Logging out equals deletion of backups
According to Google

I’m going to keep this one really short. I went to add my device to MDM. Required a factory wipe, I wanted to save my Text messages. So, I followed the steps to go into my Android device, settings, system, backups. I checked the items selected SMS, click backup now. It finishes.

Instead of just factory wiping I decided to sign out of the phone first, before factory wiping. BIG MISTAKE, this deleted the very backup I created.

Check this Google Issue tracker for details, Google has known about it for well over a year and has not fixed it.

So, did the best due diligence I could just to have a logical design flaw destroy my backups. Thank you Google, you taught me a valuable lesson. What’s that you ask. Well, that’s to be like a tree, and woooooooooosh! *Anger management joke*, what can I say, this pissed me off.

When easy becomes hard; Go MacGyver

Today I had to install a switch in a rack, sounds easy right 🙂

The first issue was that there was only 1u of space available and the slot did not have cage nuts installed. Even with the sides off the rack ears were still in the way, and if you ever installed cage nuts you know they are installed from behind. Then I watched this nice trick on YouTube using this tool “Cage nut puller”.

As you watch the video @ the 9 second mark you can see installing the nut and his hands are taking up roughly 3u of rack space, and even then, he mentions that it’s not recommended and difficult. However, I don’t have this tool.

I figured I would just unmount the old switch (as it was being replaced) and use the existing cage nuts there. When I went to remove it, there was a PDU in the way, and I didn’t have a stubby Robinson available, ended up using the bit and a wrench, but the head was stripped. After a while ended up having to use the wrench right on the screw head to get it off, how did the head get stripped you make ask? Well, I guess when it was installed by the previous tech the screws were cross threaded into the nuts (not proper thread screw). When I went to remove the last screw right before the screw got loose, the cage nut popped out of the rack ear…. So, I had to get a colleague to use the plyers to hold the old cage not in place, while I finished unscrewing it. Pretty crazy how long this took considering how long it should have taken.

So even the plan to use the existing cage nuts was useless since they had been cross threaded. I still didn’t have the tool I needed, so I ended up looking around the filing room, and I found a lanyard with a metal card clip, the metal “arms” that hold the card looked exactly like the end of the tool mentioned in the YT video. So I ended up using the concrete in the stairwell to grind down the pivot arm that was holding both parts together, then used plyers to flatten the ends to make the base of the cage nut puller tool.

Here’s a clip of me using this MacGyver’d tool to replace the cage nuts, well the clip is using it to install the cage nut after the old one had been removed. The snaping sound is soooo satisfying.

Edge, why so many instances?

Another short n sweet one, today I noticed there were over 10 instances of edge when I open the browser:

So, I did a quick Google search and I found someone with the same question, luckily outside the usual rubbish answer from officals, there was a really helpful comment by a Volenteer Moderator by the name of “¡Firedog” I’ll give them double props for using an upside-down exclamation point in their name.

“That isn’t anything to be alarmed about. Which pages open when you launch the program are set under When Microsoft Edge starts at ⋯ (Settings and more) > Settings > Start, home and new tabs. Each tab will have at least one process associated with it, and the browser itself will have several more. You can see what all these processes are by pressing Shift-Escape in the browser (you can also select Browser task manager from the page’s window control – Alt-Space, or right-click on the title bar). ”

Sure enough when I had the system focus (I clicked) on my Edge browser and then pressing “Shift-Escape”:

I thought that was pretty neat, didn’t know about that one.

The Alt+Space was a neat lil menu, good one in there was customize toolbar.

3TB Drive Shows up as 750GB

There’s a lot of stuff on this, so I’ll keep it short.

On windows, check Intle RST drivers (assuming there storage controller the hard drive is connected to is Intel based).

In my case it was behind a USB Enclosure. The drive showed properly as 3TB, but it didn’t recognize the File Systems.

Figuring I could see the files in linux that’s when the problem presented itself.

Lucky for me I had another machine that was 64 bit and had sata ports, plugged it into that and checked there (the storage controller was old nvidia nforce4, if anyone remembers that lol)

and it worked it saw the drive. When I went to mount the partition though it stated “unknown filesystem type ‘linux_raid_member’

So I did the same thing and mounted it using mdadm, I also had to do “mdadm –stop /dev/md0” or else it always say the /dev/sdb3 was busy.  Strange.

