Windows 2008 Server R2. Shared printer won’t print

Problem:  
Got a call from a client saying that a specific printer that is shared on a 2008 server wasn’t printing jobs being sent to it.   Basically, they were disappearing into thin air.  I checked to make sure that it was printing to the correct IP address and that the printer was accessible via the IP and all check out fine.  I rebooted the printer and nothing would work as well; I even tried the old standby of restarting the spooler service without any luck.

Solution:
In a last ditch effort I created a new port with the same IP address but different name.   Presto!  It began to print again.  Something about the old port must have been corrupted because on the surface nothing had changed as for as properties of the port.  Has anyone else had this problem before?

 

HP Laptop, Windows 8.1 blank/black screen with cursor after logging in

Problem:  Brand new HP Laptop that, after one day of using it, would not completely login to the system, just leaving a black screen with a cursor.  I tried letting it sit there for an hour to see if it was hung up on a service but that didn’t work.  I tried to restore from a restore point but no restore points were created.

Solution:  I went into recovery mode by holding down the shift key while giving the computer the restart command in the menu.  Within recovery I did a “Refresh” your pc, which sets it almost to factory defaults but it does keep your personal files and settings and after about 10 min, the system rebooted and I was able to login without any issues.  There was a “Reset” pc option but that will delete all files and would have been my 2nd option if this wouldn’t have worked.

I’ve seen this issue on other sites and it had to do with the graphics card after upgrading.   Have you gone experienced this problem? If so, leave a comment and share your solution.

 

Boom Beach: Tips, Thoughts and Suggestions

Boom Beach is a fun and also can be an addictively expensive game!

I haven’t played a game like this so much since my days of staying up until 3:00 am with Age of Empires.  The crew that designed this game did a genius job into getting one so into a game that they are willing to pay to level up or progress.   I’m not willing to pay up to progress because I’m at a level where it would cost a ton.  So here I am writing something to pass the time while I wait for my troops to loaded.

Tips:

   Use of Diamonds:

  1. If you are just starting out, it isn’t a bad idea to purchase $5.00 worth of diamonds to, at least, get you going.  You’ll get the most bang for your buck.  As you level up, it gets way too expensive and I wouldn’t recommend wasting your money on the more expensive packages.
  2. Don’t waste your diamonds on finishing troop creation.  This preys on your impatience and you’ll end up spending money you didn’t want to.
  3. If you can, upgrade a building and use the diamonds to finish it.  You use a lot less to do the job or get as close as you can to upgrading and use the diamonds to get you over the top.
  4. If you have a big upgrade like a headquarters or even a sculptor, it is a good idea to save as many diamonds as possible to help you get over the hump.  You don’t lose diamonds when you get attacked so it’s they only resource, besides sculptures, that can’t be taken.  Be patient and don’t spend your diamonds on frivolous stuff like troop creation or speeding up the building of a resource.  This game is designed to prey on your impatience so beware!

   Other

  1. Upgrade your residences to the max as fast a possible.  You want to maximize your gold to explore new areas, upgrade and create troops
  2. When attacking, utilize the smoke bomb to a unit so it can be healed by your medic and  while not getting attacked by defenses.
  3. Offense or Defense?  Some put all their resources into defense but have no strong troops while others do the opposite.  I prefer to have a balance.  What is the sense of destroying other players villages, taking their resources just for someone else to easily take yours?
  4. Watch your replays and try to improve upon your defenses.   It’s impossible to defend against all the different types of attacks.  I setup my defenses to fend off warriors and smoke screens, only to get killed by tanks and medics for example.  I try to visualize different ways to attack my own base and change my defense accordingly.
  5. Max upgrade your vault as soon as you can.  There is no sense in having resources if they keep getting taken.  The Vault protects a percentage of your resources and will save you time when your working up for a big upgrade like headquarters.
  6. Consistently upgrade your landing crafts.  Doing this will increase your ability to have more troops.  If you let this fall behind, you will pay for it by not being able to attack anything until you have more capacity.  I like to upgrade before I go to bed so I don’t wait during my “play time”  I hate not being able to add troops while it’s upgrading.  Yet another way they prey on our impatience.

