Friday, October 31, 2008

sbsbackup fails with "Script.bks" cannot be found.

One of my SBS boxes had its SBSbackup jobs fail nightly with the following info:


Backup Runner started.
Launching NTBackup: ntbackup.exe backup "@D:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Backup\Small Business Backup Script.bks" /d "SBS Backup created on 10/30/2008 at 11:00 PM" /v:yes /r:no /rs:no /hc:off /m normal /j "Small Business Server Backup Job" /l:s /f "H:\backup4\Backup Files\Small Business Server Backup (04).bkf" /UM
NTBACKUP LOG FILE: C:\Documents and Settings\SBS Backup User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\backup05.log
The saved selection file "Script.bks" cannot be found.
The saved selection file "Script.bks" cannot be found.
NTBackup finished the backup with errors.


Apparently, the problem is that selections are invalid - which is strange because I didn't change anything. The solution turned out to be:
1. Start -> Run -> NTBackup -> Advanced Mode -> Backup tab -> Job -> Load

2. Select Small Business Backup Script.bks

3. Click OK on the error message:

Some invalid selections found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small
Business Server\Backup\Small Business Backup Script.bks.

4. Job -> Save Selections (overwrite --> Small Business Backup Script.bks)

It seems like this is related to a recovery storage group causing backup trouble.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saving a youtube video and/or converting an FLV file to a WMV file

You can save a youtube video with this site:

But when you save it, it comes as an FLV file. You can use some weird players to play that file, but you can also convert that file to a WMV file, which is so much easier and useful.

This tool can convert FLV to WMV:

Basically, unzip it and then from a DOS prompt, run:
ffmpeg -i file.flv newfile.wmv

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

opening an AcerPower FH case

I spent half an hour today trying to open an AcerPower FH case to replace the power supply.  I knew I had done it before and it required taking off the top cover.  I could take off the normal side cover, but not the top cover.  

In order to take off the top cover, you need to remove the front face of the computer.  To do that, there are the small plastic clips on the inside of the case similar to some Dells I have seen.  Open up the side and find the three small plastic clips and push them in while slightly pulling out on the front face.  The front will open like a door (one side swings a bit while the other side is free).

You also have to take off the other side of the case.  In the case I'm opening today, this took a tremendouse amount of muscle.  There were no screws holding in, but it took effort to remove it.  In face, I had to take off the front cover and push the other side case with a flat head screwdriver to get it off, I could not pull it off from the back.

So in summary, this is the order I would use if I could go back in time:

Remove the two big black screws to get the main side door off.
Push the plastic clips near the front of the case in to take off the front cover.
Remove the two silver screws in the back holding the other side door on.
Push the side door off.
Remove the one screw on each side that is holding on the top cover.
Remove the two screws in the front and back that are holding on the top cover.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

configuring pre-4.0 Blackberries to BES

Yesterday, I was setting up a Blackberry 7290 to use the BES box I had created.  The BB was running version 3.8 of the device software so it couldn't use over the air enterprise activation.  After searching, it was just as simple as reinstalling the the BB desktop software and when prompted during the install - tell it to use a BES/corporate server.  I had already created a user on BES for the user who was on this BB - but I don't know how necessary that was.  It seemed pretty easy upon that install, which was nice.

Monday, October 13, 2008

what kind of laptop should I get?

One question I get all the time is - what kind of laptop should I get?

That question is no more easy to answer than what kind of car should I get . . . 

There are many manufacturers with many models with different attributes and price ranges.  I'll try to make this entry non-brand specific and able to be used in the future without mentioning models available the day I'm writing this.

In my opinion, the two most important factors when deciding which laptop to get are price and weight.  Of the hundreds of options you have, this will narrow down your choices significantly.  Most laptops weight between 3 and 8 pounds.  Generally (but not always), the heavier a laptop is, the less expensive.  Generally (but not always), the larger the screen is on a laptop, the heavier it is.  Cost is always a factor.  Generally, most laptops cost between $700 and $3000.  For the most part, you get what you pay for.  In addition to the cost of the laptop, you also need to think about software.  Laptops almost never come with software (such as MS Word).  You often need to buy that separately.

So the next step is to figure out where you are in the aforeomentioned categories.  What is your weight limit and what is your price limit?  Knowing that, it's time to start looking at what is available to you.  My favorite places to look are PC Connection and Dell.  PC Connection is an online retailer that sells virtually all brands of off the shelf laptops (made in a factory to certain predetermined specs).  Dell is the leading seller of made to order laptops (you choose the specs of your laptop and they build it for you to your specs).  PC Connection sells all brands of laptops (except Dell and a small minority) and Dell sells only Dell laptops.  But between the two you are probably looking at 90% of the laptops available.  

With PC Connection, you can look at laptops by weight and by price.  For Dell, it takes a but more fine-tuning.  For Dell, look at the screen sizes and use these approximations of weight.

17" screens - 7 pounds
15" screens - 6 pounds
14" screens - 5 pounds
13" screens - 4.5 pounds
12" screens - 3.5 pounds

Hopefully, this will lead you to what model and brand you want.  Now, you need to think about software, operating system, memory, and warranty.  For software, most people would order a version of Office: Home and Student for home or academic use, Professional (for office use), or try one of the free options like OpenOffice.  A quick google or Amazon search will give you appropriate pricing.  If Windows XP is still available as you read this, you will want Home for home users or Professional if you'll be using it in an office environment.  If you are choosing Vista, you'll choose between Vista Home Premium for home users or Vista Business or Ultimate for an office environment.  You do not want Vista Basic.  Lastly, you'll need memory.  You want 1 GB or more of memory for XP and 2 GB or more of memory for Vista.

You can always go to a Best Buy to look at laptops - which is also an option, and it's what a lot of people do.  What I listed above is how I shop for laptops and how I shop for my client's laptops.  If you have additional questions, please fee free to email me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

fix for WinXP2008 virus and xpsecuritycenter

I haven't tested this yet honestly - but an associate gave me this batch file saying that it would clean out the WinXP2008 virus if you run it in safe mode.  True?  Not sure yet.