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Pruning Old Computer Accounts in AD

In large organizations the task of keeping Active Directory cleansed of inactive computer accounts can be daunting.  Using the dsquery command we can easily find all of the computers in the directory that have not been logged into in a given time interval.  As an example, the following command will find all computers in Active Directory that have not been logged into during the past 8 weeks:

dsquery computer -inactive 50 -limit 0

After reviewing this list to make sure these computers no longer exist on your network you can use the following command to find and delete them:

dsquery computer -inactive 50 -limit 0 | dsrm -noprompt

The DSQUERY utility comes with the Windows Server 2003 Support Tools package Adminpak.msi which can be installed directly from your Windows Server 2003 installation media or downloaded from the Microsoft website.  The standard disclaimer applies to this as to when you delete anything in Active Directory.  You should always check the list of computers to be deleted twice before you perform that action.  Just because your CEO hasn’t logged into his laptop in a couple of months doesn’t mean he won’t in the near future, and he may not be too happy to find he no longer has network access!

This appears to work out of the box on Server 2008 R2.

via Pruning Old Computer Accounts in AD.
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pruning old computer accounts in ad
remove old computer accounts active directory

Move SSL certificates from IIS 6.0 to the latest version of IIS IIS 7.0/ IIS 7.5 IIS

Export the certificates from IIS 6.0 web server
i Open MMC – type “MMC” without quotes in your run menu
ii Select the “Add/Remove Snap-in” option CTRL + M from the file menu.
iii Select “Computer Account’” and then “Local Computer”
iv Close the ‘Add Standalone Snap-in’ window and click on OK
v Choose the “Certificates” console tree and open the “Personal” folder and then “Certificates”
vi Select the certificate that you wish to migrate and right click on the certificate
vii choose Export option from the Tasks menu. Choose “Yes, export with Private key” option and save the file.
viii you will find that the exported file will have an extension of .pfx.

Import the cerficates into IIS 7.0 / 7.5 web server
i Open IIS
ii Select the server, and go to features view,
iii Double-click Server Certificates.
iv click on the Import link in the Actions pane.
v choose the cerfiticates, and select the relevant options that follow.

That’s it. The certificates are migrated.

via Move SSL certificates from IIS 6.0 to the latest version of IIS IIS 7.0/ IIS 7.5 IIS.

Restrict access to specific fonts in Citrix

Recently we had a situation where our publishing department decided to use a font that was not included in any package we already owned (Windows, Office, etc).  So a request came to us to make this  font available to specific users.  We went down the normal road of ‘are we licensed’, ‘who’s paying for it’, etc, and then explained that in our Citrix environment we would have to license each ‘potential user’ (or get a site license).  Most software vendors are starting to understand Citrix and/or Terminal Services and allow us to use a ‘best effort’ model.  As long as we make a best effort to restrict their product to the number of users we have licensed, then we are compliant.  But how do we do that with a font?!?

The solution was actually pretty easy:  Just install the font as normal, then change the permissions on that font file to only allow access by an Active Directory group!  As well as ‘system’, ‘administrators’, etc.

I haven’t done it yet, but I am going to try to use a Group Policy to set the permissions on the font file just to make it that much easier.

DD-WRT as a Wireless Access Point and DHCP Client

This ‘HowTo’ describes how to to set up DD-WRT to be a stand alone access point and use DHCP to get it’s LAN address.  (For those that don’t know, DD-WRT is an operating system that can be put on many popular over the counter routers to replace the default OS.  The basic purpose is to enhance the capabilities of that hardware – make it do something it may not normally be able to do.  We have also used the technique to ‘standardize’ the interfaces of dissimilar hardware.)  The topic has been discussed elsewhere and those discussions usually finish with ‘Why would you want to do that’?  In our environment, we need the device to be a DHCP client because of our highly sub-netted network.  No matter where the device is plugged in, it will pull an address and allow remote management.

