Well, yesterday(03/26/2019) I came across a PXE boot issue which seemed to come out of the blue. I would start up a system and try to PXE boot. The error I would get was “A required device isn’t connected or can’t be accessed.” This would happen not that far into the boot process. Of course it was not happening on a Hyper-V test VM and not on older systems so I suspect it was an issue with newer versions of the BIOS on both the HP and Dell. The Dell was a new model. Overall what seems to have fixed it was to go into the WDS properties on the server and change the TFTP settings to what I have below. Trying to locate the issue and what the fix was, could cause me to start drinking if I was into using that as my crutch. Computer gaming is where it’s at. 😀
An old friend named Assan posted this on Facebook and I found the logic to be sound and after getting his permission I shared it here.
From Assan’s post:
I am about to settle the “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” argument ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Are you ready?
If I asked you to name a movie, in which criminals infiltrate a building during the Christmas season with the intent of doing mayhem, and a lone hero separated from his loved ones must use his wits to foil the plans of said criminals, what would you say the movie is?
Did you say Die Hard or Home Alone?
Is Home Alone a Christmas Movie?
THEN SO IS DIE HARD!
Ok, well to start this off I have been working with MDT and SCCM for years. I remember when computers started to include the ability to switch between UEFI and Legacy mode. If you want to know which you should use that would be for a different post as I am dealing with PXE booting them on this one.
First off to make this as simple as possible you want to have a DHCP server that supports what are called ‘Vendor Classes’. This is actually quite important as each client when asking for an IP will hand the server its class identifier. The two below are the important ones we are dealing with today.
Option 60: PXEClient
Option 66: IP of WDS server
Option 67: Boot\x64\wdsmgfw.efi
BIOS(Legacy) x86 and x64
Option 60: PXEClient
Option 66: IP of WDS server
Option 67: Boot\x64\wdsnbp.com
Option 60 is only available if you are using the DHCP server as the deployment server and I honestly do not see it being necessary in my testing.
Option 66 is the host name if you have DNS working properly or the IP if you do not have internal DNS configured.
Option 67 is the boot file needed to PXE boot. While they are all important to get right this one is what the client uses to bootstrap the initial network boot.
I know that Microsoft DHCP Server and DHCPD for Linux/Unix servers supports it but currently Meraki does not. I have made a ‘wish’ with them so one can hope. I am discussing the Microsoft DHCP Server method today and discussing how to set up a DHCP server is beyond the scope of this post.
Do not worry about the three that are included with the server.
You would next need to click on Add.
The display name and description is for your own use but I will warn you once you save this class you cannot change the display name… annoying but true.
Click in the ASCII section and type in the one you want to create a policy for listed above.
IMPORTANT: It is case sensitive and will NOT work if you do this part wrong.
Once you have the classes you want to define close that window and then go to the scope you are wanting to get this configured for and we are going to add a policy.
Create a new policy and name it whatever you want.
Click on Next and then click on Add.
Change the value to the class you created and then check the ‘Append wildcard(*)’ and click Add so it appears in the box and then click ok.
Click on Next and I usually select No on the option for ‘IP address range’ but that is up to you.
On the ‘Configure settings for the policy’ part of this wizard you are to set the ‘scope options’ for this policy.
This is where you add the boot server(66) and the Bootfile(67) information
Click Next and then Finish.
It is actually that simple. I have tested it using Hyper-V virtual machines on my home lab.
Maybe later I will edit this post to include screenshots but for now this will work.
Edit 07/09/2018: Added some screenshots
I got a nifty job at a company that is an MSP. It is a Managed Service Provider here in Houston, TX. It has plenty of variety and keeps me thinking usually. I also get to tinker with deployment, which is nice and one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy automation and making everything as consistent as possible. That is why I fell into MDT and SCCM and want to keep going with it.
It looks like another hurricane is coming through. Instead of doing what Irma did and graze PR it looks like this one is hurting them pretty badly. Of course Irma grazing them was not easy on the residents.
Well, there has been some devastation all around it seems.
A coworker of mine, when I was at AVEVA, was down the street from where some buildings fell. Glad he is ok.
I have added my resume back to the resume tab but I still think the look of this version needs work. Word to HTML is crap so I had to do most of it manually. With that I had to brush up on HTML as well. Always learning and refreshing something it seems.
I currently have a load of VMs on my desktop for various uses. I also have a VM of Windows 10 running so I can learn C# programming. I am not terribly good at it yet of course but one has to start from somewhere. My endgame is to learn how to make Windows 10 applications that can connect to a DB backend be it MySQL or Microsoft SQL with the ability to store new records and alter current ones. I am nowhere near that but I think it is a worthy goal. I have VMs for each DB technology so when the time comes I can spin them up and get my groove on.
