macOS Server Phase Out

There has been consensus for some time that macOS Server has taken a back seat in the grand scheme of things and since then Apple released a guide at the beginning of summer designed to assist those to move key roles off of it as its only a matter of time before it is discontinued.  I remember days when there was an actual Apple Server OS which then turned into a Server app that can be installed on top of a macOS client OS and now that will be going away.  Here’s a link to the guide…check it out!

macOS-Server-Service-Migration-Guide

October 30th Apple Event Recap

 

As expected, Apple introduced new iPad Pros that are indeed very impressive but as an avid Mac user, I was pleased to see significant upgrades for the MacBook Air and especially the Mac Mini (my personal favorite!).  For years I have loved its design and versatility along with the ability to upgrade the RAM and hard drive (except for the 2014 model Ugh!).  Personally, I took it a step further and added two SSD drives to go with 16GB of RAM on my late 2012 i7 model which I still use plenty to this day.  I was so obsessed with getting the most of the my Mini that when 16GB DDR3 SODIMMs hit the marketplace, I wrote Apple numerous times asking that they release a firmware update that will allow for 32GB of RAM to be used especially since the Intel i7 CPU supports it.  I had lost all hope when I started seeing article after article saying that they may discontinue it but was ecstatic when this years rumors were confirmed true in that it would be getting a refresh in a big way!  I’m also happy that Apple is embracing what many people were using it for in that not only is it a good looking, space saving desktop, it also performs admirably as an home automation / multimedia file server!  Even though I do not have a pressing need for a new one, I will definitely direct those who are looking to upgrade to consider the new Mini and in the meantime try to find justification to buy one for myself!  Who says Christmas can’t come sooner rather than later…

Windows 10 disaster (part 2)!

As if things couldn’t get any worse for those who took the plunge and upgraded to version 1809, apparently now there’s reports of issues with ZIP files that Microsoft seemed to have been made aware of back in May! (Ugh!)

As stated by Kurt Mackie who writes for Redmond Magazine:

The problem with the October Update’s .ZIP capability, an internal file compression and decompression capability that’s built into Windows 10, was noted in a Reddit forum last week, but it’s only now acknowledged in a Microsoft community forum post. The problem affects users who tried copying zipped archive files to another folder without first unzipping the files, according to an explanation by Microsoft forum agent/moderator M. Hamer. In such cases, the copy operation seems to succeed but it actually fails.

What a mess!

CrashPlan for Home “End of Life”

Sad to see that one of the best backup solutions for home users is no longer available for use.  I remember when they first made the announcement that it will be going away last year and cannot believe that the day has come.  However, I’m pleased to see that they have partnered with Carbonite to help users transition to their service which while not perfect, is still pretty good.  It’s always better to have a backup than not have one at all!

 

Heads up Server Admins…watch out for these updates!

After three years of using System Center Configuration Manager, we are finally leveraging it to manage the security updates for our server collection and a significant part of that task is to ensure that we research as to whether there are any known issues with the updates that may potentially cause issues with our servers.  While browsing online for any problems that may have been documented with the October release of updates, I came across this post from Microsoft regarding three updates to look out for…

Other than that…good luck and Happy Patching!

Security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and 2016: October 9, 2018
When you try to manually install this security update in “normal mode” (not running the update as an administrator) by double-clicking the update file (.msp), some files are not correctly updated. When this issue occurs, you do not receive an error message or any indication that the security update was not correctly installed. Also, Outlook Web Access (OWA) and the Exchange Control Panel (ECP) may stop working. This issue occurs on servers that are using user account control (UAC). The issue occurs because the security update does not correctly stop certain Exchange-related services.
To avoid this issue, run the security update in elevated mode, as an administrator. To do this, right-click the update file, and then click Run as administrator.
This issue does not occur when you install the update from Microsoft Update.

October 9, 2018—KB4462917 (OS Build 14393.2551) – Windows 10, version 1607; Windows Server 2016
After installing this update, installing Window Server 2019 Key Management Service (KMS) host keys (CSVLK) on Window Server 2016 KMS hosts does not work as expected. Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

October 9, 2018—KB4462923 (Monthly Rollup) – Windows 7 Service Pack 1; Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
After you apply this update, the network interface controller may stop working on some client software configurations. This occurs because of an issue related to a missing file, oem<number>.inf. The exact problematic configurations are currently unknown.
[1] To locate the network device, launch devmgmt.msc. It may appear under Other Devices.
[2] To automatically rediscover the NIC and install drivers, select Scan for Hardware Changes from the Action menu.
Alternatively, install the drivers for the network device by right-clicking the device and choosing Update. Then choose Search automatically for updated driver software or Browse my computer for driver software.

