Friday, September 03, 2010

Solution: DPM 2010 tape backup rotation (re: DPM keeps on $#*%!& appending)

Problem: You're using Data Protection Manager (DPM) and your tape backup keeps on failing when you try to overwrite an expired backup. You get something like this:

The back up to tape job failed for the following reason: (ID: 3311)

Failed to perform the operation since the tape free tape is not available in ...

Using new tapes, tapes marked as free and the powershell free tape script work though.

Solution: Use 1 more tape than you think you need in your rotation.

I've spent the last week or so struggling with getting this backup working the way I think it should (for some reason I managed to get this setup on DPM 2008 without any problems). Including a few days manually running the free tape powershell script. I just thought that was asking for trouble since we use a single drive not a library. Somehow I know I'm going to wipe a tape I didn't mean to wipe.

During my googling I found several people that were in the same boat as me. RE: Wanting to use 8 tapes containing 4 weeks of backups:

  • 4 tapes: full backup on days Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu
  • 4 tapes: full backup every Friday for 4 weeks (Fri_1, Fri_2, Fri_3, Fri_4)

That allow me to go back four days or up to a month. It's not perfect but it's a reasonable amount of tapes to manage. DPM kept on giving me errors about a tape not available because it didn't delete the expired content on the tape first.

DPM will only re-use the tape if everything is expired on the tape. Looking at the expiry dates on the tape it seemed like it should be expired but it never was. DPM kept on appending to the tape. So I now have the following setup and it seems to be working so far. I just added 1 tape to each rotation to give me a 1 day buffer. That way DPM will always see a tape about a day old:

  • 5 tapes: full backup on days Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu (A, B, C, D, E)
  • 5 tapes: full backup every Friday for 4 weeks (Fri_1, Fri_2, Fri_3, Fri_4, Fri_5)

The downside is for the weekdays, I can no longer identify the tapes by day, I need to use a calender. Tough enough being awake on monday but to remember what tape I used for the past's not going to happen. Hopefully, this will help someone, I like DPM overall just don't agree with the tape backup rotation strategy.

Note: after figuring this out for myself I finally found a small reference on Microsoft's support website:
Tape Rotation Does Not Work As Expected When DPM is Utilizing a Tape Only Solution

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

iTunes 9 freezing / hanging on iPhone sync fixed

Problem: iTunes 9.0 / on windows XP hangs every time you try to sync with your iPhone 3G / 3G S / 3GS ( this is with OS 3.0 ). iTunes works if you don't have your phone plugged in but the second you plug your phone in iTunes freezes. This isn't a hang for 15 minutes and it comes back. The window stops repainting and you have to kill the iTunes process. Things that don't work:
  • Unplugging the phone doesn't make iTunes come back.
  • Letting it do it's thing for 3 hours doesn't make it come back.
  • Rebooting the computer and starting up iTunes and then plugging in the phone doesn't work
  • deleting the configuration file and rebooting doesn't work
  • re-installing iTunes doesn't work


Event 1002

Hanging application iTunes.exe, version, hang module hungapp, version, hang address 0x00000000.


Delete all Podcasts

I found this solution somewhere last night but I forgot the page link. I deleted all my Podcasts and then restarted iTunes. Syncing worked like normal once again! I'm a happy camper. From my searching this bug can affect all iPhone 3.x OS

  • 3.0
  • 3.0.1
  • 3.1
  • 3.1.2
and it affects all versions of iTunes 9.x
  • 9.0
  • 9.0.1
UPDATE: If you are still having problems syncing, make sure you have at least 5GB free on your main hard drive. I've encountered hangs when there is less than 2GB free.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Rumbling Edge: Shredder Alpha 1 QA sign-off completed

The Rumbling Edge: Shredder Alpha 1 QA sign-off completed: "Following in the footsteps of John Resig, I also have a sort-of-reverse birthday present for Thunderbird fans: Shredder (Thunderbird 3) Alpha 1's QA signoff has been completed, with no significant blockers discovered, the release should come out in the next couple of days. Please note that the release is not recommended for production use and may eat / burn / lose your messages / mail / computer / cat. A list of almost-everything-that-has-gone-into-Shredder Alpha 1 can be found here. (On a sidenote, not everyone can proclaim a QA signoff of alpha-quality software on their birthdays. :) )"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

iPhone firmware 1.1.1 released, WiFi Music Store included - Engadget

iPhone firmware 1.1.1 released, WiFi Music Store included - Engadget:
• iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store • Louder speakerphone and receiver volume • Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites or music controls • Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space • Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape • Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered • Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar • Support for TV Out • Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally • New Passcode lock time intervals • Adjustable alert volume

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Slick: Vaio Zoom Concept is Exactly How We Want Laptops to Look in the Future - Gizmodo

Slick: Vaio Zoom Concept is Exactly How We Want Laptops to Look in the Future - Gizmodo: "This Vaio Zoom laptop concept is one of the coolest we've seen. Featuring a holographic glass screen that goes transparent and a keyboard that turns opaque when turned off, it's slick and beautiful. And sure, a touch keyboard like this would be extremely annoying without haptic feedback and screens like that don't really exist yet, but it's an interesting look at what we'll be playing with a few years down the line. Despite the fact that this isn't an official Sony concept, we still think they should work at making it a reality. Check another image after the jump."