For the purposes of this discussion, we are using a Cisco LinkSYS E2000 with DD-WRT version v24-SP2.  Regardless of the hardware, the instructions should work on the same DD-WRT version.  These are basic instructions and may not take in to account specific environmental needs.

  1. First do a ‘hard reset’ (look up 30/30/30 on the DD-WRT site)
  2. Connect to the ‘dd-wrt’ device, then connect to the router through a web browser (  The built in DHCP server will work for now.
  3. Disable the WAN connection (Setup->Basic Setup->WAN Connection Type:  Disabled)
  4. Change the Router Name (Setup->Basic Setup->Router Name: <whatever> – this is helpful later)
  5. Assign WAN port to Switch (Setup->Basic Setup->Assign WAN Port to Switch: Check – Optional, but I like to do this to gain the extra port)
  6. Disable DHCP Server (Setup->Basic Setup->DHCP Server:  Disable)
  7. Optionally set up NTP
  8. Change Operating Mode to ‘Router’ (Setup->Advanced Routing->Operating Mode:  Router)
  9. Set Wireless SSID (Wireless->Basic Settings->Wireless Network Name:  <your SSID>)
  10. Set Wireless Security (Wireless->Wireless Security [It’s optional, but just do it.])
    1. Recommend WPA2, AES, Complex key
  11. Disable DNSMasq (Services->Services->DNSMasq: Disable)
  12. Disable Firewall (Security->Firewall->SPI Firewall:  Disable)
  13. Disable Routing (Administration->Management->Routing:  Disable)
  14. Set Wireless Power (Wireless->Advanced Settings->TX Power:  50mW)
    1. This may be specific to this model of hardware, but it’s not a bad idea anyway
  15. Save & Apply

That was easy – now the tricky bit:

You can’t set DD-WRT to use DHCP for the LAN interface from the web.  You can, however, configure a start-up script to accomplish the same thing.  This is done from Administration->Commands – Copy in the following code and save it as the startup script.

ln -s /sbin/rc /tmp/udhcpc
/usr/sbin/udhcpc -i br0 -p /var/run/ -s /tmp/udhcpc -H `nvram get router_name`
route add default gw `nvram get wan_gateway`
nvram set wds_watchdog_ips="`nvram get wan_gateway`"

# Config DNS
/bin/cat /etc/resolv.conf | /bin/grep -v nameserver > /tmp/resolv.conf
/bin/echo nameserver `nvram get wan_get_dns` >> /tmp/resolv.conf
/bin/cp /tmp/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf

This is where setting the router name helps (step 4): This is now the name that will show up in the DHCP logs, if that’s what you are looking at.

Access 2010 – Paste and Delete options disabled

I found that with a pre-Access 2010 database opened in Access 2010, you can’t copy and paste a table.  I use this function to backup a ‘reservations’ table before clearing it out to start a new round of reservations.  The common accepted solution is to create a new database, but at this point I am not willing to do that (since I’m not ready to test compatibility).  So here was my posted solution:

My last solution was to do an EXPORT (External Data->Export->Access) and select the current database as the destination.  Then just select a new table name.

It’s obviously not as easy as the good old Copy/Paste, but I am also unwilling to create a new database for this one project and I haven’t seen any other solutions.

Access 2010 – Windows 7 o/s – Paste and Delete options disabled – Microsoft Answers.

Other RPM Repositories

Just some other RPM repositories I like:

CentOS 6 x64:
Fedora/Redat; rpm -Uvh;
RPMForge; rpm -Uvh;
RPMFusion Free; rpm -Uvh;
RPMFusion Non Free; rpm -Uvh;

dsniff on Cent OS 6 x86_64

I had a hell of a time getting dsniff to compile on my new Cent OS 6 x64 system. There are too many old requirements that simply wouldn’t install, and I had difficulty finding anyone who had an RPM for this system.

Finally I found it on Fedora!

Install (rpm -Uvh and do a yum install dsniff, which included all the prerequisites!

