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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blogger and Google+ pictures uploading with grey backgrounds

If you use Google Blogger or Google+, and have uploaded photos recently you've probably ran into this.. Without any information from Google it turns out if you upload pictures with a light or white background your pictures will have the background turned grey after being uploaded. See below as an example.

Google altered picture

Non-Google altered picture

The fix is pretty easy.. First if you haven't associated the Google+ service with your account, you're going to have to. Unfortunately Google buried two settings in there that affect your Google wide account when uploading pictures to any of their services even if you're not uploading the pictures to Google+. The reason behind it has something to do with changes Google made to Picasa, which is the photo uploading service that backs all Google services.

Once you've made it into your Google+ account, go to your account settings, then Google+ settings. Scroll down until you see the "Photos" section settings, and uncheck the two boxes shown below.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Microsoft update KB2589275 breaking Microsoft Office file associations

In the past several days I've been getting a lot of calls about users not being able open Microsoft Office files such as Word, Excel, etc. This only appears to be affecting Office 2010 users running Windows 7. If you are experiencing the same issue and your Microsoft Office 2010 files have an icon that resemble an orange rectangular box, you have the issue. Do not remove the update, just do the following:

For Excel, right-click on one of the files, choose "open with", choose default program, and select "Microsoft application virtualization dde launcher" OR Microsoft Excel depending which is listed. Be sure to check the box that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file".  This should open the file and fix the association. Repeat the same steps for Word, PowerPoint, etc. The only step that is different is for Word you will select "Microsoft application virtualization dde launcher" OR Microsoft Word depending which is listed. For PowerPoint you would use "Microsoft application virtualization dde launcher" OR Microsoft PowerPoint.

If the above doesn't work you have three options. From easiest, to hardest..

Go to Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs > Associate File Type or Protocol. For DOC or DOCX select Microsoft Word. You will need to do this for each Microsoft Office file type. For Excel the file types are XLSX and XLS. For a complete list of Office file types click HERE.

2) Repair your Microsoft Office Installation via instructions found HERE.

3) Remove Microsoft Office from your computer, and reinstall it. (Requires Office disk)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Resolving SYSVOL JRNL_WRAP_ERROR in Windows Server

If you've encountered SYSVOL on a domain controller runnings Server 2008 and later you've probably encountered JRNL_WRAP_ERROR before. If you hadn't or are unsure how to resolve the issue avoid following the steps listed in the records Windows event as a first measure. Doing so usually ends up causing more problems. Below is the original event and steps suggested, which I am recommend against as a fist measure.

Log Name:      File Replication Service Source:        NtFrs Date:          9/12/2013 9:55:30 AM Event ID:      13568 Task Category: None Level:         Error Keywords:      Classic User:          N/A Computer:      server.contoso.local Description: The File Replication Service has detected that the replica set "DOMAIN SYSTEM VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)" is in JRNL_WRAP_ERROR. Replica set name is    : "DOMAIN SYSTEM VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)" Replica root path is   : "c:\windows\sysvol\domain" Replica root volume is : "\\.\C:" A Replica set hits JRNL_WRAP_ERROR when the record that it is trying to read from the NTFS USN journal is not found.  This can occur because of one of the following reasons. [1] Volume "\\.\C:" has been formatted. [2] The NTFS USN journal on volume "\\.\C:" has been deleted. [3] The NTFS USN journal on volume "\\.\C:" has been truncated. Chkdsk can truncate the journal if it finds corrupt entries at the end of the journal. [4] File Replication Service was not running on this computer for a long time. [5] File Replication Service could not keep up with the rate of Disk IO activity on "\\.\C:". Setting the "Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore" registry parameter to 1 will cause the following recovery steps to be taken to automatically recover from this error state. [1] At the first poll, which will occur in 5 minutes, this computer will be deleted from the replica set. If you do not want to wait 5 minutes, then run "net stop ntfrs" followed by "net start ntfrs" to restart the File Replication Service. [2] At the poll following the deletion this computer will be re-added to the replica set. The re-addition will trigger a full tree sync for the replica set. WARNING: During the recovery process data in the replica tree may be unavailable. You should reset the registry parameter described above to 0 to prevent automatic recovery from making the data unexpectedly unavailable if this error condition occurs again. To change this registry parameter, run regedit. Click on Start, Run and type regedit. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Click down the key path:    "System\CurrentControlSet\Services\NtFrs\Parameters" Double click on the value name    "Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore" and update the value.
The below steps are the easiest and ideal way to resolve the issue as a first measure.
  1. Open Registry Editor. To do this, click Start, type regedit, and then click regedit under Programs. Expand the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NtFrs\Parameters\Backup/Restore\Process at Startup


  2. In the right pane, double-click BurFlags.

  3. In the Value Data box, type D4, and then click OK.


  4. Exit Registry Editor.

  5. Open Services, and then restart the File Replication Service service.

  6. Check the File Replication Service event log for new errors.
When the Journal Wrap condition is corrected, an event log entry that resembles the following should be logged:

Event Type: Information
Event Source: NtFrs
Event ID: 13516

Description: The File Replication Service is no longer preventing the computer SERVER from becoming a domain controller. The system volume has been successfully initialized and the Netlogon service has been notified that the system volume is now ready to be shared as SYSVOL.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What’s New in vSphere 5.5

Some big things coming with vSphere 5.5 and I'm pretty excited. Here is a short list I'm personally excited to see including another revamp of VMware VDP. In the previous few revisions it had gone from ok to good and then to not so great. Anyway, without further ado.. here's my top 5.
  1. VM Latency Sensitivity – included with the new virtual machine compatibility level comes a new “Latency Sensitivity” setting that can be tuned to help reduce virtual machine latency.  When the Latency sensitivity is set to high the hypervisor will try to reduce latency in the virtual machine by reserving memory, dedicating CPU cores and disabling network features that are prone to high latency.

  2. vCenter Server Appliance – with vSphere 5.5 the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) now uses a reengineered, embedded vPostgres database that offers improved scalability.  I wasn’t able to officially confirm the max number of hosts and VMs that will be supported with the embedded DB.  They are targeting 100 hosts and 3,000 VMs but we’ll need to wait until 5.5 releases to confirm these numbers.  However, regardless what the final numbers are, with this improved scalability the VCSA is a very attractive alternative for folks who may be looking to move a way from a Windows based vCenter.

  3. Support for 62TB VMDK – vSphere 5.5 increases the maximum size of a virtual machine disk file (VMDK) to 62TB (note the maximum VMFS volume size is 64TB where the max VMDK file size is 62TB).  The maximum size for a Raw Device Mapping (RDM) has also been increased to 62TB.

  4. vSphere Flash Read Cache – a new flash-based storage solution that enables the pooling of multiple flash-based devices into a single consumable vSphere construct called a vSphere Flash Resource, which can be used to enhance virtual machine performance by accelerating read-intensive workloads.

  5. vSphere Data Protection (VDP) – VDP has also been updated in 5.5 with several great improvements to include the ability to replicate  backup data to EMC Avamar,  direct-to-host emergency restore, the ability to backup and restore of individual .vmdk files, more granular scheduling for backup and replication jobs, and the ability to mount existing VDP backup data partitions when deploying a new VDP appliance.

Be sure to read all about vSphere 5.5 and the complete list at VMware blogs. For further reading check out What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.5 Platform, A Summary of What’s New in vSphere 5.5vCloud Suite Product Walkthrough, and What’s New with vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 5.5.