I have some older UPS hardware that the devices themselves should be fine but the batteries are shot. The most painful part of this is when they have decided to expand and trying to get them out without bursting the batteries or damaging the actual unit. I may have a bit of a night ahead of me sadly. It is an APC Smart-UPS 750XL and the add-on battery pack. I think the add-on pack is fine but the main unit that controls everything has the bad batteries. Gotta take them both apart to find out What all can be replaced. I do know that the main unit will not work without having batteries itself. The add-on unit cannot do all the power while the main unit does all the regulating. I wonder if they both have the same battery types. Something to ponder while taking this apart.
addendum(06/27/2017): Looks like the secondary battery pack had a set of batteries that in the past had leaked…on the inside of the case… So I chunked that. I am keeping the main unit because when money is available I am going to buy replacements and start using it again. Oh well. Back to the drawing board.
I am back and may try to update this blog with random stuff every so often. Maybe computer stuff I find neat. I don’t know yet but we will see.
It has been a while since I have updated the blog on here and I plan to make some changes in the future. Our second child was born on July 1st. We now have an infant and a 4 year old. It is a lot less scary than I thought it was going to be which is good. I had to get used to changing diapers again which is not the fun part of this to be sure. 🙂
For various reasons up at work I have configured a deployment setup for the training room. It is a rather decent setup combining the Microsoft Development Toolkit(MDT), Windows AIK, and the Windows Deployment Services(WDS). It was working fine with deploying Windows XP, attaching to the domain, installing all sorts of software. Well, we got new workstations so I had to modify the deployment setup to accommodate. Preferably it would just be the drivers but since things are moving to Windows 7 64bit I also had to set up a second task just for that. With Windows 7 it introduced a few new problems but nothing I could not handle. Thankfully I think I got things totally figured out and now on the new machines I can deploy either Windows XP 32bit or Windows 7 64bit.
One lingering problem that cropped up for me was that I have a group policy on the domain that specifies the desktop background for Windows. It was an effort to ‘brand’ the machine. I also branded the login screen background. The problem I encountered was the group policy would set properly in Windows 7 also but it would not show up when you logged in. You would have to go to the backgrounds, highlight another theme, then cancel out or click back on the unsaved current theme and hit ok. This presented a problem to me and I do not like things to be incomplete. I found a fix for Windows 7 64bit that fixes the registry issue that causes this. All I had to do was add the hotfix to the deployment setup, for Windows 7 only, and that fixed it. Below is the area on Microsoft’s site to obtain it. You have to request the hotfix but I got it within minutes so it should not be an issue to get.
I have this nagging issue with the way updates are done on Windows. I think that Microsoft should have APIs and other ways to tie into their update software so companies like Adobe (Acrobat, etc.) and Oracle (Java) can just have it check for updates.
That way it would be one piece of software doing the checks and fewer resources overall used on the system. I don’t like the fact that I have to go to each piece of software and use its update checking and delivery system to get updates or I have to go to the company website. I know it would have the potential to be abused so I would suggest a certificate based method on ‘certifying’ companies to be allowed to use the interface without throwing out nasty looking warnings. I would think a rather low, possibly one time charge, for the company to get certified to use it.
Another year came and went. Since we will be having a second youngin coming along this year it will be an eventful one. Not much else is happening at the moment. Just dorking around until work starts again. W00t!!
Well, the default battery that this phone comes with is a 1300mAh one. For light usage it may last through the day but for someone like me it does not. One of the things I got for Christmas was a 2150mAh battery. So far it has lasted way longer even through my normal usage. I am sure I will find out within a week as my usage fluctuates a bit each day. The battery is bigger so it came with a bigger case back. It adds weight to the phone and makes it thicker but I happen to like the feel of it better than before. If those changes are all to get used to for more battery power I would say it is worth it.
Just popping on here to say my wife is pregnant. We just found out today.
This was sent to my sister but is still good for general consumption.
Since I got the phone I was interested in getting the Calendar, Contacts, and maybe even a way to sync music files. The first was easy as I researched that months ago. The contacts sync method took a little longer and I just found a way to get it to sync with iTunes, which is a weird thing but nice. I have an iPod so all my music happens to be set up in iTunes. Most of it is self ripped music from my CD collection but a few are purchased via iTunes. Below are the applications I used to get things synced. The first two require use of your Google account.
All apps I talk about on this post are Windows only but I am sure there are alternatives for Mac and/or Linux.
It syncs your Outlook calendar with the Google Calendar or vice versa. You do NOT have to connect your phone to your workstation for this sync.
It does the same thing as the calendar one but with Outlook Contacts and Google Contacts. I have noticed on this one that if there is no email address or phone number it will not sync those contacts and will throw an error. Not graceful I know but the error does not jump in your face so it’s workable. You do NOT have to connect your phone to your workstation for this sync.
This uses disk mode and I guess some iTunes API voodoo to access the iTunes playlist lists. You create a playlist and put songs into it and tell the program to take whatever is in that list and sync it with your phone when you connect it.
I know it would be nice if there was a single method to do at least the calendar and contact syncing but I have yet to find one.