Category Archives: Software

Milestone Webinar

Spent a bit of time this afternoon watching the Grow with Milestone webinar to get some insight into where they are going with their products.

Smart Client 7 – Is a redesign of the smart client interface and some new features that are supported with the new version of XProtect corporate.

Edge storage – Cameras that can store their own footage can have that footage retrieved into your recording server based on triggers, i.e time based.

Video Push – When using the mobile client on your android or ios device the devices camera can be used to push video into your recording server.

DIY Dynamic QR Codes

A QR code is by nature a static thing.

When you generate a QR code you decide what the destination is going to be and that can’t be changed without re-generating it.

Services have started up that allow you to create dynamic QR codes however it’s not the code itself that’s dynamic but the destination.

I’ve set-up my own dynamic QR code service using the open source url shortening application yourls this piece of software allows you to set up your own url shortener.

Follow the directions included in the zip file to set it up on your web server, there is a typo on their website regarding the location of the config.php that was confusing until I read the ones included in the zip.

Once this is installed create a short url via the admin page and then use a QR code generator such as kaywa to create a QR code that points to the short url.

In the admin section you can change the final destination of the short url anytime you wish and you now have a dynamic qr code that can also generate stats.

Obviously this will only work for url type QR codes but I hope it’s of use to someone.

Accessing old backup files

If you’ve migrated your systems to Server 2008 (R2) you may have noticed that NTBackup is no longer available and it’s been replaced with the “windows server backup” feature.

Well that’s all fine and dandy and you have a tool to use to backup your new server without having to purchase additional software but what about those old ntbackup files you have stored you cannot access the data using this new fangled backup solution.

The answer is here basically a version of NTBackup that only allows restores.

I used it yesterday to recover some data from a backup created on a now defunct server 2000 box and it worked perfectly.

Enjoy.

Storview x64 Install

Intel have released a patch to enable storview to run on x64 platforms.

However even after installing the patch it didn’t successfully run and all symptoms pointed to there be no web server to service requests.

I took another look at the services list and as well as the storview service there was also one called storview web.

Looking at the parameters for this service it runs the apache web server however it’s path was wrong as it was referencing c:program files (x86) and I had installed it to d:program files (x86)

Had I found the issue, I ran regedit and navigating to hkey local machine, system, current control set, services allowed me to edit the path for the service however it still didn’t start.

Bugger, I then copied the command line it was running to a cmd window to see where it was going wrong and noticed some more references to c:program files in the httpd.conf I edited this file and replaced all occurences and tried again still no joy but this time it was references in ssl.conf.

Once I had edited ssl.conf I tried starting the service again and it started successfullyfired up a web browser to 127.0.0.1:9292 and crossed my fingers, voila we have a login box for storview.

I hope this helps people trying to get it to work until Intel release a fully working x64 release.

Java 6 Update 20 msi Install

Download the offline installer from here

Run the exe but just leave it sitting at the first screen for now

In windows explorer navgate to the folder c:Documents and SettingsusernameApplication DataSunjavajre1.6.0_20

Copy the contents of that folder to a network accessible location and you can now allocate the msi to your machines

Deploy Scratch using Active Directory

As part of their work students need to create things using scratch.

There are some installation guidelines here

What I found worked well was to use universal extractor to unpack the msi to a folder, there you will find the scratch.ini file you want to customize and then you just allocate the new msi that has been extracted in using a GPO.

Simples.

R1Soft CDP Bare Metal Disaster Recovery

I’ve recently started using the excellent CDP product from R1Soft to backup my 2 windows server 2003 domain controllers.

One of the cool features is the ability to perform bare metal disaster recovery.

They supply a couple of different methods for booting the bare metal server one of which is a bootable cd based on knoppix and the other is to effectively boot the same cd via pxe.

I’m going to cover pxe booting here.

In my setup I have my servers attached to the normal lan and also a sperate data backup network, if you only have network then you can still use this method but you’d want to keep TFTP32 disabled until you need to use it in the event of a disaster.

I use TFTPD32 as my TFTP and DHCP on my CDP Server.

You can download it from here

You will also need the pxe bare metal boot image from R1Soft.

My CDP server has 2 nics, 1 is connected to my normal lan so that I can access the web interface for file restores from any network pc, the 2nd nic is connected to a completely seperate gigabit network which also has my iscsi nas/san connected via fibre.

