Technical News and Views from a hole in the ground: 2009
Thursday, January 2nd., 2009: Immediately after purchasing a Microsoft LifeCam Show, a friend tells me that they are very fragile, whereas a Logitech model can be kicked across a room without breaking. Time will tell!!
The reason for purchase was that I would like to see my father, over a Skype or similar network, visually contact his family, for the time he has remaining. He keeps saying that he hasn't much time left, but he keeps on plodding. (This entry was written three months before he actually died, and nothing transpired of this plan).
Later, should I have any friends with a similar setup, then I can phone, and do other things with the object.
Wednesday, January 7th., 2009: I came back home, trudging in the snow, to discover that Outlook seemed to have a problem revealing images. Then I noticed that the SpeedTouch DSL modem seemed to be malfunctioning. An hour later, after much pratting about, I managed to reawaken the object and regain internet access. That meant that everything now works as it did when I left home this morning. I have no idea what happened to the modem, but it has started to work again, and indicates that I need to purchase a spare, just in case.
Thursday, January 8th.,
2009: The day that my younger
daughter becomes fourteen. The snow and the bus strike has screwed up my
intentions of obtaining a present for her. Whatever, times will improve.
Not, however, like the Microsoft File Transfer Manager that one cannot
use as one would wish. There are three or more files that were
downloaded but the MFTM believes weren't. One cannot remove them.
The next time that I try MFTM, it will begin by wanting to download the top three files, and more, again. There is no way to remove the damned things. Of course, I can use other computers, but I want to fix the bug: wouldn't you?
Friday, January 9th., 2009: I do not know why I am having a problem with FireFox, the latest build. Today, and this has happened before, I discovered that one of the tabbed pages that are open is one that I have never been to or asked for. I cannot find anything on the Mozilla site to explain this. At least, with Kaspersky Internet protection enabled, there are warnings about odd pages and downloads are inspected.
Sunday, January 11th., 2009: I received a few emails in return from Kaspersky, none of which referred to the problem I elucidated whatsoever. The proliferation of idiotic casino based spam emails is a real nuisance. The request to forward them to Kaspersky is something that I have done repeatedly. The emails keep coming: they are addressed to many fictitious emails on my domains, and come from many sources, seemingly changing randomly.
Another problem is the impossibility of editing account information for two of my domains, based at Network Solutions. Constant attempts over the years produces nothing: what are they up to?
Tuesday, January 20th., 2009: A day that will be remembered by everyone old enough to appreciate the Barack Obama saga. Brilliant!
Have not had many computer problems, except for Kaspersky blocking an Apache 2.2 service. That I seemingly have cured. But , , , , , ,
Plus, I have now added two WordPress blogs to two of my internet domains. There is a lot of work to be done before they become of any value. Themes, editing and other stuff is yet to be learnt.
Wednesday, January 21st., 2009: The WordPress blogs are intricate, and need extra tools to enable editing in any real fashion. The themes that one can include look different in different browsers: FireFox is better than IE, of any version.
Sunday, January 25th., 2009: The blogs are now starting to work a little better, and I have also installed the Gallery programme on both of the Linux partitions on the two URLs. The WordPress WPG2 plug-in aids one in working with the blogs. Not that I believe that these two blogs will prove of great importance: it is a basic learning process, just like my younger daughter advising me about IM, which she uses in Montréal. When she was here yesterday, she opened up her account, and there were many on her associated list. Now, I have one, and that is her, Katharine. I have mentioned that she should obtain a webcam, because we can then chat via IM or Skype.
Saturday, January 31st., 2009: There
is a problem with FireFox 3.0.5. Every now and then there is a sound
from the computer's speakers as FireFox fails.
I have no idea what the problem is. Searching implicates wmv, but I don't have that application running at any time that there is a crash.
And, another dumb thing that I've discovered about IE8: one can nearly always save a page as .mht but equally not as .html. That is a no-brainer with Firefox.
Friday, February 6th., 2009: Firefox has stopped acting up, probably because another update came down the pipe. The current problem is one with IE of versions 6 to 8, none of which will show http://x.mattoid.com/blog correctly. They will do so with http://x.mattoid.ca/blog which is ridiculous, because there are no differences between them of any real significance. The other browsers that I use, which includes Safari, show the blogs as expected.
Sunday, February 8th., 2009: After working fine for weeks, Alibris ordering fails every time, for the past few days, with this message:
This is something that has occurred since their techies were working on their servers. The emails from Alibris imply that the problem is cured. Not so.
Monday, February 9th., 2009: Arose to discover that the Firefox runtime Visual C++ error has come back to haunt this computer, the Dell Precision: the problem does no arise on any other.
And, the Alibris failings have obviously not been attended to: I came back this afternoon and retried an order. The same error message arose (see above). Finally, this evening at around 22:00hrs., I tried again, to discover that where once one could use PayPal, now one cannot, not until they can. What utter rubbish! This is not good marketing, given that they had an upgrade and obviously never thought through all of the ramifications. Will not be using Alibris until at least the time it allows PayPal.
Wednesday, February 11th., 2009: Alibris has denied Canadian users the previously allowed option to use PayPal, at least for the immediate future.
