Adaptec 3805 – It’s rubbish

An update on my previous posting about the Adaptec 3805 and my troubles with getting compatible drives.

I’ve been running a RAID-5 with the 3085 using 4 Samsung SpinPoint F3’s for about 2 weeks, and two days ago it started to give problems. The fourth disk in the array just dropped out, with no visible SMART issues or physical defects.

So, after waking up to this news I added it back into the array (probably not a great idea, but usually its fine). The moment the full initialization completed, something occurred that caused one of my Virtual Machines running from that RAID array to stop functioning (it was a mail server). There was another machine on there with much lesser activity, that kept running without a problem – but it did all but destroy the other virtual machine. Luckily, i have backups.

Not only did it knock off one of my virtual machines, it kicked out a different disk from the array, and started complaining again. So then I broke down, and ordered 2 ES.2 disks from Newegg which are on the HCL for this controller. However, 8hrs later, the controller barfed up completely and started giving timeouts to the host to the logical drive – even with 3 perfectly useable drives. The host became very unstable, i had to shut down the virtual machines, and reset the machine (thank god for Lights out control).

Upon reboot, the logical raid-5 array was unusable, and had to be forced online. I copied the two files that i absolutely had to have, and finally destroyed the array. When i go up to the data center again, I’m removing this card and burying it. Going to go back to my trusty Highpoint RR2224 which I’ve had for over 5 years now, without a single glitch.


Adaptec 3805 Compatibility Issues with Western Digital Blacks

Hello, a quick post / announcement that the Adaptec 3805 SAS Raid controller has compatibility issues with Western Digital Caviar Black drives. I don’t know if its an issue with all capacities of the Black series, but the ones i had were the 1TB ones, model number WDC-WD1001FALS-0.

After doing some research, it appears that the WD Blacks are NOT on the HCL for the Adaptec 3805 controller, but it took me some time to find this. I hope this post helps anyone who was going to go down this route.

Since i’d already gotten the WD Blacks, I ended up using Samsung Spinpoint F3’s from some of my servers. The WD Blacks work fine on Intel ICH Raid. I think next time, I’ll stick with these Samsungs. Cheap, good warranty, and FAST.

Now in general, why can’t Western Digital make standards compliant drives? I could easily blame Adaptec as well, but in this case, i think it has to be WD’s fault. They are known to make ATA drives that don’t work the same way as everyone else. How hard can it be? Even Samsung got it right.

Update, see my second post on this

HyperV Time issues with CentOS

Quick Reminder to myself on how to fix this time speedup issue with Centos 5.4 and HyperV

nano /boot/grub/grub.conf


divider=10 clocksource=acpi_pm

to the end of the current kernel (or all of them actually)

VSSAdmin List Writers is Empty


Quick post to remind myself of how to fix volume shadow copy having no writers. Turns out this is a common problem when using the newsid utility on templated servers/computers. The fix is relatively simple.

1. Stop the Microsoft Shadow Copy Provider & Volume Shadow Copy Service
2. Export the contents of the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\EventSystem key to a .reg file (as a backup).
3. Delete the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\EventSystem\{26c409cc-ae86-11d1-b616-00805fc79216}\Subscriptions key. (Just delete the Subscriptions subkey; leave the EventClasses key.)
4. Restart the server.
5. Run the “VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS” command.

Thanks to Rhys Winter on his post in technet.

Windows7 LSASS crashing system

Microsoft’s Windows 7 packs a lot of power, performance and stability – for the vast majority of us. Unfortunately, one glitch left me tearing my hair out from this virtually perfect operating system. It appears that in a particular environment, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 will crash and burn all the time for no apparent reason. Luckily, David Weisz has found the problem, and given a reason and a solution to the problem.

Let me explain the scenario where this occurs. I have a Asus M50V laptop, a stellar laptop for business and gaming use. It has 4gb’s of RAM, and it’s my daily workstation for practically everything. Since I’m an IT professional, i run and operate my own Windows Domain within my enterprise, along with Exchange and all the other goodies – mainly as a showpiece of what a good network deployment can do for a customer. Hence, my laptop is joined to a Windows 2003 AD, just like all my other previous laptops and workstations and operating systems.

After installing Windows 7, it appeared that there may have been a glitch with the firmware on the motherboard and Power management, as 7/10 times, when i’d resume my laptop from a sleep state, and after logging in – i’d get the LSASS crash and the usual “Critical error, system will reboot in one minute” message, making me scramble to clsoe all my documents.

