All posts by Damien

Who am I? My name is Damien and I'm here in Melbourne, Australia. I'm an I.T. Manager, freelance Lighting Designer, Actor and the outdoor type. and occasionally I have free time... in which I enjoy long drives in the country.

Modifying USMT and KACE to capture Firefox settings and other specific programs

It’s that time in the hardware refresh cycle again where you have to replace laptops on mass, well at least it is for me.

Our main challenge was migrating users Firefox bookmarks and also the desire to capture Outlook signatures and auto-complete information without capturing all Office applications information (we wanted to start as fresh as possible).

I’ve never really dug in depth into the USMT and K2000 before now and I’ve found it in needed of a little massaging.


USMT Problem

The USMT definition XML file for applications (MigApp.xml) included with USMT 5.0 does provide support for many non Microsoft productions including Firefox, Chrome and Adobe Acrobat amongst other. The only problem is Microsoft hasn’t had the inclination to keep it up-to-date.

Thanks to some clues from fellow ITNinja Jegolf, I found that the MigApp.xml is hard coded to look for Mozilla Firefox 3 (hello cira 2008).


USMT FIX:
(assuming WAIK 8)

Edit the MigApp.xml files in both the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\User State Migration Tool\amd64” and “C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\User State Migration Tool\x86” folders.

The line to modify:

DEFAULT:
<condition>MigXmlHelper.DoesObjectExist(“Registry”,”%HklmWowSoftware%\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox 3.*\bin [PathToExe]”)</condition>

MODIFIED:
<condition>MigXmlHelper.DoesObjectExist(“Registry”,”%HklmWowSoftware%\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox *.*\bin [PathToExe]”)</condition>

After making these modifications, re-upload the USMT tool into the K2000.

Now if you choose the User Data tick box under Documents To Be Scanned in the K2000 USMT Scan Template, any version of Firefox will correctly be migrated.


Firefox specific migration (and other) without migrating ALL User Data

In the K2000 USMT Scan Template, if you tick User Data then it migrates anything in the MigApp.xml template which is anything from Firefox to all Office components to Acrobat etc etc.

This is not particularly helpful if you want to be more granular about what you take to ensure you don’t pass on redundant or out of date settings.

To customize the USMT Scan Template created in the K2000 is not as easy as it could be.

  1. Create a KACE USMT Scan Template and customize it with any visible settings but DO NOT tick User Data.

  2. Export this USMT Scan Template from the Package Management area of the K2000.

  3. Browse to the \restore Samba share and find the exported package.

  4. Extract the package with 7-Zip.

  5. Open the extracted file with notepad and copy the USMT XML component out to a new file.

    This begins with <Configuration> and ends with </Configuration>

    To add Firefox, you must add a new section to the file called Applications and within that section add the Firefox component. You can add this at the top directly below <Configuration>

    Example:
    <Configuration>
    <Applications>
    <component displayname=”Mozilla Firefox” migrate=”yes” ID=”http://www.microsoft.com/migration/1.0/migxmlext/migapp/mozilla firefox/settings”/>
    </Applications>

    You can also specifically add other components by adding them to the applications section so long as they exist in the MigApp.xml.

    For Outlook 2010 this would be:
    <component displayname=”Microsoft Office Outlook 2010″ migrate=”yes” ID=”http://www.microsoft.com/migration/1.0/migxmlext/migapp/microsoft office 2010/container/microsoft office outlook 2010/settings”/>


  6. Save this file with XML file extension.

  7. In the K2000, open your USMT Scan Template and under the Content Configuration tick Specify config file.

  8. Browse and select the XML file you created and then Save the USMT Scan Template.

When you reopen this USMT Scan Template, the K2000 shows it in the Template GUI format but as this GUI is not aware of the Applications section of the config file it won’t be displayed. It does however exist and modifying and saving the USMT Scan Template will not overwrite it (an export of the USMT Scan Template proves this).


