Yet another outage

Well, our office experienced another power fluctuation today. As a result both our main server and the Linux server lost power. Pretty obvious that the UPS that those two systems are on is basically useless.

We swapped out the useless, inadequate UPS with a brand new inadequate one. It’s ok though, I’ve been given word that we’ll be ordering a nice SmartUPS from APC this week.

Fixed the problem with the server

In case you were visiting over the weekend(or at least trying to), the site was extremely sluggish. It wasn’t just this site but every site on the server. Well, sometime early Saturday morning our office experienced a power outage. Long enough to run the UPS’s dry. Someone at the office called me and told me what I already knew. I had them power the Linux server back up. It was up but something was still wrong.

Well, long story short, a couple of weeks ago we made some updates to our network, including a whole new IP schema. The Linux server was updated, but during the reboot it reverted back to the old IP addresses.

When I got in this morning, I corrected the IP settings, and now we’re back in business.

I hate the reading pane

If you use Outlook 2003, I’m sure you know what the reading pane is. Well, for the record, I hate it, and it’s always on by default. Everytime you create a new folder, there it is. Now it’s not too much work to turn it off, but just the fact that it’s there drives me nuts.

Well, today I wanted to find a way to globally turn off this feature. It wasn’t hard. Here’s all that you need to. Edit the shortcut you use to launch Outlook and add the following switch to it: /nopreview

Then wammo, no more reading panes ever again. Want more switches? Check this site out:

Up to my eye sockets in Group Policies

We got a new server installation coming up next week and we’re finally going to get this client setup correctly. The new layout is going to consist of a super duper nice Dell Poweredge running Windows Server 2003 as the main active directory server and there’s an additional server which will be a dedicated server for terminal services running Windows 2000 Server.

The terminal server provides an ASP service for his clients, and the current way it’s all setup(NT4 is involved); it is a pain to add and configure the ASP users.

With the new equipment, I’m using group policies to make the terminal server act the way I want it to when an ASP user logs in. It’s pretty sweet to say the least. I’m about 90% complete with my policy. Adding a new user right now is a piece of cake and doesn’t requires a 25 step process like the current server does.

All I really have left is to give the users a tiny piece of disk space to save files and make it so that�s the only drive space they can see and access. Should be done by tomorrow.

IT Horror Story

That’s what my week was like last week. This week is off to a much better start.

We had a major server upgrade at our second largest client(25 users) on the 23rd of April. It was an upgrade from an old Compaq server running NT4 and Exchange 5.5 to SBS 2003 on a sweet dual Xeon Dell Poweredge. We, thought to process would go as smooth as all other server migrations have for us in the past, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Now there were a quite a few reasons that this upgrade was taking place, one however, was because about a month ago Exchange and the Symantec for Exchange(2.1) got in a fight over a file and Exchange lost, shutting down the store. It took some work to get everything back running, but Exchange never seemed to run the same since.

While migrating all the data off the old server, Exchange decided to barf again, this time in a much worse way. We were forced to go on with the install and couldn’t worry about peoples mailboxes until the new server was completely in place and functional.

Then the new server all of sudden started having stability problems. We couldn’t access it from the console or from any type of remote connection. Even though the clients could still access all server resources just fine. I remotely shut down Exchange services and then we hard powered the beast. Man, did that have me nervous.

The next day, the new server had the same problems. We were forced to call MS to get some assistance on the issue. He termserved in and looked around only to say he didn�t see anything wrong. The event viewer was void any concrete details.

As it stands now, we believe it had/has something to do with the original schedule in Backup Exec(9.1). We turned off the back up schedule and the machine has been completely stable. We�ve since rescheduled the backup and it�s still stable.

All this consumed my entire week. It was the most frustrating week I�ve ever had and I�m glad it�s mostly over.