Trouble compiling ipaudit

The latest version of ipaudit I can find is 0.95. I needed to get the functionality transferred to a new machine that is running CentOS 6 x64 (not required for my needs, but it’s the latest & greatest). A make produced the following:

[root@hostname ipaudit-0.95]# make
make -C src all
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/local/src/ipaudit-0.95/src’
cc -c ipaudit.c -I/usr/include/pcap
cc -c hash.c
hash.c: In function ‘addnode’:
hash.c:214: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘memcpy’
hash.c:233: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘memcpy’
cc -o ipaudit ipaudit.o hash.o -lpcap
/usr/bin/ld: errno: TLS definition in /lib64/ section .tbss mismatches non-TLS reference in ipaudit.o
/lib64/ could not read symbols: Bad value
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make[1]: *** [ipaudit] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/local/src/ipaudit-0.95/src’
make: *** [all] Error 2

I found a note on this page that helped:

In the end, I added

#include “errno.h”

to the ‘include’ sections of the following files:

Make ran fine!

Photo Mosaic in Linux

I have produced Photo Mosaics (lots of small images that create a new large image when viewed from a distance) in the past with great results, but when asked to do it again I could NOT find the process I used! I assumed something ImageMagick related, but could not find the process. Maybe it was Gimp, but still no love in my searches.

I finally found ‘metapixel’, which installed on my RedHat station via Yum with no problem.

First prep the pictures into a new folder:
metapixel-prepare --width=64 --height=96 -r seniorsF tmp_pics

Width & Height for the new pics (to make them uniform). ‘seniorsF’ is the source folder and ‘temp_pics’ is the destination.

Then process the image:
metapixel -w 48 -h 64 -s 2 --metapixel Desktop/moody_big.jpg seniors.png --library tmp_pics

-w & -h are necessary or else the pictures will be square. I don’t think it matters what you use as long as they are the right geometry (ie: 4:3).
-s is the ‘scale’. The bigger the number, the smaller the individual pictures (or the more little pictures depending on how you look at it).
Then the big/original picture.
Then the destination pic.
And finally the little pictures to use.

Now hopefully next time I won’t have to pull my hair out!

Problems with “File Association” in Windows 7

I actually had this trouble trying to associate .tab files with Excel after an upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 2010.

Although I am able to go through the “regular” process to associate a program with an extension it doesn’t work. After going through the browse process and selecting the program it brings me back to the “open with” window. The program I’ve selected does not appear in the “open with” window and it appears that it is simply ignoring me.I’ve also tried the “Default Programs” route but wind up at the same “open with” window that still ignores me.

The fix for me was slightly different than the document:

After playing around a lil I think I’ve figured it out.. [for me at least..]

The program that you’re pointing to isn’t registered correctly.
In regedit: Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications and find your .exe name.
Navigate under its name to shell>open>command. In the Default change its location to the actual location of the executable, hit okay and then try and reassociate the file type as you normally would.
Let me know if that doesn’t seem to work.
Their issue was related to ‘Program Files’ vs ‘Program Files (x86)’.  In my case, the reg key was still pointing to the ‘Office12’ folder.  I pointed it to ‘Office14’ and Excel now shows up in the available files for ‘Open with…’

Reset 3COM SuperStack Switch to Defaults

You can reset a 3COM SuperStack switch to default settings without knowing the password.  This has been tested on SuperStack 1100 and SuperStack 3300.

Use a serial console and boot the device.  When prompted for a name and password, use ‘3comcso’ and ‘RIP000’ (case sensative).  You will be given the one option to reset the device.  This resets all custom settings:  IP, users (and passwords), SNMP, everything

Additional Account Info tab in ADUC on Windows 7

Article after article says ‘Oh, just register the acctinfo dll from the Windows 2003 resource kit and it just works on Windows 7’.  Then the person that posts the question says it doesn’t work and the article goes cold.  If you have ever looked for information on this subject, you are likely as frustrated as I am.

