Archive for April, 2009

Disabling Services on a Non-Responsive Computer

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

I was faced with a client that had a server rendered unresponsive but somewhat functional by malfunctioning anti-virus software.  The services would either hang upon being stopped, or automatically restart themselves.

 I could not get remote desktop to respond, and was not in a position to go to the client location to investigate.  Thankfully some remote administration utilities were working, and RegEdit was one of them.

 Remember that each service in Windows lives in the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\<shortservicename>

 The shortservicename is that same name that you would use with the NET START or NET STOP commands, and can be found by opening the Services Administrative Tool and going to the properties of the service and reading the Service Name Property off the General tab.

 To disable a service from starting, navigate to its key as described above and change the Start value to 4.  4 is the numerical value for the Disabled status.  Then you can reboot the computer and the problematic services will not start.

Hope this helps someone;


Symantec BackupExec 12.5 Unknown Errors on HP Server

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

After installing Symantec BackupExec 12.5 on an HP DL380 running Windows Server 2008, the backups at one client were failing partway through the backup with this error message: 
Backup started on 3/22/2009 at 3:18:16 PM.
Backup Set Detail Information
Storage device “HP 1” reported an error on a request to write data to media.

Error reported:
A device attached to the system is not functioning.

V-79-57344-34036 – An unknown error has occurred.

Normally I would suspect hardware, but the same tape drive and SCSI controller worked the night before running BackupExec 11.0 and Windows Server 2003 prior to the upgrade.

The client called Symantec, and he was escalated to Level 3 support without a resolution before I had a chance to look at it.  Thankfully, my “Google-Fu” was strong that day, because I found this:

Turns out there is a known conflict between the HP Server Management Agent and BackupExec.  Funny thing is, it does not appear to be consistent.  Some combinations of BackupExec and HP Agent versions work, some don’t, and I haven’t been able to figure out any rhyme or reason to which ones may or may not work, or why.

 Hope this helps;


Authentication Oddities after a Windows Server 2008 Upgrade

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Here’s an “interesting” feature I ran into after upgrading one of a client’s domain controllers to Windows Server 2008.  (All DCs were on Windows Server 2003, and all except this one remain on Windows Server 2003 for the time being.)

I got a call the next day stating that three things were broken:  Backup Exec would error out in the middle of a backup job, you could not use RDP to log in to the Windows Server 2008 DC, and the client’s Websense Admin Console would not let the domain administrator login.  (We’ll save the BackupExec issue for another time.)

When investigating the login issues, I noticed that when you tried to use the domain administrator account to log into the server from the server console, it worked fine.  When you attempted to use RDP to log in, it failed.  When looking at the security event log, it reported that the domain administrator account was disabled.

Even though I knew the domain admin account was NOT disabled, I took a look at its properties anyway, and discovered that the Pre-Windows 2000 Login Name (SAMAccountName for those of your who script or program) was populated, but for some reason, the Login Name field and UPN Suffix was not.  Simply filling out those two fields made the login work, and fixed the Websense Admin Console login problem as well.

 Hope this helps someone else;