Showing posts from 2014

SanDisk DAS Cache for Dell R730xd with SSDs

I got a quote from Dell for SanDisk DAS Cache today.
$399 for the license with 3 years of Maintenance. Not bad!
The DAS Cache allow you to use SSDs for Cache for your SAS or SATA drives.
It's kind of like the hybrid Flash storage I have on my Nimble SAN.

I didn't buy it with my Dell Poweredge R730xd, because I was moving two Fusion-io iodrive2 PCIe SSD cards from another server.  I think it's an option if you include SSDs in your cart.
Dell says that PCIe SSDs are only supported on the R730xd and not the R730 for some reason.
Once you get the license, they give you a login to the download server, then you download the software.  If you have the login you can also use the link on the drivers page.
This is the Sandisk download server:

From what I read I will need to format my iodrive2 SSDs to 512B block size.
When I checked them, they had already been formated from the f…

[SOLVED] Windows 10 Preview Build 9841 fails to upgrade to 9860

Today the first update to the Windows 10 preview came out.
When I tried to upgrade I got this error:
Failed to install the new preview build, please try again later. 0x80080005

My Windows 10 install is an upgraded Windows 8.1 PC that was updated from Window 8 RTM.  I have Visual Studio so I have many options turned on, like IIS. (Internet Information Server)
I installed the x64 Enterprise version from the ISO download.

This is the errors I got from the Event viewer after the upgrade failed 3 minutes into the upgrade:

Log Name:      System
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-WindowsUpdateClient
Date:          10/22/2014 7:33:04 PM
Event ID:      20
Task Category: Windows Update Agent
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Failure,Installation
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      Hammond-HP
Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80080005: fbl_release 9860 Enterprise.

These are some other errors that showed up around the same time:

Log Name:      System

How to fix the Blue Screen BSOD (0x50) after applying update KB2982791 to Windows 7 64 bit from the Patch Tuesday Windows Updates from Aug 2014


Installing Visual Studio Tools for Applications 2012 after getting Compatibility mode error

I went to use the developer tab of InfoPath 2013 and it told me that I needed to download the Visual Studio Tools for Applications 2012.  They were even nice enough to include a link!
When I downloaded the file and ran it, I got this error:
Setup Blocked, Windows Program Compatibility mode is on.  Turn it off and then try setup again.
I was not using Compatibility mode, and so this error didn't make sense.
I'm running Windows 8.1 with Update 1 and I didn't know if that was related.

I tried everything..  I installed the full Visual Studio 2012 Suite with Office Tools, I installed the VS2012 SDK, and still nothing worked and this wouldn't install.
Here is some of what I found in the log when it fails.
[15EC:11C4][2014-05-28T19:06:50]: Condition 'CompatibilityMode = 0' evaluates to true. [15EC:11C4][2014-05-28T19:06:50]: Condition '(VersionNT < v6.1)' evaluates to false. [15EC:11C4][2014-05-28T19:06:50]: Condition '(NOT netfxfullredist_43_DetectKeyExists) OR…

Azure Active Directory Single SIgn-On with

After TechEd 2014 North America I decided to test out Azure Active Directory Single Sign-On with  I already had ADFS setup for Office 365, so it seemed a no brainer to try it out.

When I went to I had to setup a new account (That came with a trial $200 credit for the first 30 days).
Even though I already had office365 and Azure AD setup and running, I still had to create a new Azure account before I could see it.  Azure AD just showed up after my first login, I didn't have to do anything special.  I found it funny that when I asked about this at TechEd, the people from the Office365 booth and the guys in the Azure booth didn't know for sure if it would just show up or not.

On to setting up Applications with Azure AD with

They offer two types of Single Sign-On with
1. Windows Azure AD Single Sign-On
2. Password Single Sign-On

 Password Single Sign-On works fine, but if you want more advanced functions, like creating users with Azure…

Using retired servers for mining cryptocurrency

Since I have access to retired servers from work I'm always looking for ways to reuse servers for mining DogeCoin.
In my last post you will see pictures of my mining rig built from a retired Rackable Systems server with Intel server board.  The only problem with that server was that the PSU was too weak to be usable.
This week I tried out a monster of a server, the Dell 2900.

This server came with (10) 146gb 15k SAS drives, 32gb of memory and dual quad core Xeon CPUs.  The feature that grabbed my attention the most was the dual 930 watt power supplies.  I pulled all but two hard drives and looked at the backplane power cable.  Given the right tools I think I could have converted that into some PCI-E power cables, but I decided I better hook up the kill-a-watt and test this first.

The Dell Poweredge 2900 tower server consumes 310 watts at idle. (380 with all 10 drives)
That kills any savings from re-using the hardware.  The server has too many fans and CPUs to power.
The server d…

Building my Cryptocurrency Mining Rig for DogeCoin and PopCoin

Note: The part images shown below are hyperlinked to examples on Amazon, ebay, etc. Click on the image to see the item.My first mining rig
I decided to think outside the box and try to use some retired servers from work (Free!).  I had a Rackable Solutions server from SGI that had dual Xeon CPUs, 16GB of memory and 4 PCI-E slots.  It was a great candidate because the case was small and easy to mount to the wall in my garage by bolting it to some wire shelving I already had installed.  The server uses an Intel S5000PSL server motherboard, so drivers were easy to get from the Intel website and it’s running windows 7 Pro x64 just fine.  The fans on the back of the server were easy to flip around so that they would blow air over the CPU and memory in the open case.  I got a refurbished Corsair AX850 power supply from Fry’s for $108 (Now sold out).  My garage is really cold right now, so all I needed for cooling was an AC case fan that I got from Global Industrial for $39.95

I used plumbers…

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 Server Ports (VMM)

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server Ports (SCVMM)

Factory Defaults:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Connection type Protocol Default port ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VMM server to managed computers (used for performing actions) WinRM 80 VMM server to managed computers (used for data transfers) BITS 443 VMM Administrator Console to the VMM server WCF 8100 VMM Self-Service Portal to the VMM server WCF 8100 Self-Service users to the VMM Self-Service Portal HTTP 80 Communication with Agents 5985 Communication with WDS 8102 Communication with WinPE 8101 Communication with WinPE for Time Sync 8103

Solving WinRM Host connection errors in SCVMM - System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2

I had a few Hyper-V 2012 R2 hosts that didn't want to talk to my VMM 2012 R2 server, so I started down the long road of tracking down the problems.  Sorry if some of this seems disjointed or out of order.  I'm trying to document this all after a week of troubleshooting errors.

Here is my advice for tracking down the problems. Most are related to WinRM.

Step 1: Check the Health status of the Host
To check the Health status of a host, perform the following steps:
1. Open the VMM Console.
2. Select the Fabric view, right-click the host that’s experiencing issues and chose properties. 3. Within the host properties, select Status. 4. Select the category that has the Red exclamation to view the error details.
In my case, the third category down was WinRM that was giving me an error.

Lets start with the easy stuff.
Make sure WMI is working...
net start winmgmt
If you think the WMI repository is corrupted, you could try this:
winmgmt /salvagerepository
There is more detail on fixing WMI here: