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Saturday, 30 June 2012

How to use to share your Desktop with another person

If you need to share your Desktop with another person for a training session for example, you can do so easily and quickly with

Go to


Open Internet Explorer and then go to the site from here you can see the Join Me page. Click on the basic option in the share section. Then click the orange arrow.



To be able to share your desktop you need to run the application, this is a one time install. Click run.



The application will now install.

Up and running


Once installed you will see a message to tell you that can now share your desktop. Note the 9 digit code at the top of the screen in the format xxx-xxx-xxx

At the screen of the person who you want to share with


Contact the person you want to share with and ask them to visit and enter your 9 digit code into the Join section and then click the green arrow.

Vistor joins


You will now see a message to say the other person has joined, they can now see your desktop but they cannot interact with you until you give them permission.

Give the visitor access


Click on the Person icon and below a small window opens, click on the icon of the mouse and you can share your desktop with the visitor.

Visitor has access


You have now given the visitor access to your desktop and then are able to move your mouse and interact.

Complete session


When you have finished your session and you want to take control of your desktop back, click on the Mouse icon with the X

Revoke access


Choose yes to disconnect the visitor.

Finish session


Finally to close your session, click on the X to close the application and remember to remove the check for keeping on the desktop.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

XenApp Server 6.5 - a usable server cannot be found on which to launch the application

Error launching a published application on a XenApp 6.5 Server

XenApp 6.5 Event Log


I spent several hours on a new XenApp 6.5 installation trying to work this out, I had published Adobe Reader X and everytime I launched it from the web interface I had this error that a reidrection error had occured. I checked the event logs on the XenApp Server and the message above was shown in the event log. I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out with it being my first XenApp installation so these are the points to check.

  • Confirm you have created a Worker Group for the XenApp Server and added your server to this group
  • When publishing the application, publish it to the Worker Group
  • Check your ACL on any routing between VLANS, I was building a hosted environment so I had ACL between my XenApp Server and my WI Server and I had missed 1494 and 2598 going from my XenApp Server back to my WI Server.

This solution may be due for more updates as this is a learning curve but as there is a lot of information our there on this issue that was not relevant I thought I would get out there what I did.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services - The task you are trying to do can't be completed because Remote Desktop Services is currently busy

A user cannot logon to a Windows 2008 R2 Server, other users may be connected and be able to reconnect.

Error Message


This issue is recorded in a Microsoft KB Article and it is caused by an issue with Csrss.exe and Microsoft Excel or Visio.

Microsoft KB Article


There is a hotfix for this issue, request and install the hotfix. I did this while the server was in production, not best practice but I had little choice as my customer would not tolerate a reboot at that time.

Restart Services


To enable the hotfix I restarted the Remote Desktop Services Service, often this is all the reboot does when it is requested.

Powershell - Number of Mailboxes per Database

A quick Powershell that is worth sharing is this command to display the number of mailboxes per database.

Get-MailboxDatabase | Select Server, StorageGroupName, Name, @{Name="Number Of Mailboxes";expression={(Get-Mailbox -Database $_.Identity | Measure-Object).Count}} | Format-Table -AutoSize

Thanks to Teknologist for this

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Acronis - Uninstall the SQL Server Instance when removing version 10 & 11

When Acronis Backup & Recovery is uninstalled the application does not remove the MSDE SQL Server 2005 Express database so you have to remove this manually. Why is this important? This MSDE instance will take up disk space and CPU cycles running for no purpose as you have removed the application it served.

Acronis CMS Files


The files here are the database files used by Acronis CMS and that are taking up disk space on our server.

Acronis MSDE Instance


If you run the SQL Server Studio Management you can see the instance we are referring to SBIZ\ACRONIS in this case.

Database Files


Here are the SQL Server database files attached and online even though we have removed the Acronis application.

Uninstall SQL Server 2005


Acronis uses SQL Server Express 2005 so choose Uninstall for this application.

SQL Server 2005 Uninstall


Select the instance for ACRONIS.

Uninstall Warning


Click Finish to confirm the uninstall.

Error during Uninstall


You may encounter the above message while uninstalling, this is because the SQL Server (ACRONIS) Service is running the process sqlserver.exe

Stop Service


In the Services MMC stop the service.

Error for Process ID


You may see a further error, this can be more difficult to work out what needs to be closed. The number shown is the Process ID or PID, this is the process that has a handle on the file we want to remove.

Find the Process


To find the Process open Task Manager.

View PID Column


From the menu, choose View, Select Columns.

Choose Column


Select the PID Column

Show Processes from All Users


If the process is not running under your user context you will need to show process for all users.

Find the PID


Here you can see the PID that we need, 3860. This is an instance of sqlserver.exe, although we closed the instance for ACRONIS there are still other instances running.

Stop Services for other instances of sqlserver


Stop the service for all other instances of SQL Server running.

Complete Uninstall


Restart Services for other instances


Restart the instance you stopped before. Note that the service for SQL Server (ACRONIS) is now gone.

Delete manually the database files.


You are now safe to delete the database files.

