Russ' Do It Yourself Home Workshop

Finding Fixes to Just About Anything and Everything

Archive for the ‘Computer Software’ Category

Outlook 2010 Stops Receiving Exchange Email

Posted by Russell Wright on April 15, 2015

If you have Outlook hooked up to an Exchange mail box (Office 365 in this case) and mail stops dropping into your inbox, try this.

Right-click on the offending Inbox and click Properties…

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Under the General tab, click Clear Offline Items.  This will empty the cache.  In a scary fashion, all your inbox mail will disappear and (should) will re-sync with Exchange and re-populate.

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Hopefully this will clear up your issue.  It did mine.

Posted in Computer Software | Leave a Comment »

Where do I get GACUTIL.EXE?

Posted by Russell Wright on February 10, 2015

If you find yourself needing to use the GACUTIL program to install some "assemblies" (DLLs) in the global assembly cache, you can get it from the Windows SDK.  Now, when you get ready to install, if you don’t need all the other stuff, select the following options.

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By selecting only the .NET Framework 4.5 Software Development Kit you will get GACUTIL.EXE installed in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.0A\bin\NETFX 4.0 Tools folder, at a disk cost of < 75 MB.  Much better and much quicker than over 500 MB!

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Cisco VPN Client Encrypted and Decrypted Packets are Zero–No DNS Resolution on Windows 7

Posted by Russell Wright on September 26, 2014

This problem has been killing me!  I’ve searched and searched and finally came across this article (and a fix that actually works!):

http://hydrous.net/weblog/2009/10/28/force-windows-to-use-a-vpns-dns-server

Here’s the background.

As a consultant, I have multiple VPN clients at any given time loaded on multiple machines.  In this case it was my old trusty Dell D830 (upgraded with an SSD for like-new performance) that was giving me fits.  At some point in time the Cisco VPN client got to the point it was able to connect, but I could not access any resources on the client’s network.  Basically, there is no DNS resolution and nothing would ping or connect.  When you start looking around at the VPN Client Statistics, you notice the Packets Encrypted and Decrypted values are 0…they never change. 

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In this screen shot, you’ll see they are NOT zero, which means things are working again!

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Well, how do you fix this?  It appears it has to do with the binding order of the Cisco VPN adapter you see in your Network Connections. 

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Checking out the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Linkage and finding the Bind property, you can open it up and see a bunch of devices and their GUIDs.

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Now the trick is to be able to look at this list and determine which one(s) belong(s) to the Cisco VPN adapter and move it/them to the top of the list.

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One of the ways to do this is to navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces key and start clicking through the short list, while paying attention to potentially identifiable information in the right pane.  Usually this is in the form of a NameServer, which you can generally find in the properties of the network adapter after you’ve made a connection to the VPN server and the VPN network adapter has been enabled.

Now, it appears, at least in my case, that there are a couple of entries that look suspicious.  They were suspicious because they were both subnets that are used within the VPN network adapter configuration for this client, i.e. IP address beginning with 172.x.x.x and name servers in the 10.10.x.x range.  What I found was a 172.26.x.x NameServer and a 10.10.x.x NameServer and I adjusted them so they were at the top of the list, with the 172.26.x.x entry at the top and the 10.10.x.x entry just below it.  I’m not sure if one of these is just a bad entry that could be deleted, but for the time being I’m leaving them both in, until such time I can have a better determination.

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I fired up the VPN, it connected and, low and behold, the packets were encrypting and decrypting again!  DNS name resolution was working!  All’s well in Cisco VPN land, once again.

 

Search terms:

Cisco VPN connects but doesn’t work
No DNS resolution on Cisco VPN
Encrypt and Decrypt not working Cisco VPN client
Connect to VPN but can’t access any network resources

Posted in Computer Software, Networking | 1 Comment »

Fix OneDrive/SkyDrive on Windows 8.1 Using syncDriver

Posted by Russell Wright on June 24, 2014

Oh man!  Are you tired of this giant screw-up with OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive)?  I’m tired of wasting my time with MS and reading their non-solutions.  When I found syncDriver referenced in the link above, I decided this might be the fix I’m looking for.  It’s small, it’s simple…and it’s an application…not a part of the operating system!

I installed it, fired it up, told it where to sync the files (c:\users\rwright\onedrive) in a folder I provisioned myself, and it was off to the races!

Look!  It has a user interface!  It actually tells you what’s going on!

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Cool…options!  Exactly what you would expect.

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And…oh boy…wait for this!  You can choose the folders you want to sync!

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Need some proxy-ing to get in/out of your environment?  Thar it is!

