Archive for the ‘Windows Server’ Category

As you may be knowing, now you do not need to separately download and install .Net framework as we used to do with the older .Net frameworks. Since it is coming with Windows, you can just go to “Turn Windows Features On or Off” screen and enable framework you are after. It is simple right?

But in one of the machines it was not that simple for me. The installation tried to download files from Windows Update and was failing mentioning that it cannot get connected to Windows Update when the machine is connected to the internet without any issues.

The solution is to use DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool to get it installed.

First you need to find a Windows setup media, a setup DVD or an ISO downloaded will work.

Then use the below command to enable the feature using a local source. Remember to open the Command Window as an Administrator of the machine.

DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:E:\Sources\sxs

/Online – Targets the currently active and running OS.

/LimitAccess – If some installation files are missing, this will check Windows Update for the missing files. For not to check use /LimitAccess:True.

/Source – Is the location to find the source files, E: is my virtual drive which I mounted the previously downloaded Windows ISO.

If typed correctly, there will be a progress bar showing the installation progress.

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Today I thought of writing an article on how to remove all the partitions from a disk so you can re-use the disk.

If you tried removing existing partitions using the Computer Management (type computer management on the start menu to open it) tool in Windows you will find that, you can delete partitions by right clicking on the partition / volume and clicking on Delete Volume option.

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However you will notice Computer Management is useless on some of the protected volumes since the options to work on them will not be available.In this case you will need to use the DiskPart utility in the Command Prompt.

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In the Start type Cmd or Command Prompt to open a command prompt. Then type DiskPart, it is a powerful utility which can even work on protected volumes.

In my case, I would like to work on Disk 3 to remove all the existing volumes on it. Below are the steps required to clean the drive.

1. Select the disk.

List all the disks by typing List Disk, this will list all the disks connected and active at the time in your computer including the disks connected via USB ports.

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Once you identify the disk you need, selection can be made by using the command Select Disk x. In my case Select Disk 3.

To confirm, list all the partitions on the selected list by using the command List Partition.

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2. Delete all partitions by using the Clean command.

Ensure the proper disk is selected by Listing all disks by command List Disk, the currently focused disk will have a star at the beginning since recovering disks is not easy.

Type Clean and press enter. This will remove all the partitions from the disk. You can check the results by re issuing the List Partition command.

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Close the DiskPart tool by entering the command Exit.

Computer Management will now show that the disk is uninitialized as below, Initialize the disk and create partitions / volumes as necessary to use it again.

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You can remove simple partitions by using the Computer Management tool found in Windows. Search for it on the Start menu to launch it.

But if it is a protected partition you will need to use the tool DiskPart. In the Start menu type Cmd or Command Prompt to open a command prompt. Then type DiskPart, it is a powerful utility which can even work on protected volumes.

To delete one partition, follow the steps.

1. List all disks by using the command List Disk.

2. Select the disk by using Select Disk x command.

3. You can confirm the disk by listing all the partitions on it by using the command List Partition.

4. Select the partition by using the command, Select Partition x command.

5. Delete the partition by command Delete Partition Override.

Override parameter needs to be passed if the partition is not a simple data partition.

You can confirm the deletion by re-listing the partitions on the disk by List Partition command.

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While trying to setup and use the Code Plugin by Rich Hewlett I had trouble getting the plugin loaded into Live Writer. I did add the registry entry required as mentioned in the site, but still the plugin did not load.

Registry

Location – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\OpenLiveWriter\PluginAssemblies

Key – SyntaxHighlight_WordPressCom_OLWPlugIn

Value – C:\Users\Arjuna\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\Plugins\SyntaxHighlight_WordPressCom_OLWPlugIn.dll

After a while I figured out that, when loading the plugin Live Writer encounters the following error.

