Machine not stable? Try this tool.

Posted on October 20, 2010

We commonly run into situations where PCs aren't operating correctly.

Common behaviors include:

- Overall instability
- Incomplete bios posts
- The deadly blinky cursor for a long period of time
- Lock-ups while identifying hard drives
- Even blue screens when hammering your processor

Here's the number one rule.
If you have issues BEFORE windows starts loading, you have a hardware issue. Stop blaming Microsoft.

Most people test the RAM, hard drives and eventually start pulling gear out by process of elimination.
What's generally the LAST thing you check?

POWER SUPPLY!

I can't tell you the number of times we've tested and replaced absolutely everything only to finally discover the power supply was the issue.
How do you diagnose? You have two options:

- Pull a separate power supply and plug it in.

- Try this tool:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html (if you can make it to windows)

This tool can help you identify if your power supply is providing sufficient power.
In our cases, the power supplies were delivering <8v when ~12V is required.

You would be AMAZED the instability your machine will demonstrate without a working power supply.
The next time your machine is acting up (especially on start-up), check the power supply.

Special thanks to Davor Karacic for his mental madness.

How to manually remove/un-install Office 2007

Posted on October 18, 2010

I recently ran into a major issue trying to remove an installation of Office 2007. For whatever reason the normal methods of removing the software did not work.

If you run into this situation, checkout this tool from microsoft:


Microsoft Fix it 50154
(original taken from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928218)

This little tool manually uninstalls everything and skips the normal checks from add/remove programs.

Windows 2008 R2 and the Active Directory Recycle Bin

Posted on October 13, 2010

How many of you have deleted the wrong user, group or computer and realized it was the wrong one. Although its rare, the one time you do tends to be such a pain in the butt. Enter Windows 2008 R2 and the AD recycling bin. Most people are still un-aware of this feature as its not integrated into any AD GUI tools, it must be setup and used from the AD power shell.

There are a few requirements before setting it up:

  • Your domain must be set to a Windows 2008 R2 functional level
  • Your forest must be set to a Windows 2008 R2 functional level
  • You must use ADSIedit to identity the active directory distinguished name to your recycling bin

Upgrading to the Windows 2008 R2 domain functional level:

Start -> Administrative Tools -> Active Directory Domains & Trusts-> Right Click "domain.com" -> Raise Domain Functional Level

READ THE WARNINGS and do your research to ensure you can upgrade to this level without causing issues in your domain.
Allow any updates to propagate for at least 15 minutes.

Upgrading to the Windows 2008 R2 forest functional level:

Start -> Administrative Tools -> Active Directory Domains & Trusts-> Right Click "Active Directory Domains and Trusts" -> Raise Forest Functional Level

READ THE WARNINGS and do your research to ensure you can upgrade to this level without causing issues in your forest.
Allow any updates to propagate for at least 15 minutes.

Identifying your recycling bin distinguished name:

Start -> ADSIEDIT -> Connect To -> Select a well known naming context -> Configuration -> Configuration [server.domain.ca] -> Configuration -> Services -> Windows NT -> Directory Service -> Optional Features -> Double Click Recycle Bin Feature in right window -> double click DistinguishedName -> Copy the Value:

Turning the Recycling Bin On:

Start -> Administrative Tools -> Active Directory Power Shell

Enable-ADOptionalFeature -identity '<distinguishedName>' -scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target '<domain>'

Example:

Enable-ADOptionalFeature -identity 'CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=domain,DC=com' -scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target 'domain.com'

Once this completes your recycling bin is now enabled.