Tag Archives: Microsoft Windows

CDRW/DVDROM Driver or Corrupt under Vista/XP

For a few weeks now I have been puzzling over why my CDRW/DVD ROM driver refuses to load under Windows Vista.  I naively assumed that I needed to find a replacement driver from the manufacturer (IBM in my case), or perhaps my drive was bad. 

After replacing my laptop docking station and the drive unit , I could still not mount the drive, and the device manager gave me the following error:

Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)

As a last ditch effort I Google'd the error and came across the following KB article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812489/en-us

This solved my issue. [:)]

Active Directory, DNS, and Exchange

Phew, if there was ever a trio of software services that don’t play together nicely it would have to be the three mentioned in the title of this blog post.  Setting up DNS and AD correctly is tantamount to having Exchange server work properly.  God forbid you mess up a setting anywhere, then the whole setup turns into a big pile of steamy poo, and can only be resolved with a reinstall.

So, you have a nice shiny install of Windows 2003, and you want to turn this into an Exchange box with integrated AD.   The Internet is awash with suggestions and cryptic answers to complex questions, so here’s a few tips for the layman that may help your install go smother…

1. Make sure that IPV6 is uninstalled – I ran into a whole deal of problems because I had installed it (thinking it might be useful later).  Trust me, remove it if you’ve installed it.

2. Install and setup DNS before promoting the server to a domain controller.

2.1 Create a forward lookup zone for computername.domain.com, for disable dynamic updates.

2.2 Add your ISP DNS servers as forwarders.

2.3 Change the IP settings on your server to use the local DNS server as the primary DNS server.

2.4 Test the DNS server is working using nslookup computername.domain.com.

2.5 The above test should resolve to the local IP address of the server, if it’s the IP of your ISP or another address then something went wrong in the above steps.

2.6 Make sure you can still browse the Internet.

3. Unpack the SUPPORT.CAB file from the Windows 2003 SUPPORT/TOOLS directory.

4. Promote server to domain controller.

4.1 If the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of your AD is the same as an address registered on the Internet elsewhere (my home AD is robgarrett.com so I can host email at home, but robgarrett.com resolves to a web server elsewhere on the Internet) make sure that you add a forward lookup zone (A record) for the FQDN.  This means you won’t see the offsite web server from the new AD, but at least your AD setup will work.

4.2 Make sure that no errors or diagnostic faults during the promotion of your server.  If an error occurs, fix it, don’t ignore it – it’ll save you a lot of headache later.

4.3 After the promotion has completed, check the DNS records for your new domain, you should notice many more entries.

5. Navigate to the directory where you installed the support tools.

5.1 Run DCDIAG.EXE – make sure that ALL tests pass.  Any DNS problems will rear their ugly head at this point.

5.1 Run NETDIAG.EXE – If IPV6 is still installed, you’ll have DNS problems here.  Again, make sure ALL tests pass.

6. Run Forestprep and DomainPrep from your Exchange Server Installation.

6.1 Install Exchange Server.

6.2 Upgrade the install with the latest service packs.

[tags:Microsoft Windows;Microsoft Exchange Server]

LUA and Windows XP

For those of you that read my blog often (or talk to me directly), you’ll know that I am constantly advocating that users operate their computers under a least-privileged user account – LUA.  Many have taken my advice, of not running day-to-day operations under an administrator account, or account with elevated privileges (yes, that includes accounts in the Power Users group on Windows).  Most MAC and Linux users know this concept already, but there are still a staggering number of Windows users who still insist that they need elevated privileges to operate their PC. 

Well, you no longer need to take my word for granted, Microsoft has recently published a white paper on the merits of operating as LUA, and the paper can be downloaded here.  If you’re a Windows XP user, I strongly advice that you read this paper, it’ll open your eyes to how easy it can be to prevent spy ware, viruses, and other malicious code on the Windows platform.

Many thanks to Robert Hurlbut for bringing this paper to my attention via his blog.

Reinstalling COM+ on Windows XP

I’ve been experiencing some problems with COM+.  I noticed a
problem this week when I went to open an ASP.NET application in Visual
Studio.NET (I haven’t been developing web apps for a while). 
After some investigation I found out that IIS 5.1 was not serving ASP
and ASPX pages and the event log was spitting out nasty error messages about COM+ being corrupted.

There’s lots of information out there on the Internet about
reinstalling COM+ on Windows 2000 but the instructions for Windows XP
weren’t clear.  I read in a few places that you need to remove the
COM+ catalogs, remove a registry key, re-register the OLE server DLLs
and then “Add/Remove Windows Components”.  When I went looking for
a check box option for COM+ services in “Add/Remove Windows Components”
I didn’t find it anywhere, which is what I expected because COM+ is
built into XP, unlike Win2K.  What I failed to understand at the
time was that simply clicking next on the add/remove wizard will cause
Windows to rebuild COM+ catalogs and registry entries.

I found the solution (one of many, as mentioned) on Symantec’s web
site
, of all places.  It seems that Ghost 9.0 sometimes comes
across the corrupted COM+ problem. Below are the instructions with my annotations:

  1. Start Windows Explorer.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • In Windows 2000, browse to the C:WinntSystem32 folder.
    • In Windows XP/2003, browse to the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.
  3. Right-click the Clbcatq.dll file, and then click Rename.
  4. Rename the file to ~Clbcatq.dll.
    Make sure that you include the tilde (~) at the start of the file name.
  5. Restart the computer.
    Restart in safe mode so that the COM+ catalogs can be removed without the files being locked.

  6. On the Windows taskbar, click Start > Run.
  7. In the Open box, type regedt32 and then click OK.
  8. In the Registry Editor, find and delete the following key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftCOM3

    As a safety measure, I renamed my key to something else.

  9. Exit the Registry Editor.
  10. Click Start > Run.
  11. In the Open box, type cmd and then click OK.
  12. At the command prompt, type the following lines, pressing Enter after each line:

    cd %windir%
    rmdir /s registration

  13. Close the DOS Window.
  14. Start Windows Explorer.
  15. Do one of the following:
    • In Windows 2000, browse to the C:WinntSystem32 folder.
    • In Windows XP/2003, browse to the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.
  16. For each of the following files, right-click the file and choose Copy, find the Regsvr32.exe file, right-click it and choose Paste.
    • Ole32.dll
    • Oleaut32.dll
  17. Restart the computer.
    Exit out of safe mode, COM+ doesn’t install properly in safe
    mode. Worked for me in normal mode with logged on user with
    administrative rights
    .
  18. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel.
  19. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  20. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  21. Click Next to proceed with reinstallation.
    This will refresh your COM installation.
  22. Check the COM+ services are started (run SERVICES.MSC from Start button, run).
    I set both of the two COM+ services to start automatically.
  23. See if you can browse the COM+ components on the local machine in Component Services, under Control Panel, Administrative Tools.