Archive for the 'General Info' Category

Strange Reboots

This isn’t going to be a terribly helpful post, but I do think it is interesting.  I have a server that is exhibiting some strange behavior.  When I copy a file to the server it reboots. 

At first, I thought this was a specific file, but later determined that it didn’t matter what the file was as long as it was over 4 MB.  I copied a 1 KB file and nothing happened.  I copied a file just under 5 MB and the system locked up, and then rebooted. 

I thought maybe it was a problem with the file, so I copied it local to my computer.  No problem. hmm…

I copied it directly from the source server to the destination server. Crashed the destination.  Weird…

I copied it from my computer to the destination server.  No problem.  I copied a very large (2 GB) file from my computer to the destination computer.  No problem.

I was about to decom that server anyway.  Bombs away…

Back Up!

So after several months of not being accessible, my blog is once again available.  I know that there are thousands of people (or maybe just me) that missed my blog while it was down. 

So I would like to have some grand reason for being down so long, but the simple fact is, we made some network changes here and this blog wasn’t very high on the priority list.  Such is life…

Not quite yet…

So the other day I said that I was moving this blog to Azure.  I have tinkered with that, and am actually making a little progress.  (This happens when you put little effort/time into something).  I decided to bring it back up where it was in order to do an easier transfer of the image content.  We shall see how that works out.  Wish me luck…

2015 Blog Report

Well, I didn’t hit the number I was hoping to hit.  I made it to 162, and I was hoping to make it to 175.  Maybe by the end of 2016?

Since this is a WordPress site and I use Jetpack here is a nice little report provided with no effort on my part: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/6842850/2015/

Shrinking volumes

Sometimes, I find it useful to shrink volumes.  This happens about once every 2 or 3 years.  Since I do it so infrequently, I have to look it up every time.

In my experience, while you can do it from the GUI, it isn’t always successful.  Also, I have not ever seen it work to try and shrink it by the complete amount that is available to shrink.  My experiences are related to very large (larger than 1 TB) volumes.

To shrink via the command line, at an elevated prompt, do the following:

Diskpart – this is the disk management CLI

List volumes – this is the diskpart cmd that gives you a list of volumes (not to be confused with the list of disks

select volume <#> – this is how you select the volume that you want to work on, i.e. “select volume 2

shrink querymax – this tells you how much space can be trimmed off the volume.  There are several factors that affect this, but the primary things are how big the volume is to begin with, and where on that volume the un-movable system files  are located.

shrink desired=<size in MB> – this tells the volume to shrink by the amount of space given in MB.  I.e. “shrink desired=102400” will shrink the volume by 100GB.

shrink minimum=<size in MB> – this tells the volume to shrink by the amount specified, but only if it can shrink by that amount

You can use the minimum and desired together if you want.  You can also add a “NOWAIT” so that the prompt returns and you don’t have to wait to see the results.

Don’t instal build 10547

I have been very happy with the Windows 10 builds.  Most of them have at least been “no visible change” for me.  Build 10547 however, was not like that.

I had heard of some issues with that build from one of my co-workers, but nothing specific enough to not make think it was other than an anomaly.  However, when I installed the build, I was very unhappy. 

First, I rarely shut my machine down.  I had to do a hard shutdown 3 times on my machine after installing Build 10547, because the screen was black and only the mouse pointer was visible.   After I was able to get into the machine, the network adapter wasn’t working.  It has worked fine for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and every other build of Windows 10.  I kept getting activation errors for Office programs.  after 2 hours, I finally had to revert to the previous build. 

Build 10550 is supposed to have addressed some of these issues.  Cross your fingers.

Blog Status

When I got back on the Blog wagon, I intended to write more posts, and even came up with a list of topics that I wanted to write about.  So far I am not doing so well on that.  The last couple of posts that I wrote had to do with SharePoint, which wasn’t even on my list.  There has been a little bit of work on the topics I intended, but I haven’t done as much as I would like.  And I have definitely not done as much blogging as I intended (hoped) by this point.

A status update on my post count…  I am up to 159 (160 when this posts).  I get a few hits here and there on my random PowerShell contributions.  I still get a lot of hits on my DPM posts.  I don’t actually use DPM anymore (we use a third party hosted solution, not because there was any problem with DPM).  I get hits on some of my Hyper-V posts and a few other storage posts. 

My list included improving my management skills.  Maybe I should blog a little more about my experiences in that regard.

