Category: "Windows 2012"
I was working with an old Windows 2008 R2 server last night. It needed a "few" updates!
So I will first admit to several of my own mistakes. I did not give myself time to update this machine regularly enough in the past and of course we always have to install the Windows Updates on time. If you figure you wait for an extra month for any fixes introduced one month to be fixed the next its something we all understand. But this was many months worth of updates. I went the lazy way, which bit me as you will see below.
I was first interested on getting 1 specific update on the machine. So I selected that update and a random few other smaller updates. Now this is a mistake! It installed the updates and wanted a reboot. OK. Next thing which happens is that the machine starts up in an immediate Blue Screen with code STOP 0x00000050 PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA or in short a code 0x50. There was no way around this into for instance safe mode or whatever. The only thing which popped up was the System Recovery Options shown below:
By the way, before you get to this screen it asks you for the Local Administrator password. Turns out even I did not remember, but I got it in the end. Managing admin accounts, including local administrator accounts is important to do. Watch Paula JanuszKiewicz give you an example why it is important here at one of the CQURE academy sessions about passing the hash.
Felt a little panic coming up at that point, because data loss or at least a lot of time fixing things can follow this action. Did not look like I could do much from here either. I did have backups of the data, so in time I would have restored it.
Another rerason for the panic is that I was doing two systems at the same time and in the same way.... and you guessed it... both with the same result!
A lot of googling open and there are a lot of videos explaining how to fix this FROM Windows! Problem is I am stuck in this System Recovery Options Screen. The memory check did not show anything by the way.
Well somewhere hidden in a comment of one of the threads (I can not find it!) was the suggestion that some previous hotfix might have hit one file and removing that file solved it for a few people.
In the picture above you can see a command prompt. Open that.
Next you need to find out which drive letter contains your Windows Installation. The System Recovery just uses a drive letter for itself and throws the other drives into other drive letters. So I did a C: Enter. DIR and knew this was not the drive. So I went to D: and did DIR again. Nope.. Continued until I got it.
The file I am looking for is fntcache.dat
this is the font cache file. Do NOT touch the DLL file there. The DAT file is a cache and will be re-built by Windows after restart.
Now I exited the command prompt and restarted the server. It started again into Windows where I hoped it would go.
Next I still needed to do a select-all on the rest of the updates and install them all the same
So keep in mind to update regularly + do not select half the updates but go for them all because there are fixes in there which fix issues created (or surfaced) by other fixes.
Now I can continue with actually replacing these servers, which was the plan to start with!
Last week I installed a fresh WSUS server for a customer of mine and because it needed to download lots of files after the approvals were done we left it for a few days. Today I came in and opened the WSUS console only to notice it refused to connect. Got an error like this one:
The WSUS administration console was unable to connect to the WSUS Server via the remote API.
Verify that the Update Services service, IIS and SQL are running on the server. If the problem persists, try restarting IIS, SQL, and the Update Services Service.
The WSUS administration console has encountered an unexpected error. This may be a transient error; try restarting the administration console. If this error persists, Try removing the persisted preferences for the console by deleting the wsus file under %appdata%\Microsoft\MMC\.
System.IO.IOException -- The handshake failed due to an unexpected packet format.
After checking that the requires services were running the investigation starts. Lot of blog and forum posts from long ago to recent, all with different solutions.
I came across a post from 6 weeks or so ago which talks about an update KB3148812 which causes this behavior and also to cause an additional error where clients can not scan WSUS.
Now I could not find this KB patch installed on my system, however it mentioned manual steps to be done after applying the hotfix and those manual steps solved it indeed. Keep reading.
A little more research found that the 3148812 has now been cancelled and another one came in its place KB3159706.
This article describes what is going on and it contains manual steps to be followed! The first step solved the console not being able to connect. The second step is for HTTP Activation. And if you have SSL turned on there are a few more steps to follow.
About a bit ago the Base OS pack has been updated again to a version 6.0.7303.0
It is not advised to upgrade your SCOM packs to this version yet, because it has some bugs in it.
Kevin Holman writes about it here:
So would hold off until a newer version comes out (hopefully soon) and please check it in your test environment before you let it hit production. A lot of other packs have references to Base-OS packs so it is hard to remove it when something goes wrong.
I have written and talked about Jalasofts great tool called Device Simulator. Many people in the monitoring space have been using this tool in previous versions. Today they released a fresh version of this tool to the 5.5 version.
The main additions to this version are:
- An OID editor meant to customize the behavior of certain OID's within the simulation file of your to be simulated device.
- The SNMP Dump Manager to more easily work with al the simulation files you are using
- The number of simulated devices out of the box has been expanded to over 100!
This tool can be used for free provided you only simulate a few devices at a time. And for a few dollars an expanded license can be bought to do a lot more testing with this.
For demo and test environments this can be used a lot as a primairy tool to simulate network devices without needing to have all of that infrastructure in production. Also you could take a recording of an existing device in your production and even including real time data and play it back through the simulator.
Everybody needs a copy of this piece of software!
As you may be aware I have been very involved with an animal charity. It is called House of Tails (www.houseoftails.org ) and is about taking care of abandoned dogs in Thailand. This is also the reason why the volume of my tech blog posts went down for a while. I will however pick up the pace again, I promise! Lots of ideas here. Because the dog sanctuary has a very hard time to make things happen this has taken a lot of time. We have setup an official Foundation (Stichting in Dutch language) with bank and email and PayPal and so on and we are working on a fresh website.
