UPDATE – FIX – “a website is trying to start a remote connection”

UPDATE!

Hi All,

If you’ve been following this thread, you’ve already seen my solution below to uninstall KB2592687 in order to remove the security error from RDP’ing into a Windows Server.

The real issue I was having was that my mRemote client wasn’t passing the “new” control that MSTSC is looking for.

The new updated solution (for me at least) was to stop using mRemote and start using mRemoteNG that can be downloaded at this hyperlink.

Please note the instructions on how to copy and paste the XML files needed to migrate your old mRemote connections to mRemoteNG.

This has stopped the error and you no longer have to uninstall KB2592687 to remove the error.

Cheers!~

 

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Hi All!

Recently I updated my workstation using Microsoft Update.  The next day , a curious thing started to happen.  When I was using mRemote to RDP into some servers, I started getting popups that said “a website is trying to start a remote connection”:

Figure 1

I would allow the process and connect normally.  However, this was beginning to get QUITE ANNOYING.  I found this blog on CodePlex that summarizes it nicely although it took me a while to find it.

Here’s the jist (from Microsoft):
This article discusses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 8.0 update that enables you to use the new Remote Desktop Services features. These features were introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 R2. These features are now available for computers that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

So there you have it.  “NEW FEATURE”.  I’ve since uninstalled and rebooted and am back to enjoying NOT having that feature.

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Cannot Uninstall VMware Workstation – The MSI ” Failed

Recently, I wanted to update my VMware Workstation version from 8.0.2 to version 8.0.4.  In order to do this you must uninstall the older version of VMware workstation first.  This is where the problems start to arise.

After a bit of prodding and preening, I found this VMware article:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1031302

Note the following:

Cause
This issue occurs when the Microsoft installer detects a problem with the installation process. This is not a VMware issue. (My emphasis)

There’s only one problem.  I’m able to install and uninstall other programs with impunity.  The ONLY one I can’t uninstall is VMware’s.  More on this later.

So I end up following all of the instructions in the VMware article to NO AVAIL.  Essentially a big waste of time.

Ultimately, I ended up performing the following to get back in business (note, changes to your registry can be detrimental…please backup your registry before performing and adds/deletes/changes):

  1. Found this VMware article (1308) and followed it.  http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1308
  2. Following the article was NOT enough.  Here’s the money fix:
  3. I,then, went into regedit and manually performed a search for “VMware Workstation”.  Then I deleted any keys that referenced “VMware Workstation”.  (You do have a backup of your registry before you try this, right?) That is, when you find the value of VMware workstation, delete the entire key above it.

    1. It’s imperative that you delete ALL of these registry keys you find as there is something that the VMware installer is querying and “thinks” is wrong.  I suspect something to do with ProgramData as well as the Uninstaller paths, but have no proof.
  4. I HAD to reboot (I tried running the 8.0.4 installer and it didn’t work).
  5. Once rebooted, I ran the Workstation 8.0.4 installer (again) which proceeded to properly uninstall the 8.0.2 version.
  6. It worked!
  7. Upon the 8.0.4 installation I received some weird installer errors, clicked OK through them, and ultimately, the new version is running properly.

Now, back to Vmware’s comment that “This is not a VMware issue.”

This is poppycock in my estimation.  There is clearly something in their programming of the MSI package that is screwy.  There should be some better error handling as well as descriptives as to what is being interrogated at failure.  I parsed through all the VMware logs i could think of and received NO direction as to the issue.  I ran Process Monitor and Process Explorer as well to see if there was anything sneaky going on.

So if you find yourself in a bind, I hope these steps help you.  They’ve worked on my workstation as well as another friend’s laptop.  Please post here if you’ve had success or failure or have found the root cause of the issue.

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Sysprep Errors with Server 2008R2, SkipRearm, and slmgr.vbs – SOLUTION

Have you run into an issue sysprepping  in your virtual or Citrix environment using Vista, Windows 7 or Server 2008 including R2?  Are you getting “Fatal Errors”?  Are you frustrated with the lack of Microsoft knowledge on how to fix the problem?  Or perhaps Microsoft’s lack of commitment to fixing the problem?  Well, look no further.

