My VM server parts list

Here is the list of components that I have ordered for this VM server build.

You may notice that there are no drives as part of my order. I’m going to install the server OS on either a USB flash drive or a small SSD that I currently have. As for VM storage, I will do a test install using an HDD that I have laying around, but in the end I’m going to see if I can get it connected to storage on my Synology NAS, which has ~6TB of storage capacity.

My total cost so far for these parts is: $523.78


Building a virtualization server

Going to be changing up my network a bit and want to start by adding a VM host server. I want to migrate my domain controller over to Windows Server 2012 R2 and I want to add a few more Linux servers to the mix. Currently my only physical server is a whitebox build running Server 2012. Besides being my current domain controller, I’m also running Hyper-V on it with a few Linux guests. It’s not the ideal setup, so that’s why I’m moving to an actual proper VM server. I can then run my DC as its own VM, and the Linux servers as their own VM’s.

Parts have been ordered and some even starting to arrive. I will do another post shortly outlining the exact parts ordered and the host software I plan to use. As well as any issues I run in to  along the way.

ShadowProtect saves the day…again

The other day I got a call from someone with a non booting computer. User was concerned because of course, they didn’t have a recent backup of the main application they use to run their business. Since I knew there was critical data, my first process before troubleshooting the issue is to pull the drive and hook it up to the bench computer in my shop and attempt data access. I was able to access the drive without issue and quickly backed up the application data. Once I had that, I used Storagecraft ShadowProtect to create a full image backup of the drive.

Then I placed the drive back in the computer and powered it up to see what I got. I was quickly presented with a ‘Missing operating system’ message and that’s it. I then booted to an XP CD in repair mode and ran FIXMBR (which didn’t work), then also ran a CHKDSK (also which didn’t help).

On a whim, from my bench computer I attempted a virtual boot of the backup image I had created earlier. Much to my surprise, Windows booted to the login screen. Interesting. I couldn’t log in though because of activation issues (Thanks Microsoft). But based on that successful boot up I wanted to try something. I grabbed an old hard drive that I had laying around and performed a restoration of the image to that drive. I did choose to install a new MBR though. Once completed, I hooked that drive up the computer, and to an even bigger surprise, Windows completed booted up AND allowed me to log in. With the machine looking to me as if it is running again, I had the customer come in and verify everything worked. He was ecstatic when he saw all his data in the app.

ShadowProtect from Storagecraft is an awesome program for backups. I use it in my office and at many clients to backup critical systems and servers. It’s saved the day more than once.

Would you like to learn more about backing up your computer systems with ShadowProtect? Please contact me at Badger IT Solutions, LLC and we can discuss backup strategies for your personal and business computer systems.

Blackberry issues for a client

A client of mine, whose has about 5 Blackberry users contacted me early yesterday morning in a panic. They were reporting that no one was receiving emails on their blackberrys anymore, and that it’s been happening since last Friday. Here’s the back story, on Thursday of last week I promoted one of their servers to a domain controller as we’re getting ready to decommission an older server. So the client was quick to blame my changes for the blackberrys stopping to work. Now this client does not run a blackberry enterprise server, and I really had no idea how they communicating with the Exchange server. I’ve heard they connected through Outlook Web access, and OWA was working fine.

I spent the majority of Monday digging through server log files searching for anything that could be causing the issue. We rebooted every server and their Cisco, and the Blackberrys still were not getting email. My onsite contact was freaking out because the blackberry users are all upper management and she was under a lot of pressure to get them working again as all the users were traveling and were relying on the phone for email. At some point in the afternoon, she asked if I could revert the changes I made to the one server. I told her that I didn’t believe the issue was caused from my change and I didn’t think it would be wise to demote the server back to a member server. As the day ended, we got new reports from the users that their email was working until sometime Saturday morning. Now I was more confident it wasn’t because of my changes. I told her I would come onsite the next day and work with one of the blackberrys and blackberry support and get it figured out.

So today I drive an hour to their office and with blackberry in hand begin looking in to how they are setup. Find that the email setup happens through a blackberry website that is particular to their provider. While in this setup, there is an ‘Advanced Settings’ area, and that is where I found the issue. I find a form that has their OWA URL, except that it was wrong. The URL that was listed was almost right, but was simply missing an s, as in https://. Once I added the s and saved it out, they phones started syncing again. I have their OWA requiring and SSL connection and it has been that way for a long time, which makes me ask, what happened? Did the URL in the setup change for 5 users on 3 different providers? Or was that address always missing the s, but it was smart enough to redirect to the https page and that broke on Saturday? Regardless of what it was, it wasn’t my fault or related to promoting a server on their network.

Windows Server DNS question

Using the internal DNS server(Windows 2003 Server), can I point a single URL from a legitimate domain to a certain IP address, while leaving all other variances of that domain pointing to their existing location?

Here’s an example of what I’m looking for. needs to route over the internet needs to be routed over an internal VPN connection

Can it be done?

Angry IP Scanner is a threat??

I have been using Angry IP Scanner for a long time and probably use it at least once a week. It’s an awesome, easy to use freeware utility. But as of today, Symantec thinks it is a threat to my system, and has quarantined all instances of ipscan.exe. I need to investigate if this is true, or if this is just a false positive.

Symantec thinks ipscan.exe is a threat

From the Symantec listing:

Hacktool.Angry is a tool for scanning ranges of IP addresses to find computers. It is also a port scanner that can be used to probe ports on computers.

Update 1: Found some chatter on the official Angry IP forums at SourceForge. But no official word from the software company or Symantec.

Update 2: Andy has posted a link in the comments to a Symantec page for reporting false positives. So if your here because you’re experiencing this issue, please fill out the form and let’s hope Symantec does the right thing.

Vista Business Upgrade?? That can’t be right!

We just received our January Action Pack shipment and as I went through the contents, I found the Vista dvd, but it’s listed as Microsoft Windows Vista Upgrade Business. Huh? An upgrade? That doesn’t seem right, plus I thought I read that Vista upgrade disks will not do full installs(I haven’t confirmed this though). Well, I’m off to scour the net looking for more info on this.

Vista Upgrade - Action Pack