Microsoft Windows

Sending an Email When an Event Happens (Windows Server and Powershell)

So... we got these servers a couple years ago, and the event logs don't email me things anymore. It was one of those things that I forgot to check because it's something you just don't check, but it's important. I ended up seeing the alerts late. No harm - no foul, but it still sucks.

The problem is, the latest Windows servers don't have a built-in feature to email events from the event log. The fix is to run a PowerScript script to send the message.

A funny RAID 1 failure factoid: you will fail more

A funny thing about RAID 1 disk mirroring, is that if you implement it on your computer, you're more likely to experience a failure. The trade off is that the failure won't be catastrophic.

File Sync and Share and File Server Terminology Clashes

I was thinking about file sync issues, and realized there are some problems discussing or describing problems, because the terms "share" and "open" mean different things in different situations.

Some applications share data by opening a file in a shared folder on the server. They are all working in the same file, and the server's operating system mediates the process.

Quick fix for networks that were set up with .local as the TLD

I received the work network with a TLD set up to be .local, so all the hosts on the LAN have FQDNs of host.businessname.local.

It certainly looked "official", but mDNS uses the .local tld for its own purposes.

I was trying to get our samba server up into the AD and was having a problem joining the domain.

DNS wasn't going to resolve FQDNs that end in .local because it doesn't recognize it as a TLD.

The quick fix was to add the hostname to the /etc/hosts file.

Doing it Wrong Worked: Replacing a Flaky Disk in Windows RAID 1

I had a disk failing, and had to remove it. The "right" way is to break the mirror or remove the disk from the plex, but it was preventing a boot for the third time, so I shut down and removed it.

The computer booted from the second disk (after selecting it with the F10 boot menu, then the Windows boot menu).

So I added the replacement disk, restarted, and then went to work on rebuilding the mirror.

The new disk was initialized as MBR.

The remaining disk in the RAID plex was working, but the plex was gone. When I tried to reactivate the volume, it said the plex was gone.

Windows RAID 1 <3

I can't enthuse enough about Windows RAID 1. In 2014, it saved my bacon. My disk was failing, causing boot errors. The second disk booted, and fixed the first. How cool is that?

I had to replace the bad disk. Total downtime was a couple hours and a few boots.

Hardware RAID is supposed to be better, because you should be able to hot swap without downtime - but my experience is that you'll have a crash. (The hot swap is useful if you refresh your disks before the error... so you have to be that kind of person, or operating in a company.)

MicroSIP Phone Audio Setup Weirdness with Different Headsets

Computer sound sucks.


There are three major contexts for computer-based sound: watching the computer like a TV, using it for video or audio phone, and using the computer as a multitrack recording studio or a multi-channel mixing board for a PA.

The problem is, the designers of Windows (and Linux, and Mac OS somewhat) have chosen to focus on enabling the usage on the right.

Windows Soft RAID 1 Experiences

I've been using this feature at work for a few years, and these are some experiences.

So far, we haven't had any disk failures, so it's been fine, mostly.

Setting it up is a little anxiety-inducing. You need to make a regular disk image backup, first, for sure. Also have the installation DVD or a USB key around and a product key. This is essential.

Breaking the Rules: Share Files with Computers not in Your Windows Domain

How to share a folder and its files with computers outside of the Windows domain. This is a generally bad idea, but if you need to do it, it's possible.

Testing iOS Office Apps to Edit Microsoft Word Documents

This article doesn't recommend any specific applications; that will come later. We're at an early stage of evaluating software to edit our documents, and as expected, it's awesome and crappy at the same time. It's awesome because these new word processors are beautiful. Any of them looks like a work of art.

Simplifying NTFS File Permissions

I've avoided NTFS file permissions for the better part of two decades. First off, I'm not an enterprise admin, and secondly, it seemed like every network I came across had virtually no permissions. Unix, which has a primitive permission system, was usually more "locked down" in most cases.

Lately, though, there have been some mean malware in the wild, including one that encrypts your data, and then charges a ransom to decrypt it. Imagine that getting into your file servers. Yikes.

One corrective is to use those file permissions to protect your files from changes.

What Is the Difference between Access and Excel?

There's probably a frustrated IT or database person telling someone that they shouldn't be using Excel, that the data should be in Access or a database. The Excel user on the receiving end is probably wondering what Access is.

They seem similar. They both store data as rows and columns, but it's the differences that make a difference.

Upgrading to a Larger Hard Disk, using Windows Software RAID 1 (Mirroring)

Technically, you can't extend a mirrored volume, but you can break the mirror and extend it. Then, you can re-build the mirror.

Here's how to upgrade to a larger disk, using mirroring to copy the data over. I'm going to assume you want to go from a single disk to two larger disks: a spare disk is cheaper than dealing with hours of disk recovery in the event of a crash, no matter how rare crashes are.

Start by making a full backup of your disk to an external drive.

Install one new disk and making a mirror onto it.

w32tm reports the computer did not resync because no time data was available

I got the message "the computer did not resync because no time data was available" after running "w32tm /resync /force".

I had followed the various howtos out there*, and checked them against each other : as expected, they differed slightly, but none of them worked for me. Well, it turned out that I needed to run the update command, below.

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