Isolating a Load Balanced Connection on a Sonicwall

When we were having problems testing the Comcast modem for problems, we also had some issues with testing. Whenever we tested the load balanced connection, we were never sure what connection things would go out on.

If you want to force the Sonicwall to route a particular device's traffic to a particular interface (ignoring load balancing's randomness or Sonicwall's route optimizations), then you need to create a routing rule. The rule overrides everything (until you delete the rule)...

Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Password Complexity and Other Settings

I don't use Active Directory and Policies enough to remember which is the proper place when I want to adjust the draconian password complexity settings on a Windows 2008 Server.

Here's how...

Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation & Dell T110 Recovery Notes

Ran into a situation where a client's Dell T110 server would no longer boot Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation off the PERC S100 RAID controller and the two drives that were configured as RAID1.

The symptom happened after a power outage that took out the UPS and crashed Windows Server without a graceful shutdown. Not a pretty thing at all.

First, I discovered the RAID1 was broken and only one drive was showing the desirable "Online" state. The other was "Ready". That should have been OK, but it looks like the RAID failed and the was able to boot, but then crashed and took out the Windows configuration.

The boot would freeze where the green strobing progress bar would be displayed. It would do that for about an hour, then just freeze and stop...

Sonicwall and Sonicpoint Keep Killing My TCP Connections to Databases

I have a client that upgraded, due to some other issues, to a Sonicpoint wireless access point that directly connects to their Sonicwall firewall.

This solved a lot of problems, but one of the problems that lingered was that their database connections would get cut off at seemingly random times.

It wasn't one application, either. It was their connection to a postgresql database and a different program connecting to a Filemaker (Pro) server.

It took some real "sitting down" diagnostics to test this. Here's how I solved it...

False IP Spoofing Errors on Load Balanced Sonicwall

I have a sonicwall TZ200 with 3 internet connections that are set up to be load balanced. The internet connections are from 3 different providers providing a T1, an 8mb DSL, and a 24mb cable connection.

Connection A: T1 with public services behind a NAT firewall
Connection B: DSL
Connection C: Cable

Everything is peachy and load balancing works.

However, I wanted to set up a WLAN that didn't touch any of my primary network. The idea was to use this WLAN for guests. I could give them access to that and not worry about them having access to my internal resources, killing my DHCP addresses with their previously-assigned-home-addresses, or infecting the rest of my network with some lame malware.

Connection A: T1 with public services behind a NAT firewall
Connection B: DSL
Connection C: Cable <- Attached Router with WLAN

I picked up a nice industrial style wireless router and wired it to my cable modem. The cable modem has a static IP address range assigned to it. I let the wireless router pull an internal address from the cable modem, though (, and I was up and running.

The only thing was, whenever I tried to access the publicly available services behind my primary IP address (the NAT'ed devices on my business network), the Sonicwall would tag the traffic from my new WLAN as an IP SPOOF attempt and block it.

See, the Sonicwall looks at traffic coming in from Connection A and sees Connection C's IP address on it. Figuring that can't be, (X1 should not be getting traffic from X3), the Sonicwall protects me. But I don't want that!

I tried a couple of things like manual routing traffic to the direct connected port and a few other things and a little Googling did little for me.

The ultimate solution turned out to be kind of elegant...

Avoiding Password Prompt When Using ssh

When creating scripts and automating contacts between systems, especially unix-based stuff, you often want things to be automatic without a password prompt. Your script will hang at the password prompt and you'll not be running your process like you want! This is really bad for a scheduled process and kind of annoying for a manual process. You'll get prompted for each command you run.

The solution is to use a private/public key on your systems so that ssh, scp, and related commands won't prompt for a password...

Tip: Largest Files in Linux

Here's a quick tip on how to find the largest files on your Linux system. If you are running low on disk space, knowing your largest files can be very handy for getting rid of especially large unneeded files and getting things going, again. I know I sometimes set aside a backup of a database that might be 20GB or more, such as during a migration or upgrade or debug session, then end up forgetting I have it sitting there. When space gets tight, I look for the largest files first, then I don't have to spend a lot of time getting things back where they belong.

This command will list the 30 largest files on your system and sort from largest file size down in size. This 2015 version is improved and takes into account filenames with spaces or escaped characters:

find / -mount -type f -printf '%s|"%h/%f"\n' | \
 awk '{FS="|"; printf "%10d MB\t%s\n",($1/1024)/1024,$2}' | \
 sort -rnk1 | head -30

Run it as all one line.

Want To Update or Install Packages on Vintage Ubuntu Installs?

I've been working with some older Ubuntu installs and needed to get some packages on the older systems before doing some changes and upgrades.

Well, even LTS servers have an end-of-life and you'll find your apt sources are no longer valid!

If you want to access the historical releases' apt archives, here's how...

I Want to Factory ROM Reset My Google IO Galaxy Tab 10.1, But Fastboot Device Isn't Recognized

I've posted another article about the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and having a problem with it locking up. I had that happen 3 times, but it always recovered.

Hopeful that the latest OTA (over the air) update would fix that issue, I set the Tab to automatically update. Within 24 hours, the tab was bricked and was stuck in a boot loop of displaying the samsung startup screen, the spinning space screen, then repeat.

I figured the best thing to do was start over. It being a tablet and me being cloud-based, there wasn't anything on the system that mattered, so I didn't do anything to try and save what was on the tab.

There are several ways to reset your tab and they are posted all over the place and easily googled.

However, I did run into a problem trying to get fastboot to communicate on my Windows 7 64-bit install. The tab would boot into download mode, but the device showed up as "fastboot", but no drivers. I tried installing the recommended Samsung USB drivers, but that didn't help. I tried several things until I found the ultimate solution...

Quickbooks Enterprise 10 Hangs or Stalls After Login

A user at a client was having a problem when logging into Quickbooks Enterprise 10 on a Windows Terminal Server.

I'm pretty sure what I did fixed it, so here's what I did...

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