The other thing is that, now I am using Expression Web 2, I can now transfer my sites to MyHosting's Windows Server 2008 boxes. That will happen on Friday, according to information received. Good, but now comes a lot of work to redo all three sites, and start adding more data.
Friday, February 13th., 2009: I have changed over from Windows 2003 Server to 2008 for the http://mattoid.ca site. There have been problems: one I can't remark on until uploading is complete. The zipped file from my Debian partition has proven to be corrupted. However, going to the control panel for the URL, I discovered that the partition still held files. I can't access them at this time. Time will tell.
What has happened does not produce faith in promises made by the MyHosting staff. I came back to find that Expression Web 2 has uploaded most of the files, and has an error. No matter, because I can use ftp:// as a means to open the site and edit files. However, even though a tracert gives a clean address to the new IP, there is a false 'temporary index.html file' notice, not the correct page that I find on the site. It implies that MyHosting has not fixed the address within their own servers? How can that be when I can tracert there? I have emailed MyHosting Support, and await an answer. Given that it is Friday the 13th I doubt that a rapid answer will occur: everyone is hiding somewhere?
It is almost 17:00hrs and I can now open the site using ftp://mattoid.ca, but not using http:// where the operation gives an internal server error, presumably at MyHosting. No answer from support, especially regarding a .txt file on the site which refers to everything visible to the internet must be in the /wwwroot folder. Not seen anywhere on the ftp access.
I can go to MyHosting and access the control panel, and there I can find the disk space used, which is around 800MB. And, I can open File Manager, and see the site. But, I still cannot access it using a browser. Wot! as they say.
Two conversations with a decent guy on the phone at MyHosting. There was no wwwroot folder and when that was added and the files moved over, then, bingo! the site is now available, even with IE.
Then, I discovered that the old x.mattoid.ca Debian partition was not properly cancelled. Because it wasn't cancelled, there was no recreation on the new site. Therefore, since I downloaded and zipped a complete set of files from that partition, only to find it was corrupted, it may be possible for MyHosting to copy over the files when the new Debian partition is created.
One hopes that happens, because, for one thing, the WordPress entries are date sensitive, and, for another, there are a lot of images in the Gallery that I really don't want to have to upload all over again. But, see below, for what really happened.
Sunday, February 15th., 2009: There have been some major problems with the transfer of my three domains to Windows Server 2008 64-bit edition. It has almost been completed, but I had to reinstall every single programme and the attendant data for both http://mattoid.com and http://mattoid.ca. There were also problems with the mySQL databases that MyHosting Support insisted could be exported and imported. I tried several times to no avail. Below is the image of the phpMyAdmin error message:
This has proven that the email I received was faulty: one cannot, as mySQL is invisible to the user, alter the requirements, and phpMyAdmin itself cannot help.
WordPress bug. The other problem has been one relating to the latest build of K2 when used as a theme in WordPress. I found the cure on a WordPress forum, here it is:
The bug is in the function k2_body_class in k2/app/includes/info.php (line 648):
// Separates classes with a single space, collates classes for BODY
Change the lines to, that is remove the clause attribute_escape, to give:
// Separates classes with a single space, collates classes for BODY
Here is an image to show how the page looked under the bug:
I corrected it by uploading a modified file, and everything now works. When I thought about it, I realised that I would never have found the error, especially given that although I am conversant with php I am not totally au fait with all of its intricacies. If one looks at the number of files in the folders, those users of K2 affected are lucky that someone knows what to do.
I have not been happy to have had to upload all of the images for Gallery2 on .ca and .com, simply because the database could not be exported and imported. The error message is one I told MyHosting support about, but they insisted that I could do it. Not bloody so, me lad!
Monday, February 16th., 2009: It has been a salutary experience working on the transfer of my three sites. MyHosting has email procedures in place that are supposed to help one over the operation.
For example, there are supposed to be several emails that advise the site owner what is going on. These were sent for http://mattoid.net and http://mattoid.ca but only because the main account email delivered to an email address on http://mattoid.com
Therefore, there were no emails when I transferred the latter site. I was advised that emails would be sent to email@example.com but they were not received. The reason is that when one transfers the site all of one's email addresses are deleted. This was ascertained by going to http://web2mail.com and checking the situation. Nothing remained, for any email address, and the web-based email check produced the related error.
Overall, although several people at support helped me, especially when there were problems with the Linux partitions for two of the sites, it is clear that the lack of clear instructions on the MyHosting site is something that should be remedied. I believe that a lot of the operations are scripted, and purportedly automatic. It is clear that the Control Panel for each site appears before the underlying operations are valid. Several times, even though the links on the Control Panel were live, the underlying operations were absent. This related at times to the Windows partition, the Linux partition, phpMyAdmin, and other items. Eventually, each one of these appeared, but after a delay. On one occasion, even though my email requested that the whole site should be transferred, only by phoning support did I discover that x.mattoid.com was scheduled to be deleted and then renewed on the Windows 2008 combination at the end of February. Absolutely not what my email had requested.