"System.IO.FileLoadException: Could not load file or assembly ‘file:///C:\Users\Arjuna\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\Plugins\SyntaxHighlight_WordPressCom_OLWPlugIn.dll’ or one of its dependencies. Operation is not supported. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131515)
File name: ‘file:///C:\Users\Arjuna\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\Plugins\SyntaxHighlight_WordPressCom_OLWPlugIn.dll’ —> System.NotSupportedException: An attempt was made to load an assembly from a network location which would have caused the assembly to be sandboxed in previous versions of the .NET Framework. This release of the .NET Framework does not enable CAS policy by default, so this load may be dangerous. If this load is not intended to sandbox the assembly, please enable the loadFromRemoteSources switch. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=155569 for more information.

This is due to a security feature of .Net Framework 4 or later. Before framework 4, if a DLL is downloaded (which is created in another computer), they used to run in full trust in the zone the assembly is running, but with frameworks 4 and later, downloaded DLLs will not run by default. To make them run, simply grant the DLL full access by going to file properties and selecting the Unblock checkbox in the security section as seen in the below image. This will apply to any plugin you download from internet. Also keep in mind to do this to DLLs you trust safe. Otherwise your computer will be unsafe.

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To troubleshoot plugin and other errors you can refer to Open Live Writer log file located in C:\Users\Arjuna\AppData\Local\OpenLiveWriter\Open Live Writer.log.

Recently I was interested in finding a way to monitor a windows service. What I needed was to check whether the service is running and if not running get a notification and try to restart the service. Following PowerShell script does exactly that, it checks for Microsoft CRM Asynchronous Service and the Microsoft CRM Asynchronous Maintenance Service activity and send 2 emails to Admin and Dev. This needs to be then scheduled using Windows Task Scheduler or SQL Server Job.

### Checking for CRM Async and Maintenance service failure and try restarting, if failing send an email notification.

 

## Function to send mail notification.

function Send_Email ([string]$strEmailSubject, [string]$strEmailBody)

{

       $EmailFrom = "Arjuna@Email.com"

       $EmailTo = "Admin@Email.com, Dev@Email.com"

       $EmailSubject = $strEmailSubject

       $EmailBody = $strEmailBody

       $EmailSMTPServer = "SMTP.server.com"

       ## Creating Mail Message object.

       $SMTPMessage = New-Object System.Net.Mail.MailMessage $EmailFrom, $EmailTo, $EmailSubject, $EmailBody

       ## Enabling HTML mail body.

       $SMTPMessage.IsBodyHtml = $true

       ## Creating SMTP client object.

       $SMTPClient = New-Object System.Net.Mail.SMTPClient $EmailSMTPServer

       ## Sending mail.

       $SMTPClient.Send($SMTPMessage)

       ## Sending mail method 2.

       ##send-mailmessage -from "Arjuna@Email.com" -to "Admin@Email.com, Dev@Email.com" -subject "CRM Async Service Failed" -body "Please check." -smtpserver "SMTP.server.com"

       ## Sending mail method 2 using parameters.

       ##send-mailmessage -from $EmailFrom -to $EmailTo -subject $EmailSubject -body $EmailBody -smtpserver $EmailSMTPServer

}

 

## Function to check the service activity.

function Check_Service

{

       ## Get all services which has a Name like MSCRMAsyncService, Start Mode is Auto and service State is Running.

       $FailedAsyncService = Get-WmiObject Win32_Service | Where-Object {$_.Name -like ‘MSCRMAsyncService’ -and $_.StartMode -eq ‘Auto’ -and $_.State -ne ‘Running’} | Select-Object DisplayName

       ## For Testing.

       ##Write-Host "A: " $FailedAsyncService

 

       ## Get all services which has a Name like MSCRMAsyncService$maintenance, Start Mode is Auto and service State is Running.

