Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fix: Blank Desktop on Windows Server 2008 R2

I normally don’t login to my domain controller that frequently as there aren’t much changes I need to do, especially on a lab environment. It was probably about a month ago that I had logged on to my domain controller, Server 2008 R2 Std, to reboot the server after patch installation. I never really logged back as my network was functional (so I guess I didn’t have to). Well today, when I tried to RDP to the server (HP Proliant Microserver) to create a test userID, all I got was a blue blank screen after I entered my domain credentials. I thought the GUI may still be loading as sometimes loading winlogon.exe can take few minutes but I got nothing for 15 minutes and longer. I tried Ctrl+Alt+End in RDP session and clicked on “Task Manager”. Again nothing happened. Then I tried Ctrl+Shift+Esc (should launch Task Manager in remote session as well) that went in vain as well. Not knowing what's going on and literally lazy to look into the event viewer of the DC, I restarted the system. I then tried RDP’ing back – same results. Tried the steps again to get to task manager to see if I can execute explorer.exe but no success. Then I physically went to the server for a logon and I got the same blue screen!

Friday, October 18, 2013

ConfigMgr 2012 R2 & MDT 2013 Now Available

I will be testing both in my lab soon, meanwhile here’s articles in technet for what’s new with both of these products -

Monday, July 22, 2013

SCCM 2012 Database Replication “Link Failed”

Okay, I guess sometimes there’s a real meaning of “patch testing” before throwing it into the production or production-like environments. Microsoft patches have been mostly unproblematic but every now and then, they tend to show their effective nature. I had one similar case this past Friday when I installed “bunch of patches” in my SCCM 2012 SP1 Secondary sites and didn't bother to examine further and went off for the weekend. I know, you are probably wondering, duh! don’t you test your patches or confirm once installed, right? Well, sometimes you will lose the focus of “what to test” and want to deal with it when real problems starts and besides, this was a production-like environment (test/dev) that I could easily troubleshoot if things go south.

Come Monday morning, as part of my routine, I check the Monitoring area of the console and under Database Replication, I found the secondary sites links are failing to replicate from the parent. I look at the replication status and the last time it successfully synchronized was right before I installed and rebooted the sites for patching. Running the Replication Link Analyzer was little help as it didn't show anything major other than check the rcmctrl.log (Replication Configuration Monitor) file for related issues.