Unable to Edit Vsphere 5.5 Virtual Machine without Web Client

Beginning in Vsphere 5.5 VmWare disallows editing of Vsphere Virtualmachines with Hardware v10.  In my most recent run in with this we had P2V’d a server and the resulting machine was v10.  Upon firing up the server we found we could not edit it.  Furthermore VmWare has thought to only include the Web client with vCenter server.  While we run vCenter in many applications this was not one of them.   I read online a bit and the suggested included things like running a new P2V or creating a new VM and attaching the disks.  In the end what worked for me was to browse the datastore and download the .vmx file.  I then edited the file to change the version from 10 to 9, renamed the current .vmx to .bak in the datastore and uploaded my edited copy.  Finally for good measure I removed the VM from inventory and re-added it.  I’m not sure this last bit was needed.  After this change my VM booted and ran successfully.  In my case I didn’t see any difference besides version number in a v9 vs v10 vmx file but I can’t promise that’s the case everywhere.  Good Luck!

Issues with Cisco 1900 series Router and Sonicwall TZ series with MPLS

Recently our local ISP Charter Communications rolled out an MPLS product they’ve dubbed Ethernet over Coax (EOC).  It’s a great low cost product that creates a Layer 2 connection between two sites.  Very similar to their point to point Fiber solutions.  Currently the physical install consists of a coax connection to a Cisco Cable modem connected via ethernet to a Cisco 1900 series router.  The Cisco router exposes 3 fast Ethernet ports in a WIC interface for customer use.  The theory is that you can connect any device to these ports with the IP information of our choosing and the solution will seamlessly pass the traffic to the remote site.  During a recent installation using a Sonicwall TZ210 as the customer perimeter device we failed to get any sort of connectivity.  We went so far as to verify our configuration with Sonicwall support and the ISP NOC.  NOC engineers informed us that there wasn’t so much of a byte of traffic hitting their interface meanwhile we showed traffic in our Sonicwall doing it’s best to transmit.  We suspected a hardware issue.  After much troubleshooting the key turned out to be the Link settings on the Sonicwall interface.  It turns out Charter configures their Cisco 1900 by hard coding their interface at 100Mbps/Full Duplex.  Our Sonicwall incorrectly auto-detected the link as a 100Mbps/half duplex.  To make matters worse this had the result of causing arp traffic to fail to the Cisco interface.  Adjusting the setting to a fixed state on the Sonicwall instantly corrected the traffic flow.  For those of you who wish to take your hand at this setup you can see a walk-through after the break.

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High Dock CPU and Memory usage with Apple Lion 10.7.2 and VmWare Fusion 4.0.2

Recently after updating my Mid-2010 Macbook Pro to OSX Lion 10.7.2 I began to notice huge slowdowns and lag.  Upon inspecting the Activity Console I noticed the following heaving system resource usage with the Dock.

Killing the dock process relaunches but quickly returns to it’s previous state.

After a bit of research I stumbled onto a thread over on the VmWare Forums referencing the issue.  You can read it for yourself but in short it suggests a bug related to VmWare Fusion folder sharing and the new spotlight integration with the dock.  Current workaround is to disable sharing.  To do so go into your virtual machine settings – select “Sharing” and turn the Sharing selector “Off”.  It’s somewhat of an inconvenience so hopefully we’ll see Apple or VmWare release a fix soon.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Internet Explorer Script Error

Following an upgrade form Great Plains 8 to Dynamics GP 2010 in a 2008 R2 Citrix Environment Users Saw the following error on their dashboard.
Internet Explorer Script Error

An error has occurred in the script on this page
Line: 320
Char: 6
Error: The system cannot find the file specified
Code: 0
URL: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/username/Local% 20Settings/Temp/2/tmp17.tmp

We found the solution on the following site: http://dynamicsuser.net/forums/p/23788/124400.aspx

When Great Plains is run, it looks for an xml preference file that should be stored in “%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UserData”. When the minimize/maximize button is clicked, it then executes a portion of JavaScript that stores those “preferences” (minimized or maximized) to the oXMLBranch[1].xml file. If this folder (UserData) doesn’t exist however, the program then can’t read or write user’s preferences to this file, and it also doesn’t create the folder on its own.