Another matter that has not yet been dealt with is the fact that transferring one's sites produces the necessity to upgrade through one's Control Panel. There is a charge that one must accept before one can carry on and have the plan activated. Except that there should be no charge, and that has been verified when speaking on the phone to Support. I have emailed requesting that the three sets of charges should be removed. Nothing has happened yet. This is yet another instance where the procedures need fine tuning to properly reflect the applicant's status. As a client of MyHosting for several years, the procedures should be modified so that one's history is recognised.
The bald emails about cancellation are not what a neophyte customer expects: this is a transfer, not a cancellation and reapplication. It was a help for me that I went through the process twice before I transferred mattoid.com. The lack of emails was irrelevant, because I knew, basically, what would happen.
The problem with the dead Linux partition also related to the transfer of x.mattoid.ca, because using Control Panel revealed the IP of the old, redundant partition. That was not reachable via a browser, or by tracert. After I had phoned support, the partition was deleted and then the new one, after a delay, was created and attached to the new Windows 2008 site. I had, as I have mentioned, subsequently to recreate the blog and the gallery, with all of the long-winded uploads of images and rewriting of blog pages.
I was lucky to have the lost blog pages open under persistent Firefox tabs, so that I could take screen images and renew the text and pictures when rewriting the blog's pages.
To reiterate, the boilerplate statements that are sent are unfriendly: an email to state that the sites and the account are deleted. Then follows an email that the sites are now parked. But there is no proper instruction to advise one what to do if one cannot receive emails. That would be a real problem for anyone that only has a single site. I could not find the procedure required on the MyHosting site.
The necessity of redoing all of my Linux associated programmes was a real chore. One good thing that finally arose was that the x.mattoid.com blog finally became visible to IE. There had been a basic error somewhere that previously prevented it from being seen completely by IE of any level. Other browsers showed the whole blog cleanly.
Now, all three blogs are properly visible: I have remarked on my sites that the blogs take the place of the guest books. The latter were prone to receive spam. I have ensured that entries are verified before the public can see their posts thereon.
Now I have had the sites transferred, I intend to revamp all of the pages, and implement CSS, and DWT perhaps, so that the sites become easier to read and maintain. Lots and lots of work to do.
And now, yet another bug with MyHosting: when writing an email via the Control Panel, it is likely that you will be logged off before you can complete the message. That has happened several times. If one is dealing with a problem, this is really frustrating. Another thing that should be improved.
My thoughts on the transfers have been continuing. I reiterate that there were many involuntary missteps and that adequate information is lacking at MyHosting. The procedures also lack granularity, making one wonder what one has to do to continue. And, on top of that, I received misinformation and some personnel found difficulty in reading basic English, or of understanding logical argument submitted by email.
I would really like to know if any database has ever been copied over by a customer trying to do what I did; I presume it must have been done on site, since the mySQL databases are invisible off site, and are only used by one's programmes remotely. One simply hopes that setup and use is done competently.
I received an email stating that the extra charges were removed. That's one good thing that happened today. It is still a reflection on the fact that the procedures are faulty.
Saturday, February 21st., 2009: A friend, a professor at Carleton U, has been trying to move his site from one hosting company to another. It has proven to be similar, in the manner of resultant problems, to mine.
The new hosting company states that it can import, or rather move, the site to its servers. Given that there seems to be another setup where the main mySQL database is "owned" by the hosting company, there seems to be no method of transferring the site's tables, just like the mess that I had to cope with. The result in a return to the old hosting company.
Thursday, February 26th., 2009: A salutary lesson that one should open the computers to check for dust balls; I cleaned two today, including my ML570, which has many nooks and crannies. Lots of extraneous matter. Runs better now, as does the workstation I also cleaned.
Saturday, March 7th., 2009: Moving computers can sometimes be parlous. I have a Dell 650 Workstation that was working fine until I shut it down (properly). It would not start when placed elsewhere, which can hardly be the cause. I went early this morning down to my storage, and brought up the other Dell 650 that I had had problems with. I moved everything over and, yowzah! it started fine attached to one monitor. So, I moved it over into double monitor territory and it still works.
I spoke too soon, it freezes, and the on-board LSI adapter eventually is found to be the cause. I have spare PCI Express LSI 21320 cards that I can use instead.
The moving of everything, books, computers and furniture, and the resultant rearrangement follows from having a lot of room to expand into. My father died on March 2nd., unexpectedly. RIP Raymond Ernest Dickins, 1919-2009.
Friday, March 13th., 2009: What is the problem? I have had to mess around and install XP Pro twice on a Dell Precision 650 WS. It will not join a network it would seem. The computer will start when in a workgroup, but when I give the 1GB onboard NIC the network address the computer will hang on a perpetual "Windows is starting up . . . " message. What is the cause of this? I cannot start in Safe Mode, either, for the same message arrives and will not disappear. No idea how on earth to fix this. Maybe it's the Firewall? That is a possibility, but I had that turned off for the previous installation, that which was the original Dell plus SP3 implemented.
Saturday, March 14th., 2009: The cure? Remove the SCSI hard drives, and install the OS onto the AT drive. Then, one by one, after adding the LSI SCSI controller, place each SCSI drive onto the chain. When the computer won't start, remove that drive, until all is working properly. There was definitely a problem with one of the U320 SCSI drives, preventing a proper start up of the machine. One lives and learns, what? I really do not understand why one faulty drive, that has nothing to do with booting up, prevents Windows from starting. On other machines, when drives have become problematic, start up has never failed (other than with a boot drive).
