Failed to gracefully demote domain controller

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I was getting ready to upgrade the hardware and server version on an old Windows Server 2008R2 domain controller when I ran into a interesting problem. After launching DCPROMO and going through the steps, I received an error that said “The directory service is missing mandatory configuration information, and is unable to determine the ownership of floating single-master operation roles”.

After doing some research, it turns out that the domain controller has incorrect information as to the FSMO operation master owner. It is set to a domain controller that has been deleted or does not exist. In my case, the person before me must have improperly decommissioned a domain controller, leaving cruft behind in the AD. I launched ADSIEdit on the domain controller I was trying to remove and went to the infrastructure container and sure enough under “fSMORoleOwner” is had garbage.

When I tried to edit the value, I received an error stating “Operation Failed. Error code: 0x20ae The role owner attribute could not be read 000020AE: SvcErr: DSID-03152BF7, Problem 5003 (WILL_NOT_PERFORM) Data 0”. If you receive this error message when trying to change the value of “fSMORoleOwner”, you must change the value from the domain controller that holds the FSMO role. Once you change it there, depending on your replication scheme, the change should be updated on the domain controller you are trying to demote and it should now allow you to complete the process.

VirtualBox Error 0x000000C4

November 21, 2013 5 comments

I recently tried to upgrade a Windows 8 VirtualBox virtual machine to Windows 8.1 and ran into an error during the process. If I tried to run the upgrade from within the operating system (which is the required way), I received an error stating that my system did not meet system requirements. Specifically it mentions that my processor does not support “CompareExchange128”. After doing some research, I figured out how to turn on support for that in VirtualBox.

In Linux type the following in a terminal:
VBoxManage setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
NOTE: Be sure to replace [vmname] with the name of your virtual machine.

In Windows type the following in a command prompt:
"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
NOTE: Be sure to replace [vmname] with the name of your virtual machine.

This also affects individuals installing Windows Server 2012 R2 on VirtualBox.

Command Line Activation Tools for Windows and Office

November 21, 2013 2 comments

If your a Windows Administrator, you should be familiar with the following tools. slmgr.vbs is a command line software licensing management tool for Windows. It works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS). You can call it from anywhere in a command prompt. slmgr.vbs has many options including installing a product key, uninstalling a product key, displaying license information, and activating. For a complete list of options, visit the following TechNet article.

opss.vbs is also a command line software licensing management tool but for Microsoft Office. It also works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS).

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

For more information on opss.vbs visit the following TechNet article.

You can easily use these tools to install and activate a product key in a batch script and deploy it to a large number of machines.

How to Flush DNS Cache in Mac OS X

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

For OS X 10.3 and 10.4
lookupd -flushcache

For OS X 10.5 and 10.6
dscacheutil -flushcache

For OS X Lion (10.7) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
Note: dscacheutil still exists in 10.7 and 10.8, but the official method to clear out DNS caches is by killing mDNSResponder.

For OS X Mavericks (10.9)
dscacheutil -flushcache;sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

How to Create a Mac OSX Mavericks USB Installation Drive

October 30, 2013 7 comments
  1. Insert a USB drive that is 8GB or larger and open Disk Utility.
  2. Select your drive in the sidebar and click on the Erase tab.
    Format the drive as “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and name
    the drive “Untitled.”
  3. Click the Erase button and wait for Disk Utility to finish.
  4. Once it has finished, close Disk Utility and open up a Terminal
    window. Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal and press enter:
  5. sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia -volume /Volumes/Untitled -applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app -nointeraction

    The process should take approximately 20 minutes. Do not cancel it or eject your USB drive during this process. Once it has finished, you should receive a message stating the process is finished. You now have a Mac OSX Mavericks USB installation drive that you can use for clean installations or troubleshooting.

Synergy Fatal Error in Mac OSX Mavericks

October 23, 2013 6 comments

Last night I upgraded my iMac at work to Mac OSX 10.9 Mavericks and this morning when I logged in to the machine and launched Synergy, I received an error:

FATAL: Init failed: system setting not enabled: "Enable access for assistive devices"

Apple changed the location for enabling access for assistive devices from “Accessibility” to “Security & Privacy” in Mavericks. In “Security & Privacy”, under the “Privacy” tab, click “Accessibility.” Apple now allows you to grant individual applications control of your computer whereas before it was one checkbox that allowed any program control.

In order to get the application to show in the list for you to enable, you must first try to run the program that requires the access for assistive devices.

Once I enabled access for Synergy, I still continued to receive the same error. I was able to get Synergy to work with Mavericks by doing the following:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Execute Synergy from the Terminal by typing “/Applications/Synergy.app/Content/MacOS/Synergy” You should receive the same error about enabling access for assistive devices.
  3. Go to “Security & Privacy” and enable access for the Terminal under “Accessibility.”
  4. Now launch Synergy again from the Terminal using the command “/Applications/Synergy.app/Contents/MacOS/Synergy&”

The ampersand at the end of the command will run the command in the background and give you back the prompt right away.

Note: Closing the Terminal closes Synergy.

This is not a problem for me as I use the Terminal all day but for others it may. I believe Apple is allowing Synergy but not synergys to access privacy accessibility settings and hence why we are getting this message. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Microsoft Remote Desktop App for iOS and Android

October 17, 2013 11 comments

Microsoft has finally released a remote desktop client application for iOS and Android. Remote Desktop, as the name implies, uses the same Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that Microsoft has used for years across its Windows desktop and server releases to connect to a PC. The application will support all Windows PCs that have Remote Desktop turned on, an option that can be configured in Control Panel. Until now, iOS and Android users had to use third party solutions that were usually not free. Ironically, no remote desktop application has been released for Windows Phone. Microsoft assures Windows Phone users that a remote desktop application will soon follow for them.

Categories: Microsoft