The Real (and Virtual) Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy

September 12, 2009  6:01 PM

VMware 3.5 and Virtual Infrastruture Client 2.5 Ports

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Check this link out, it has a neat port guide in PDF format with all the ports mapped and labelled. Its a visual representation of the ports below.

22. SSH access to service console.
80. HTTP access to web servers.
443. HTTPS SSL access to web servers for VI Web Access.
902. VI Client access to ESX Server or VirtualCenter, and communication between VirtualCenter and ESX Server hosts or between hosts.
903. VM Console access via VI Client or VI Web Access.
2049. Connection to NFS storage devices.
2050-5000, and 8042-8045. Traffic between ESX Server hosts for VMware HA (also utilizes EMC Automated Availability Manager).
3260. Connection to iSCSI storage devices.
8000. Incoming requests from VMotion.
8083. VirtualCenter diagnostics port.
8086. Apache Tomcat web server admin on VirtualCenter Server
27000. License transactions from ESX Server to the License Server.
27010. License transactions from the License Server.

September 12, 2009  5:55 PM

Changing the RDP port on Windows Server 2008

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I have always been able to change the port number with Windows Server 2003/XP/Vista by editing the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber

With Server 2008 however this does not seem to work. Does anyone know what else you need to do to make this work? See below!

On Server 2008, in addition to changing the registry key above, you also need to create a new Inbound TCP rule in your windows firewall to allow connections on your new port.  You can then disable the existing remote desktop inbound rule (which is hardcoded to port 3389)

For home systems, i usually disable the firewall anyways, but this may apply for Windows 7 installations as well.


September 7, 2009  10:04 PM

Samsung N510 Netbook.

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Finally a Netbook that will be able to play Hi-Definition video! With its 11.6″ screen and a resolution of 1366×768, this Netbook will surely become popular.

Samsung N510 specs include.

Intel Atom N280 1.67Ghz Processor with 1GB DDR2 Memory.

Nvidia’s Ion Chipset


WiFi b/g/n


wired ethernet

integrated webcam and microphone,

multi-format memory card reader

6-cell Li-Ion battery

Windows XP Home(Europe Release; its rumoured that it will ship with Windows 7 in North America.

Early reports state that the netbook will be worth about 420 pounds, or 864$ US. That’s quite a hefty pricetag, let’s hope the price drops quite a bit around the release date.


September 7, 2009  9:53 PM

Viewsonic releases its own Netbook.

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well we all know how much I like Netbooks for the portability and usability, and the computer industry always welcomes competition, well here you have it.

Viewsonic will be releasing two Netbooks in the US before the end of the year.

–  VNB100 is based on Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom N270 chip with 1GB memory, a 160GB hard drive and an ExpressCard slot. It weighs about three pounds and has an estimated battery life of three hours.

– VNB101 is lighter, around 2.4 pounds, comes with the 1.66GHz N280 Atom processor, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive and a slightly smaller battery with about five hours of use time. Both models have a 10-inch displays.

September 3, 2009  3:40 AM

Server 2003 NT Backup not working

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I ran into this recently where I could not create a normal backup or system state backup. Upon troubleshooting i would go to a command prompt and type “vssadmin list writers” and it would come up blank…

Well following some instructions from Microsoft’s website I managed to get it back up and running.

1. Click Start, click Run, type Regedit, and then click OK.

2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

3. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes to confirm that you want to delete the subkey. Dont worry you won’t harm anything. Now we need to check the services responsible for Volume Shadow Copy Services.

4. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.

5. Right-click the following services one at a time. For each service, click Restart:
– COM+ Event System
– COM+ System Application
– Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
– Volume Shadow Copy

If any of these services are stopped, set them to automatic and start them, this is important.

6. At the command prompt, type vssadmin list writers, and then press ENTER. If the writes show up, your done, if not there is one more set of things to do.

8. If the VSS writers are now listed, close the Command Prompt window. You do not have to complete the remaining steps.

If the VSS writers are not listed, type the following commands at the command prompt. Press ENTER after each command. I would recommend copying and pasting into notepad and saving it as a batch file, makes it a little easier…

cd /d %windir%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 ole32.dll
regsvr32 oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 es.dll
regsvr32 stdprov.dll
regsvr32 vssui.dll
regsvr32 msxml.dll
regsvr32 msxml3.dll
regsvr32 msxml4.dll

Note The last command may not run successfully.

9. At the command prompt, type vssadmin list writers, and then press ENTER.

10. Confirm that the VSS writers are now listed. After this you should now be able to start NT Backup and backup all the files and system states you want! 🙂


September 2, 2009  12:11 AM

Blackberry Curve 8900 Duplicate Emails

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

In the last few days I was getting duplicate emails on my phone, not every email mind you, and there was no pattern, it just seemed like sometimes I would get an email twice. I have an account on Blackberry Enterprise Server from work. Well I used my past experience with Service Books to resolve my issue.

Go to Options > Advanced Options > Service Book

Highlight Desktop Sync, press the Blackberry Button then delete

Wait 2 minutes and press the Blackberry Button again, and select Undelete

You should no longer receive duplicate emails!

August 31, 2009  3:16 AM

Trojan that targets Skype users.

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

An Australian website posted that the Skype Trojan can log VoIP calls. Here is an insert

“An infected machine will use the software that handles audio processing within a computer and save the call data as an MP3. The file is then sent over the Internet to a predefined server where the attacker can listen to the recorded conversations.”

It is also possible that this trojan can affect other popular VoIP applications, although this isn’t proven.

The Trojan is named Trojan.Peskyspy. So to all you Skype users do some reading and research on how to protect yourself. Here are some articles that you all can browse through.

