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Category Archives: Work

So this is a quick blog for a frustrating issue, that is actually very easy to resolve.

If you are on Windows Server 2012, and you’ve had to reinstall WSUS for any reason and receive the following error in your tmp log after attempting to finalize the installation:

2013-02-20 16:04:17  Creating default subscription.

2013-02-20 16:04:17  Instantiating UpdateServer

2013-02-20 16:04:19  CreateDefaultSubscription failed. Exception: System.Net.WebException: The request failed with HTTP status 503: Service Unavailable.

   at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.ReadResponse(SoapClientMessage message, WebResponse response, Stream responseStream, Boolean asyncCall)

   at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.Invoke(String methodName, Object[] parameters)

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.ApiRemoting.GetServerVersion()

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.DatabaseAccess.AdminDataAccessProxy.GetServerVersion()

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.BaseApi.UpdateServer.CreateUpdateServer(String serverName, Boolean useSecureConnection, Int32 portNumber)

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Internal.BaseApi.UpdateServer..ctor(Boolean bypassApiRemoting)

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Setup.StartServer.StartServer.CreateDefaultSubscription()

2013-02-20 16:04:19  StartServer encountered errors. Exception=The request failed with HTTP status 503: Service Unavailable.

2013-02-20 16:04:19  Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.CommandException: Failed to start and configure the WSUS service

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.PostInstall.Run()

   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.PostInstall.Execute(String[] arguments)

It’s most likely an IIS issue.

Open the IIS console, delete the WSUS Site, and perform the post installation tasks again.

Something like that anyway….


I plan on posting more stuff in the future after things have normalized.


After GatherWriterMetadata SMS Writer status = FAILED_AT_PREPARE_BACKUP. SMS_SITE_BACKUP 2/4/2013 3:32:38 PM 8500 (0x2134)
Error: VSS_E_WRITERERROR_TIMEOUT. Error Code = 0x80,042,3f2. SMS_SITE_BACKUP 2/4/2013 3:32:38 PM 8500 (0x2134)

vssadmin list writers


hmmmm, it’s there.  Let me check the sms_site_sql_backup service on the database servers.

Ok, lets check our permissions on the servers to make sure machines have local admin, share permissions, and that they have SA rights.

Hmmm, are the backup components installed on the SQL nodes?

They are,  sorta, but aren’t installed on the static drives of our SQL server nodes, this is a problem…


It all starts with our old friend NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS


So make sure it’s where it needs to be, like on SAN drives.  Especially a SANS drive tied to SQL Cluster that will be failing over.  You don’t want to manually re-point components; but in case you do (or in our case NEED to)…. here’s how:

Get on every drive that DOESN’T need sms site components installed to them and place NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS in their root.

Now open your registry on the site server and go to:

hklm\Software\Microsoft\SMS\Components\SMS_SITE_COMPONENT_MANAGER\Multisite Component Servers\<servername>\Installation Directory

Change this path to the preferred static drive on the respective servers.  Now:

net stop sms_site_component_manager
net stop sms_executive
net start sms_site_component_manager

Now check sitecomp.log for your server name, verify the installation and connection.  Now lets check the local drives of the component sql server and verify the installation path we declared earlier.

Is it there?  If so, great, if not….

Open services and look for:

SMS_SITE_SQL_BACKUP_<site servername>

Go to properties and check it’s local path.

Stop the SMS_SITE_SQL_BACKUP_<site servername> service

Now open the registry and go to


Specify the local drive and path you wish to use and now move the contents from the previous service to it’s new home.

You’ll need to verify and do the same for the log files:

hklm\Software\Microsoft\SMS\Tracing\SMS_SITE_SQL_BACKUP<site servername>\TraceFilename


Start the SMS_SITE_SQL_BACKUP_<site servername> service

Rinse, and repeat until they are where they need to be, and finally perform and verify the backup completes:

(from the site server)

net start sms_site_backup

and watch the smsbkup.log

Props to MS PFE Sean MAHONEEEEEEY! For his assistance

The Belcher’s have officially moved into our new home, bought our new home, and have the interwebs back in our possession.

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time with CM12 now for work, and hopefully once my personal life dies down a bit, and I start getting back into a normal flow I’ll get some interesting CM12 content posted.

Until then!


I’ve updated the inventory enforcement script and post for anyone who utilizes it. It should be cleaner now as it only depends on wmi for the inventory actions.

Here’s the link back.

So in an attempt to quickly extract OS version and Service Pack for a few machines in an environment the idea was presented to pull the data from active directory. The properties exist so the logic seemed sound; and as we’ve discussed this before it’s a pretty easy task with the active directory module in PowerShell, and here’s the code:

$list = gc computers.txt
Import-Module ActiveDirectory
ForEach($item in $list){
                $ado = (get-adcomputer $item -Properties *)
                $pso = New-Object PSObject
$pso | Add-Member -Name "Computer Name" -MemberType NoteProperty `
		-Value $ado.CN
$pso | Add-Member -Name "Operating System" -MemberType NoteProperty `
		-Value $ado.OperatingSystem
$pso | Add-Member -Name "Service Pack" -MemberType NoteProperty `
		-Value $ado.OperatingSystemServicePack

Assuming for the sake of example the name of this script is, get-adservicepack.ps1, and you’ve got your computers.txt file with your computer names in it then we’d run it like this.

