Archive for windows

Microsoft RPC Patch

Posted in Taz, Technical with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by tazspaz

There has been a lot of alerts/news out today from several vendors about a new critical vulnerability just announced. 

Please note, many vendors are focusing on the fact that Windows 2000 and Windows XP is affected. 

HOWEVER, it is deeper than that; all Microsoft operating systems are affected.   The article only goes back to Windows 2000 but also covers XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Server 2008.  There is an off-cycle patch from Microsoft already out (usually it’s once per month).  You can get this (and any others you may have missed) by clicking on Start – Windows Update.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-067.mspx

Even if you have followed the proper best practices for segregation of your network and proper firewall proceedures I HIGHLY recommend getting this patch installed as soon as possible.

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Windows Mobile AntiVirus

Posted in Taz, Technical with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by tazspaz

Seriously folks, there is no need at current time for you to rush out and buy Windows Mobile AntiVirus software.

I agree with the post (found here), you can go out and buy it if you’d like to; “I won’t call you a sucker — to your face.”

Here are some basic concepts as to “why” I feel you don’t really need it (performing these functions on your smart-phone that is, smarties!):
1.  Do you go to websites you don’t know?
2.  Do you download things to your phone you don’t know where they come from?
3.  Do you sync files from your desktop?
4.  Do you receive your email from a corporate email system?

So if you don’t download things to your phone or go to strange websites, yes men/boys that includes strange girlie pics, then your phone is already doing fine.  Your desktop, I’m sure (right?), has antivirus already installed on it so the files you sync to you phone are already checked.  Your corporate email is scanned before it gets to your inbox (and thus before it gets to your phone), and if not you need a new IT group!

However, if you find you are still skitish or desire the protection (at a cost to system performance of your phone btw) you might want to look at these products:
Symantec’s Norton Smartphone Security
McAfee’s Virusscan Mobile
Trend Micro’s Mobile Security
Airscanner’s Mobile Antivirus

Those are just a few.  I’m sure there are many more out there as well as some freeware options.  Feel free to comment this post with any you might know.

Dell R200, Can It Run Windows XP?

Posted in Taz, Technical with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2008 by tazspaz

A Dell R200; can it run Windows XP?

Seems that question has been asked many times. Dell clearly states in their ‘Tech Specs’ that the only supported OS types are server related. There is not a client type OS on that list.

However, if you search the internet for R200 and Windows XP you will find many a person trying to get this to work. I did not find anyone that was successful when first I looked. I found much speculation, anger, and hate about the topic. No resolution to actually making Windows XP work on a Dell R200.

Now, let me tell you, it is possible.

However, let me warn you, it is not a supported configuration by Dell. This means something goes wrong hardware wise, sure they’ll replace the hardware, they will not reload or support the OS build and the replacement hardware may not work.

Now keeping the above in mind, and that all information I give you is not warranted, implied or otherwise, and that if you follow these steps you are doing so of your own accord. Whatever happens happens, and I am not responsible for your actions or issues that may arise from following my steps outlined below. Again, remember, Dell says this doesn’t work and is not a supported configuration.

Well here goes!

  1. Put the Starter CD that came with your server in.
  2. Once it has come to the selection screen choose your language.
  3. Choose OS installation.
  4. A list of OS options appears. Select Windows 2003 R2 standard.
  5. Accept defaults for the installation (do not fill out product key when given the ‘option’ to do so).
  6. Once the Dell prep. CD has reach 74% it will “spit” out the CD and ask for the OS CD.
  7. Insert the Windows XP CD
  8. The CD will be rejected 2-3 times before it is accepted.
  9. After the installation files are copied the system will “spit” out the CD again and reboot.
  10. Follow along with the prompts when Windows starts its installation process after the restart process is complete.

You now have a working installation of the Operating System.

HOWEVER, you need some driver updates. ESPECIALLY the NIC drivers or the system is just a standalone box that can’t really do anything for you. This is probably not why you bought it though.

The nice thing here is that you have the drivers on the starter CD! DO NOT use the application on the CD to install the drivers. Instead use ‘Device Manager’ and browse to the location on the CD for the drivers.

Once you have that completed and the server has internet access everything else will be picked up when you do a Windows Update procedure. You will more than likely have to do the Windows Update procedure 2, 3, or 4 times before all the updates are completed.

Once you have done this you will have a working Dell R200 running Windows XP!

