Removing Dell Wallpaper on a Windows 2003 R2 Server

May 12th, 2008

While working on a client site recently with a brand new Dell Poweredge 2950 Server with Windows Server 2003 R2 pre-installed by Dell we came had a problem with one of the settings that comes with the pre-installation and interferes with the ease of connecting via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).

This setting causes the a picture of the Dell server to be displayed prior to the login prompt; the problem is that the file size is almost 2Mb and very graphic intensive, so it slows down the speed that the log in prompt loads, following the steps below will help remove this setting.

How to restart a Windows XP machine on RDP

October 1st, 2007

At Techita we are frequently involved in projects with small and medium sized organisations.

Due to the size of these organisations often the network infrastructure available is limited as a result of smaller budgets than their larger competitors. One side effect of this reduced budget is that our clients sometimes need hardware and software to function in ways it is not exactly designed for.

One example of this is not being able to afford the licence fee for Windows Server and instead to use Windows XP Professional or even Windows XP Home to run a central file , print or database server. Clearly this approach would not work for a Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controller but can be used for many other types of server.

There are two usability downsides to be aware of for remote administration when taking the decision to use Microsoft Windows XP instead of Windows Server.

The first is that Windows XP Professional when accessed through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)  connections does not display a log off button or a reset option on the shutdown – the only option is to shut down the server which is not ideal and will mean that it won’t restart afterwards; this can be solved.

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How to Manually Update System Tables – SQL Server 2000

April 17th, 2007

This tip comes with a warning: You can cause serious and ireparable damage by updating system tables if you do the wrong thing – use this tip at your own risk!

If you find yourself in the position of needing to update one of the system tables in SQL Server 2000, this tip may help you.

By default (for good reason) the system tables are set to disallow updates to them directly; attempting to update them will result in the error below.

“Ad hoc updates to system catalogs are not enabled. The system administrator must reconfigure SQL Server to allow this.”

The error code for this problem is error 259.

On some rare occasions you may still wish to override this setting and make changes to the tables, to do this follow the process below:

1. Make a full backup of your databases (including the master database)
2. Run the commands:

sp_configure ‘allow updates’, 1

3. Make your changes to the system tables
4. Run the commands:

sp_configure ‘allow updates’, 0

5. Make a full backup of your database
6. Test your changes had the desired effect.

Please do be careful with the changes you make to the System Tables in SQL Server 2000 as it is very possible to damage your system beyond repair if you are not sure what you are changing.

This tip was brought to you by the team at Techita.

How to Truncate Log Files – SQL Server 2000

April 16th, 2007

If you have been in the position of supporting SQL Server and having to move database backups around at any point, you have probably become aware of how troublesome large log files can make the process. This article is intended to offer you a quick solution to the problem.

Prior to commencing any work on the inner workings of a database always ensure you back it up FIRST!

After backing up the database, follow the steps below to truncate the log file of your database to an acceptable size:

1. Open your management tool of choice (Enterprise Manager/SQL Query? Analyzer? for most) and select the database you wish to work on.
2. Copy and paste the script below into your management tool:
3. Change? ‘SET @ShrinkToMb = 2′ in the script so that the number 2 represents the number of Mb you wish the script to truncate your log file to.
4. Run the script.
5. Backup your database.

,@LogFileSize INT
,@ShrinkToMb INT
,@DBName NVARCHAR(200)

SET @ShrinkToMb = 2

SELECT @LogFileName = LTRIM(RTRIM([name]))
,@LogFileSize = [size]
,@DBName = DB_Name()
FROM sysfiles
WHERE? groupid = 0

IF((@ShrinkToMb * 128) < @LogFileSize)
DBCC SHRINKFILE(@LogFileName, @ShrinkToMb)
DBCC SHRINKFILE(@LogFileName, @ShrinkToMb)
SELECT @LogFileSize = [size]
FROM sysfiles
WHERE groupid = 0
PRINT @DBName + ‘ log file (’+@LogFileName+’) shrunk to ‘
+ cast(@LogFileSize AS NVARCHAR)
+ ‘ pages, you requested a size of ‘
+ cast(@ShrinkToMb * 128 AS NVARCHAR)
+ ‘ pages’
PRINT @DBName + ‘ log file (’+@LogFileName+’) is smaller than ‘
+ cast(@ShrinkToMb * 128 AS NVARCHAR)
+ ‘ pages already – No action taken’

This tip was brought to you by the staff of Techita.

How to Automatically Create a Sitemap & Google Sitemap

April 16th, 2007

As a web designer one of the corner stones of every good website is a well maintained sitemap. Maintaining a web-site’s sitemap however can be difficult; particularly where the content is frequently updated.

A tool we frequently use at Techita to help reduce this burden is Audit My PC’s Google Sitemap Generator.

This tool will crawl any site and produce a list of all links and sublinks on that site in clean html which can either be copy and pasted into a specific page design (perhaps as a server side include) or used as standalone page. They even go one step further and make it possible to generate valid Google sitemaps in XML to allow submission to Google for better indexing. There are a variety of options for running the tool including whether to obey or ignore robots.txt files, nofollow tags etc.

Next time you need to generate a sitemap in quickly and easily, why not let this tool help you?