Monday, March 16th., 2009: Another ModusLnk drive had failed, of which there are now five faulty 147GB examples that I bought off that dealer. See an earlier Time Line for the history.
The second Dell 650 now starts up properly at last. That is a major problem cured, since it took days to find out what exactly was wrong. It now has one AT drive as boot and for the OS, XP Pro SP3, and three U320 SCSI, 72.8GB drives for programmes and data.
I had not wanted to spend the money, but I do now have two fully functional Dell Precision 650 Workstations. One has two 21" Panasonic ProP110 CRT monitors, and the other has two HP 17" 1740 LCD in use. A different view from each, and if the preference was needed, it would be for the CRTs. They are easier on the eye, and have a wider range of modes.
I run the CRTs at 1800 x 1440 whereas the optimum for the LCD is 1280 x 1024. One good thing is that the HP LCD is rotatable from portrait to landscape position. One of them is kept like that for easier viewing of news pages.
Wednesday, March 18th., 2009: I have been trying to use Spinrite 6 without any luck. The need for device drivers may be required, but the Discovering System's Mass Storage Devices message has been running for a long, long time. When it stops, I can determine if it needs extra device drivers. That's for the faulty ModusLnk/Worldisk 147GB U320 drives that sit awaiting testing.
I should have my head examined!! The problem with running Spinrite on the IBM eServer x220 is that the YGLv3 S2 is the item on the motherboard to cage that Windows treats as an unknown device; and for which there are no drivers. This is known in Device Manager (XP Pro) as ServerWorks Champion SouthBridge 4.
But, somewhere, because Spinrite runs in DOS, where actually lie the SCSI drivers? Those that come for the OS one uses won't be of any use, they obviously won't run for any other. My only solution may be to use one of my redundant ProLiant 800 boxes, with onboard SCSI.
Sunday, March 22nd., 2009: Several days spent yo-yoing between here and the Computer Supply House store for parts. What I have discovered is that Dell Precision 650 Workstations don't like StarTech SATA adapters. Or, it's a combination of that and XP Pro SP3: lots of problems trying to set up SATA drives. No formatting completed. I had to put the drives in another machine, and used Disk Management to Quick Format all three new drives very easily, totally unlike the lengthy failures in the Dell.
So, that was easy, except that one of the drives gives errors when the computer is booted up. Furthermore, when one reaches Disk Management, there is nothing wrong with the particular drive, at least that is what one reads.
I am expecting a round SCSI U320 cable through the mail. I think that I will revert to all U320 in the Dell. I can use the SATA drives elsewhere.
Monday, March 23rd., 2009: The round cable, five connections for drives, plus slimline terminator, came on Friday, but I had to collect it from the Mail today. It has been installed, and the U320 hard drives returned to the Dell. Now, everything runs as it did before, without the constant failures that occurred after using SATA drives on PCI cards. That was a disaster. Now things are normal, and am I relieved! I shall use the SATA drives in another machine, whenever there is a need.
But, now there is another problem with my ML350 W2003 R2 server. Disk management froze, and a forced boot has damaged the boot drive, therefore there is a need to repair that, except that the boot up Repair option fails with a hang at the damaged drive. Thus, a new installation may be necessary. Rats!! It may need a swap on the chain to allow installation to begin. There are always new problems to solve it seems.
Saturday, March 28th., 2009: I have dollied up a ProLiant 800 from my storage, to use as a Spinrite drive analyser. However, nothing is simple. I installed XP Pro SP3 on the box, which had, apart from the six drives in the cage, two U160 68GB drives on an Adaptec 29160n. That was easy, but when I replaced the second, unused drive, with the faulty U320 from the ML350, the machine would not work properly, because something made the keyboard and mouse inoperable. There were initrd errors shown when I started Spinrite, but the flashing "Working . . . . " screen is there, and won't leave, even after 12 hours.
I wonder if using the Adaptec verify/format under Ctrl-A would work? It's worth a try.
The verify worked, and the format is running, this mid-morning as I eat my cereal.
I had a reply from GRC support, re perpetual working status. It might be the FreeDos, so use an XP Dos disc. This I had, and started up the ProLiant. Spinrite halted with a SCSI locked error. Now what?
One thing that did work: the drive I formatted with the Adaptec Ctrl-A process was repaired and has been returned as a data drive to the original ML350 Win2003Ent machine. That was an important lesson: just because Windows can't start because of a failing in a drive, does not mean that the latter is really damaged. It may, as in this case, simply be cured by a verify/format.
Sunday, March 29th., 2009: I thought for a while that the dreaded starting up twaddle had begun again with one of my two Dell Precision 650 boxes. I waited long enough and then shut it down and opened the box. I checked the connections and closed it, started up the machine, and it works again. What?!
The ProLiant 800 machines will neither of them install Windows XP Pro with SP3 without locking up the mouse and keyboard. Changing mice or keyboards makes no difference. So, back to the drawing-board in regard to repairing U320, and other, drives. Especially with the error messages regarding the on-board SCSI. Too bad, there has to be another way.
