How to downgrade VMware ESXi 5.1 virtual machine hardware to version 7 (from 8)

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So here we are, lovely Thursday morning at work and requirement for new VM comes up – I’m thinking not a big deal since I have deployed thousands of VMs before but there is a catch this time (there always is!) All of my Windows Server templates are virtual machine HW version 8 and I need to deploy one server to ESXi 4.1 host – great! ESXi 4.1 uses HW version 7 at the most so HW version 8 will not work – if you attempt to add HW version 8 to the inventory on ESXi 4.1 host you will be met by the following outcome:

VM adds fine and without any errors but its grayed out and with invalid status. Not much you can do here apart from removing it from the inventory.

How_to_downgrade_VMware_ESXi_5.1_virtual_machine_hardware_to_version_7_1

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Installation of .NET 3.5 fails on Windows 8 with Error Code 0x800F0906

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You would have thought that installing .NET 3.5 on Windows 8 will be relatively straight forward – wrong answer!

The easiest way to do this is to go to Control Panel –> All Control Panel Items –> Programs and Features and simply add .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)

Installation_of_.NET_3.5_fails_on_Windows_8_with_Error_Code_0x800F0906_1

but you are likely to hit one of the following errors:

“Windows couldn’t complete the requested changes. Windows couldn’t connect to the internet to download necessary files. Make sure that you’re connected to the internet, and click ‘Retry’ to try again. Error code: 0x800F0906”

“Update NetFx3 of package Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 failed to be turned on. Status: 0x800F0906.”

“Update NetFx3 of package Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 failed to be turned on. Status: 0x800F081F.”

“Update NetFx3 of package Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 failed to be turned on. Status: 0x800F0907.”
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HTTP Status 403 Error on Citrix Access Gateway 5.0.4 VPX Logon Point

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I was messing with logon points on Citrix Access Gateway 5.0.4 VPX trying to add secondary authentication pointing to SafeNet (RADIUS) and came across the following error:

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Solution was relatively straight forward but not immediately obvious as I was able to login fine just to be met by the error above. It turns out when I was creating the test logon point I forgot to set the homepage address under Website Configuration:

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Enabling BitLocker fails with “BitLocker Setup could not find a target system drive. You may need to manually prepare your drive for BitLocker”

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My workplace has finally decided to start encrypting their mobile devices with BitLocker. After number of laptops completed successfully (and without any major issues) today we have hit problems when BitLocker wizard would fail with the following message:

“BitLocker Setup could not find a target system drive. You may need to manually prepare your drive for BitLocker”

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So far only one machine was affected but there could easily be others. Solution to this issue was not immediately obvious but its essentially due to Windows (or BitLocker wizard) not being able to shrink the drive to create the system partition that’s required for BitLocker (there was only one partition). Trying to manually shrink the drive using Disk Management would not work too as “Size of available shrink space in MB:” was equaling to 0:

Enabling_BitLocker_fails_with_BitLocker_Setup_could_not_find_a_target_system_drive_You_may_need_to_manually_prepare_your_drive_for_BitLocker_2

Now this number was showing 44MB before I ran Windows Defrag tool but now is 0MB meaning you cannot shrink the drive at all (not even by 1MB!) In Windows Explorer, internal hard drive was showing 120GB in size with roughly 60GB free so there was plenty of free disk space available in order to re-size the partitions.

Two quick fixes that were applied to finally resolve this are as follows:

  • Since the problematic machine was a laptop (Dell Latitude E6230) hibernation was turned off (powercfg -h off in command line)
  • System Restore points were also deleted (cleanmgr is the command, then More Options tab, System Restore and Shadow Copies and Clean up)
  • After this I re-run BitLocker drive encryption wizard and all was happy again!

    Side note – trying to manually prep the drive using bdehdcfg i.e. bdehdcfg -target c: shrink -size 300 -quiet -restart was not working too.

    Citrix XenApp 6.5 run discovery fails when using custom administrator role

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    Another quick post to show one possible resolution for Run Discovery to fail when using custom administrator role on XenApp 6.5. Basically discovery fails with the following error:

    “This user account is not an administrator of this farm, or there was a problem contacting the data store. Check that the data store server for the Citrix XenApp farm is online, and verify that your account is configured and enabled as an administrator on the farm”

    Solution is to make sure you tick Log on to the Management Console under Permissions apart from any other custom settings you with to set:

    Citrix_XenApp_6.5_run_discovery_fails_when_using_custom_administrator_role_1

    There you have it, sorted! 🙂

    Changing Windows 7 system locale for non-Unicode programs

    Changing Windows 7 system locale for non-Unicode programs in registry

    Something rather strange crept up today and its do to with non-Unicode language settings in Windows 7 which weren’t working properly. Basically some of our printers didn’t print barcodes properly and after some extensive troubleshooting the culprit was language in Windows that was set to English (United States) instead of English (United Kingdom) You can find system locale settings for non-Unicode programs under:

    Changing_Windows_7_system_locale_for_non-Unicode_programs_in_registry_2

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    Scripting DHCP server deployments using netsh in Windows Server 2008 R2

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    Another quick post to show how you can quickly deploy fully working DHCP server with multiple scopes in a matter of seconds. In my case it was a single server with 90 very different scopes and doing this manually would be just soo boring and long that’s unreal. Unfortunately Windows Server 2012 wasn’t an option so no PowerShell love but Windows Server 2008 R2 is still pretty decent and using netsh wasn’t as painful as it seemed. To get us started we need to install the DHCP Server role and start the required service (dhcpserver):

    Next step is to authorize DHCP server in the enterprise so we can actually use it to dish out IP addresses:

    Other useful commands here would include:

    To deauthorize the server –

    and to list all authorized servers –

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    Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – How to Sync Time from External Time Source?

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    Quick post to show how you can sync your domain controllers with external time source (time.windows.com or ntp.pool.org for example). By default, all machines in the domain will sync time from the domain controller which is the internal time server – if you have more than one DC then time will sync from the DC that holds the PDC emulator FSMO role. To check which DC is PDC emulator in your domain you need to run netdom /query fsmo command like so:

    Windows_Server_2008_R2_SP1_How_to_Sync_Time_to_External_Time_Source_1

    Once PDC emulator role is established there is few commands we need to run in order for time to sync, these are (run on PDC emulator):

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    Reporting Services tab not showing in SCCM console after R3 upgrade? Here’s how to fix it.

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    Recently I have upgraded my SCCM central server which was running 2007 SP2 to 2007 R3 and encountered interesting issue. Basically after all reports have been imported I couldn’t see Reporting Services tab in my console to take advantage of any pre-defined reports showing power consumption etc. Currently my console looks as follows:

    Reporting_Services_tab_not_showing_in_SCCM_console_after_R3_upgrade_Here_is_how_to_fix_it_1

    where the same console on my central server has the tab I’m missing which its showing up just fine:

    Reporting_Services_tab_not_showing_in_SCCM_console_after_R3_upgrade_Here_is_how_to_fix_it_2

    Solution to get this problem fixed is to install hotfix from Microsoft which happens to be a pre-requisite before you install R3 on your client computer with SCCM console. Link:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977384/en-us

    If you’re after the actual .msi ready to be installed you can get it from here (downloading hotfixes from Microsoft can be a bit of pain sometimes):

    SCCM2007-SP2-KB977384-ENU

    …at this point you should be all set to install the R3 upgrade to your console which will bring the Reporting Services tab.