Installing HP Drivers Silently

I have been working on a project recently to push out some firmware and driver updates to a fleet of HP Workstations. Firmware tends to be one of those things that does not usually gets missed, as the main focus tends to be on OS Patching and updating installed applications.

Now, when it comes to patching firmware, the major manufacturers usually provide a .exe that is mostly interactive i.e. Launch > Admin UAC > Next > Next. etc. Not so good when you have users working on the workstation and an application window pops up asking for user interaction before it installs. Or when you have a huge fleet of workstations which may not be online all the time.

I recently came across an easy way to check when it comes to updates published by HP at their support site: https://support.hp.com/gb-en/drivers

Enter the serial number of the model in question and it will take you to the relevant support site for that workstations. This is handy when you have a workstation fleet mostly of the same model. Next, select the relevant driver from the list. In this case ‘Driver-Storage’:

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Download Information

Click on ‘See full details’ and on the page that opens:

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Download Page

Right-click the ‘Download Now’ button and make a note of the URL. In this case it is:
https://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp135501-136000/sp135953.exe
Next, remove the .exe and add .cva as follows:
https://ftp.ext.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp135501-136000/sp135953.cva

This will then provide all relevant information for that specific driver. Scroll down a little and look for [Install Execution] and that will provide the relevant command line switches for a silent install:

Add into your relevant deployment scripts, test and deploy!

London Capital Ring Section 9

I have always wanted to walk the London Capital ring but always kept putting it off. Mostly due to not having anyone to walk it with.

Anyway, one day last year, I came across a Meetup Group that was planning on doing the walk and I thought, why not? So I signed up, headed over to Woolwich Arsenal at the very beginning of Section 1 and as they say, the rest is history.

It is almost a year since we started walking the London Capital Ring and we completed Section 9 last weekend (24/07/2016). Section 9 starts at Greenford and finishes at South Kenton with a distance on 5.5 miles (8.8km). Each section is unique and there quite a few sights that can be seen at each section.

Much to the chagrin of one of the walkers, Pokemon Go had just recently been released and some of us were going to try and catch some. I forgot to verify my email address when I signed up so it was a no go for me. However, as I write this, it seems that the novelty has worn off and the media outlets no longer report on it. Pokemon Go feels like the unpolished version of Ingress but that is a topic of another day.

We started off at Greenford and everything was going OK on the walk until we reached a bridge. As there was no sign, we thought we would carry on. However, we soon had to turn back as we were heading in the wrong direction. In hindsight, this was probably a sign as we hod to do this a few times to retrace our steps. This section was probably one of the worst with regards to signs. There were parts where there were no signs at all and other parts where we counted 6 for a road crossing! There is also a Gruffalo trail at the top of Horsenden Hill. That was a nice little surprise.

Horsenden Hill is quite steep but once at the top, the views are wonderful. Again, there was a slight confusion in which direction we needed to head as there were no signs. In the end we ended up taking the wrong path but eventually worked our way back to the main path.

We also missed the turning after Sudbury Hill Harrow train station and had to backtrack again. No Capital Ring sign here.

After this it was pretty much plain sailing. My favourite bit was Harrow On the Hill. It is very picturesque, the building from another era but very well maintained. There was a small market on Sunday selling various foodstuffs. I got myself and Mushroom and Cheese pasty. It was absolutely wonderful.

Next, through Harrow School. Again, absolutely wonderful. You have to see it. They had a field as far as the eye could see. Just before we came to the end of the field, there was a little wooden plaque with some letters and numbers. A code perhaps? Will post some pictures up when I fix my Media Uploader. It seems to have broken completely.

Next, onto Northwick Park walking past Northwick Park Hospital and onto the main part of the part a left turn and we arrived at South Kenton. Near South Kenton there is a pub called the The Windermere Pub (http://windermerepub.com/). On the day we visited, the were doing some filming. Think it was something to do with Art as there were a large number of paintings and staff from the Barbican were there.

For this section, some sights that we came across included the following:

  • The Grand Union Canal
  • Horsenden Hill
  • Harrow School

We shall be attempting Section 10 pretty soon. Pictures to follow once I fix the uploader.

Section 9 info: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/greenford-to-south-kenton

More info on the Capital Ring can be found on the TFL website: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/capital-ring

 

Redirect HTTP to HTTPS but this time with the WWW!

Well, I was not a 100% happy with the way the redirect was working when I initially set it up.

Any HTTP traffic heading to the site would get redirected to HTTPS but only if someone visited the link by using the naked domain ‘dipen.co.uk’.

Plus, I had a little bit of tinkering to do to the site as well. I wanted the ‘www.’ prefix working. Unfortunately if the ‘www.’ prefix was used, an error would appear. Something to do with Cloudflare but that is a topic for another post. By the way, if you don’t use Cloudflare, I highly recommend it! Link -> https://www.cloudflare.com/

I got the ‘www.’ prefix for the website working but the redirects were still not working as they should. If someone visited http://dipen.co.uk then it would redirect to https://dipen.co.uk but not to https://www.dipen.co.uk

Bit of searching and I came across this lovely snippet on StackOverflow:

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/13977851/htaccess-redirect-to-https-www

It works like a charm! The balance in the universe has been restored! Yay!

DFS-R Having a Bad Day?

Well, first things first, don’t PANIC!

Arm yourself with the following command dfsrdiag replicationstate,look at the Windows Event Logs and DFS-R Debug logs located in C:\Windows\Debug.

They provide a wealth information.

Just as a reminder for myself I am going to include some resources below. Might come back and expand on them another time.

1. Checking for backlogs:
dfsrdiag backlog /rgname:rgroup_name /rfname:folder_name /sendingmember:sending_server
/receivingmember:receiving_server

2. Setting verbose logging for DFSR logs:
wmic /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path dfsrmachineconfig set debuglogseverity=5

3. Translate GUID into file names. DFSR usus GUID to identify replicated files:
dfsrdiag guid2name /guid:guid_identifier /rgname:group_name

4. Getting the GUID’s of replicated folders:
wmic /namespace:\\root\microsoftdfs path dfsrreplicatedfolderconfig get replicatedfolderguid,replicatedfoldername

(https://niktips.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/dfs-replication-troubleshooting/)

5. What is DFSR currently up to? – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/filecab/2009/05/28/dfsrdiag-exe-replicationstate-whats-dfsr-up-to/

6. Useful succint DFSR Troubleshooting notes with EventId’s – https://adminspeak.wordpress.com/tag/dfs-event-id-2212/

7. DFSR Event ID 2212 – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/977518

8. Understanding DFSR Dirty (Unexpected) File Recovery – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/filecab/2012/07/23/understanding-dfsr-dirty-unexpected-shutdown-recovery/

9. Understanding DFSR Debug logs. A great 21-part series on DFSR and Debug logs. Part 1 – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askds/2009/03/23/understanding-dfsr-debug-logging-part-1-logging-levels-log-format-guids/

Redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS with .htaccess

Now that I have made the switch to SSL, I needed to make sure that any traffic that hits the website uses SSL.

A quick and easy way to do this is to use the .htaccess file and add the following into it:

Make sure that the following two lines are right below the RewriteEngine line:
RewriteCond
RewriteRule