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trb48 | 11 May 2007 | 1 comment

You arrive at work and have a voicemail. You listen to it, and your boss explains that they have lost all of their personal settings from their computer. You have to fix the problem fast or someone's head is going to roll. What are you going to do?

I found a great article that goes through several different methods to fix this problem. Here it is:
Recover A Damaged Windows XP User Profile

This article should cover everything you need to know. Good luck!

Terry Cutler | 09 May 2007 | 0 comments

Since Serial-over-LAN (SoL) uses first available COM port (usually 3, sometimes 4) - if a client computer has a device which also uses this COM port (e.g. card reader, infrared reader, printer, etc) - it will experience a COM port conflict.

The workaround is to edit the Device Manager properties of the conflicting device - move from COM3 to COM6, for example. This does not require a reboot. However - it must be performed one system at a time... which may be issue for banking, retail, medical, or other environments with mass numbers of systems in this situation.

Additional investigation with operating system providers and device manufacturers is underway to identify a better solution.

On a funny note - in one instance a customer had a USB to COM port connector. Ya gotta wonder - why not plug the device into the existing client computer USB ports?

Joel Smith | 08 May 2007 | 0 comments

What is the difference between the Intel ME Password* and the AMT admin Password with Intel vPro* AMT technology?

The MEBx password is used for local access to the ME settings (Accessed via Ctrl + P during System POST). It is similar to the BIOS password save this password is always required.

The AMT admin password is for the specific AMT ACL entry “admin”. They are synchronized in a one-touch provisioning model for convenience.

The AMT Admin password is often known as the Intel AMT Connection Credentials in the Altiris Console when working with Out of Band Management (OOB), Real-Time Systems Manager (RTSM, RTCI), and Network Discovery.

trb48 | 07 May 2007 | 3 comments

As I have learned more about computers I have come to rely on the command prompt. The command prompt allows a system admin to do almost anything in one place. But there is so much to know with the command prompt we all need a good resource on how to use it.

I ran across the following web site: The Windows XP Command Line, Batch Files, and Scripting

The site concisely covers the basics of the command line. It also has some advanced command prompt tutorials.

Check it out, it is worth your time...

riva11 | 07 May 2007 | 3 comments

Every IT admin receives calls from XP users sitting in front of a ominous blue screen. If the user is able to speak, they describe a screen listing cryptic messages like STOP:0x00000021 Fatal System Error.

The BSOD ( Blue Screen of Death ) is the latest thing that the computer produces before a system crash. Sometimes, this screen can be a helpful troubleshooting tool.

I found a fantastic web site that contains a large list of these messages and gives a description about the problem and how to solve it.

Take a look on this link: Common XP Stop messages

There is also available the PDF file with the full list : XP Stop messages

Otherwise, if you don't have any...

trb48 | 04 May 2007 | 0 comments

I have written a few articles (to find them do a quick search for WinPE) about tweaking and customizing WinPE to help system admins deploy images faster. For some people, setting aside a hard drive for imaging may not be practical. What is one to do?

Don't worry, Microsoft has created a guide to building a custom WinPE CD. Many of the concepts in my other articles will work on the custom CD. Here is the link:

How to create a custom startup WinPE CD-ROM in Windows XP

Good luck in your customizing efforts!

phillipreid | 03 May 2007 | 2 comments

If you're having issues with the Deployment Agent on a VMware ESX 3.0 server not being able to communicate with the Deployment Server, here's a fix.

In addtion to the lack of communication, look for log errors that look like the following:

Debug: Error:Connection refused, connecting socket 3 to host at <DS IPAddress> 402 ...
Warning: Error unable to connect to server

The problem is that you need to open port 402 so your server can communicate with the DS.

From a command prompt on the ESX server run the following commands.

esxcfg-firewall --openport 402,tcp,in,adlagent
esxcfg-firewall --openport 402,tcp,out,adlagent
esxcfg-firewall --openport 402,udp,out,adlagent
esxcfg-firewall --openport 402,udp,in,adlagent

Afterwards restart the adlagent (./adlagent restart) (found in the /etc/rc.d/init.d directory)

Harsh Mokal | 03 May 2007 | 0 comments

Sometimes in packages ICE03 is encountered, which states that a particular entry is not according to a correct format. Here's some info to help you avoid this this chilly error.

ICE03 occurs mainly because of ESCAPE Characters like [,],{,} and so on.

Windows Installer does not automatically recognize these formats. Hence, they need to be written according to a special construct.

The main rule that should be followed is that:

If a substring of the form [\x] is found, it is replaced by the character x ,
where x is one character, without any further processing.
Only the first character after the backslash is kept; everything else is removed.

For example, to include a literal left bracket ([), use [\[].
The text [\[]Bracket Text[\]] resolves to [Bracket Text].

Some examples are:
1) [ should be written as [\[]
2) ] should be written as [\]]
3) { should be written as [\{]
4) } should be written as...

trb48 | 03 May 2007 | 3 comments

It is interesting to me that Windows XP has been on the market for over 6 years and I still learn tons about it every day. For example, I just found a great Web resource that lists tons of common Windows commands.

The benefit that the Web page gives you is that now you can run the commands from Deployment Console, or from a command prompt. Or, when creating an image, you could change the permissions on a certain command to make your machine more secure. It is a great resource, I have certainly used it more than once.

Check it out here: Windows Run Commands

Terry Cutler | 02 May 2007 | 0 comments

When provisioning Intel® vPro™ processor technology systems via One Touch -- using a USB flash drive -- the following tips and information may be of interest.

  • Only FAT16 format supported
  • Setup.bin file must be first file, at the root of the drive
  • Insert the USB flash drive before booting the system (detection happens during POST)
  • Provisioning records include the PID (provisioning ID), PPS (provisioning passphrase), default admin password, and new admin password
  • Only systems with Intel® AMT in factory default mode will respond to USB provisioning. Once USB or One Touch provisioning are performed on a system – only a full BIOS reset will allow this option again.
  • Once the provisioning keys and setup information is transferred – Intel® AMT is now in "setup" mode and the Setup.bin file is incremented to the next valid key.
  • In ad-hoc tests, 20,000 provisioning records used 10MB of space on the USB flash drive. Most...