Showing posts from 2008

VMWare PowerShell FAQ

Found this great FAQ for using Powershell w/ the VI toolkit. Has lots of sample scripts for common tasks.

No Sound (Sound Device Modem Line) (Driver is enabled but has not been started)

Found this solution online, had to sift through to find it so thought it would be best to post it.

1. Check if Plug and Play Software Enumerator is installed on your machine (Device Manager / System devices)2. If it is not continue to next step.3. Locate "machine.inf" on your OS, copy it somewhere and modify it (find "ExcludeFromSelect=*" and remove the line or simply exclude it from processing by adding a ";" at the beginning)4. Go to Control Panel /Ad HW and follow the wizard towards manual selection of device to be added5. Select Add System device6. Select Have disk...7. Navigate to changed machine.inf8. From the list select standard devices (in the left list) and "Plug and Play Software Enumerator" in the right list9. Finish the InstallationHere is the original thread:

VMWare Server 2.0 - Unknown (Invalid) VM's

[Update: Current preferred method would be to change your system locale, unless you know how to remove the encoding from the .vmdk file itself as well. The second method works to bring a system back up quickly, but you will notice the vmdk shows up as 'invalid' which only becomes an issue if and when you decide to use snapshots.]
This probably occurs on small percentage of users' systems who change their system locale from English to another language, then back. To fix this:
Change your system locale to match that listed in the vmx/vmsd file of your VM.OR
Remove the Unknown (Invalid) VM from Inventory.
Open the vmx and/or vmsd file(s) with notepad or other text editor and delete the line that contains ".encoding = "[systemlocale]""Then re-add it to Inventory.

The selected virtual machine is not recognized on this system. The cause of this problem may be that the virtual machine's .vmx file is corrupted, or that the virtual machine version…

PowerShell Script to enable the "Check and upgrade Tools before each power-on" option.

With this powershell script, you can enable the "Check and upgrade Tools before each power-on" option on all your VM's without having to power them off. $ErrorActionPreference = "SilentlyContinue"
connect-viserver -server [VCServer or ESX Host] -user [user] -password [password]
get-vm | foreach-object {
$vmConfigSpec = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualMachineConfigSpec
$vmConfigSpec.Tools = New-Object VMware.Vim.ToolsConfigInfo
$vmConfigSpec.Tools.ToolsUpgradePolicy = "UpgradeAtPowerCycle"
(Get-View $_.ID).ReconfigVM($vmConfigSpec)
} Configuration:
Virtual Center 2.5 Build 104215
ESX Server 3.5 Update 2 (110268)
PowerShell V1 using PowerGUI w/ VI Toolkit 1.0 Update 1 Build 113525
[UPDATE: The script has been updated to continue past any errors generated. So if any VM's have issues it will just continue to the next VM in line to update. You will have to audit systems that were not updated with the script and fix them manually.]

PowerShell and VMWare

A powerful combination that can make your day to day administration easier.

Here are links to the tools to begin using powershell with VMWare:

Virtual Center 2.5 Permissions to perform this operation was denied. Possible Bug?

Cloning, building, moving, a machine into a "Virtual Machines and Templates" folder within Virtual Center w/ complete Administrator rights causes permissions error above.
The issue simply boils down to that you are likely using AD groups to delegate permissions within Virtual Center. If so, one group has administrative privileges over the entire tree, while you've assigned another AD group a role w/ less access to a sub-folder in the tree. If your account happens to be a member of both groups, you've effectively denied your administrative rights over that sub-folder.

This may either be a bug or an intentional function. I'm thinking it's a bug.
Virtual Center 2.5.0 Build 104215
Windows 2003 Active Directory Domain

To workaround this issue, you can simply remove yourself from that other AD group, or create another account that is only apart of the administrative group of Virtual Center.For a failsafe, create a local a…

ESX 3.x Server disconnected from Virtual Center but still running

This usually occurs because the mgmt-vmware decides for whatever reason to stop talking back to Virtual Center and will not gracefully restart.

ESX 3.5.0, 110268 (Update 2)
Virtual Center 2.5.0 Build 104215
These steps may help you resolve issues with other versions, but attempt at your own risk.
Log into the Service Console via Putty or another SSH Client and type "service mgmt-vmware restart." If successful in restarting the service, continue to step 2. If not successful see the immediate bullet below: If the restart process hangs, you may need to open another putty session to kill -9 the process. (ex. kill -9 mgmt-vmware) Once killed type "ps aux | grep hostd" If the first line does not contain "vmware-watchdog" then it likely contains "config.xml -u" if so you'll need to kill -9 it based on the PID. The PID would be the highlighted value in the following example: root 14096 3.9 10.9 105008 8…

Windows Vista ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost Tab in Properties of USB stick or other flash memory card.
In case you didn't already know, Vista makes use of this feature called "ReadyBoost" where you can use a standard USB stick memory, or Memory card to augment your system's performance. Not all memory is compatible and must meet some performance specs which Vista tests for you upon insertion. Also many USB sticks now state whether they are ReadyBoost compliant.

