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News
Oct
3
HP Colour LaserJet M476dw Firmware Bug – DHCP Assigns Self IP for Gateway
Posted by Philip Elder on 03 October 2014 05:10 PM

Original Posted Here: HP Colour LaserJet M476dw Firmware Bug – DHCP Assigns Self IP for Gateway

After beating our collective heads against the wall wondering why our newly deployed HP Colour LaserJet M476dw refused to make SMTP connections for Scan to E-mail we found our source in the _very_ last place we expected.

image

IP Address Configured by: DHCP
IP Address: 192.168.75.6
SubNet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.75.6

Note that the gateway address currently points to _itself_ instead of the router that is assigning the IPs.

This is the IPConfig /ALL output for one of the systems on the network:

image

Note the Gateway address is correctly pointing to the router.

What this means is that for now we are setting the IPv4 configuration to Manual and putting in the correct IP address for the Gateway:image

What a pain that has been.

Sure enough:image

The above status came out really quick and so did the test e-mail:

image

So, after all of the time we spent getting frustrated with the ISP, thinking they had blocked SMTP outbound, and everything else in between the least expected source for the problem has turned out to be the one.

NOTE: Printer firmware was updated to the most current version as of this writing.

NOTE TO SELF: Check the hanger bearing before replacing that rear-end! ;)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



May
20
Some Mandatory Reading for Sys Admins
Posted by Philip Elder on 20 May 2014 02:41 PM

Original Blog Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Some Mandatory Reading for Sys Admins

There have been some critical human attributable error related news stories that we have seen lately.

Many of us, if not all of us, have had situations that have had negative impacts on our client’s networks or our own networks due to something we did or did not do.

The following four links come via the Patch Management list serve (Ben S.):

As with anything out there on the Interwebs take a PDF of the four parts to keep them safe. :)

There are many pearls of wisdom contained in the above pages as well as some humorous stories that we _all_ can relate to.

  • Lesson #1: Learn from our mistakes
  • Lesson #2: Keep a detailed history of our mistakes
  • Lesson #3: Learn from our mistakes

When we make a mistake that directly impacts our clients we make sure to apologize and make some sort of restitution offer to them.

Contrary to some folks that claim that admitting mistakes can kill a business we have found over the years that being honest with our clients actually builds up their trust in us.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Apr
21
A Microsoft Cluster Troubleshooting Guide
Posted by Philip Elder on 21 April 2014 01:02 PM

Original Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: A Microsoft Cluster Troubleshooting Guide

Here are some of the tools we can use when troubleshooting a cluster, Scale-Out File Server, Hyper-V, and other cluster issues:

Failover Cluster Manager 

The FCM gives us the ability to dig into the various Windows Logs and delimit them by time, node, and log type.

  • FCM –> Cluster Name –> Cluster Events –> Query

image

We set up a few different queries out of the box. One with everything Cluster, Failover Clustering, and Hyper-V related. We then create a subset of queries. The various queries get saved to a local folder on the management DC/RSAT system.

Get-ClusterLog

The Get-ClusterLog PowerShell commandlet allows us to pull the full log set from one or all nodes. Note that the default output folder is NODEC$WindowsClusterCluster.LOG (C:WindowsClusterCluster.LOG) unless specified in the command.

This log can be very busy and a bit of a challenge to work through. If one has a good idea of what to look for then the log can be quite informative.

  • Get-ClusterLog -Destination .
    • Places the log in the local directory (we create C:Temp on all nodes for this kind of thing)
  • (get-cluster).ClusterLogLevel=5
    • There are five levels with 5 being the most verbose. Default level is 3 and best left there unless absolutely needed. Level 5 file can be large.

EDIT: The Default cluster log location is C:WindowsClusterReportsCluster.log

Microsoft Message Analyzer

This is an in-depth tool. There is no way around it. Thus, a learning curve is required.