What I had also forgotten, is that a NetGear FA311 dislikes DHCP. It much prefers having its IP properties fixed. After I had done that, and altered the internet security by removing it, internet access to windows updates was easy. So that has been done, and now to see if I can cure failing U320 drives, at last.
But what I found is that Windows 2003 Enterprise installed with seemingly no botheration. The only thing that sucks is the security settings for IE that prevent any access to anywhere, including windows update. It's a pain setting things up to actually work. Which in fact I could not remedy, so bad it is to try to reach anywhere, on the internet or on the network. The DC could not reach the ProLiant 800, although the ProLiant used the DC for logging on. I could not find any security matter or group setting or any other thing that seemed wrong.
Tuesday, March 31st., 2009: I found the cure for the ProLiant 800: it was to install Win2003Ent R2 with SP2 integrated. This is an earlier version of the OS, and there was a clean, and easy installation and shares were allowed, with ease. This success has been nothing like my experiences with the latest XP Pro with SP3, or with the latest Win2003Ent downloaded from TechNet. Why this should be I know not, but I am glad that I tried the option. Now, at last, I can possibly fix the ModusLnk or Worldisk monstrosities in my possession.
Saturday, April 4th., 2009: The prognosis is that the faulty drives cannot be repaired via Spinrite. I have tried with two ProLiant 800 boxes, but they have this odd BIOS set up that, when the machines are working properly, won't allow Spinrite to start. That's a real shame. Not much use for anything else, except perhaps for a Linux variant. Win2003Ent R2 SP2 installed easily on both, however. But there is no need for them on the network, currently.
I tried using Spinrite 6 with the IBM x220, and it started properly with all three drives installed in the hot-swap cage that work. When I replaced a healthy one with one I wished to repair, the "working" message, unending, reappeared. Thus, Spinrite could see the caged drives, but only if they were usable. That is hardly what I need to happen.
Spinrite responded with an offer to refund my cost. However, I think not, I need to research this further. They could find no reason why my efforts were useless. I shall see what happens when I try the programme on my machines that have no SCSI, or a mixture.
Wednesday, April 8th., 2009: I think that IE8 is the most bug ridden, useless browser it has ever been my misfortune to use. On this particular computer, and on the others that have IE8, the constant running out of memory on line x, the delay in opening pages and other matters is unconscionable. That on one computer there is a request to update to IE8 when it is already installed makes one boil with frustration.
Thursday, April 9th., 2009: Awaiting news from England. Whilst doing that, I accepted that IE8 should be reinstalled and completed that on two computers that also run Kaspersky AV software. The installation removed the activation code for the Kaspersky software. Luckily, that was easily remedied, but why did it happen in the first place?
Friday, April 10th., 2009: I really don't know if the IE8 updates that I installed are any better. I am completely fed up with the little box that states "Out of Memory line 8" and keeps repeating so that one cannot, in a normal fashion, close that page, or tab, or the programme.
And, every time now, after any reboot, Kaspersky tells me that the activation code has failed or that I have exceeded the number that are allowed. So, currently, no protection whatever from this inactive software. What is going on here?
I have installed repeatedly with the same result, and this in essence is utter nonsense.
Monday, April 13th., 2009: I wonder whether the need to uninstall, repair, activate, ad infinitum, has totally screwed the Kaspersky servers. How to tell whether one has reached the limit or not? One has not been advised about this.
Today, I became a grandfather for the second time; Sarah produced a girl at 06:30GMT, after three hours of labour. No name as yet, but 42 days to decide.
Tuesday, April 14th., 2009: Kaspersky techie advised
IE8 screwed up his installation. But, I have a constant problem. Any two
of three will open Kaspersky properly, except that I have a licence for
three computers. Here are typical screen shots.
But, and this is a big BUT, all three now work properly? What is it? I have downgraded from IE8 to IE7 on all three computers, so I cannot tell if this is a delayed reaction to having done that. The Kaspersky techie stated that he had had problems with IE8 the same way that I had, when the forced odd update caused Kaspersky to give activation error messages. How strange.
This is Windows Update time, so that I shall probably be forced to reboot every computer on the network shortly. I shall wait to see if the Kaspersky red K still appears after that: that's when I shall feel safe about the situation.
Wednesday, April 15th., 2009: In fact, after the updates and a reboot, Kaspersky failed again. Also, having had problems publishing from the URL to the server, it was successful, although there was a missing URL error several times, in completing the request, finally. I may just forget about Kaspersky on this computer, since I don't go anywhere fake with it.
What it implies is that Kaspersky has problems with networked machines and that IE8 might be an ancillary reason it fails when only three computers on the network have the anti-virus software installed.
Another problem with Expression Web 2 is that it will never completely open a page, on the URL, that has images in any number. The placeholders appear but the images do not. Equally problematic is that large images will never appear so that one can never make a thumbnail. This means that all editing and in fact all work is done on the files resting on the local server. Uploading by ftp may work, but it is easier to copy and paste, or drag. That's time consuming if there is a lot to be done.
What I have discovered after the initial large, probably total site, publishing changes fiasco, is that nothing is published if I edit/add on the server, and copy/paste to the URL. The sites have seemingly combined ownership of data.
