Virtual disk could not be repaired because there is not enough free space in the storage pool. – Fun with storage spaces

Just a few fun notes with storage spaces:

I was trying to repair a failed storage spaces disk but didn’t have any spare disks or free slots available and the system was due to be decommissioned so investment was not really wanted.

Genius here thought that adding a iscsi disk and then repairing with that would work and as the system was going to be migrated it wouldn’t be much of an issue.

So i added a 2TB iscsi LUN and added the disk to the pool.

set the faulty disk to retired and then tried to repair the pool.

Error!:
Virtual disk could not be repaired because there is not enough free space in the storage pool.

But i have just added 2TB!?! what is going on? Free space for the pool is showing 2TB but yet i cannot use it to do the repair… Why?

Looking a bit harder i saw that the disk media type is showing as UnSpecified in the Physical Disks. Perhaps this is where the issue is – the iscsi disk is not a supported target and storage spaces doesn’t know what to do with it?

Can i force it to be a supported media type?

I know that when the tiered settings came out we could pretend to have SSD disks so why not give that a try?

Get-PhysicalDisk | Select-Object FriendlyName, MediaType, Size

find the Disk (PhysicalDisk9 in my case) and set it as media type HDD

Set-PhysicalDisk –FriendlyName PhysicalDisk9 -MediaType HDD

The command issued ok with no confirmation so just reissue the previous command to verify the disk has change media type

Get-PhysicalDisk | Select-Object FriendlyName, MediaType, Size

If all looks okay, try to start the repair.

Group Policy not applying – Inaccessible, Empty or Disabled

This is affecting Windows 8.1

Group Policies that used to work are now not applying. A quick check on the failing PC using gpresult –h shows that the policy is Inaccessible, Empty or Disabled.

GroupPolicy_Inaccessible_Empty_or_Disabled

No changes have been made to Group Policy.

Quick Solution

This is due to a Microsoft Patch to plug some holes in the way Group Policy is deployed ( https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3159398 ) and affects group policies where there are security filtering enabled.

Find the Group Policy that is being affected and on the delegation tab give “read” permission to the “authenticated users” group. This will not apply the policy to all users as that is controlled using the “Apply group policy” permission. This will simply allow the GPO to be read and thus interpreted by the PC.

GPODelegation_Inaccessible_Empty_or_Disabled

Once updated, run a gpupdate /force and things should be back to the way they were.

Fixed_GPO_Inaccessible_Empty_or_Disabled

Alternative Solution

Uninstall_Patch_Inaccessible_Empty_or_Disabled

Remove the patch KB3159398 from all affected PCs

The Cuckoo’s Egg by Cliff Stoll (Book Review)

the-cuckoo's-egg-large

The Cuckoo’s Egg is set in the 80’s where Cliff, an Astronomer at Berkley  gets reassigned to the IT department instead of leaving after finishing a research project. A few days into his new role, he is tasked at investigating an accounting error of 75c on the mainframe billing system.

What should have been a straight forward task lead him to discover that the error was due to a hacker accessing the system remotely. Instead of closing the security hole, Cliff decides to watch what the hacker is doing and discovers that the hacker is not just some script kiddy have a bit of a poke about.

What follows is a wild goose chase involving cross state line traces, the FBI, the CIA, the military defence network and KGB.

I bought The Cuckoo’s Egg on a recommendation from a post on TechRepublic about top books every geek should own. This particular book caught my attention as it is a true story and was before the days of the internet as we currently know it.

Although a book related to hackers and technology, it is about the journey and not about the technology involved and as such could be picked up by anyone.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in computing, the internet and computer security.

Check out “The Cuckoo’s Egg” on Amazon

How not to move your iTunes music!

This is a bit of a lesson to myself on how iTunes is set up and the bizzareness of it all.
I was at a client’s to fix their laptop that was running sluggish and on which skype was refusing to work on. On inspection, I found that the primary partition was running seriously low on space and as such the file system was incredibly fragmented.

move-itunes-library-large
A quick scan with treesize showed the the majority of the hard drive space was being used up by the client’s music in iTunes. Luckily the hard drive was partitioned into two drives and the seccond partition was practically empty and had ample space if I was to move the mucus across to it.
Firing up iTunes, I went into the settings and told the program to use a folder on the second partition as the primary store for the music. After applying the settings, nothing happened an the mucsic was still on the primary partition. Digging a little deeper, I found that I needed to tell iTunes to we catalog it’s music and it would then move the music across to the new location – the. All I would need to do is delete the music from the old location under my music.
After about 40 mins, the music had finished copying across so I went ahead and deleted the iTunes folder in my music, emptied the recycle bin and started a full defrag of the system drive using myDefrag.
This is where my mistake was – instead of deleting just the music, I had accidently deleted the iTunes database as well, meaning that all of the client’s playlists and purchased songs list was lost. Add to the fact that a full defrag had taken place, there was no way that I was going to be able to recover the files with an undelete utility. Bugger!
Luckily, I was able to rebuild the libarary by adding the moved files back into iTunes and then syncing the client’s iPhone and iPod with iTunes to recreate the playlists. Enven the purchased songs were playable though they were not showing up in their own little playlist. The client was happy with the results, I got his laptop up to normal speed and most importantly got skype running.
The moral of the story?
Do not delete everything from the iTunes folder if moving your music and always take a backup of the database first. Pretty common sense really, but even us IT guys slip up once in a while!

