Virtual MS Cluster Node “Invalid Network Format” Error

I came across an interesting scenario recently where a node that is part of a Windows Cluster (hosting a SQL Cluster) on Windows Server 2012 R2 suddenly started reporting errors. The node is part of a 2-node cluster with a 3rd VM acting as a file share witness for the cluster, and had just been moved between vApps in an IaaS / cloud environment to account for a DR provision (where DR is based on vApp membership, not at individual VM level). Once rebooted, the cluster was showing some strange errors, and the cluster name had changed in the Failover Cluster Manager from 'MSCLUSTER.DOMAIN.LOCAL' to 'MSCLUSTER.MSCLUSTER'. On renaming the cluster manually, the ever helpful Microsoft error message (seen in the image attached to this post) … [Read more...]

Windows VM Keyboard Layout in Fusion

After I rebuilt my Windows 7 VM in Fusion some months ago, I never quite got around to sorting out the keyboard layout. Having changed job roles recently, I'm now using my Windows VM a lot more and the keyboard layout is becoming a PITA! Specifically, having the @ and " keys the wrong way round can cause plenty of authentication and email sending problems. It's pretty easy to sort out though. You can either: Go download the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator and build your own layout to install. Install the Boot Camp drivers into your VM. Rather than reinvent the wheel (option 1), this is how to get up and running with option 2... Assuming you're running OSX Lion or Mountain Lion, fire up the Boot Camp Assistant. Continue … [Read more...]

vCloud Director vApp Error ‘Cannot Update’

Came across another strange issue in a production environment the other day that was also a bit of a facepalm monent. Users of a private vCloud Director instance were complaining of issues with updating vApps - specifically around adding and managing assigned storage associated with these vApps. The errors presented within the vCloud interface were randomly brief and not a little vague - 'Details: Error, Status: Error' etc. This error in the example was taken directly from the vCloud GUI, with no associated vSphere Tasks (that list being blank). The error presented wether the vApp was running or stopped, and wether the VM concerned was running or stopped - each time it was the same. Looking a little deeper into the vCloud logs … [Read more...]

vCAC Agent Install ‘RepoUtil.exe’ Error

Like many out there, I am upgrading my lab environment to the new vCloud Automation Center, since 5.2 was released. The installation process is a little different, and shows evidence of the transition from the old DynamicOps product to one more inline with the other vCloud Suite offerings. I will write-up another post about the full installation of vCAC 5.2 in due course, but in the meantime this is a quick heads-up to make sure to read the requirements documents before completing the install. vCould Automation Center 5.1 used to require DotNet 4.0 to be installed for Endpoint agents to run correctly. If you are in a lab environment and are happy to build and burn your existing vCAC deployment, then mostly an installation in situ will … [Read more...]

‘There are no logon servers available’ – Rebuilding AD Laptop Remotely With VPN

A recent upgrade to my work laptop (replacing the standard SATA 250GB drive with a super fast 256GB OCZ Vector SSD) prompted me to rebuild my OS with a fresh copy of Windows 7 Professional x64. As you would expect, my work laptop is domain connected, so my main user profile is within the domain - but only being in the office very infrequently meant that I was actually building the new Windows instance at home away from the domain. Here was the rub: laptop needs to be domain connected to restore a domain profile - but I'm at home and the AD servers are remote and require a VPN. Also, once restored, the domain account cannot authenticate to a remote AD server without a VPN connection, but the VPN isn't available until after first … [Read more...]

VMTurbo Make Monitoring Free

Today, VMTurbo have launched their Virtual Health Monitor tool and they are letting it loose on the world for the whopping figure of... wait for it... $0 - That's right, free. The tool is an updated and evolved version of the Community Edition of VMTurbo's Operations Manager product and comes without restrictions on where and how often you deploy it and what it monitors. Ok, that's not so clear. The tool is downloaded as an appliance from VMTurbo's website in a format optimised for one of the following platforms: VMware vSphere Microsoft Hyper-V RedHat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV) Citrix XenServer The format of the appliance is the only difference that you should find between the versions though as it's capable of … [Read more...]

XP: The Final Countdown

People have been saying that "this is the year of VDI" for a number of years now. Could it be true this year? Windows XP will be 13 years old when Microsoft finally pull the plug on its support in 2014. That's a decent innings for domestic pet dog let alone an operating system. Why has it lasted this long and will anybody miss it? For me, the answer to that last question is "no", but without a doubt there are users out there for whom it won't be the case. Some of them will be home users, holding on to that creaking PC or laptop that they've had for years and that has always worked (except for BSODs, viruses, lost files and the lack of telepathic functionality that some of the less technically savvy wish was available). Others still may … [Read more...]

Windows 2008 R2 Domain Trust – Fixing The Security DB Trust Relationship

I came across an interesting problem recently. A customer is trialling child DNS domains for their server in their lab set-up, and we came across an interesting problem when changing the FQDN of the server. In this instance, we were playing with using dcpromo to promote and demote the domain controller (DC) into a single domain. At one point, we got out of step with the reboots and got the following message when logging-in to the domain: The Security database on the server does not have a computer account for this workstation trust relationship. Interesting. Somehow, we managed to get the domain out of sync with the FQDN of the server. We found 3 ways to resolve this issue, 2 simple (which felt a little like a hack) and 1 that … [Read more...]

Windows DNS Queries Failing

I was putting together a PoC late last year and encountered an issue that I've not seen before that was caused by some functionality within Windows 2008 that I did not know existed at the time. In fact, no one who I've mentioned it to since knew about it either. It seemed sufficiently obscure that I thought I should write about it quickly. In the PoC, I had created a Windows domain based on Server 2008 R2. Setting that up was simple enough and I'd done it many times before. What I began to notice though was that DNS queries forwarded outside of my PoC infrastructure were failing more often than not. This made Microsoft Updates impossible to install amongst other issues. After fiddling with the DNS timeouts and talking with the hosting … [Read more...]

Windows Not Activating? Check the Time!

A lesson in not trying to do several things at once. I had just deployed a VM from a template and waited for it to be customized. All was well until Windows tried, and failed, to activate giving the error code 80072f8f. This was in a new environment in a remote datacenter. Once I started paying attention though I noticed that the VM was set to synchronize time with the host and the host's NTP configuration had not been made correctly. The VM was running 6 months or so behind the current date. The two takeaways from this are: Check your host configuration and don't assume that it's correct if you're provided with a pre-built host from a 3rd party Don't do too many things at once and forget about the above! … [Read more...]