This was cause the drive was from a RAID 1 member, so all files were accessible.

Never seen this one before, and yes I’m aware of 2TB limit of 32 bit systems, So I knew that was not the issue. This was good to know though in case of future file recovery attempts. 🙂

TPM security on a ESXi VM

Great part about vSphere 7 is it introduced the ability to add a TPM based hardware to a VM.

Let’s see if we can pull it off in our lab.

What I need a Key Provider, Lucky for use with 7.0.3 VMware provides a “Native Key Provider

During my deployment of the NKP, one requirement is to make a backup of the key I guess, which was failing for me. I found this VMware thread with someone having the same issue.

Sure enough, the comment by “acartwright” was pretty helpful, as I too opened the browser console and noticed the CORS errors. The only diff was I wasn’t using CNAMEs, per say, but I had done a pilot of vCenter renaming. the fact the names showing up as not matching and the ones that were listed in the console reminded me of that. When I went to check the hostname, and local host file, sure enough they had the incorrect name in there.

So, after following the steps in my old blog post to fix the hostname and the localhosts file, I tried to backup the NKP and it worked this time. 😀

So, sure there after this I went to add the TPM and I couldn’t find it, oh right it’s a newer feature, I’ll have to update the VM’s compatibility mode.

Made snapshot, updated to latest hardware ID, boots fine, lets add the TPM hardware, error can’t add TPM with snapshots. Ugh, fine delete snapshot (tested VM boots fine before doing this), add TPM success.

Before changing the VM boot option to EFI, boot the VM and boot the OS into Windows RE, use mbr2gpt command to convert the boot partitions to the proper type supported by EFI.

Once completed, change VM boot options to EFI, and check off secure boot.

Congrats you just configured a ESXi VM with a vTPM module. 🙂


Updating Power CLI 12

If you did an offline install, you may need to grab the package files from an online machine. Otherwise, you may have come across a warning error about an existing instance of power CLI when you go to run the main install cmdlet.

When I first went to run this, it told me the version would be installed “side-by-side” with my old version. Oh yeah, I forgot I did that…

Alright, so I use the force toggle, and it fails again… Oi…

Lucky for me the world is full of blogger these days and someone else had also come across this problem for the exact same reason.

VMware.PowerCLI install update error – Install-Package: Authenticode issuer | vGeek – Tales from real IT system Administration environment (vcloud-lab.com)

If you want all the nitty details check out their post, the main part I need was this one line, “This issue can be resolved deleting modules from the PowerShell modules folder inside Program Files. Once the modules folder for VMware are deleted try installing modules again, you can also mention the modules installation scope.”

AKA, Delete the old one, or point install to other location. He states he needed the old version but doesn’t specify for what. Anyway, I’ll just delete the old files.

So, at this point I figured I was going to have a snippet of a 100% clean install, but no, again something happened, and it is discussed here.

If I’m lucky I will not need to use any of the conflicting cmdlets and if I do; I’ll follow the suggestions in that thread.

OK let’s move on. Well, the commands were still not there, looks this has to succeed, and there’s no prefix option during install only import, which you can only do after install, the other option was to clobber the install. Not interested, so I went into Windows add/remove features, and removed the PowerShell module for Hyper-V. No reboot required, and the install worked.

the Hyper-v MMC snap in still works for most of my needs. Now that I finally have the 2 required pre-reqs in place.

Step 2a) connect to server via Power CLI

Why did this happen?

A: Cause self signed certificate on vCenter, and system accessing it doesn’t have the vCenter’s CA certificate in its own trusted ca store.

How can it be resolved?

A:  Option 1) Have a proper PKI deployed, get a proper signed cert for this service by the CA admin, assign the cert to the vCenter mgmt services. This option is outside the scope of this post.

Option 2) Install the Self Sign CA cert into the machine that’s running PowerCLI’s machine store’s trusted CA folder.

Option 3) Set the PowerCLI parameter settings to prompt to accept untrusted certificates.

I chose option 3:

Make sure when you set your variable to use single quotes and not double quotes (why this parameter takes system.string instead of secureString is beyond me).