There is an answer!

First, get the Windows 2003 resource kit and install it.  Really, all you need is the DLL named ‘acctinfo.dll’ and put it in your Windows\System32 folder.

Next, you need to register the DLL (cmd prompt, regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\acctinfo.dll).  But what only one article in dozens that I have found mentions is that you must do a Run As Administrator when opening cmd.exe!  If you don’t, the registration still appears to happen, but it doesn’t work.

Once registered correctly, it should now ‘just work’ (he says understanding the irony).  Also, you do not need to turn on the ‘Advanced Features’ option as many articles suggest.

Windows 7 Shortcuts Missing or Disappeared after System Maintenance

In Windows XP, there is a Desktop Cleanup Wizard that by default runs every 60 days to move unused desktop items to a folder named “Unused Desktop Shortcuts. This feature can be disabled by right clicking the Desktop, go to Properties > Desktop tab > Customize Desktop button > uncheck Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days. However for Windows 7, this feature has been changed to system maintenance where it cleans up unused files and shortcuts, and perform other maintenance tasks.

System maintenance is scheduled to run once a week and if it finds more than 4 bad or broken shortcuts, it will remove all of them. As for desktop shortcuts that are valid but not used for more than 3 months, they will also be removed.

To prevent this from happening, you can turn off computer maintenance from Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Change Settings > select Off for Computer Maintenance but this would mean you would stop Windows 7 from checking volume errors, and also checking for troubleshooting history and error reports that are taking up disk space. Another method is to disable checking of unused desktop icons and broken shortcuts.

1. Install Take Ownership right click extension if you haven’t.

2. Open My Computer

and navigate to this path C:\Windows\diagnostics\scheduled\Maintenance

3. You can either delete or move this 2 files to another location on your hard drive.

TS_UnusedDesktopIcons.ps1 > For checking unused desktop icons

TS_BrokenShortcuts.ps1 < For checking broken shortcuts

Once both of this ps1 files are moved out of the Maintenance folder, the weekly scheduled computer maintenance will no longer check for unused or broken shortcuts and automatically remove them from your desktop.

via Windows 7 Shortcuts Missing or Disappeared after System Maintenance – TSUnusedDesktopIconsps1, TSBrokenShortcutsps1, Desktop, Windows, Computer, Maintenance – Zhacks.

‘Take Ownership’ Right-Click Extension:

It’s A Trap


YouTube – Banana Phone

YouTube – Banana Phone.

YouTube – Hand – Vagina

YouTube – Hand – Vagina.

Setup found that multiple schemas exist in the database

Setup found that multiple schemas exist in the database, please remove the extra schema(s) before continue

There is very little information about this, and it occurs when you try to upgrade from Virtual Infrastructure 2.5 to vSphere 4 and the issue of multiple schemas exists.  VMWare has an article (here), but unfortunately you have to have SQL 2000 for this to work.  If you have SQL 2000 and upgrade to SQL 2005 as part of the vSphere upgrade (as we did!), then this article is useless!

Here’s what to do:

First, determine the Schemas you have:

SELECT distinct AS schema_name FROM sys.objects INNER JOIN sys.schemas ON sys.objects.schema_id = sys.schemas.schema_id and <>’sys’

Hopefully it’s just two 🙂

Then run the following SQL commands, which will output ‘Alter Schema’ commands that must be run separately (Substitute ‘VMWare’ with the other schema name from the previous command):

SELECT ‘ALTER SCHEMA dbo TRANSFER ‘ + s.Name + ‘.’ + p.Name FROM sys.Procedures p INNER JOIN
sys.Schemas s on p.schema_id = s.schema_id WHERE s.Name = ‘VMware’

SELECT ‘ALTER SCHEMA dbo TRANSFER ‘ + s.Name + ‘.’ + p.Name FROM sys.Tables p INNER JOIN
sys.Schemas s on p.schema_id = s.schema_id WHERE s.Name = ‘VMware’

