Archive for the ‘troubleshooting’ Category

Telephone activation is no longer supported

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

I have a secured cluster where there is no Net access. The users had licenses for Office 2013 and wanted to use them inside the cluster.

Office likes to activate itself.  It tried and gave an error.  I restarted Word and it gave the options for Internet and telephone activation.  I selected telephone and I selected my location and was rewarded with:

Telephone activation is no longer supported for your product

Oooooookay.  No Net and no telephone…….

Luckily this is just a “feature.”

I went through the telephone process and activated the installation.  The only problem now are templates which appear to be downloaded from the Net.  But, I will take care of that if they complain.

Winlogon initiates shutdown. Reason Code: 0x500ff

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

One machine decided it didn’t want to work anymore. The event viewer showed a message logged where the winlogon initiated a shutdown with the Reason Code: 0x500ff.

Not a typical error.  Power was ok and there wasn’t anything else obvious.

A Technet question found a similar issue happened to someone else.

The power supply was reseated and so far the system remains up.

iLO 3 reports (Error code: ssl_error_bad_mac_alert)

Monday, April 6th, 2015

We are transitioning our console management setup and one of the Windows systems reported an error when trying to access it through the iLO management port.

Secure Connection Failed
An error occurred during a connection to <FQDN>. SSL peer reports incorrect 
Message Authentication Code. (Error code: ssl_error_bad_mac_alert)
The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of 
the received data could not be verified.
Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

It’s an odd error as this was the only system reporting it and it happened on different browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome).

I tried resetting to factory defaults but that didn’t solve it.

Drivers were up to date but the firmware looked old.  I pulled down the latest version and installed it.

Problem solved.

Correcting a bad superblock on Redhat

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

One system had an issue with the secondary drive. The monitoring system reported it was in a Read-Only state. Suspecting a bad superblock as they happen from time to time; I gave the system a reboot.

As expected; I received:

 *** An error occurred during the file system check.
 *** Dropping you to a shell; the system will reboot.
 *** When you leave the shell.
 Give root password for maintenance
 (or type Control-D)
 (repair file system)#
After entering the root password; it was time to repair. In my case, the problem was easy as the second drive is allocated to one mount. If you are not sure, you will have to look at the partitions.
To list out the partitions, simply enter:
fdisk -l

In my situation, I was interested in this part:

Disk /dev/cciss/c0d1: 146.7 GB, 146778685440 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 17844 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

           Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/cciss/c0d1p1   *           1       17844   143331898+  83  Linux

If you have multiple partitions, you can verify the label as a precaution (that is if it’s still intact) by using the e2label command. For example:

e2label /dev/cciss/c0d1p1

Having verified the partition, it’s time to restore the superblock by using backup. This is accomplished by using the mke2fs command. Note: if the OS is running, you will need to unmount the drive.


mke2fs -n /dev/cciss/c0d1p1

It will list output (I forgot to copy it), but at the bottom you will see:

Superblock backups stored on blocks:
(various numbers)

It doesn’t matter which one you choose; I picked the third one. To start the restore of the superblock; enter:

e2fsck -y -b <block number> /dev/your drive path

The “-y” option is a good idea if your partition is large. Otherwise, you will find yourself pressing the “y” key many many times.

Once it’s completed, reboot the system.

Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t solve it on the first pass. Simply re-list the backup superblocks and use a different one for the e2fsck command. In my situation, it took three attempts.

Much as I would like to impress you with my knowledge, I have to give people their acknowledgments for reviewing their blog and site for review.

Linux Expresso

Linux Forums

Filter the messages file

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

I had an issue which the vendor support needed messages from the messages log file.

There of course are messages which are frequent and could hide the needed debug messages.

I just needed to filter them out.

cat messages | grep -v "message not wanted" | grep "message repeated" > textfile

Smaller and more succinct detail for the vendor support people.

Legibility could be an issue for some so if you want to be nice; run the file through a conversion:

unix2dos <file> <outputfile>

LSF reports “CScript Error: Loading your settings failed. (Access is denied. )”

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

This was an odd error. We are setting up a new image for our farm and one user reported this message when he submitted his jobs:

CScript Error: Loading your settings failed. (Access is denied. )

Everything looked in order but for some reason his vbscript job failed. Looking around the Net, I did find a kb article which mentioned enabling vbscript for CGI. It seemed odd bot be touching the users key but I gave it a try.

I created the following keys:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script Host
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script Host\Settings

The technote said to verify Everyone has access but I decided to leave it to the Users group.

I also decided to also add the following entries in the settings key:

BatchMode: REG_DWORD: 0
DisplayLogo: REG_DWORD: 0
Timeout: REG_DWORD: 0

There was no need for a reboot.

The user was able to submit jobs after that.

I did not heavily research the reason but I am assuming with Microsoft’s effort to go into Powershell (you should look at it if you haven’t); some things are left out of the Windows Scripting Host on new installs or this was a case of the user once being a local admin and that was removed.


Well now. This turned out to not be the case. We have working on automating the setups and this is what caused the problem. In the past, we would login as a specific user and finish the install. Debugging we would login as a user and the problem went away.

The villain?  No user profile on the system!

Once we logged in as the user and the profile was created; job submits worked!

A nuance that is easy to miss!

Msvcr100_clr0400.dll is missing.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

I was configuring iLO access for several servers and in one instance was rewarded with an error message.

The program can't start because MSVCR100_CLR0400.dll is missing
from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

I reinstalled but the error remained. For grins I decided to reinstall the .Net 4.0 and from Microsoft I downloaded the installer. It gave an option to repair it or remove it. I chose to repair it and it solved the problem.

Mac touch pad keeps selecting everything

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Nothing is more frustrating then a strange computer problem at the wrong time. Is there ever a right time?

Such was the case of a Macbook. The user complained the touch pad was messed up.  It kept trying to select everything and she could not close any windows.

A force quit and a reboot did not solve the problem. She was pretty good about patching the OS so the idea of a bad patch was considered but nothing obvious showed up on a Google search. Time to consider the nonobvious.

The villain?………the wireless mouse!

It was in a carry bag and at one point the user needed something from the bag. She placed the bag in a spot which put the mouse in range of the laptop. Stuff shifted and something pressed a mouse button!

Once the mouse was retrieved; the problem stopped!

Good tech but can cause an unexpected “feature.”