Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Gotta put this up....

I was here this year 2007 and it was brilliant; beer, computers, great food and better company. Hopefully all going well I'll make it again next year and have just as much fun.

I'll paste some of the official post but essentially you'll get to see, in person, Mark Minasi, who'll give about 20 hours of free info to you, and you get to ask questions, and drink beer, and some more beer....did I mention that...that there may be some beer?

There will also be a few other guys there, well actually quite a lot of guys, who know stuff about computers, so much stuff its kinda scarey, but it is halloween so thats fair enough.

If your in the states and within 500 miles, I'd turnip (get it...halloween) just to see what its all about. If your like me on the other side of the pond, then its a good excuse for a weekend away, work, interests and beer. I hope I've mentioned the beer enough to get a few trawlers interested.... beer beer beer...

For more info see the following pictures......

MR&D Forum Meeting 2008

Please join us for the third annual Mark Minasi Technical Forum Meeting. We will once again be meeting in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA to learn new technologies, share ideas, and meet the people that have become our online friends.
Hosted by Mark Minasi and organized by Eric B. Rux , this meeting will have in depth talks on Windows Server 2008, Exchange 2007, Windows Home Server (WHS), Windows Vista as well as other hot topics. You won't want to miss this!!
Dates: Sunday, April 20th 2008 through Wednesday, April 23rd. We recommend that you fly in on Saturday.
Location: Virginia Beach Resort & Conference Center
Costs: hotel, airfare, meals and $450 registration fee
Link to register (it's a "seminar registration" page but you'll see the Forum meeting as an option)
Link to pay with credit card if you've already registered but didn't pay when you registered

Technical Sessions
(Schedule Subject to Change)

Sunday, April 20, 2008
1:00 pm: Mark Minasi Keynote
2:15 pm: Break
2:30 pm: TBA Industry Keynote
3:45 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Eric B. Rux Fun with Windows Home Server; trust me, you’ll want one…don’t let the word “Home” fool you
5:00 pm: 'No Host' dinner at local restaurant (share your war stories and learn from the experts!)

Monday, April 21, 2008
9:00 am: James Summerlin Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services
10:15 am: Break
10:30 am: Greg Shields Documentation & Change Control: Hating it to Loving it in 75 minutes
11:45 am: Lunch
1:00 pm: Mark Minasi Windows Server 2008
2:15 pm: Break
2:30 pm: Jeremy Moskowitz Group Policy 2.0: It’s freekin’ sweet! (with Vista & Windows Server 2008)
3:45 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Nathan Winters Exchange 2007 from the command line – what makes a good Exchange 2007 deployment
5:00 pm: Hosted Dinner at Pungo Grill. Mmmmmm! (we ate there last year, it was very good)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
9:00 am: Greg Shields Tips & Tricks for Preventing an Active Directory Failure
10:15 am: Break
10:30 am: Don Jones Dr. PowerShell: How I Learned to Stop Clicking and Love the Command-Line
11:45 am: Lunch
1:00 pm: Rhonda Layfield TBA
2:15 pm: Break
2:30 pm: Curt Spanburgh Journey to Planet Sharepoint
3:45 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Nathan Winters OCS 2007 – An Introduction to the new VOIP world of Office Communication Server 2007
5:00 pm: 'No Host' dinner at local restaurant (one last chance to rub elbows with people in the know)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
9:00 am: Don Jones Windows PowerShell: The Future of Server Administration
10:15 am: Break
10:30 am: Mark Minasi Windows Vista
11:45 am: Lunch
1:00 pm: All Attendees Roundtable discussion for as long as you want!
End of Forum Meeting. See you again next year!

I was there this year and had a ball. Discovered a load of new interesting and usefull stuff, but best of all, got to have fun, drink beer and talk computers for a few days.

Come all and have a ball...


Wednesday, 3 October 2007


Where did the time go???

It only seems like yesterday that I was putting up my last one but its almost 2 months ago.

Lots of things happened, Moved location now back in Galway.

Have a new room in the house, now that the builders have finished. And when you think that with the building work done the room is finished, nope, the painter has to come in and the fumes from that will kill you.

New baby, now 8 weeks old almost and she's been keeping us busy.

