Dealing with a corrupted self extraction file…

Recently I was confronted with a SharePoint 2007 problem (yes, they do exist) that caused me to dig deep in my bag of tricks to pull out information regarding a KB article that I had used in the past to solve the exact same AD FS / SharePoint integration issue. So off I went to to pull the KB article and pull down the appropriate Office 2007 patch.

It only took a few minutes to find trust old 970230. This article of course points to yet another support article to gain access to the hotfix which contains the cumulative update – 969413. So off I went to the self service portal to pull the patch down from Microsoft – quick, efficient, mostly sanitary and best of all, self service, what more could I ask for?

After a few moments waiting for the transfer to occur, I received notification from Internet Explorer 9 that the file had completed downloading and that it may not be safe to run a program that was directly downloaded from the Internet. I disregarded this, knowing the source and that I had specifically requested this file… so I double clicked it and much to my shagrin was greeted by Error Code 110 during self extraction. Not even greeted with a “Please give me your password” message… 😦


Bellevue, we have a problem, over.

The file extracted, but it was problematic and zero bytes for an executable never seems to work all that well when you’re trying to patch a productivity platform like Office 2007.


A few minutes later I was hitting up the SharePoint community on Twitter, asking the community if anyone happened to have access to it or a spare copy sitting on their hard drive.  Fortunately I received two quick responses, one from Todd Steele and another from Trevor Sullivan. And like that I was back up and running, applying the hotfix in my VM and testing it to ensure that it would remediate the behaviour of the issue faced.  Problem solved!  Amazing how the community can quickly work to help one another out.

But wait, there’s more!

A little while later, I received a note from Scott Hoag, mentioning that perhaps using 7 ZIP to reach around the self extraction tool would work.


Sure enough, using the extract using 7 ZIP functionality and I was prompted for password.  A few seconds later and I was the happy owner of 969413.


Thanks to all for the assists and for teaching me something new today with regard to 7 ZIP file extraction (as well as for providing a working copy from backup as well) 🙂


Off Topic Virtualization

What if Microsoft released Virtual PC x64?

Have you ever wondered why Microsoft has yet to release a 64 bit version of Virtual PC? I suppose it’s a question that most of us ask ourselves when we’re setting up an environment to develop code and we’re not too keen on paving our hefty notebooks to run Windows Server 2008 x64 with HyperV to install other VMs on top of it in support of our SharePoint 2010 instances.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft states that the Virtual PC software is more to assist small businesses…

Does Windows Virtual PC support 64-bit Windows XP as a guest operating system?

No. Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode was designed to help small business with application compatibility from Windows XP to Windows 7. The majority of business applications currently run on 32-bit versions of
Windows XP.


And yet, so many small businesses are adopting SharePoint, wouldn’t it seem like the natural fit to release a software package that can allow for 64-bit virtualization? And I bet that they could write a memory management module that would allow to go beyond what the 32-bit software operating system is typically bound to similar to Windows Server 2003 x86 Enterprise Edition’s ability to see up to 32 GB of RAM and address it as well.

I wonder if they did if it would look something like this:

VPC x64

I guess since it’s not yet available, we’ll go with the next best thing… 🙂


First Thoughts – Rackspace Cloud Windows Beta

Blazing fast.

There you have it folks, those are my first thoughts with regard to the Rackspace Cloud Windows Beta. Not only is the service fanatical in terms of the Rackers online ready to help out should you run into problems or happen to have a question pertaining to the different servers around the clock, the system is fast.

I thought I’d provision a few servers and within about three minutes they were up and operational. Further, for only having a minuscule amount of RAM dedicated, they still seem to be working pretty snappy.

Nonetheless, props to Rackspace for building out their cloud, this relationship just got interesting 🙂


VMWare Fusion 3.0 – Coming Soon

Similar to several other applications, with the introduction of Snow Leopard (Mac OSX 10.6) it’s all about optimization of processor cycles using the 64 bit architecture of the underlying Darwin platform.
With this upgrade it several software vendors are working expeditiously to release upgraded applications that better leverage memory and the platform.
For virtualization on the Mac, there are a few different solutions, my personal choice is VMWare Fusion which allows for the operation of virtual machines built with other VMware tools such as Workstation.
With the next iteration of the VMWare Fusion software, Windows 7 will be supported as a host operating system. More information?
On a side note, if you’re looking to use Windows Server 2008 x64 R2 and you’re still running VMware Fusion 2, Fusion will not be able to recognize your VM. Simply tell it that you’re running Windows Server 2008 x64 and your machine will boot up, ready for usage.


