Archive for Uncategorized

Daylight Savings Song Parody

For most of us in the good ole’ U.S.A., we lose an hour of sleep tonight as Daylight Savings kicks in. So, it seemed to be a good opportunity for new words to the song “Memory” from the musical “Cats”

Midnight
Is it still only midnight
Has today been a memory?
I am crying alone
From the desk light
The withered invoices collect at my feet
And now, I begin to moan

Working
All alone I keep thinking
I can smile at those long days
I was so young and so slim
I remember when working late was happiness then
Let the memory live again

Every tick-tock
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Then I mutter
And the disk drive shudders
And soon it will be morning

Two o’clock
I must wait ‘til that hour
I will think of that lost hour
And I musn’t give in
When the dawn comes
That hour will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Won’t Power On

I purchased a Samsung Galaxy tablet last month to take with me on my SMB/MVP Community Roadshow events. Prior to the last event, I pulled out the tablet and discovered that it would not power on. Strange, as it was just working that morning. I tried several different power outlets, and even found someone with a matching power adapter. Nothing … nada … bummer!

The usual concerns begin to cross your mind, such as “Did the unit take a power hit?” I was fully expecting that I would have to return the unit to Samsung for repair. But prior to doing so, I did a quick search of the Samsung Galaxy forum and discovered that I was not the only one with this problem.

More importantly, it’s an easy fix: Simply hold the power button in for 12 seconds! That’s all – and you wills ee your tablet starting up.

Health Status

Well, the day finally arrived when I discovered that I was not invincible. Traveling back from a wedding in Oklahoma City, I developed a severe issue with breathing. Combined that with all my recent air travels, blood clots was a major concerm.

Long story short, I checked myself into the ER on Monday Sept 12th, was admitted tot he hospital that afternoon, and remained there for the next nine long days! I had a pleural effusion (fluid build up between the lungs and chest cavity) caused by a weakened heart that could not pump blood at an appropriate level. The good news is that I am back home with the expectations of resuming my work and life, with restrictions and changes. I have a laundry list of medications that I will probably be taking for the rest of my life.

Please do not ignore the signs your body gives you. In my case, I started having issues with sleeping at night weeks before and had also noticed an unusual jump in my weight. I don’t wish 9 days in the hospital on anyone. Do yourself a favor and schedule yourself for an annual physical with your doctor!

Disable IE ESC (Enhanced Security Configuration)

Installing SBS 2011 Essentials and I need to disable IE ESC. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Under Programs click ‘Turn Windows Features On or Off. This will open up the Server Manager window.
  3. On the right hand task frame, click on Configure IE ESC.
  4. Click ‘Off’ for Administrators, then click OK

SBS 2011 Essentials Hangs on Install

When installing SBS 2011 Essentials (either on bare metal or in a Hyper-V environment), you may very early on in the process encounter a situation where the installation seems to hang. The screen displays “Please wait while the installation continues”.

If this is happening to you, check to see if your network card has been assigned a valid IP address. You can do this by pressing Shift-F10 to display a command prompt window, and then type ipconfig and press enter. If the network card has an IP address starting with 169.x.x.x then you do not have a valid IP address.

Remember that SBS 2011 Essentials, by default, expects to be connected to a router that is issuing DHCP addresses. This is unlike SBS 2003/2008/2011 products where the SBS server handled the DHCP role.

To fix this situation, either (1) ensure that the SBS 2011 Essentials server is connected to a router, and that the router has the DHCP role enabled, or (2) assign a static IP address to the NIC card on the SBS 2011 server.

To do option 2, from the same comand prompt window you just opened up, enter the following command:

netsh interface ip set address “interface name” static ipaddr subnetmask gateway metric

Note: The interface name is obtained from the output of ipconfig (see above example).

For example, if you wish to assign a static IP address of 192.168.1.2, a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0, and a default gateway of 192.168.1.1, then enter the command as follows:

netsh interface ip set address “Local Area Connection” static 192.168.1.2 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.1

For more information, check out the SBS Official Blog post on this subject!

Voip – Lesson Learned

True story: So you make the decision to move your business phone system to Voice over IP (Voip). You select a Voip vendor (Speakeasy/Megapath in this case), and get the phones installed and configured. Things have been running smoothly for more than a year.

Today, however, you discover that your phone system is down — no calls coming in or out. You check the Internet and it’s running. There’s been no power outages. No problem, you look up the support telephone number for your Voip vendor from Outlook and call them. But you are greated with an immediate message, something like this: “We are unable to handle your call. Please try again later”.

