Month: December 2005

Almost there….

Ok – NOW Im started to get a bit excited. In 46 minutes time, Kristen and I will start the process of signing our lives away when we close on our house. Now that it is finally here I just hope it all goes smoothly and I don’t get writers cramp.
Fortunately the snow hasn’t been too bad here so I don’t think it will have held up the sellers moving out process as moving contents in the snow can not be much fun – wouldn’t want to slip on the ice and snow. We will make sure that when we move in we pick a day that isn’t freezing cold or snowing or raining. We have the luxury in that we don’t have to move in on a specific day.

Update 2 hours later IT IS OURS AND WE HAVE THE KEYS – WOOHOO (now I’m excited)

Virtual Server -> VMWare

I tried to import my SBS server from Virtual Server into vmware player as I was fed up with Symantec complaining that the program was trying to tamper with the virus protection. For some reason the import would not work with an error message stating “err -2147213293: The source virtual machine is paused. To convert it, please shut down and close the virtual machine”. It actually turns out that vmware doesn’t like a virtual server name ending in a period. Renaming the file let the import go through ok. I’ve logged a bug about this on the vmware forums but so far I’m impressed.
The vmplayer logfiles are stored in %temp%
Update Just wish I could work out why the server takes forever to get past the Applying Computer Settings when it boots up (in both virtual servers) – I think it is something to do with only using a wifi access card for the internet and it is somehow trying to access dns records or something strange

We purchased a new (to us) car yesterday and so I’ve spent some time looking at warranty/service packages for the car.
Within an hour of passing my details onto I was starting to get spam to the unique email address I provided them. Stay away from this company. I’ve yet to actually receive the information that I requested from them, but I have been offered $1500 deposited in my account because I might receive temporary financial assistance, and all sorts of other naff stuff. Good job I can bounce the email back in control panel ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess I should have checked their privacy policy before submitting my information. Hopefully I won’t get bombarded with telephone calls.

Virus Scanning on gmail

Just logged into my gmail account and they now scan for virus’s…This is one more reason to move the rest of my emails to gmail. The only issue I have with gmailing my domain is that when I read the mail in thunderbird on the home pc, it doesn’t mark the mail in gmail as read (which I wouldn’t expect it to) but that means that gmail thinks I have loads of unread messages.
Update I’ve now made the switch and all mail that is not addressed directly to Kristen and I now goes via google – that’ll give it some spam to think about ๐Ÿ™‚

A new blog – at the office.

A couple of my workmates have been pointed towards this blog when they need technical data that I’ve come across in the past. We were also discussing the need to let other techs know when our tools subdirectory is updated with new content (such as the mbsa visio plugin mentioned in the previous directory). I mentioned that a blog was needed and we thought that we could use one of the notes blog templates that is out there. We then thought that it would be a good idea to use the blogging facility within sharepoint as we do not have much experience with the software and this would give us real world experience in using sharepoint AND having an internal (and possibly an external) blog at the same time. Hopefully this will get approved next week and we can start to use it. Now I just need to find a RSS reader for Lotus Notes to read peoples updates. (We were originally going to use the KnowledgeBase discussion template within Notes but that doesn’t notify us whenever there is new content like it is supposed to do)

MBSA for Visio

There is a great tool for integrating Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) into Visio network diagrams but this is almost useless for the consulting side of things. MBSA requires that it is run as a user with credentials on the domain which is not possible to do on a consultants laptop as it is unlikely that it is going to be a member of the customers domain. Therefore MBSA will not scan the machines and the benefit is lost. It would work if the customer had a copy of visio, but this is unlikely for most of my customers.
I don’t have admin rights on the network back in the office so I can’t even try it out on my office network either ๐Ÿ™
However, if you are not a consultant and have visio, then this tool is well worth checking out as it will give you colour coded status for each server on the network within visio. From first impressions it does look like you need to have your servers in visio as a server object – you can’t use one of your own objects like a dell rack mount object.

Travan backups fail on sbs2003

Had a customer whose ntbackups suddenly stopped working on Small Business 2003. On further investigation ntbackup was trying to write the backup to the miniqic type of tape drive yet the actual tape that was in the drive was the travan tape (bearing in mind these tapes have been in use for a long period of time). Apparently there is a known problem with NTBackup incorrectly choosing the backup tape type on a drive that supports multiple tape types (KB article 831664).
When a backup starts, it immediately fails with the error โ€œThe requested media failed to mount. The operation was abortedโ€, even if the tape is in the tape drive. Some tape drives support tapes with different block sizes. Windows Small Business Server 2003 backup chooses the first tape type available, which may not correspond to the tape type of the tape in the drive.
This problem is most commonly seen with the Travan 20 tape drive. Windows Small Business Server 2003 backup chooses the MiniQIC tape type instead of the Travan Tape type.

Applying the hotfix makes it work (and it didnt need a reboot). I’m mystified as to why its suddenly started doing this – I did apply another tape related hotfix about a week and a half ago but backups have run correctly since then. Very strange.