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Software Development Technology

AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server – 2 Quick Fixes

This morning I ran into a couple of issues with my local installation of AppFabric (which I use for dev and testing) and figured I would post the quick solutions here in the hope that it may save you some time in the future.

Issue #1

This was actually the issue that caused the second one (okay, I actually caused the second issue while trying to fix this one... +1 for BBTF* in the future):

What I ran:

C:\
$ use-cachecluster

The result:

use-cachecluster : ErrorCode<ERRCAdmin040>:SubStatus<ES0001>:Failed to connect to hosts in the cluster
At line:1 char:1
+ use-cachecluster
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Use-CacheCluster], DataCacheException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.ApplicationServer.Caching.DataCacheException, Microsoft.ApplicationServer.Caching.Commands.UseCacheClusterCommand

The fix

Make sure that the remote registry service (aptly named RemoteRegistry) is running; AppFabric uses this service to connect to the cache cluster (even locally):

net start RemoteRegistry

Issue #2

Trying to fix the above problem I figured that I had fouled up my installation with the application of some hotfix, CU, or some prerelease software (I did just install the Visual Studio 2013 preview along with .NET 4.5.1) so I figured I would back the AppFabric caching service out and reinstall it . . . wherein the reinstallation promptly failed returning the ever-so-helpful error: 1603.

The fix

What worked for me is correcting an environment variable that was fubar'd:

PSModulePath

An inadvertent " (double quote) had found its way into this entry; it was following the Workflow Manager path (C:\Program Files\Workflow Manager\1.0) but I'm not sure if this was coincidence or not as this was the last path in the string. Removing the offending double tick allowed the AppFabric installation to finish successfully while simultaneously allowing me to realize that I was back where I started with issue #1.

Did this help you? Let me know in the comments.

*Bing Before Trying Fix

Categories
Software Development Technology

AppFabric High Availability Cache Cluster on Windows Server 2012 Standard

Using AppFabric for Windows Server is a very solid choice for a distributed application cache back end for web farms. However when preparing to roll this out several weeks ago, I was met with an interesting problem: the High Availability features of AppFabric caching require you to be running Windows Server Enterprise edition or higher on all cluster nodes.



In initial planning for this environment, I was told by our SysAds that this was no problem, if we need Enterprise, we can have Enterprise. However, several weeks later, when I presented my architecture diagrams to the server team, I was told that there may be a slight snafu: Windows Server 2012 doesn't actually have an Enterprise edition and we are being prompted by our licensing consultants to not roll out any more Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise boxes either. We were not alone in this problem; it appears that this was a genuine oversight on Microsoft's part.

We finally put a call into Microsoft which (after about two weeks) ended with me opening a support request with Microsoft. Less than two hours after initially opening the support request, I received a call back which informed me that a solution was nigh! Microsoft had just released Cumulative Update 4 (I was only aware of CU2 - which is linked to on the AppFabric download page) which addresses this specific issue! It appears that CU4 was released on April 11, right around the time we resorted to calling Microsoft.

I installed CU4 yesterday afternoon and, at initial glance, it seems to have resolved the issues we were seeing. Stay tuned for another article about using AppFabric High Availability Caching to back your web farm.

Did this article help you? Let me know in the comments!

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Software Development Technology

Visual Studio Tools for Git + Default Source Control Provider

I've been test driving Microsoft's awesome new Visual Studio Tools for Git for since it was announced on January 30 and decided to take the plunge and make it the default source control provider when creating a new project. The problem is that my aim was apparently off and I left "Team Foundation Version Control" selected when I checked "Use the selected system when creating new projects in the future" and clicked OK. No problem, right? I started digging through Visual Studio's settings pages but came up blank when trying to find the obscure checkbox that will allow me to reset my inadvertent series of misclicks. AppData folders? Wrong again. Finally after slogging my way through the registry, I finally found the correct setting to change stored in the key ChooseSourceControlDefaultSccProvider located in \\HKCU\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\TeamFoundation\SourceControl\General. Setting this key back to "0" (it was set to "1") restores the dialog that allows you to select your source control provider when creating a new project. Piece of cake, right?

Did this help you? Is there an easier way to reset this? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. If you're a Git or TFS user and haven't tried the Visual Studio Tools for Git, why not?

