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.

ESXi: Could not power on VM: Admission Check Failed

After building a dev server on the newly free ESXi software from VMware I tried to add a couple VM’s – The first virtual machine ran great however the second would fail with the following error:

“Could not power on VM: Admission check failed for memory resource”

After some digging I found the following thread on VMWare forums:
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/140488?tstart=0&start=15

It seems in my case my server which only has 1GB of Ram currently could not support the overhead of running 2 virtual machines due to a system memory reservation.  The fix was easy, buy more Ram.  However, I wanted to have both VM’s running right away and further down the page I found a fix:

The Memory Reservation on the Resource Allocation tab reflects the portion of memory that ESXi thinks it can give to VMs (i.e. Virtual Machines memory – VM memory overhead). With ESX regulary that number is around 200 MB but with ESXi its up around 700 MB. Not such an issue when you have 16 GB, but it is with 1 / 2 GB. To free up some more memory

1) Go to Configuration \ system resource allocation
2) Click on advanced.
3) Find the VIM object and change the reservation from 512 MB to 192 MB.

Sure enough I could now launch two virtual machines however I was then greeted by a second error:

“Could not power on VM: Admission check failed for cpu resource”

Here again my server only had 1 CPU with Hyperthreading (an older xeon).

Some experimenting resulted in a solutiion:

On each of my virtual machines I went into edit settings – then into the Resources Tab.

I configured my CPU with a reservation of 0Mhz, then I verified that Advanced CPU had Hyperthreaded Cored Shared Mode set to Any.  I was then able to launch both of my virtual machines without issue.

How to Patch Vmware ESXi 3.5 Update 2 using RCLI

If your like me and are running the newly free VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 you’ve probably heard by now about the notorious bug that caused vmware servers to stop booting and completing vmotion on August 12th, 2008.

When I heard about the issue I took care not to shut down my server and earlier today Vmware finalized it’s patch to correct it.  I started researching the udpate process for my server and because vmware would really like you to be using their VMware Infrastructure they’ve left it a bit tricky to update a client in a standalone environment.

To start with you’ll need to obtain the VMWare ESXi RCLI (Remote Command Line Interface).  Vmware ESXi does not contain the normal console VM like ESX does and does not allow SSH or command line access by default so the RCLI is your way to perform some of these more advanced functions.

Next download the VMware ESXi 3.5 Patch Here.

Before applying the patch place your server into maintenance mode – to do so launch the vmware infrastructure client and suspend or shutdown any guests.  Right click on the host and select enter maintenance mode.

Launch command line from the Vmware menu in your start menu (in linux launch terminal)

Next Enter:
C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VI Remote CLI\bin>vihostupdate.pl –server 10.10.10.10 -i -b C:\ESXe350-20080712-0-BG.zip

Enter your username and password when prompted.

You should see ouput as it unpacks the bundle and as it uploads the packages to the server.  If your watching in the infrastructure client you’ll see the install progress.

Once finished the command window prompted for a server reboot – typing yes initiates it.  After the reboot completes your server should be corrected.

LanSurveyor Express for Visio 2007 Free until June 30th

I just came across a promotion by Solarwinds. They are offering a free license to their Lansurveyor Express for Visio 2007 until June 30th. If your not familiar with this software it’s a product that will scan your network and automatically create a visio diagram for you. Grab it while you can it’s normally $500.00

http://www.solarwinds.com/register/index.aspx?Program=583&c=70150000000DWUM&CMP=LEC-Visio-Toolbox-HP-LSE-DL

Vmware Server Console crashes when removing snapshot

Tonight while doing maintenance on one of my virtual machines I decided it was time to remove a snapshot I created a few days ago while upgrading some software. Shortly after hitting the “remove snapshot” selection my vmware console crashed with a lost pipe error.

Attempting to reconnect yeilded:

There was a problem connecting:
511 Error connecting to /usr/bin/vmware-serverd process

I was almost ready to reboot the machine when painful memories of my last vmware snapshot gone bad experience entered my mind. I investigated further and found that there were .WRITELOCK files in place in my virtual machine folder. After checking my processes on my vmware box I noticed a file called “sdhelper” using a bit of cpu time.

After a brief google search I stumbled across this article which stated that in the event of removing large snapshots it is not unusual for the console to loose connectivity. It is important to simply wait it out and it will eventually finish recombining your disks and restore your connectivity.

I know from prior experience that snapshots are very finicky creatures and rebooting your machine at a time like this could easily lead to data corruption and the loss of your virtual machine.

Troubleshooting Event ID: 1202 SceCli

On a recent service Call I found myself looking at an event log full of errors consisting of:

Event ID: 1202
Source: SceCli

Security policies were propagated with warning. 0x534 : No mapping between account names and security IDs was done.

Advanced help for this problem is available on http://support.microsoft.com. Query for “troubleshooting 1202 events”.

I was able to resolve this particular error by the following steps:

Run the following command from the command line:
Find /I “Cannot find” %SYSTEMROOT%\Security\Logs\winlogon.log

In my case this resulted in:

Cannot find Remote Desktop.
Cannot find Remote Desktop.
Cannot find Remote Desktop.

Goto Start, Run, and type “rsop.msc” to launch the “Resultant Set of Policy” mmc.

Notice a Red X over either Computer Configuration or Windows configuration.

Expand the folders under the appropriate category until you see a policy with a red X over it containing the user or group noted in the above error. In a column on the right it will show shich Group policy this is configured in. Most likely the policy is referencing a user or group that was deleted or has become corrupt. Adjusting the effected policy to remove the group corrects this issue.