Sunday, February 15, 2015

CentOS / Red Hat Command To Find Dell Service Tag

CentOS / Red Hat / Windows Command To Find Dell Service Tag

The Dell service tag can be found and displayed using only a command line. The command line of a Linux system like Red Hat or Cent OS is a shell and without adding Dell, HP, or IBM tools to the server or desktop Linux system, the Dell service tag can be displayed. On "whitebox" systems or "generic" systems the serial number could be displayed. With Del land HP for example, displaying the service tag or the serial number allows easy look-ups and referencing of the system to location drivers, software, and warranty information. 

Using local Command to Display System Serial Numbers and Dell Service Tag

On a Windows based system, XP or higher, open a command window /command prompt window. The ability to display the service tag of a Dell computer desktop or server is built right into the operating system. Once you have opened a command window, issue the following command:  

C:\> wmic bios get serialnumber

The serial number of the system or the Dell service tag on the next line. The output of the command is simple too and the results are displayed on the next line in the command line window.  

Using just command line to get the serial number "white-box" computer 

"White-box" computer systems are still very popular and offer a good alternative to the more pricey OEM server and desktop systems. They are good for the very IT savvy and do it your-self people in the IT industry that know how to build and maintain these types of  systems. They offer a competitive advantage in pricing and at times quality to the well known brand of servers and desktops. 

These systems however might not return the desired or expected results. If the manufacture has not entered a unique serial numner of tag of their own into the BIOS field, the following will be displayed after issuing the command to display the serial number of the system,  "To Be Filled by O.E.M." .  

Retrieving Dell service Tags or Serial number on Linux based computer systems with only a command line

The service tag or serial number can be displayed on a Linux based system by using a simple command from a shell. Similar to Windows, the command can be native or may need a Linux component installed .Again, no tools from the manufacturer will be needed. I have tested this on Cent OS and Red Hat Linux. The command to get and display the Dell service tag or serial number of the system could and may work on other Linux distributions.

Command on Linux to get Dell Service Tag

      # dmidecode | grep -i serial      
      # dmidecode -t 1

 DMIDECODE installation may be required first by executing the following: 
# yum -y install dmidecode


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SQL 2008 Report Services Using Other Editions of SQL for Report Data Sources Not Supported


SQL 2008 Using Other Editions of SQL for Report Data Sources Not Supported

This error was caused when Report Services Configuration Manager was a different version than the SQL instance that hosted the application database. In this case the end-user was using microsoft SQL express for the applciation database and installed the Reporting service Manager from SQL standard. The Management Studio interface for SQL worked fine managing the SQL express database but the reporting services componenent did not.


Monday, March 26, 2012

New Exchange Email Addresses Not Showing in Outlook Right Away

The new addresses automatically go into the global address book. Outlook however has it's own update schedule.
Often the following works to expedite the process.

Click Tools > then Send/Receive > then Download address book

Friday, November 26, 2010

Enable Windows Installer Logging (MSIEXEC.exe)

Enable logging of Microsoft Windows installer for diagnosing and troubleshotting. Enabling installation logging can be easility accomplished for a problem installation by using command line parameters. Strat the installation .msi file with command line parameters to log information that can be reviewed after the failed (or even successfull) product installation.

To enable MSI installation logging use the following example:
installfile.msi /L*V c:\install.log

Replace the installfile.msi with the name of your installation file.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Supporting Technology with Technology.: Enable 24 bit color in RDP for XP or 2003 Server

Supporting Technology with Technology.: Enable 24 bit color in RDP for XP or 2003 Server

Connect with true color 24 bit rdp.

A pre-defined default limit on XP or windows 2003 server limits the color depth of RDP connections to 16 bit maximum. How to configure the "server side" of remote desktop to accept connections at 24-bit true color. Vista, windows 7 and server 2008 already allow higher that 24 bit color by default.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Enable 24 bit color in RDP for XP or 2003 Server

Enable 24 bit color in RDP for XP or 2003 Server

The default color resolution for RDP sessions is limited to 16 bits. This color depth is set on the remote computer and not on the connecting computer. There is an easy fix for this that will enable 24 bit true color for RDP connections. Connect to the remote computer then:
  • Go to Start -> Run.
  • Type in gpedit.msc and click on OK to run the program.
  • In the window that opens’ left panel, go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Terminal Services.
  • On the right-hand panel, find the setting that says Limit maximum color depth and double-click it.
  • In the dialog box that pops up, select Enabled from the radio buttons as shown in the image.
  • In the combo box, select “24 bit” or “Client compatable“.
  • Click OK.
After you have completed these steps reconnect to the remote computer. These steps work on both XP and Windwos 2003 server. Windows 2003 server can also include Microsoft Terminal Server.