Amazon Web Services Management Console

Amazon has released their Web Services Management console, eliminating the need for plugins and third party products that are one off solutions for managing Amazon Web Services resources.  Primarily, EC2 has been simplified for end users.  No longer are novice users forced to use something like the Elasticfox plugin for Mozilla Firefox for EC2.  The console is completely web based and has the same functionality as that of Elasticfox with a little more refinement.


The console is available at:


It’s user interface is simple and easy to get around.  Nice work Amazon!

Infrastructure Virtualization

EC2 Tips for Windows users…

So I won’t claim to be an MCSE or someone that develops custom driver code when for some reason a newly installed components unsigned driver apparently doesn’t work and without it I won’t be able to experience true gigabit Ethernet throughput… but I do know a thing or two about scripting and API hacking.

Tip #1 – Download ElasticFox plugin for Mozilla Firefox

Tip #2 – Read through the ElasticFox Getting Started Guide

Tip #3 – Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

Tip #4 – Re-read Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

So as for me, I hit a road block until I realized that the API tools actually needed to be run from the host client that I was working from to make calls to the EC2 Cloud to perform any actions on the actual VM sitting in the cloud.

Essentially, what that means is that the API tools available here, are installed on your local machine. The path statements are set on your local machine and then the API tools can be used for simple things such as creating EBS or any other functionality of ElasticFox, but from the command line.

You are now free to roam the clouds… 🙂

Now Playing: Rory Stewart – The Places in Between (Unabridged)

Infrastructure Virtualization

More impressions on EC2

So what more could I ask for than to continue to experiment with the Windows virtual machines available from Amazon Web Services elastic computer cloud?

I could ask for more flexibility and ease of use… though I suppose it’s more just getting used to the way that Elasticfox works and how to connect machines together appropriately.

What is most amazing to me is the Elastic Block Storage capability – the ability to quickly spawn a hard drive for your virtual machine to consume as an additional physical device.  What’s better is the ability to take this hard drive, detach it and reattach it to the next machine – great for holding your ISOs that you’re using for your machines or if you need additional SQL database space, just spawn another disk.

Overall, I’m still working on getting things tweaked for my own personal development environment that I can turn on and off when away from my desk.  Initial impressions are fairly positive.

Now Playing: Rory Stewart – The Places in Between (Unabridged)


Amazon EC2 Dev Environment

So I figured that I would get my hands dirty with the AWS’s EC2 Windows servers for my development environment for SharePoint.  Can I just say that I’m blown away by the bandwidth that is available to these servers?

Running a quick speed test from I received a result back of 91458 kbps download speed and 67451 kbps upload speed.


Why carry your VM with you and accidently have a hard drive failure when you can host it in the clouds?

Now Playing: Charlie Haden & Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Land of the Sun – Fuiste Tu (It Was You)


Not quite Coke Zero…

Have you ever looked for something to zero out all of the frivolous extra space that Windows is “holding” for later use?  Then look no further friends, introducing SysInternals friendly and free “SDelete”.

Get your copy now, quick and easy… helps to shrink down those EC2 Windows images prior to bundling too. 🙂

Now Playing: The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out – Take Five


VMWare ESX 3.5i – Lenovo T61

BLUF – Attempted to load VMWare ESX 3.5i on a Lenovo T61. Failed to find device to write to in either AHCI or SATA Compatibility modes when attempting to use VMWare ESX Thin Installer.

So you’re not familiar with “BLUF”? Bottom Line Up Front…

Nonetheless, decided to attempt to pop in a spare 100 GB Seagate Momentus 7200 SATA hard drive into my Lenovo T61 Core 2 Duo laptop and attempt installation of the newly free VMWare ESX 3.5i software. Burned a copy of VMWare ESX 3.5i onto a CD and went from there, watching the ThinStaller make its way through the hardware compatibility list only to stop when it didn’t find the appropriate SCSI interface to load VMWare onto.

So lesson of the day – make sure that youv’e got a SCSI interface to allow VMWare ESX to continue its installation on your laptop if you’re hoping to use it as such. Good luck on finding a laptop with said interface 🙂