Sunday, April 19th., 2009: I have given up on the Kaspersky fiasco. Nothing makes three computers available. So, I have reinstalled IE8, primarily because it has tabs, just like Firefox has had for years. But IE7 hasn't, and it is just as problematic regarding hangs and other faults.
I have decided to take the easier route. For a change, and, sadly, I have given up with trying to repair the U320 drives, since I have no computer suitable for fixing them, or, on the other hand, SpinRite is not good enough.
Sunday, April 26th., 2009:
The oddest thing regarding the AD network I run is that one computer
cannot be seen in Explorer by any of the other computers, including the
Why this should be is a mystery to me. Luckily, Leicester has shares for certain drives that work, and which ameliorates the situation.
Monday, April 27th., 2009: I posted on the Petri.il site, and followed "Virtual"'s recommendations. No improvement. I added a DC to the network, something I needed to do for peace of mind. That did not improve the DNS Explorer AD problem. Here are relevant images:
Tuesday, April 28th., 2009: The problem with Leicester
is to do with trust relationships within the domain. That's what this
message states, anyway: This message arose on a DC, Lancaster, when trying
to open a previously usable share.
I used a support ticket from my TechNet subscription and, using Easy Assist, the techie in New Delhi was able to fix the problem. It was a security issue/AD problem that took about two hours to sort out. Everything now works as it used to do.
Saturday, May 23rd., 2009: Too bad, the problem with Leicester has returned. I know not why, but it was only after using robocopy on some folders and realising that Windows Network does not show Leicester again, even though in the DC computers list the computer is there. It, as usual, is the only one listed in lower case. All of the others are listed in upper case. Why?
Mind you, the fix is easy: reboot, log on as local admin on the local computer. Reboot and log on as the normal user for the domain and, voilà, you're back and listed. Idiotic charade.
Another constant fubar is the installation of IE7 on Leicester stating constantly that it's out of memory on line 8. So?
Friday, June 12th., 2009: I do not know how to stop this idiotic loss of rights in Microsoft Windows Network for Leicester. Every time I try now to start up as local and then change to LAN access, it won't allow it. The computer name remains as leicester.dickins.lan and change is greyed out.
Nothing to do perhaps except rename the computer, reallocate a network address and then see what happens, especially when I bring in a used HP XW8200 shortly. 64-bit paradise, one hopes. Except that this workstation has single banked RAM. When one wishes to add to it, then they are made redundant. The bigger RAM is double-banked and cannot be used with its lesser brothers. Rats. The cost is more than one would wish.
Wednesday, July 1st., 2009, Canada Day 142: Use IE8, and leave it for a while. Now, try to refresh the page. How long does it take? On my machines, all of them, almost all of them different, it takes a long, long time. How poor is that? Try to find something on Microsoft's site to elucidate the cause: there is nothing available.
Tuesday, July 7th., 2009: I have had problems removing items from MFTM (Microsoft File Transfer Manager) that had been cancelled or otherwise not wanted. Couldn't find out why not, but eventually, by looking under the computer's current user as signed on, I found MFTM in the Documents and Settings/Application Data/Microsoft folder. Changing the names of the text files and removing other .asp files enabled me to use the programme properly at last.
Sunday, August 2nd., 2009: Well, Windows 7 RC installed on an HP XW4300 with two HP 1740 flat panel monitors. Both light up, with the same images. Neither appear in Device Manager, and only one monitor appears in Win7 Display/Screen Resolution. No way to cure this even with major searches. Tried all manner of fixes, but nothing works, although was able to install the latest driver for the Nvidia FX540 dual output video adapter. For Win7 X64 box.
Wednesday, August 5th., 2009: The problem arose in
both Win7 Ultimate RC and with Vista Ultimate, both X64. Both with the
latest nVidia driver set.
Subsequently, I bought an Ati Radeon HD3650 card; it was installed and, apart from a glitch in the Catalyst adjustment software, worked fine from the start. The Vista screen resolution application cured a problem with the secondary monitor being fixed at 640x480: it now works well, with both screens coming up, and both monitors shown in Device Manager. And, both monitors at the resolution I prefer.
The only problem now is what happens when I install Win7 Ultimate on the XW4300, and then on its bigger cousin, the XW8200. It will be interesting. One of my old Compaq servers, the ML350, will be retired, and the innards used elsewhere.
Thursday, August 6th., 2009: Windows 7 is out for downloading, if you have a TechNet subscription. I am downloading Ultimate and Enterprise. 'Tis taking a long time, since many others are doing the same thing, and the Microsoft servers must be working hard. Can't wait to install the new OS on my new (refurbished second-hand) XW workstations.
Saturday, August 8th., 2009: A day after I installed Windows 7 Ultimate X64 on the HP XW4300. After a few glitches, the updates for the OS and Office 2007 were successfully installed. This is a steep learning process, for this new OS: it does seem to work well, after the problems that I had with the nVidia card. The aero theme and semi-transparent folders, etc., are quite attractive, but how the computer works when asked to, will provide the final decision about its usefulness.