So, now what do I do? A quick email to your Voip sales rep for help, and pray that he/she will respond quickly. They do. Turns out there was a global outage, and it not only affected customers, but it also affected the support department!

What is the lesson learned? Always, always, always identify a backup (alternative) to critical functions in your business.

Your disaster recovery plan may say: in case of a phone system failure, call the Voip vendor’s support center. But what’s the alternative if you cannot reach the Support center? In this case, fortunately, we had the sales rep phone# and email address also documented.

Windows Live Mail to Outlook 2010

I have a customer who’s been trying to use Windows Live Mail (WLM) 2011 for the past 6 months, but keeps running into issues and problems in using it. So today I installed Outlook 2010 onto his computer, and began the process of exporting his email and contacts from WLM to Outlook. Several things I discovered during this process.

1. I exported the WLM account settings to an IAF file, but then discovered that Outlook 2010 does not recognize/support importing an IAF file for setting up an email account. The reason I was trying to do this was because we did not know the user’s email/account password! So, what does one do? A quick search of the Internet uncovers an online IAF decoder program! It worked like a champ. It displayed the entire contents of the IAF file included POP and SMTP URL’s, user name AND password, ports used, and more. I was then able to proceed and create the user’s mail account in Outlook 2010.

2. Next I was ready to export the email in the WLM inbox, but when I went to do so, I thought it was strange that it never prompted me for a file name or file location to store the export file. I naturally assumed it was going to create a PST file. Lo and behold, there was no need to ask for a filename, as WLM directly imported the contents of the mailbox into Outlook 2010. Very nice!

Note: to transfer mail boxes, click on File > Export Mail > Email Messages > click Select Microsoft Exchange (even if you are only using standalone Outlook!) > Next > OK > click Selected Folders > and then select mailbox to be transfered.

3. Then I was ready to transfer over Contacts. WLM creates a CSV file when exporting contacts. Be sure to click on the mapping button and map the first name and email address. For some reason those are not selected automatically.

 

SAS False Positive with LogMeIn

I’m connected to a workstation remotely via LogMeIn to do some cleanup work. I download and run SuperAntiSypware (SAS). It reports that it finds two issues:

Security.HiJack[ImageFileExecutionOptions]
 HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\EHSHELL.EXE
 HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\EHSHELL.EXE#Debugger

Searching the Internet suggests that these are false positives. But why? Finally I find the answer on the Experts-Exchange website: SAS will only flag these two registry keys when LogMeIn is running!

So, if you are running SAS via a LogMeIn session, and it flags these two registry keys, you can safely uncheck them.

WHS HPServiceManager Warning

I have many HP MediaSmart and Data Vault servers installed in businesses to backup client workstations. They do an excellent job and have made me look like a hero more than once!

On several units, however, I will see HPServiceManager warnings showing up in the event log every 5 seconds! (see screenshot to the right).

Thanks to Alex Kuretz, I finally found a possible solution to eliminate these events.

Run the following command from a command prompt from the Home Server console. then reboot the server: lodctr /R

Please note that the HPServiceManager warning can be caused by several different issues, and running lodctr /R may not fix every one of them. Another suggestion is to run a chkdsk on all the drives.

 

False Positive on Win32/Hotbar

While reviewing systems after a three day vacation, I noticed that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) had identified a potential Adware:Win32/Hotbar issue on several machines (see below). Upon further research, I discovered that MSE was flagging it’s own signature update as a threat! Click here for explanation.

Adware:Win32/Hotbar
Category: Adware
Description: This program has potentially unwanted behavior.

Recommended action: Review the alert details to see why the software was detected. If you do not like how the software operates or if you do not recognize and trust the publisher, consider blocking or removing the software.

Security Essentials detected programs that may compromise your privacy or damage your computer. You can still access the files that these programs use without removing them (not recommended). To access these files, select the Allow action and click Apply actions. If this option is not available, log on as administrator or ask the security administrator for help.

Items:
file:C:\Windows\Temp\05CF9286-54A9-4EBA-83E0-696343501064-Sigs\98110B50-5C07-4433-AC63-E73247E812BAmpasdlta.vdm.new.temp  <– These are Microsoft Security Essentials own virus
file:C:\Windows\Temp\05CF9286-54A9-4EBA-83E0-696343501064-Sigs\98110B50-5C07-4433-AC63-E73247E812BAmpasdlta.vdm.old.temp    <– definition files being flagged as suspect malware!