Month: October 2009

Zero Downtime Migration seminar in Cincinnati tomorrow

I’m currently reading The Network Migration Workbook: Zero Downtime Migration Strategies for Windows Networks as can be seen on my Goodreads shelf. So far it’s been very useful and there have already been lots of tips that would save our company time (and therefore) money in doing migrations. Even if we didn’t go down this particular route for migrations, the tips applied would be very beneficial for other types of migrations, especially when it comes to planning and quoting for the migration itself. The only hard bit is to get the customer to agree to the restrictions in the plan – it is vital to quote for *only* the migration – everything else results in another helpdesk ticket, project or work order.

I’ve been reading the book for a couple of hours straight through – I’ve resisted the lure of jumping to the checklists – and still have some way to go, which is why I’ve not posted a review of the book yet – but so far I’m definitely recommending it – but note that some significant time needs to be invested for each person in the migration project from the sales person, to the project manager to the team lead down to the tech doing the work. In some companies this could be one person – in our company it’s probably three people.

Anyway, the point of this blog post was to mention that the author is going to be at An Introduction to Zero Downtime Migrations – and More in Cincinnati tomorrow (Saturday) for an all day training event which I am attending. It was worth the cheap admission to get an in person overview of the book and also some tips and previews of the other books he has written – I’m particularly intrigued by the Network Documentation book as this is something that is typically hard/time consuming to do yet so valuable when troubleshooting customer networks (and is NEVER provided by the client).  If you’re going to this training day, be sure to say Hi.

If you want to browse Karl’s store then you can click on my affiliate link or click through directly to the books from the links above (not affiliate linked). Currently the cheapest place to buy the book is either used from Amazon or new from the Good Little Books store. It did amuse me to see that someone has the Zero Downtime book listed for $1165 and a used version for $564 which is crazy when the book brand new is currently $250 (will be $300)

Retrieving Geocities data for local storage

Remember Geocities? Many years ago I had a website with geocities and that is how I first learnt to code html. I remember the days of trying to get the grey background just right – the white background used to be the default colour but all the cool pages had grey backgrounds – just shows how much has changed.

Anyway, Yahoo is now finally shutting down geocities – there’s about a week left before they pull the plug, so if you haven’t downloaded your site yet then hurry up.  Unfortunately they turned off ftp access to the server a long long time ago and the recommended (and painful) way is to visit each page and do a view source and save the file.

The much easier way is to download wget (if you don’t already have it) and then retrieve your files by running wget with a variety of switches.

The two syntax’s I’d recommend are

“wget –p –r –include-directories=/Hollywood/1880 –k “

or without the –k option.

The –p option retrieves all files required to display the page, –r gets the specified page and everything in it, but we’re limiting to all files within the 1880 directory only – this way you don’t start downloading all the files from other sites that you linked to (and the whole internet).

The –k option changes the source of the web page so that links refer to pages on the local drive as opposed to linking to pages on the web.

I would recommend you download the site twice into different subdirectories – one with the –k and the other without so you have a record of your original code and a working directory locally too.

And yes, the Hollywood1880 site is mine from about 1994-1997

Also don’t forget that dreamhost are still doing their two years of free hosting  for former geocities customers so you can move your site to them for free but you have less than a week to get this done.

Nothing happens when clicking on the start menu – fixed.

A while back we had a client that was migrating out of their existing domain and into a new SBS2008 installation. One of the things I learnt (too late) was to disable folder redirection before doing a migration otherwise clients will still point to the old server. Unfortunately I did not have access to the old server/domain but I had got a copy of the redirected folders and thankfully there was no real data on the server to be migrated from the redirected folders.

However to fix the redirected folders I had to use csccmd to remove references to the old server which was easy enough using “csccmd /unpin2:\\oldserver\share /recurse”. I then changed the registry entries in HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders to point to the new location.  This worked fine for every machine except one.  This particular machine had a very strange symptom in that when clicking on the Start/All Programs button the machine would pause for about 20 seconds and then nothing would happen (to the end user). Behind the scenes the Start Menu, Startup and Programs entries in the registry would get deleted. I tried to use ProcessMon from sysinternals to monitor the registry setting but I either got too much registry information to work out what was going on or nothing at all (depending on the filters I had applied).

Anyway, yesterday I stumbled across Ramesh’s site which mentioned running “regsvr32 /i shell32.dll”. I tried this, clicked on the All programs and nothing happened – again. I rebooted and the problem persisted. I then ran it again and was about to reboot the machine again when the user logged into the machine so I had to stop work (I was doing all this remotely using rdp). I logged into the machine this morning and checked the registry. Somehow the registry items were no longer blank but were repointing back to the original server. I reset them back to the new locations and now the All programs button works as designed. I think the trick was to run regsvr32 and then reboot before clicking on the All programs button. (Either that or reboot twice and then check the registry settings and correct them)

MSPWorld Las Vegas November 12,13

I have been given the chance to go to MSPWorld Las Vegas from November 12-13th this year with work. Hosted by the MSPAlliance, this will assist in enabling us  to

· Meet, greet and network with like-minded professionals
· Preview and test drive different technologies and platforms
· Learn how to build and/or expand your successful Managed Services practice
· Increase profit margins
· Learn how to market your services and reach the end-user
· Learn about hot new trends and markets and have access to ground breaking analysis and research

The boss’s went last year and came back with some great ideas and Level Platform’s software.  This year I’m going to take a good look at the options and technologies available, looking especially from a management side of things and hopefully making sure that the product is actually any good.  There is a lot of opportunity to network and get hands on demonstrations on products and hopefully ask those awkward questions like “Does this work with Lotus Notes” 😉

Currently the technical track is looking pretty empty with only 1 technical presentation but some of the other tracks look good but this does mean more time for seeing products on display.

If you are going to be there then let me know and make sure you stop by and introduce yourself – I’ll be one of the few people running Lotus Notes on the laptop and speaking with a British accent.