Monday, June 25, 2007

"Swing" Away and Hit a Home Run on Your Next Server Change

Had an issue with a server that had way too many experiments performed on it. You know. Failed CRM installs, bits and pieces of monitoring packages left over, etc. It was, unfortunately, my main SBS server. Reloading from scratch was not the best option; losing my profiles was unacceptable. I worked hard to gum up that Active Directory and wanted to keep as much of it as possible while cleaning out the refuse (taking out the trash).

Hallelujah, there is an option! Many of you have hear about the Swing Migration technique that Jeff Middleton has produced for cleaning and moving Active Directory to a , new server, saving the lone IT guy from endless hours of work and "cross your fingers" data transfers. My need was for a specific iteration of his technique called "Redeploying SBS 2003".

Success though is predicated on the originating server having a healthy AD. As it turned out, mine did not. I was ignorant of my AD issue and began my "redeploy"...more than once. Much weeping and gnashing of teeth later (screams, howling at the moon, reexamination of my purpose on earth), I found the resources that Jeff provided for diagnosing and repairing AD issues. My server must have just finished a personal diary, because it had a "Journal Wrap" error. Further study indicates that this is possible side effect of CRM installations on SBS.

Oh, Jeff, you are good. Thanks for the information and excellent troubleshooting guides. I should have turned to you sooner. Then I could have smacked that home run much much quicker!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Put an X-Man in your laptop bag

Many thanks to Brendan I. Koerner for putting the Lenovo T61 laptop's Magnesium Rollcage into perspective.

Thinkpads have an excellent reputation. With this latest line of the R61, T61, and X61 models, Lenovo had made them even better. Wow! True shock mounted hard drives! Rollcage on the main body and the lcd! Much increased cooling and a super quiet fan! And more!

Many have wrung their hands over Lenovo buying IBM's laptop and desktop divisions. Security concerns about the China connection are well published. If there is controvesy about this vendor and so many other products to choose from, why am I looking here? Thats easy.

Despite the political and economic angst, Lenovo has kept up the quality and actually improved on a legendary product. Panasonic with its Toughbook line is the one other vendor that I would place in this class. To be fair, I will let any other vendor prove to me that they are as tough and innovative as these two vendors. Any takers?

I am sooooo tired of consumer ( and some so called business grade) laptops that place my clients' data at risk and waste their time (and, by extension, my time)! Hard drives shoved into torturous hell holes, cases that flex like warped 2x4s, broken display hinges, excessive bottom heat that lowers your chance of having children... Enough!!

Some of this is my fault, of course. Personally, I thought my clients would not pay for "business grade" laptops. I did not see enough difference to speak with conviction that such units were worth the extra dough. Some recent experiences, though, have left me wanting more for my clients.

They may not be made of "adamantium", but I am going to do my best to put these "super skeletons" in my clients' laptop cases.