VMware import problems with boot.ini configuration in Windows 2000 and 2003 Server

I've been doing a lot of work with VMware lately and one ability I have taken advantage of is utilizing a virtual machine as a hot standby. The Servers I protect are automatically exported into VMware every few hours using a product by appAssure called Replay AppImage. It works very well but I ran into one small snafu today that gives me flash backs of the Windows NT4 days.

... "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem."

VMware

I remember back 'in the long long ago' having to manually edit these files often with NT4. The Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) paths were especially confusing the first time around for me.

scsi(X)disk(Y)rdisk(Z)partition(W)\winnt_dir

Well to get back on topic, Replay exports the hard drives into VMware ESX (or Virtual Server), but this does not account for silly things like the Dell utility partition! So today when I went to boot up my VMware hot standby, it didn't boot at all. It was trying to boot to the first partition, which doesn't exist in the VMware version... So, how do you edit the boot.ini when you cannot boot the computer? Via the Emergency Repair console of course! The seldom used bootcfg command can add, or rewrite, the boot.ini for you. A simple bootcfg /rebuild should get you back on track.

If your interested in Exchange, AD, SQL, recovery, or other full system snapshot options, make sure to give Replay a good look.

Monitoring Dell Perc Controllers, OpenManage, and VMware ESX with Nagios on FreeBSD

The environment I work in now is large enough that simply looking for the flashing orange lights, and hoping I notice it before we have multiple drive failures, is no longer sufficient. NagiosExchange has several pluggins that will report back from Dell's OpenManage software. I tried several and settled on this one.

I'm working in FreeBSD so your mileage may very a little on Linux.

Extract the check_openmanage-3.1.1.tar.gz
tar -zxvf check_openmanage-3.1.1.tar.gz

Place check_openmanage in /usr/local/libexec/nagios
cd check_openmanage-3.1.1
cp check_openmanage /usr/local/libexec/nagios

Might have to make it executable as well
chmod +x /usr/local/libexec/nagios/check_openmanage

Define your OpenManage command in commands.cfg
# 'check_openmanage' command definition
define command{
command_name check_openmanage
command_line $USER1$/check_openmanage -s -H $HOSTADDRESS$ -i -C public
}

Define your service in your server.cfg
define service{
use local-service ; Name of service template to use
host_name servername
service_description Perc RAID
check_command check_openmanage!
}

You should end up with notices that look like this

For Monitoring ESX/ESXi I had to find another route. The VMware toolkit is made for linux, and searching around it didn't look promising on FreeBSD. Luckily for me someone else had already figured this out. See Ubergeek Technical Howtos' for details.

Powershell to the rescue!

Last time I had to do a permission audit of a file server it took an extremely long time. I basically ended up having to type everything into excel by hand while examining the folder properties. This becomes quite annoying when your dealing with hundreds of folders. Windows Powershell introduces a much better way to handle this daunting task.


get-childitem p:\ | get-acl | select-object path,group -expand access | export-csv c:\rawr.csv

Then just import the csv into excel and do a little cleanup via the right and len commands so your paths don't look horrible.

At first you will see:

Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::P:\My folder

Use:

=RIGHT(A1,(LEN(A1)-38))

Which will convert it to P:\My folder

Now add a filter for the everyone permission and go scare your management team by showing them everyone can access there files!

Windows Powershell is available at: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/management/powershell/download.mspx
More information on acl-get is available at: here

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