Tech Corner


2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

WSUS Tweak - Apr 23
Recently I was in the SCCM Console and I noticed that the last Software Updates synchronization attempt had failed.

I checked the Component Status and sure enough WSUS was showing errors. I looked at the messages and there were a bunch listed - 'WSUS Synchronization Failed. WSUS server not configured', 'HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable.' and so on. I checked and the service was definitely running, so that wasn't the problem. I then went into IIS Manager and noticed that the WsusPool Application Pool was in a stopped state. So I restarted it.

Application Pool

Application Pool Settings

I then tried to initiate another synch and after awhile it again failed and once again the Application Pool was stopped. At this point I went to Google and found numerous posts related to this issue. In almost every article they mentioned going into the Advanced Settings for the pool and bumping up the Private Memory Limit from the default to 4GB or even 8GB and then restarting the pool.

Even setting it at 8GB didn't resolve the issue however. It was at this point I broke out Task Manager and watched the memory usage of the w3wp.exe process after the pool was restarted. Sure enough it just went over 8GB. So I then found an article that said by setting the value to 0 you would allow it to use as much memory as it needed.

After doing that Synchronization was once again working!

Garage Boost - Mar 18
Originally I had a 32" Sony TV in the garage which was the smallest TV you could get that would still output 1080p. It was fine, but the sound it produced was pathetic as are most flat panel televisions.

So I ended up replacing it with a larger 40" Sony KDL-40W700C model and with the larger size the speaker output was increased correspondingly. For the most part I was happy with how it sounded as it was mostly just TV shows I was watching.

Ever since we got the basement home theatre done my beloved Laserdisc player had been sitting neglected in a corner of the media room. There simply wasn't room in the media rack for it. So eventually I decided I would just hook it up to the garage TV whenever I felt the urge to spin up a disc. I bought a composite to HDMI adapter and was able to once again watch my LD's.

But again, the sound was horrible. I had to almost max out the volume to listen to movies at anything approaching what I was used to. After much thought I decided to bite the bullet and buy a soundbar. As I already had a Sonos system I went with their Playbar product which had really good reviews.

There wasn't much to the packaging. Just a quick setup guide, manual, power cord, optical cord and the speaker itself. The included optical cable looked pretty thin so I went with my own optical cable. That was a mistake. After taking the TV off the wall and hooking everything up I was unable to get the TV back on the wall. After much fussing with it I realized it was because the optical cable stuck out to far from the TV. I then looked at the included cable again and saw that it's connector was much shorter (almost like they had planned it that way). Once I swapped it in things went much better. I also had bought the mounting bracket which was a separate product. It came with a template and I measured everything out, affixed it to the wall, made sure it was level, punched my pilot holes, installed the included anchors and screwed it in nice and tight. The speaker easily slid into place and everything was mounted.

Then it was just a matter of setting the audio output on the TV to 'Audio System', firing up the Sonos app, discovering and synching with the Playbar. It then went and presumably upgraded the speaker firmware and had me press a few buttons on the remote to learn the correct codes to use for controlling the volume (you can also manually adjust the volume on the side of the speaker). Last step was to then run the audio calibration which it suggested I do. That consisted of me walking around the garage moving my iPad up and down while it produced various test tones.

I still haven't hooked up my LD player to watch a movie, but I rented a movie on iTunes and played it over my Apple TV and it sounded terrific. I then proceeded to listen to some XM radio until early in the morning.

All in all I'm quite pleased with this purchase. It looks and sounds great!

SCCM Upgrade - Feb 25
Recently I upgraded our SCCM site server from Windows 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016. This was done as 2016 is needed in order to support Surface driver updates via SCCM. Overall the process was fairly straightforward, however there were a couple glitches of note.

First up was a warning that popped up during the install. It was complaining that the VMWare video driver wasn't compatible. Obviously the site server was running as a VM. Our VMWare environment is ESXi 5.5 and I had previously verified that 2016 was a supported guest OS. I decided to forge ahead despite the warning and 2016 installed fine, however after reboot it was using the generic basic display driver.

I did some quick Googling and didn't find a lot on this issue, but finally I came across a post on a thread that suggested doing the following:

1. In Device Manager, uninstall the Display Adapter

2. Reinstall VMWare Tools (repair)

3. Reboot

Setup Error

Video Driver Issue

After the reboot it was once again using the VMWare driver.

Second issue I noticed was that anyone using the SCCM Console remotely would fail to connect. Running the console locally on the server worked fine. Some more Googling ensued and eventually I stumbled across the solution:

To fix this, on the site server launch wmimgmt.msc console, then bring up the local computer's properties and Security tab. Then browse to root / SMS and root / SMS / site_[site name]. Add the SMS Admins local group back to both of these, and make sure they have Execute Methods, Provider Write, Enable Account, and Remote Enable allowed.

After making those changes I was able to connect once again. Overall I'm pleasantly surprised at how well the upgrade went.