Trojan.Peskspy | Symantec

Trojan.Peskspy Blog by a Symantec Employee

And here is an interesting story about how Trojan.Peskspy attacks Skype encryption though Windows API.

Happy Surfing!


August 31, 2009  3:04 AM

Mac Os “Snow Leopard”

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 brings Grand Central, OpenCL, full 64-bit mode, QuickTime X, and Exchange support to Mac users. Snow Leopard may not warrant too much excitement, but it’s still worth the $29(US) upgrade price.

CNET has a nice little video review about the highly anticipated upgrade, check it out here.

August 28, 2009  4:11 PM

Veeam Backup and Replication 4.0

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

The soon to be release #1 Backup solution for ESX 3.5 and vSphere is better than ever! Read below for all the new features. If you would like to be notified when Veeam Backup 4 gets released go here.

• Native support for thin-provisioned disks for faster full VM backups and restores, to reduce the amount of storage required to host your production VMs.

• Ability to leverage ESX4 changed block tracking for lightning-fast incremental backup. For instance, if a VM only had 5 percent change since the last backup, the incremental backup time will be 20 times faster.

• Support for the new vStorage API – a VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) replacement. With VCB being discontinued, the vStorage API is the recommended API for VMware vSphere backup going forward. For example, the backup of vSphere

Fault Tolerant VMs will only be possible using the vStorage API. While Veeam is still committed to supporting VCB as long as our customers will require, native support for the vStorage API makes Veeam Backup & Replication the most future-proof solution currently available on the market.

• Support for virtual applications (vApp) for more flexibility with your job setup.

Near-real-time replication at a fraction of the cost In our continuing effort to provide the best VMware replication capabilities on the market, Veeam Backup & Replication 4.0 now leverages the new vSphere ESX(i) 4 functionality to provide much faster replication cycles. You can now schedule replication jobs to run as often as every few minutes, allowing you to achieve very low recovery point objectives in case of disaster, thus providing near-CDP (continuous data protection) protection at a fraction of the cost.

Unlike competitive solutions that require replicated VMs to run with open snapshots (which prevent Live Migration and DRS)

Veeam Backup & Replication does not have this requirement and instead uses new vSphere ESX(i) 4 APIs to achieve fast replication cycles. Veeam Backup & Replication also provides the ability to fail over to both current and earlier points in time in case of software corruption – functionality not available from other vendors.

Other Enhancements

Numerous additional enhancements requested by our customers are also included to make Veeam Backup & Replication even easier and more convenient to use:


• Hot VM copy. Veeam Backup & Replication 4.0 now features a new job type supporting scheduled full-image copies of running VMs to allow hot mirroring of your production environment to test lab storage, for datacenter migrations, or for ad-hoc backups.

• Safe snapshot removal. Veeam Backup & Replication now implements a safe snapshot removal technique to prevent production applications from timing out during helper snapshot commit. This makes Veeam Backup & Replication the only truly production-ready application able to perform hot image-level backups and replicas of large VMs with high disk I/O loads without affecting production applications.

• PowerShell access. You can now control all aspects of Veeam Backup & Replication via PowerShell scripts. This allows you to automate all Veeam Backup & Replication activities, such as job creation and control, changing settings and so on.

• New transactional backup storage, providing for better reliability, performance and improved compatibility with thirdparty hardware storage devices.

• Backup and replication jobs can now automatically fail over to network mode if direct storage access (SAN) mode is not available due to the storage infrastructure issues.

• VM log files are now automatically excluded from backup and replication to increase backup speed and decrease the Backup

• Backup storage disk space monitoring. The backup file location is now continuously monitored, with warnings logged whenever backup storage goes low on free disk space, providing advanced backup storage capacity planning.

• Full backup every N cycle. You can now configure jobs to optionally create full backups at defined intervals, instead of performing forever-incremental backup with synthetic building of the full restore file. A full backup can also be initiated manually from the user interface.


• Replica seeding. You can now optionally perform initial replication over removable storage, instead of having full replication traffic go over WAN.

• Disk exclusion for replication jobs. Similarly to backup job disk exclusion capabilities, you can now exclude specific disks from replication jobs as well.

User interface

• VM exclusion. Veeam Backup & Replication now provides the ability to exclude specific VMs or virtual infrastructure objects from your container-based backup and replication jobs for added flexibility.

• Multiple job creation wizard enhancements. Creating jobs is even easier than before with the new ability to search for objects based on a few letters from the name, seeing the size of your selected scope of objects, and the ability to estimate the required disk space for backups given your retention policy.

• Ability to change backup and replica destinations on existing jobs so you can move the destination without requiring a full backup from scratch.

• Ability to disable jobs. You can now temporarily disable a backup from running on schedule with a single click, without having to open job properties or clear the schedule.

• Ability to customize VM attribute used to store backup results (backup date and time, backup console name, and path to the backup file containing the specific VM) upon successful backup.

• Ability to perform Windows file-level restore directly to running Windows guest with a new built-in file-level restore.

• And many more minor enhancements requested by our valued customers.

August 27, 2009  3:37 PM

Windows 7 and RDP Color Depth Setting

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

With Windows 7 comes Remote Desktop v6.1.7600.

I have seen a lot of posts where people want to reduce the color depth to 256 colors, which is not allowed via the Display Tab – Colors. Doing some research i found that if you have a “saved” rdp connection, you can open it in notepad and modify a specific field to allow you to run in 256 colors or 8-bit.  See below for the example text, the rest is easy 🙂

Here is an unmodified RDP File, i only included the first 4 lines, as that is all that is relevant.

screen mode id:i:1
session bpp:i:15

Notice the session bpp:i:15, change the 15 to an 8(as below) and save the file. Re-run the RDP connection and you will now be in 256 colors or 8-bit.

screen mode id:i:2
use multimon:i:0
session bpp:i:8

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