Suggestions to the creators:

  1. I would love to see better AI in the actions of the troops.  Let them make smarter decisions instead of getting shot up by a sniper while attacking a house.  *Maybe have an “intelligence” upgrade?
  2. How about letting us assign specifically who the medic pays attention to in a battle.   Maybe I want the medic to focus on the tanks no matter what and just leave the Heavy or Warrior alone, for example.
  3. The medics need to get out of the way.  Why can’t they move out of danger instead of sitting there healing each other until both are dead.
  4. Let us upgrade our resource bases to increase production
  5. How about letting us upgrade the ability to produce building, troops, etc.. faster.  Even if it has to be a Masterpiece Sculpture.

This is not a comprehensive list but a starting point that would like to add to.  What tips can you share with me?  Leave a comment  and share what you do.

What I’m using right now are 6 tanks, 3 medics and 12 warriors to clean everything up.  What do you use, what is your preference?

 

Retrospect 9.5: Cannot see Exchange 2010 mailboxes or databases

Problem:  I upgraded my retrospect backup software from 7.x to 9.5.  Upgrade went without issue until I tried my first backup.   When selecting the volumes for the Exchange Server, I was unable to see the databases and the mailboxes.  I got the following errors when trying to backup or expand the volumes:

  “Can’t track volumes, error -1 (unknown)

  Sorry, can’t list volumes on Exchange Mailboxes on “servername”  Error -1 (Unknown)

  Error on backup.  Can’t list volumes.  Exchange Server was empty (had no volumes)

I tried different backup users per retrospects user guide for the Exchange Server Agent.  I made sure .net 4.0 was installed on the backup server because it is mandatory to have it installed.  I was at a loss.

Solution:  .Net 4.0 needed to be installed on the Exchange Server as well.  I thought that it was but I was mistaken.  Once I installed .Net 4.0, I was able to browse the mailboxes and the databases.  Below is how I came to the solution:

I had to setup the debug logging within Retrospect by hitting CTRL – ALT and hit ‘p’ twice.  Within the window that popped up I had to change the “Trees and Volumes logging” to a value of 6.   Then I had to unlicense the Exchange Agent and close out Retrospect, re-open it and the re-license the Exchange Agent and the backup a shot.  Within the operations log, it was more detailed and  I saw that .Net 4.0 was needed on the Exchange Server.

Resources:

Retrospect Exchange Agent Manual

 

Windows 7: Cannot pin shortcut to taskbar

Problem:

When in a program, I will right click on the icon in the task bar and select “Pin this program to taskbar” and nothing happens.  I’ve tried dragging the shortcut to the taskbar as well and nothing happened.   It feels as if there is a security setting stopping me from doing this.  I am unable to uncheck “Lock the taskbar” as well.

*Note:  I will add that I cannot show hidden files as well on the hard drive.  Some of the solutions online point to CCleaner as being the culprit but I don’t have it installed.    This is actually a clean install that we imaged.

It was suggested to check the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced  registry folder because that holds settings for the shortcut bar and it’s missing. The only folder I can see is SessionInfo.  This part of the registry seems to hold all the settings to customize the profile like toolbars and such.

Solution:

With one computer I had earlier this week, all I had to do is delete the profiles and reboot.  I logged back and the profile was re-created. 

With my other laptop, I could not get the profiles to work properly. I even went as far as trying to import the registry entries that are missing but was getting an error of unable to access the file to import.  I eventually gave up and reinstalled the OS.  All is fine now.  

*I should note that the laptop was imaged using clonezilla and sysprep.  This was the first time using sysprep and I’m wondering if this is what caused the problem.  All of the computers imaged with the sysprep image had this problem.  Normally, we don’t use sysprep so this is the only variable that was different from other images.

I would still like to know if we can reverse this without reinstalling windows so if anyone has suggestions, please post them in the comments below.