I’ve run into the same problem recently with my Server 2008 R2 x64 Standard image.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve updated it to include VMware Tools updates as well as various Microsoft updates.  Well, one thing I didn’t know what that Microsoft was keeping track of the “rearming” process.  They only give you three (unless you’re aware of it and can disable it early).

I first ran slmgr.vbs /dlv.  Within a few seconds I could clearly see that I had no rearms left.  Then I searched high and low and tried all the responses from Microsoft employees on the various Microsoft boards as well as some others.  No dice.

Then I was able to piece together a couple of articles and share them here.  Putting both together in the proper order SOLVED my issue.  First, credit is due to these two people/webpages:

  1. Tim at Microsoft – It’s the second entry down and his handle is “butim”.  Here’s the link: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversetup/thread/93944526-84e7-4740-a978-15f8c3d56096
    Note: You will need the code from his post
  2. Leonard from the OLEGM blog.  Here’s the link: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/leonard/perl/2011/07/sysprep-your-windows-os-for-more-than-3-times.html

OK, now that credits are out of the way, here’s the solution that FINALLY worked for me:

  1. I had indeed run out of “rearms” and slmgr.vbs /dlv showed 0 for the count.
  2. First, I created the “skiprearm.xml” that was a recommended approach in one of the other articles.  It didn’t work.  But hold on, because you’ll still need it later on.  That article can be found here: click here and you should copy and paste the code and store it where they want.
  3. Next, and this is the MONEYchange….you must check/edit 3 registry keys:
    1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\SysprepStatus\GeneralizationState\CleanupState:2
    2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\SysprepStatus\GeneralizationState\GeneralizationState:7
    3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\SkipRearm:1
  4. Next, Start -> Run : msdtc -uninstall (wait few seconds)
  5. Start -> Run : msdtc -install (wait few seconds)
  6. Restart the machine
  7. Check the registry for the right registry keys values sysprep with the new XML answerfile
  8. Run the following command from a command prompt:
    1. sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:c:\Windows\skiprearm.xml

It should now work for you.  And it makes sense because were changing anything Microsoft may have done by skipping rearm, changing the generalization state, then reinstalling MSDTC.

Please let me know if this works for you.

Take Care>>>Dustin

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VMware scripted installations kept dumping out of the installation for “no reason”

On a recent job, I was plagued with one of my ks.cfg scripts whereby everything would be getting configured, then BLAM-MO.  I’d get dumped to the login prompt with no further configuration taking place.

I correctly surmised that it was taking place around the creation of the vmkernel port for vMotion.  However, I incorrectly surmised that it was something to do with my vmkernel syntax.

After this happening about half a dozen times, I decided to fire up Snag-it’s video capture feature.  I captured the entire install up to the point of failure.  There was a “red blip” that happened when the install would fail.  However, it was so fast that the human eye couldn’t catch it.  I was hoping Snagit video capture would (I could’ve used Camtasia, but I wanted to try the built in snagit one.

Thanks to snagit, I finally saw the error and corrected my script. (It was a syntax problem, just nothing to do with configuring vmware networking as you’ll see).

In my scripting I create a bunch of “echo” comments in order for me to know where the script is during the build.  What I didn’t know is that you cannot have the “(” character in a “working” part of the script.  That is, you may use ( within comments, but you cannot use them when the interpreter actually runs them….EVEN in an echo statement.

Here’s the error:

The offending code was:
echo assigning IP address to vmknic withOUT Jumbo frames (removed -m 9000)

So I ended up just deleting the “(” and “)” in the echo command and viola:
echo assigning IP address to vmknic withOUT Jumbo frames removed -m 9000

Now the script works without issue.  I hope this helps anyone out there so you don’t spend days debugging it!

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Visio 2007 and 2010 drove me CRAZY when trying to print on larger paper – Solution!