How to upgrade a Jailbroken iPhone 3Gs to 3.1.2

If your SHSH hashes for your iPhone have been logged to Cydia, you can upgrade your iPhone firmware to 3.1.2 with a bit of hacking.

Step 1

Check to make sure that your SHSH files are logged with Cydia

If this is the case, you are in luck and should be able to upgrade you iPhone.

Step 2

Download the iPhone 3.1.2 firmware from http://www.felixbruns.de/iPod/firmware/

Step 3

Edit your hosts file (usually located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) using notepad and add the following line to the bottom of the file.

74.208.105.171           gs.apple.com

This fools iTunes into pointing to the Cydia servers for the verification codes to confirm that the 3.1.2 firmware is allowed to be applied to your iPhone.

Step 4

Make sure your iPhone is fully charged (this reduces the risk of it turning off mid upgrade), plug it into your PC and fire up iTunes

Step 5

Once connected, in iTunes, click on your iPhone in the side bar Shift+Click on restore and browse to the 3.1.2 firmware that you downloaded.

Click OK and wait for iTunes to go through its motions.

Step 6

Once complete your iPhone will reboot and you will be given the option to restore your files and settings from a backup.

Choose your backup and then click continue.

iTunes will now restore your files and settings to your iPhone.

Make a cup of tea or something whilst waiting…

Step 7

Download your Jailbreak of choice. I use blackra1n – http://blackra1n.com/

Step 8

Jailbreak your iPhone following the instructions of the jailbreak program. For blackra1n, just launch the program and click “make it ra1n”

Job done!

Useful links:

iPhone Firmwares – http://www.felixbruns.de/iPod/firmware/

Blackra1n – http://blackra1n.com/

Pwnage Tool – http://blog.iphone-dev.org/

Youtube Video by tysiphonehelp for blackra1n – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7DnqOS1njU

Can’t sleep…

I can’t sleep. I have been up since 3am so I figured as it has been a while since I made a post, a quick update was in order.

The past few months have been quite busy for me, I have been focusing a lot on my career and building up my certifications, work has had a few restructures and I have also just moved house.

In July I passed the CompTIA Security+ exam and in October I completed the final exams to gain my MCSA in Server 2003. I am now focusing on my CCNA which all things going well, I hope to complete by the end of the year or beginning of January at the latest. I was originally aiming to complete my MCSE as well but money and time have not been on my side especially with moving house and work commitments.

I am sitting in the kitchen of my new house which overlooks some farmers fields, waiting for the sun to come up drinking a cup of tea. We moved in on the 31st of October and two weeks on most of the things are sorted. Our stuff has been unboxed and places have been found for most things. Internet is still waiting to be connected and we are playing it safe until our gas and electric switch over to our preferred supplier. Funny how important it is nowadays to search for a property that is serviced by a decent Internet connection! Before we decided to go for the house, I logged onto www.samknows.com to check what the local exchange could offer us, the house is lovely but I wonder if we would have gone with it if we couldn’t get some form of ADSL connection. There is a scheme called the Digital Region running in South Yorkshire the aims to get every house connected to the Internet via fiber at speeds of around 100meg within the next few years. They have already laid the fiber down the main road next to work so things are looking promising. 100meg line to your house sounds pretty neat, but I wonder what the contention will be like. Still, anything is better than relying on a 3g data dongle for all our Internet needs. 3g coverage is not great here and my iPhone flutters from GPRS and 3g depending where you are in the house, the data dongle is a bit more consistent which I put down to having a stronger antenna buy is still shaky at best. Here’s hoping that our broadband gets connected soon.

I forgot how tiring and stressful moving house can be but thanks to a few mates, we managed to get everything across in a weekend without anyone being stabbed or otherwise abused/injured! Being preoccupied with the move I completely missed Halloween and Guy Fawkes this year and it seems strange that Christmas is only a few weeks away. Is it something to do with getting older that the years seem to get shorter? Like when you are five a year is a fifth of your life so seems quite long but when your 25 it is only a 25th of your life so seems much shorter?

Kinda tailing off now so I’ll leave it at that…

Increasing your site exposure through WordPress Ping Lists

There is no use writing great content if no one knows that it is published. One way of increasing your wordpress site’s exposure is to edit the ping list.

When you publish a post in wordpress, it has the ability to send out a notification to multiple websites designed to track and aggregate posts.The sites that it notifies are stored in the Ping List

By default wordpress has only one entry in the list: http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ which means that you are only notifying one site of your update.

The theory is that by adding to the list you can notify more sites and thus increase your chances of exposure.

A bit of research and i came across a post on  Vladimir Prelovac Site that has a decent list:

http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://bblog.com/ping.php
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping

To use this list you need to log into your wordpress admin panel, go to Settings > Writing and then scroll down to Update Services. Copy and paste the list into the box and then click Save Changes

There are more extensive lists out there and i recommend tweaking this list based on the content of your site, however tempting what you don’t want to do is drop a massive list into there as no one likes a spammer and quality is always better than quanitiy!

Investigating! See, I have these feet…

“I’m telling you about my feet! My investigating feet.”

Feet in the sense that i have just installed ubuntu on my laptop which comes pre configured with gnome which has a footprint as it’s logo – yes very loose link but i felt the need to reference red dwarf and it’s my blog so i will do as i please :p

Although my feet (sorry – laptop) is not my primary machine, it is my most used machine for general surfing of the interwebs and word processing, mainly due to the ease of working anywhere around the house etc. Its the kind of pickup and go element that makes it so handy.

Continue reading “Investigating! See, I have these feet…”