Archive for the ‘2003’ Category

Windows Certification time

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

I dragged my feet for years on renewing MCSE. I wondered if it was really worth it? I have several training books and certification books which for all purposes are taking shelf space and gather dust.

I did ask around and found there are two basic arguments.

1) The main argument for getting MCSE for windows 2003 is HR and resume filtering. HR departments tend to be behind or simply don’t understand the IT field. Therefore, they look for catch phrases such as MSCE. It is also the last instance of Microsoft Certified Server Engineer.

The HR resume filtering argument is something to consider if you are starting your career.

If you like having the engineer label and it’s good for you to have a constant line of OS certs on your resume then by all means, get it.  Especially, if you are not worried about the cost and can pass it pretty quickly.

I am told however, the 2003 tests will retire this July.

2) The main argument against is the simple fact it’s old.  People are converting to 2008 so why bother?

A very valid consideration.  Especially, if you see your 2003 installs disappearing.  I learned long ago there is little value for being a master of a dead or dying Operating system.

Get an idea for how much 2003 is being used. Microsoft will keep the tests and certification around if the base is large. They tend to start retiring the tests and certifications about 10 or so years after the certification is introduced.

I am not concerned about 2003 anymore. I passed on obtaining the windows 2000 MSCE and found people weren’t bothered.  Probably, because I had converted a company from NT domains to Active Directory.

I have decided to “trail blaze” and go after the new certs for 2012.  Training material is limited and at this point in time. I have only found items for installing server 2012.

Some useful pages:

2008 or 2012







A firmware update is currently in progress. Unable to reset the RAC at this time.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

I was trying to add a couple old Dell servers to mergepoint for remote reboot capabilities. As I was configuring one, I received and interesting message when I attempted a : racadm racreset

ERROR: A firmware update is currently in progress. Unable to reset the RAC at this time.

I had upgraded the firmware and was rather concerned about this error. I really became concerned when I tried to get system information and received the following:

C:\>racadm getsysinfo

RAC Information:
RAC Date/Time = Mon Dec 17 15:24:44 2012
Firmware Version =
Firmware Build =
Last Firmware Update =
Hardware Version =
MAC Address = 00:11:22:33:44:55

Common settings:
Register DNS RAC Name =
DNS RAC Name =
Current DNS Domain =
Domain Name from DHCP =

IPv4 settings:
Enabled =
Current IP Address =
Current IP Gateway =
Current IP Netmask =
DHCP Enabled = 0
Current DNS Server 1 =
Current DNS Server 2 =
DNS Servers from DHCP =

IPv6 settings:
Enabled =
Current IP Address 1 =
Current IP Gateway = /
Autoconfig =
Link Local IP Address = /
Current IP Address 2 = /
Current IP Address 3 = /
Current IP Address 4 = /
Current IP Address 5 = /
Current IP Address 6 = /
Current IP Address 7 = /
Current IP Address 8 = /
Current IP Address 9 = /
Current IP Address 10 = /
Current IP Address 11 = /
Current IP Address 12 = /
Current IP Address 13 = /
Current IP Address 14 = /
Current IP Address 15 = /
DNS Servers from DHCPv6 =
Current DNS Server 1 =
Current DNS Server 2 =

System Information:
System Model =
System Revision =
System BIOS Version =
BMC Firmware Version = 01.23
Service Tag =
Express Svc Code =
Host Name =
OS Name =
Power Status = ON

Watchdog Information:
Recovery Action = None
Present countdown value = 300 seconds
Initial countdown value = 300 seconds

Embedded NIC MAC Addresses:
NIC1 Ethernet =
NIC2 Ethernet =
NIC3 Ethernet =
NIC4 Ethernet =

What was odd was the fact I could run the firmware upgrade without error and the card was talking to the Mergepoint.

I almost reported the card as bad but I had an epiphany and had a look at installed programs. There I found the OpenManage Server Administrator and Drac Toolkit. I uninstalled the Drac toolkit and received valid information from the Drac card.

Lesson of the day: Sometimes different versions of software which interface with a device can give false readings.

Citrix session screen flicker

Monday, November 19th, 2012

I had a user complain about screen flicker while trying to use tools on a server via remote desktop. The server in question was 32 bit windows 2003 running citrix presentation server 4.5. This was not wide spread so only the one server was having issues.

Searching the Net I found a technote at Microsoft which seem to address this issue.

I downloaded the hotfix, installed it and rebooted the server and the problem was solved.

File \$WIN_NT$.~BT\halaacpi.dll could not be loaded. The error code is 14

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I had a request to setup Windows 2003 non R2 on an HP DL 360 G6.  I used the SmartStart CD version 8.7 for 32 bit operating systems.

The process ran through the basic setup, copied the files and on the first reboot, I found the following message:

File \$WIN_NT$.~BT\halaacpi.dll could not be loaded.

The error code is 14

An odd message since it basically means it’s out of memory and didn’t have enough storage to complete the operation.

A check on the Net; suggested using SmartStart 8.6.  But, I was rather surprised to find somebody at HP messed up as I received “file not found” messages on all the smartstart download links.  A few of the driver downloads would not work as well.  I verified this by accessing their ftp site and found files were missing.

I decided to try the R2 version of 2003.  I only used the first CD since it’s basically the original release and the second CD makes it R2.

This time the OS installed without issue.

Windows 2003 NTP sync looses 1 hour

Monday, March 26th, 2012

I have a new server running windows 2003 R2 to support legacy software.

The server sits in a secured room which does not have access to the Internet. As such it was installed by DVD.

The operating system included service pack 2.

When it came time to configure NTP(we have an internal clock), the time would adjust one hour backwards.

I checked the the following:

  1. Time Zone.  Correct
  2. Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes is checked. Correct
  3. The BIOS clock.  Correct
  4. The time server is accessible. Correct.
  5. Patch levels.  Possible problem.

I remembered the time when the government decided to extend daylight savings time and decided a patch was missing.

I searched the Microsoft site and found KB955839

I installed the patch and my time synchronization was correct.

Lesson of the day: Don’t assume the service pack has all needed patches.