Robert Marshall's Blog


Home for my ConfigMgr and Industry related ramblings


Owner of SMSMarshall Ltd, active Enterprise Management MVP

    • Tue, Feb 24 2009

    ConfigMgr: Site backup task failing due to VSS - SMS Writer issue

    Had a problem pop up on a down-level ConfigMgr Primary site server yesterday ... the backup was failing to complete successfully. To drill in to this problem, first I got SMSBKUP.LOG in to trace and tracked through the most recent backup until I could see the failure point: Error: Failed to backup \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy21\SMS\BackupTemp\SMSbkSiteRegSMS.dat up to Z:\SMSBCK\AAABackup\SiteServer...
    • Mon, Feb 23 2009

    WMUG Event - 19th of March (London, UK)

    The WMUG team have brought together the next event, and it's set for the 19th of March at Cardinal Place, London. Split in to the usual two session format, with a talk on System Centre Data Protection Manager by Stephen Porter (Storage Partner Manager EMEA – Microsoft Ltd), and then our own David Allen will be giving us the run down on OpMgr R2, with the boldy titled "Operations Manager 2007 R2 – The Future of Systems...
    • Mon, Feb 23 2009

    UK ConfigMgr Contractors

    I personally know it can be hard to line up the next contract, and sometimes you can sit on the sidelines for several weeks\months while waiting for something to come along. So, if you are a contracting SMS\ConfigMgr admin, with a good track record in using the products, live the UK and are always on the lookout for the next best thing ... give me a shout. I currently have a list of ConfigMgr Admins that I ping...
    • Mon, Feb 16 2009

    Windows Mobile 6.5 coming to a hand near you

    I've not seen it yet, just reading stuff on the world wide wait ... Microsoft on Monday made its latest bid to stem share loses in the mobile sector with a new version of its Windows Mobile software that includes an online store for third-party applications and also ties into a new cloud service for syncing mobile data. Presenting at the Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona, the Redmond-based software giant...
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Microsoft retail stores ...

    Bit of news on the Microsoft Retail Stores that will start springing up on the high street. And, a bit of tongue in cheek humour at how it will all work
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Example of tracing a Collection Evaluator error

    Every working day, first thing in the morning, I have to deal with a bucket load of hierarchy checks to make sure all is well. Sometimes you turn away from SMS and when you look back, its pretending to be dead! So, regular daily checks bring good Karma to the environment, especially if you have down-level admins making changes. During my run through in the morning, I note issues, and categorise them. This then forms...
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Happy Valentines weekend

    Well, its quickly approaching ... Have a happy Valentines weekend folks! Noticed on the way in to work that the price of roses has almost quadrupled!
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Purple since 1998

    Any of you seen in your travels around the internet? Visit it for a laugh, it's safe for work, and it's something I like to show folks once in a while as they just don't get it initially ... The Internet Archives way back machine began indexing this site in 1998, but a WHOIS shows the DNS was registered in 1994. its been doing the round for 15 years? WOW I feel old now!
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Microsoft: Conficker hacker, wanted Dead or Alive - Preferably alive, or you'll end up in court!

    Microsoft are fronting some $$$ to anyone that can point out who the Conficker worm creator is. Don't think bounty hunters around the world are going to rise to this, but maybe that one from the states, you know, Duane Chapman AKA The Dog could wade in, kick a few doors through, grill some hackers and ultimately hunt down this scourge. You're going down boy!
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Apple OS patch release on the 12th of Feb filled in some Arbitrary code execution holes

    On the 12th of Feb 2009 Apple released a slew of patches . Dotted in amongst the list are patches for issues that look very similiar to Windows bugs, such as "arbitrary code execution". I only blog about this to add another pebble to the debate regarding the safetly of OS's. I don't think anyone that is Pro-Apple can lambast MS for it's security holes anymore. That one-up-man-ship has to fall to the side, since...
    • Fri, Feb 13 2009

    Windows 7 up for release at the end of 2009?

