Monday, March 15, 2004


My mate Fraser has got a new CD out. Its called "Rain before seven". Given it a few plays, and it gets my thumbs up. There's not too much on his webpage but I guess with all the troubles he's had recently, its no wonder. Some information about it can be found on the newsletter part of his homepage.

FC Normannia

Not being content with 4 points lead in the Obersliga, FC Normannia beat the 2nd place team on Saturday by 3-2. Magical game with all 3 Normannia goals in the first half. Getting towards the end, and Normannia started looking a bit sticky. This is the second game after the winter break. Last weekend they drew 1-1 away.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Exchange 2000 Disaster Recovery

Just as I thought I was getting an early hometime (16:30) along pops another Exchange 2000 problem. This time, the SAN bit the dust, and took the Exchange Server with it. After replacing the failed disks in the SAN, the customer did almost everything right.... Reinstalled Exchange 2000 with the /disasterrecovery option, and then applied the service packs. Then came the biggy - restoring the databases. Each time this was attempted, there was an error at the end of the restore, and no databases were mounted. The error code was very strange 9939xxxxxxxx. What was the problem? Well quite simply, there were no actual logs to play forward, only those from the backup. Now it if was me that had written Exchange, I would've included a little check to see if there are any logs and ask the user what he wants to do - hard recovery or get the logs from somewhere else. If you ever get the same problem, do the following. Restore all databases for a Storage Group at the same time, but do not set the "Last Backup Set" flag when restoring, even on the last backup set. Once the restore is finished, navigate to the temp directory that you defined during the restore operation from a command prompt. Check for the existence of the restore.env file, and then issue the command %pathtoexchangebin%\ESEUTIL /CC /T and press enter. This will do a hard recovery, only using the logs from the current directory, and will not start looking for other logs in the mdbdata directory. Took a few hours to sort out the problem, mainly because I was using the wrong syntax, and thought that you had to specify the .edb file that you want to roll the logs forward on.
Just goes to show that the worst time to test your disaster recovery is when the disaster happens. One other thing, why is there so little documentation available about Disaster Recovery? Try a google search sometime, and see what a very poor world it is. Maybe I'll get round to doing a document one day, only time will tell.

Monday, March 08, 2004


Bought a new Wireless Router on Friday. I know its *only* 11MB, but as the internet is only 768Kb, its enough for surfing. I bought the ACER offer from Mediamarkt. You get the 4-port Wireless Router and a PCMCIA Wireless Card and a USB Wireless Dongle for €79 which is about 50 UK Pounds. Plugged it in, typed in the WEP key that I want to use, configured the client, everything working within 5 minutes. Not using it to connect directly to the internet though, for that I use IPCOP (a free linux firewall with some impressive features, the main one being that it is running on a P75/32Mb/120MB HD). Before getting this router, I was having problems connecting from one end of the apartment to the other end (where my other WLAN is). Now I can connect from anywhere, including the notebook in the bedroom (is that Geeky or what?)

Server Problem

Also had a problem with a Lotus Notes server running on Windows 2000. For some reason, small files could be copied without any problems, but as soon as it got over about 800 Mb, it was coming up with an error message just before the end of copying telling me that there wasn't enough system resources. Did all the usual stuff.... stopped 3 billion services running on the machine, still no difference, even after a reboot. Solution? Time and Time again, the solution is always the same. I reinstalled Service Pack 4 for Windows 2000. All problems gone. Lucky for the Admin really, he wanted to get HP to swap all Hard Disks as the problem was to do with writing to disk. Phew.

Outlook Express Problem

An easy request, I though.... Export Outlook 2000 contacts into Outlook Express. There's even a technet article about it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work by default on a German machine. The problem is that Outlook exports in "comma-separated" and Outlook Express thinks that it can import in "comma-separated". Unfortunately, Outlook Express relies on the seperation character defined in the regional settings in the control panel. This is by default a semi-colon in German, and not a comma. Changing this value in the Control Panel allowed me to export and import without any headaches.

Weekend Sport

And what a weekend it was. Semi-final of the FA Cup. Fortunately, DSF (A german sports channel) had both games on Saturday, and BBC had the Millwall game on Sunday, so I only missed one game. Unlucky Fulham, and well played Tranmere. Arsenal were in a different class. I noticed that they shortened Portsmouth to POR for the scoreline. Wonder why they didn't use the first four letters of Arsenal for their name on the scoreline :-). Typical Ferrari and Schumacher, they were in a class of their own in Melbourne (yes, I woke up at 4 am to watch it). Roll on Malaysia.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Active Directory Disaster Recovery
Well, two weeks later, and I've just finished giving a 2 day Active Directory Disaster Recovery training course. Well attended, and a very interesting two days. Did lots of different scenarios, and lots of hands-on which went down rather well. Also, managed to do everything in VMWare and the difference to Virtual PC is really noticeable. Only one problem this time, the base PCs were not very well installed, and I was getting a lot of crashes if the physical CD was connected to a VMWare machine. Problem solved by a reinstall of all client machines.

I haven't had a chance to have a good play around with it yet, but there is a new Public Folder administration tool for Exchange called PFDavAdmin, which you should be able to download from here. Its meant to be able to reset MAPI and non-MAPI rights on public folders, as well as *simple* things like propagating a single user's permissions non-destructively through a tree. In 5.5 we had to hope that PFAdmin would work, or try and use Klaus Seeling's strange PFRights program

My sister came to visit! Its the second time she's been to Sunny South Germany, and not to let the side down, it snowed like crazy on the Sunday night. She visited with her boyfriend, it was his first time here, but got quite quickly used to the schnapps and the game of chicago (dice game). Had a great time in Stuttgart, watched the Fulham vs. Chelsea match when we got back, the next day was spent walking around a small mountain, and then to an outdoor naturally heated thermal bath. A good time was had by all.

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