Sony VAIO TZ Review

Sony VAIO TZ Review: "The Sony TZ is the latest offering from Sony in the ultra portable market. With its small size and extreme low weight, it is a must on any business traveler's notebook list. The Sony TZ combines a new LED backlight display, solid state drive, over-sized battery, and ultra low voltage processors from Intel to make it an all around extended battery performer. Read on to find out how the paper specs stack up in real world use."

DailyTech - NBC Universal to Offer Free TV Show Downloads

DailyTech - NBC Universal to Offer Free TV Show Downloads: "According to The New York Times, NBC Universal isn’t stopping there. The media conglomerate will offer a new online service called NBC Direct. With NBC Direct, customers will be able to download TV shows to a Windows-based PC for free immediately after they have aired. Once downloaded, the episodes would be viewable for one week."

Friday, August 31, 2007

install pfsense on a CF card

Having just gone through my first pfsense & m0n0wall installation *yawn* I thought I would share and record this before I forget. Installing pfsense on a compact flash can be pain since the embedded images are meant to be used on a small appliance device that doesn't have VGA support. You will hear the line that it supports serial access only.

If you try to boot up a CF card with the regular embedded image you will get a message that looks like this:

Searching for Boot Record from IDE-0..OK

BTX Loader 1.00 BTX version is 1.01 Consoles: internal video/keyboard BIOS drive C: is disk0 BIOS 639KB/257024kB available memory

FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1 (, Sun Oct 29 01:30:00 UTC 2006) Loading /boot/defaults/loader.conf /

and then it hangs. It is actually working in the background, just not echoed to the screen.

In order to get pfsense onto your compact flash card with vga support you will need a 3rd party modified version of the image. Hacom is currently a source for those images:

Network Appliances \ pfSense Appliances \ pfSense Firewall Software

When you get there, you will see file names like this:

You will notice that there are several version of each firmware:


The first part is the firmware version, in this case it's version 1.2 RC2.


The second portion is the the size of the compact flash card you will be using not RAM (e.g.128, 256, 512, 1gb). The example is for a 1 GB memory card. They have already expanded the images to make up to that size usable, I'm guessing this is much the way a Tivo hard drive upgrade works).


The next part is the location of the CF card on your IDE chain (e.g. ad0, ad2, da0). I'm no expert but I believe this is what they mean:

  • ad0: primary master IDE (/dev/ad0)
  • ad1: primary slave IDE (/dev/ad1)
  • ad2: secondary master IDE (/dev/ad2)
  • ad3: secondary slave IDE (/dev/ad3)
  • da0: USB memory stick (/dev/da0)

and the final section just shows that it is a gzipped image.

To write these onto a compact flash card, unzip them and use physdiskwrite.

  1. Connect your compact flash to your computer.
  2. save phydiskwrite.exe and the ungzipped pfsense image (pfSense-1.2-RC2-1gb-ad0.img) to the same directory
    • c:\temp\phydiskwrite.exe
    • c:\temp\pfSense-1.2-RC2-1gb-ad0.img
  3. open DOS window
    • start > run > cmd
  4. navigate to the directory
    • c:
    • cd \temp
  5. start phydiskwrite
    • phydiskwrite pfSense-1.2-RC2-1gb-ad0.img
    • if the image file you're writing to the compact flash card is larger than 2GB then you may need to use the "-u" switch. Currently 1Gb is the largest size downloadable.
      • phydiskwrite -u pfSense-1.2-RC2-1gb-ad0.img
  6. phydiskwrite will now ask for which device to write to. If you pick the wrong one you could over write your hard drive. Make absolutely sure before you select one.
    • Roadkil's Disk Image is another utility to write an image and is GUI based, it looks friendlier than phydiskwrite, but I haven't used it before. Try at your own risk.
  7. Get those thumbs twiddling. If you are writing the 1GB image, it will take a looooooong time, over an hour.
  8. Properly drop the compact flash using the Safely Disconnect Hardware utility in your system tray.
  9. YOU'RE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!
Sept 20, 2007: Just an update that everything is amazingly still working great!