In trying to clone my 60 gb hard drive to a 500 gb hard drive, I ran some utilities on the 60 gb hard drive to fix bad sectors and find missing data. Apparently in the process, I damaged something in Windows. Right now the drive will not boot beyond the blue screen with the Windows XP logo in regular mode nor in safe mode. I’m documenting my steps here because the usual troubleshooting steps have failed and I need to make sure I’m not repeating the same steps twice. Continue reading Windows won’t boot past the logo
I am pleased to have my workstation working again. I miss the portability of working on Tommy’s laptop but nothing compares to having multiple monitors for productivity. When will they make a laptop with a screen that can fold out so that the laptop itself will have 2 or 3 screens? Imagine. Fold up to reveal the keyboard and one screen. Need more real estate? Fold the screen to the left and you now have 2 screens and a keyboard. Need more? A 3rd section folds out to the right and now you have a keyboard and 3 screens and portability! Oh how I dream.
Anyhow, seems my machine is still not up to par. Windows just informed me that I have to install service pack 3, again. (since installing the new motherboard required reinstalling Windows core files)
My motherboard died on my computer with all the software required for my consulting efforts. Why did it die? Because the capacitors on the motherboard were manufactured with an incomplete and flawed electrolyte formula that was acquired through some bad industrial espionage. I have since been given a new (old, I mean newly manufactured but we are talking Socket 462) motherboard. After installing it last night, Windows gets to mup.drv in the bootup process and restarts the machine. So today’s challenge (and one necessary to access my invoicing software) is to get Windows repaired so that it, and all the installed software on that hard drive, work with this new motherboard. Of course, I do this in conjunction with pumping out code. Days like this make me wish I had an IT department. I miss Nate.
I was (still am) a huge fan of the e-smith gateway server (now SME Server see also http://contribs.org) which was a very simplistic way to take almost any computer and have it up and running as a email, web, database server and more in under 2 hours. It has reliably been my development server of choice for years although my next nix server is likely to be Ubuntu.
I am having a problem getting Vista to authenticate across the network to allow me to browse directories and work on my development files. As it turns out, the default Vista security is set to use only NTLMv2 authentication. Samba can’t handle this. One solution is:
To solve the problem run secpol.msc to get into the Local Security Policy screen. Goto "Security Options" then find "Network Security: LAN Manager authentcation level." Change it from "NTVLM2 responses only" to "LM and NTLM – use NTLMv2 session security if negociated”.
Now, to exasperate the problem, Vista Home Premium does not have secpol.msc. Instead you must manually edit the registry. Use caution when editing the registry! Run regedit. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa. Look for the key LmCompatibilityLevel, right click, choose modify, and change the number to the appropriate value of 0 to 5.
0 – Clients use LM and NTLM authentication, but they never use NTLMv2 session security. Domain controllers accept LM, NTLM, and NTLMv2 authentication.
1 – Clients use LM and NTLM authentication, and they use NTLMv2 session security if the server supports it. Domain controllers accept LM, NTLM, and NTLMv2 authentication.
2 – Clients use only NTLM authentication, and they use NTLMv2 session security if the server supports it. Domain controller accepts LM, NTLM, and NTLMv2 authentication.
3 – Clients use only NTLMv2 authentication, and they use NTLMv2 session security if the server supports it. Domain controllers accept LM, NTLM, and NTLMv2 authentication.
4 – Clients use only NTLMv2 authentication, and they use NTLMv2 session security if the server supports it. Domain controller refuses LM authentication responses, but it accepts NTLM and NTLMv2.
5 – Clients use only NTLMv2 authentication, and they use NTLMv2 session security if the server supports it. Domain controller refuses LM and NTLM authentication responses, but it accepts NTLMv2.
In this case, to support Samba, I want the value to change from the default of 3 to 1.
After doing this, reboot for the change to take affect. Next, read Security Watch The Most Misunderstood Windows Security Setting of All Time.
Windows 3.x RIP – November 1, 2008
I am laying in some significant code changes so I am making a backup of my development environment. No, I’m not using SVN or other revision control as I should be. Windows takes forever to make a copy! In Linux this could have been done almost before I finished typing the command. File copies should not be measured in, "sure, go to the store, buy dinner supplies, come home and cook then I’ll be done copying" time!
I have a development server in the house that still runs Windows 2000 Server and has Internet Explorer 6.0.2800 on it. The machine is finally starting to show its age and could not hold up to testing my current project, a web application whose end users will primarily use Internet Explorer 6.0.2900. My server just wasn’t cutting it tonight so I bit the bullet and pulled a laptop which had Ubuntu installed. I pulled out my free copy of Windows XP I got from Microsoft for participating in the Windows XP beta program. After installing it, the network card wouldn’t work so updates were impossible. Fortunately, I used to be a Microsoft Partner and participated in the Microsoft Action Pack program so I had a disc that had XP Service Pack 2 on it. After installing that things were looking better but the NIC still wasn’t working. I dug out a USB drive and used another computer to get the network adapter driver from Dell’s website and suddenly the machine was working. After installing the updated video drivers the laptop with 256MB of ram is running almost better than my workstation I used for development! Best of all, it now has Internet Explorer 6.0.2900 and I can see the website exactly as my clients see it!