details:
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Written by scottledyard

2008, December 17th at 12:09 pm

Open Office Unlocking “Locked for Editing” files needs to be friendlier

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One day into using Open Office 3.x on my MacBook I found that one document I’d been working on was locked. That is, when I opened it I received the message “Document file qwerty.ods is locked for editing By…” My options were only to open read only or to open a copy. Hmmm. I even rebooted. Clearly I needed an option like, “Clear lock” since this file was on my Desktop and not needing to be locked.

After reading OpenOffice forum post it indicated I was looking for a hidden file. Being new to Macs I could find no way for Finder to show me a hidden file, so to the command line I went. Using “ls -a | less” I quickly found the file to be the same as the file name in question proceeded by “.~” It was the only such file as the command “ls .~*” proved so I issued a “rm .~*” and I the problem was solved.

No exactly  “user friendly”. If you know a simpler way, feel free to add a comment.

Written by scottledyard

2008, November 10th at 8:18 am

Posted in How to, Mac, Open Office, OS X

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