Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Installation Hangs on Terminal Server 2003

Our environment still has 2 Server 2003 Terminal Servers supporting legacy applications.  I have recently discovered the solution that solves an issue we have been having for a very long time.  I first discovered the issue when trying to update VMware Tools.  The install would hang in the middle and then time out after about 15 minutes.  After some testing I notice the issue affects any installation attempt.  VMware support didn't really solve the issue, but we discovered that running an installation right after login would complete successfully.

This week after searching once again I found a few blog posts that claim the source of the issue is HP Printer drivers and especially HP Universal Print Drivers.

1) Opening Terminal Server registry propogation window. (aka: Installing software in windows takes forever)

2) Terminal Server 2003 msiexec high cpu usage, hp upd

3) High CPU usage in MSIExec due to enumeration of print GUIDs in HKU\.Default\Software

Before following the suggestions in these posts to remove HP registry entries, I first took the server offline and removed all printers.  Then, within the Printer and Faxes window, right-click and choose Server Properties.  Click on the Ports tab and remove any unnecessary printers.  Then, click on the Drivers tab and remove any old or unnecessary drivers.  If you have a policy that maps printers for users, you can safely remove all the drivers and ports, as they will get recreated upon user login.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Error deleting files with long names

Recently I needed to remove a shared folder and found it contained files with extremely long filenames.  Unfortunately, Windows was unable to rename or delete the files. 

For the solution, I found two options.  The first is using Robocopy.  Create a new empty folder.  Run Robocopy and set the source as the new empty folder and the destination as the path/folder you want to delete.  End the Robocopy command line with a /purge.

The second solution is using 7-Zip.  If you don't already use this as your zipping/unzipping tool, you should.  Open 7-Zip File Manager and navigate to the problematic folder and perform a Shift-Delete.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Terminal Server 2003 Font Rendering

An issue has come up with Server 2003 and font rendering when connecting via RDP.  In my case, users are running a Microsoft Access-based application and the text is very difficult to read.

In February's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released update  3013455.  In that update, there is also a "known issues" section which mentions this exact problem of text rendering, and also link to a fix.

In my case, the fix solved the issue.

Microsoft TechNet

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NetApp - Disk Replace Command

When trying to run the disk replace command on our NetApp Filer, we received the following error:

raid.rg.diskcopy.failed:ALERT]: /aggr0/plex0/rg1: unable to start disk copy from 0a.00.10 to 2c.26: Disk is from the wrong spare pool

Although we do not use SyncMirror, we have disks in both Pool 0 and Pool 1.  Best practice is to have one Pool if you do not use SyncMirror.  To allow the disk replace to continue you need to run the command as follows:

disk replace start [-f] [-m]
This command uses Rapid RAID Recovery to copy data from the specified file system disk to the specified spare disk. At the end of that process, roles of disks are reversed. The spare disk will replace the file system disk in the RAID group and the file system disk will become a spare. The option -f can be used to skip the confirmation. The option -m allows mixing disks with different characteristics. It allows using the target disk with rotational speed that does not match that of the majority of disks in the aggregate. It also allows using the target disk from the opposite spare pool.

Source: NetApp Library

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Clear all COM Ports in use

Start > Run > regedit

Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\COM Name Arbiter

Right click on ComDB and choose Modify

Select all data and press Delete (All 0000 will remain)

Close registry

Source: Superuser

Monday, April 28, 2014

VMware Tools may not install on a Windows guest OS

1) KB 1012693

My personal experience was on a Server 2003 VM (Terminal Server).  Trying to automatically update VMware Tools caused the uninstall to run but the new version never installed.  Manually running setup from the CD drive caused the installer to "hang" on "configuring VMware Tools" and then timing out after about 30 minutes claiming the Windows Installer is no longer responding.  

After speaking to VMware support, we connected to the ESXi shell and saw nothing wrong with the ISO mounting during the tools install.  There were also no issue in the VMware Tools log on the VM itself.  It just simply was not running the install all the way through.

After cancelling that and rebooting we check that there were no VMware Tools services or any Registry Keys (KB 1001354, referenced above).  I then initiated another VMware Tools install and opened a command prompt and ran setup /r.  This threw an error stating there were no VMware Tools on the system.
I then ran setup /r.  This Worked.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Previous installation of VMware Tools has been detected

When trying to install VMware Tools on Debian Linux, I received the error that a previous installation was detected.  The solution is to remove the locations file which can be found at /etc/vmware-tools/ and then try reinstalling.

VMware Knowledge Base 1013159