So, what have we learned:

a) Microsoft didn’t bother fixing this Firefox version number hard coding in the MmigApp.xml file. This is possibly a problem for Chrome and other applications mentioned in it.

b) KACE USMT Scan Template GUI is not aware of Applications section of config file.

c) KACE USMT Scan Templates are ALL or nothing for applications. Granularity of applications already built into USMT (anything listed in MigApp.xml) would be better.

d) the ‘Specify config file’ option in the KACE USMT Scan Templates is ambiguous as to the required format of the config file. I only got this working when I exported a template from the KACE (thank KACE support as I wasn’t aware you could extract the packages) and copied the XML.
The ability to directly save an example config or the current config out for modification would make it simple to add customisation.

Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) hangs on VASA registration

(I may as well do something useful with this blog like add content Google can index to help people solve the same problems I’ve encountered in my day to day work.)

So we run Dell EqualLogic arrays at work and I’ve had a problem getting the storage provider to register with the VMware VASA service.

The Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager appliance (4.0.1) would hang with the message:
Waiting for VMware vCenter to register with the VASA Provider

After much troubleshooting with Dell ProSupport we found the issue was related to expired certificates in the Java services used by VMware.

There are two knowledge base articles you should refer to confirm and fix this problem.

DELL: in VSM prior to 4.0.1 there was a certificate distributed as part of the included JDK that expired in 2013.
Dell released a knowledge base article on how to fix this.
VSM fails to register with the VASA service on vCenter

In my case, is was the certificate on the VMware side that was expired. When looking in the VSM logs, the engineer only had the certificate date to go by as the name was not listed.
This matched the expired certificate we found when following the VMware knowledge base article on the issue.
Registering a VASA provider with vCenter Server fails and reports the error: InvalidCertificate (2079087)

Bug: The Dell VSM appliance doesn’t timeout or fail if it can’t register with VASA. It remains stuck in a retry loop. Ctl+C does stop it and show a failed message and point to a log file. However VASA is then reported as SET in the VSM console.
Hopefully this is fixed in future releases

Bug: Expired VMware certificate. I don’t believe I missed anything in the upgrade documentation whilst upgrading vCenter from 5.0 to 5.1 then 5.5 over the last 18 months.
Should VMware have flagged this during these processes or updated this certificate?

Phone phishing / fraud still going strong

Well it seems that phone phishing is sadly alive and rampant in Australia.

Yet another client reported they had been cold called by a company, name given as Global Computer Solutions, claiming their computer had errors.
They mentioned that Microsoft had passed on information to them that this persons computer had errors on it along with their contact details.
Of course anyone with some privacy wits about them would know that Microsoft would probably be breaching numerous privacy laws if this was the case. Come to think of it, when was the last time you bought a computer and registered Microsoft Windows with Microsoft (eg giving them your personal details)?

When challenged as to their identity, the caller gave their name and a number that could be called to verify who they were. Funnily enought they have a Melbourne office.
Well, not really, they just have a Melbourne number: 03 90160451 which I suspect just redirect back to India where the call centre is. (am I suspecting too much?)

Using my trusty friend Google, I see that this phone number is listed on two other computer repair websites.
http://azurepcsolutions.com
http://homepcsolution.com
Funnily enough they have other numbers for other countries and also, gee, the company’s addres is in West Bengal, India.

I’d really like to hope that the ACCC and the phone companys would jump on these companys and disconnect their services promptly. (or at least their local services)

Graham Cluley and his guest Sean Richmond discussed this very issue on a podcast.
Check it out, it’s not very long.

(Sophos 05 November 2010, duration 6:15 minutes, size 4.5MBytes)

In fact I reccomend you use the Sophos Naked Security blog as a trusted source of information about security related issues in the IT world, covering Facebook and Twitter to general security issues and news.
They make it very accessable for all user levels. They’re on Facebook too.

To those in the IT industry or those that have some web sense, these scams are nothing new. To those that are new to this, I hope this helps educate you.
To Google, I hope this helps add to the information that is already out there about these frauds to assist those looking for information.

Hello, this is a phishy call.

And that number again just to make sure Google picks it up: 03 9016 0451 0390160451

Roadtrip stats

And so the roadtrip 2011 has ended.

Here are some stats for you.

10,603 Km travelled

1,040 Litres of Fuel
$1,669 spent on fuel

9.8 litres per 100km, average

Most expensive fuel, $2.05 per litre (Balladonia WA ?)
Average fuel price, $1.60 per litre

Number of times tyres inflated and deflated, approximately a dozen.

497.7 gigabytes of video footage shot by the car cam
160+ hours of video footage shot by the car cam

1690 photos taken (Stephen probably took 5 times as many)

Number of times Stephen slept in the car, approximately a dozen.

Number of bottles of wine purchased, 16.

Day 21 – follow the smell of the coffee


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The final day in the roadtrip first took us east, back across the boarder to Mildura. Today was another 700 odd km day but we did make a few stops. We stopped in Mildura down at Lock 11 where we found it currently not active due to the river level being so high. I didn’t release the weir on the other side of the island (Lock Island) is completely removable. It’s currently up on dry land possibly looking like it’s having some repairs done to it.

Next stop was for lunch in Sea Lake and my first decent coffee in 3 weeks. Why does coffee just taste better in Victoria?

After another seemingly endless  straight road, we arrived in Whycheproof which has the distinction of being the only town in Victoria where a train travels down the main street. I’m pretty sure that I travelled on a SteamRail trip about 15 years ago that did exactly that. It’s hard to find any information confirming that the line is currently in use, although in the past few years it seems it has been for grain transport. There is a K series locomotive on static display next to the old turntable and they’ve restored the station building.

Next stop wasn’t until Bendigo for fuel and then on to Melbourne.

Sections of the road today were rolling fields of tumbling grass or weed. It was almost like driving through snow with drifts of this stuff piled up against fences and along the side of the road. It made the drive a lot more scenic that it otherwise would have been.

vlcsnap-2011-03-27-00h20m13s176

Day 20 – Trains, Grain and Jet Planes


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Today was the second last day of this epic roadtrip and to be honest, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve been away for three weeks.
Much of todays driving did seem to be going through grain country again although that turned into pasture and then fruit tree and vine.

First detour today was up to Quorn, heading through the Pichi Richi Pass beside the Pichi Richi Railway. I did go on the railway many years ago, but can’t remember much accept for Woolshed Flat where the engine is turned around using a triangle. (think triangle but with inward curving sides)
I’d forgotten how beautiful the terrain is through the pass. I guess that’s the whole Flinders Ranges. I’ll have to get that into another trip and next time when the train is running.

vlcsnap-2011-03-24-23h43m42s44Back south, we headed into the Mount Remarkable National Park to check out the Alligator Gorge. A dull day for gorge visiting and absolutely no-one else there. It also seems to be the park of upside-down speed bumps.

 

 

 

 

I thought we might be heading down through the Barossa Valley today on mission to find big things but didn’t get that far. We did however journey through the Clare Valley which is also wine country (Although Annie’s Lane is the only winery I recognised).
I was surprised to see an F/A 18 Super Hornet fly over (it certainly looked like the super hornet) as we drove through the valley. I assume it was flying out of RAAF Edinburgh as part of the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) based there.

Todays primary big or giant object was the Big Miner in Kapunda. We found him and also found out that Kapunda is claimed to be Australia’s first mining town with the copper being mined there from 1842 until 1879.

From the Clare Valley all the way up to Morgan we seemed to be following old railway lines in various states from just the reservation existing to rails still existing. I get the impression this area used to be very rail heavy with three different gauge railways operating.

In Morgan we met the mighty Murray River and I must say I’m impressed at how high it is (certainly the highest I can ever remember seeing it).
We crossed the river by car ferry at Cadell and continued following the river through Ramco and Waikerie where we joined the Sturt Highway. Here we unexpectedly found another big object in the form of a giant Orange Tree. From a distance, my first comment was “the big diseased fruit”.

Driving onwards, we were really in fruit country, driving through endless landscapes of fruit trees. This lead us into Berri, known for its fruit juice company but also evidently Australia’s biggest winery, Berri Estate. (on their sign) ? I’ve never heard of them.
Our primary mission in Berri was to find the Big Orange. Once again using vague directions and knowing that the fabled orange was now closed, we set about looking anyway. Success!

