Author Archives: admin

VLAN configuration on Ubuntu (Debian)

Here is a quick guide how to enable VLANs on Ubuntu or Debian box.

VLANs on Linux will work with the most of the modern ethernet adapters. Frankly speaking I have not come across of an adapter it would not work with.

I presume that you use a standard kernel shipped with Ubuntu. However, if you use a custom built kernel make sure VLAN support is enabled in it.

In this example I want my computer to connect to vlan4, vlan5 and vlan101. My default gateway is at vlan101. And I have only one ethernet interface eth0.

Note: If you want to connect to only one VLAN or you have many network interfaces it is possible to do as well.

OK, now how to do this:

1. Install VLAN package on your computer:

sudo apt-get install vlan

2. Edit your /etc/network/interfaces file so it would contain the following:

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# This is a list of hotpluggable network interfaces.
# They will be activated automatically by the hotplug subsystem.
auto vlan4
auto vlan5
auto vlan101

# VLAN 4
iface vlan4 inet static
mtu 1500
vlan_raw_device eth0

# VLAN 5
iface vlan5 inet static
mtu 1500
vlan_raw_device eth0

# VLAN 101
iface vlan101 inet static
mtu 1500
vlan_raw_device eth0

Note: You have to replace my IP addresses, network masks and the gateway IP address with your own.

3. Make sure that the switch interface you are connected to is configured with respective VLANs.

4. Restart your network interface:
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

You should see something like:
Set name-type for VLAN subsystem. Should be visible in /proc/net/vlan/config
Added VLAN with VID == 4 to IF -:eth0:-
Set name-type for VLAN subsystem. Should be visible in /proc/net/vlan/config
Added VLAN with VID == 5 to IF -:eth0:-
Set name-type for VLAN subsystem. Should be visible in /proc/net/vlan/config
Added VLAN with VID == 101 to IF -:eth0:-

And this is it. Nice and easy. Happy VLANing!

Windows cannot connect to the domain, either because…

I’ve got the following error message when users trying to login into their PCs.

‘Windows cannot connect to the domain, either because the domain controller is down or otherwise unavailable, or because your computer account was not found. Please try again later. If this message continues to appear, contact your network administrator for assistance.’

Obviously, I can not login to the PC using any of the domain user accounts.

First, you need to login to the computer using local administrator account.

Then, check if you can ping your domain controller.

If you can ping your domain controller the most probably Active Directory has been restored to a state when that PC has not been in the system yet or the PC has been reinstalled with the same name and it worked on cache for a while.

In that case right-click on ‘My Computer’ and select ‘Properties’.

Select ‘Computer Name’ tab and press ‘Change’ button near To rename this computer, click Change.

Put the PC to any workgroup but do NOT reboot when prompted.

Then remove computer account from Active Directory on your domain controller(s).

After that rejoin your domain and reboot the computer.

It works for me I did not even lose user profiles.

Note: If you can not ping your domain controller check network connectivity first, IP configuration, etc.

Automated System Recovery (ASR) on Dell Poweredge 1600SC with SEAGATE DAT72 tape drive

Last week I managed successfully recover Windows 2003 Server from ASR prepared 3.5″ floppy disk and DAT72 tape.

The problem was that ASR precedure loads Windows default 4mm drivers for the tape drive and standard Windows drivers for SCSI adapter somehow did not work in conjunction with tape drive drivers from Dell.

I was getting the same error message over and over again to load a particular media (tape).

I also was not able to load tape driver pressing F6 procedure since Windows installation process was looking for txtsetup.oem file which did not exist in Dell driver package.

I might create a txtsetup.oem file if I knew how.

I don’t think that this problem exists on Dell servers only.

Dell technical support could not recommend me anything but eventually, googling out the Internet and checking notes from Quantum, Seagate and other DAT72 tape drives manufacturers I managed to figure out a procedure which gave me 100% positive results to make Automated System Recovery possible.

What do you need for success:

1. Windows 2003 server installation (reinstallation) CD

2. An original ASR 3.5″ floppy and a respective ASR backup tape.

3. A copmuter with a 3.5″ floppy drive and Internet access.

4. A couple of empty formatted 3.5″ floppy disks.

The Procedure:

1. Download the latest recommended drivers for your tape drive and SCSI controller the tape drive is connected from a manufacturer web site. I presume that Windows installation can recognise your hard disk controller as in my case. Otherwise, you wold need to download a driver for that controller as well.

In my case I’ve got drivers for PowerVault 100T DAT72 tape drive, LSI Logic Ultra 320 SCSI Adapter Non-RAID from the following page

2. Extract SCSI adapter (LSI Logic) drivers to an empty 3.5″ disk and mark it “LSI Logic” or whatever you want to distinguosh it from all other disks.

3. Create a directory ‘SCSI’ on your computer and copy all files from just created “LSI Logic” disk to this directory. We will need them later.

4. Make a copy of you original ASR 3.5″ disk using any disk cloning program. I use built in Windows program by right-click on 3 1/2 Floppy (A:) and select ‘Copy Disk…’ from the menu.

5. Create a directory ‘DAT72’ on your computer and extract your DAT72 drivers to it.

6. Copy driver.inf, driver.sys and to a root directory on your cloned 3.5″ disk. In my case the files were pvdatw2k.inf, and pvdatw2k.sys.
Note: Some drivers are shipped with several versions of .sys filed for different architectures. Make sure you chose the right one for you.

7. Add the following lines asr.sif file on the cloned 3.5″ disk after [DISKS.GPT] seection:


Note: Replace ‘pvdatw2k’ with your driver file names.

8. Create a file winn.sif in a root directory on the cloned 3.5″ disk with the following lines:

AutoPartition = 1
MsDosInitiated = 0
UnattendedInstall = Yes

OemPreinstall = YES
OemFilesPath = a:\
OemPnPDriversPath = TEMP

9. Create a directory $OEM$\TEXTMODE on the cloned 3.5″ disk and put everything from ‘SCSI’ directory created at stage 3 to this new directory.

Note: Frankly speaking you need only *.inf, *.sys and *.cab files but I put everything to be safe.

10. Label the cloned 3.5″ disk as “ASR modified” and everything is ready to start Automated System Recovery on the server now.

Note: After this moment we do not use original ASR disk and keep it just in case we would need to make another copy of it.

11. Turn on the server and enter BIOS configuration to make sure the system will boot from a CD-ROM.

Note: For some reason ASR would not recognise tape for me if ASR disk is not in the drive when the server starts boot from the CD. Don’t ask why, I don’t know. Just would not work for me.

12. Put ASR modified disk and Windows installation CD into respective drives and boot the server brom the CD.

13. At the very beginning of Windows installation proccess press F6 when asked if you need to load additional disk drivers.

14. Then press F2 when asked to initialise Automated System Recovery.

15. Follow the instructions and put corresponnding disks when asked for a SCSI driver disk or ASR (modified) disk.

16. After system reboot do not press any key to boot from CD, let the process run.

17. You may be asked for a tape driver file at c:\temp\i386 or whatever. In that case just point to a needed file on the ASK modified disk or c:\temp directory.

18. Hopefully, It will work for you as it worked for me and you will be able to recover your system.

Note: Windows ASR tape contains only a system drive, usually C:. You would need additional backup tapes to restore your other drives.