Archives May 2009

Clean up old files after installing Vista’s SP2

Attention: This content is 13 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Around a year ago I wrote about getting 800mb of space back after installing SP1, and I come to you today with a similar tip for SP2!

This one is not as dramatic as 800mb, but I did gain back around 400mb of disk space.

Just as with SP1, this works by removing backup files made during the service pack install, making it prememnant and impossible to remove.  Just keep that one fact in mind.

Just pop open your favorite command prompt, and issue compcln

It will ask you to confirm, and then it’ll get to work.  After a couple minutes you’ll have your reclaimed space!  (And a permenent SP2 install!)

Sync Your Server 2003 Time

Attention: This content is 13 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

For nearly all servers you don’t really need to worry about configuring this since most servers can keep their time by themselves.

But every once in a while you run in to one of those black sheep servers that seems to lose time every time you turn around.  The particularly annoying thing is that if the server’s time is incorrect, all computers attached to that domain will be incorrect.  This can make troubleshooting difficult if you’re going off of times in logs, and log times are completely wrong.  I ran across such a server today.  I KNOW I have set this server’s time in the past and it seems every time I get back around to checking it, it’s is out of sync by 10, 15, 30 minutes, or even more then an hour!

So after digging around and trying a couple different things, I came across some instructions and a handy utility that got the server’s time sync’ing to the NTP’s time servers reguarlarly to ensure the server never loses time again, which I’ll share with you.

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I Love Dell Support

Attention: This content is 13 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Trying to not be a negative nancy, I decided to post up a quick article on a great experience I had today with Dell’s customer support.

A client called me saying their server wasn’t booting.  I went out there and to make a long story short (about an hour of troubleshooting), I determine 1 of their 4 sticks of ram was faulty.

I called Dell support and with in 2 minutes I was speaking with a live rep.  I told him I had some bad ram, and he said no problem… took maybe another 5 minutes of him typing things up, and he is over nighting me a stick of ram to replace the faulty one.

I loved the whole experience.  It was incredibly simple and they didn’t treat me like an idiot and make me run a bunch of bullshit diagnostics that I had already done my self troubleshooting and figuring out which stick it was.  They took my word for it.

I wish all service calls went like this.  Simple, to the point, and gets the problem resolved.

I’ve also had similar great experiences with HP’s support.  Dell and HP are both winners in my book for having excellent support centers!

Maybe Acer should take notes and get their act together.

Install IPCop from a USB Drive

Attention: This content is 13 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

IPCop is a really neat open source project that can basically transform any old computer with 2 NIC’s in it in to a hardware firewall, VPN server, and Web Filter, among many other useful things.

We use it quite a lot where I work and we’re always looking for the smaller, better IPCop box.

The most recent version we went with was a 1U half-depth rack mount server from the guys over at abmx.com.  This unit was both cheap, and met our needs of a rack-mountable IPCop machine.

The slight downside to this machine was there was no CD-Rom drive in it as our past IPCop boxes have had.  In addition, there was no IDE port on the motherboard (only SATA), and we didn’t have a SATA CD-Rom drive hanging around the office, so I set out to figure out how to install IPCop from a USB drive.

After a ton of searching I came across some instructions, which I will post for you in case you ever want to do the same.

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