Flexible Single Master of Operator Roles and How to tell Which Domain Controller Owns Them

The Operations Master roles ( AKA FSMO pronounced FIZZMOE) are, by default, assigned to the first DC installed in an Active Directory environment.

Schema Master The Schema is the field structure of the AD Database in this context – The Schema master maintains that schema, in the case of Schema modifications – such as intalling Exchange, running adprep.exe/forestprep or a third party app that hooks itself into Active Directory (Cognos for example.) This role is unique to the forest. To view the Schema Master, you need to register the schmmgmt.dll file, and then add Schema Management to a mmc console. You can now right click and view the owner of this role (and change it if so desired.)

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.msp files eating up my disc space!

windirstat outputWorking on a system recently, I noticed that its 20 GB primary partition was low on disc space. There was nothing immediately obvious as to the cause, so I broke out the windirstat utility. This gives a visual representation of the filesystem, using different sized blocks to identify large files, and color codes each file to show the data type. This great utility immediately pointed out some large files with the .msp extension that were taking up 5GB of space on the disk. Continue reading “.msp files eating up my disc space!”

Playing back .vox files using Winamp

Need an audio player for .vox files? Vox files are commonly created by Dialogic boards in telephony applications. These sound recordings use very small amounts of space, and usually a VOX file is encoded at a sampling rate of 8000Hz. To play back VOX files, software that understands the format is required. The free software Winamp can be configured to playback VOX files, with no additional cost to the user.

Steps for enabling .vox playback in Winamp

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Nedatanet’s Sirius Media Player Windows Icons


These are windows .ico files to be used in creating desktop shortcuts to the Sirius online player application. Create a new shortcut to http://www.sirius.com/servlet/MediaPlayer? and give it a name. Right click, choose properties, and then hit the Change Icon button. Browse to the location you saved the .ico of your choice to. Finally, hit OK. Now click it, log in and rock out.

Mouse over, save as, preserve the .ico extension using these images

Norton Save And Restore Restoration Point On USB HDD Not Available

Norton Save And Restore is a retail package software applicaton that includes Disk Imaging technology. It differs from Norton Ghost corporate edition, but includes the old retail Norton Ghost 10. It allows a GUI backup to a selected location – in this case a USB hard drive.

Sometimes, an issue arises where during a recovery, and booting off the recovery CD, the backup restore point on a USB HDD is not seen by the program. Using the Browse For Recovery point shows no available points and the user cannot browse to the USB hard drive.

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Using the DSQUERY utility to print a system generated list of Active Directory users

DSQUERY is a command line tool that comes with Windows 2003 server. This utility can be run locally or copied off to a domain joined XP workstation for use. To generate a list of users from Active Directory, navigate to the utility’s directory via command prompt.

Use the folowing example to dump a list of all accounts to a .txt file named netusers at the root of the C drive.

dsquery user -o rdn -limit 500 >C:\netusers.txt Continue reading “Using the DSQUERY utility to print a system generated list of Active Directory users”

Diskpart.exe Windows Disk Command Line Tool

The diskpart command starts diskpart.exe, a command line interface to disk partitoning tools. The tool allows creating, reparing and breaking a mirror, marking a partiton active, assigning drive letters, volume control including create and extending, deleting an object and gathering information.

‘diskpart list’ as a command will display a list of objects. ‘diskpart rescan’ will rescan for disks and objects. The ‘select’ command allows the utility to explicitly set the focus on a target – commands are then aimed at the active target. The ‘detail’ command provides details for disks, partitions or volumes.

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Cisco VPN Client on Windows Server 2003

When using the Cisco VPN client on windows Server 2003, users may experience inability to create a tunnel. This is caused by the Windows IPSec implementation stepping on the Cisco client’s connection. Fortunately, getting the Cisco VPN client up and running on Win2K3 requires only a small bit of tweaking. First, get version 4.8.1 of the client from your source, be it Cisco or your VPN host who should legally be able to distribute it.

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Users Log In To Domain Workstation, But Windows Creates A New Profile For Some Ungodly Reason

This issue occurs occasionally, as if the logging in user has never logged into a machine before. The old profile is still in in Documents and Settings, along with the newly created profile. Suspicions point to ntuser.dat becoming corrupted.

How to return to the old profile Continue reading “Users Log In To Domain Workstation, But Windows Creates A New Profile For Some Ungodly Reason”

Stuck in Ghost Virtual Boot Partition

Getting stuck in the ghost virtual boot partition is not an uncommon event. The client boots into DOS to do some work, fails, and the client does not boot back into windows- it just sits there looking stupid.
Try Ctrl-x, give it a minute

Didn’t work?
Try Ctrl-C, give it a minute.

This should do the trick. If it doesn’t, the Symantec knolwedgebase also offers this advice: Continue reading “Stuck in Ghost Virtual Boot Partition”