Technical Fixes
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  • Changing the Windows drive letter

    Posted on November 18th, 2010 Matt Parkinson No comments

    Although it is not recommend there are some times when you may need to change the letter of your Windows drive from C: to another letter or it may have changed by itself to another letter and you need to change it back to C:. In my case after an automated Windows installation my Windows drive letter had come up as D: so I wanted to change it to C:. The reason this had happened was due to a USB disk being connected while the install was taking place so it had labeled that as C: instead. To change the drive letter please follow the steps below:

    1. Go to start > run and type in “regedit” and press enter.
    2. Expand the folders to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
    3. You should see something similar to the screen below. We are interested in the \DosDevices\ values.
    4. If you are in the same scenario as myself and something is already using the C: drive you will need to select it from the list and press F2 to edit the value. You should change this to a drive letter that is not in use which in my case would be “I:”. If you do not have a device using C: you can skip to the next step.
    5. You then need to find the value which has your current drive and edit that to be C:. So in my case I need to change “\DosDevices\D:” to “\DosDevices\C:”.
    6. You should now restart your computer and the drive letters should change. You do not need to worry about the boot.ini configuration as this is controlled using the disk and partition numbers rather than the drive letters.

    If you get an access denied message while trying to change these values it may be due to the permissions on the registry key. To change this you should right click the “MountedDevices” folder on the left hand pane and go to permissions. You then need to ensure that the “Administrators” group has full control of the folder. If you have modified these settings you should then close the registry editor and re-open it for the settings to take full effect.

  • Windows Server 2008 SMTP Logging Not Working

    Posted on May 6th, 2010 Matt Parkinson No comments

    Yesterday I was trying to debug my SMTP service by using the built in IIS logging feature. I enabled logging the same way I always have done in 2003 by selecting the SMTP server properties however no logs were being generated. After a few different attempts I went back into the server manager and took a look at the IIS role and found that there was a “Health and Diagnostics” section in the role services of which one of the options was “ODBC Logging”. As soon as I installed this and restarted the SMTP service logging began to work. If you have a similar issue you can check that ODBC Logging is installed by following the instructions below:

    1. Go to Start > Server Manager
    2. Expand Roles
    3. Scroll down in the right hand pane until you find Web Server (IIS)
    4. Click “Add Role Services” from the right hand side
    5. Scroll down and find “ODBC Logging” and tick the box if it is not already ticked and then click the “Install button”
    6. Go to start > run and type in services.msc
    7. Find the “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)” service and press restart
    8. Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\SMTPSVC1″ and check the logs are now being created
  • Run Commands As System User

    Posted on April 11th, 2010 Matt Parkinson No comments

    Sometimes there may be a need to run a command as the system user however as you may have noticed it is not possible to log directly into this account. To get around this you can use the following work around.

    1. Go to Start>Run and type in CMD then press enter.
    2. In the new command prompt box type “at 09:00 /interactive cmd.exe” and press enter replacing the 09:00 with the time a few minutes ahead of what it is now. This creates a scheduled task in the interactive mode to launch at the time specified.
    3. Once you reached the time set you will see a new command prompt box open similar to the following
    4. This command prompt is now running as the system user and you should be able to issue any commands you want. As you can see I have run “intl.cpl” which loads the language and regional settings for the system user. In my case this was to change the time format for a service which was being run as the system user.