Thursday, 7 March 2013

Media is Read Only - Working with Diskpart

One of the advantages (or disadvantages, depends on how you sees it) in working with Windows Server Core is that you will have a chance to work directly with command lines programs without the user interface. 

My recent experience in trying to add a new disk to the server core VM is a classic case. I need to add a new disk and I have to do the following:
  1. Add a new disk in VM
  2. Run "DiskPart"
  3. In the DiskPart Prompt, type in "LIST DISK" to list all the disk available.
  4. Then, type in "SELECT DISK 1" to select the 2nd disk
  5. Type "CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY" to create a primary partition
  6. Type "ASSIGN LETTER=D" to make that D drive
  7. Type "SELECT PARTITION 1" to select the partition I have just created
  8. Type "FORMAT FS=NTFS" to format the drive.
I did run into a problem when I try creating the partition, I keep getting the error "Media is Write Protected". After some googling, I finally realised that for some reason, the drive is offline and is mounted as read only. 

To make the disk NOT  READ ONLY:
  1. Type "SELECT DISK <DISK NUMBER>" to select the disk that you want to work on
  2. Type "DETAIL DISK" to show the disk details. In my case, "Current Read-Only State" and "Read-Only" both shows "True"
To make the disk ONLINE:
  1. Type "SELECT DISK <DISK NUMBER>" to select the disk that you want to work on
  2. Type "ONLINE DISK" to make the disk online
It actually feel quite good that I still have the "IT touch" and managed to work on this with a bit of googling. It really reminds me of my Uni Days when I have to work on Unix and Linux with all command prompts.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Working with Server 2012 Server Core

Windows Server's server core installation had exists for a while. I always curious on what it does but did not have much time to play with it. I have been installing it mistakenly and was shocked by how little I can do with it and eventually given up.

However, from my reading in the internet, server core installation seems to have some advantages:

  1. As only minimal was installed on the server, the server's security was pretty good.
  2. Again for the same reason, server core appeared to use less resources and appeared to work faster.
  3. Patching is still necessary but the patch size is much small for the same reason.
This make me interest a bit more, in particular, the "Use less resources" and "Appeared to work faster" part. I also find out that there are some basic configuration tool, like core configurator in codeplex and native tools in windows sconfig, which help to perform some of the basic tasks. is getting not that scary at all now.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Working with HP TRIM Web Client

I have got a chance to work with HP TRIM Web Client with one of my customer the other day and learn a few new things. I think it might be a good idea to write it done in case I forget.

The followings are a few useful URL when working with HP TRIM Web Client. Please note, I am working on the default settings and might have slight variation depending on how the IIS setup is. In addition, I am using Windows Authentication. So if user has access to TRIM, they will be straight throw.

  • URL to HP TRIM Web Client - http://<server>/hptrimwebclient
  • URL to specific record in HP TRIM Web Client - http://<server>/hptrimwebclient/?uri=123456
  • URL to electronic object in HP TRIM Web Client - http://<server>/hptrimwebclient/download/?uri=123456

I know in HP TRIM 6R2, a lot of customer HP TRIM WebDrawer to provide Web Access to TRIM document through web browser. You could simple replace the Web Server settings in HP TRIM System Options to replace it with HP TRIM Web Client.

One more note with URI, if you are using HP TRIM via the web, you need to familiar with URI. HP TRIM use URI instead of record number to identify each record behind the scene. You could customise you pane in HP TRIM client to shown URI. However, it is not possible to search (not via HP TRIM interface without customisation anyway) using URI.

Please do contribute if you know any other URL format when using HP TRIM Web Client. I will add it to the list above.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

HP TRIM 7.1.x Client conflicted with other desktop applications

I have worked on a interesting case recently where my customer have some sort of conflicts with HP TRIM 7.1.x client and 2 other desktop applications (Raiser's Edge and HR3 Payroll). Starting with the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) with these 2 desktop applications installed, if HP TRIM 7.1.x client is installed as the last application, HP TRIM client works OK but the other 2 applications cannot start at all. However, if HP TRIM client is installed first, all 3 applications all run happily.

This looks like a classic case where either there is a DLL conflict or Registry conflict. I have raised a call to HP TRIM Software Support and was provided 2 additional documents, a file list and a registry list.

The file list contains details of what files are created/modified during the HP TRIM Client install process. This is extremely useful in order to resolve file level conflict. The registry list shows all the registry entries created/modified during the installation process.

From the files list, I could see that most of the HP TRIM Client file,s including DLLs are installed in the C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP TRIM directory by default. However, there are a handful of files which will be installed in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory. By comparing the date stamps on those files, I managed to find out that there is no file level conflict.

Registry conflict is normally a bit difficult to analyse purely because there are so many of them, I have taken snapshots before and after HP TRIM client is installed. With a bit of patience and luck, I managed to pinpoint the problem entry in the registry.

During HP TRIM Client install, the following registry entry:


was renamed to:

@="C:\\Program Files\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP TRIM\\tsjGroupWiseEx.dll"

There seems to be some dependency for both Raiser's Edge and HR3 Payroll with this registry entry and runs into issue when the applications are executed. This also explains the reason why if TRIM was installed first, all 3 applications will work OK as the installation of Raiser's Edge and HR3 Payroll will overwrite this registry entry.

Consider that this customer did not use Novell Group Wise as their email client. I have recommend them to update this registry entry once HP TRIM Client was installed last.

For those that are interested, the Change Request Number is QCCR2D46104.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Stamp.....What is a stamp, Mum?

My six years old daughter Valerie asked my wife a very interesting question the other day. "Mum, what is a stamp?" We are a bit shock at the beginning that our daughter did not even know what a stamp is. However, once we have a chance sit down and think, we should not be surprised.