Microsoft Terminal Server

(Windows RDS - Remote Desktop Service on Windows 2008 R2)

On Windows server, RDP or RDS (Remote Desktop Services), also permits remote access connectivity by clinets running any version of the remote desktop connection client. The remote desktop connection client used to be called terminal services client and remote desktop protocol client. Older RDP client used to have a color limitation but the newer later RDC client (remote desktop connection) does not have that limitation but the color depth can be adjusted to the user's preference.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Run dsa.msc in 2008 windows server

A simple but effective command used by hundreds of thousands domain administrators and other tech support and server management personal was to run the command dsa.msc from the command line or from the start run menu. This tool was taken out of the default installation for windows 20087 server. This is an interesting change and one that must have a logical cause behind it. The first of which is security.

That topic is not in the scope of this post. What is in the scope is how to get it back . To get the dsa.msc command back into member 2008 server is quite easy. The image in this post shows the options that should be selected to re-enable dsa.msc to run from a member server. The installation takes only minutes and doesn't require a reboot of the server.

Monday, March 02, 2009

How Some Companies Do Support.: VMWare - Virtualization Support

How Some Companies Do Support.: VMWare - Virtualization Support

The few instances where I needed to contact VMWare support for assistance on a project, they did a decent job. Although they, and all other vendors, tout having the best support and are committed to making their users happy, it always depends and varies depending on who you get when you call in and what is the current support queue length they are working off of.

A tired and understaffed support group no matter whose it is will always be less effective than a support department that is fresh and not over-worked (over baked), ready to break down or are disgruntled about their work conditions.

Then, there is the other factor of who you get. Although I'm not apposed to getting a new support person when I call in to a company for support, I do mind if they are not into the technology or interested in solving the issue at hand. I like and don;t mind if put on hold so they can consult with another person except times where time is more critical for the project and that added wait time can come back to hurt the project goals.

On the other side of the spectrum is the support staff members who have been at the company many years or doing the same job or technology for a long time and not only know a great deal but are grumpy about it. The experienced grumpy that thinks you should have already known much of the information they are providing and also they dispense a subtle talk down. This is the worst. Worse that the new support agent or support engineer. Although they know a lot of the product and technology, the more sadists ones will use that as a torture device. Not providing all the information, especially and particularly in the form of gotchas in design or implementation.

Remote Support

A simple process that could take an experienced person several minutes to maybe ten can turn into an hour with a person on the remote side that has no idea of how to perform the functions that you are requesting or have never even seen a command line or rarely use the right-click feature of their mouse.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Backup Exec 12 - Exchange 2007 Email Notification

Backup Exec 12 Not Sending Email Notification through Exchange 2007
#550 5.7.1 RESOLVER.RST.AuthRequired; authentication required

Diagnostic information for administrators:
Generating server: exchange.yourdomain.local
#550 5.7.1 RESOLVER.RST.AuthRequired; authentication required ##
Original message headers:

When you're encountering a problem sending Backup Exec 12 email notification alerts through an Exchange 2007 server, check the following

Test that you can access port 25 (SMTP port number) on the Exchange server by using telnet.

telnet ip-address-of-exchange-server 25

backup exec

Your will then get a confirmation the mail has been queued for delivery

If the mail gets delivered you know port 25 in not blocked or restricted in any way you have permission to send e-mail.

If you do not connect, check to see if there is any software blocking the connection like software or hardware firewalls. Antivirus programs now come with firewall features to stop worms from sending out email from the computer they are infecting. Stop the services and try again. Once you have successfully telneted and sent the test email but backup exec still does not send email notifications then check the following.

The Backup Exec software might not be authenticating properly so be sure you have used an actual real email address with an active domain account as the sender address. The name is a description and can be anything but the email address has to an account in the domain - Exchange wants it that way. If you already have an active domain account as the sender address in backup exec, like, check the account's inbox and look for NDR (non-delivery reports as they may provide an important clue to why your email not being delivered.

Other tools that are handy to utilize when troubleshooting this problem is the the transport receive logs in exchange, they will determine if the email has even been received by the exchange server. When email is accepted into the Exchange email organization by the transport server (it could be the same server as the mailbox server), it will be logged. A simple log generated by exchange is very useful for problems such as this one.

Another tool I often used for determining if a program is trying to communicate information to another system over the network is a simple little program call Active Ports. This is a free program hat show you the running processes and what they are doing in terms of sending or receiving data. It has a very small foot print and installs in seconds so it is worth a look at. You can accomplish the same thing with a command line command but this GUI based tool gives you nearly realtime information which is important for something like SMTP send that could take only less than a second to occur.