And due to boredom or stupidity I'm doing a project management homework every evening.

Damn I'll need to clone myself.

Hopefully when all gets settled properly I'll be back to posting some proper info.


Friday, 13 July 2007

Son of Friday the 13th

I had the third worst day of my IT career yesterday, and it wasn't even anything I had done, knew about or was even expecting.

I suppose the 2 or 3 things I learned from the experience and that is at the end of the day what it is all about are as follows;

1. Never ever trust the trustworthy - A KVM, brand new and out of the box, worked fine on another 3 connected machines caused a new server to hang on boot-up, it never got past the black Server 2003 splash screen.

2. SQL ain't easy - The server in question was hosting a VM machine with SQL on it, all set, configured, patched and ready. It was a temporary fix while their new funky DL580 comes in. Of course with the host machine hanging, SQL had to be installed onto a new machine, one of the other servers on site.

3. When all else around you goes to pants Exchange wants to join in - Exchange always the trustworthy, was obviously feeling left out from all of the attention the new server was getting so it decided to throw a few wobblies.

I suppose the important things again are the lessons learned and what I can take from it and carry forward so here are some of them

Recovering deleted emails from Outlook;

The obvious way, click on deleted items, click on tools, recover deleted items.

A second way, exmerge out the mailbox and import the pst file to another, possibly administrator account and try the following
locate the pst in an easy accessible location
From the command line type the following lines, it corrupts the pst enough for scanpst to run on it

DEBUG C:\fullpath_to_pst\OutlookFile.PST
- f 107 113 20
- q

then find scanpst.exe, it can be in a few places,
Office 2003 it will be in \program files\microsoft\office 12\scanpst
Office 2000 \Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033

I was told on lots of occasions not to use SA authentication is SQL as its an easy attack, SQL programmers don't use decent passwords. So I installed SQL using windows authentication thinking I was doing good. I generated a new SQLAdmin account and gave it all the permissions I though it would need, knowing I could remove any necessary permissions etc ( I made it an administrator, domain admin etc). But no a SA account was needed and yes they don't really use strong passwords do they.

So to change Authentication mode on a SQL 2005 back to mixed mode and using the SA account follow this helpful article from Microsoft.

And now for a whole new day of new problems.

Ain't google spell checking great!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Yahoo pictures

Yahoo have decided to pull their Yahoo pictures site and replace it with Flickr or something similar.

Now I'm not a photographer or a camera expert but it was cool having a site I could post pictures to and share with family etc.

Now I don't want to use flickr or any of their other options, so I have to pull all of my pictures individually off the yahoo site after them giving me software to upload as many pictures as I wanted in one just seems a bit mad folks. Do you think I'm going to automatically just move to whom you suggest.

I can do the tours, and look at the pretty expert arranged pictures etc, but all I want is an easy interface to upload pictures, and a handy way to edit them and I don't see it on any of your suggestions... Lots of sites to log onto but no easy winner. So I'm going to pull them all and go else where. Thanks for storing them safely and allowing me to use the service, but thanks a bunch for the ease of getting them off.


Wednesday, 4 July 2007

IMFv1, Exchange SP2 and error 0070002

A customer wanted a free spam solution.

They read in an industry magazine that IMF would be the free spam solution.
They wanted IMF installed onto their Exchange Server as their Spam solution.
Their Exchange server had not been built to optimum specifications or availability. ( right....put your own English in here!)

They insisted we installed IMF, we advised a third party AV/Spam/ Greyware solution, it worked out at X per client or 27 by X for the company, we'd support it etc.

No....IMF all the way. So 13 chargeable hours later, and 2 hours every 2 weeks to make sure we hit the IMF update install window the client is now wondering why the trade magazine called it free!

For those stuck in the dilemma of IMFv1 and SP2 for exchange here are a few links I found.

Unbelievably or otherwise you need to uninstall IMFv1 before you install SP2 for exchange.
Now IMFv1 can give you trouble to uninstall so you actually need to install it again and uninstall it, but MS pulled it from the download sites!

So what now Joe?

Copy of IMFv1 download.