However, it appears that it is a small environmental issue with the types of Domain controllers i have, and authentication of such. Hence David Weisz’s solution works. The fix is a simple registry change so that the LSA service authenticates to Windows Servers, pretending to be of Windows Server compatibility. That change is

Key:   HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos\Parameters
Name:   DefaultEncryptionType
Data:    23 (decimal) or 0x17 (hexadecimal)

And bingo, no more crashed, and now i can resume my dance of saying Windows 7 is pretty much perfect in every way.

My advice for Windows 7

To put it simply, it is my opinion that everyone should eventually be using Windows 7 as it is a remarkable operating system with little issues. I’ve been using Windows 7 since January 2009, and have had very few issues, if any at all during that time. I should also add that I have been using Windows Vista since late 2006, and am coming from using Windows Vista for a long time on a laptop that was designed for Windows XP.

Here is a simple guide that you can follow that should tell you in a nutshell what you should do


You are running Windows Vista now – Windows 7 is recommended to you.

You are running Windows XP or Windows 2000 – Windows 7 can be considered after a consultation.

You are looking to buy a new computer – Make sure it comes preloaded with Windows 7. If you are a business customer, and have a server, make sure the computer comes with Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate

How to install

In all cases, I do not recommend a Windows 7 upgrade. It is always in my interest to keep customers and the public in a safe environment, and because of my belief in this – I only recommend a clean install of windows 7, and not an upgrade.

To install Windows 7, backup all of your data to an external device – and then install windows7 by formatting the computer (select a custom install and delete partitions and install to the un partitioned area)

Once installed, reinstall your office applications and other applications and restore your data back to you’re my documents / favorites.

How to buy Windows 7

Windows 7 comes in a variety of editions. Since you already own Windows, you should look for the upgrade packages only. You do not need to buy the full version to do a clean install of windows. If you are unsure which edition to get, please contact me.

I’m on Windows XP, what do I do?

If you are on Windows XP, then there is no rush to move to Windows7. We should make sure that all of your existing applications can run in Windows 7, before making the plunge into Windows 7. Like Vista, windows7 runs in a different way to Windows XP leaving a lot of applications and devices unusable on Windows7 without updates or upgrades. Some devices such as old scanners will not work in Windows7 at all.

If you are running on a relatively new computer (newer than 2005) and have atleast 1gb of RAM, then running Windows7 should be fine – but perform a clean install as described above.

If you have one of the newer Netbooks (the ultra portable computers with 10inch screens) then running Windows7 should not be a problem, as long as you have enough disk space to install Windows 7 and 1gb of RAM.

If you are unsure, do not install Windows 7, and contact me instead.

NTBackup on Windows Server 2003 x64 and SQL Server 2000

Just came across this gem of a KB from Microsoft, which happens to be pretty recent as well. I had a customer with a x64 Win2k3 installation where NTBackup would just not run. It hung on Preparing the Volume Shadow Service, and never did and simply died. This KB outlines the exact issue and fixes it. Not sure if the patch is needed, but it could just be that the Registry key is needed.

Pre-authentication Failed Message in Event Log

You may come across an entry in your event log’s on your domain controllers that reads something like this:

2009-05-11 11:23:13 Local0 Critical

Pre-authentication failed:

User Name: TNLT1$

User ID: %{S-1-5-21-343818398-813497703-839522115-3620}

Service Name: krbtgt/

Pre-Authentication Type: 0x0

Failure Code: 0x19

Client Address: 10.X.X.X


This appears to be common to all newer Windows operating systems that are Vista and above (including Windows 2008 Server). This from what i understand, is related to UAC and the need to do some kind of “pre authentication”. Never the less, there is a fix for this.

You will need to install the ADSI Editor on your domain controller. Once you have that installed, open up MMC (start -> run -> mmc) and add in the snap-in called “ADSI Edit”

Once you have it added to your MMC, right click on ADSI Edit, and click “Connect” and click “OK” to connect to your domain. You will then need to drill down into DC=<DOMAIN,DC=com, CN=Computers.

Here you’ll find a list of all the workstations, and servers joined to your domain. Look for the machine giving you the event log message, and right click, go to properties.

Within the attributes section, look for “userAccountControl”, and check the value. If the value is below 4194304, then simply add 4194304 to the value. For example, if the value is listed as 4096, then make it 4198400.

That’s it.