Sunday, August 9th., 2009: This morning, I had to phone Microsoft, because my TechNet download of Office 2007, installed previously on many computers, and innumerable times within my test network, told me it had been done too often.when installed on my XW4300. This is strange. I have been given a number to call, which will be done when they are open.
However, one thing that has struck me, and that is that I did not try to activate immediately after the Office installation. Updates were run, and its possible that that may have affected the software. I shall try again when I install Win7Ult X64 on the XW8200. If it activates properly, then I shall know why.
Monday, August 10th., 2009: This morning I downloaded 2008 Server with SP2, all types, both X64 and X86. The rate hovered around 320-330 KB/s, which is significantly faster than the ca 40-50 KB/s for Windows 7 a couple of days ago. Obviously, the demand for Windows 7 was much greater than for the latest server OS.
I have found the same quirk that occurs occasionally on XP Pro: an administrative account demoted to debugger without warning. It's easy to spot, it's suddenly impossible to do certain tasks that an administrator must complete. Easy to change, but a tiresome flaw in the OS.
Friday, August 14th., 2009: Circumstances forced me to buy a cell phone. I obtained a Telus smartphone: a Blackberry 9530 Storm. There is desktop software for the phone that comes with the package. It would not install properly on my white box, Oxford, neither would the upgrade.
I downloaded the upgrade to Hyperion, a Windows 7 machine. It installed cleanly and quickly and then on to learning the ins and outs of a smartphone. Not trivial, and I have come across some real problems. The worst is that I have the Premium version of DataViz Sheets to Go software and it does now (!) import .xlsx files. But, although forum users protest that it will, my files will not open in View mode. That means that I cannot navigate the file properly. With a small screen and idiosyncratic operators, that is severely problematic.
Friday, August 21st., 2009: After the kerfuffle with the XW4300 about nVidia cards, the same thing has arisen with the XW8200 that I am working on now. The OS is, again, Windows 7 Ultimate, and it is slowly working its way towards finally installing itself.
I had two ridiculous situations with this computer; the first is my fault in not reading that it only had a CD-ROM. No wonder the DVD was a non-system disk! The second was that it wouldn't pass through the BIOS startup without complaining about the combination of SCSI and SATA drives. So, I removed the SCSI drives, because I can use them elsewhere, and kept four SATA, of which two were 1TB and the other two 320GB. Unfortunately, Windows 7 won't install on a dynamic drive, which the two 320GB drives turned out to be. So, I have taken a spare SATA 160GB and used that as the installation drive.
Things are still churning along, but one of the two IBM flatscreens tells me it has an input signal out of range. Will updated drivers cure this? Don't hold your breath. The nVidia curse strikes again, it appears.
And, it did, because with two monitors turned on, set up would never finish. Turning off one monitor allowed it to nearly complete adequately. With only one monitor. Tomorrow means more expense and the purchase of a card that is Radeon or a similar ATi base.
Currently, the machine is unresponsive with the one monitor activated, and a Quadro video card.
Saturday, August 22nd., 2009: Successful, and responsive, after installing an Asus Radeon based PCI-e card. Both monitors visible, and have now installed Office 12 and other programmes. And now, after a while, the computer, Temeraire, now reveals all of the others except, of course the odd one, Leicester, that is never present in Windows Network on any other than itself. Still peculiar and never able to be cured.
Sunday, August 23rd., 2009: Nothing ever runs smoothly. The new installation of Windows 7 on Temeraire, the HP XW8200 was apparently successful. Except that I cannot have it remain with the network. If I do certain things, for example use IE8 to import favourites, it will do that, and show the networked computers. If I then change the Explorer, click on it anywhere, even when the computers are shown, then they disappear. In Windows Network, the computer is shown, but no access is allowed, even from the DC from which the logon is obtained. What???
Using Network and Internet Troubleshooter, nothing comes back. There apparently is not a problem. Except that nothing is shown, there is no visible explanation of what the process undertook.
Something very strange: I opened Explorer on the other Windows 7 Ultimate box, Hyperion. It sees Temeraire, and it can open all of its folders. I am copying a large amount of data to one of Temeraire's drives without a problem. So, this is a Windows 7 networking problem. The HP XW4200 using Windows 7 Ult. had a problem initially, but now sees all of the other computers, including the DC, and can copy to any of them. No idea what is wrong, but still having to work on it. This new box, Temeraire, is a good one, with a lot of RAM and much drive capacity. I do not want to waste it.
I had thought a cure was found; in gpedit.msc. But, it produced a logon failure: the target account name is incorrect. At the same time, Leicester, lately an outcast, has come back into the Windows Network cloak.
Late evening I discovered that the administrator account on Victory (the renamed Temeraire) was red crossed. Another administrative account had been demoted to debugger. There was a trust relationship between the domain and computer that had failed. I logged off and joined a Workgroup. I then used System when logged on to the Workgroup and rejoined the domain. Everything so far has worked as it should.
Tuesday, August 25th., 2009: Not everything is working correctly. I restarted Victory, the HP XW8200 running Windows 7 Ultimate. It failed to see the internet NIC, and would not reinstall the driver. A restart brought everything back to normal with me having done nothing whatever. How odd is that? And then, it would not copy over a .txt file from an XP Pro box.