Categories
Technology

Windows 8 + Cisco AnyConnect VPN

I'm bringing up a new workstation at home and decided to give Windows 8 a shot. I've been running it in a VM at work for some time now with (relatively) few issues and decided to violate my rule of not running pre-release software. So I went to VPN into work this evening and kept getting an error from the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client. At first I thought it was some sort of firewall issue, but this turned out not to be the case. After some digging, I came upon this blog post: http://www.tomontech.com/2012/03/pro-tip-cisco-anyconnect-vpn-client-and-windows-8-consumer-preview/, which basically has you modifying a registry setting. So, violating yet another rule of mine (not mucking around in the registry of my systems), I gave it a shot and WALLAH!* problem solved. In short, modify the registry value: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\vpnva and remove the nonsense at the beginning, leaving only the words: Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64. If this fixes your problem, head over to TomOnTech.com and give him some love.

 

*yes, I know it's "voilà" - this is a bit of an inside joke.

Categories
Software Development Technology

Telerik JustDecompile Awesomeness

If you've ever had the (dis?)pleasure of working with me, you know that I am a pretty big fan of the products of Telerik. JustCode and JustDecompile are two of my daily drivers (I didn't realize until JustNow that the title of this blog, JustKarp, JustHappens to match the marketing names of Telerik's productivity tools, I promise that this is JustACoincidence; sorry, I'll stop now). Anyways... I was adding JustDecompile to my External Tools list in Visual Studio today and discovered a second executable in JustDecompile's program directory: JustDecompileCmd.exe (located in %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Telerik\JustDecompile\Libraries). A little digging (OK, I just ran it) revealed that this is a command line version of the program - cool. It turns out that this feature is listed on the JustDecompile Features list on Telerik's website, but it really is downplayed (BTW, this currently only supports C#).

So, I ran the program again, this time pointing it at a .NET assembly (I chose a handy copy of the log4net library) and it spit out 215 files into the folder I specified (C:\log4net), all of which were organized into namespace folders, including a .csproj file that you can, of course, JustOpen (sorry, I can't help myself sometimes) in Visual Studio. The command looked like this:

JustDecompileCmd /target:"C:\log4net.dll" /out:"C:\log4net"

 

Pretty straightforward and Pure. Awesome. Great work Telerik!

P.S.
Here's what I did to add JustDecompile to the Visual Studio External Tools list

Go to: Tools > External Tools... > Add
Title: (Whatever you want)
Command: C:\Program Files (x86)\Telerik\JustDecompile\Libraries\JustDecompile.exe (of course, make this match your environment)
Arguments: $(ItemPath)
Initial directory: $(ItemDir)

Specifying $(ItemPath) & $(ItemDir) will start JustDecompile and attempt to decompile which ever file is highlighted in the Solution Explorer. I did this so I can just hit Show All Files and decompile any assembly in the project's bin.

In the spirit of full disclosure, while I do pay for Telerik subscriptions, as the leader of the Oklahoma City Developer's Group, I have also received complementary licenses of Telerik products as a part of their ongoing support of the .NET development community. This blog post was completely unsolicited by Telerik.

Categories
Software Development Technology

TFS 11 Express Beta Error TF400030

The other day I received this error when attempting to open a Team Project from Team Foundation Server 11 Express:

TF400030: The local metadata table could not be loaded because exclusive access could not be acquired.

So I fired my Concordance of Microsoft Error Messages (Google) and was ready for a quick resolution:

Your search - TF400030: The local metadata table could not be loaded because exclusive access could ... - did not match any documents.

Hmm...


I knew I hadn't changed anything on the server, nor had anyone else accessed the project since I was last working on it so I quickly ruled my server as the culprit. Then I remembered that my hosting provider (Softsys Hosting - a great hosting provider, by the way) was having hardware issues with the box that housed my VM and had migrated all the VMs on that box to some newer hardware the previous night.

A quick disconnect and reconnect to the project collection and TFS was back running hot, straight, and normal. I'm guessing that this is related to the new Local Workspaces feature in TFS 11.

If you're reading this, I'm guessing you may be seeing this error message right now; I hope this saves you a few minutes (and now I can close the browser tab with the search for the error message that I've been keeping open to remind me to blog about this).

