Category Archives: windows

FreeNAS Setup for my Home Environment

freenas

I have been meaning to setup a FreeNAS server for awhile now, actually a real long time.  I have some older hardware just laying around, with a 200gig internal SATA drive, and USB ATA storage array (holds up to 4 ATA drives).  The storage array is hold about 800+gigs of space, only about a quarter used.  Install took about 15 minutes to get up and going.  Adding the drives were a snap.  I just imported my USB array and can now map to it via NFS.  The internal drive I thought I would setup as iSCSI.  I really like how that is working out.  I have my Windows 2003 and 2008 servers attaching to it, and it is really fast.  I am pretty impressed the speed they are attaching at while being virtual and only going over my 100MB network.  I also plan on setting up my Vista machines and laptop access so I can do quick transfers on the fly when needed.  Here is a good write up on how to setup the iSCSI services within FreeNAS.  I may also setup my VMware ESXi environment to take advantage of the iSCSI as well if I get any more spare drives.  If you have the hardware and the need for extra storage space, FreeNAS is a way to go (http://www.freenas.org).

Using FOG to deploy server images in VMware ESXi

fog_logoA long while ago I was taking a look at an open source application called FOG to look at a method of quickly deploying server images at that time, our MS Virtual Server environment.  Flash forward to now, I got some time in the office to look at this again, but now we are using VMware ESXi (until we get our Enterprise licensing this summer sometime). This will probably become obsolete when we get the Enterprise version, but I also wanted to look at this as a solution for my home network as I usually like to get something built on the fly and not have to invest a lot of time into the build. Continue reading Using FOG to deploy server images in VMware ESXi

Using vmware-vmrc with ESX3

One of the things I have missed from Virtual Server is the desktop VMRC utility. We have a few machines in our environment where we have help desk or developers access virtual machines (usually workstations), but don’t want to load the entire VI client for them. Well, I found this article about pulling out the vmware-vmrc applications from a VMware Server 2.0 install, and using it to replicate what we where doing before. I am going to try it out now, this will help eliminate a couple more Virtual Server machines that we have had to keep around because of this.

VMware ESXi is what we are going with

This is basically a wrap up of my previous blog posts here and here. A couple weeks ago we decided to go with VMware ESXi. The performance factor was probably a deciding point. Our Windows 2000/2003 servers were probably running up to 2 to 3 times faster on our VMware ESXi servers as opposed to the Hyper-V servers. Deployment was easier as well. Hyper-V had some advantages though, such as backups were easier and migrating Windows Virtual Server machines would be easier. Those few advantages though was not enough, and we decided to go with VMware. Hopefully my company will pony up the cash so we can go to the Enterprise edition. That is another battle altogether :).

LANDesk 8.5 and .NET 2.0 don’t like each other

Had an interesting problem this last week that I thought I would share on the blog in case anybody else runs into the issue. It took a few days, building a new server from scratch, and rolling back hot fixes to finally figure out what was going on.

A little back history, the LANDesk server (version 8.5) was installed by some consultants so we didn’t really have any info on the install. Our support plan ran out a couple years ago, and the person in charge with talking with the consultants is no longer here. We were not able to upgrade to the latest version of the product without paying a price for it. Anyways, it has been running fine for the last 3-4 years, not major problems or issues other than the occasional reboot and applying of hot fixes or patches. We just installed a Blackberry Enterprise Server on here as well since it was not really doing that much work, the two were coexisting fine for about a month before the problems cropped up.

About a month ago (unknown to us), the LANDesk server was not importing new inventories of machines in the server (and who knows what else), no significant errors were cropping up in the event logs. Our desktop support guy came by and mentioned it one day in passing, so I thought I would check it out. At first when I looked at it, I saw we were over the limit for our licensed devices. He cleaned out a bunch and just left it at that, thinking we were over our limit thus creating the errors. That didn’t fix the issue. So I started to scour the event logs a little deeper and finally found these nuggets of information in the Application Log:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: LANDesk Inventory Server
Event Category: None
Event ID: 2392
Date: 10/2/2008
Time: 11:57:03 AM
User: N/A
Computer: ACOMPUTERNAME
Description:
Unable to find an active license.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Intel Scheduler
Event Category: None
Event ID: 109
Date: 10/2/2008
Time: 11:56:12 AM
User: N/A
Computer: ACOMPUTERNAME
Description:
Unable to connect to the database, check to make sure the database is running.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Application Error
Event Category: (100)
Event ID: 1000
Date: 10/2/2008
Time: 11:56:52 AM
User: N/A
Computer: ACOMPUTERNAME
Description:
Faulting application LDInv32.exe, version 8.5.28.1, faulting module unknown, version 0.0.0.0, fault address 0x00000000.

After searching around on the LANDesk support site and googling about every combination of the above errors I could, I was coming up with a blank. The closest thing I could find was that there was a communication problem with the database (SQL Server 2000), but I was able to do queries and such as much as I wanted to. Some other articles were pointing to the fact that our licensing could not get updated properly, so we should reactive the licenses on the core server. I did, but to no avail.

So, I fired up and created a VMWare server thinking we would have to rebuild from scratch (not too big of deal except for licensing problems), but after I spent about 4 hours loading LANDesk (had to find a Windows NT Server and Windows 98 disc as well!), SQL Server 2000 all running on top of Windows 2003 R2 Standard Server. After the final reboot after the installing of LANDesk, I got the same exact error messages as above! That was actually very encouraging now. That told me it had something to do with one of the hot fixes or updates we have applied onto the server. I tracked back all of the updates that were done to Windows during the timeframe when things broke, and saw that we (or I) did a .NET 2.0 install and update around this time. So, did a google on LANDesk 8.5 and .NET 2.0, and my first hit was this link, explaining that you can not have .NET 2.0 installed on the same server as LANDesk 8.5. Also, fortunately there were instruction on what to do to uninstall the .NET 2.0 framework and re-register the .NET 1.1 framework which it needs. For those that who don’t want to browse to it, here is the commands:

Steps to remove and register .NET Framework

To remove Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, run the following command:
C:\windows\Microsoft.NET\framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe /u

To reinstall Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1, run the following command:
C:\windows\Microsoft.NET\framework\1.1.4322\aspnet_regiis.exe /i

I also did an uninstall of the .NET 2.0 Framework with SP1 in the add/remove programs. After all of that, I did a reboot as well, even though it didn’t ask for it.

So far, things look like they were, happy as could be. Just wished I found the problem and possible soultions via the forums, I am sure I was not the first to encounter this problem. Hope this helps anybody who runs into the same issue.