WINDOWS

Written by Sam McGeown on 9/10/2008
Published under Microsoft
32-bit processors have a limitation of only being able to directly address 4GB RAM - their architecture was never designed to address more. 64-bit processors get around that limitation by being able to us 64 bits to address RAM (potentially 16,777,216 GB), but what do you do if you have an application that won’t work on a 64-bit copy of Windows, but does need to utilise more than 4GB of RAM?
Written by Sam McGeown on 2/10/2008
Published under Microsoft
For a little while now I’ve had an irritating problem with my Vista laptop. Whenever I insert a DVD, CD of any kind, pops up the message asking me to prepare a blank disk: It’s impossible to access the files on the disc and I don’t want Vista trying to “prepare” my data disc. Quite irritating, but not irritating enough to fix right away. Microsoft have a KB article about it, which has worked in some cases, but not in most.
Written by Sam McGeown on 11/9/2008
Published under
I needed to use PowerShell for something today on my Vista laptop, but was unable to install the file. I had the normal UAC permission required when I ran it,  but then it failed with this error Installer encountered an error: 0x80070422 The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. It turns out that you need to enable the Windows Update service in order to use an MSU file.
Written by Sam McGeown on 18/7/2008
Published under Microsoft
We have a Bonded ADSL solution for our servers to provide the necessary upstream transfer speeds for the applications we host. We have bonded ADSL because our exchange still doesn’t support SDSL, and a leased line is overkill. Theoretically, we should have 28.1 Mbps download and 3.2Mbps upload - what I am actually seeing is about 1.7Mbps down and 1.9Mbps up. I have tested this on various servers, over various times and file sizes, there is no doubt that the performance is POOR.
Written by Sam McGeown on 15/7/2008
Published under VMware
We recently needed to upgrade one of our applications, and the new version requires an addition server instead of the application and SQL it requires a back end search, a front end web server and a SQL server. The specifications of the new server which are “required” to qualify for support are pretty high. The problem is that the actual processor usage is very light, and it is very hard to justify buying a whole new server that I know is going to be barely used.
Written by Sam McGeown on 14/7/2008
Published under
I noticed a post over at David Overton’s blog today that highlights a new release of Windows Search. Normally not that exciting, but it is if you’re using Outlook to open up another users mailbox. I have quite a few mailboxes that are opened for historical reasons, people leave a company and I need access to their email. I don’t want to bloat my mailbox with all their email, it’s hard enough to find my own emails!
Written by Sam McGeown on 2/5/2008
Published under
Had an interesting one yesterday, my bosses Vista laptop booted as per normal, making all the right pictures until just before the log in prompt popped up, then a black screen in what looked to be VGA graphics with the white default arrow cursor. Corrupted graphics drivers, I thought. A quick boot into safe mode…but no, the same black screen and over-sized pointer. No problem, Last Known Good Configuration will save my day…except that LKGC points are set when the OS manages a successful boot, and Vista had, in it’s own opinion, successfully booted.
Written by Sam McGeown on 8/4/2008
Published under Microsoft
I was adding a shiny new domain controller to my server farm earlier today, we have just two Windows 2000 SP4 domain controllers on old kit and they are due to retire. With the hardware selected, purchased and a fresh copy of Windows Server 2003 R2 installed, I set to installing Active Directory. DCPromo.exe fires up and I go through the configuration steps until… "The Active Directory Installation Wizard cannot continue because the forest is not prepared for installing Windows Server 2003.
Written by Sam McGeown on 14/3/2008
Published under Microsoft
When the Dell engineer said “they’ve asked if you can reinstall the OS” my heart sank. Not because I felt like he was weasling out of work - unusually they were very helpful. Not because installing XP is a hard task, I’ve done it over 100 times on all sorts of hardware. No, the reason I let out a sigh was because this particular laptop, the Latitude X1, has no internal CD/DVD drive.
Written by Sam McGeown on 7/1/2008
Published under Microsoft
I’ve just removed a domain controller (DC) from my root domain, the very first server not only in the domain, but the forest. The roles were migrating to a newer server, far more up to the job, but it isn’t a job to be taken lightly. If you mess up the root domain, you’ve potentially got problems all the way down your domain hierarchy.   Let me explain; the primary domain controller in a domain (normally the first domain controller) hosts all the FSMO roles.