Thursday, December 29, 2005

Veritas fails to backup remote BizTalk server

Using Veritas Backup Exec to backup multiple Win2003 servers I found a backup job hung indefinitely. You can request to cancel the job but that job also hangs. After stopping the Backup Exec Server, you may be able to eject the drive manually or may require restarting the Device & Media service as well.

The failed backup report logs stop after connecting to a BizTalk server.

Examining the Application Event log there shows:
Source COM+, Category (98), Event ID: 4689
The run-time environment has detected an inconsistency in its internal state. This indicates a potential instability in the process that could be caused by the custom components running in the COM+ application, the components they make use of, or other factors. Failed to add Subscription due to Store error.

The Help and support link supplies no information but links to where a description of Security Bulletin MS05-051 indicates changes in the COM+ catalog security settings.

Following the non-DC instructions reveals the security settings are indeed more aggressive than in the past. Making the appropriate changes allows a test backup of the BizTalk server to complete successfully.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Automatic updates using Group Policy

Problem is remote users with XP Pro with Citrix access don't need to be local admins nor authenticated locally by AD. They are essentially really powerful thin clients. How do you simply have a user / power user get critical Windows updates?

I'm trying this:

KB article 328010

Logically it seems to be sufficient, and the user experience seems to indicate it will function, but time will be the test.

Template Persistent Cache initialization failed

I've seen this error on a couple domain controllers running IIS apps. It doesn't seem to have an associated symptom for end users, but I suspect it requires some extra authentication on their part when running more secure web apps.

Error: The Template Persistent Cache initialization failed for Application Pool 'DefaultAppPool' because of the following error: Could not create a Disk Cache Sub-directory for the Application Pool. The data may have additional error codes..

See MS Knowledgebase article KB ID=332097. It describes manually setting security on various IIS related folders.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Export Published Printers to File

Here's a script courtesy of Microsoft, slightly modified by me to direct output to a file . It will export the published printers in AD to a comma delimited text file (printers.txt below) along with the associated server.

'export published printers to file


Set objConnection = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
Set objCommand = CreateObject("ADODB.Command")
objConnection.Provider = "ADsDSOObject"
objConnection.Open "Active Directory Provider"

Set objCommand.ActiveConnection = objConnection
objCommand.CommandText = "Select printerName, serverName from " _
& " 'LDAP://DC=yourdomain,DC=com' where objectClass='printQueue'"
objCommand.Properties("Page Size") = 1000
objCommand.Properties("Searchscope") = ADS_SCOPE_SUBTREE
Set objRecordSet = objCommand.Execute

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set myFile = fso.CreateTextFile("Printers.txt", True)

Do Until objRecordSet.EOF
myFile.Writeline objRecordSet.Fields("serverName").Value & "," & objRecordSet.Fields("printerName").Value


'end of script

The MS Scripting center site has boat load of this good stuff.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Export local group to text file

How many ways can you think of to export the members of a local group to a text file? The really simple method is running net localgroup 'group name' > textfile.txt locally, but this adds extra descriptive info that needs to be cleaned up later. You may also encounter environments where the net command is not accessible.

Here's my version with fun little interactive input and message boxes. Easy to use, works remotely, and builds the list with names only:

'retrieve local group membership

Option Explicit

Dim intCount, strGroup, strDomain, oGroup, oMember
Dim fso, myFile, strOutput

strGroup = InputBox("Group to query?")
strDomain = InputBox("Domain or machine that hosts the group?")
strOutput = InputBox("Enter the output file name:")

set oGroup = GetObject("WinNT://" & strDomain & "/" & strGroup & ",group")

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set myFile = fso.CreateTextFile(strOutput, True)

For Each oMember in oGroup.Members
intCount = intCount + 1


msgbox "Group: " & strGroup & " hosted by: " & strDomain & " has " & intCount & " members" & (Chr(13) & Chr(10)) & "See file " & strOutput

'end of script

The last line of the script starts with msgbox and ends with strOutput, so when copying it remember to remove the carrage return / wordwrap. Same goes for the set oGroup line. Save it in notepad as yournamehere.vbs and then execute it.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Missing XP desktop after uninstalling xTree Gold

Explorer gets removed from WINNT logon reg entry. Here's a nice copy and paste from Experts Exchange:

A quick way to solve this problem is here :-

When you log on to ur system the one of two shells are started from the following registry location. One is CMD.EXE and other one is Explorer.exe. So Windows is designed using the small set of programs. So explorer.exe is a small set of program and present you with the GUI edition of Windows (means Desktop). So you should remove any unwanted entries from the following Registry locations :-