After investigating this post we discovered that indeed our Active Directory policies had Application data redirected to our file server.  Presumably due to the nature of Citrix profile loading the Internet Explorer folder was never created.  To correct the issue we browsed as admin into the users redirected folders and created the folders \Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UserData

Apple IPad Wireless and DHCP Issues

Being a new owner of an Apple IPad and having a few clients and friends with them I’ve noticed a trend of the device being unable to access the internet on certain routers.  While helping a recent client I came across a forum post that gave us an idea.  Early evidence seems to indicate that the device has difficulty getting DHCP settings from Routers with too small of a DHCP scope.  On the few we’ve encountered so far, increasing the DHCP scope to support 150 clients corrected the issue and allowed the IPad to obtain an address.  If you try this please post your results here.

Apple Mail Attachments Fail

I recently encountered a Leopard based IMac that would not attach files within Mail.app.  Both the attach button and dragging files failed without any visible error.  After a bit of research it appears that a bug exists in Mail that causes this issue when Edit > Attachments > Always Insert Attachments at End of Message is enabled in the application.  Disabling this feature corrected the problem.

IE8 on Windows 7 RC fails to Open

We’ve been running Windows 7 on several systems recently.  It’s a great OS and a well needed upgrade.  We’ve experienced a recurring issue however.  After a while IE8 would simply stop opening – You’d click the icon and it’d try a bit but fail.  Eventually we discovered you could right click and open as administrator – This would work but exposed the system to additional security issues and took extra work.  When I realized this it occured to me that perhaps some sort of addon was failing without administrative rights – I launched IE8 as admin – Went into internet options advanced tab and performed a full reset.  Once complete I was once again able to launch IE8 as a normal user.  I hadn’t installed much for plugins so it would seem that it’s either the skype addon, google gears, java, or flash.

How to perform a repair install from XP Home OEM to XP Pro Volume License

I have a client who recently moved to active directory.  They found out however that they had two stations with XP home edition.  They opted to upgrade them to xp pro but did not want a fresh installation.  After some struggling I discovered that XP Home did not allow a repair install “upgrade” to XP Pro Volume license edition.  After a bit of digging I adapted a set of instructions found here to get the job done.

First these instruction assume the system boots.   Boot into windows and launch regedit.

Navigate to:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet00X/Control/ProductOptionsLook for *ControlSet00x  where x is the highest number

  1. Delete the ProductSuite registry key.
  2. Then, create a new DWORD value and named it as Brand.
  3. Set the “Brand” value data as 0.
  4. Reboot the system.
  5. On boot up after the BIOS screen, press F8 to display Windows XP Startup Menu.
  6. Choose Last Known Good Configuration and hit Enter.

Once the system boots into windows right click on my computer and choose properties – verify the system reports itself as Windows XP Professional under the General tab.

Now reboot to your Windows XP Pro volume license CD and the option to perform a repair install should now be available. (It’s necessary to do the repair install because even though the prior step causes the system to report as XP pro it is missing most of the critical components that make pro . . . pro.)

Master Your Money by Ron Blue with Spreadsheet

This last weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to attend a Family Life conference on parenting – It was a great conference and I highly reccomend them.  While there the speaker mentioned a book by Ron Blue entitled “Master Your Money” which offers a biblical approach to finances.  I started reading it immediatly and it offers a very easy to read and sensible approach to growing wealth and living within your means.

For those interested the book can be found here.

The book offered a complete financial analysis walkthrough in spreadsheet form but as much as I tried I could not find a digital copy of these spreadsheets anywhere.  I wanted to be able to revisit them often and didn’t want to write in the book or try to mess with photocopies.  As a result I decided to make my own spreadsheet based on the ones in the book.  If you’d like to give it a try you can grab it here.

Installing XP SP3 reports “There is not enough Disk space” on Apple

On an Apple Computer Microsoft XP SP3 Installer displays the error:

There is not enough disk space on C:\WINDOWS\$NtServicePackUninstall$ to install Service Pack 3 Setup requires an additional 4 megabytes of free space or if you also want to archive the files for uninstallation,Setup requires 4 additional megabytes of free space. Free additional space on your hard disk and then try again

This is Caused by the EFI system used in modern Apple computer systems – EFI is unsupported by Windows XP – a simple registry fix corrects the issues.

Begin by Clicking Start then Run – Type “regedit” and press enter.

Navigate to:


On the right side, Right-click and select New – String value

Set the Name to “BootDir” and set its value to “C:\”

Reboot and retry the SP3 Installation.

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