       $FailedAsyncMainteService = Get-WmiObject Win32_Service | Where-Object {$_.Name -like ‘MSCRMAsyncService$maintenance’ -and $_.StartMode -eq ‘Auto’ -and $_.State -ne ‘Running’} | Select-Object DisplayName

       ## For Testing.

       ##Write-Host "B: " $FailedAsyncMainteService

 

       ## Checking whether the Async Service has failed.

       if ($FailedAsyncService -ne $NULL)

       {

              ## Trying to start the failed Async Service.

              Start-Service -displayname "Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service"

              ## Service Name can also be used to start the servie.

              ##Start-Service MSCRMAsyncService

              ## Get all services which has a Name like MSCRMAsyncService, Start Mode is Auto and service State is Running.

              $AsyncServiceStarted = Get-WmiObject Win32_Service | Where-Object {$_.Name -like ‘MSCRMAsyncService’ -and $_.StartMode -eq ‘Auto’ -and $_.State -ne ‘Running’} | Select-Object Name

              ## Checking the service to see whether it started.

              if ($AsyncServiceStarted -ne $NULL)

              {

                     ## Calling Send_Mail function to notify.

                     Send_Email ("CRM Async Service Failed.") ("System has detected that the following CRM Async Service has failed. System automatically tried restarting the service but it was unsuccessful. Try manual start. <BR/><BR/>" + $FailedAsyncService)

              }

              else

              {

                     ## Calling Send_Mail function to notify.

                     Send_Email ("CRM Async Service Restarted.") ("System has detected that the following CRM Async Service has failed. System automatically tried restarting the service and it was successful. <BR/><BR/>" + $FailedAsyncService)

              }

       }

 

       ## Checking whether the Async Maintenance Service has failed.

       if ($FailedAsyncMainteService -ne $NULL)

       {

              ## Trying to start the failed Async Maintenance Service.

              Start-Service -displayname "Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service (maintenance)"

              ## Get all services which has a Name like MSCRMAsyncService$maintenance, Start Mode is Auto and service State is Running.

              $AsyncMainteServiceStarted = Get-WmiObject Win32_Service | Where-Object {$_.Name -like ‘MSCRMAsyncService$maintenance’ -and $_.StartMode -eq ‘Auto’ -and $_.State -ne ‘Running’} | Select-Object Name

              ## Checking the service to see whether it started.

              if ($AsyncMainteServiceStarted -ne $NULL)

              {

                     ## Calling Send_Mail function to notify.

                     Send_Email ("CRM Async Service Failed.") ("System has detected that the following CRM Async Service has failed. System automatically tried restarting the service but it was unsuccessful. Try manual start. <BR/><BR/>" + $FailedAsyncMainteService)

              }

              else

              {

                     ## Calling Send_Mail function to notify.

                     Send_Email ("CRM Async Service Restarted.") ("System has detected that the following CRM Async Service has failed. System automatically tried restarting the service and it was successful. <BR/><BR/>" + $FailedAsyncMainteService)

              }

       }

}

 

## Calling the Check_Service function.

Check_Service

Recently in one of my machines I got the above HTTP error when running an application hosted on IIS 7. The detailed error was as below.

IIS Error

“This configuration section cannot be used at this path. This happens when the section is locked at a parent level. Locking is either by default (overrideModeDefault="Deny"), or set explicitly by a location tag with overrideMode="Deny" or the legacy allowOverride="false".”

After doing some troubleshooting I was managed to get this error fixed by reinstalling ASP.Net by running the aspnet_regiis –ir command.

For more information on running the command please refer to my old article Unable to start debugging on the web server.

Even though it is always better to use complex passwords, you may get a requirement to allow users to have simple passwords. To allow domain users to use simple passwords you need to modify the domain policy. In my following post I am using a Windows 2008 R2 machine.

1. Start Group Policy Management by clicking Start –> Administrative Tools –> Group Policy Management in your domain server or type gpmc.msc on the run window.

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2. In the group policy management expand the forest node and then the domain node. By then you will see the domains available. Expand the domain you want the setting changed and right click on the Default Domain Policy item and select Edit. This will bring the Group Policy Management Editor.

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3. In the Group Policy Management Editor find the policy ‘Password must meet complexity requirements.’ by expanding Computer Configuration –> Policies –> Windows Settings –> Security Settings –> Account Policies and selecting Password Policy. Then right click and get the properties of the policy.

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4. To disable complex passwords select the Disabled radio button and click Apply.

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5. To check whether the setting is really applied you can close the Group Policy Management Editor and check the settings tab at Group Policy Management.

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