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Look, it’s in your tray…because it is…wait for it…an application!

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And look-ee here.  It’s got a right-click menu…just like a reel application!

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So far, so good.  More to come.

2014-06-25 Update:

syncDriver is operating well and I have moved all my documents from my “broken” SkyDrive folder in my old user profile to my new OneDrive, powered by syncDriver, folder in my new user profile.  I used WinDiff to compare the two directories to validate I wasn’t missing anything…except for those in the old SkyDrive folder that hadn’t been kept up-to-date.

2015-07-17 Update:

Okay, now to turn off the original OneDrive sync completely refer to this article.  Basically you are editing this registry setting.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Skydrive]
"DisableFileSync"=dword:00000001

2016-05-12 Update:

Well, my OneDrive has been broken on my Yoga for several months and I just got to looking at it.  syncDriver could not log into my OneDrive account.  However, my OneDrive account and my credentials were just fine.  I was getting an error, “Your IT department made a change that prevents you form syncing your personal OneDrive on this computer” when I viewed the OneDrive settings.  I uninstalled syncDriver, thinking I was going to get rid of it and try to go back to the MS OneDrive sync, but then found there’s a group policy that might be causing the problem.

In gpedit.msc (Group Policy editor) find this:  Local Computer Policy | Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | OneDrive | Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage.  The default for me was Not Configured.  I changed it to Disabled and that appears to have made OneDrive available again. 

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I re-installed syncDriver and it immediately started syncing once again.  Yay!

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Installing Cisco VPN Client 5.0.07.0440-k9 vs 5.0.07.0290 on Windows 8.1

Posted by Russell Wright on June 20, 2014

Being a consultant, I have about every VPN client known to man installed on my PCs.  Recently I was required to use an older version of the Cisco VPN client for one of my clients’ jobs.  They directed me to 5.0.07.0290.  I wanted to see if I could get it installed on my Windows 8.1 (Lenovo Yoga 13) PC, so here’s what I did.

I initially received an error:  VPN Client install – Error 27850.  Doing some Googling, I found a newer version, 5.0.07.0440-K9, which I found I already had on another Windows 7 PC.  So I decided to try it.  Same error. 

I started mucking with the registry to no avail and then found the secret sauce.  It all has to do with some “Deterministic Networks” drivers.  Apparently Citrix acquired Deterministic Networks some time ago, so the fixes are available on their site.

Download Winfix.exe and DNEUpdate64 (are there still people using 32-bit?) from Citrix (Citrix acquired Deterministic Networks).  Here’s the main page.  http://www.citrix.com/go/lp/dne.html

Winfix:  ftp://files.citrix.com/winfix.exe

DNEUpdate64:  ftp://files.citrix.com/dneupdate64.msi

DNEUpdate 32-bit:  ftp://files.citrix.com/dneupdate.msi

  1. Run Winfix and then reboot.
  2. Run dneupdate64 (and then I rebooted, not sure if you need to)
  3. Download later version of Cisco VPN client (5.0.07.0440).  Again not sure if 5.0.07.0290 will work or not.
  4. Put any PCF files in the new Cisco VPN client installation folder so it picks them up or you can import them later.
  5. Run the Cisco VPN client installation (it should work fine).

The installation ran fine and the connection was good.  No problems. 

Posted in Computer Software, Networking | Leave a Comment »

Changing the Location (Moving) OneDrive Folder on Windows 8.1 Doesn’t Work

Posted by Russell Wright on June 3, 2014

Best I can tell, moving the location of your OneDrive folder from one user profile folder to another doesn’t work.

Navigating to my SkyDrive (OneDrive) folder in my former user profile (c:\users\Russell)…

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And attempting to change it to my new profile location, c:\users\rwright\onedrive…

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Selecting “Yes…”

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After a little while of Windows churning…

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Just FYI, I’ve tried moving it to a folder named SkyDrive and OneDrive and both give the same results.

If it can’t be moved here, where can it be moved?  And why?

Here’s the response:

Every Microsoft account (user account) will have it’s own files and settings. At the moment, you are trying to move OneDrive folder to a different Users folder (different user account). This will not be possible due to security reasons related to the Microsoft account that you use to access OneDrive.

Again, each user account will have it’s own OneDrive folder (in case it’s a Microsoft account).

Also, you can’t switch between accounts in the OneDrive app. When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you’re automatically signed in to OneDrive with that account. You can still get to OneDrive files for a different account by going to the OneDrive website.

For reference:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/onedrive-app-faq

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/forum/sdfiles-sdsync/how-do-i-change-the-location-of-the-onedrive/09f3e1f0-38a7-4f09-a71b-d92bbc95cace

Please let us know if you have more queries on Windows.

The reference for moving a OneDrive folder is exactly what I tried to do.

How can I move my OneDrive to a different location on my PC?
  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Press and hold or right-click OneDrive in the left pane.

  3. Tap or click Properties, and then tap or click the Location tab.

  4. Tap or click Move.

  5. Pick any folder that’s on a drive formatted with the NTFS file system, and then tap or click Select Folder.

  6. In the Move Folder dialog box, tap or click Yes.

 

And more FAQ information:

Can I sign in with a different account to browse a different OneDrive?

You can’t switch between accounts in the OneDrive app. When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you’re automatically signed in to OneDrive with that account. You can still get to OneDrive files for a different account by going to the OneDrive website.

 

So, what I want to do is use a new domain account for logging on to my PC and simply “link” my domain account to my existing OneDrive account.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it?  Worked fine on Windows 7.

And then, in this OLD response, Edmond_A says to use the “Unlink” function, which of course he doesn’t detail where one finds it or how one runs it, but I can only assume it’s for Windows 7, since it’s so old.

Edmond_A. replied on April 23, 2012

Microsoft Forum Moderator

You must use the Unlink function and go through the first-run experience where you will have the option to change the location of the OneDrive folder on your computer.

 

If you go online, you can see how to remove PCs, but this appears to be for fetching files and is no longer supported on Windows 8.1, so this appears to be a dead end.  I’ll go ahead and remove Tabula from the list of PCs.

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So if I go to the OneDrive settings, it is not obvious how to set an account for OneDrive to use.  Wouldn’t it make sense here to store the account OneDrive uses to log in?  Isn’t that how it worked on Windows 7?

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When I look at my accounts under PC Settings on the metro side, it shows my domain account and my Microsoft account, but no where can I find how to link a OneDrive account back to my PC.

So my question remains.  How do I associate my domain account to my OneDrive account and move its current location, which is under my previous profile?  This should be easy, guys…

 

Posted in Computer Software | Leave a Comment »

Moving an ESXi VM from One Datastore to Another

Posted by Russell Wright on May 16, 2014

I installed a Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD in our Dell R520 that is running ESXi.  We currently have 1TB RAID 0 and 2TB RAID 0 arrays made with Constellation ES.2 drives, so I thought I’d try an SSD to see how much "better-er" I could make it.

To make this work you can use a standard drive tray (purchased from eBay for $11.79) and a 3.5-to-2.5 SATA adapter (also purchased from eBay for $9.99). In this case, I installed a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD that I also acquired from eBay ($445.00).

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You can see I failed to peel off all the plastic protective coating on the adapter, but hopefully that won’t be a big deal.  Just be sure to install the two screws on the adapter and the SSD prior to installing the adapter in the drive tray!

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I powered everything down and slid it in and then powered it all back up.  I probably didn’t need to do that (hot swap should work), but I wanted to compare the alignment of my adapter with one of the installed drives to make sure it looked like it was going to match up okay.  You never know when you use third party hardware.

Once you get the SSD installed, you can choose to make all or part of it a cache for VMWare to use.  You can set this in the Host Cache Configuration software setting in the Configuration tab of the vSphere client.

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Right-clicking on the SSD and selecting Properties… will allow you to select the amount of space you want to use for a host cache.

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So my goal was to move my SQL VM first.  There are many ways documented to do this, such as using the manual vmkfstools method, as documented in this thread by telecastle.  However, in my experience I’ve found it’s much easier to use VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone to move VMs around. 

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So, let’s do this and see how it works.  One picture is worth 1000 words, so here are some pictures to document the process.

First, you need to get the s/w, if you don’t already have it.  Google "download vmware standalone converter" and you should find it here.  You’ll have to register and log in to access it.

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We are starting a conversion process and selecting the source, which is an ESXi box.

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Make sure the VM is powered off.

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The destination is the same ESXi machine.

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We need to give it a new name…and it can’t be the same as one in the current inventory.

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Select the SSD datastore.  Note that, even though I don’t show it here, you should be careful about what Virtual machine version you choose.  I initially chose Version 10 (wasn’t paying attention) and found that the vSphere client can’t manage any VM over version 9.  Also, it can’t create a VM over version 8.  So, I decided to go back and convert my Version 10 to Version 8.

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The job is almost ready to go.  You have one last time to make some edits.

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Now we’re ready to start it!

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And the job has been submitted and is off and running.  Now just sit back, relax, and exercise your patience.  I don’t know about you, but I much prefer this to the command line stuff.