./get-adservicepack.ps1 | export-csv -NoTypeInformation MyAdOutput.csv

So what’s happening?

First, we’re taking the get-content command to pull data from a local text file “computers.txt” into a data object and then iterating through it sequentially.  We are then using the computer name as the lookup name with the get-adcomputer cmdlet along with all it’s ad properties and assign it to a variable called ado.

Now we create a PowerShell object and begin to give it some noteproperties with values pulled from our ad object we created from the ad cmdlet then echo it’s contents out by calling it.

When we run the script and pipe it’s output to export-csv –NoTypeInformation we are taking that output and putting it directly into a csv without any of the object information, otherwise it’s a tabled console output.

PowerShell is so boss sometimes…

Maybe we just do all this in one line?

gc computers.txt|ForEach-object{Get-ADComputer $_ -properties *|select -Property name,operatingsystem,operatingsystemservicepack}|export-csv -notypeinformation output.csv

Scroll that line, like a boss.

Gallery entry on Script Center if you want to rate it

So my free time has been spent lately helping with 2 children with walking pneumonia, 1 infant (perfectly healthy) working a full time job with more than a full time workload; and a lot of the cool, fun stuff I’m doing at work (in my opinion anyway)…. I can’t talk about here

.:: sadface ::.

(I still think my wife has been working harder than I have)

Trick or treating was fun, both Will and Maggie had a blast at their last Trunk or Treat @ HSBC, and run around their neighborhood.  Will was all go, all night; and Maggie was super fired up about her candy!  I was exhausted afterwards of course, but I was overjoyed to see their excitement!  Glad I got to TC this week.

As far as my gaming; I’ve been able to play a little bit of Borderlands 2 (not even 20 yet), and Torchlight 2 (wiped out my save so had to start over) which I have enjoyed.  AC3 was released, and Halo 4 is coming next Tuesday.  Alas, my consoles are packed for the move so I won’t be getting/playing them right away which pains me a bit.  I’d get AC3 for PC, but I have already played all the others on my PS3, so I wish to maintain that trend.

And for coding; I’ve been doing a fair amount of (windows) scripting lately, but nothing really ground breaking.  I did write a SQL to email script in both vbscript then re-wrote in PowerShell (since I was informed CDO will be depreciated in future releases of exchange) which I plan on sharing here in another post once I’ve scrubbed them.  They are actually jokingly easy to do, but very useful for anyone that hasn’t got a paid tool for this kind of thing.

In the short term I’m going to share a simple script to quickly gather OS service pack information from AD from a list of machines and dump it to a csv I wrote for a buddy of mine (seriously, in PowerShell this is crazy simple).

Expect to see that post around Monday or Tuesday; until then, have a good one and pray for us (or keep us in your thoughts).  There’s a lot going on, and we all feel a bit overwhelmed.

So we had another kid, that was already discussed previously.

However what has been going on now is home buying and selling, fortunately that has gone swimmingly (so far). We listed on a Friday, and got an offer on a Wendesday. We also found a home in Nashville on the same day, so it’s been a whirlwind.

Meanwhile I’m under heavy project loads right now and haven’t had time to post anything new.

The 9 traits of a veteran Unix Admin:

  1. Bold
  2. Pretentious
  3. Obfuscated
  4. Lazy x4
  5. Minimalist
  6. Condescending
  7. Inquisitive
  8. Exclusive
  9. Unyielding


Now the original article from 2011 I read for this made those traits sound a lot better, but ultimately that’s about right.

These aren’t inherently bad traits for a systems admin (some are though), but they obviously require some polish before being acceptable in the workplace, but I thought this was worth sharing with the community at large.


So August 10th I finalized interviews with, and had a verbal offer extended to me from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services, which I’ll refer to as Deloitte for simplicity sake from here on out.  I’ve since accepted the offer and will be relocating (back) to Nashville.  This chapter in our lives comes to a close here in Alabama as we move back home.  Thanks to all our friends we’ve made while we were here, we’ll miss you.

I will continue to be an SCCM Engineer but for a global data center (well larger globally than what I’ve done in the past).  Everything is a step forward, with minimal lateral movement thanks to Kinder Morgan stripping every perk away from my job once buying out El Paso.  I’m extremely excited about this new opportunity and will begin employment on Sept 10th.  We are gladly accepting any help moving if anyone is interested in providing it once everything here sells.

That’s about all I feel comfortable posting on my blog, if you are a close friend or relation and have any more questions, you have my phone number.