While I understand the importance of PowerShell for scripting and automation and mass deployment situations, requiring it to apply a single toggle setting is a bit redic, take note VMware; Do better.

ACME HTTP Validation with HTTPs redirection

I had this got this to work with this requirement for an external A host record, redirects, negate rules. It was quite complex, and, in the end, it did work. I was excited, I got ready to write this long post, then I realized, I had somehow missed the obvious. I found this post on the forms with someone having the exact same issue what amazed me the most, was how simple their solution was.

So, I tested it…

The HTTP to HTTPS redirect condition:

and this will take any HTTP request and convert them into HTTPS.  If you configured HTTP validation though this will be a problem when the request from ACME comes in to hit the backend created by the ACME plugin.

As stated by the guy, he simply made a clone of the condition, and made it a negate.

then apply it to the redirect rule…

then apply this to the http listener

Test a cert renewal… it worked

That was way simpler than I thought up. lol

Hope this helps someone.

Hypertext String Validation via Powershell

So I had this running code:

function isURL($URL) 
$uri = $URL -as [System.URI]
$uri.AbsoluteURI -ne $null -and $uri.Scheme -match "http|https"

isURL('Maybenot.http://complete') #our function has an outliar here

Though there was one outliar, lets fix that…

I was having some issues playing around with different things, till I got me head out my ass and followed KISS principal..

Found this simple reference… and made a simple change in my code…

function isURL($URL) 
$uri = $URL -as [System.URI]
$uri.AbsoluteURI -ne $null -and $uri.Scheme -like "http*"


isURL('Maybenot.http://complete') #All Good now :)

Normally if your doing coding in other languages and not writing scripts, you’d usually want to write actual test code blocks. In scripting usually just keep things simple by utilizing input validation. If you look online you can use Invoke-Request but that requires being dependent on proper network stack and puts a load on the server or something that could easily be validated client side before any server requests are made.

Hope this helps someone.

Bonus (getting all sub paths from a URL string):

$Tet = "http://somesite.notorg/subsite/subite2/s3/doc/folder/no/matter/how/deep?"
$Array = ($Tet -split "/")
$Array = $Array[3..($Array.length -1)]
foreach($Item in $Array)
$FullLine = $FullLine + "\" + $Item

Mailbox Offline Exception

Since I need some email from an address I use, I figured I’d have some fun and spin up the ol’ Exchange server.

To my surprise when I attempted to login to OWA (since the front ends were loading just fine) after authentication I would be greeted with “Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Storage.MailboxOfflineException”.

My initial googlings didn’t provide much of good results.

I went to the server and did the usual check services and such, and noticed the root cause. Low Disk Space. I figured extending the logical volume and a reboot would suffice… nope. Problem persisted.

I decided to run the MS Exchange health checker: https://aka.ms/ExchangeHealthChecker

even after getting everything green in the health checker, the problem persisted.

A bit more google fooing and I was able to track down someone with a similar problem on TechNet with some useful guidance to use eseutil.exe to check the database.

The database indeed return “Dirty Shutdown”

ran the repair commands. *Note* you should try to use /r before using /p if it works you don’t need to use /p as it’s a hard recovery and data loss could ensure from it. I didn’t care as it’s use lab data.

K checking again it return “Clean Shutdown” everything I’ve read says it should be able to be mounted now. Failed to Mount….

As a last ditch effort, I try to Google some more if I missed something else. I found this nice post by Eric Simson

Step 1: Backup the Database (my case don’t care)
Step 2: Check Storage
(Was the cause, extended volume to 190GB used out of 250GB)
Step 3: Restart Exchange Services (Yeap, ran health checker)
Step 4: Check Database State (Yeap fixed it)
Step 5: Repair Exchange Database (Yeap fixed it)

Yet even after reboot and using PowerShell AND using accept data loss…

I was about to give up when I had one final idea, I realized that since /p does a hard recovery of the DB even if the log files are lost, and the log files take up a lot of space…

At this point I had well over 50% free space on the server. I ran the repair DB command again just to be safe.

wait.. what .. no error…. guess I was only at 24% free space, and that wouldn’t cut it, I don’t get why considering the -AcceptDataloss was defined.

Go to log in to OWA…. Ehhhh!!! There’s my emails!

Hope this helps someone.