Outlook / Exchange Error: Network Problems or the Microsoft Exchange Server Computer is Down for Maintenance

ms_exchange_angry_cry

There are tons of posts about this subject, but none of them offered the very simple solution that worked for me: Make sure the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant is running on the mailbox server. We had a catastrophic crash of a VM host, on which our Exchange 2013 server was running as a guest. Everything seemed to come back up just fine, and all Outlook users were back online with Exchange, except for two. One user was running Outlook 2016 like the rest of the org, but one was running Outlook 2007 (don’t ask). They seemed to have nothing in common, but they both were throwing errors that network problems were preventing communication with the Exchange server. I did all … Continue reading

Clone a Dynamic Disk to a New SSD in Windows 10

Clonezilla Vomits Feces onto Other Tools Because that's Classy

This is partially just for my own reference, so I don’t have to go down this rabbit hole again. (But I hope it helps you, too!) The Situation I wanted to upgrade the LITE-ON 256GB SSD in my trusty ol’ Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop to a snazzy new Samsung 960 EVO 2TB drive. I have a version of Acronis that came with a Crucial (or Kingston?) SSD, which has worked great in the past. The problem? There was a system reserved partition at the very end of the disk, and Acronis therefore would not proportionally scale the OS partition to fill the disk; It would only scale that system reserved partition. In a moment of errant stupidity, I said, “Ah-hah! … Continue reading

RAID HDD TCO Calculator (Total Cost of Ownership)

HDD RAID TCO Worksheet Sample

A while back I created a HDD TCO worksheet showing the relative costs of certain drives in no real context. This spreadsheet aims to calculate the total cost of ownership for a RAID array, which is a much more involved affair. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dM2vO08gmX3VwYyJtTE5D1Gu75TTU-nUW95j1_DVx8c/ That’s a read-only version, but you can easily make your own copy to play with: If you have a Google account and are logged in, you can just hit File -> Make a Copy.. to save it to your own Google Drive. If you hate Google sniffing into your private affairs, you can hit File -> Download As and grab a copy in the format of your choice. I hope I’ve provided enough of an explanation as to … Continue reading

ZeroFiller: Nearly Fill Up a Disk with Zeroes for Snapshot Backups

ZeroFiller - Some Source Code - Screenshot

ZeroFiller (for Windows!) This might be a relatively niche utility, but I figured I’d share it because it might help someone in the same situation. File Version Description ZeroFiller-v0.8-20171023.zip v0.8a2017-10-23 The ZeroFiller executable only (requires .NET 4.5.2) ZeroFiller-src-0.8a-20171023.zip v0.8a2017-10-23 The ZeroFiller source code (requires >= Visual Studio 2017, probably) Backups I run a lot of VMs and I’m a bit obsessed with backups. I do high-level backups (meaning files, DB data, configs, etc.), as well as low-level backups of the actual VM disk images. The raw virtual disks get snapshotted on the host system, then the snapshot’s raw data is backed up using dd, gzip, and rsync. It’s not fancy, and it basically grabs the machine in a crashed state … Continue reading

Enterprise Network Switches for the Home: Ramble feat HP Procurve 5406ZL

The HP Procurve 5406ZL and…

…a whole lot of other crap, vis a vis my opinions on used enterprise-grade networking hardware for the home (or small-ish business).

I purchased an HP Procurve 5406ZL on eBay mainly because I “need” 10GbE on my home network, which is almost recursive because it’s for editing 4K video, which I need for editing this video.

The bottom line for me is that you can’t beat the feature/price ratio when it comes to equipment like this. That is, if you can afford the resultant power bill.

Razer DeathAdder Button Swap (Left- to Right-Handed Mouse)

Razer DeathAdder Button Swap

I’m a leftie, but all my life I’ve used right-handed mice in my left hand. I needed to replace my old Microsoft Optical Mouse, and found the DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition. It’s the perfect size and shape for me, but they did the weird thing of switching the left- and right-click buttons. It’s easy enough in most any operating system to swap the buttons in settings. However — at least with Windows — the buttons are only changed locally. So when connecting to other hosts via Remote Desktop the buttons revert to their hardware configuration. That’s a no-go for me, but I liked the mouse so much that I decided to mod the hardware instead. Fortunately, it’s very easy to reconfigure … Continue reading

Choosing a Disk Drive: HDDs, SSDs, and Then Some

This video covers almost everything you need to know about HDDs and SSDs to make an educated choice before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Well, almost everything. This video is primarily directed at the home user trying to get some additional storage, whether that be an extra drive in their workstation, a NAS, or a full file server. If you’re trying to choose between SAS drives for a large-scale datacenter installation, then you probably know this stuff already.

As I promised in the video, here’s some links to my HDD TCO worksheet from 2013 (though I may have updated it in the interim with a couple of “new” drives). Please download the Excel version and use this for any drive that you want. If you make any interesting changes or large scale updates, I’d love to see it, so please let me know!

I also added a bunch of notes so you know what I meant with all the field names.

HDD Total Cost of Ownership Worksheet (Google Sheets – View only)

HDD Total Cost of Ownership Worksheet (Excel – View and edit)

Let’s Open: Intel Mini PC G2 (from AliExpress)

This video features a review and teardown of the Intel Mini PC G2 manufactured by — uhhh — Random Chinese Company 5000.

Did it ship with tons of bloatware and malware? Is it too good to be true that it comes with a full copy of Windows 10? Are the specs worth a damn in the real world? Watch me ramble on about it to find out!

If you want to buy this cylindrical masterpiece mediocrity, a link to the original AliExpress listing is below (which may be way out of date by the time you read this). Note that this is not an endorsement and I don’t receive one penny if you do end up buying it.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/In-stock-High-Quality-Windows-10-MINI-PC-Host-32G-Memory-Bay-Trail-CR-2-4G/32596403800.html

Not every product from China is crap, but in the “Let’s Open” series I’m buying stuff that seems really good on paper, but has a whiff of the toilet about it.