Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Anything and Everything

Fog, Windows 7, Sysprep

Back in the day (I’m starting to feel old now) I setup a Ghost server with PXE booting. It was a pretty nice setup; a Dell PE2550 with 4x144GB SCSI (~385GB usable), 24port gigabit switch, and enough desk space – and power – to handle 16 laptops or 22 desktops at a time. It took 2 of us about 3 weeks to get the workspace setup, and another 3 weeks to get the Ghost server and PXE working. And then there was always the issue of updating the drivers on the PXE image without breaking anything else. Basically crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

That was five years ago.

Looking back on my previous experiences I can definitely say I’ve grown and become more knowledgeable. Back then, when I had researched a solution, I just googled for “imaging software server” or something similar. Working for a computer reseller meant that I had access to NFR copies of quite a bit of software, so management decided that we should go with Ghost. I hadn’t even begun to research into FOG yet.

Fast forward the five (almost 6 now) years, and I know to look into server software that supports all operating systems, supports multicast, and is fairly intuitive to setup. Enter FOG.

I like to install the latest and greatest, but in this case I had some issues that I didn’t feel like resolving when I tried to use FOG with 12.04LTS. Instead I opted to use 10.04LTS. It’s an internal server, so the patching levels are not generally as critical. I also installed this on a production network – there are 7 VLANS, active directory and windows DNS/DHCP, cisco switches. IP helper has already been set on the switches for DHCP. The active directory environment is 2008R2.

Install Ubuntu 10.04LTS x32 – I gave it a single 2.4GHz Xeon core, 512MB RAM, and 120GB partition. Installed with LAMP (no mysql password), SSH, and Mail.
Change the Root Password
sudo passwd root
Login As Root
Update the system
apt-get update && dist-upgrade

Install FOG – version 0.32 at the time of this writing
mkdir -p /opt/fog-setup
cd /opt/fog-setup
tar -xvzf fog*
cd fog*
cd bin
The wizard now starts.
I chose the following:
“N” normal installation IP Address of FOG
“Y” to setup a router/DHCP address IP address of DHCP server
“Y” to DNS IP address of DNS
“N” eth0 is fine by me
“N” I already have DHCP
“N” I’m not international
“Y” looks good; set it up
Make sure you read! If you have a password setup on mysql you must adjust the configuration files accordingly (opt/fog/service/etc/config.php)
I ended up rebooting the server just in case.

Edit the Windows DHCP Options
I have 7 different DHCP scopes (one for each of the VLANs I had), so your settings may be different. Instead of making the options change per scope, I performed the task in the Server Options area.
Right-click and select “Configure Options”
Select 066 and set the value to your FOG server IP address
Select 067 and set the value to pxelinux.0

At this point you should be able to connect to your PXE FOG server – set a test workstation/laptop to boot PXE (Dell’s have F12 for this), and connect via your network interface.

SYSPREP coming soon

USB Drive Missing Space

I had formatted a usb flash drive to be a linux boot disk. Then, when finished, I went to reformat the drive and was only prompted to format 168MB out of the 1GB it originally had.

Open up the command line and type in the following:
disk part
list disk

After cleaning, you should be able to right-click and format again with the full amount of space. You can also finish this up using command line:
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=fat32 quick

Proxmox Mouse Not Working

I was copying Windows-based machines from VMWare and Hyper-V to proxmox – only the mouse stopped working after I would finish copying. It would get “stuck” in the bottom right hand corner of the screen – I could right-click and get a menu option to pop up, but other than that it was completely useless.

Now I’m a big fan of the command line, but on my windows hosts it’s a ton easier to have mouse control.

So I found this guy’s blog:

VMWare mouse problems – mouse stuck in bottom right corner

Basically do the following:

Open Regedit
Find the registry key “UpperFilters”
Remove the word msvmmouf – keep all other entries in there, but tidy up the spaces/returns if necessary
Under this 4D36E96F-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 key, see if the other 01, 02, 03 etc folders have any mention of vmware. Delete the entire key if they do (example: highlight 02 and hit delete).

I also had to remove a few vmware entries:

Delete the following:


I also got a Processr.sys issue (fix found here

Edit the registry:

Find the “Start” key

Change it from the default value (mine was 3) to a “4”

Embed Flash, TL Edition

So I needed to embed some flash files for the boss, but my old script was no longer working for IE8/9 (didn’t test on 7, since who uses that anyway?) Firefox and Chrome were working just fine. Argh.

<object classid='clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000' width='300' height='300' id='player1' name='player1'>
   <param name='movie' value='player.swf'>
   <param name='allowfullscreen' value='true'>
   <param name='allowscriptaccess' value='always'>
   <param name='flashvars' value='file=playlist.xml'>
   <embed id='player1'

So I went ahead and found that code. I ended up using WinFF to convert an m4v file to a web-based flv, then I used the jwplayer as my swf, and file=filename.flv as my flv.

ESXi 4.1 Dell OpenManage

I had Nagios telling me there was a memory issue on the server, but not in which slot the bad ram was located. OM to the rescue?

Download (I’m running on a Dell PowerEdge 2850 Server)
Use the VMWare VSphere CLI to run the following: –server SERVERNAME_OR_IP -i -b “C:\”
Enter the username (root)
Enter the Password (password)

Then, using the Dell Web Server administrator (OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-WIN-6.3.0-2075_A00.20.exe), connect to your virtual machine and IGNORE CERTIFICATE ERRORS!

Software I Use – May 2011 Edition

I was trying to come up with a list of software that I “must have” on a new system (links to come hopefully later):

Dual boot Windows 7 x64 Pro/Ent/Ultimate with Ubuntu 11.04 x32
Inssider – Great for finding SSIDs, models of access points, security information, and channels of wireless networks
Angry IP Scanner – My favorite IP scanning utility is great for finding open web servers, DNS servers, or anything with RDP open
Putty – Terminal emulation software
FireFox – I still enjoy this more than Chrome, but they both have their place. Include Adblock Plus, Web Developer, NoScript, and GreaseMonkey with Youtube Auto Buffer and experts-Exchange
Terminals – My favorite RDP saving utility
CDBurnerXP – Burns ISOs, music, data
ISORecorder – Creates ISOs from folders or drives
CPUID’s CPU-Z and HWMonitor – Monitoring hardware in your system
NMAP-Zenmap GUI – NMAP for windows
WinSCP – SCP client for windows
NetIQ ADCheck
Secunia PSI

5 Years

I just realized that I’ve been keeping this blog alive for the past 5 years.

Despite my desires to migrate to the new hostname, I find it’s fairly easy to find several of my posts via google on THIS site. So here it’ll stay. Happy birthday,!