SELECT ‘ALTER SCHEMA dbo TRANSFER ‘ + s.Name + ‘.’ + p.Name FROM sys.Views p INNER JOIN
sys.Schemas s on p.schema_id = s.schema_id WHERE s.Name = ‘VMware’

This is from Penncock’s Forum

As always, back up the database, etc, etc and don’t come to me if you break anything! :-[

After a night’s reboots, etc, there were still problems.  The VI Client was SLOW, but seemed to be working OK.  Did a reboot of the VI server, but the VI Service would not start and generated the following log:

Event Type:    Error
Event Source:    Service Control Manager
Event Category:    None
Event ID:    7024
Date:        4/14/2010
Time:        9:15:11 AM
User:        N/A
Computer:    VIC
The VMware VirtualCenter Server service terminated with service-specific error 2 (0x2).

Research showed this was not an uncommon log, but there didn’t seem to be a cohesive solution – just that it was a DB connection problem.  Remember, we have done a SQL 2000 to SQL 2005 upgrade, and also buggered with the Schema.

To fix, we did the following on the remote SQL Server:

Open the SQL instance and go to Security->Logins and select the VC User (in our case ‘VCUser’) and then go to ‘User Mapping’.  We changed the default Schema on ‘msdb’ AND ‘VirtualCenter’ (the only things that had a Schema defined) from ‘VCUser’ (the old/second schema) to ‘dbo’.  The service now starts on the VI Server.  After a reboot the service continued to fail to start, but at least does start on the second attempt.

More news:  I finally found the logs at “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs”, and saw the following entry during the service failures:

[2010-04-14 08:43:15.889 ‘App’ 4152 error] [VpxdVdb] Failed to init tableDef: Column VER_ID does not exist in table VPX_VERSION.  Database version may be incompatible.
[2010-04-14 08:44:15.945 ‘App’ 4152 error] Failed to intialize VMware VirtualCenter. Shutting down…
[2010-04-14 08:44:15.945 ‘App’ 4152 info] Forcing shutdown of VMware VirtualCenter now

This led me to this article: – which I think (after getting through the database-ese) is telling me basically what I did.  They suggest re-creating everything and verifying the settings I changed manually, but I think the end resulty is the same.

Publishing a FirstClass Calendar to iCal

Here’s how to publish a FirstClass calendar so it can be read from an iCal enabled viewer:

Publish the calendar to the web.  On the link, add:


So you would have a link like:

That’s it!

Printing MacOS X Java Client on Citrix

3. Printing with the Java client is not user friendly. The Admin guide is not clear about how this should work on the Mac platform. Basically, you have two choices:

[*]Print to a PostScript File that is saved to a folder on the Mac. In the Java settings, select the Local Port or File option. Type in a path like “/users/jsmith/desktop/”. Select a PostScript capable print driver. I&apos;ve used the HP LaserJet 4000 PS successfully, even though the actual printer was a different brand. Remember to check the use as default box. When the user prints, the file will be written to the Mac desktop. Double-clicking it will open the Preview application where they can print it or save as .PDF.

[*]Share the local printer on the Mac. Enable the printer sharing feature via System Preferences Print & Fax. There is an info screen that tells you the Queue Name. Write this down. In the Java settings, select the Network Printer option and type the loopback address ( in the server field. Enter the Queue Name you wrote down previously. Select an appropriate driver and check the use as default box.

via MacOS X Native vs. Java, in the Client / End User Issues forum on

Here’s a good one:

Printing to a USB printer that is connected directly to your Mac is not possible

via Which Citrix Client should to connect to Virtual Desktop with Mac OS X

Detecting Printers Automatically

The client automatically detects all printers available to the client device, including USB printers, and makes them available to the session.
Note: Mac OS X provides a J2SE 1.4.x environment but does not provide the Java Print Service API, so printers are not auto-detected.