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Auto Update on SharePoint servers

Somewhere in October Microsoft decided to add a SharePoint update to the Windows Update system. This caused some Sharepoint servers that had enabled Auto Update to stop working and throwing errors all around the place.

Now on most servers we have disabled the following function:
Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows

 

This should disallow Windows Update to update Office applications like SharePoint, except it didnt do this for the update that Microsoft did sneak into a Windows update!

This resulted in a new Best Practice for our SharePoint servers to not Auto Update the SharePoint servers, we know this could be a possible Security risk, but it also could lead to a non working SharePoint Farm!

Recommedation:

Let Windows only download the updates and manually install them so you can check for hidden updates. You can change this in the Control Panel –> System Security –> Windows Update, and just change the settings there.

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iLO3 not responding on HTTPS

As i’m running several servers in a datacenter, and the DC is a 2 hour drive, I decided to add an iLO interface to my servers (yes it is HP).

But for some maintenance preparation i decided to verify the iLO is up and running (just to save my ass for a 2 hour drive), but got noticed i was not able to access it through it’s HTTPS interface….

Running NMAP showed HTTPS port was stil open and also the HTTP port was responding but i got no webinterface so i could check the console.

Now how can i fix this? I did see some posts about powercycling the machine, but that would again be a 2 hour drive. After some d igging and checkin on SSH i found the magic command.

Using “reset map1” at the SSH does give the iLO interface a reboot. This solved my issue and the webinterface is up & running again.

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Dynamics AX Batch Jobs in waiting status after Upgrade and CU updates

Today i was testing the new CU8 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, and after the full Compile and full CIL compile I got stuck upon the data upgrade list. The DataUpgrade job was in “Waiting” status and couldnt get it to start. After some digging and modifying the partitions to make sure the permissions were correct, it still didnt work.

With some google magic I stumbled upon the link below with a great check list for verifying if the BatchServer is configured correctly. Check it out below!

https://community.dynamics.com/ax/b/axsupport/archive/2013/09/06/troubleshooting-upgrade-and-cu-batch-jobs-stuck-in-a-waiting-status-in-dynamics-ax-2012.aspx

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VMware Workstation 10.x and Windows 8.1 Mouse Issues

Since i’m running Windows 8.1 and VMware Workstation 10.x I have a lot of issues with my Mouse on my 2nd screen. Some of the issues i had:

  • Scrolling in windows is not possible (mouse jumps to a corner)
  • Mouse out of sync in a VM
  • Have to click multiple times for what is a normal 1 click (like selecting an icon)

I applied all the latest patches, even reïnstalleerd VMware Workstation but nothing seems to work.

Workaround

The final solution i found was modifying the compatibility settings for the VMware.exe file. Go to the installation folder of VMware Workstation (normally: %programfiles%/vmware/vmware workstation/) and look for vmware.exe

Then follow these steps:

  1. right click vmware.exe
  2. choose properties
  3. Go to the 2nd tab (compatibility)
  4. Select: Disable display scaling on high DPI settings
  5. Hit Apply and Ok

Restart VMware Workstation and voila, you can use your mouse normally now!

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A System Restart from a previous installation or update is pending.

When you try to install Sharepoint 2013 Server, you will get the message that there still is a System Restart pending from a previous installation.

Setup Errors

 

 

 

 

 

To solve this issue you can edit a REGkey and continue with the setup.

Step 1

Open regedit, go to Start and select Run (or use Windows Key + R), and enter “regedit”

Step 2

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

Step 3

Rename the key “PendingFileRenameOperations” to “PendingFileRenameOperations_OLD”

Step 4

Do not reboot your system, but just run the Setup again and install Sharepoint 2013 Server as usual.

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Expanding LVM with new harddisk

In this post I will describe how to expand a LVM with adding a new harddisk. This for example on a running VMware Virtual Machine.

So after this post you will have 2 disks running in 1 LVM.

Notice! Make sure to take a backup and snapshot your machine, just in case…

Confirm running Partition type

First of all confirm that you are working with an LVM.

# fdisk -l

lvm1

 

 

 

As you can see we have a “Linux LVM” listed as 8e (HEX code for an LVM).

Add the new Harddisk

Now we know that it is an LVM, you can start adding a new harddisk. Just create a new harddisk in VMware and select the right amount of space you would like to add.

Detecting new disk

Now that we have added a new harddisk it is time to verify we have a new disk. If you now run:

# fdisk -l

If you do not see the new disk (/dev/sdb) then you might have not rebooted your machine. Try running the following command:

# echo “- – -” > /sys/class/scsi_scsi_host/host0/scan

If you now run the fdisk command again you should see the new /dev/sdb disk with the message “Doesn’t contain a valid partition table”.

Partition the new disk

Now we have the new disk ready for use, we  can start making a partition on it by using fdisk.

