About Elias

Senior Engineer. All around jack-of-all-trades-master-of-many.

Domain SPF records on Network Solutions

If you send email from your domain you should really consider setting up a “Sender Policy Framework” (SPF) DNS record for it.
There are already great resources out there for setting up and for verifying your work; I won’t repeat them.

I WILL write about how to properly set the SPF at Network Solutions (NetSol).

After you use online resources to make up your SPF record string, at NetSol it is configured under.

Account Manager  >>  Dns >> Manage Advanced DNS Records >> Text (TXT Records)

Though their site has some documentation on SPF, it lacked a important piece of information.

The default TXT settings are:

* (All Others) and

@ (None)

Of these default fields, which one (if at all) should be overwritten?

The correct answer is, set your SPF record in the Text field of “@ (None)” line. Leave the TTL alone.  Careful to add it to the right spot, adding your SPF to the “* (All Others)” won’t work, trust me I know.

That little tidbit of information may help someone.

Enjoy!

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Fix RDP from Vista to Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server connectivity and performance

So you have configured your Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server with:

Server Manager >> “Configure Remote Desktop” >> Systems Properties >> “Remote Desktop”

as “Allow connections from computers running any version of one of Remote Desktop (Less secure)”

And your XP clients get a quick RDP connection but Vista clients hang for a long time and sometimes connect and sometimes don’t, then it’s a firewall issue. (Clarification: this post does NOT apply to a TS Gateway.)

Not a firewall issue for traffic to the Terminal Server (TS) but a connection between the TS and your Domain Controller (DC)!

If your design includes a firewall between your TS and DC, first make sure you have the basic rules configured.

Then make sure you’re allowing outbound TCP port 49157 between TS and DC. It is a port used by svchost.exe and lsass.exe during authentication.

Presto! The connections from your Vista clients will be lightning fast.

Corner Edge likes their Vista lighting fast.

-Elias

Provide Windows Mobile support remotely with MyMobiler and Logmein

Providing remote PC and server support to our client has been revolutionized by our use of remote tools like Logmein (both their paid Reach and Free products).

My Mobiler screenshot

My Mobiler screenshot

How do we remotely make sure our client’s Window Mobile smartphones are configured correctly?

Thanks to the folks at MTUX (www.mymobiler.com), they have put together an awesome freeware tool: My Mobiler v1.23.  It requires Activesync which can be downloaded for free from Microsoft and the USB cable to connect to your computer.

If we pair My Mobiler + Logmein we have an super efficient way of remotely viewing the screen of their Windows Mobile phones.

This helps us service our customers even better plus it helps us being even more green, we do less driving and less shipping of equipment.

At Corner Edge we love to be efficient.

-Elias

fyi: Windows XP Gets Reprieve, Yet Again. To July 31st, 2009

The Microsoft approved upgrade path from Vista to XP (I kid of course, but if you have an Inspiron 6000 like me, it IS definitely an upgrade path) will be allowed until July 31st, 2009.

We’ll be able to request the downgrade from Dell until then. Nice!

http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/operatingsystems/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210800478

eMacs crash?! Who knew?!

eMac BSOD 2In the business of making technology work, system crashes are par for the course.  We run accross so many BSODs that when they show up, we are more likely to yawn than to scream.

We work with anything our customers use: Windows (all possible flavors), Linux (many flavors), OpenBSD, and Mac OS, DOS (yes DOS).

Sometimes we forget that even Macs running OS X crash, maybe it’s the genius of the Apple marketing that has us numb to that fact.eMac BSOD 2

So, when those crashes happen on a Mac (an oldie but goodie eMac to be exact) we can’t help but chuckle… it’s sort of cute in a geeky way.

Running a System Update and a Office for Mac update at the same time provided us with these latest screenshots.

Enjoy -Elias

SysinfoException… a cryptic Vmware ESX 3.5 Vmotion error translated

Corner Edge has just completed a MAJOR implementation of a Vmware ESX cluster. We have greatly improved our data center capabilities and offerings.

This time around I want to add another tidbit to the online body of knowledge.

I recently received the following error while configuring Vmotion on our Vmware ESX 3.5 server cluster:

Error during the configuration of the host: SysinfoException: Node (VSI_NODE_net_tcpip_plumb) ; Status(bad0005)= Already exists; Message= Unable to Set

Now what is THAT supposed to mean? Vmware has amazing technology, but that “amazing” thing hasn’t yet reached their error messages.

It turns out that if your iSCSI traffic is configured with a specific network (Example: 10.0.10.10), and you try to configure Vmotion ports within the same network space (Example: 10.0.10.20), the Virtual Center wizard fails with the error above.

“Best practices” dictate that iSCSI traffic and Vmotion traffic should be completely separate from each other. But even if they are physically separated, and you may want use the same network space… well, you can’t.

Solution: Make the network address space for iSCSI (Example: 10.0.10.x) and Vmotion (Example: 10.0.20.x) different.

Oh and a better error message could be:

Wow buddy, you may think you’re really smart using the same network for iSCSI and Vmotion, but might as well forget it. I refuse to work that way. Make them separate networks!

Cheers,
Elias

Pressing F8 during Windows install on Vmware ESX 3.5

After scouring the Intertubes for an answer and not finding a solution, I feel this is a worthy tidbit of new technical information I should share with the rest of the world.

It’s a simple yet annoying problem.

While installing a fresh copy of Windows XP Pro on a Vmware ESX 3.5 host, I got to the usual “Licensing Agreement” page (you know the one with all the legalese). It asks for the F8 key to be pressed to “agree”.

To my surprise, pressing F8 just wouldn’t work! No combination of CTRL, ALT, shift, ascii-codes would work either, I was stuck on the agreement page!

I had seen this before with a Vmware Workstation installation.  Where, if I wanted to enter a VM’s BIOS settings I needed to use a PS/2 keyboard (in addition to my regular USB keyboard) in order to press “ESC” to enter the configuration page.  The only theory I had in mind was that maybe the USB devices weren’t loaded early enough to access the BIOS, while PS/2 support was. *shrug*

Well, back to ESX. I tried pressing F8 through both the VIC2.5 Console tab and through a separate Console window. No luck.

It turns out that the only solution to pressing F8 was to access the VIC2.5 through another workstation (using a PS/2 keyboard) and finally F8 was accepted. Weird.

Yes it’s simple yet annoying problem.

(For the record, my workstation has a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (ver 1.0))

Update 20080814: One reader’s comment really fixes this beautifully

hey4ndrw Says:
If you have the Microsoft Wireless Natural Multimedia ergonomic keyboard, and no amount of leaning on the F8 key to select “I Agree” works when reinstalling XP, try tapping once on the F Lock button (one key to the right of F12), then pressing F8. Worked for me.