HP Proliant DL380 on Windows Server 2008, Driver Install… Epic FAIL!

I recently was hired as Manager of Information Technology for one of California’s largest importers and exporters of exotic rock; granite, marble and what not. After looking at our current infrastructure I knew I was going to have to bring some of my personal equipment. After the first week I decided we would begin the process of changing server operating systems over to windows 2008 server as rebuilding the entire network was going to be necessary. As I began the process I decided I would install windows 2008 server on my HP Proliant DL380 which was perfect for the new application server role. Windows 2008 installed perfectly with no problem until of course it came to installing the network utility drivers. I spent a good 2 hours looking for help on HP forums, Google and anything else we normally use as information specialists but ended up with nothing. I decided to continue looking for help and found nothing so I decided that I would simply try to run the driver installation in compatibility mode. After a bit of playing I was able to determine that Windows 2008 Server and 2008 Server R2 are somewhat considered different versions, after all the drivers would not install on regular R2 mode but had to dumb down the compatibility to Regular windows 2008 server. After this everything installed with no problem so I suggest if you’re installing Server 2008 R2 as an operating system make sure you install drivers as regular 2008 server through compatibility mode or else you will get the “this install could not complete because the correct operating system was not found” prompt.

Can’t Map Windows Server 2003 Network Drive on Windows 7, Enter Network Password Error :(

OK so I kept having this issue with a clients Windows 7 Ultimate PC, every time I would try to map a network drive it would ask me for 2 pairs of credentials. The Regular credentials and then the dreaded “enter network password” credential. Keep in mind that this is a business network so no clients have home groups setup.

Troubleshooting Steps: – Went to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings and made sure “Password Protected Sharing” was OFF.

– Still didn’t work. – This time I had to check our credentials manager and remove all old credentials it may have stored ( Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Credential Manager )

– Still Didn’t work WTF! right? At this point I was kinda annoyed and I decided to check the Network Policies on the local computer, TADAAAAAAAA :P

THE SOLUTION:

Start Menu Type run or cmd in search box

Type: secpol.msc

Go to Local Policies | Security Options and choose the “Network Security: LAN Manager Authentican Level” item Set it to “Send LM & NTLM use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated”

Reboot, Remap and everything should be good, enjoy :)

Hello To The Regulated Internet, The Death of Social Media

People now days have no idea that there is a storm coming. This storm is one that very few people know about and its coming fast. Laws are currently being presented and passed that is breaking down the very fabric which makes the internet so powerful. These laws are presented to us as part of “security” precautions but are really a double edged sword.

It is important that we do not let the government regulate the internet, in doing so we will give them the power to control our history our time and lives. Once a government controls the flow of information what will stop it from censoring it? What will stop it from controlling the truths and lies? Who will want to speak their mind, people will lose in the end as speaking out will become a possible crime. It’s a sad reality which every day seems to draw nearer. I still sit and ponder how people all around the US have no Idea that this is going on. They are too busy distracted by just about everything designed to distract them and its working.

So what will happen in the end? Will we be induced back to the monotheistic concept or will we be told once again the world is flat? The idea of controlled information is daunting and with great reason, If anyone can control information they control the histories of the world and as I have noticed, there is something wrong with them too.
Social media will be like being at a local bar with police officers at every table, and the bartender… you guessed it another police officer, for security purposes of course :P

Phishing Scams, Thank You Facebook Apps?

I’ve been around for a very long time. Phishing is one of the oldest traits on the www, using shady methods to obtain user info. In recent weeks I have noticed a escalation in Malicious Facebook Applications. Although this has a positive side it also has a negative, the negative sometimes being your information is stolen through a fake app designed to scrape your personal information. Who would want your person information right? How about data providers… who else could find a way to monetize user information, why not sell it to marketers? Marketers need an audience even though sometimes they aren’t listening. Large repositories of information are always sold online to buyers who need an target audience or demographic.

The Facebook App hack seems to work like this:

  • First you create a fake app through an account.
  • Once the App is completed you deploy it from the compromised account
  • A compromised account can be successfully harvested within 10 minutes at your local coffee shop
  • With the compromised account create an attractive Wall post; Want To Know Who Is Stalking Your Profile? Install this App Find Out Who!
  • Once a user installs the app, all there personal information has been scraped and possibly account hacked
    • This technique along with good bots can make quite the successful harvesting.

      Make sure you don’t just install an App because your friend installed it and has a wall post promoting it. Make sure you know enough about any app before installing it.
      Or else you will end up with lot’s of spam in your inbox and possibly your account suspended.

Virtualization Vs Physical Networks

Ok so in the next couple of weeks we will be undergoing projects that will lead us into the world of virtual environments, Virtual environments allow you utilize your hardware resources much more effectively allowing you to consolidate on hardware/server and power costs with out sacrificing funds to do it. In fact VMware offers their ESXi version free for IT professional to try. With the release of Windows Server 2008 Microsoft began to pay more attention to the world of virtualization with the introduction of MS Hypervisor (Their Version of Virtualization).
I have worked with both in the past and although Microsofts Hypervisor did not disappoint in performance it lacked in compatability, unlike its competitor VMware. VMware is definately the choice of the pro’s as it offers more in compatability allowing you to run both windows and linux/UNIX networks or if your soul desires an integration of both Linux and Window’s networks.
Scalability is no issue when running virtual networks as you can scale your resources on demand. Once these virtual networks reach a certain maturity they become Clouds, Clouds are  large virtual networks. Clouds have the ability to adjust environment resources on demand, leaving you the ability to control your resources on a much more detailed and intelligent level. Redundancy in virtualization is not a problem as VMware provides awesome tools that allows on demand restoration minimizing service downtime. So to make things short VMware is ahead in the game of virtualization so we are going to use VMware to build our first small cloud that will house our Mail, Database, Web, Dev and CRM server. I will use all open source software in my tutorials, I believe the world is better off sharing knowledge then it is from restricting access to it. In the end we will have saved thousands of dollars on power and software costs it will be cheaper to run your business because you wont need a server for every application type, only one running virtual environments that will perform just as good or better.