Thursday, March 22, 2012


Customer complaining about website performance. Load balanced two tier app with IIS on the front end and MySQL on the back end. We support the infrastructure in this particular environment, not the OS or the apps, but we help where we can.

Long story cut short - if you're going to use MySQL, make sure you can resolve the client IPs using DNS.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Secure" Passwords

Why oh why do sites requiring "secure" passwords prevent me from using the non-alphanumeric characters I want to use?!? is the latest one I've come across.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Windows 2003 Corrupt Logon Screen Colours

It's been a while since I came across this one, stumbled upon another one today: the Windows (2003) logon screen colours are corrupt. The logon screen works, you just might not be able to see everything on it.

Here's a reg file to fix it (sourced from

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors]
"ActiveBorder"="212 208 200"
"ActiveTitle"="10 36 106"
"AppWorkSpace"="128 128 128"
"Background"="102 111 116"
"ButtonAlternateFace"="181 181 181"
"ButtonDkShadow"="64 64 64"
"ButtonFace"="212 208 200"
"ButtonHilight"="255 255 255"
"ButtonLight"="212 208 200"
"ButtonShadow"="128 128 128"
"ButtonText"="0 0 0"
"GradientActiveTitle"="166 202 240"
"GradientInactiveTitle"="192 192 192"
"GrayText"="128 128 128"
"Hilight"="10 36 106"
"HilightText"="255 255 255"
"HotTrackingColor"="0 0 128"
"InactiveBorder"="212 208 200"
"InactiveTitle"="128 128 128"
"InactiveTitleText"="212 208 200"
"InfoText"="0 0 0"
"InfoWindow"="255 255 225"
"Menu"="212 208 200"
"MenuText"="0 0 0"
"Scrollbar"="212 208 200"
"TitleText"="255 255 255"
"Window"="255 255 255"
"WindowFrame"="0 0 0"
"WindowText"="0 0 0"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bonding Intel Pro 1000/MT in Windows Server 2008 R2

Building a vCenter server for a vSphere cluster on Windows Server 2008 R2 on hardware which has two Intel Pro 1000/MT NICs. We're connecting this server to a HA infrastructure so we want to bond the NICs. However it's not possible to bond the NICs using the native Windows drivers (as ever).

A trip over to the Intel site revealed an interesting thread on how to get it working.
You can get the full details here:
Teaming NIC PRO 1000/MT in windows Server 2008 R2

Bottom line from the thread:
- Get your hands on the Intel Networking Solutions CD v15.3
- Update the NIC drivers from that media
- Run the ProSet install from V15.3_CD\APPS\PROSETDX\Winx64
- Set up the Team(s) via the NIC properties in Device Manager


More Kernel Memory Exhaustion

I had occasion to deal with another server today with kernel memory exhaustion issues. Hopefully it's just a coincidence and not a sign of something odd going on...


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Truncate SQL (SharePoint) Log File

I happened upon a SharePoint server that needed some attention - the Config DB log file was 17GB. Shrunk as follows:

DBCC SHRINKFILE('SharePoint_Config_********-****-****-****-************_log', 1)
BACKUP LOG "SharePoint_Config_********-****-****-****-************" WITH TRUNCATE_ONLY
DBCC SHRINKFILE('SharePoint_Config_********-****-****-****-************_log', 1)

(That's on SQL 2005 btw - somewhat deprecated commands)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000044)

Troubleshooting a Windows 2003 x86 server today. It failed to respond to a monitoring ping. On logon, got the following error message:

Windows - Application Error
The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000044). Click on OK to terminate the application.

Rebooted the server, logged on successfully. Cause:
Event Type: ErrorEvent
Source: SrvEvent
Category: None
Event ID: 2019
Date: 11/6/2011
Time: 7:25:55 AM
User: N/A
Computer: *********2
Description:The server was unable to allocate from the system nonpaged pool because the pool was empty.

i.e. Kernel memory exhausted. Can't tell at this stage what caused it. Last time I looked into one of these it was AV software. At least x64 has higher kernel memory limits.

Interestingly, the last logged server uptime event before the crash showed an uptime of 100743098 seconds. That's 3.19 years. Not bad from an uptime perspective. Terrible from a security perspective.

That server is not under my direct control, but I'm going to see if I can influence the server's owner to patch it on a regular basis.


PS More info from the Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting Blog here:
Understanding Pool Consumption and Event ID: 2020 or 2019