Application virtualisation

A couple things have prompted me to look at application virtualisation recently, some organisations looking to upgrade to Windows 7, but still relying on IE6 (yes, I know) and organisations having issues pushing out app upgrades or OS upgrades to their users. Abstracting the app away from the OS would be great.

I'll be having a look at a few of the technologies listed at, in particular Xenocode and ThinApp.

vCenter lost connection to ESX 3.5 host


Yesterday I had a strange issue at a site with a ESX 3.5 host which suddenly lost connection to vCenter. Trying to reconnect the server gave the message:

Reconnect host
A general
system error
occurred: internal error: vmodl.fault.Host-Communication

Looking at the logs on the server I found this in /var/log/vmware/vpx/vpxa.log, which I found interesting:

[2010-02-10 15:02:38.227 0xb75ed840 info 'App'] [VpxaInvtHost] Manager IP: :902 Host IP: Preserve IPs: false

Resetting passwords for an entire AD OU

What I thought was going to be a painful experience was saved by PowerGUI and AD cmdslets. So start from here and make sure you first install powershell, then the AD cmdlets then PowerGUI.

Then I fired up PowerGUI and browse to the OU. Selected all of the users and choose Reset Password from the column on the right. After a little while, up pops a window with all the users and their new passwords, which you can happily copy and paste into a document and send off where it needs to go.


Regaining admin access to redirected folders

When folders have been redirected with the “Grant user exclusive rights” option, the Admin user needs to take ownership and change the permissions to be able to access the files (to move the share for example).

Now, assuming you have a directory structure like: x:\docs_share\username, then just set the permissions you need on x:\docs_share, cd to x:\docs_share and run:

takeown /f <username> /a /r /d Y
icacls <username> /reset /t /q
icacls <username> /grant <username>:(OI)(CI)F /q

Incorrect DHCP information on Windows 2003

I had a client site where the DHCP server was giving out different information to what was listed in the DHCP server configuration. In particular, the domain given out was and the gateway IP address was the address of the DHCP server, rather that what was listed as the actual getway IP address in the DHCP server. Not having the correct gateway broke the internet for those PCs.

VMware live migration failures


I was having a strange issue where live migrations were failing intermittently with a couple of errors:

A general system error occurred: Failed to start
migration pre-copy. Error 0xbad003f. Connection closed
by remote host, possibly due to timeout.

A general system error occurred: Failed to start
migration pre-copy. Error 0xbad004b. Connection reset
by peer.

It turns out that two of the VMware hosts had the same IP set on their VMotion interfaces. Fixing this resolved the issue.

Filtering messages in Thunderbird


Not rocket science, but since Thunderbird 3.0 came out, the new search style of launching a new tab with all of the search results has really irked me. I longed for the search which just reduced the inbox to those matching messages. It turns out, all I needed to do was to change the filter from "Search all messages" to "Subject or From filter". I am at peace with Thunderbird again:)

Half Ironnman training

Well, it's official. I'm signed up for the Busselton half ironman ( and will be doing in on the 1st of May. I've started on a structured training program so that I'll hopefully be feeling a little more confident by the time the ironman comes round:

I'll try to get down to Busso in the next few weeks to have a look around the course.

Getting a full BGP table for processing

This was harder than I thought. I wanted a full BGP table to match IP subnets againsts their originating AS. I ended up getting the data from You need to go to one of their routers and download the lastest bview file. But that file is in a special MRT format. I tried extracting it using the mrt package in debian, but the format has changed slightly.

I ended up downloading libbgpdump from and compiling which gives the tool bgpdump which will dump the data in text format like:

TIME: 01/12/10 23:59:55

Putting a home laptop onto a domain


I picked up a little job by accident to take a managers home laptop and add it to the office domain, whilst retaining his Files and _Outlook Settings_ of course.

So, first things first, add the laptop to the domain and log on as their domain user. Then grant their domain user local admin on the machine.

To copy their files, it should just be a matter of copying the contents their My Documents, Favourites and Desktop folders from the home directory of the home user to the home directory of the domain user.

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