Friday, February 29, 2008

Printers Dissapearing From Active Directory

Whilst looking through issues for another printing problem closely related I came across an old issue I had that I thought best I put up here for safe keeping as I’m sure it will happen to me or someone else again.
Printers in the Active Directory printer list can sometimes just disappear for no reason at all; this is actually due to a bigger problem in your network. In my case it was one site where AD was not replicating properly and as such it couldn’t contact the main print server and just deleted all the printers. This is known as Printer Pruning, I’ve got the official MS article HERE

The quick and easy fix for this is just to go into the printers sharing tab, un-tick the List in the Directory option, hit apply and re-tick it. If that doesn’t work un-tick, restart spooler, tick again and restart spooler to be 100% sure it’s applying.
Please note this is exposing a bigger issue where AD is not communicating properly and should be investigated straight away (now that your printers are working and your users aren’t screaming at you anymore because they can’t print their tenders). You should be seeing logs reporting problems in replication and fix them as soon as possible.

Posted by admin in • Active Directory (AD)
Monday, February 25, 2008

Windows XP SP3 - Release Notes Reviewed And Simplified

Official Release Notes Page

Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack) entered RC2 (Release Candidate), that means a registry key change and uninstalling any previous versions to install it.
The notable add-ons which have been “back ported” from 2008 and Vista are the following:

Black Hole Router Detection
Resource reference helps you to understand technically what a black hole router is and what to do to detect one. This seems really out there to me as I have never come across this myself (that I know of). But oh well one more thing running in the background can’t hurt…. Can it?

Network Access Protection (NAP)
Lashed straight from the FAQ:
NAP is one of the most desired and highly anticipated features of Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008. NAP is a new platform and solution that controls access to network resources based on a client computer’s identity and compliance with corporate governance policy. NAP allows network administrators to define granular levels of network access based on who a client is, the groups to which the client belongs, and the degree to which that client is compliant with corporate governance policy. If a client is not compliant, NAP provides a mechanism to automatically bring the client back into compliance and then dynamically increase its level of network access.
The NAP platform is built into Windows Vista™, Windows Server 2008, and Windows® XP Service Pack 3.

Windows Imaging Component
Another image writer, enough said and really who cares when there are so many other alternatives out there already.

WPA2 Support
WPA2 will be part of this service pack and will make many admins sigh with relief that its no longer an issue of a single hotfix.

Apple Bootcamp
Wow i hope this is planned to be fixed by the final release!

On a variety of systems running bootcamp will get an “out of disk space” error will occur and the fix is a registry key change. Instructions given below from msoft.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and click String Value.
  4. In the text box under the Name column, type BootDir and press ENTER.
  5. Right-click the name BootDir, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Edit String Value dialog box, type the drive letter for your system drive, and then click OK. For example, if your system drive is C:, type C:\.
  7. Close Registry Editor.

After you have created this registry key (or if you created this key when you installed a previous version of this Service Pack), you can proceed with the installation.

Posted by admin in • Windows XP
Friday, February 22, 2008

Dell Latitude D430 SSD Lockups

We recently got our hot sticky mits on a brand new Latitude D430 with the sexy 36gb SSD (Solid State Disk)

Problem: Throwing Down XP with outlook 2007 seemed to cause all manner of issues, lockups galore! A move to vista saw the lockups fall back to just Outlook, it seems the that the way in which Outlook stores and writes to the file is affecting the SSD’s ability to write to such a big file. The next test will be to drop back to outlook 2003 and see if the issue goes away.

The only assistance I can give is that a big OST makes the issue more and more apparent, dropping down the size to below 200mb got rid of all the freezing issues. Its a limitation of the write speeds of big files to the current SSD tech

Posted by admin in • Office 2007

Windows XP Offline Files Cache Error

I use offline files and folder redirection for users my documents folders, it’s also used by users creatively, to cache large parts of the corporate directory on the file server.
Every now and then I will run into an issue where the offline file cache will break, the completely useless error message is in the window below.
There is no choice but to do a full reset of cache.

Error Message:

Offline files (directory path): Unable to merge offline changes on ‘directory path’ The Parameter is incorrect.

Open My computer -> Tools -> Folder Options -> Offline Files (tab)
Down the bottom you will see a “Delete Files” button, you must press and hold CTRL+Shift and then press that button. You will get a prompt telling you the offline cache will be “Re-Initialized”. Depending on the factors of your offline cache size, your speed of your machine and the last time you went to confession, the cache re-initialisation will complete and tell you to reboot. This completes the most trivial and out of the ordinary process of key presses (considering there is a confirm dialog).

Posted by admin in • Windows XP

Veritas Backup Exec 11d

Synchronisation between backup server and a single host is failing, i’ve tried restarting all the services but thats not helping at all. has some references but the only one related to my specific problem referenced this on an XP machine and said his reboot fixed it.
There was one mention of this issue being seen where its a vault in VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) and was fixed with a hotfix or SP2 so i ran SP2 and so far so good but it usually takes overnight to fail as thats when an incremental push of the backups occurs.

Error Message:

The pair on source computer ‘Backup Client’, destination computer ‘Backup Server’ for job ‘Backup Job Label’ canceled due to an error. : A VSS snapshot error has occurred. Please verify that the ‘Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider’ and ‘Volume Shadow Copy’ services are installed and running. Check the System or Application Event Log for any unexpected errors or warnings.


Event ID 12289
Source - VSS
Description - Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error DeviceIoControl(\\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy16915 - 000000F4,0x00090020,0003A838,0,007571D8,4096,[0]).  hr = 0x80070005.

Platform(s) Affected: Windows Server 2003 32-bit, Windows Server 2003 64-bit

Click here for the solution
Veritas Backup Exec 11d

Posted by admin in • Backup
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