Remember, Dell states that this is NOT a supported configuration and you are doing this at your own risk. Personally I don’t know why one would want a server class machine (no matter how low ‘rent’ it is) to run a client side OS. Then again, I was asked by a client to make it work. I did, of course I had them sign a waiver. :p

As usual, if you have questions ask away here so we can share with everyone. Plus I get enough spam in my inbox. 😉

NOTE 11/10/2008:  Please ensure to read the responses below.  You will find changes in how drivers and installation behave.  Thanks to those who have posted their results, work-arounds, and updated successes!

Windows Update Not Working or Fails; Reset Windows Update Settings

Posted in Taz, Technical with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2008 by tazspaz

This is mostly seen with WSUS but I have run into it from time to time through regular day to day items.

While working on a server today I kept being informed that the Windows Updates were failing. When checking the Windows Update log file I found the error. From there I went about fixing it.

Turns out the junior guys were confused as I said “Ah.” and dropped to a command prompt. That reminded me that sometimes I really need to explain what is going on in my head to others.

This issue is really easy to fix. It usually happens when there is a problem with the installation of an update. In this case I found that the C: drive was in the middle of compressing files and it so happened that one of the folders was the “softwaredistribution” folder where updates are stored to be installed.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open a command prompt. (If you don’t know how please contact a technical support person)
  2. regsvr32 /u wuaueng.dll
  3. del C:\WINDOWS\SOFTWAREDISTRIBUTION
  4. del C:\WINDOWSUPDATE.log (if this tells you that it is in use just go to the next step).
  5. Regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
  6. Net start wuauserv
  7. Wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization /detectnow

There you go, you should be able to request Windows Updates and they will download and install as you expect.

Post here if you have any questions.

UPDATE 11/14/2008:
It has come to my attention, thanks to others posting, that there is another error you might receive in Vista(r) that the above steps will not help you.  That is error 80070246.  You may find it in your event logs as

STOP 0x80070246
ERROR_ILLEGAL_CHARACTER

This denotes a problem in your GlobalInstallOrder.xml file.  Following is a link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that will walk you through the steps to complete to fix this error:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/942968

Please, if you have any questions/comments post them here where all can see.

Windows 2008 Tape Backup

Posted in Rants, Taz, Technical with tags , , , , on May 22, 2008 by tazspaz

I swear, does anyone read release notes?

It’s not like we haven’t known this day was coming for a very long time now. Microsoft has continually stated that they are not a backup provider. NTBackup was to disappear. Now in Windows 2008 ® I am seeing more people post and inquire about how to backup their servers. I read in one blog where a reseller sold equipment to his SBS client to be shocked that he couldn’t run NTBackup for the server. Poor client.

What really set me on “ear” as it were was when one of my protégés and my boss both hit me in the same day. “What do you mean you can’t do a native tape backup in Windows 2008®?!?) My boss even went so far as to bring me an article (Dell Power Solutions Magazine, May 2008 ) entitled “Migrating Dell PowerEdge® Servers to Windows Server 2008®” pointing straight to page 21 under the heading “Backing up data” where he was concerned.

My new standard answer, before I keep sighing to loudly or losing my voice from giving this speech over and over again. Please go read here: Step by Step Guide for Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008.

If you find yourself in a bind and need to restore data from a NTBackup.exe from an earlier version of Windows you can go here. Please note it will only RESTORE the data. No backup capabilities there.

I also suggest some light reading here, and here.

Now stop whining! They warned us all long ago not their fault you forgot! 😉

Three Things to Rant About!

Posted in Rants, Taz, Technical with tags , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2008 by tazspaz

First, did you know what turns 58 years old this year?  It is something that was first issued in 1950 so you could pay with plastic.  That’s right everyone:  The credit card.

Second, do you know what band had the 1966 hit “Good Vibrations”? 
The Beach Boys!

Yes, I read my oatmeal packets this morning.

The third and final item to tackle today the Blackberry outage.  How are all you Blackberry users feeling today?  That brick on your side giving you a good feeling right about now?  See, I always am asked why I prefer the windows mobile devices over the Blackberry.  Correct me if I’m wrong please but this is Blackberry/RIM’s second major outage in 10 months (as reported by FOX News) and if I’m not missing the boat here but at least for the past 3-4 years, every year, they have had a major outage.  Let’s not even discuss the synchronization issues with a Blackberry or “Blackberry in the Enterprise”.  Not only did I own one back in their early days but I have also supported them in an Enterprise as well as in small organizations.  So, for those of you that rely upon your emails while on the go, the next time you ask me why I don’t like Blackberry devices; just remember I’m pointing at you right now laughing sending email from my windows mobile device!