If your sure you have IMFv1 Installed but can't find it in add/remove programs, make sure updates is ticked, try this in the run window;

MsiExec.exe /X{DCE4D1BC-6E15-433F-99FE-D7F7A2FDC0FF}

There are various regedits and hacks but they didn't work for me so I haven't posted them.
Then go ahead and try SP2.

Long story short, the client would have been better off paying for the Third party offering we were supporting, as opposed to us trying, and I mean trying to get a free spam solution working and re-configure a god awful piece of high end AV software by a large software company with dreadful Tech Support.


New Family addition

I was wandering thru different people blogs and got extremely surprised by a quote I saw about myself......I aint there yet but hopefully someday I will.

I'm very lucky to have a collection of online, on the phone and at the bar mates who are the real source of info as all I do is re-iterate it all back to those who don't know yet.

Anyway, IT is starting to take a back seat as my family and I start making the necessary plans to welcome the latest addition to the family. Hopeful as much joy will be gotten as from the previous incarnation, and it will need as much care and attention as the last.

All things going well, a public display will occur around September and and that stage all of Europe will know about hats off to the imminent arrival of my new iPhone, oh and a new baby as well.


Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Whisky Tour

Email from my favourite shop, the Celtic Whickey Shop in Dublin.

I very very much doubt I'll even be capable of going, but hope springs eternal.

If your interested you can email Ally at



The (hopefully) much awaited Islay Trip has finally been arranged. I’ve extended the trip by one day from last year to allow us to take in Springbank & Glengyle Distilleries in Campbeltown as well as Auchentoshan Distillery, Glasgow and all the Islay Distilleries (Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Kilchoman). This is just about the ultimate trip for whisky aficionados! We also, have lunches and dinners arranged in some of Argyll’s finest restaurants and hotels.

The Dates – Wednesday 17th October to Saturday 20th October.

The Cost – Cost is 750 Euro per person.
This includes all travel (flights, ferry, mini-bus, drivers), Lunches (x 4; 2 in distilleries, 2 in restaurants), Dinners (x 3 in top restaurants plus fish supper), Distillery Tours and/or Tastings ( x 11 – have requested all tastings to include something extra). Dinners & lunches (where applicable) include a half bottle of house wine per person. Most menus will be set due to large party. Most of the accommodation is in shared cottages. A surcharge of 50 Euro will be required if you require your own room as most rooms are twin. There are a limited number of double rooms. I’m waiting for confirmation but cost should include holiday insurance.

How to book – Places are available on a first come, first served basis. To confirm a place, I’ll need a non-refundable deposit (unless I resell the place) of 250 Euro. The balance will be due by end of September.

The Itinerary Below is approximate and might vary.

Wednesday 17th October

Dublin Airport
Aer Lingus EI224
Depart Dublin 9.20am Arrive Glasgow 10.15am

10.30am – Collect Minibuses (I’ll try to book the correct amount this year!)

11.15am – 12.45pm
Auchentoshan Distillery, Tour & Tasting
Visit Glasgow’s distillery where all its whisky is unpeated and triple distilled.

Scenic drive to Loch Fyne (If it’s not raining)

Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Cairndow, Argyll

Another Scenic drive to Campbeltown

Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries, Tour and Tasting

The Hunting Lodge Hotel, Bellochantuy, Argyll

Thursday 18th October

7.30am Breakfast if you’re up.
The only free breakfast of the trip!

8.15 am Sharp
Depart for Kennacraig

Calmac Ferry
Depart 9.45am, Arrive Port Ellen 12.05pm

12.20pm -1pm Lagavulin Tasting and visit to shop.

Ardbeg Lunch plus Tasting and visit to shop.

3.30pm – 5pm
Laphroaig Tour and Tasting

Arrive at Bowmore Cottages

Bus from Bowmore to Port Charlotte

Dinner Port Charlotte Hotel
One of the highlights of last year’s trip. Seafood was as good as I’ve tasted!

Bus back to Bowmore

Friday 19th October

Make your own! Each cottage has their own cooking facilities. The Co-op across the road will open your eyes to the delight of Square sausage and morning rolls!

Drive to Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain Distillery Tour and Tasting

Caol Ila Distillery Tasting

Lunch at the Lochside Hotel
To ensure late night drinking in Bowmore’s late bar, I thought we should maybe have lunch there!