We’re now in Renmark for the night, a town (probably like many on the Murray) that has lots of houseboats.

Tomorrow onto more of the Murray and finally home.

Domain registration SPAM / SCAM

Unsurprisingly I’ve received a SPAM / SCAM email that at first glance looks like a domain registration renewal, but a closer inspection reveals “This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your search engine registration”.

Have I missed something? When did you need to register for search engines?

Anyway, this is here more as search engine fodder. I figure the more people that report this, the more likely it will appear in Google for those checking the authenticity of an email. (and I’m not the only one reporting this, others have too)

According to WHOIS, the SCAMMER appears to be Mark Denaro, [email protected].

The domain being used in the SCAM emails is http://domainregistrat.com which when visited without the unique path, redirects you to http://iglobalmerchantservices.com/contact which seems to be a merchant services company. I don’t think I’d trust them.

The full WHOIS record (which is where he is scrapping your details from) is:

Domain Name: DOMAINREGISTRAT.COM
Registrar: MONIKER

Registrant [2949841]:
        Mark Denaro [email protected]
        RG
        200 Park Avenue South
        New York
        NY
        10003
        US

Administrative Contact [2949841]:
        Mark Denaro [email protected]
        RG
        200 Park Avenue South
        New York
        NY
        10003
        US
        Phone: +1.13474605327

Billing Contact [2949841]:
        Mark Denaro [email protected]
        RG
        200 Park Avenue South
        New York
        NY
        10003
        US
        Phone: +1.13474605327

Technical Contact [2949841]:
        Mark Denaro [email protected]
        RG
        200 Park Avenue South
        New York
        NY
        10003
        US
        Phone: +1.13474605327

Domain servers in listed order:

        NS1.WORLDWIDEPROMOTING.COM
        NS2.WORLDWIDEPROMOTING.COM

        Record created on:        2010-07-20 20:08:08.0
        Database last updated on: 2010-12-03 15:08:52.487
        Domain Expires on:        2011-07-20 20:08:09.0

Original email:

Attention: Important Notice

Domain Name: YOURDOMAINHERE.COM

Bill To: SURNAMEHERE, FIRSTNAMEHERE Invoice # 1300958085
Address from WHOIS record Invoice Date Mar 24, 2011
Terms Net 15
POSTCODE – US Due Date Apr 8, 2011
P.O. #

SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT

Domain Name Registration Price Term
YOURDOMAINHERE.COM Mar 24, 2011 – Mar 24, 2012 $75.00 1 Year
Attn SURNAMEHERE, FIRSTNAMEHERE

This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your search engine registration for YOURDOMAINHERE.COM.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by Apr 8, 2011 may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Your registration includes search engine submission for YOURDOMAINHERE.COM for 1 year. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer by Apr 8, 2011. This notice is not an invoice. It is a courtesy reminder to register YOURDOMAINHERE.COM for search engine listing so that your customers can locate you on the web.

This Offer for YOURDOMAINHERE.COM will expire on Apr 8, 2011. Act today!

For Domain Name:
YOURDOMAINHERE.COM

Click here to unsubscribe

Day 17 – 19 – Rock-eting along the road.

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The last three days have seen us cover over 2000km on our journey towards home. That’s the problem when you travel so far, you have to travel back.
Day 18 was the longest by far at over 1000km.

Day 17, we did a two and a half hour tour of the KCGM Superpit which was very interesting. Although we didn’t get right into the superpit, we did get to some of the internal lookouts and get to see the vehicles and buildings up close.

CAT 793F Truck

After hanging around for the disappointing 1pm blast in the superpit, we got on the, largely boring, road to Balladonia.
One very pleasant place we detoured into is Newman Rock. If I drove back to Perth, I’d definitely camp here. I could have happily stayed a while longer watching the two ducks in the pond.

a pond at Newman Rock

Day 18 was just driving. We did detour about 20km along the old road (now a track) into Eucla before arriving in Ceduna for the night.

