Saturday 4 September 2010

AppleCare Protection for iPhone - what could go wrong?

So I just purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan from O2 to go with the shiny new iPhone which has 12 month warranty on a 2yr contract - bit nervous about those second 12 months.

This is how the protection plan arrived.

What could possibly go wrong if they have to take a look at the iPhone? An iPhone can bend like that can't it?

Saturday 24 April 2010

SBS 2003 R2 server NTFRS event error 13552 and 13555

The NT File Replication Service (NtFrs) was throwing up errors on a Small Business Server 2003 R2 box. There's only one server in that organisation, so no additional domain controllers to worry about.

Typically every morning there was an Event ID 13552 for source NtFrs:
The File Replication Service is unable to add this computer to the following replica set: "DOMAIN SYSTEM VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)"

Followed by Event ID 13555
The File Replication Service is in an error state. Files will not replicate to or from one or all of the replica sets on this computer until the following recovery steps are performed

Restarting the File Replication Service or rebooting the server wouldn't clear the errors. The following steps did clear the problem.

- Stop these services: Net Logon and File Replication Service
- Take a backup copy of the C:\WINDOWS\NTFRS\JET directory
- Delete all the files and directories out of that JET directory
- Restart Net Logon and File Replication Service

If you look in the Event Log you should see entries reporting the NtFrs service has started ok AND no more 13552 and 13555 errors :-)

Thursday 15 April 2010

HP Color (Colour !) LaserJet 2500 - Density sensor out of range

HP CLJ2500 was showing error 54.7.0 Density sensor out of range and refusing to print from the main paper tray (tray 2) but was ok from manual feed (tray 1)

Printer maintenance company that attended site first offered to sell client a new fuser for £150 or a replacement Panasonic printer - thanks guys, don't miss an opportunity will you!

I loaded hp color LaserJet 2500 series toolbox from the original HP CD (unfortunately not available as a download - couldn't find it in HP Easy Care either).

- Fire up the Toolbox,
- go into the Troubleshooting tab
- choose the Cleaning Page option from the left side.
- It prints a page with a big black diagonal line across it.
- You put that face down in the manual feed tray 1
- go back to the Toolbox and choose the Clean button.
- Then press the green button on the printer for a manual feed.
- It will print really slowly

and it cleared the '54.7.0 Density sensor out of range error' ... I'm sure a new Panasonic printer would have fixed the problem too ;-)

Friday 2 April 2010

Dell Teac CA-200 card reader drive icons in Windows 7

My Dell Vostro 200 came with a TEAC 13-in-1 memory card reader (not the one with the Bluetooth option). Since I upgraded to 64-bit Windows 7 I've not had the drive icons that were on Vista previously. There's no official driver support at the Dell site for Vostro 200 or the card reader and this OS.

Its not a biggy and certainly doesn't stop anything working but rather than having several generic drive icons which look the same as flash drives when connected (I'm easily confused) - I'd rather have the old TEAC drive icons that showed exactly which memory type was on which drive:
They also greyed out when not in use, so you can see at a glance what's loaded, which is a nice touch.

I found a some articles that put me on the right track, but involved quite a bit of registry work to fix, e.g.

Here's the easier option - you need to download the Vista 64 bit driver for TEAC CA-200. I found it on the Dell support site here (its download R176598 - same as R175675)

Run the download and it will unpack into C:\Dell\Drivers\R176598, auto-run and fail with a waning about incompatible Windows. Now if you go look in that directory you'll find a file called IMGR64B.EXE, right-click on it and choose Properties then Compatibility (you may need to click Change settings for all users).

Tick the 'Run this program in compatibility mode' and choose Windows Vista SP2 then tick the 'Run this program as an administrator' at the bottom. Click OK and run the program. It will install successfully this time. Make sure you give it plenty of time to finish as it will remove the current drive letters and reinstall them - takes a few minutes and it may not appear to be doing much at the time.

Wednesday 31 March 2010 pauses in Firefox

Sometime in the past week my PC developed a bit of a pause on quite a few websites, including At the bottom of the page you can see it trying to connect to the IP address - doing a lookup on that doesn't shed any light.

Googled a couple of threads talking about the same thing

None of the AV checks I ran showed anything up - Malwarebytes, Ad-Aware, Symantec EndPoint and Prevx. IE8 worked ok, just Firefox that is affected (v3.63).

Hosts file is clear.

Also disabled all add-ins and plugins, but it still showed up as a problem.

In the end enabling Adblock Plus in Firefox has stopped it.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Installing Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 with USB on Dell PowerEdge T310 where CD/DVD missing device driver

I've got an excellent new Dell PowerEdge T310 - great spec; quad core Xeon cpu, 16GB DDR3 1333Mhz, 4x drives in RAID1 with SAS6i/R and an iDRAC express remote management card - love it. Plan is to load Microsoft Hyper-V R2 which is the Server 2008 R2 in core mode with just the Hyper-V role loaded. We can then virtualise SBS 2008 as one guest OS to run file sharing, Exchange email, etc and a second guest OS with Server 2008 and SQL server for the accountants line of business (LOB) application - which is IRIS Accounts Practice.

Fell at the first hurdle though :-( Downloaded the free Hyper-V R2 ISO from Microsoft, burnt to DVD and booted. Unfortunately it kept reporting the CD/DVD drive was missing part way through setup. Certainly couldn't browse for it and couldn't see any relevant Dell drivers I should be loading or using F6 with. First error was failed to find INSTALL.WIN in SOURCES directory then got an error that the CD/DVD device driver was missing.

I didn't manage to fix this problem and being a Sunday not sure that Dell would be available, but I found a handy workaround:

You need an empty 2GB (or more) flash drive (drive F: on my laptop) and the Hyper-V R2 DVD (drive E: in my case). I used my Win 7 PC to follow these instructions to format it and make it bootable: (use the comments from rsvr85)
Basically from a command prompt (started using Run As Administrator)
> e:\boot\dispkpart
list disk
select disk 1 (this may be disk 2 etc if you have more than one drive connected)
(take care you have the USB disk because we're about to format it and wipe all data)
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=fat32 quick

Then copy all the files from the Hyper-V R2 DVD to the flash drive and you have a bootable Hyper-V R2 install USB drive.

Put the flash drive in the Dell Poweredge T310 server and press F11 at boot. You can then choose Hard Disk > Front USB / Flash drive name to boot from.

The Hyper-V R2 install proceeds normally without any missing CD/DVD drive, can't find INSTALL.WIN or CD/DVD device driver missing errors. I'm betting it installs quicker too from a flash drive.

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