Upcoming Apple Event on October 30th

 

As you may know already, Apple will be taking their traditional October unveiling of refreshed iPads and Macs outside of their California confines and heading to Brooklyn, NY!  Besides the aforementioned new iPad, it will be interesting to see which Macs get updated and will we have any notable surprises…

I know this may sound crazy to most of you but I’m excited to see if the rumors about the Mac Mini getting a refresh for the first time in four years is in the making.  I’m currently in the market for a new desktop and would jump at the first opportunity to buy a “Pro” version of it if its really in the works.

What do you look forward to you most from this event…

Ribeye Steak

Recently I was in the mood for a good steak and since it was on sale, I decided to pick some up.  People tend to get intimidated and think that the only way to get a good steak is to visit your local steakhouse but in reality all that’s needed is a cast iron skillet, steak seasoning, a trace amount of grapeseed oil, and some butter to top it off!  Follow these steps for a great steak that will be on par with any five star steakhouse but only cost you a fraction of the price!

  1. Heavily season the steak as you see fit.  You can use a store brand seasoning or you can create our own by blending salt, pepper, oregano, etc.
  2. Start heating our cast iron skillet and after one minute, pour a small amount of grapeseed oil that’s enough to cover the surface of the skillet.
  3. Wait until the oil starts to smoke and immediately place your steak in the center of the skillet.
  4. Cook the steak for 4 minutes on one side and then flip it over.
  5. Continue cooking the steak for an additional 2 minutes.  At this point, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and use a spoon to gather the melted butter and pour over the steak for 1 minute.
  6. Pick up the steak and sear all edges before removing (approx. 15 seconds).
  7. Let the steak sit for 10 minutes which will allow for the juices to abosrb back into the meat
  8. Serve and enjoy!

The finished product:

Data Loss Problem with Windows 10 v1809

What caused the Data Loss problem for those who installed Windows 10 v1809

Windows 10 v1809 October 2018 Update was hit by the worst bug till now. A lot of users who upgraded to it reported a loss of files from their user folder. It turned out to be a bug in Windows 10 Upgrade deleted those files because of what is Microsoft calling Known Folder Redirection (KFR) redirection issue. Microsoft is now rolling out a fixed version with ISO and Media Creation offerings, while those who have already updated to v1809 are getting a Cumulative Update 17763.55 (KB4464330) as part of the fix. Now let’s deep dive into what caused the data loss problem for those who installed Windows 10 v1809.

What caused the Data Loss in Windows 10 v1809

Known Folder Redirection is a technique which allows one to change the default location of folders like Downloads, Music, Documents, OneDrive, etc. to somewhere else on the PC without changing where they appear on the Windows Explorer.

When v1809 was under testing, a couple of users reported that when this technique was used, they had an extra copy of empty folder at those default location. Microsoft added a new set of code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders. This changed combined with another change to the update sequence, resulted in the deletion of the original “old” folder locations and their content, leaving only the new “active” folder intact.

Known Folder Redirection

What is even surprising to note is that this was a remote issue which was reported by a set of users while this version was with Insiders. Since Feedback Hub is based out of voting, this major issue was buried as it did not get many votes from all the users. Shared by @WithinRafael on Twitter, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft had it overlooked. IMO any issues which are around file deletion must be taken seriously.

Data Loss problem in Insiders

 

Windows Team adds further that the user files were deleted in the following situations:

  1. If the contents of c:\users\username\documents were not moved to D:\documents when the location was being changed,  then a user could also encounter this issue.
  2. When the user chose to redirect their folders to another folder on OneDrive but chose not to move existing files to new location. Since those files were not moved, October Update treated them as duplicate folders and deleted them.
  3. If Known Folder redirection was used using an early version of the OneDrive client with settings to turn on the Autosave feature. The client didn’t move the old files to the new location.

So if the files were left in the old location they where removed by the Update. Now here is what I am surprised at. Why did users choose to leave the files after migration to a new location? Secondly, why were they looking at these folders when they had already migrated to a new location?

On a related note – comments like these should cause concern to Microsoft:

The Win 10 updates are unpredictable. I’m scared to death each time the automatic updates (which I can not disable) happen. After an update one of more installed software stop working and need re-installing. I have no viruses or cracked software. The last Win 10 update corrupted the MBR (Master Boot Record) on my 2 laptops and 1 desktop. 3 computers done the same update at the same time and having corrupted MBRs is NOT a coincidence. Microsoft owes $900 just for this damage alone. i spent $300 for each computer to have the drives removed and put new drives in so I can keep my data that was not corrupted in the old hard drives. The “reset Win 10” without losing personal data function in the advanced settings was not working on all 3 computers. Thank God I had 3 spare SSDs as a backup, but it is such a hassle going through the old hard drives and saving all the data in different locations. I’m switching to MAC and ditching everything PC related – PERIOD!

If you lost your data files, you can try and recover those files.

Windows 10 v1809 October 2018 Update is now available for download again. If you wish to still play safe, you may defer the installation of this feature update.