    It looks like Windows 7 will RTM this side of Xmas! No one has officially said this, but Mark Russinovich dropped a huge hint in a webcast he did recently in reference to the technical aspects (Kernel ...) of Windows 7. Do hope the OS does go RTM. I cannot wait to swap out Vista, and boot Windows 7 as my main! As with all rumours, take with a pinch of salt until the goods are in front of us
    • Thu, Feb 12 2009

    ConfigMgr KB's for Jan 2009

    Here's the list of KB's that were released in Jan 2009 for ConfigMgr The SMS_Executive service process crashes on a Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 site server when you use Intel WS-MAN Translator to provision computers that are equipped with AMT 3.2.1 chipsets (960741) Describes a problem that is fixed in hotfix rollup package 960804. This problem causes the SMS_Executive service process to crash when you...
    • Tue, Feb 10 2009

    Most users only have 2 applications open?

    Microsoft is preparing us for the Slice and Dice of Windows 7 ... Here's some chatter about the Starter Edition, sigh! Obviously Windows 7 is going to get the same treatment as Vista, whereby they (MS) slice up the product in to different versions, making it more cost effective to own for those of us that type with one finger, don't know really use microsoft office much, and only run up to 3 applications at any one...
    • Mon, Feb 9 2009

    A politically blurred line on drug use in the UK ...

    Here's an article with the catchy title: Alcohol our favourite drug A quick sound bite from that site "Alcohol is our favourite drug. Most of us use it for enjoyment, but for some of us, drinking can become a serious problem. In fact, alcohol causes much more harm than illegal drugs like heroin and cannabis . It is a tranquilliser, it is addictive, and is the cause of many hospital admissions for physical illnesses...
    • Sun, Feb 8 2009

    A Windows 7 Experience on MONSTER

    A few weeks back I invested in a new machine for home use. It's called Monster. I thought the name was appropriate considering that it's not made by a box-shifter (Dell, HP, IBM Et al, AlienWare), but by me using some of the latest Video, motherboard and processor components. Ok, here are the individual components that make up the new machine. I didn't need to buy the keyboard, mouse, DVD-RW or LCD...
    • Fri, Feb 6 2009

    Microsoft fix-it button spreads across the Microsoft web domain

    Interesting tool from Microsoft: Common Windows problems could soon be solved by clicking a "Fix It" button. Microsoft has started putting the button on its web-based support pages that detail the most common problems hitting PC and Windows users. Clicking the button kicks off a download that, once run, carries out the series of steps needed to fix a specific problem or remove a bug. Microsoft also has plans...
    • Fri, Feb 6 2009

    Microsoft Surface and iPhone mashup

    Stimulant has created an interesting mashup between the iPhone and the Microsoft Surface , though the technology works with any phone. Source: I love this kind of stuff, I wish I had a Surface at home ... wish, wish, wish (anyone in the Surface team reading this?), like I REALLY WISH ONE WOULD BE DELIVERED TO MY HOUSE...
    • Tue, Feb 3 2009

    Replacing Notepad for collecting those temporary snippets of info

    I've been using Notepad for many a task over the years, one of which is a place to dump bits of info I collect across the day, or while i'm performing a task. Now, I've never used this replacement before, and am truely gobsmacked at how easy it is to use. Microsoft OneNote , which is part of the Microsoft Office product range is helping me to organise these snippets, and making it extremely easy for me to return to...
    • Mon, Feb 2 2009

    Snowing in London!

    When I woke this morning, there was an unusual silence in the air, no cars or buses passing by my house, streets almost empty of people, no birds singing ... Da Daaaah! The 3 inch snow-o-death had settled overnight, you know, the type of destructive snow that takes down (UK) infrastructure! Most bizarre thing about this morning was the subdued atmosphere, like how folk were walking around at a slow pace mostly...