Yesterday a dear friend Pete Zerger wrote a blog posting about our story and he has taken it upon himself (and his friends and family) to bring a challenge. Any donation given to our House of Tails charity within a 72 hour period (starting last evening, so for the coming 52 hours or so still) will be DOUBLED. So any donation you make will get a double effect for the animal charity and all of it will go to the wellbeing of these dogs!
Please read how you can help too:
Also I will include a link here to the PayPal/Creditcard possibility of the charity Stichting House of Tails.
Take a minute to check it out through that post and through the House of Tails website.
Seeing how my geeky family and my online families are willing to help out a good cause is truely heart warming. It means soo much for us and for the dogs!
a truely gratefull Bob Cornelissen
I know this blog is all about my technical career in IT, with System Center and Microsoft products and so on and so on. But I also have a secondary life which is very important to me and a lot more. In fact I am somewhat of a shy person and so is my wife. We do not ask for favors much, but do like to give them. I am talking about our dog and animal sanctuary in Thailand. Currently my wife and our staff Oarn are mainly taking care of about 60 dogs in 3 locations. Also some of our family members like the Mother and sister of my wife in one location and her father in another are doing their best to help out. We have to do all of this out of our own pocket and I can tell you it is not possible to do this alone. Also we have some huge set backs in the past few months. We are in the process of emergency relocation and are in a big stress to find funding to be able to buy a new small plot of land in a less expensive province where we can relocate to, build fencing, build a roof, build a 1 room shelter for staff and relocate most of the dogs to that location. Of course this is next to our ongoing push for health (sterilization, anti-tick program, helping sick and wounded, vaccinations, vitamins and trace elements and iron in their food somehow to get them healthier).
Two days ago I did a webinar with my good friend Cameron Fuller for our friends at Jalasoft. The webinar was of course SCOM and monitoring related. Read about the webinar and also some of the things which Cameron said about the dog sanctuary which I would not have said myself and humbles us:
We all donated the proceedings of this webinar to the good cause. Lek's House Of Tails.
More information can be found at following locations:
A website with some background information (see the tabs near the top below the picture) and information on how to donate (there are other methods, feel free to get in touch if you want to know how):
The facebook page of the sanctuary:
My personal Facebook Page (have lots of pictures from several years of the dog sanctuary):
Feel free to contact us!
Also if you want to help out by whatever means (on location help in Thailand, financial, words of advice, toys, sharing our pages and posts, liking a post or whatever you can think of it is very much appreciated!
These dogs we have known for years, we have known their grandparents and all. They got deserted by people. They were in dire need. We try to help them have a life, eat food, have a roof for the rain, have a blanket to sleep on, have a bowl to eat from, be safe from getting hit by people or cars or getting poisonned or caught for some terrible plight. We just want to keep them safe, fed, healthy. They deserve a chance and all of them are really sweet and kind.
Due to bad circumstances we had to relocate to a temporary place and will soon move to our new place, which is a piece of empty land with nothing on it and start all over.
Now to get back to the webinar at Jalasoft. We have done this webinar and I feel it went great We want to thank Jalasoft for giving us this opportunity. I want to thank again my co-presenter Cameron Fuller, don't even know how to say how thankful we are mate.
Also a big thank you to several community members out of the technical community and MVP's who have helped in several ways in the past year.
During the webinar we had a surprise for the great folks and team at Jalasoft and that was that we named one of the pups without a name after their product range: Xian.
See below for a picture of Xian (on the left, with his brothers), it is a very smart and active dog and we thought it is a perfect fit
One more thing: The webinar we did was recorded and I am sure Jalasoft will publish it soon. Of course you can Always send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to get access to the webinar recording or the slides and of course to get more information on one or more of their great products. Of course in the near future I will be writing about several products and monitoring and System Center.
Thank you all so much for your patience and help and shares on behalf of me, my wife, our families and 60 sets of teeth from our dogs!
Want to know about Monitoring SQL with SCOM and Operational Insights?
Then you have to check in with this webinar hosted by the WMUG NL user group and presented by a fellow MVP and friend Simon Skinner. Save your calendars for 28 January 2015 at 20:00 CET (GMT+1). For more information and registering for this webinar please follow this link and do not be shy to spread the word:
All are welcome to join!
Just now Microsoft announced the wave of main events of next year. The expected event which brings together several tech events like TechEd and Management Summit and Exchange/Lync/Sharepoint/Project conferences into one big event. Well here it is and it is called Microsoft Ignite. Scheduled May 4 to May 8 in Chicago. Read more about it on this page:
This page also lists some of the other conferences in the year like Convergence, Build and WPC.
This week I added an Orchestrator 2012 Runbook server to an existing one for scale-out and high availability reasons. Very soon it was ready to go and I was making some additional runbooks to use together with SCOM. In these runbooks were Run .Net Script activities with PowerShell scripts in there. And I noticed the script activities would refuse to run. Except when I ran them separately as a normal PowerShell script. SO I went in the history and checked what had happened:
File C:\Program Files\System Center Operations Manager 2012\Powershell\OperationsManager\OperationsManager.psm1 cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system. Please see "get-help about_signing" for more details.
O right! So I opened up a PowerShell prompt using Run As Administrator and I typed "Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted".
And the script failed to run again! Wait a second perhaps it is because I forgot to run the same command on the other runbook server. Oops. OK running that command again and....
I went searching for it and I saw a comment in a thread somewhere saying it could be that the same command needs to be done for the 64 bit version of PowerShell as well!
Did this on all Runbook servers this time as well
And try again. Working fine!
If you are interested in hearing about Storage Spaces in Windows 2012 R2, there is a webinar tonight (in about 3 to 4 hours from now) about this topic presented by Rick Claus!!! It is a presentation for our user group. For more info and the link to Lync see this post:
You are free to join if you like!