Windows 2008 Server R2 Stalls During Restart After Installing Updates

This one stressed me out for a bit today. After installing a heap of updates on an Exchange 2010 HUB/CAS server I told it to restart in order to apply them. Everything’s fine until I get to the “Preparing to configure Windows. Do not turn off your computer” message, and then things come to a grinding halt. Exchange services are still running and you can ping the server, but you can’t RDP into it or do much else except stare at that screen.

After some research it looked like the answer was to open up a new MMC window, add the Computer Management snap-in, and point it to the server in question. Take a look at the services running on the server, find the “Windows Modules Installer” service, and re-start it. In my case, that service was marked “Stopping”. In that state, you can’t do anything else to it; all the options are unavailable. So, after some more digging, I found a way around that here:

By using a third-party utility to kill that process on the server, it immediately continued it’s restart procedures, applied all the updates, and restarted successfully. Huzzah!


Troubleshooting Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange – OAuth Authentication Failure

When trying to use the Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange tool, I came across the following error:

Invalid Consumer Secret specified. Google Apps server has denied access to these credentials.

I checked and double-checked to make sure I had the correct OAuth Domain Key and Consumer Secret entered, and when it still failed, I re-generated the Consumer Secret.  Still no love.  After some searching, I came across this thread on Google’s Product Forums:

Invalid Consumer Secret

In a nutshell, when configuring your OAuth Domain Key, you have the option to “Allow Access to All API’s”.  For, me this box was checked.  Turns out when they say “All API’s”, they didn’t include some new ones that the latest version of the GAMME tool requires.  The tool looks for those API’s, can’t access them with the credentials you’ve supplied it, and falls on its face.  The fix involves you removing that checkmark next to “Allow Access to All API’s” and then heading to the “Manage Third-Party OAuth Client Access” page.  Type in your domain name into the “Client Name” field, and then paste the following into the “One or More API Scopes” field:,,,,,,

Click the “Authorize” button, and that’s that.  Now the GAMME tool completes it’s diagnostic checks and will happily begin migrating the contents of your Exchange mailbox into Google Apps.

Malware Rootkit causes STOP Error 0x0000007b

I’m currently working on someone’s Dell Inspiron One all-in-one computer, and the problem that was described to me was that after getting to the Windows desktop, the computer would show a blue-screen error and reboot. After booting into Safe Mode (which didn’t exhibit this behavior) I was able to copy off all their important files, and when that was over I used Dell’s built-in system recovery tools to restore the system to it’s “out of the box” condition.

Usually a complete system nuke is enough to straighten out a misbehaving system, but not in this case. Continue reading

Netvibes, a Google Reader Alternative

I’ve been using Netvibes for years as a way to aggregate content from all the sites and blogs I’m interested in. I’ve never been a Google Reader user, so while I can’t speak to how it compares, I can say that I’ve been a satisfied user for a long, long time. If the impending closure of Google Reader has you looking for an alternative, give Netvibes a shot.

Avahi mDNS Gateway Configuration

First, a little background on Apple’s “Bonjour” protocol is in order.  Then I’ll get to the good stuff:

Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) use their “Bonjour” protocol to discover and set up communications between each other.  This is Apple’s version of “Zero Configuration Networking”, which allows devices to communicate with each other on a network without an administrator having to configure each device.  This is the magic that makes Apple products “just work” when it comes to connecting your iPad to your Apple TV to display video, or to connect your Mac computer to that shiny new wireless printer you just bought.

However, this magic comes with some limitations.   Continue reading

Iomega Home Media Server Firmware Update

WordPress ate my first ever “real” blog post, so here it is again.  Awesome.

I just got a free 500GB Iomega Home Media Server and wanted to update the firmware on it.  Iomega’s site was less than helpful, at least for me.  A quick bit of searching yielded the following post:

At the bottom of the post there’s a blue button that when clicked takes you to Iomega’s support site with a link to download the latest firmware version.

NOTE: The instructions state that if you have a firmware version that’s more than one update behind, you’ll need to install the preceding updates individually before installing the latest one.  Other than that bit of nonsense, my firmware upgrades went smoothly.