The NDR information shown at the top of this email is an example of what someone was getting when they called for assistance. After going through the regular trouble shooting options as discussed above for determining the problem. If you are reading this you most likely have Symantec Backup Exec 12 and Exchange 2007. The way Backup Exec sends their email notifications has not changed in years and version 12 or 12.5 has also not changed. the new culprit is Exchange 2007. There are some additional security options included in the groups and users that are implemented through the domain schema update that has to be run in order to install Exchange 2007. One of those new options is in the domain group properties especially if you are using a distribution list to send the notification to. Uncheck the option to authenticate all users in group. That was the cure for the problem described in the NDR report shown at the beginning of this blog.
Microsoft Exchange email delivery issues as well as issues on the client side can be resolved using online remote support software.  Online remote support accounts for a majority of help-desk solutions. Microsoft Exchange can be repaired remotely as well as email clients like Micrsooft Outlook.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Server Error in '/owa/auth' Application - Outlook Web Access

Server Error in '/owa/auth' Application.
Runtime Error

Among other error messages received while trying to get Outlok Web Access working on IIS6/Exchange 2007 , this one was the worste:
Server Error in '/owa/auth' Application. Runtime Error

The reason it was one of the worst ones was because I knew I was close. Close to getting the thing working and after already trying so many things to make Outlook Web Access work from the Internet or an external computer and on the internal LAN network, this was the final hurrah to the trouble.
I checked the web for answers and hit so many forums with guru after guru after wan-be guru. Even the forums that charge to allow you to see the answers. You know the ones. They want you to pay a yearly subscription to see answers to questions. Yes they have answers to a lot of things but so many times you can tell the guys answering are giving the quickest cheesiest answers they can and hope they score the points for the answer.
They didn't have the answer. The usual spay of links to Microsoft technet and other places were there but no one had the answer. I found it myself. Trial and error and yes this server was hot - there were people waiting to use it.
Outlook web access for Exchange 2007. IIS6 running the front end OWA. This is a recipe for trouble don't you think? Things don't change and people who've been around know that the more complex the OS and services get, the more complex the problem. There are times you can throw some old fashioned techniques into the problem and score a win.

Trouble shooting this OWA Exchange 2003 problem was a brute force attack. I knew that at some point the right combination of security and permissions settings would hit and they did. Struggling to get outlook web access to work from external or the Internet but see it working on the LAN or internal network then try this. Don't be scared. Exchange has some new features that will put things right as Exchange 2007 actually manages Outlook web Access directory security from the web browser. Also, it isn't working anyway that's why your reading this. IIS manages the web site but exchange is looking out on the Outlook web access folder and everything else structure underneath.
All the folders under OWA need to not have the cog look. They should look like folders. If your have the cogs, get rid of them. How? Right click them one at a time and then at the bottom of the default property page it should read OWA but greyed out. the next field should read script and executables not greyed out and the last field, application pool, should be greyed out too. Now each of the fields should have in them Application Name: OWA , Execute Permissions : Scripts and Executables and the last, Execute Permissions: MSExchageDefualtAppPool.

All the folders underneath OWA should say the same thing in these three fields. You may be asking, what about directory security? What do I put there? Put anything you like. Exchange is managing that portion of it and will change whatever you do there anyway.

This solution also fixed these errors too:

  • Outlook Web Access encountered an unexpected error and was unable to handle your request.
  • Page canot be displayed Internal server error .
  • Url:

For one of the best spyware removers that I've used, check out this post - SupperAntiSpyware - Desktop support at work . I used to use Adaware SE but after several disappointements with it, I searched and found another product. This one also has a free version, installs faster, works faster, has a smaller foot print, and most importantly - works much better. The few times this program had trouble removing any malware I used combofix.exe in conjuntion but that is rare. Superantipyware alone has done the job many times.
For online remote desktop support software try this site - They have a very inexpensive solution for remote control access of client computers, desktops and servers. Contol host keyboard and mouse online, work as if you're there and provide remote support through the web. Tehir solution even works on the LAN or the web, same account, same low cost.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Information Technology Support - Adventure (Rated PG): NetGear PS121 USB to Ethernet Network

Information Technology Support - Adventure (Rated PG): NetGear PS121 USB to Ethernet Network

Make any standard USB printer a network printer with this inexpensive USB to network converter. Share your desktop printer with all computers on your home or small office network without having to buy more printers. With this PS, you can stop having to leave computers on just so other desktop computers on the network can acces the USB attached shared printers. Share them and keep your computer off and save power without even needing a dedicated server to do it.

Source blog home - Information Technology Support - Adventure (Rated PG)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Information Technology Support - Adventure (Rated PG): Computer Desktop and Server Management

The list is short for companies and software that could offer the managed service software that kaseya can offer. At an affordable price, you could offer support services beyond that of the break/fix business model.

Offer them more at a steady contract price without having to even be onsite to implement and also reduce onsite visits and panic calls. With Kaseya computer desktop, server, and all network device management software, you could know about problems even before your customers do. In addition, you could offer backup solutions through imaging software built right into Kaseya and also get a robust ticketing system and remote control appication to remotely access your clients computers and provide real time support.

Kaseya is capable of automating and remotely manage the following key IT services:

  • PC Remote Control/Remote Support

  • Patch Management

  • Kaseya Computer Audit and Discovery

  • Remote Desktop Management

  • LAN and Windows Monitoring

  • Help Desk and Trouble Ticketing

  • Software Deployment & Systems Management

  • Network Policy Management

  • Backup and Disaster Recovery

  • Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware Detection

  • Cross Platform Support (PC and MAC)

  • User State Management

  • Power Management

Kaseya - Minimum system requirements

Backup and disaster recovery has components and is driven by Acronis. Other posts related to Acronis at and .