HOWTO: Set up iDRAC on a Dell Server

Setting up iDRAC on a Dell Server is one of the many processes where we facilitate support to our customers. With it, you can perform diagnostics on a server even if you can’t log into it or if it’s powered off. One of our technicians has found the best practice for setting up iDRAC on […]

SOLVED: Install OS from Bootable USB Drive on Dell T130

One of our senior network engineers recently came across a basic Windows 2016 installation issue on a Dell T130.

When searching for a solution, he turned to the helpful article below:

https://www.lmeservices.com/bootable-usb-drive-dell-poweredge-t430/ 

T130 Problem:

  • Unlike our technician who was installing on a T130, the source couldn’t install Windows Server 2016 OS onto a PowerEdge T430 via USB. Every time an attempt was made to install, an error message occurred stating, “no bootable media.”

Although the source and our technician were installing on different server models, the solution is workable on both.

The source attempted several solutions that failed. Then, he contacted Dell Support who told him that Dell PowerEdge T430’s out of the box BIOS 2.4.2 build doesn’t support UEFI on USB Drives.

Thankfully, there are several solutions that can resolve this issue.

  • Solution 1:

    • The source recommends creating a DVD of the OS.

While the source in the article recommends this as a solution, our technician said that the OS is too large to put on a DVD.

  • Solution 2:

    • The source also recommends setting the boot settings to BIOS instead of UEFI. This solution is suggested as a last resort because this means the hardware will only recognize 2TB of drives usage and would prevent the source from exceeding 2TB usable space.
  • Solution 3:

    • Install a program that will properly format a USB drive to adhere to the Dell PowerEdge new standards.

Our technician found this to be the most effective solution.

Here are the steps that he and the source completed to resolve this issue:

  1. Install Windows Server 2016 on Dell Server using USB stick UEFI and GPT by downloading the tool from https://rufus.akeo.ie/
  2. Start the tool as administrator.
  3. Select the USB storage device then make the partition scheme and target system type to be GPT “partition scheme for UEFI.”
  4. Give it the ISO image of windows server 2016 and let the tool create the bootable USB.
  5. In the server boot settings make it UEFI and then make the partition GPT.
  6. Convert partition MBR to GPT.
    • While the source who wrote the article found this to be an essential step, our technician didn’t find it necessary.

Once the steps are completed, it will look like this:

T130

 

 

  • Solution 4: The source also recommended installing the Windows Server OS via the iDrac. If you don’t have a license for iDrac, you can use a 30-day trial signup.
    1. Copy the ISO of the O.S. you want to install to a local machine.
    2. Configure the iDrac from the BIOS settings of the server.
      • Plug a network cable into the iDrac NIC on the server.
      • Give the iDrac card an IP address via the BIOS.
    3.  Now, from your local machine, go to the Web GUI in Chrome using the IP address of the iDrac card.
      • The login is root/calvin.
    4. From the Virtual Console in the iDrac, go to the ‘Virtual Media’ menu on the iDrac remote session and select the ISO.
      • Remember, this requires a fully licensed iDrac.
    5. Go to the ‘Next Boot’ menu and choose the ‘Virtual CD/DVD/ISO’ option.
    6. Reboot the server from the iDrac and it should boot directly to the installer or at least recognize it as bootable media.

For more information about Dell, check out our partner page.

Servers

Chrome, IE, FF slow Performance with Video

Problem:

I recently had a computer that would hang for long periods whenever it encountered a video file, generally Shockwave.

The behavior was cross-browser effecting Internet Explorer, Chrome, and FireFox. As a result, I tried fiddling with various settings in all three tools with no results.

Finally I simply uninstalled Adobe Shockwave and went to the site and reinstalled it. Problem solved.

