ESXI iSCSI Connection or NAS Showing As Normal / Degraded

I ran into this issue at a client where we were forced to use an iSCSI connection for their backup. After upgrading to ESXI v6, the connection started showing as Normal / Degraded.

After doing a number of troubleshooting items, I found an obscure forum post where it was claimed that ESXI will flag it as degraded if there is only one connection (ie. the connection is not redundent).

I ended up un-bonding my NAS’s two NICs, added the “new” second NIC as a target for ESXI, rescanned the storage devices on ESXI, and voila… my degradation was resolved!

Enable DNS Request Logging for Windows Servers

I am in the process of decommissioning several DNS and Active Directory servers and wanted to make sure there were no undocumented devices on the LAN that were statically set to use one of the soon-to-be-decommissioned DNS servers. I figured the best way to do this would be to record all requests for DNS from the specific servers and it is fairly straight forward to do.
1. Open the Domain Name System Microsoft Management Console (DNS MMC) snap-in by going to Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, and then DNS Manager
2. From the DNS Server, right-click the server and select Properties

3. The Properties pop-window will appear on your screen.
4. Select the Debug Logging tab and the Log packets debugging check box, respectively.
5. Ensure that the Incoming, UDP, Queries/Transfers, and Request check boxes are selected.

To ensure that the server’s drive does not exceed capacity, make sure you set an appropriate file size limit!

6. Click the OK button.

That is it! Your text file will start logging items for you. This will work on:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

Firefox Issues on RDS / RDP

I had a user complain of some weird issues in RDP, the biggest one being that they couldn’t right-click in the taskbar. I found a few other reports of such issues and found the solution was to turn off hardware acceleration in the Options menu. Once I did that and restart Firefox, everything was working!

Fixing Server Error in ‘/owa’ Application Error

Ran into this one today… and it is  nothing you want to see happen on an Exchange server! I was re-assigning services to a new SSL certificate when I started getting this error. After doing some searching, I found the easy fix from Microsoft. Under Server Config > Client Access, you can click Reset Virtual Directories on the far right. From there, you can choose which directories to rebuild (OWA, Autodiscover, etc.) Doing that fixed my issue for OWA!

 

 

More info can be found in Microsoft’s Technet Article: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff629372(v=exchg.141).aspx

Remote Desktop Gateway server is temporarily unavailable

I am currently building a Remote Desktop Server paired with a Remote Desktop Gateway and I ran into this error:

“Your computer can’t connect to the remote computer because the Remote Desktop Gateway server is temporarily unavailable.”

After troubleshooting a bit, I found that the error occurs if you have multiple sites binded in IIS to your Port 443. Make sure you have ONE site binded to 443 and you’ll be good to go!

Easily Enable Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2012 R2

I recently enabled Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect and wanted to turn this feature on. After doing some reading, I found a simple way to enable the AD Recycle Bin.

  1. In the management console, go to ToolsActive Directory Administrative Center
  2. Select Local Domain and in the Tasks Pane
  3. Select Enable Recycle Bin.
  4. Click OK

    NOTE: Be aware this feature cannot be disabled.

  5. Click OK.  Once enabled, wait for AD replication to complete as this is a change made on the configuration partition. This process may take a while should your organization have a large active directory infrastructure.

A very simple enablement of a process that could save you hours of restore time.  Again, this process cannot be reversed once invoked.

Empty the Recycle Bin for All Users with Powershell

On a new client’s server, I ran into an issue where a drive was running low on space and I found that another user account on the server (which had been deleted) had files in the Recycle Bin!

Thankfully, I found this Powershell command which worked to delete the files. All you have to do is open a Powershell console as admin and run the following command:

Get-ChildItem “C:`$Recycle.bin\” -Force | Remove-Item -Recurse -force

You can append -Whatif to do a test run and see what files will be deleted before actually deleting them.

Grabbing Dell ServiceTag via XenServer

I have an old XenServer still alive at a client and I needed to get its service tag. Using this command via the XenServer console, you can get it!

dmidecode -s system-serial-number

Hit enter and you’ll have it!

Reset Your Password in Windows 10 Bash / Ubuntu

If you forget your root password for Bash on Windows, you can do the following to reset your password:

First, run: lxrun /setdefaultuser root . This will open a new Bash window as root.

From there, run: passwd your_username and then enter your new root password

Then change the default user for Bash back to your user: lxrun /setdefaultuser your_username

 

That’s it! Enjoy Bash on Windows 10.

Installing Windows Server 2016 (Part One)

So you’ve seen that Microsoft released an evaluation version of the Windows Server 2016 RTM and want to install it? Let’s get this started then! I’ll be doing this on my ESXI hypervisor. I’ve uploaded the ISO and created a VM. My machine had 1 CPU, 100GB of space, and 4GB of RAM.

Once you get the VM booted, you’ll see the purple screen you’ve come to recognize:

Click Next, and then you’ll have one option to install. You can’t say this is hard:

Next, you’ll have to choose the version that you want to install. You can install the eval with the desktop GUI or without it.

Choose the drive you want to install on and you’ll be off to the races.

It’s booting!!!!

And that’s it! You’ll boot into the screen below and you’ll be off on your Server 2016 adventure.