New Favicon for my site

So in a previous life, I spent time in the Navy.  I was a Machinist Mate, in the Nuclear Power Program.  That history, my tendency to (over) analyze things and the fact that my name is Michael all let to the name of this site.  (Nuke it Mike). 

This site is not (currently, or planned to be) used for commercial/profit purposes.  I get a very small amount of traffic these days (I got more traffic when I was blogging about a particular set of problems with early versions of DPM). 

I have no reason to have a personal logo, but I have been thinking for years that I wanted one.  I finally got around to making one.  This is a Machinist Mate Rating badge with the colors of the Radiation Warning symbol.  What do you think?

NIMLogo

2015 Interests Update

I said here that I wanted to get to 175 (from 148) and I have made it to 154 (if you count this post).  I am sure that is right on track.

The next post that I wrote (after my post count) was a list of things I wanted to work on (or that I was interested in working on) this year.

From that list, I have worked on a few items (and a bunch that weren’t on the list).  I created a PowerShell script to capture Management Pack Dependencies.  Upgrading the OS for the OpsMgr server probably wasn’t on my list, but I did that, too.

I am also taking an Azure class.  So far, most of it is stuff I am already familiar with, or at least comfortable with.  I have picked up a few concepts and found a few resources.  The “Cloud Design Patterns” looks interesting.

The rest of the items on my list are a bit more difficult to tie together.  I have been working on some documentation/automation scripts that should be useful.  I will post those when (if) I get them cleaned up enough for posting.

The Good and the Bad of Microsoft Ignite (IMHO)

I have been attending a Microsoft conference each year since 2003.  (I think I missed one year because of a child being born close to the same time as the conference.)  Until last year, the conference that I went to was the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS).  I am an infrastructure guy so that conference seemed to be pretty relevant.  TechEd would also have been relevant, but I didn’t attend TechEd until last year when the combined MMS and TechEd. 

This year TechEd and several other conferences were all combined into one giant conference, Microsoft Ignite.  This is the first year for this conference.  As a first run, with a conference that has 23,000+ attendees, it hasn’t been too bad.  I am somewhat disappointed in the logistics.  Chicago is a great city and the dedicated bus route between the hotels and the conference center is a great idea.  Not running any buses for half the day isn’t a great idea. 

With a conference that lasts a full week and covers such a broad range of topics, you can become mentally exhausted.  Being able to go back to your hotel room, take a nap, make phone calls, answer natures call, etc. is a key factor in surviving the conference.  With a conference of this size, in a convention center that is the largest in North America, going to sessions an different topics can be a challenge. 

There are a lot of talented people at Microsoft.  I enjoy going to the conferences and hearing what they are working on, what the plans are, what I should be focusing on to be ready for the next thing they release.  I enjoy hearing about the successes, and how the non-successes are handled.  I manage infrastructure.  My interests span a wide range of topics covered at this conference. 

The good:

  • It is Microsoft
  • The presenters are very talented and knowledgeable people
  • There is a lot of information
  • They are getting better at working with customers every year
  • I like the direction they are going with their products
  • Closing party – I think for the number of people, and how it was laid out, the closing party was actually pretty good. 
  • Second screen – I did spend one afternoon, and Friday morning watching and listening to sessions from my hotel rom via the second screen feature. 

The bad:

  • Selling – I am at a Microsoft conference, to hear about technologies that I already believe in.  Can we cover the technical parts a little more, and the sales part a little less?  If there is a track for a technology, can we not cover the same sales information in every session, for 30 minutes (at least) of the 75, and focus more on the technology?
  • Session length – Most of the sessions I went to could have been handled in about half the time if the sales part had been left out.
  • Announcements – Most Microsoft conferences have announcements.  That is part of the fun.  This time, the announcements seemed a little less spectacular, and a little less fun.  It seemed that the announcements weren’t given the spotlight as much as in previous conferences.
  • Food – I don’t eat much conference food.  This time I didn’t eat any, so this next statement is strictly hear say.  I spoke to a person who claimed to eat pretty much anything, and he said the conference food was very disappointing.  Even for conference food. 
  • Crowded sessions – almost all the sessions I went to were very crowded.  I went to a variety of topics, so it wasn’t just a particular topic.  With 23,000 people, maybe there needed to be more sessions.   Although, we brought 5 people, and there were at least 2, maybe as many as 6 other people that “should” have come.  For us that is a significant number of people.

All in all, I hope that some of the issues I have with this year are resolved for next year.  I will come back next year, but I won’t be as excited as I was in years past.