Look in the following locations for startup programs that may be suspect:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\
and then on the Right Pane find Entries called

"Shell" must contain this value "Explorer.exe" without quots
"Userinit" must contain this value "E:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe," without quots

If you see anything different then please replace it with ur current version of exploerer.exe and userinit.exe.

after replacing the Registry entries from the above method replace the following files :-


NOTE : Any malware process may delete original files (exploerer.exe and userinit.exe) and then put itself to the above
regitry location to lunch at startup and then their programming instructions contains not to run anything on startup
or not to sho Desktop :-)

You can get above two files from Windows CD.

1. Insert Windows CD
2. Goto I386 directory of CD.
3. create a folder on ur Desktop or Startup Drive name it "Original"
4. copy the following files to ur "Original" directory.


5. and then goto command prompt, goto the "Original" directory.
6. finally issue the following command :-

Expand explorer.ex_ X:\Original\explorer.exe
Expand userinit.ex_ X:\Original\userinit.exe

7. and then replace the above files using the "Recovery Console". You need to copy these two files in \WINNT\System32 directory.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Altigen IP600 firmware update problems

If you are having problems updating firmware, verify your phones are not having a problem making a network connection in the first place.

If on a reboot (**3 ) you see NETWORK FAILED and / or AW unreachable, but the phone ultimately registers by itself, you will never download the fw updates.

Check for Spanning Tree running on the data switches. STP will prevent IP600s from getting DHCP info in a timely fashion, making communication with the TFTP server impossible. It will also reportedly interfere with TFTP in general. If possible on the network, disable STP.

If you are communicating with the TFTP server, but are seeing ACK ignored errors, try a different TFTP server. provides a
free version that I've used with good success.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

IBM Thinkpad numbers where letters are

So you see numbers when you're typing letters in the u, i, o, etc. area. Whacky.

To turn off the number lock function:

Shift - Numlck / Scrlck

Monday, March 07, 2005

Active Voice XML error after migration

So you have a 7.4X on OS/2 and seemingly migrate the database to a Repartee for Windows. Accessing the subscriber directory through the Administrator's tool then blows a horrific error on screen referencing XML parsing.

Me thinks it has to do with foobared AV*.AV* files (since I know at least some of the PBX integration files are XML).

NEC support says simply run voiceserver dbchk /f a few times after backing up the AV*.AV* files.

Simple, yet undocumented.

Thanks John K. for not making me work late tonight.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Windows ME

For those of you not fortunate enough to have the resources to replace your Windows ME operating system, here is some fabulous reference material:

If it's a bit overwhelming, call me.

Help with the English language

You can compute all day long, but eventually you will need to write or speak about it. Here is some great help:

Very common questions and mistakes, with easy to understand answers

Friday, February 11, 2005

Citrix "Error adding custom ICA connection"

So you load the latest Citrix client on three new identical laptops. You get the above error on the fourth when creating a new ICA connection from within Program Neighborhood:

  1. Change Windows Explorer to show hidden files.
  2. Search the hard disk for appsrv.ini.
  3. Right click each instance of the file to verify they are NOT flagged as Read Only.

I would concentrate on the {drive}:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\ICAClient folder.

Comments on why the installs reference different INI files are welcome.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Color blind explanation

Explaining to people what it's like to be color blind has proven to be a thirty some year long exercise in futility. An old school buddy of mine still brings up an episode in first grade. Our evil nun teacher yelled at me until I was in tears because I couldn't identify what color her finely crafted construction paper clothes hanging on her cleverly crafted blackboard straddling yarn clothes line were.

Check this out:

Judging by the sad look my wife gave me when I showed her the site, I'm guessing the examples are accurate.

It turns out ignorance IS bliss.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Forwarding mail off premise through Exchange

Nice how-to by Mark Fugatt of Pentech Office Solutions Inc:

Assuming you want an Exchange account that forwards mail off premises, you can create a "Contact" with an external address. Then, modify the Exchange delivery options of the AD account to forward mail to the "Contact".

You have the option to forward and retain in the Exchange box as well. See the check box low on the delivery options form.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Western Digital WD400 alternate jumper settings

Here's the real link.

If your old bios won't support the actual WD400 drive size you can short:

on single drive, pins 3-4 and 5-6
on dual master, pins 1-2 and 5-6
on dual slave, pins 3-4 and 1-2

Someday I'll part with my pile of PCChips M760Vs. Someday.