/ War Stories

The week from hell

Ok, so it's more nine days than a week but you know how people say trouble comes in three's? Well, I've almost had three lots of three over the past nine days. I'll go into further explanations for some of the more technical ones but so far this is the list of problems from just over a week!

1. Power supplied died in my Freeview box
2. My DVD player died (Ok, It's been on the way out for a while)
3. Weekend works did not go as planned due to an oversight
4. I found two bugs in Data ONTap (NetApp's proprietary operating system). One caused a filer panic
5. My Domain controller at home died and the backup image for it is causing me problems
6. An upgrade of a server caused a database to go bad. That took three days to get back and it's still playing up a bit
7. I got run over by a cyclist who are (according to the police) running people over in order to snatch phones.
8. Work Laptop

FreeView Box
I have a Digivsion FVRT150 freeview box, This has an internal 80GB hard disk which is great for recording programmes and has worked flawlessly up until a week ago when all sorts of odd noises started coming from it which was caused by the unit not having enough power to work. Apparently it's a common problem and there is a site called XtendedPlay that sell replacement power supplies. I bought one and it's all working perfectly now

DVD Player
After having a lot of issues with videos I bought a combination DVD & Video player a couple of years back. The DVD player on this works but the mechanical rollers which allow the tray to eject have died so I bought a new slimline dedicated DVD player from Amazon. The prices on these have REALLY come down as it cost just £17.

Weekend Works
The company I work for planned a maintenance weekend to upgrade a FAS940 filer with a clustered FAS3070 unfortunately no one took into account the vFiler which is part of the existing filer.
For those that don't know NetApp, filers are basically bit storage cabinets of disks and they allow some clever tricks such as iSCSI, proper quotas and so on.
They also allow the creation of vFilers. A vFiler is a virtual filer or a 'filer within a filer' and its useful for segregating data. Unfortunately vFilers and VIF (which are multiple interfaces joined aggregated into one connection) don't work together. The new clustered environment was planned to use nothing but VIF's.
During the work the onsite engineer from NetApp decided to create a single VIF, that is a single connection as part of a VIF group so that when the vfiler was migrated elsewhere the connection it freed up would be able to be added into the VIF group and it should all just work.
Wrong. It turns out due to a probable bug in the Operating System a single interface in a VIF group will not work.

Second filer bug
One thing filers do quite well is pretend to be windows boxes (via CIFS or Samba if you prefer) or pretend to be linux/solaris boxes via NFS. Unfortunately there is a bug in the version of the operating system that we run which can, under rare occasions, cause the filer to panic in certain CIFS operations.
Somehow we triggered that situation and the filer crashed. Fortunately the cluster worked and the second filer head took over the load.

My domain Controller
In several articles I've said that I only run one domain controller and back it up roughly once a week as rebuilding the server is quite easy. Well, it looks like I might have to go back on that as my domain controller died in the week and I can't access the data in the backup. Fortunately I do have a VMWare image of the server which is working but DNS is broken so recovering the domain controller is proving to be 'fun'..... Obviously, I shall re-evaluate that second DC!

Database upgrade
During the aforementioned maintenance weekend the decision was made to install SQL 2000 SP4 onto all the SQL servers and onto all instances on the SQL servers. This went well but one system we use - bindview, which is a delegated access tool took a turn for the worse. It was then we found out that no one knows the password that bindview uses to talk to SQL. Ok, simple. Change the password and reset it in bindview but you can't do that without reinstalling the software and you can't reinstall the software on our bindview server because it's REALLY only meant for NT4 and not the active directory (but NT4 emulated) environment. One hell of a restore later (sever, database) and a clever hack of the hashed password out of sysxlogins and it was fixed but it was an interesting time.

Run Over!
On the way home the other night a cyclist went into the back of me then after a slinging a punch went dashing off. I reported it to the police and was told that it's becoming common. The idea is by riding into the back of someone they either knock the phone out of the persons hand or knock the person over and they can then grab the phone and ride off. Right now, I'm sporting a lovely set of cuts down the back of my leg which have all been treated and should heal up quickly.

Work Laptop
for some reason the laptop I use at work decided to go slow, Firefox locked the processor at 99%, killing it then locked another process at 99% and so on until winlogon locked the processor at 99% - Something was obviously interfering and causing problems. I'm now in the process of rebuilding the laptop.

And the week is not yet over!!

Gary Williams

Gary Williams

IT Person | Veeam Vanguard | VMware vExpert | Windows admin | Docker fan | Spiceworks moderator | keeper of 3 cats | Avid Tea fan

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