Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Consulting tales

Troubleshooting tales – 2 bad monitors..

A client called and said one of their machines was down. The monitor was only coming on momentarily.. She had swapped it out with another monitor from storage with the same results –

Conclusion for both of us – The video card on the workstation was bad.

They still had a month left on the 3 year Dell warranty so I stopped over to get that process going. Continue reading

Remember – Wifi is line of sight and distance/obstructions matter.

I got a call from a client I hadn’t seen in a while. He said his machine was slow, especially when reading his AOL email.

The machine was way overdue for a checkup so I took it back to the office. However, I remembered that he was using a Wifi connection.  I checked the signal in the room using the Wifi Analyzer app on my android. The signal strength in the room was about -85db. Continue reading

Repartitioning a Dell Poweredge T-300 Server using Gparted

One of our clients had purchased a Dell Poweredge T300 server. It came with the operating system partition sized at 12GB. The entire drive was 1 TB. 12Gb is hideously small.

Because of some legacy software they use, we had to re-letter the extended partition from D to G.

As an emergency measure, I had tried moving some of the log files to the extended partition. Continue reading

Disaster Recovery for Oscommerce Sites

We had a client who wants some database changes and associated programming. He sells fairly big ticket items but isn’t doing a lot of volume at this point. On the other hand, he really could not afford to be down for any length of time.

We decided to purchase another domain and shared hosting account. If the stuff hits the fan with his primary host, we should be able to switch the dns pointers for his main domain name and reload the latest data from the daily backups he is supposed to be doing (that is another story for a later time kids…) Continue reading

server 2003 hang up at mup.sys on a safe boot

We got a call about a server that was getting a black screen of death on boot. It’s been around for a few years. I went into safe mode and it was hanging up at mup.sys.

This doesn’t necesarrily mean that mup.sys was bad. Rather than go and replace it, I opted for removing all of the USB devices along with a parallel printer connection. The onboard USB is 1.x and there was a 2 port usb 2.x add on card (I said it was an old machine). Continue reading

Kodak “easyshare” won’t run right on limited accounts

Let me preface this by saying that the best protection we’ve found for XP based systems is that users do all recreational surfing and email reading from a limited user account, not an account with administrator rights. We try to set up our home based clients especially so that the kids are running as limited users. That has been over 99% effective in stopping virus and trojan attacks.

The other day we were working with a client who had purchased a new Kodak camera for her son. The computer running XP would not see the camera. We were getting a ‘device not recognized” error. I tried doing a repair install of Easyshare and then a complete reinstall. It still wouldnt’ recognize the camera. Continue reading

SBS, Symantec Endpoint Protection and Network Threat Protection


A server had an expired copy of Norton Corporate 10.x. Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.x seemed to be the best alternative at the time. We purchased enough licenses and installed SEP on the clients (about 6 machines). So far so good.

When we tried to install on the server, it was requiring that IIS be installed on the server. That turned out to be a nightmare because (1) the company could not locate the distribution media for Server 2003 (It is a legal copy) and (2) the c drive is short of space (For some reason the previous VAR decided that 8 gig on the c drive would be enough hard drive space. Continue reading

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