Categories
Software Development Technology

TFSBuild Queued Build Stalled and Can’t Be Deleted

I was playing with the TFS Community Build Extensions (http://tfsbuildextensions.codeplex.com/) with the new TFS11 Express Beta and ran into a situation where I had a build that was stalled and wouldn't complete and couldn't be stopped. I figured I would use my go-to solution and rebooted my workstation. I opened Visual Studio after my box came back up and was surprised to see that TFSBuild had dutifully restarted the build.

The solution was quick and fairly painless (found here: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/tfsbuild/thread/ac6b2f20-42e9-462a-ba2e-a3f4bcfbc74d/) - in short: delete the queued build definition from the Build Queue table in the project collection's database (tbl_BuildQueue) and then restart the build agent (TFS Administration Console).

Categories
Software Development Technology

Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Explorer Express Beta Error

I am test driving the new (awesome) Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Explorer Express Beta; my initial review is that it is awesome (more to follow on this). However, I ran into an issue when installing it on a Windows Server 2008 R2 box (it installed just fine on a workstation). The install went smoothly but once I tried to perform certain configuration tasks I started receiving errors; attempting to open the TFS Web Access portal also returned a 500 (internal server error). After much, much tinkering, I finally discovered the solution:

- solution after the jump -


when TFS is installed, it configures the TFS application pools in IIS to allow 32-bit applications, changing this to false corrects the issue and allows the application to function. To do this: in IIS > Application Pools > [Select the app pool] > Advanced Settings > Enable 32-Bit Applications = False.

I checked on the workstation installation and it was already set to false, so it seems that the issue is more with the installation package than with the actual TFS product (which is awesome, by the way). I'm not certain what actually causes the installer to do this, but I'm guessing it's related to the installer's detection of the CPU capabilities and  the fact that the server is a virtual.

As a side note, if you want the details of this bug, you can find them on the Microsoft Connect website: https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/733759/tfs-11-express-server-error. I was working with Chandru, a Senior Dev with Microsoft who was also great to work with - if you read this, thanks for all your help Chandru!

If this helped you, please let me know in the comments!

Categories
Technology

Force Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Update

Last week I was pleasantly surprised to be notified by my phone (HTC HD7) that the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update was available. Of course being a cautious, patient end-user, I rushed to my desktop to sync my phone and installed the update. I've been impressed with Windows Phone 7 since I switched from the iPhone in February - it didn't have certain features I had grown accustomed to on my iPhone, but I reminded myself that the iPhone didn't have those features when I switched to it either. And sure enough, over time, Microsoft has made consistent improvements to the OS and has made it a real contender in the Mobile market. Now, I knew that I was going to be pleased with the features added by Mango, but I didn't think it was going to be a 100% improvement over an already decent platform. Somewhere during my raving about the added features and improved performance I realized that my wife's HD7 had yet to notify her of an available update. Hmm . . . trouble in K-Town.

After some searching I came upon the unlikely recommendations over at winrumors.com:

  1. Connect your Windows Phone to a PC and launch the Zune client
  2. Click on Phone/Settings/Update. Allow the software to tell you whether an update is available. If so, skip this guide. If not continue to the next step.
  3. Click the update button again, and this time immediately disconnect your computer from the internet (some people have better luck waiting 1-2 seconds). Do this by pulling the Ethernet cable, disabling Wi-Fi and ensuring there is no Internet connection.
  4. After around 30 seconds or so you should receive a notification that an update is available. This is 7392, a post-NoDo security update.
  5. Connect your machine back to the internet and continue with the update process through the Zune client
  6. After 7392 is fully installed, you may receive a notification that another update is available. If so, install Mango now. If not, proceed to the next step.
  7. If the second update isn’t popping up on its own, repeat steps 3-5, causing the 7403 update to appear.
  8. Install 7403
  9. After 7403 is installed, Zune should automatically start installing 7720, Mango. If it doesn’t happen automatically, force it using steps 3-5 once again
  10. Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” installed
It worked on the first try for me - my wife's phone is updated and my marriage is left intact. Now I'm just waiting for T-Mobile to release that firmware update to enable wifi sharing . . .
Check out the whole story at winrumors.com.
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Reason #92,038,238,392,192 to…

...secure your wireless access point:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110424/ap_on_hi_te/us_wi_fi_warning