NTBackup Script Procedure

1)      Copy robocopy.exe from the Resource Kit to something like c:\backup\tools. This is used in step 5 below. 2)      Create a backup list using the GUI version. Save a system state only as night.bks, save all the drives and system state as night-all.bks. Make sure you use the backup directory path listed below in the script or modify to a SAN location. 3)      Use the follow for the required .bat file C:\backup\tools\nightlybackup.bat:             *** BEGIN BAT FILE *** @ECHO OFF REM REM  Build Date String yyyymmddhhmm REM for /F “usebackq tokens=2” %%i IN (`DATE /T`) DO Set TIMESTR=%%i% for /F … Continue reading NTBackup Script Procedure

Observations about the software industry today

Sometimes I think that the movie Conspiracy Theory should have been about the software industry today. What has become of it lately? Here is what I believe: ·         I believe the Anti-Virus companies write all the viruses. ·         I believe most software is way over priced. ·         I believe we now alpha test software for vendors ·         I believe we beta test when service pack 1 comes out. ·         I believe 1.0 is not the standard to avoid, RTM (release to manufacturing/gold code) is. ·         I believe we get the final, ready for the world product when service pack 2 … Continue reading Observations about the software industry today

Exchange Server 2007 MCP Exams – Notes from the field

I love taking Microsoft exams because I learn so much. I learn what Microsoft feels are the important product features that everyone show know. I learn different ways to do common tasks within the product, let’s face it sometime we only know as much as our peers. I also learn exactly where I stand on the product, and what I really need to work on. As I get older though I am either getting smarter or lazier, take your pick. I simply don’t study for the exams anymore. Sorry, but I don’t. I take the exam to learn the question … Continue reading Exchange Server 2007 MCP Exams – Notes from the field

15 Rules of IT

1) If a computer or system is working on Monday, something has gone wrong and you just don’t know about it. 2) When you don’t know what you’re doing, document it. 3) Computer errors must be reproduce-able, they should fail the same way each time. 4) First call tech support, then panic. 5) Experience is directly proportional to the number of systems/computers ruined. 6) Always keep a backup of your data, and hope everyone else does the same. 7) To write a program really well, have your wife/husband/Mother/Father test it. 8) If you can’t get the system to match the … Continue reading 15 Rules of IT

Dell PowerEdge 2850 Hardware issues

Dell we have a problem. It has come to my attention that ALL DELL PE2850’s have a hardware issue. It seems the dudes at Dell really messed up some firmware updates. If you are not running BIOS A06 and BMC 1.68 or higher download Dell’s Server Update Utility 5.1.1. (http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/format.aspx?releaseid=R136532) or later (I have only tested 5.1.1 though). Get 5.2 here http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/format.aspx?releaseid=R146351 So what happens if you are running the bad version? CPU IERR EO7F0 on every CPU in the machine at the same time. And then you get the famous Dell amber flashing light. Every OS locks up without processors, … Continue reading Dell PowerEdge 2850 Hardware issues

Windows Server Codename "Longhorn" Beta 3 is out

But if you want to test failover clustering…. Standard SCSI based clustering will no longer work (yes I tested it, no go).  Rocket Division StarWind will be the product you want to use to test Failover Clustering. http://www.rocketdivision.com/wind.html You will have to wait until the June 2007 time frame while they make it work with Beta 3. FalconStor iSCSI Storage Server http://www.falconstor.com/en/solutions/?pg=Products&sb=iSCSI I am not sure when they will support it. Microsoft bought StringBean (http://www.stringbeansoftware.com/downloads_update2_0.asp) which has a great WinTarget program. The program is now part of Windows Unified Data Storage Server and it called Microsoft iSCSI Software Target. That one works today, if … Continue reading Windows Server Codename "Longhorn" Beta 3 is out


April 18th I was invited to Microsoft http://msmvps.com/blogs/clustering/archive/2007/03/27/it-pro-townhall-with-steve-ballmer.aspx for the first every IT Pro Townhall event. We were not allowed to take pictures, so I don’t have any of those, but we could take notes. Here are my random notes and thoughts:  We started the daily with an early breakfast. Looking around the room everyone had one thing on their mind, how did I make the cut with all these smart people? It was a who-is-who of the IT industry. Panel Discussion #1 – Next generation of the Web and its implications on IT Professionals; both as consumers and in the … Continue reading IT Pro TOWNHALL recap

How to create a fresh Windows Server 2003 SP1 without install Service Pack 2 (SP2) and still use Windows or Microsoft Update

Problems:1)      You need to install a new machine with Windows Server 2003 or R2. You are required to install SP1 because SP2 is not support by your software or  hardware vendor.2)      You have a Windows Server 2003 SP1 or R2 machine that you need to update, but you don’t want SP2 – yet.3)      You don’t have a WSUS or all post SP1 patches on a CD/DVD Answer:Install your OS with SP1 or R2. Run Windows Update and you will see this screen:   Expand the + next to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (32-bit x86) and the screen now shows:     Notice that … Continue reading How to create a fresh Windows Server 2003 SP1 without install Service Pack 2 (SP2) and still use Windows or Microsoft Update

Before you run off and install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)…

Of course read my other blog posts on SP2, but also go and download this – Hotfix Scan Tool for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Deployment. Its a simple install, then you run it by doing this: From the command prompt type:   cscript c:\windows\system32\HotfixScanTool.vbs  The output should look like this: Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.   Detecting if any updates in the Block installation list were installed on the system…   No updates in the block installation list were detected. You can proceed to install Windows Server 2003 SP2 … Continue reading Before you run off and install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)…

Clustering terms made easy

Clusters are Highly Available and should never be considered Fault Tolerant.Highly Available = is when I come anytime my wife calls me.Fault Tolerant = Marriage.You don’t want to be married to you SQL/Exchange Cluster 🙂 You do want it around whenever you need it though. Active/Active = when your cluster is too busy for its own good.Active/Passive = one worker, one manager, you decide which is which.Node = Clustered computer, could also be the worker who sits in a cube, not to be confused with Dude.Virtual Server = this is kind of like be on a telecom at work, only … Continue reading Clustering terms made easy