Eucla 1
View from Eucla over the plain.

Sunset along the Ceduna jetty. (for a better shot, see Stephen’s photo here)
IMG_1176

Day 19, we drove down around Thevenard and then headed back to the Eyre Highway. After some km’s we detoured back on the dirt down south to Murphy’s Haystacks and then back north-east to the Eyre again.

We detoured north from Minnipa to a bunch of rocks, namely Pildappa Rock.

IMG_1178This seems to be Wave Rock’s lesser know cousin and although not quiet as impressive, it is still pretty interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

View from the top.
Pildappa Rock

The other rock we went to was Mt Wudinna which is claimed to be the second largest rock in Australia.

Now in Port Augusta for the second last night of the trip.

Day 16 – a lazy Kalgoorlie Sunday


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Today really was a lazy day. We left the motel around midday and went down to Boulder to look at the monthly market day.

Doing some research last night, we found out that many of the museums in Boulder are currently closed due to earthquake damage. Evidently there was an earthquake on the 20th April 2010 that caused damaged to many historic buildings. (we had wondered why we saw so many with scaffolding around them)
This did make it a pretty short stroll around town and was disappointing as I was hoping to see the historic Philip Goatcher Curtain in the town hall.

Palace Theatre BoulderBoulder Town Hall
The art deco styled Palace Theatre and the Boulder Town Hall.

Some of the classic cars offering rides to raise money for the local cancer charity.
IMG_0931IMG_0934

The other item on list for the lazy day was the Mining Hall of Fame, but before that, the superpit lookout once again.

KCGM Superpit

Mining Hall of Fame
The Mining Hall of Fame attraction in Kalgoorlie.

IMG_0992

 

The huge CAT 793C dump truck on display. We did a guided tour up onto the cab deck. Some of the wear marks and bends in the steel were impressive. The rocks in the mine must be incredibly heavy to cause the damage.

 

The other attraction that we primary went for was the gold pour. A KCGM employee who also works at the Hall of Fame, talked about the process to extract the gold out of the rock and then performed a gold pour into an ingot. In this case, it was only 35% gold (65% copper) as insurance companies won’t let them do a higher percentage.

Gold pourGold! well 35% gold.

The actual Mining Hall of Fame building must still be a work in progress as it had some large areas basically empty.

Tomorrow morning we go on a 2.5 hour tour of the Superpit and associated areas.

Day 15 – Gold country

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Today’s journey was a relatively short trip to Kalgoorlie, however in our usual style, we found plenty of detours to make the journey take a little longer.

We headed via another huge rock formation called The Humps and up the 170km road to Marvel Loch. This is basically a small mining town with plenty of old abandoned mines around along with a few decent sized open cut mines that are still active.
After Marvel Loch, we took a track out to the abandoned May Queen Mine and on the track drove through a large spider web, with large spider included. (I moment I wish I had the video running at 60 fps.)

After a fuel stop (for us, not the car) in Southern Cross, we headed along the Great Eastern Highway to Pumping Station number 6. This is the ruins of one of the historic pumping stations that was part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. This scheme delivered water via a huge pipeline to the towns of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It’s still in use today but utilizing modern pumping stations.

Goldfields Water Scheme, Pumping Station No.6Stumpy tail lizard
The pumping station and one of the locals.

From the pumping station, we followed the pipeline for about 5km before getting back down to the main road. Next side trip was the Karalee Dam and Rock.
Once again, this rock had been used to collect water and this time a long iron aqueduct had been constructed between the rock and dam.

IMG_0876IMG_0880

Following on from this, we detoured beside the pipeline again between Woolgangie and the No.8 pumping station along the Golden Pipeline Trail.

Getting to Coolgardie, we stopped past the old railway station and an abandoned opencut mine.

IMG_0887

We are now in Kalgoorlie for the next two nights where we’ll be checking out the Boulder Market Day and then doing a tour of the KCGM Superpit gold mine (Largest opencut in Australia). We did stop by the lookout and take few shots just after sunset. Absolutely huge.

IMG_0912