Sunday, December 13, 2009

Exchange Installation Hell

I tried to install Exchange 2003 on a secondary server, and it prompted me for a "user name, domain, and password" for some exchange 5.5 administration account. I thought this was very odd as I had never installed Exchange 5.5 on this network.

Well, the fix was fairly simple, but finding it was a pain in the ass. Adapting the solution given at this page, I was able to fix it by doing this:

1. Open ADSI Edit and expand the "Configuration" node in the left pane.
2. Expand the Configuration Container -> CN=Configuration -> CN=Services -> CN=Microsoft Exchange -> CN=Organization -> CN=Administrative Groups
3. Right click the administrative group in which the affected Exchange 2003 server is a member, and then click Properties.
4. In the Select property to view list, select each of the following attributes:
- msExchLegacyAccount: [I set this to Administrator]
- msExchLegacyDomain: [I set this to the Windows NT domain name I was on]
- msExchLegacyPW: [I set this to the Administrator password]
- msExchEncryptedPassword [I left this unset]
5. Change the value of the msExchAdminGroupMode attribute from 2 to 0 (zero), which indicates a Native Administrative Group. [not sure if this was even necessary]

Then I logged off and on, reran setup, and it worked! I may have had to enter the Administrator password on that screen. I don't remember.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SSLSniff on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

I had a tough time compiling this program, but it turns out, all I needed to do was change one line in the Makefile:

sslsniff_LDFLAGS = -lssl -lboost_filesystem -lpthread -lboost_thread -llog4cpp


sslsniff_LDFLAGS = -lssl -lboost_filesystem-mt -lpthread -lboost_thread-mt -llog4cpp

This is because the program 'requires' libboost 1.35 and Karmic only allows you to use 1.34 or 1.38. I installed 1.38 by typing 'apt-get install libboost1.38-dev'.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Exempt status. I get paid a certain amount of money each year, and no matter how much I work, I get paid the same.

By exempt, I mean that I am exempt from being paid overtime. Normally this is just so that if, for example, a server goes out while I'm gone and there is an emergency, my employer won't have to worry about paying me while I bring it back up.

The trouble is, employers these days, especially in the IT industry, are using exempt status to avoid having to pay their employees for overtime. I don't mind working the extra hours- if I get paid for it. But what reason is there to work the extra hours and not get paid, when I can just get a second job that pays me for working more?

I was just told by my co-workers today that, in spite of me being told that I would regularly have to work 50 hours per week, I would probably be working closer to 70 hours per week. I am effectively going to be paid about half what an hourly worker would be paid in my position. And who wants to work 70 hours a week? Not me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Job + Apartment

I start a new job tomorrow as a level 2 network engineer. I'll be providing phone and email support to various companies who have server troubles.

I've spent the weekend moving into a new apartment that is 10 minutes away from work. It's very nice- I even have my own washer and dryer! I had to take a bath yesterday though because it didn't come with a shower curtain. Bathtubs are not designed for people who are 6 feet tall!

My neighbor has a really fast internet connection- 10Mbps down, 3Mbps up. And now, so do I. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Domain

I got a new domain name for my personal web site. To get it indexed on Google and help improve its PageRank, I am positing a link to it here. :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I had a Dell Vostro 1720 with bad RAM. It gave me a message when I turned it on that said "resource conflict- allocation error 0x02." Then when Windows XP tried to start it would either bluescreen or say that the file C:\Windows\System32\Config\SYSTEM was corrupted and that I would need to run the repair program on my Windows XP CD.

Fortunately, I was able to run the Dell diagnostics program and it told me that my RAM was bad. But the behavior was peculiar and unexpected- I thought it had a bad hard drive!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I went to a customer whose computer was "shutting itself off every day at 2:45pm." At first, I thought it was the backup power generator, but they said the monitor and other components stayed on.

After a while, I figured out the solution that should have been obvious: the fan was bad.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Remote Desktop Trouble

I've been having a problem connecting to Remote Desktop on my main workstation for a long time. The problem started in Windows XP SP2, then I upgraded to SP3 and it worked fine for a while, and then it stopped working again.

The problem was that whenever I tried to connect to it, the Remote Desktop client would immediately disconnect, without any error messages or event log entries.

The cause turned out to be my nVidia drivers:

Though I'd expect this problem to be solved with the latest driver, it seems it's existed atleast since May of 2008 and version 175.16.

The following is a quote from Nvidia's site:

"The root of the problem is that the session image space is too small and it can't load any more drivers into it. The session image space is shared for the display driver drivers and printer drivers. rdpdd = remote desktop protocol display driver.

You can fix this bug by increasing the size of the session image space via a registry key. Add the following key:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]


0x20 == 32 MB works on my system anyway."

I added that registry key, rebooted and now it works... I still have no clue why one day it would suddenly stop working but that fixed it and I'm happy with that.

Here is the full forum post

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Aircrack Injection (Part 2)

So it turns out the new Broadcom b43 drivers, since kernel 2.6.24, have a really nifty feature that allows you to create a new virtual interface to monitor data. And it supports injection out of the box!

To use it (I'm using Ubuntu), just type these commands:
sudo iw dev wmaster0 interface add mon0 type monitor
sudo ifconfig mon0 up

Now you can use airodump or your favorite monitor mode applications on mon0:
sudo airodump-ng mon0

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Office 2003 and Activesync and You

I was at a client's place today and she had Outlook 2003. I set her up with POP3 and tried to do a send/receive and it said "send/receive finished," but nothing happened. The test message I tried to send was still in the outbox, and the inbox was empty.

This problem also made it impossible for her to run Activesync with her Windows Mobile PDA. Whenever I tried to set it up, a message box would come up and tell me to install Outlook, run it once, and then run the synchronization wizard again.

Well, lo and behold, this was a known issue with Outlook 2003. A simple upgrade to Office 2003 SP3 fixed the problem.

Only took me 3 hours to figure it out!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Aircrack Injection (Part 1)

First of all, if you don't know, Aircrack is a program that's used to crack encryption keys of wireless networks. My laptop has a Broadcom 4306 chipset, which has been hacked to death by Linux developers.

Starting with kernel 2.6.24, a different driver is used for Broadcom chipsets (the older one was based on Intel drivers, the new one I believe is based on MadWifi). The drivers in the new kernel support injection out of the box, but the older ones do not. I previously spent a lot of time patching the older drivers to support injection, and it worked well, until I upgraded to the new kernel.

At first, injection only worked if I moved my laptop very close to the wireless AP. That problem appears to have been corrected in the new 2.6.27 kernel.

For a long time, I thought injection didn't work at all in the new kernel because I was doing it wrong: I was trying to authenticate with my access point at home, which uses no encryption. Apparently, the AP you authenticate with using Aircrack has to use WEP. Then today I tried authenticating on my neighbor's WEP-protected AP (just to test it, of course :) and it worked!

However, before doing that, I worked hard on making a live Ubuntu Gutsy CD that includes Aircrack, Kismet, and the patched drivers. So for anyone that wants it, you can download it here!


I was recently generously given two WiLife surveillance cameras. One of them has a power adapter that doesn't work, so only one camera is useful to me.

Unfortunately, it appears I can only access the camera using Logitech's proprietary software. Opening the powerline networking adapter in Wireshark shows TCP activity on a bunch of random ports, but I can't gleam any useful information.

If you've had success with third party software and this product, I'd like to hear about it.