Friday, March 30, 2007

Fun with virtualization and OEM installs!


We use all dell hardware at our plant... We have a corporate license and corporate keys for all windows software BUT when we get new Dells in we just add the software that's needed and send them out the door...

So what we have is a Dell box with an OEM copy of windows running on it... When We virtualize the box it changes the Original Equipment Manufacturer ID to VMWare triggering windows to say "Hey I'm not on the correct hardware for this OEM license so you better register me!"

Well thats the answer to why the problem happens and here are two solutions to what you might do to fix the problem...

Update: ESX Server 3.0.2 has a bug and does not correctly work with SMBIOS.reflectHost, 3.0.2 Update 1 fixes that bug.

First try adding this field into your Virtual Machines config file (VMX File):

SMBIOS.reflectHost = TRUE

That will set the OEM ID from VMWare to what it cloned...

Second you can try to run a fix install of windows XP but this will only work if you have another Windows XP key laying around that is not an OEM Key... Also you must use a NON oem install CD of Windows XP so that it will work with the non OEM key.

I hope this helps you and anyone else having this problem! I looked high and low and pieced this together from an article and forum post... Here are the links to those for further reading...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lock down Windows XP

I came across a utility from Microsoft today that is supposed to help you lock down public access computers... It's free and looks pretty robust...

Check it out here:

Note:  Microsoft has removed all files and references to this utility.  I was able to find it on Cnet though

Monday, March 19, 2007

Linux Cheat Sheets

If you are lost when you get to the command line in linux check out these two sites for a great list of commands...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nagios 2.5 and Oreon 1.3 installation How-To...


No I havn't written a great How-To, but I did find one!

This is a great tutorial on how to install Nagios and Oreon from scratch on a Debian box... I followed it and got mine up and running with few problems

(Upgrade your PEAR version to the latest before trying to install new PEAR modules Check this:

Now I'm just searching for a great config guide to help me get started with Oreon...

Rebuilding our Nagios box in VMware

Ok so to give background on my last post...

We are wanting to add AD authentication to our Nagios box at work, so to test everything I ghosted the box and loaded it into a VM. Well it was setup with reiserfs file system which ghost didn't know, so the ghost had to save the thing as a one to one drive backup... The image was HUGE! (Compared to what was actually on the drive) The drive was 60gig and Suse (Yes it is a Suse box) was only using like 7 gig...

Well I didn't want to have to keep a 60gig VM around to hold a 6 gig file system, so thats why in the last post I was trying to change the file system type and rebuild the kernel (I know that doesn't completely explain why but no matter). Long story short I couldn't get it to work and decided to ditch the effort and rebuilt a new version of Nagios running on EXT3 with Debian as it's Distro... So thats where I am now... I still haven't even got to the whole AD Authentication thing yet (Which I'm sure will be fun)... Oh and since I'm starting from scratch I decided to make things really hard and add to the mix Oreon which is a front end to Nagios... So Off I Go!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Rebuilding a Suse based Kernel

Update: I was trying to change the file system from riserfs to ext3 and shrink the partition size... The change in file system was because riserfs is not supported with things like ghost and the partition size because I didn't need a 60 gig VM when only 7gig was being used...
:Close Update

Ok so I have done a lot to get to this point but I had to stop what I was doing to add some notes so I would'nt forget this stuff... (I will come back a little later and update the blog to show what I have been working on) So I'm at the point were I think I need to rebuild the kernel I'm using to support ext3. Again I will explain why I'm here later...

So I booted into a rescue system with the Suse Install CD (I really screwed up the system) and The first thing to do is mount the hard drive so I can fix it....

mkdir /temp
mount /sda2 (The drive and partition I'm mounting) /temp (Where I'm mounting to)
chroot /temp /bin/bash (Change root to the drive I just mounted)

Now that I have the root mounted, I whet to /usr/src/linux where the source files where located. Then I started working on the kernel rebuild...

make config (I added direct ext3 support, and everything else default)
make modules
make modules_install

And I get a stupid error from modules_install:
ln: target '.note.GNU-stack,,@progbits-default/source; is not a directory
make: *** [_modinst_] Error 1

and if I do something stupid like create source as a directory myself the same error comes up except it says "" is a directory... So I can't win!

Update: So all in all the kernel already supports EXT3 and that is not my problem... No I never got it to rebuild correctly but I got some help and that wasn't my problem... Unfortunately changing file systems (Why I was trying to get EXT3 to work) is not easy or recommended in Linux... I'm sure there are some great Linux Gurus out there that can point to a great how-to but for me I couldn't find anything so I moved on to something else... (If you know a good way to change file systems and or partition sizes please add the link in a comment)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

PDF software on the cheap!

I just found this great site that lists free software for creating editing and manipulating PDF files... It can be pretty hard to find free pdf software because of all of the sites out there trying to sell there little utilities and this site is a great guide to some really great software if your into PDFs.

Update: I noticed that this website does not list CutePDF which is a great free PDF creator that is free for both personal and commercial.

Update: I came across a free PDF to Word converter today.

Update: Here is another free PDF tool that also adds rotation and several other great tools.

Update: I found an online PDF to WORD, and EXCEL converter. I havn't used it so proceed at your own risk. It also has a full online pdf editing suite that might be useful. It looks like their doing an upsell which is fine with me :) Use our online version to get you in the door to buy our desktop version.