# fdisk /dev/sdb

This should give  you the message: (the commands are highlighted in bold

root@ws-01:~# fdisk /dev/sdb
Command (m for help): n

Now use the following commands

for creating a nw partition

As we now have a new partition we need to give it a number. Because it is a new disk we give it the number 1

Partition number

Next we have 2 questions about the First and Last cylinder. You can hit ENTER key twice to confirm the defaults.

First Cylinder: “enter
Last Cylinder: “enter

Now we need to change the partitions system ID.

Command (m for help): t
selected partition 1

Now we need to enter the HEX code to confirm it is an LVM partition.

Hex code (type L to list codes: 8e
Changed system type of partition 1 to 8e (Linux LVM

Now we need to write these changes to the disk and all will be saved.

Command (m for help): 
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks

If you now run “fdisk -l” you will see there is an /dev/sdb1 listed with Linux LVM as system.

Increase the logical volume

Now we will use the pvcreate command to create a physical volume for use by the LVM. We issue this command on the /dev/sdb1 we just created.

root@ws-01:~# pvcreate /dev/sdb1
Physical volume “/dev/sdb1” succesfully created

Now we have created a physical volume we have to check the current name of our Volume Group. We can do this with vgdisplay. Just watch for the VG Name

root@ws-01:~# vgdisplay 
— Volume group —
VG Name     vg_ws01
VG Size        10GiB

Now we are going to extend the Volume Group with vgextend.

root@ws-01:~# vgextend vg_ws01 /dev/sdb1
Volume group “vg_ws01” successfully extended

If we now issue the pvscan command we can see the new disk. Just run pvscan

root@ws-01:~# pvscan 

This should give you also the new disk /dev/sdb1 and the current disk (in my case /dev/sda2).

Next we are going to increase the Logical Volume so the new space is added to the LV group.

First confirm the name / path of the Logical Volume by using the lvdisplay command

root@ws-01:~# lvdisplay

Check for the LV Name and LV Path

in my case the path was: /dev/vg_ws01/lv_root
We want to increase this by adding the new disk.

root@ws-01:~# lvextend /dev/vg_ws01/lv_root /dev/sdb1

This should give you the output that the Logical Volume root successfully resized. If you now run VGDISPLAY you wil see the new size of the Volume Group.

However if you run the df -h command you won’t see the new space! We first have to resize the file system by using the resize2fs command.

root@ws-01:~# resize2fs /dev/vg_ws01/lv_root

if you now run the df -h command you will see the new space.

Summary

We now have increased the disk space for the virtual machine by adding a new harddisk through VMware and then added the space to the Volume Group. As we did this we dont need a reboot and this can be very usefull in production environments that can not afford any downtime.

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Install Sharepoint 2013 server on Local Machine

After the installation of Sharepoint 2013 Server edition you have to run the Product Configuration Wizard to setup the Config database. In Sharepoint 2013 Server it is not possible to use a local account to setup the database.

However there is a workaround. As PowerShell is our friend in a lot of cases, here it is also our friend.

Start an elevated Sharepoint 2013 Management Shell and use the command

New-SPConfigurationDatabase

From there you can configure the Config database. After this is done, run the Product Configuration Wizard again, and make sure to select Do not disconnect from this server farm.

Now you can follow the installation steps to configure Sharepoint 2013

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The Blackphone arrived!

On june 30th SGP started shipping the Blackphone to its customers. Due to some appointments out of the office i had to wait till monday 7-7-2014 before i could unpack the Blackphone.

Now after 1 day working with the phone i can give some more information about it.

blackphone

The Hardware
When i first unpacked the telephone and did hold it in my hands i thought hmm it feels very light! I was changing from the iPhone 5 to the Blackphone. After inserting the battery and simcard it gain some weight but still it is pretty light weight compared to my iPhone. It is just a bit larger then the iPhone (4.7″ screen), but it will still fit in my pocket.

Turning on the phone
After adding the battery and SIM card you first have to charge the phone what takes some time. When powering it on, you first get the Setup wizard that will guide you through the setup process.

Photo-2014-07-07-13-16-13_5855As i couldnt wait and my battery wasnt charged for at least 80%, i couldnt encrypt my device. After waiting a few hours the phone was fully encrypted. This results that if you reboot your device you first have to enter your Decryption password and wait a few seconds till the device is decrypted and ready for use.

This is step 1 for Securing the phone!

Now it is time to start working with the phone. As this is the 2nd day i’m using it i’m not able to give some more information.

Pro’s

  • Fully Encrypted phone
  • 4.7″ screen
  • Some great security tools to prevent apps from getting access  to private data or accessing / sending text messages
  • Wifi gets turned off to save battery in unknown locations (based on Cell Towers)
  • VPN application with 1gb traffic a month, encrypt all your internet traffic for secure browsing based on your location (United States / Europe)

Con’s

  • First impression when opening the back cover was, “Hope i didn’t break it!!”
  • Booting with Encryption takes some extra time
  • No AppStore, so no other application by default

Having questions about the Blackphone? Feel free to e-mail me @ email@bram.co.nl