I've used it on my home system for about a good month now and I do notice a significant improvement in overall performance. It's like I added more RAM to my system without opening the case. Like most everywhere else, it's hard to substantiate in numbers the difference. I do wholeheartedly suggest trying it for yourself. I mean when you can buy a 8GB USB Stick from $12 - $25, it's kind of hard not to try it.

You can find out the details of ReadyBoost here:…

Your wireless network appears to have been compromised...

[UPDATE: Something about this router (WRT600N), my wife's macbook, and my Macbook Pro is causing this issue. I've turned off my 2.4GHz band on my router and connected an older access point to handle this traffic. Then just had my wife's macbook connect to that older access point and keep my on the 5GHz band. Have not had issues since then.]
Your wireless network appears to have been compromised and will be disabled for about a minute.
The exact error is pictured above. Everytime my wife's macbook would connect to our home's wireless network, this message would appear. Frustrated, I began to search the net for an answer. None of my other systems were having issues, Macbook Pro, PS3, PC, and Wii. So WTF!? Turns out it could be a number of things. It could be legitimate, but I use WPA2 for my 5GHz band and WPA for my 2.4GHz. My other mac's don't report this issue so what gives?

Turns out, that all I needed to do was reserve IP addresses for all my syst…

Happy Sys Admin Day!

Happy Sys Admin Day!! Hope your boss or groups you work with appreciate the day to day work on the dark side of the moon you do everyday.

iPhone 2.0+ (iPhone or iPhone 3G) Enterprise Configuration Tool

In order to join your iPhone 2.0+ to your corporate secured wireless network that uses PEAP or other protocol, you have to use the iPhone Enterprise Configuration Tool. It's not possible to configure it from the phone itself apparently. Seems there are two ways to get the configuration profiles onto your iPhone:
Via the web, by hosting the .mobileconfig file on a network accessible IIS or OSX Server.E-mail the config file to your phone.

iPhone Enterprise Config Tool:

iPhone Enterprise Config Tool Deployment Guide:

iFix my Mac

Image is a great page for those that want to tinker w/ their Apple branded product. I read their page to put in a bigger hard drive into my Mac Pro. Apple makes it fairly difficult to swap the hard drive on their Mac Pro line. Hopefully that'll change w/ their new Mac Pro model this year.

WRT600N Bugs..

WRT600N Firmware 1.01.36 Build 3 provides DHCP clients w/ DNS entries in a strange order.
ISP's DNS -> Router -> Your static DNS entries

By and large, I really like my WRT600N router. The thing is so dang versatile, but be warned it is not without it's issues. I'm currently using the latest firmware build 1.01.36 Build 3. There seems to be issues w/ the router's DHCP server. It issues DNS addresses in a weird order. It provides systems w/ the ISP's DNS servers as your primary and secondary, then the router itself as a tertiary, followed by any static DNS entries you've entered yourself.

For most people this isn't an issue, but if are doing any kind of home networking, this leads to issues resolving local system names. Since the first thing your clients try to resolve a name against would be your ISP's DNS servers. They wouldn't have the first clue where to find "mylocalsystem". Windows is pretty good about this though and…

Mac's Software Updates...Bug? or just stupid?

So I'm one to keep my filing system clean. Like in the Window's start menu, when it gets incredibly huge with each application having it's own entry, I begin to consolidate them into folders of like applications. On the mac, I thought it would be just as easy. I would move things like MS Office, and iLife 08 into their own folders. For the most part it is, but low and behold, unless the iLife applications are in the root of /Applications, the Mac Auto Software Updater doesn't see them so assumes they are not installed and does not apply patches.

You can download them manually from Apple's website if you know what to look for, but that is such a pain the arse. Oh and you have to install one update after another. For instance, iPhoto has updates up to 7.5.3. I was at 7.5. Can't install 7.5.3 update, I have to install 7.5.1, then 7.5.2, then finally 7.5.3. WTF!? Are we still in Windows 3.11 age? Most advanced OS my ass.
If there is a better way to keep m…

Bluetooth Dongle and Windows XP built-in management

Make sure the Bluetooth Support Service is running as "Local System" or an account w/ administrative privileges.
Ran into an interesting issue today. Just recently purchased this little AZIO bluetooth dongle for my work laptop. It came w/ software/drivers so I installed them. Don't know what it was about it, but the software ran like crap (high cpu, buggy connections to my phones). So I decided to drop back to using the straight Microsoft built-in management.
I had no issues connecting my phones, but was getting an access denied message anytime I tried enabling a service for my phone like DUN (Dial-Up Networking). I have admin permissions so a security seemed odd. Not sure if this is by default, but it ended up being that my "Bluetooth Support Service" was running as a "NT Authority\Local Service" account. As soon as I changed it to "Local System", everything was working