So I was once again creating another deliverable for a client.  It was a fun project with all sorts of critical situations, problems with networking drivers and other networking issues.  Aside from that, the VMware environment was 100% 10Gb everywhere.  So I was creating my visio and then tried to print it
To be clear, I create poster size Visio’s using the Architectural “E” setting which is 34×44.  I don’t know exactly what that means other than I created a Visio on a large 34×44 setting and then tried to print it on that paper a little later.
1.  Visio Doc with Page Setup set to “E: 34 x 44” and Landscape chosen as well as “Fit to 1 sheet across and 1 sheet down.

2.  Same Visio doc with the proper Page Size set (Custom 44 x 34 with Landscape chosen):

3.  Next, since I have regular Adobe 8 installed (not just reader), I created a NEW PAPER size as shown below:

4.  Next, I made sure I had the custom scale setup.  The default is 1:1, but I had issues for some reason with this.  So I went to “custom” and made it 1:1 and ensured my page size as shown below:

5.  Next I went to the Visio Print Preview to ensure it “looked” like what I wanted.  Visio was fussy with me earlier.  However, this time it looked like what I wanted with the Visio fitting perfectly into my “paper” selection.  I’ll show a before and after: (I intentionally blurred it minus the title to keep information private):

Before pic
Before screenshot

After Screenshot 

After Screenshot

6.  Once it looked like what I wanted, I then proceeded to print using the following procedure of selecting “print” then choosing the Adobe PDF and “selected sheet”….this meant only 1 tab printed since my visio has multiple tabs:

7.  Then I made sure to click the Properties button for the Adobe PDF printer (to the right on the above pic) and ensure it had the custom paper size I created earlier:

8.  The I let Adobe PDF print it and had it printed as I wanted it in the size I wanted it:

9.  Now it’s ready to go to FedEx Kinkos for printing!  What a PITA, but hey, at least it’s working!

I hope this helps anyone else out there with similar issues.

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Huge issue with Windows XP3 and RRAS – RESOLVED!

Some of you know I work for Dell in the Global Professional Services division.  Because I work for a large entity, I get a laptop with a corporate image.  This image has all the apps I need to access internal Dell stuff.

Lately, I’ve been putting off a corporate mandated Service Pack 3 upgrade.  Why?  Because the upgrade completely hoses my RRAS stack.  Because of this, I can no longer VPN into the network (or VPN into my home network for that matter).  I also cannot use my broadband card built in.

There are many articles on the web about this problem.  Most of the Microsoft articles refer to a problem back in the XP Service Pack 1 days.  However, after the SP3 upgrade, I have those same symptoms: 

Those errors will bring up articles with all sorts of various solutions including but not limited to Deleting some of the numbered keys under EAP [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RasMan\PPP\EAP]; repermissioning Anonymous Login, etc.

None of those suggestions worked.  The RRAS stack was hosed and corrputed thanks to the SP3 update.  Now to be clear the initial “hosing” was done through an SMS package pushed by the corporate image team.  I thought there *might* be some tweaks they did to the package and decided to download the clean SP3 installer from Microsoft.  However, after installation and reboot, that didn’t fix anything either.

So my tech support internal to Dell had decided it wasn’t worth fixing and told me to upgrade to the Windows 7 corporate image….which BLOWS AWAY everything on my laptop and I would need to install literally hundreds of programs again….BLAH!

So this morning I was poking around once more and found this product:
XPLITE
I clicked on it and downloaded the free trial and ran it.  It showed that I could reinstall RRAS withOUT reinstalling the whole operating system.  The only problem was that I was using the free version and it just “showed” me the ability to remove and reinstall RRAS.  I would have to buy the pro for $40 to actually make the program do the work.  Here’s what I wanted it to do:

So, on a complete leap of faith, I purchased the program, ran it, deselected the RRAS component (and it chose some other tied in components) and rebooted.  Once rebooted I was able to select the checkbox for Routing and Remote Access Support (which then selected the other dependent components).  Then I had to find the Windows XP ISO (not the service pack one) and let it pull the files it needed.  After a reboot, voila!  I can now see my network connections and, more importantly, can now connect to all my VPN’s again:

Thank you XPLITE!!!!!!!

I hope this helps anyone else out with the same problem.  There is no need to reinstall XP.  Just purchase this tool, uninstall RRAS, reboot, reinstall RRAS, reboot, and you’re back in business.

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