Login failed for user ''

There is an excellent post on the SQL Protocols blog about diagnosing the: Login failed for user ''. The user is not associated with a trusted SQL Server connection. message displayed by SQL Management Studio and other applications which use the same API; Notice the blank username ‘’. I believe there is one possibility missing from the above post: that is the Group Policy setting “Deny access to this computer from the network”....

January 25, 2010 · 1 min

Card Reader on Acer Aspire 5100 Series Under Windows 7

Update (15/11/2010): the drivers listed in this post are out of date and may cause a BSOD, several alternatives are listed in the comments; however Microsoft appear to have approved 64-bit drivers on Windows Update. I am typing this on my Acer Aspire 5102WLMi which is one of the popular (if flawed) Acer Aspire 5100 series; I rescued this one from the Balconi Test by putting a bit of rubber (it was a cut down rubber foot) on top of the South Bridge chip set, that however is not the story I am telling today....

October 26, 2009 · 3 min

Change your MTU under Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

I have been updating this blog post over the years since I first discovered the issue with my computer in Windows Vista, now I am on Windows 8 and also on |FTTC broadband; |Path MTU Discovery seems to just work. I have tested the process so the approach and the commands still work in Windows 8, I however no longer need to use this process personally. For some reason that has escaped me |Path MTU Discovery (PMTUD) in Windows just doesn’t seem to figure out the MTU for a given path (something to do with routers being poorly configured to not respond to ICMP requests)....

October 23, 2009 · 3 min

Music to Install Windows By

Windows 7 turned up in the post today. The red box is Visual Studio 2008 which is there to show that the boxes have a similar profile to the old style hard cases. I have been running the Beta since it was first available to the general public, and I have had Windows 7 Business at work for a couple of weeks now. Bought Windows 7 Home Premium for about £45 from Tesco....

October 22, 2009 · 2 min

Adding VSeWSS 1.3 Solutions to Source Control

Having done a little experimenting with Visual Studio Extensions for WSS (VSeWSS), I wanted to start actually developing features for our intranet site. I try and add everything that is even slightly important into source control (Subversion). VSeWSS creates normal looking solutions, however when you deploy your project to a SharePoint site it created an additional directory alongside “bin” and “obj” called “pkg”. This “pkg” folder contains the manifest.xml, soloution.xml and feature....

February 5, 2009 · 1 min

5 Commands I Use Every Day

For my regular day job I am a Systems Administrator, my team and I manage a network with 7 servers and approximately 600 workstations, 200 laptops and 2500 users. All clients are Windows XP SP2 or SP3 and all servers are Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 SP2. I am sure I am not alone in knowing least 5 commands that I use day in and day out to manage workstations or servers on the network....

September 8, 2008 · 5 min

SMART Notebook File Format

The SMART .notebook format is simply a zipped set of XML and SVG files, This may be common knowledge but it is certainly the first time I have come across it. To test it you can create a file in SMART Notebook rename the extension from .notebook to .zip, double click to open, you will be presented with several files named page_n_.svg where _n_ is a number, as well as a series of other files and folders including settings....

July 22, 2008 · 1 min

Home Networking

Seeing as Catherine and I finally bought our own house and it looks like we might be staying here for much longer than we have ever stayed anywhere else, we are looking at options for home networking, our current solution involves a 802.11b Wireless Network for laptop connectivity and a cable for my PC, that has to be removed each night to close the living room door. The Options 1) Wireless Network 802....

September 1, 2007 · 4 min

Vista is the issue

I am currently trying to diagnose several Windows XP SP2 computers with severe network problems, the bottleneck is in the network. Whilst deploying a group policy object the Windows Installer Service crashed due to a network time-out, and this was the resultant response from Error Reporting: So there you go the problem with Windows XP is Windows Vista!

August 29, 2007 · 1 min

New Server

Recently purchaced and installed a new HP ProLiant DL320s to run as the site primary file server, had some issues with Windows 2003 R2 32-bit as it repeatedly BSODed before getting into graphical setup, tried the drivers for the SAS controller also tried the disc on a different computer to no avail. After chatting with a few people someone asked why I wasn’t going for 2k3 R2 64-bit, the main reason for not using it was it I had not had a chance to test it out in a test environment and wasn’t overly happy putting it into a live environment, looked at the software that was going on the File Server and all seemed ok, installed the ProLiant Support Pack migrated files, setup file screening and quotas....

August 29, 2007 · 2 min