Linksys WRT600N and Macbook Pro

Summary: When assigning a SSID, be sure to assign a different name for your 5GHz and 2.4GHz spectrums.This also helps in differentiating which network you are connected to.
Under "Applications and Gaming" --> "QoS", disable WMM Support.WMM Support seems to have a negative effect on Video Streaming if your wireless card does not have WMM support.
So here is an interesting story. I recently purchased a linksys router, a one WRT600N. This router has the capability to host a 5GHz and a 2.4GHz wireless network at the same time. Cool, I thought, at least when I get a 5GHz card I can use it. Low and behold my mac can connect to the 5GHz spectrum. Anyway, I seemed to be having issues keeping all my computer connected at once. Any time my mac came online all my other PC laptop systems kept dropping off.What it came down to was the fact that I had named my SSID the same for both spectrums. Now mind you, I don't think that should normally cause a problem, but my ma…

VMWare Server Beta 2 (AD Authentication)

Was having issues getting my server to authenticate using AD credentials. What follows is what I did to fix it:

Changed "VMWare Virtual Infrastructure Web Access" Service to start w/ a domain account. Now I can login using any designated domain account under my local administrator group.
Couple of notes: Service account needs modify access to "\VMware\VMware Server\tomcat" <-- You could probably get more specific w/ permissions, but I'm too lazy to figure out what files it needs modify access to.

Adding users or groups from my domain is still an issue, but with this I can add a local group to my system and add users/groups from the domain to the local groups to break down permissions if I wanted to. I also posted this to the VMWare community.

VMWare Server Beta 2 (64-bit)

Ran into an interesting issue trying to install Windows 2003 R2 64-bit on VMWare Server Beta 2 today. The server would boot up constantly saying that I did not have a x64 compatible processor. I had to go into the BIOS of my system and enable my processor's VT option before it would finally recognize that I was running a 64-bit system.

System Specs:
OS: Windows Vista Business SP1 64-bit
Maker/Model: Dell Optiplex 755
Proc: Intel Quad Core2 Q6700 @2.67GHz
VMServer Version: Beta 2 Build 84186

Grand Theft Auto IV and PS3

I just recently got Grand Theft Auto IV (GTAIV) and was suffering from what people were calling freezing problems. My particular symptom seemed to be that I would install the game play it for however long, then quit. When I would try to start again, the game would get stuck at the loading screen unless I would uninstall the game then reinstall again.

Well this was unacceptable and the taketwo's advice was of little help. So I decided to think what could I do to try to fix this. Well, what makes my PS3 'different' from the norm:
160GB HDDUSB connected 60GB HDDMemory stick insertedPS Eye Camera connected.So, can't do anything about that installed HDD, besides that shouldn't be a problem. Scratched number 1. I disconnected my USB HDD, cause well, that's just not standard. Took out the memory stick, cause well, that's not standard across all PS3.

Low and behold, my GTAIV game has booted up successfully since I've disconnected these two things and with n…

Use Time Machine with your Terastation or any NAS device

Found this awesome write up on how to enable Time Machine to see my Terastation. I couldn't believe how simple it was.

Simply type this command in a terminal window:
defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Voila!! I can now back up to my Terastation. Un-freakin-believable!
Here is the link to the source article:

Macbook Pro OSX 10.5.x Sprint Blackberry 8830 Data Tethering

I thought because Sprint did not provide software to tether my blackberry to my mac, I would not be able to use it as a modem. Well, it's not exactly real easy like most things on the mac, but not terribly difficult either. What follows is instructions on how to make this happen w/ a Sprint Blackberry 8830.
[Update: These steps work for Leopard and Snow Leopard]

[Before you begin, make sure you're Sprint account is enabled for data tethering, there is usually an extra charge for this service]

What follows are some instructions to get this to work in Leopard (OSX 10.5.x): Click the Apple icon and select preferences.Next, click the bluetooth icon.Now click the plus (+) button.A setup wizard should start. Follow the wizard's instructions to pair your phone. Make sure your blackberry is in discovery mode so the mac can see it when it searches for itOnce you've paired your blackberry, you should see it in your bluetooth preferences like picture below. Highlight your blackberry…

SMS OSD Tools and seperate admin accounts

So I have 3 accounts total on a single domain. One that is a domain admin, one that is a general server admin, and my day-to-day login account. Interesting issues occur when you run this way. One issue I came across was trying to install the OSD tools on my local SMS Console. My day to day account has administrative privileges to my local machine, but every time I tried installing the OSD tools I would get an error, "This product requires Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or greater" like pictured below:

Pretty much anything I tried, I would get stopped by this error message. I then tried running the install by my server admin account. SUCCESS! It seems that OSD tool installer actually makes a connection to the server to check SP level which I guess can't be pulled down w/ my day to day accounts rights.

Interesting things these SMS Protected Distribution Points are...

Not sure if this is mentioned anywhere, but when you create a SMS Protected Distribution Point (PDP) with no boundaries, it seems to default itself as a Distribution Point (DP) for the subnet that it is located on.

For example, if the server has an IP Address of /24, the server becomes a DP for even w/ no boundaries defined. Until a boundary is defined, the server is just considered a DP for When a boundary is defined, then the server is marked as a PDP. Interestingly enough, even if the defined boundary is, the server then becomes a PDP for both and

This is at least what I have experienced/observed from SMS 2003 SP3, the DPInfo table, and Swimage in SQL.

[Update]: This may be a Swimage related issue only. Swimage may only be looking at the IPSubnets column of the DPInfo table to determine which DP it should pull it's packages from.

Interesting Mac Leopard 802.1x bug...

So I'm trying to connect my mac to a 802.1x record. Being as techinical as I am, I go about trying to set it up through Network Preferences... --> Advanced... blah blah blah...

Needless to say, every time I tried setting it up through the advanced method, it would never save the setting "Enable 802.1x Login". In the end all I had to do was click "Join Other Network", type the SSID, and select 802.1x WEP for security. Typed my username and password and bam!! I'm in...

It's a strange feeling when you're so used to doing what is somewhat technical in the windows world and the mac just comes, slaps you in the face, and says "Now wasn't that easy?"

PS3 and Windows Media Player 11 Streaming

I was having issues where my PS3 was not seeing my Desktop Media stores. I had turned sharing on but was still not able to see it. It saw my laptop just fine so I knew the problem was w/ my desktop. I started scouring the web looking for ways to fix it, needless to say, I came up empty handed. I started looking through my system log and found that my "Windows Media Network Sharing Service" was not creating the share because my DRM was corrupt. Since I did not have any DRM media I was not concerned on losing it so I started searching on how to fix it. Here is what I came across. Hope this helps some of you out there. (I tried posting this to the playstation forums, but either the site was having issues or my computer was)
Just follow the procedures listed on this site:;en-us;810422

If you were like me and don't have any DRM protected stuff (Windows XP SP2), just do this:
Go to C:\Documents and Settings\All UsersGo to Tools -&g…

0x8004100f Provider Load Failure (WMI)

This post is a little more technical than most, but I felt it important to post this because I could not find anything online to help me fix it. I would get this error when trying to pull up instances of the Win32_NetworkAdapter. To trace the problem I used this notification query string in WBEMTEST and asynchronously:

'Select * From MSFT_WmiSelfEvent'

Once run, I then repeated the error, and found an error occurred from a provider called BRCMGroup.

In short, all I had to do was uninstall a Broadcom provided CIM from add/remove programs (Broadcom Drivers and Management Pack, I removed CIM only). I hope this will help anyone out there dreading the idea of rebuilding their WMI repository.

UPDATE:My colleague has a more in-depth explanation of how to address this type of problem. Click here to read the entry related to my post.

Firewall Windows XP/Vista

In a previous post I talked about free tools you can use to protect, prevent, and remove spyware, trojans, viruses, etc. What I forgot to mention was a critical and important piece, the firewall. Both Windows XP and Vista come built-in w/ a software firewall. You want to make sure it's turned on. Most computers installed with Windows XP or Vista have this turned on by default. If you have Norton, McAfee, or TrendMicro they may have provided you w/their version of a firewall.

Most often Windows will warn you if you do not have your firewall turned on. But if you want to be sure, you can follow these steps(Windows XP):
Click StartClick Control Panel (or Settings, then Control Panel)
If in classic view(many icons) double click the Windows Firewall icon.If in Simple View like pictured below click "Security Center"
By following these steps you should be able to see whether your firewall is turn on or off.
Windows Vista:
Click the Windows Icon (usually located on the bottom le…

Spyware, Trojans, Viruses, and the free tools to help you...

There are 3 free tools that I personally use to keep my PC systems free of the garbage that the internet can produce:
AVG Free - A free Anti-Virus tool that is quite popular and does a fine job of keeping viruses off my computer and updates itself automatically.
Spybot - A free Anti-Spyware tool. This works well to immunize your computer from known bad websites and helps to rid your computer of trojans and spyware if you do get infected. If your computer does get infected with something, the best way to run spybot to get rid of those nasty infections is under Windows *Safe Mode.
Spybot does not have a automatic update method, so you will need to run it periodically and run its update task. I would recommend to run it at least once a month to update it.
Spyware Blaster - A free Spyware Prevention Tool. This tool is simply meant to augment Spybot in further in its immunization task. Spyware Blaster does have an autoupdate function, but requires you to pay for it. Otherwise you have to upda…