Friday, April 28, 2006


LEGO CD Thrower

I may actually have the parts to make this....

The LEGO CD Thrower

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Citrix Logon Poster

Brian Madden has the coolest job.

The Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 Logon Process

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


70-089 Passed

I'm now certified to do what it is that I do. I just passed Microsoft certification exam 70-089: Planning, Deploying, and Managing Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003. My score (810) wasn't as high as I would have liked, but considering I didn't study much, and it's a passing grade, I'm not complaining.

Next up...? With the second-chance offer from Microsoft, I'd like to have that safety net to tackle the others to get my MCSA, but I know I'll have to study more for some of those, and free time is not currently abundant. But maybe I'll just pull the trigger like I did with this one and hope for the best....

Friday, April 21, 2006


Underlying Services of Svchost Processes

Someone on the MSSMS list recently had a situation in which a svchost.exe process was hanging. Since most systems will have multiple svchost processes running, it's helpful to be able to determine what's the cause of the problem.

On WinXP:

tasklist /svc | find "svchost"

will output the process name (svchost.exe), the PID, and the associated Windows services that are running in each. Sometimes they double-up, but it at least helps narrow it down a bit.

This command isn't present in Win2k, but I wouldn't be surprised if SysInternals or the Windows Resource Kit has a similar tool.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Remotely Enable TS via WMIC

Props to Marcus Oh for this one - too cool to not repost... (and so I can find it more easily when I need it!)

wmic /node:"servername" /user:"domain\username" rdtoggle where servername = "servername" call setallowtsconnections 1
(mind the wrap)

/node: indicates the remote server name
/user: indicates who to grant access to
setallowtsconnections: indicates to enable terminal services. 1 enables it. 0 disables it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Presetting NIC Speed & Duplex

Adventures with OSD snowballed this week; I finally got things working (with lots of insight on OSD from Michael Niehaus on the MSSMS list) mostly by forcing all network devices to 100Mb/Full Duplex. The trick is that the OSD Image Capture CD, running WinPE using the NIC driver that I embedded at creation, was using the default Auto setting. So the capture process would start, then fail a few minutes into the process, unable to use the link.

I did some research and found bupkis on the topic, but by digging into the INF, found a setting that proved successful. I looked at a few other INFs and they all seem to have a similar setting, so I'll go ahead and make a sweeping generalization and declare that this is the method for presetting the default NIC speed and duplex settings prior to driver installation and initialization.

NOTE: I just heard back from HP Support on the topic: "We do not support the configuration of editing the INF file to set the NIC link speed to set at 100/Full duplex." They then recommend use of the HP SmartStart Scripting Toolkit. So consider yourself warned.

The NIC in this particular situation is the HP NC7782, so the INF I'm using is q57win32.inf. Down around line 1290 are the sections [ParamsC] and [ParamsC150C] that have the registry settings for RequestedMediaType, aka Speed_Duplex. In the former, I changed the "default" value to 4102 (for 100Mb_Fd). In the latter I changed the default as above and also changed the single enum key value as well.

I embedded this new INF with the rest of the network driver files on the SMS OSD Image Capture CD and the capture process flew through about 2GB in 12 minutes.

Again, let me stress that HP does not support this configuration, and don't come crying to me if this frags your server. I plan on using it for WinPE scenarios when necessary, but not to pre-configure the driver on production servers - let the GUI handle that.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Windows Update Error Codes

Excellent list of all (?) Windows Update error codes, especially useful with WSUS.

Another good WSUS resource: WSUS mailing list at Patch

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Virtual CD Control Panel

In searching for a quick, simple, free ISO extraction tool, I found a post on Donny Mack's blog about the Microsoft Virtual CD Control Panel v2. One of the myriad of cool tools available from Microsoft that they don't really advertise. All it does is allow you to mount an ISO as logical drive, but that's all I wanted.

The tool is unsupported, so if it frags your system you're SOL. As Donny mentions, it does work on non-XP systems (I just successfully used it on a Win2k workstation).

The readme (included in the download) has instructions for "installation" and use.

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