Thursday, November 25, 2004

Slipstream XP SP2 to an unattended installation CD

AseLabs has a short article on building an XP CD that slipstreams XP SP2 on to an installation disk then does an unattended install of XP. 


Posted by Stevereno on 11/25 at 11:31 PM
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Internet Time setup for Windows 2003 SBS

I am in the process of moving SBS to a new hardware platform.

I wanted to setup the time service to find a reliable internet time server. This had been configured on the old server but it was hard for me to recall how this was done. Searching the Windows 2003 Server website revealed the following article How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server 2003. I started through the procedure in the section “Configuring the Windows Time service to use an external time source” until I reached step 4.

“4 b. In the right pane, right-click NtpServer, and then click Modify.”

The registry key called for in Step 4, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Services W32Time Parameters” did not have a data set in the right pane to modify called NtpServer, believing that the instruction were correct I added the REG_SZ data set including the time server DNS name appending it with “,0x1” as per the instructions.

Once I completed the instructions, I stopped and started w32tme service and figured that would take care of keeping the server time up to date.

It didn’t.

Afterwards I started seeing w32time service errors in my system log file and started investigating the problem.

Unable to pinpoint the problem right away I posted a request about it on the Windows 2003 SBS newsgroup.

Kevin Weilbacher, a SBS MVP came to the rescue with an article from the SBS FAQ by Mari?tte Knap called “How to fix time synchronization errors”

I realized the error. The default SBS NTP packet filter in ISA only allowed outgoing TCP requests on port 123. We need UDP send receive to remote port 123 in order for time synchronization to take place. Once I corrected the problem by adding the UDP packet filter, w32time service grabbed the data from the internet time source and was synced.

I picked a time server from the Microsoft article “A List of the Simple Network Time Protocol Time Servers That Are Available on the Internet” and hard coded it in the registry in step 4 referenced above. The instructions actually mention a “peer” file where you place a space separated file with a list of time servers to sync to but adding the DNS name of one time server is sufficient.

Now, happily, my Windows SBS 2003 Server is synced to a reliable time source. Since the server is a domain controller all the XP workstations will sync their time against the SBS box and everyone will be happy.

A word of caution, if you break the registry during edits it could bring disaster. Make sure to backup the registry before you modify it.  A system state backup should do the trick.


Posted by Stevereno on 11/25 at 11:06 PM
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Monday, November 22, 2004

Spyware Removal Tools

ARS Technica reviews five of the latest spyware removers. If you need a primer on the threat of spyware then check out Part 1 of the article.

Posted by Stevereno on 11/22 at 09:23 PM
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