Sunday, June 19, 2011

Using Active Directory as Authentication for ESXi

Finally, with ESXi 4.1 you can use AD to authenticate even if you are not using VCenter as a management source.

The key to use Active Directory Authentication with ESXi is this first step:

In Active Directory you must create a new group called “ESX Admins”. It must spelled exactly like that. Once you do this, then you will be able to add the ESXi server to the Domain using the Configuration, Authentication Services. Then after that, you add the users through the Permissions Tab.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hey don't always blame the Anti-Virus Software

Once upon a time there was a laptop that ran slow. The story amongst those who dealt with the machine was that it must be the anti-virus software. This is often the case by the way. Anti Virus software is installed. Computer slows down.

When you see the processors pegged, often we look at software or viruses as the cause. Well, in this case not the case. This was an HP Laptop which ran very slow. So slow that it took about 5 minutes to log in, and then another 5 to really settle down and let you do something. Even then, if you looked at Task Manager, both processors were running at more than 80%!!!!

I had uninstalled the AV software. Cleaned 3 viruses. Fixed a host of bad reg entries and disabled all start up processes. Still bad laptop.

After doing a little digging, I found s couple of other people out there complaining abut HP/Compaq laptops gone bad like this when their AC adapters go bad. I unplugged the AC adapter and the processors just dropped to 0!. I found another one from another identical model and it still worked ok. I plugged in the old one, and voila instant slooooooow.

So if you are pulling your hair with slow HP laptops after verifying that there is nothing else wrong, pull the plug!


Dell Vostro Reboots instead of Shutdowns

Interesting enough, it never seems to amaze me how much nothing changes. Over the years I have run into enough hair pulling experiences with laptops that can fill at least a small volume. Anyway, in this situation I was on a goal to reinstall Windows 7 Professional on three Dell Vostro laptops. As we know if have been doing this for a while, the OEMs often put an OEM partition on their products. These partitions usually can be removed if you reinstall the OS without using their recovery procedure. I have done this many times.

In this case I installed the OS on all three laptops. When I did the first one, I left the OEM partition because at first I did not think to wipe it. After the OS was installed I went back and deleted it with Diskpart. All was OK but for a small un-formatted partition at the beginning of the drive.

When I did the second two, I thought delete it while installing and you will not have to do it later. Well, I don't know why it happened, and I don't know if it is why it happened, but after I was done I noticed that these two never shutdown no matter what: Shutdown button, power switch, or command. They just restarted automatically.

My solution was more of a gut feeling from dealing with these goofy problems. What I did was download the BIOS utility and re-flashed the BIOS. Now the BIOS was the same rev; but it worked.

Why did I think of re-flashing? It came from so many times, sometimes in the dead of night with failing servers and PCs where magically a BIOS or Firmware update fixed the strangest problems and resurrected dead machines. Might not always work, but it has more often than not.