Server on, no connections

In the past few months, I have had random situations where a server would restart, and following the restart, no one could connect in or the server would not connect out. Normally, a second reboot would fix the problem.

I have discovered that this is caused by the application of the MS08-037 patch. If the randomly assigned ports conflicted with the IPSEC service, this service would fail, causing the server to start in block mode where all network connectivity to the server is blocked. The proactive solution as documented by Microsoft in http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2008/07/17/some-services-may-fail-to-start-or-may-not-work-properly-after-installing-ms08-037-951746-and-951748.aspx is to modify a registry entry as follows.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\ReservedPorts
Add the following port ranges and reboot.
3343-3343
1433-1434
1745-1745
1080-1080
1720-1720
1645-1646
1701-1701
1812-1813
2883-2883
4500-4500

There is more information on this problem along with other scenarios which I have not yet encountered.

Screen Upside down (or sideways)

Here’s another oldie, but I still get calls on this regularly.
I happens predominantly with computers using windows XP and Intel or NVidia graphics adaptors.

To fix the problem, press CTRL-ALT-UP.
To turn it upside down again, press CTRL-ALT-DOWN. To turn things to the left, CTRL-ALT-LEFT, and to turn it right, CTRL-ALT-RIGHT.

One gotcha. If you had rebooted to PC to try and fix the problem, you might need to log in first, before the keys will work.

FYI. There are 5.3 million hits on this google seach – http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-us&q=screen+upside+down&btnG=Search

Windows 2008 Easy Print

Turns out that Windows 2008 Terminal Server Easy Print technology is not as easy after all. It is a great technology, but there are some things to watch out for.

Pre-requisites.
Requires Windows 2008 with TS Role (Duh!)
Also requires RDP v6.1 (which comes with Vista and XP Service Pack 3).
Also Requires .NET Framework v3.0 SP1 or later.

The technology states that it will automatically redirect print jobs via RDP to the local printers. Most of the time, it works great. However, I found out that it definitely does not work across Remote Web Workplace on SBS2003. It requires a direct connection via RDP. Normally, this is done through port 3389.

For more information – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753853.aspx

*** UPDATE ***
Just found out that RDC v6.1 is available for Windows XP SP2.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6E1EC93D-BDBD-4983-92F7-479E088570AD&displaylang=en

Server Reboots – When a power cycle is not enough

Had one of those problems today. The server had to be restarted. The client pressed the power button and held it for 5 seconds, because there was nothing on the screen. Then they turned the server on again. Nothing. Tried it a few times with no luck.

I got to the site and tried it too. No luck. Finally, I pulled the power cord out of the power supply. Plugged it back in after 10 seconds, and up came the server. Why? I don’t know…

How to change Terminal Server’s listening port

An oldie but goodie. I use this often – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/187623

Regedit.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp

Change the port number from Decimal 3389 to something else.

You will have to restart the server after this.

PS. To access Remote Desktop quickly, type mstsc -v:[server, IP, or net address] from a command prompt.

Getting rid of a Sync’ed server

Finally found an answer to a problem that had been bugging me for some time.
When a new server gets put into place, some workstations with XP Pro might have offline files configured. How do we get rid of these entries? It wasn’t enough to just delete the files. The PC kept wanting to look for the old server.

1. Open Up Windows Explorer. Tools. Folder Options. Offline Files. View Files. Ctrl-A to select all files. SHIFT-DEL to delete all offline files stored on the PC.
2. Regedit. HKCU\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\netcache\. Locate and remove all entries pointing to the old server.
3. Do this for all users loggin on to the PC.

PS. Daniel Mundy added a comment on the previous blog site:
Or you can set the following registry key once, avoid having to log in as each user:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\NetCache
Key Name: FormatDatabase
Key Type: DWORD
Key Value: 1

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