Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Random Broadband Disconects

I had a problem where for no good reason I could see, my smoothwall firewall would keep disconnecting me from the Internet. If I rebooted the pc it would start to work fine for a while, but would eventually do it again.

I trawled though the logs (no mean feat considering i'm a windows user, and hardly know Linux at all!), and managed to sus out it was something wrong hardware wise with my usb modem, or my isp was having problems.

When I left my PC plugged straight into the modem, I had no problems. So I was going to try and replace the usb card in the pc. Before I did that I thought it might possibly be a power issue (the pc that runs the firewall is quite old and only has an atx mini power supply), so I bought a cheap powered usb hub to run the modem of to see if that helped.

Well, it did! I've ran the firewall up for nearly 2 days now and not one disconnect. This might mean my firewall hardware is on its way out, but at least I solved my problem short term!

More info on smoothwall can be found at www.smoothwall.org

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Problem Assigning Software to Computers Via Group Policy

I've today managed to find the solution to a problems that's been bugging me for a bit. When trying to install software(an .msi file) via a computer group policy, I couldn't get it to work. In the application event log I was getting errors along the lines of

The installation source is invalid

As far as I could see I had given the computer NTFS rights into the share where the software was located, and everyone had read access to the share.

While trying to install the Dell open manage client software today I worked out what it was. Our Active directory is based on Windows 2000 servers, but the unc share the software was located on was a Windows2003 server. I moved the installation source to a windows 2000 server, gave the Domain Computers group access to the files and it worked!

Not entirely sure what caused the problem in the first place, there must be some incompatibility between the 2 operating systems way of working with the NTFS permissions.

So I managed to get the software on, but I cant get the client pc's to report properly to the Dell open manage IT assistant, without lots of manual intervention on the pc's.
You need to create a new domain user and run the IAP service as this users so the client will report. If anyone has done this already with some sort of script, let me know how you did it.

Listening to: NoFx, Punk In Drublic

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

DFS Problem Moving Domain Controler

Had a very odd problem this week, i'm sure it must have happened to someone before.
We moved an 2k active directory domain controller from one (logical) site to another. This had the very strange knock on effect of causing the domain DFS (distributed file system) to start acting strangely.

First of all, some machines (XPsp1, XPsp2, 2003 server) could not access the DFS root at all. They got a error message along the lines of:

'Configuration information could not be read from the domain controller'

Then some machines could see the DFS root, but some of the shares where missing. I tried re-creating the shares but this had no effect.

I then rebooted the Domain controller that was the PDC emulator and that did nothing. There wasn't anything suspect I could see in any of the FRS logs, so as a stab in the dark I restarted the DFS service (I didn't even realise there was one!) on all the domain controllers in the domain, and it worked!
I have know idea why this happened and cant find anything online as to what caused it, so anyone with any ideas let me know.

Also installed MS Sharepoint 3.0 this week. Looks quite funky not really done much with it yet. If i find out anything that might be of interest ill post it here.

Oh, and check out the new Apple iPhone here www.apple.com/iphone I know some smart phones will do similar things already, but this does look mighty cool.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Convert First letters to uppercase .Net

First of all happy new year to everyone. Probably like most people I started the year with a hangover. Not helped by the fact I had to get up at half 8 to take my girlfriend to work!

Just a quick post for something useful I found, I wanted to change a name (ie joe bloggs) so that the first letters would be upper case. I found the VbStrConv class. It contains lots of good methods for string manipulation.
The one I needed was VbStrConv.ProperCase

Dim strNameAs String = "joe bloggs"
strNameAs = StrConv(strNameAs , VbStrConv.ProperCase)