Anyway, I thought others might be experiencing the same thing and didn’t want you to waste your time with all sorts of fix attempts when such an easy solution is available. For those who don’t know how to Add and Remove Programs it’s very easy:

Video Solution:

  1. Close all your browsers.
  2. Go to the Control Panel
  3. Add/Remove Programs
  4. Click Adobe Shockwave
  5. Change/Uninstall (this uninstalls the program)
  6. Open Browser
  7. Type Shockwave in a search.
  8. Download
  9. Install.

Enjoy your browsing!

 

To learn more about Acumen and what we do, visit our contact page.

To learn more about Adobe Shoackwave, visit their site by clicking on the link below:

https://www.adobe.com/products/shockwaveplayer.html

EMC

TinyGrab: A free alternative to Droplr

Droplr Alternative 

Droplr Alternative

Droplr

A popular screen-grabbing tool that allows you to quickly take a picture of a selected part of your screen and automatically upload it to the web, allowing you to instantaneously share screenshots with colleagues. However, they recently have removed their free plan. We wanted to explore free alternatives before switching over to a Droplr paid plan. After a little research I found TinyGrab, an alternative to Droplr, which offers all of the features we need with a number of features on our “wishlist”.

Features:

  1. Automatically uploading selected-area screenshots to the web
  2. Automatically put the URL for the screenshot in the clipboard
  3. Screenshot mode triggered with hotkeys
  4. Uploading to a 3rd party hosting service
  5. Option to upload to our own sites using SFTP/FTP

To use:

TinyGrab, the first step is to register and download the software. Once it is installed, you can change your upload destination using the TinyGrab preferences. You can either upload to TinyGrab’s hosting server, or specify an FTP/SFTP connection and file destination to upload to your own hosting server.

SOLVED: WinPCap on Windows 2012, 8

Problem

WinPCap 4.1.2 is required by Wireshark, but is difficult to install on Windows 8.  It give an error that it cannot be installed on this version of Windows.  This message is misleading and inaccurate.  WinPCap can be installed on Windows 8.

The error message is a common Windows message and the common resolution is to can change the application compatibility mode to Windows 7 or Windows XP SP3.  Another common resolution is to use Run As to run the installer as Administrator.  Unfortunately, this neither of these are sufficient to install WinPCap.  Both of these are required, but you will often find that you still can’t install WinPCap.  The real problem is a change to Windows 8 that makes driver installations more restrictive.

Resolution

To install WinPCap on Windows 8 you MUST be logged into Windows as a local machine administrator.  Using Run As is not good enough to install drivers. Since some people (especially early adopters of Windows 8) run their system as a local administrator, the original instructions accidentally work for them.

Don’t forget that you ALSO need the compatibility mode set to Windows XP SP3.

We have found that this resolution applies to all installations that install drivers, in particular the Android ADB driver.  When doing any driver installation, actually login as an Administrator on the Windows 8 machine.

Now you can use Wireshark on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

We can provide help for your project, please see our Wireshark, Security Assessment, and Security Consulting pages.

SOLVED Windows 2008 R2 Remote App black screen – never loading

R2 Remote AppWindows R2 Remote App

 

For the longest time I’ve been battling an issue with a client where one of the users had issues with a R2 remote app. Multiple people used the remote app but only one user had an issue. She complained that it took over 20 minutes for the remote app to load when she clicked the .rdp shortcut on her desktop. It would open a new window that was a black screen and take forever to load up the app.

I tried updating the remote app server, remaking her shortcut, and even trying the connection from a different network, all to no avail.

R2 Remote App Solution:

I finally stumbled on a kb article that contained a hotfix for a problem similar to mine. I installed the hotfix on the server and it finally fixed her problem.

The issue started after her remote app locked up. She closed it and immediately opened a new session by clicking the .rdp shortcut. It locked up again and she repeated this process multiple times. From this point on, she always experienced the black screen with long load times. The kb article states that this process can cause the issue but at random. The issue is more likely to occur with slow connections, especially WAN based connections.

Here is KB 981156

 

Thanks for reading and see how our Network Support team can help you!