Monday, December 30, 2013

Expand Boot Volume (C:) of Windows 2003 Virtual Machine

Like a lot of SysAdmins, the environment I manage isn't always up to date with the latest and greatest operating systems or patches for a variety of, usually, business related reasons. This inevitably causes problems as you try to keep everything running while still being old.

I had the wonderful opportunity of dealing with a variety of Windows 2003 servers that are running out of disk space. Unfortunately, previous caretakers of these boxes P2V'd them without doing any resizing of the boot partition. C: is running out of space fast. It just so happens, that's a major problem with 2003 - resizing the boot partition is nearly a no-go without shutting down the whole system and using GParted. Sometimes that kind of server downtime just isn't acceptable for the business.

Luckily, Dell (of all sources) has an online and free solution. Let's walk through the full process. For this tutorial, I will be showing it with VMware. Hyper-V is nearly identical.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fix Corrupt or Blank Windows 7 System Tray Icons

I see this a lot where I work and while I haven't yet been able to track down the source of the problem, the fix is as follows:

  1. Open Regedit via Start-->Search
  2. Open Task Manager via CTRL-ALT-DEL
  3. Find Explorer.exe in the list and end the Process
  4. Go back to Regedit
  6. Click Edit-->Find
  7. Search for IconStreams
    1. Or navigate directly to HKEY_CURRENTUSER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify\
  8. Delete IconStreams
  9. Search or navigate to PastIconStreams
  10. Delete this key as well
  11. Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL
  12. Start Task Manager
  13. Click File-->Run
  14. Type, Explorer.exe 
  15. The issue should be resolved.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Awesome Tool! TiddlyWiki

Can't remember anything? need to have information organized. Need to have it searchable? Don't have the time to make and host a whole wiki yourself? Welcome to TiddlyWiki.

Tiddlywiki is perhaps the easiest to set up wiki available. You don't need a server. You don't need to setup a SQL database. You need to download 2 files, be able to run JavaScript and open the HTML file. It works on Linux, OS X and Windows as well as multiple browsers. I had mine set up and running in about 2 minutes flat and now I use it every day. What was the fix for that random problem? What's the login for that site? What's my long distance code? TiddlyWiki knows and it's even encrypted and stored on my a network drive that only I can access.

I would highly recommend everyone check this out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Awesome Tool! Remote Desktop Connection Manager

I was flabbergasted recently after talking with a number of peers in the industry that that they are still opening up the old trusty Remote Desktop client for remoting into servers. Some are going to the start menu or have custom made shortcuts to servers but all of them are doing things incredibly inefficiently and wasting their precious time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How To Configure Disk Space Alerts on Server 2008

Some of us may not have access to enterprise level third party tools like What's Up Gold that will do server monitoring. Luckily, Microsoft has built in some tools to handle this for you.

The general premise is to set up a new data collector set with the Reliability and Performance Monitor that will kick off an automated email via a scheduled task letting you know the disk space on your server is nearly full.