Bowmore Distillery Tour and Tasting

Some free time to go to the pub, go to bed or take the famous Lighthouse trip!

8pm Dinner at the Harbour Inn

Saturday 20th October

Breakfast – Same story as yesterday!

Depart Bowmore Cottages 10am

Bruichladdich Distillery Tour and Tasting

Kilchoman Distillery Lunch and Tasting

Port Askaig to Kennacraig Ferry

Inverary Fish and Chips or Deep Fried Mars Bar

Glasgow Airport
Depart Glasgow 10.15pm Arrive Dublin 11.10pm

I’d be delighted to answer any questions.



Work, Work, Work

How does one keep up with the notes, the data, the files, all of the general day to day stuff on sites. I'm finding it hard to keep up with all of it. I have 3 or 4 big projects all on the go and I need to get the notes, data, and all the other stuff for these together.

But I have gotten to play with some nice new kit recently.
Cisco ASA 5500 Firewall
Cisco 1806 Router connected to a BIPS or MPLS system.


Wednesday, 13 June 2007


Been mad busy over the last while between work and getting home for the weekends.

With regards to work I've finally got the regional offices done and now only have to tidy up the terminal servers in the Dublin office and I can strike that one off. But as usual more new jobs and more complex scenarios at that.

Hopefully it should all calm down a bit in another week or two.

I'll catch up later today, as I have to replace a PC on a site that has soooooo much stuff on it I'm surprised it actually works. Of course the client will want it all to work!


Saturday, 26 May 2007

Large File Copy

Got this from a friends blog, mention of using esutil to copy large files;

The full article is here;

It mentions that eseutil is a better option for moving large files, yet someone on the above mentioned they tried to copy a 2GB file and it was slower. On the grand scheme of things I would not consider a 2GB file a large file, anything over 50GB is a large file. Migrating data from an old server to a new server generally means min file size of 10GB and normal 'Drive' backup files of 40 to 80GB at time.

I've never seen Exchange fail to move its database file from one drive to another, so I'm hopeful that tomorrow I'll try out using eseutil to move a 40GB file off a NAS onto a server and see what happens.

Swing Migration

I've been busy between different jobs recently and I keep misplacing my notes, so hopefully if I put all these things in the one blog, with some sort of standard tag I'll find them all the time.

Several issues that I had on today's swing are new, some are old, and some are just plain odd.

I had to start the w32time service
I had to start the Ismserv service

I was getting several errors in the event logs, 1722, 1815, and a few more, my notes are on site so hopefully tomorrow I'll edit this better.

The Windows Firewall started on both servers at several occasions, even though I had stopped the service.

I had to kick start several services in an attempt to get replication to start, the ones that had the biggest effect were as follows
net stop netlogon
net start netlogon
net stop ntfrs
net start ntfrs
repadmin /kcc this will get the KCC to try to start a connection and hopefully start replication

Even though I tried rebooting the swing server several times, the GC still would not start replicating for me. I went back to my notes and did the following;
Removed the GC option from the swing server, reboot the server, turn on the GC option, and then depending on if your a belt and braces person, reboot the server.
Hopefully the Directory Services event log will give you event ID 1110, which means that you may well see event 1119 5 minutes later.

Odd little bits

All stuff that you know, but all handy.

Shutting down a server or pc from another pc;
Use Computer management, either your own machines 'manage' or a mmc and computer management, choosing a remote server or pc.

Right click on the computer, advanced, startup and recovery, shutdown and REMEMBER to use restart, especially if your remote.

Sometimes, a server is locked, or otherwise madly locked up, and the above option won't work try the following;

open a command line, and type the following
shutdown /f /m \\swing (your server or pc name) /r
/f force
/m this is a remote machine, followed by \\ and then the machine name
/r shutdown and re-start.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Enabling remote access on a server, when you forgot.

I found this on another web site and will give all credit to the people on;

You've left the site, to finish a job remotely from the comfort of your house, office, bar or car except you've forgotten to enable remote desktop on the server!

As long as you have access to the network and a pc or server on the network your good to go.

Log onto the pc or server and follow the instructions.

