General blog entries

Upgrading Windows 7 RC1 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional RTM

Of course you can upgrade RC1 to RTM for Windows 7, except when you are running different versions of Windows…. but of course…

After browsing a bit I figured out that the switching between Windows 7 versions can only go in one direction: up. So when I installed Windows 7 RC 1 to replace my broken Windows Vista installation, I didn’t know which version I would get when the RTM was released so I did what everyone did: install Ultimate.

Fast forward 6 months and I am starting to miss the fixed features from the final version which us poor testers will not receive unless we go for the full monty and get the paid version.

So here I am, downloading all my programs and drivers again, hoping I am not forgetting a key component and just finishing my system backup in case things don’t work out as planned…

On a side note: I am doing this on a Dell XPS M1530 which came with a 32-bit version of Home Premium and which does not officially support Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit). Unofficially, everything works like a charm on Windows 7 RC 1 (build 7100) including the webcam, fingerprint scanner and the Intel 4950AGN card. I will report if the reinstallation to the final version went as flawless as the original installation.


Windows 2003 Server and 404 errors in reporting

I’ve ran a few times into a strange phenomenon when dealing with clean installed Windows 2003 SBS servers. In particular Windows 2003 SBS R2 with SP1 – but I’m sure other versions are affected as well.

The symptoms: A clean installation of the server refuses to show the Backup overview and Server Performance and Server Usage Reports. Instead you get a 404 error telling you the page can not be found. If you send reports by mail, those users will see the same thing.

When you navigate to http://localhost/Backup or http://localhost/Monitoring or http://localhost/Remote – all 3 sites give you a 404 error while for example http://localhost/ClientHelp and http://localhost/exchange work just fine.

Please note that if you can’t see these last 2 pages as well or you do not get error 404 but something else, you probably have a different problem.

The problem:
Windows SP1 and consecutive updates pull in updates for Microsoft ASP.NET and add ASP.NET 2.x to the server. The defaults then become to use ASP.NET 2.x instead of 1.1. The reporting modules do NOT work with ASP.NET 2.0 or higher.

Open up server management, expand on the left pane the ‘Advanced’ section. Next, expand, ‘IIS’, ‘YourServerName’, ‘Websites’ and finally ‘DefaultWebsite’. Click on ‘DefaultWebsite’ and the right pane should show a listing of components in your default site.

In the right pane, do for each broken service (‘Backup’,’Remote’ and ‘Monitoring’) the following: right mouse click on the name and select ‘Properties’. In the popup select the tab called ‘ASP.NET’ and look for the selected ASP version. Most likeliy you will see something like ‘2.0.x.y’. Switch the version to ‘1.1.x.y’ and click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’. You now switched that folder to the correct version, now repeat for the other broken services.

Check if you can now open up the pages that previously gave you a 404 error – they should work. Note that displaying them can take a while because they have to parse the Windows event logs to show you the reports.


Network login script for Windows XP Home

I just needed a script to log in on a Windows 2003 Server from Windows XP Home. Of course you can enter your password each time you need to access the shares – or you could just drop this little script in your Startup folder (call it ‘network_login.vbs’ for example).


{codecitation class="brush:vb"}’ VBScript to map a network drive. And provide a message box
‘ Author Berend Dekens
‘ Based on code from Guy Thomas
‘ —————————————————————–

Option Explicit
Dim objNetwork
Dim strDriveLetter, strRemotePath, bSaveMapping, strUserName, strPassword
strDriveLetter = "Z:"
strRemotePath = "\\\sharename"
bSaveMapping = true
strUserName = "yourname"
strPassword = "mysecretpassword"
‘ Purpose of the script to create a network object. (objNetwork)
‘ Then to apply the MapNetworkDrive method. Result Z: drive
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive strDriveLetter, strRemotePath, bSaveMapping, strUsername, strPassword
‘ Extra code just to add a message box
WScript.Echo "The networkdrive "& strDriveLetter & " is now available"
‘ End of MapNetworkDrive Example Logon Script. {/codecitation}


Windows Live Writer and Linux, How To Do It

I’ve seen lots of discussions floating around the internet, talking about people attempting to install Windows Live Writer. Some are using Mono, others the .NET Framework – all of them are using Wine. In this article I’ll explain How I Did It.

In this case the limits of Wine and Mono become visible. The .NET frameworks work partially in Wine so relying on them is useless (to be precise: all the external libraries needed in this case screw up this valiant attempt).

In the other corner we have Mono. Because WLW is in fact a Win32 executable, we have to use Mono in Wine (install the Windows version of Mono using Wine) but even the big anti-Microsoft framework fails here.

To be honest, Mono keeps failing every time for me. This is because Mono can run managed (byte-code only) executables fine, even the ones compiled for .NET (unless I’m mistaken). However, the windows in a GUI program are drawn using a native interface for .NET, one that Mono does not have as it uses a cross-platform windowing toolkit called GTK#. In short: any program that is used in a modern desktop environment and which is designed for .NET will not run on Mono. Thanks for the effort there guys…

So WLW on Linux is a no-go. And every other blogging tool out there for the Linux platform pretty much sucks or costs muchos dineros. I still have hopes for KBlogger but after 3 months its still at alpha 2 – so I stopped hoping that would be any help any time soon. I was using Bleezer before but it keeps screwing up source code which I am trying to post (I am hoping WLW will do this a LOT better). But how do we get out of this dark age, you might wonder? The solution? VirtualBox!