Sunday, August 30th., 2009: The only XP box on the network gave me problems when suddenly the graphics card gave up. This was Saturday, and I had to hunt for an AGP replacement. That, an Asus AH3450 AGP 8X (512MB), was found and installed. It seemed to work well, but when I moved a NIC in the machine, the Dell gave the flashing amber power light, and an amber B in the four light diagnostic range below it. Problem is supposedly a power supply, or memory, or an adapter. I changed the power supply, thinking that the more likely culprit. (That necessitated a walk down to the storage locker, about a mile away, and removal of the power supply from another Dell Precision 650 box, with a defective motherboard).
I could not cure the problem even by changing the case, and placing everything in another Dell Precision 650, one I had decided to remove from the network temporarily.
Eventually, it was the new card that proved the problem. By placing the nVidia Quadro that was in the demoted Dell Precision into the one I wanted to keep, the computer immediately started up correctly. I had to rename some drives, and alter the monitor resolution (after uninstalling the Ati programmes that were giving a fit, since the new card had gone away), and everything is now working again.
Hours and hours of futile work searching for something that I could have discovered by taking one card from the demoted Dell in the first place.
Tuesday, September 1st., 2009: More problems: two of the U320 drives on the sole XP Pro SP3 machine were nearly full of data. I decided therefore, to install the Adaptec SATA 1205SA Raid card that won't work in a Windows 7 machine. It worked, and the two much larger SATA drives have started up, but not until the voltage problem in the Dell was handled. The machine works fine now, and the two SATA drives will handle what can be thrown at them for a considerable time.
The white box, with Windows 7 X64 handled by the AMD processor, which is on an X86 (32-bit) motherboard, now has a PCI-express x 1 Adaptec AAR-1220SA SATA card for the two SATA drives installed and waiting for a working card. This worked easily, using Vista drivers.
Given that I had extra drives, I have added a 147GB U320 to an array on the ML 570: it has taken a day to reach 90% of the process. Then it should become a somewhat better data receptor.
Wednesday, September 2nd., 2009: Late yesterday, I renewed the other Dell Precision, Cumbria, with four 78GB U320 drives and the Asus AH3450 video card, AGP 8X, that would not work in the same case on Sunday now does and why now I know not. It has been made another X86 Windows 7 Ultimate machine: to see how it works in comparison with the XP Pro box, and the X64 associates on the Windows 2003 Server Active Directory domain.
Perhaps there were too many PCI cards in the XP computer, Leicester. In Cumbria, I have also placed an nVidia GeForce FX5200 (128MB), single DVI output, in a PCI slot. That works and I now have the capacity of using three monitors on this machine. I very well may do so later on.
I have still not determined the cause for the intermittent status of neighbouring computers on the domain. Sometimes they are there, sometimes not: there does not seem any logical reason for the situation. This is to do with what the Windows 7 computers show on their Network section: nothing is ever consistent, unlike the XP Pro boxes when present.
Tuesday, September 8th., 2009: I am becoming increasingly tired of having to reboot every time there are updates. Why, when I have been told that they would be minimized at an increasing rate. And, with Windows 7, if one reboots then one's desktop icons are altered to alphabetical, and won't stay as one has ordered them and refreshed. Utterly ridiculous, and no wonder techies become irritated.
Friday, September 11th., 2009: A Kingston 8GB Micro card that I bought recently has given me real problems. Firstly, for whatever reason, it became unwritable, whatever computer it was mated to. Then, when placed in Oxford, the WhiteBox, it crashed Windows 7 when removed. It hadn't been recognised by the computer, so why did it crash it? The card in my old Olympus camera was recognised in the same reader. And the other, external reader allowed the Kingston card to be seen.
Monday, September 21st., 2009: The start of Autumn, the equinox. And, the day that the spam on my blogs ceased. A simple cure: one now has to ask permission to post thereon. And, naturally, one can't.
Monday, September 28th., 2009: On one computer, Victory, with 16GB RAM, IE8 constantly freezes at inopportune times. No cure, but closing it and reopening will keep it going until the next time. Plus, trying to buy an upgrade to EWeb 3 can't be done from any of my computers because Canadian Provinces, and the actual country, fail to appear on Digital River's pages. No cure, either.
Thursday, October 1st., 2009: What happened to my two 64-bt HP boxes? Both gave me DHCP NIC errors by failing. After much work they began to work again, and I need to replace them with NICs that will work with Win7/Vista, to ensure it doesn't happen again. What a charade it was: maybe, just maybe, related to the installation the previous day of the free Microsoft Security Essentials on both machines. Who knows, these days?
Sunday, October 11th., 2009: Expression Web 3 will be in the mail on Tuesday next; because I had those problems Microsoft's Rick Claus and Rini Gahir decided I deserved a free full edition. Neat.
Tuesday, October 13th., 2009: The iPod Touch that I have has a basic flaw: one cannot have the auto logon work at the usual place that I use to access the web. That's in a Starbucks café with Bell CA access. Every time I use the iPod I have to log on again. How pathetic.
Another thing that annoys me is the iTunes indication of constant upgrades that are deemed necessary, according to Apple. And, of course, there is a reboot. Why so many upgrades; is it faulty programming?