GFI Mail Archiver does not display the Configuration Tab for an Administrator

If you open the Mail Archiver Console you do not have access to the configuration tab even though you are an administrator. This is caused by the Windows UAC feature. UAC stops the features of the Configuration tab from loading and being available. This isue is outlined in the GFI KB article -

Run Mail Archiver


Applications Launch


No Configuration Tab

The Configuration tab is not displayed.

Run Internet Explorer as Administrator

Run Internet Explorer as an administrator

Agree to UAC

You can now agree to the UAC to elevate privileges in advance.

Browse to the Mail Archiver Location

Enter the address http://localhost/mailarchiver

Configuration Tab is available

The conifguration tab is now available.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cisco - Debug a RFC 1483 Bridged DSL Circuit

If you have a IPoE connection which will use a bridged connection on your DSL circuit and you have a Cisco IOS router then use this guide from Cisco to help debug your connection.

Cisco ASA - Rate Limit Outbound Connections

How to rate limit the bandwidth for an outbound conection through an ASA 5510.


The Cisco ASA 5510 will allow for control over the bandwidth and burst rate allowed through an interface, the config below will show how you can control outbound bandwidth through the outside interface.

First create an access list that will match the interesting traffic, in this case the IP address represents the internal server on our network used for testing.

access-list acl-police-bandwidth extended permit ip host any
access-list acl-police-bandwidth extended permit ip any host

Next a class map is required to match the traffic we want in our policy map, if you have used Zone Based Firewall before then this will make sense. The class map matches the access list we have created.

class-map cmap-police-bandwidth
match access-list acl-police-bandwidth

Now we need to create a service policy, this will match the class map. This is the Cisco way of nesting objects, it is logical but can be confusing sometimes.

policy-map pmap-police-bandwidth
class cmap-police-bandwidth
police output 1000000 2000
police input 1000000 2000

Last we create a service policy and this is assigned to an interface. In this case this will inspect all traffic in both directions through our Internet facing interface but because we are using PAT we can match only on traffic to and from our internal IP address and so allow all other IP addresses utilise as much bandwidth as they need.

service-policy pmap-police-bandwidth interface WaveNet

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Vmware - Cannot create a snapshot error -3491

As part of my recovery of a Sharepoint Server in vSphere, I decided once the server was all restored that I would take a Data Recovery Backup, but when I attempted this I received the error.

error -3491 cannot create snapshot

Snapshots all involve the VMFS and are related to all the files in the datastores for each virtual machine.  Now you have to be really careful with these files as they are the workings of each virtual machine, but you can if you are careful manipulate these to resolve problems.

In my case this article from Vmware resolved my problem.

I had a -delta.vmdk file that was orphaned and not linked to my vmdk files so I downloaded the virtual machine vmx file and checked that this -delta.vmdk file was not referenced and then moved the file to a backup folder in vmfs.

Once this orphaned file was removed I could run a Data Recovery backup and take a snap shot again.

Vmware Virtual Machine running Windows 2008 R2 Server will not boot with error STOP c000021a

I migrated one of my Sharepoint Servers running in a vSphere 4.1 virtual machine, the migration went fine but when I came to start the guest I found it would not boot up, it booted to the Windows Recovery and then the recovery console could not repair the installation.

So I spent the next day literally going though every option in Windows Recovery Console, bcdedit and bootrec both helped get from a total non boot message of "bootmgt is missing" to a point where I could find my Windows installation again.

The next issue I had was that Windows would start to boot but it would hang on the green progress bar and black boot screen, I thought it may take some time so I left it for several hours and it made no difference.  So back into recovery console I used diskpart to look at the partitions and volumes and I could see that both my System Reserved and Boot partition were there but the System Reserved was set as hidden.

Using diskpart I changed this volume to not be hidden, this is volume 1 on a disk that runs Windows 2008 R2. I restarted the guest and now it would boot but then display an error "autochk program not found - skipping AUTOCHECK" this would then be followed with a BSOD with the error STOP c000021a.

Now this STOP error is you Google is usually a game ender but never one to quit I tried a search on Vmware knowledge base on this and hey presto I found this article.

The answer is to use diskpart and make sure that the System Partition in Windows 2008 R2 does not have the value nodefaultdriveletter assigned to it.

So use the list volume command and if the volume has the value of true for nodefaultdriveletter then you need to change this as below

list volume
select volume 1
attributes volume
attributes volume clear nodefaultdriveletter

I started the guest and it booted as normal!  This one change has saved me a Sharepoint rebuild and was worth the 12 hours of trouble shooting to learn to keep my ESXi servers up to date!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Distributed File System - Error "the share must be removed from the distributed file system before it can be deleted"

If you are trying to remove a share and you receive the error "he share must be removed from the distributed file system before it can be deleted" when you try to remove this, you need to remove the share from DFS. If you cannot access DFS any longer and this is an orphaned share you can remove it manually from the registry.

Edit the registry and remove the share from the DFS Name Space


Edit the registry and browse to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Dfs\Roots\Domain and then look for the share name and delete the registry key.