My 2 servers which backup using the cdp software also have 2 nics in the same configuration, as twinhese are also DC’s there are some caveats you need to follow regarding dns etc… for a microsoft article on this click here

Once you’ve downloaded and run the TFTP32 install we need to make some configuration changes.

Double click on the program shortcut to run the interface.

Click on the “settings” button.

In “Base Directory” click on the “Browse” button and choose a folder to store your pxe files in, I used “d:pxe”

In “Global Settings” make sure only “TFTP Server” and “DHCP Server” are checked.

In “DHCP options” check “Bind DHCP to this address” and in the drop down select the ip address of your SAN network, this step prevents it allocating DHCP addresses to machines on your normal network.

In “Advanced TFTP Options” leave the settings as they are but check “Bind TFTP to this address” and pick the same address as you did for DHCP.

Click on “OK” to exit from the settings and the quit TFTP32 completely and relaunch the program.

Now in the main window you should only see 3 tabbed windows at the bottom, Tftp Server, DHCP Server and Log viewer.

Click on the tab for DHCP Server and you will see some DHCP specific options.

Pick a starting ip pool address in your range i.e 192.168.1.100

Now set the size of your pool you don’t need many as you’ll be unlikely to be performing bare metal recovery on hundreds of servers at the same time, at least I hope you won’t

The boot file should be “pxelinux.0” <—- that’s a zero not the letter o

WINS/DNS server can be left as it is.

Mask this will be whatever you have choosen for this network and likely to be a default of 255.255.255.0 I guess.

Domain Name can be left as it is.

Additional Option can be left as it is.

Click on the “Save” button to save your changes and you may be prompted to restart TFTP32 again.

Now unzip the contents of the tftpboot folder from the pxe recovery boot media into the pxe folder you specified earlier i.e d:pxe

You should see the pxelinux.0 file that we specified as the boot file in this directory, if you don’t then you may have extracted the contents into a sub folder.

Once you’d done this your bare metal diasaster recovery environment is complete.

If you have a total failure of a server then plug your bare metal replacement server into the private data backup menu choose network boot and it will receive an ip address from TFTP32 and then proceed to boot the recovery media over the network.

You can now follow the R1Soft guides on Bare Metal Restore.

Enjoy.

Edexcel online testing promissor install again

Well while my previous installation idea did work it wasn’t exactly plain sailing.

The user that the software runs under appears to need certain privileges to run.

I ended up making sure it was installed on one whole suite of machines manually.

Then I used a startup script to add my exam testing user to the local administrators group on the whole suite.

The users login as this user and they have the testing client set as their shell.

This appears to be working well and we have done several sessions of testing so far.

Edexcel online testing promissor install

This piece of software has been bugging me for weeks now.

I was unable to install it by capturing an msi and they don’t supply an msi.

I’ve come up with a scripted install that allows it to be installed by any user admin or not.

You need supercrypt to encrypt the commands to run it.

You also need xcacls.vbs to set file permissions.

Install xcacls.vbs into the network share folder you are going to use to deploy these files from.

First of all run the admsetup.exe program from your esm_test_centre share or wherever you have it installed.

Now explore your way to:

C:Documents and Settingsyour usernameLocal SettingsTemp and look for the most recently created folder.

In this folder you will find the extracted setup files, copy these somewhere safe.

Now cancel the installation.

To record the answers need you need to run the setup.exe from the folder you stored the extracted files in with the /r switch.

Do this and run through the setup, you will find a setup.iss in c:windows copy this to the folder you stored the extracted files in.

Install supercrypt to your network share as well and run supercrypter.

Fill in your username, domain and password fields.

In the command field put:

\NETWORK-SHARE-WHERE-FILES-AREsetup.exe /s /sms

In the Executable field put:

\NETWORK-SHARE-WHERE-FILES-AREsetup.exe

Save the file as promissor.lsc

Run supercrypter again and this time:

In the command field put:

c:windowssystem32cscript.exe \NETWORK-SHARE-WHERE-FILES-ARExcacls.vbs /Q /T /E /G everyone:F

In the executable field put:

c:windowssystem32script.exe

download the vbscript below and edit the file location.

VBScript Installer for Promissor client

You should now be able to run install.vbs as any user and it will install the promissor client.