Run REGEDIT on your XP workstation or on your Windows 2000/2003 Server. Click on File, then choose "Connect Network Registry". In the Select Computer search box either browse Active Directory to locate the remote server, or type its name in the dialog box.

Click Ok.

In the remote machine's registry browse to the following key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server

Under the Terminal Server key find the value named fDenyTSConnection (REG_DWORD). Change the value data from 1 (Remote Desktop disabled) to 0 (Remote Desktop enabled).
Click Ok.

Close Regedit.
Reboot the remote machine for the change to take effect.
You can easily do so by opening a command prompt and typing the following command: shutdown -m \\srv1 -r

After the remote machine reboots, Remote Desktop will be enabled on it. To test this from your workstation, open Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Communications -> Remote Desktop Connection. You can also type mstsc in the Run command.

Enter the name of the remote server in the Remote Desktop Connection logon box, supply your administrator password when prompted, and press Enter or click Ok.

Magic. Now if you have a firewall in place, you can redirect a few ports to different pc's and servers on the network and use those to gain access. A good port range to use is 22XXX


HP G5 Servers

I've configured at least 3 HP G5 servers over the last few weeks and I've discovered that they do not like their network cards to be manually set. We generally set the NIC's to 100/ Full but when this is done, they generally refuse to talk efficiently on the LAN.

I've had this with a Allied Telison, a 3Com and a Cisco Switch, so it definitely ain't switch related.

Further on from this....this thing is breaking my heart. I rebooted the server and it was all OK, but a few hours later its back to 55 minutes to copy over 200MB of data, that's about 1Mb transfer rate. Going to check HP site and see if there is a patch or similar.

Random Ranting

Hotels.......I've been staying in hotels on and off with different jobs over the last few years and something has always struck me as odd.

You have fancy key locks on the bedroom door, quite possibly key or door locks on the accommodation section of the hotel; some mad security device on the door to help recognise strangers selling objects door to door within the hotel;

So my question is, why do you have a door lock on the bathroom...surely at this stage I've got a night porter and the day staff, the accommodation area and the bedroom door to challenge before I get to the bathroom. Is it because the carpenters are so programed that when they get to a door they automatically put a door lock on it?

Software - Antivirus


A way to delete Norton/ Symantec Antivirus. To date I haven't tried this product yet, but tomorrow will see it in use.

On previous occasions I've used MSIZap.exe ;;en-us;290301

I've generally used this in conjunction with the registry cleaning instructions from Symantec to remove their product;

I have found on occasions thought that unfortunately sometimes the best thing to do is copy out the user data and re-install the OS, if you spend more than 3 hours trying to fix a client machine, you better have a good reason to want to keep it.


Monday, 21 May 2007

Whiskey; Irish Blended

Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey.
40% Vol. blended whiskey from Kilbeggan close to the middle of Ireland.
700ml bottle € 23.00 in Superquinn.

I've been to several Kilbeggan tastings of the higher Whiskeys and am decided to get in some more practice for the Celtic Whiskey Shops annual Whiskey Tasting competition.

Like all Irish Whiskeys this is a lot smoother than both Scottish and American Spirits. It is a pleasant whiskey but there is a harshness in the length of the drink that does not really suit it. This may well be due to the Whiskeys young age, probably 8 years old.

Its a nice whiskey, but not one I'd spend money on in a pub.

Their older versions are excellent and well worth the money but for a few yo-yo's more go for the Jameson.


The start.

After an amazing trip to Virginia Beach to the Minasi Forum meeting and seeing what these other people do I suppose it was inevitable that I started somewhere.

The point of this, I'm not sure, maybe just the ability to ramble on a website on the Internet and not have to have someone else moderate on my behalf...

So to all of the people who were at the meeting, thanks, you were all inspirations to me in such a big way. I definitely benefited from going to it.

I even got a few quid from work to pay for the registration, which was pleasant.

I have a few things in the pipeline following on from the meeting all directly responsive from the forum meeting. Got more RAM for my laptop, got VMWare installed onto it. Got a few server and client os's images installed and copied, so I can break them safe in the knowledge that I can re-do them all over again. Oh and VMware tools, the error message that appears in VMware is installed from the tools menu of the VMware console.

I'll drift off now and debate tasting notes on a Kilbeggan Whiskey I'm drinking.