However, there is an amazing amount of information that we can then have at our fingertips and not only that colour coded!

image

image

One can use a series of filters under the log file settings to delimit by time period among others.

image

We can set up our columns:

image

Once we have our Cluster column, for example when looking for a problematic cluster component, we can set up a filter:

image

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. One will need to spend some time with this tool to really get into its abilities such as colour coding source node, information levels, and so much more!

Please check the Message Analyzer Blog for more information.

Note that an absence of System Centre and its components is deliberate. We find, at least at this time, that Failover Cluster Manager provides a far superior cluster management experience.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Apr
15
Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update 1 Caveats
Posted by Philip Elder on 15 April 2014 09:56 AM

Original Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update 1 Caveats

Whenever we hear about updates for any device firmware, application software, or operating system software it is _always_ a good idea to read the Release Notes (we probably all know the acronym that comes to mind here ;) ), README.TXT, _and_ do a search for the update to see if anyone is complaining about it.

Unfortunately, this major update for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 has its issues some of which are full-stop problems.

The first place to start for this update is here:

There is a lot of information there.

  1. Update 1 is the new baseline for all updates going forward.
    • Meaning, no more updates to that OS if the bits are earlier than 8.1 U1 or 2012 R2 U1.
  2. Update 1 breaks SSL communications between endpoints and WSUS

This last one is a deal breaker for many enterprises, medium enterprises, and especially in our own SMB/SME environments where WSUS is virtually everywhere for patch management.

We just stood up a new cluster on 2012 R2. After our Cluster-Aware Update run:

image

Our cluster nodes now have the update. Since this cluster setup is Greenfield with WSUS ultimately ending up _on_ the cluster the nodes were updated via Microsoft Update.

The workaround for this situation is to enable TLS 1.2 as instructed in the above blog post. Since we are deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 into client sites we will have no choice but to make this change.

Then, when Microsoft releases an update to the update to hopefully fix the problem we will need to test that update extensively _especially_ in a cluster setting!

Yo Microsoft! There is a huge pool of folks willing to test and break this stuff for you! Please get us involved in the early bits for operating systems, applications, and updates again. This ongoing situation of releasing patches and updates to the public without testing them on disparate systems is a _bad_ thing. :(

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Feb
25

Original Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Adobe Reader and Acrobat – Content Preparation Progress: Please wait while the document is being prepared for…

We have a client that is being bugged by this prompt when opening certain PDF files.

image

Content Preparation Progress

Please wait while the document is being prepared for …

Status: Processing page 23 of 27 …

Adobe has a KB article on this:

The solution is to do the following:

  1. Go to Edit
  2. Preferences
  3. Reading
  4. Under Screen Reader Options select Only read the currently visible pages

The dialogue has to do with accessibility.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Feb
5
CaseWare Working Papers Error: Printer not activated, error code -30
Posted by Philip Elder on 05 February 2014 12:27 PM

Original post here: MPECS Inc. Blog: CaseWare Working Papers Error: Printer not activated, error code -30

We are seeing CaseWare Working Papers choke on a PDF Batch run with the following error:

image

CaseWare Working Papers – Activation Error

Printer not activated, error code -30

CaseWare has a KB on the issue: Printer issues with Windows 8.1.

Though in our case the OS is Windows 7 Enterprise x64 with the indicated update (2014.00.072) having already been applied to all systems.

As per the KB article we took a look into the registry with the key mentioned missing completely:

image

The affected systems have the printer though:

image

Our steps to get things going:

  1. Close CaseWare Working Papers and CaseView
  2. Create the required key: CaseView PDF 2014
  3. Right click on the new key and left click on Permissions
  4. Click the Add button
  5. Type: Everyone
  6. Click Check Names
  7. Click OK
  8. Check Full Control
    • image
  9. Click Apply and OK
  10. Leave the Registry Editor open
  11. Open CaseWare, a client or test file, and run a PDF Batch

We will now see a successful run of the batch:

image

Once that process has completed have a look at the registry key we created:

image

We are not 100% convinced that this is a “fix” or a workaround as things have been operating normally until just the other day.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »




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