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Dropped Connections on SAP and the KeepAlive (rdisp/keepalive) Parameter

Posted by Russell Wright on April 28, 2014

We were experiencing issues with our SAP GUI connections dropping somewhat randomly, but more so when connected wirelessly or through VPN to our SonicWALL TZ 200.  This is probably a result of the SonicWALL aggressively closing connections and therefore causing SAP to drop the connection to the client.  In the SM21 log, a dropped connection entry looks like this.

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There are several parameters in SAP that deal with connections, but we’re not talking about wanting to forcibly log off clients from our demo/test system.  What we want is to keep the connection to SAP alive as long as possible.  SAP OSS note 27320 provides a better definition of a couple of the parameters in question.  The definitions are repeated here for convenience.

rdisp/keepalive
——————–
Parameter for application servers, unit seconds, default 1200.
If the frontend has not sent any data to the application server for "keepalive" seconds, the
application server sends a short "Ping" message to the frontend. The frontend should answer within
the next 40 seconds with "Pong", otherwise the application server assumes that the link is dead and
releases all resources to the corresponding user. An error line "DP_CONN_DEAD" then appears in the
trace file dev_disp.
This usually occurs when a user switches off their PC without carrying out the shutdown procedure.
A value of 0 means that no check occurs.

rdisp/gui_auto_logout
————————-
Parameter for application servers, unit seconds, default 0.
If the frontend has not sent any data to the application server for "gui_auto_logout" seconds, the
frontend closes the user connection and releases the resources.
A value of 0 means that no users are logged off automatically.

One way to carry out this change, use the RZ10 transaction.

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Select the appropriate Instance profile.

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Select Extended maintenance and the Change button.

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Select the Parameter button to add a new parameter.

 

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Enter the rdisp/keepalive parameter and a number of seconds.  I’ve entered 180 seconds (3 minutes) in this case.  Press Enter to validate.

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Select Copy.

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You should see the parameter entered.

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When you back out of the transaction, it will ask you to save your changes.

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You should see a validation that the changes were accepted.

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Now check your work by selecting the profile and selecting Display.

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You should see the rdisp/keepalive parameter.

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You now need to recycle your SAP instance for the parameter to be enforced.

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Posted in Computer Software, SAP | Leave a Comment »

Getting SQL Express to Listen So You Can Connect Remotely

Posted by Russell Wright on April 22, 2014

Dang!  We had a situation where a new tool we were implementing in our back office, BillQuick Web Services 2014, would not use SQL Server since we purchased the "Pro" version and not the "Enterprise" version.  Unfortunately, it appears the trial version we installed has all the enterprise version capabilities and, after entering our license information, we were locked down to the pro version and it wouldn’t connect to the SQL Server anymore.

So, that meant I needed to install SQL Express to support the tool.  Okay, no biggie…except for the fact that SQL Express does not enabled Named Pipes or TCP/IP protocols, by default.  This took me a bit to figure out.

This is not a new problem, as posted by Peter van Ooijen in 2006.  Some things never change…

The easy way to fix this is to use SQL Server Configuration Manager.

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Navigate to the Protocols section for your SQL Express instance and switch it on! 

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And if that’s not enough, you need to change the TCP/IP properties to listen on the correct port.  I set the port to 1077 (one the SQL Server is NOT listening on).  It appears if you set it in the the IPAll section, the same port will be used for each IP address and you only have to enter it one time.

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Oh, and then recycle your SQL server instance!

The connection string to use looks like this.

SQLServer\Instance,Port

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Posted in Computer Software, SQL Server | Leave a Comment »

So You Want to Remotely Manage a Computer From Another on Different Workgroups/Domains?

Posted by Russell Wright on November 4, 2013

Let’s say you have a Windows 7 computer, A, which is not in a domain, but simply in a workgroup at home.

Let’s say you have a Windows server, B, which is a VM host but not in a domain.

Let’s also say you have network connectivity between the two.

If you want to run the compmgmt.msc mmc snap-in and manage computer B from computer A try this:

  1. Open an administrative command prompt on computer A (shift right-click, Run As Administrator)
  2. Type the following Runas command:  runas /noprofile /netonly /user:ComputerB\administrator “mmc comp
    mgmt.msc”
  3. You should be prompted for your administrative password on computer B.
  4. When computer management opens, select Action | Connect to another computer from the menu.

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Now you can also turn this into a desktop shortcut and automatically connect to the remote computer using this adjustment to the command line:

runas /noprofile /netonly /user:ComputerB\administrator “mmc comp mgmt.msc /computer:\\ComputerB”

You should be good to go…at least I was.

 

Posted in Computer Software, Networking | Leave a Comment »