Old Stuff

Here are a bunch of older guides I made… maybe the info is still useful?

ERD Commander Flash Drive 

If you’ve ever used ERD commander, you know what an awesome disc it is to have. It has alot of great features! Such as the ability to boot an otherwise unbootable system and recover files to another location such as an external HDD.
One day, I was sitting in a class playing with it, and the kid next to me says “That would be cooler if you could boot it off of a flash drive.” I looked at the clock, still two hours of class left. So, I went to work.
I was familiar with BartPE, I had made some windows XP bootable CDs and flash drives with it before. So I started there. I figured if I could just make another bootable WinXP flash drive it couldn’t be too hard to swap out the necessary OS files from it with the ones from the ERD disc. I tried it and I had a couple slip ups where it didn’t work correctly, but by the third try I had a working ERD commander bootable Flash drive!
One of the problems I was having with the first two tries was that when it asked for my windows installation files I gave it windows XP files. This is fine for a normal BartPE disc, however, ERD Commander is Windows Server-Based so I needed to use the files from server and not XP.
Here’s what you need:
  • A Windows Server 2003 Disc (or other form of valid installation files)
  • An ERD Commander 2005 Disc
  • Flash Drive (256MB or greater is fine)



Linux Web Server with Cacti

Here is the exact process I used to setup my LAMP server (the way I like it) and install the network monitoring software Cacti on it. Cacti is a bit of a trouble maker in Ubuntu Server 7.XX because cacti uses PHP4 and Ubuntu is on PHP5.

Remote Desktop

Sitting at the helpdesk at work I get this question almost daily…
“Do you know why when I set up remote desktop on my computer at home, I can’t access it from here?”
or “Is that your home computer your remoted into? How come that doesn’t work when I do it?”
Then I try and explain the steps to them, but what are the chances they’re going to remember it all? or that I’m going to explain it correctly everytime?
I threw together a guide. so, now I can just say “Go to joshmartell.com and find the remote desktop guide”.
Here it is:

Power on Virtual Machine failed to complete

I upgraded from VMWare Server 1.0 to 2.0 today. Not really thinking about it when I did it… I didn’t shut down all the virtual machines I had running.
The problem with this is that the files for virtual machines lock themselves when it’s running. After the upgrade I wasn’t able to power on some of my virtual machines… I would get this message:
My solution was to navigate to the folder specified in the error message, select all the .lck files, and delete them.
Problem solves. after deleting those files, I was able to start my virtual machine successfully.

Terminal Server connections are full
Often times when I try to remote into certain servers I get a message saying “The terminal server has exeeded the maximum number of allowed connections”.
There is a quick fix for this… on a different server running a windows server OS open command prompt and type
query session /server:<servername>
Where <servername> would be replaced with the name of the server you are locked out of. You will get something like this…
As you can see session ID 3 is logged in as administrator, but has since disconnected. Typically you can assume that it is safe to log this person off (not always the case though, you might piss someone off)….
To log them off type this command:
reset session 3 /server:<servername>
You should now be able to remote desktop into the server

Thumb Drive Backup
I never remember to backup my flash drives, and I always manage to lose them. I needed a solution so that when I lose my drive, I don’t lose all my data. So, I started writing a batch file. I’d like to share with you the outcome…


I now have an autoexec on my flash drives so that whenever I put the drive into my computer it does an incremental backup to my network storage. I emphasize my computer because the first thing it does is check which computer I plugged the drive into. If it’s not plugged into the correct computer, the backup is skipped. Also, it would be very annoying if it scanned the drive EVERY time I plugged it in. So, it checks to see if it has run yet that day. If it has already been backed up, it asks if you’d like to do so again otherwise you can skip it. Doing a full daily back up of the flash drive would be very time consuming and frustrating so these are set to do an incremental backup. The first time it is ever run it will do a full backup. After that, only files that have been modified or newly created will be copied over.


Log files are stored on the flash drive of all backups. The files are in a folder called “logs” and are named by date. If more than one backup occur on a given date, they are appended to the previous file from that date.
For directions on how I set it up, and the contents of my batch files download the PDF below.



Domain Controller Lockout
My issue in this situation goes as such… I built a Server 2008 Domain Controller. I got it all set up and working and then walked away and didn’t touch it or think about it at all for a month and a half or so… When I come back to it… I can’t remember the admin password.
Easy fix, I think, just pop in the ERD commander disk, reset the password, and boom, done.
Nope. Think again.
Turns out that causes the domain controller to lose trust with the server it’s running on… no good at all!
Check out my guide below for the fix.

Pre-release Windows 7 default gateway issue

In both the Beta and Release Candidate versions of Windows 7 (both 32 and 64bit) that I have installed I have had a problem connecting to my network. For some unknown reason, every time I restart the computer, or shut it down it adds a default gateway of upon start-up. I haven’t figured out what is causing it so I do not have a permanent fix yet (I’m hoping it will be corrected in the released edition.) As a temporary fix you can just write a batch file and have it run at startup with administrative priveleges. See PDF below.


Windows Mobile Dial Up Networking

This guide will show you how to configure your Windows Mobile phone for use as a Modem for your laptop. I use a Verizon Wireless phone, so passwords will be different if you have a different carrier. Also, please note that you will want to have an unlimited data package to do this. It’s very expensive to browse the web when paying per MB.



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