Monthly Archives: July 2010

DPM: What’s next? It’s up to you.

Users is not always a malicious addition to a program. Actually (however oddly that sounds) software is produced for the users. Well, this is the secondary reason, according to someone, but definitely if the product has not found its user then it was not a success. The same matters apply to the DPM. Each new version brings us new features, but a human being always wants more, of course. Some people ask how to communicate their wish lists to the DPM Product group or just asks on forums for new features. The good news is that this is easy now: fill in a survey and the developers will read it. No, really, they analyze what is submitted Winking smile so the next version may include some features you want.

Saga of WSUS

I think there are not many organizations which have more than ten Windows-based computers and at least one server and do not use Windows Software Update Services. A brilliant piece of software, really. But every brilliance can be somehow spoiled sometimes. In case you are on the systems administration side, this “flaw” means that someone must begin investigation, find a solution, step into the next problem, resolve it just to run into other and so on.

Of course my tale is all about one investigation in my experience. All began when I decided to build a downstream WSUS server synchronizing approvals with un upstream one. Quite a simple procedure, actually (especially on Windows 2008 R2), which I was able to perform without any problems and the first synchronization was a success. But when I tried to synchronize servers once more… Well, it failed. The event log stated:

SqlException: Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection) at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParse

Moreover, the WSUS console began to glitch:


This message was shown here and there in the console from time to time with the same error in the event log and one more error:

    The WSUS administration console was unable to connect to the WSUS Server via the remote API.
    Verify that the Update Services service, IIS and SQL are running on the server. If the problem persists, try restarting IIS, SQL, and the Update Services Service.
    System.Net.WebException — The operation has timed out
        Stack Trace:
       at System.Web.Services.Protocols.WebClientProtocol.GetWebResponse(WebRequest request)
       at System.Web.Services.Protocols.HttpWebClientProtocol.GetWebResponse(WebRequest request)
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.DatabaseAccess.ApiRemotingCompressionProxy.GetWebResponse(WebRequest webRequest)
       at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.Invoke(String methodName, Object[] parameters)
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.ApiRemoting.ExecuteSPGetUpdateServerStatus(Int32 updateSources, Boolean includeDownstreamComputers, String updateScopeXml, String computerTargetScopeXml, String preferredCulture, Int32 publicationState, Int32 propertiesToGet)
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.DatabaseAccess.AdminDataAccessProxy.ExecuteSPGetUpdateServerStatus(UpdateSources updateSources, Boolean includeDownstreamComputers, String updateScopeXml, String computerTargetScopeXml, String preferredCulture, ExtendedPublicationState publicationState, UpdateServerStatusPropertiesToGet propertiesToGet)
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.BaseApi.UpdateServer.GetStatus(UpdateSources updateSources, Boolean includeDownstreamComputers, UpdateScope updatesToInclude, ComputerTargetScope computersToInclude, UpdateServerStatusPropertiesToGet propertiesToGet)
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.BaseApi.UpdateServer.GetReplicaStatus(UpdateSources updateSources)
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Common.CachedUpdateServerStatus.GetFreshObjectForCache()
       at Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.AdminApiAccess.CachedObject.GetFromCache()

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Pages.ServerSummaryPage.backgroundWorker_DoWork(Object sender, DoWorkEventArgs e)

(I know you won’t read this section but may be someone will google it)

Ok, SQL or network timeout on quite a piece of hardware and in a relatively fast network for just a WSUS? Awful! A little time and googling around later I sought I found a solution: “just download some scripts and run them on your box”. Unfortunately, WSUS installation program doesn’t install locally anything to connect to the SQL (yes, I know it is not an MS SQL server, but let us name it so) server instance, therefore I needed to find some solution. Giving a SQL a network exposure where it is not absolutely necessary has never been my idea of sound systems administration and I don’t like to use command line where it is possible to use GUI (yeah, I am a lazy sonofagun, though my IT start was all-in-FreeBSD/Linux), so I decided to download MS SQL Server Management Studio Express. What I like in MS products: they usually are install in the “nextnextnext” fashion and the installation fails quite rarely. But that was not the case – I started the wizard, went through options, answered yes to request for privilege elevation and…


Well, I decided that “never give up” was my slogan that day and tried to solve the mystery. The workaround was easy: just run cmd in elevated mode and run the installer from it:


Now, having the SQL Management Studio installed I could, finally, to run the scripts I had downloaded. But how to connect to the DB engine? It was not actually generic SQL server – it was Windows Server internal database, so I had to look for a connection string and I found it:


From now on all was simple enough: copy the script, paste
it into the GUI windows and press “Execute”. The script had been working some time and finished successfully. Do you think all my problems were solved? No way: I still was receiving the error messages, though it happened somewhat less often.

To cut a long story short, the reason for such a behavior was the fact that I hadn’t had the WSUS DB cleaned for a while. After I had gone through Server Cleanup Wizard on both upstream and downstream servers the problem was solved. But that was a long way to victory Winking smile

Zverdvd ssl does not work

This is exactly the search query which led some user to my blog. For those who don’t know (I’m not sure if this particular set is well-known in countries other than Russia) Zverdvd is Russian pirate “build” of Windows with pirate software included. (the word “Zverdvd” is roughly equivalent to “BeastDVD”). Now the facts:

– Among pirated applications on such a set one can find a virus or other piece of rogue software very often

  • – SSL is a technology to prevent data thefts. It’s arguable how much help it brings, but that is not related our today’s topic

After considering these two facts together I can ask only one more question: why so little people come to my blog from such queries? That definitely means that a user does not want to save his data. Maybe there is nothing to save?

Microsoft hardware: it’s no joke ;)

imageYeah, the guys have done really important job: from now on you don’t need to think what direction a battery has to go to to your device. Instaload technology is a very simple (as any brilliant idea): just place two contacts on each side of a battery slot instead of one. Now just put your battery as it is positioned in your hand and enjoy.

The only ingenious device to invent must grant you the same ability in case you need put several battery in a row Smile

64-Bit Attacks!

ComputerRAMAccording to Brandon LeBlanc almost half of the Windows 7 has been installed from x64 image. I think this is not due to the fact Windows 7 does something special with this architecture (well, comparing to Windows 2000 it does: it works on it =) ), but more to the fact that OEM vendors install x64 and there is very many computers with more than 4GB of RAM. Anyway, Brandon says “Happy 64-bit computing!” and couldn’t agree more.