Wednesday, 28 October 2009

VMware vSphere Client on Windows 7

Frustratingly there is an issue here. After installing the client, and trying to connect, this message is shown:
“Error parsing the server “server name” “clients.xml” file.”

The above blog post worked for me. Irritated I had to though.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Active Directory for Windows 7

The remote management tools, what in XP was the Administrative Tools Pack, i.e. the AD Users and Group manager, DHCP, DNS, etc ... are available for Windows 7 but its a bit more tricky.

1. Download from here:

2. Install as normal.

3. Go Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or Off

4. Go to "Remote Administration Tools" and turn on any features you need.

5. Start the appropriate snap-ins from Start > Administrative Tools

Rotating Flikr Wallpaper and Screensaver with Windows 7

This isn't very enterprise IT, but its a neat way of varying my desktop wallpaper and screensaver dynamically with Windows 7.

  1. Setup or use current Flikr account to upload pictures to.
  2. Via account section, create a free API key:
  3. Download Slikr Screensaver:
  4. On the 64 bit version of Windows 7 I had to uncheck "Open GL Check" within Slikr properties (via screensaver properties).
  5. Then put the API key into Slikr and sync it up with your user account.
  6. Then as a wallpapers, select %userprofile%\pictures\slikr\user\youruser
The upshot is any pictures you add to your Flikr will automatically join the group of pictures on your screensaver, and by extension your wallpapers.

If you access privileged data or systems from the user account you set this up on, check "On resume, prompt for login".

Migrating / Move Lotus Notes from one PC to another.

First a digression: Notes is the singularly worst piece of widely adopted enterprise software I know of.

The key is the data folder. Each user has a Notes Data folder which contains their settings. On the old PC, which was XP and had migrated from 6.5 -> 7 -> 8 -> 8.5 this was at:

c:\program files\notes\lotus\data.

I installed Notes 8.5 on the new machine and copied the data to:


Selecting to overwrite or replace all conflicts. I then started Notes, cancelled a few meaningless wizards and messages (one about "Internet Mail", one about "IM" and a "Cannot create folder").

However after 15 mins of Notes "churning", I can see my inbox, and I'm migrated.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Run CENTOS VM in background on Windows for Free with VMware

A developer at work wanted to do this and here are the pointers I gave him.
  1. Download VMware Server for free from VMware. []
  2. Download the ISO for CENTOS and put it in your "C:\Virtual Machines" folder, then mount it from within VMware from the "Datastore". [I get them from]
  3. Make sure the Intel VM Extensions are enabled in your BIOS if you have them.
  4. Install CENTOS on VM as you would for a Physical PC.
  5. Setup SSH and SCP and then interact with your box via PuTTY, WinSCP and HTTP.
He seemed pretty pleased with the outcome.

Disable Driver Signature Enforcement - Cisco PI21AG

I've got a Cisco PI21AG WiFi PCI NIC card for my media box PC. Cisco don't supply a driver for the 64bit Windows 7 in the final release version. However there was a Microsoft driver in the W7 beta which worked perfectly (but taken out in RC and RTM versions of W7). After installing the release version of W7-64 I just installed the driver that had come with the Beta.

Problem is the "driver signature enforcement" is invalid so the driver won't load. Although this can be disabled by pressing F8 each time the PC boots and selecting the "disable enforcement" option, this is tedious so I Googled and tried this:
  1. Run command prompt as administrator.
  2. bcdedit -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
This did NOT WORK. Apparently it does work on some versions of Vista, but who cares Vista is a waste of time.

Seemed dodgy, but I then tried this:

Basically its a case of switching the OS to a driver developer "test mode" and then applying a sort of "self signing" to the driver in question. So by going into Device Manager and selecting the device, properties, driver tab, driver details - I can see it is athrx.sys which is not signed.

So using the app I applied both these steps and rebooted. Worked great - No more F8 and I can keep using my expensive bulletproof Cisco Wifi NIC on the Media Box PC.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Search and Replace in Vim


Splunk 4.0 out the box cleanup.

  • Download
  • Install
  • Disable all apps [except search :P ]
  • set in default_namespace = search

    in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/user-prefs/local/user-prefs.conf

Square one.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Cisco 877W Factory Reset Password Recovery

Bought a Cisco 877W off eBay, as a reliable router / access point for home. It came configured as a "The Cloud" free WiFi Hotspot.

If you need to do a "factory reset" on one of these you can.
  1. Connect to the console using serial cable.
  2. Switch on while hitting [FN-CTRL-BREAK]- (I have a Thinkpad, [FN] not needed on a desktop keyboard). Tricky, may take a few attempts - need to be hitting it really early on in the boot process.
  3. Get rommon> prompt. []
  4. >confreg, >yes, >no to everything except "ignore system config info".
  5. >reset
It will then reboot from an alternate configuration file, and you're in! Now however, to clear the existing setup and revert the router to a good state.
  1. Router>enable
  2. Router#conf t
  3. Router(config)config-register 0x2102
  4. Router(config)exit
  5. Router>write memory
  6. Router>reload
Useful guide:

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Useful Windows freeware utilities

In my optimistic migration to Windows 7, I am reloading my laptop from scratch. Here is a list of useful free utilities I installed.

* Notepad++
* gVim
* Paint.NET
* 7-Zip
* Stickies
* ProcExp (minimized on startup)
* KillNotes / KillDomino
* MagicISO
* Putty
* imgBurn

Friday, 16 October 2009

Windows 7 Application Settings Access Denied

Microsoft have moved some standard system folders round in Windows 7. "To keep us on our toes" :P

'Documents and Settings' has become 'Users' and 'Application Data' has become 'Appdata', among others.

For backward compatibility they have symbolic links setup. Being Microsoft they need to pretend they invented them (1983) and called them "Junctions". I'm sure there is some subtlety.

In any case if you try and hit them in Explorer you get "Access Denied". Microsoft excel at meaningful messages. I would expect hitting this folder in Explorer is pretty common as Application Data is a hidden folder in XP.

So, if you are like me looking for:

%USERDATA%\Application Data\Folder\

You need:


No idea why the Roaming is necessary. However this does the trick. On 32 bit.