Work Journal For Week of February 07, 2000

Last Update: Sunday, February 13, 2000 07:04 PM


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Late afternoon bike ride was great yesterday. Sunny with the temperature floating around the freezing mark. My toes got cold on the way home which was the only bad part of the whole ride. Now if every weekend for the next two months can be like this one weather wise, my bike will definitely see more use.

I have managed to move all of my data and most of the files I want to keep off my NT server. There were some files I can recreate if I want or need to that were too large to move due to lack of storage space on my workstation.

If you are looking to compare cost of living, crime rates, cost of moving etc take a look at



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The job hunt is picking up steam. Today I met with Human Resources for who operate off site data storage for companies as well as providing onsite server support for clients who prefer to do things at their own site. Then I have an interview with the Director of Technology tomorrow with another company in regards to a server support position. I also have to return a call to Husky Oil who I had sent a resume a week or two ago.

If you are running Windows 2000 on a low end PC and users complain about menus appearing to hang-up, this can be fixed. Go into Control Panel > Display > Effects and under Visual Effects unselect Use transition effects for menus and tooltips. 

Computer is the membership magazine of the IEEE computer society. I picked up the April 1999 issue out of a magazine rack at work and found a good article on IPv6 as well and a discussion on Open Source software. The magazine is available in print, HTML or PDF format for members of IEEE. It reminds me a lot of the print version of Byte magazine which is no more. Lots of information on security, networks and software. The IEEE also has a selection of other magazines on a variety of topics, but they are not included in the cost of membership.

My new NetGear 10/100 hub has been sitting on the bench since I picked it up from Purolator. So I unpacked it, plugged it in, transferred all the connections from my old no name 10 Mb hub and that's all there was to it. No lost connections, no problems. One nice thing about this new hub is that the power supply is not a big power brick that eats up space on a power bar. IThe power supply is about the size of a large box of wooden matches, and at one end you have the connection which goes to the hub and on the other you plug in a PC style power cord.

Since only my test PC has a 10/100 NIC in it, I downed my Novell test server and removed the Intel 10 Mb NIC that is in it. I then installed a NetGear 10/100 NIC and fired the server up. Novell told me that it had detected a new network card and I stepped through the install process using the drivers which came with the NIC. This left me with Novell unable to the NetWare partition. After a few failed attempts to get things going I put the old Intel card back in the server, while leaving the NetGear card installed. This got me no where so I removed the NetGear card, and the server did not start properly. I ran the disk configuration utility and came up with an error message. I can't reinstall the Intel driver as the NetGear driver over wrote all the drivers on C:\nwserver which I believe my be due to operator error. Enough is enough, time to scrub down the hard drive and start from scratch. This is not so bad as there as a few install options I want to play with anyways.


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Woke up this morning to no electrical power and plenty of snow. It was an adventure getting ready for work with no lights.

My interview went very well today. The headhunter reports that the Director of Technology whom I interviewed with, gave a glowing response to my interview. So now I have to interview with one or two managers next week.

Just changing the NIC in my server last night I don't think was the root of my problems. I had trouble booting to the DOS partition and when I scrubbed the hard drive down, I had a devil of a time setting up DOS again. Then once I got the drive to boot again and setup the SCSI CD drivers, things started to wonky again. The settings for the SCSI adapter do not display on screen in the same manner as the used to. I am starting to wonder if the adapter or maybe one of the SCSI devices is dieing on me. I am going to try using a Windows 98 startup disk and see if all the devices come up and if that fails things will have to wait till tomorrow as I have snow to shovel and some other work to attend to.


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I have put my original Novell test server on the back burner and am as I write this fdisking the hard drive in my NT server in preparation for installing Netware 5. Now that all the NT partitions are gone I have created a 100 MB bootable partition for DOS 6.22. Novell servers boot to DOS as a starting point from which a server executable is run which loads the server environment and mounts the system and data volumes. Next I run a CD drive setup program which creates a new directory to which some drivers are copied and makes the necessary changes to the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files for CD-ROM support. I reboot the computer and all the necessary drivers load, the CD drive is recognized and I am in business. Well not so quick, as usual the CD drive in this particular computer does not like all CD ROMs. As luck would have it it does not like my Netware 5 CD ROM. I pop a Windows NT CD in the drive and can read it. I have run into this problem with this particular drive before and have one way or another got my work done in spite of it. Looks like it is finally time to spend some money and get a reliable CD drive for this computer.

A bit of digging through my spare parts bin turns up a spare CD drive. So I swapped the faulty drive for the one from the spares bin, pulled the old 3Com NIC out, installed a new NetGear NIC, and now I have Netware 5 installing. I setup the Netware partition as 1 Gig in size leaving the remainder of the 6 Gig drive unformatted to be made into a data drive later. I setup the NDS tree with a root name of SiliconPatch, organizational unit Calgary and server name labrat. You can install DHCP/DNS at this point but if you wan to install it in it's own organizational unit you can't, the install process only lets you install in an existing organizational unit. You can work around this by installing DHCP/DNS after the server installation has been completed. 

An article explaining a variety of  denial of service attacks can be found here.




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See Saturday



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I got out of work late yesterday, and then had some errands to run. By the time I got home , had something to eat, I was very tired and fell asleep in front of the TV.

During my errands I ran met up with some people I used to work with. While updating each other on where we are working now one of them asked me for a business card. I almost never carry business cards with me. I made some up for myself mostly for when I moved into my house, it was a convenient way to give friends my new address etc.. For some odd unexplainable reason yesterday morning I put some business cards in my pocket. I think I need to make carrying business cards a habit as I seem to run into people fairly often now who maybe able to provide me with job leads and a business card is a quick easy way to exchange contact information.

I'll have more later as I have some computer projects to attack today.


Project number one is done. The other day I installed the Novell client software on my main PC which corrupted my local NT accounts. Worst of all this meant I could not log on with any of the administrative accounts. The accounts still existed, but the passwords would not work any more. So today I downloaded several hacking tools to try and find out if the passwords had been merely changed, or to see if I could add one of the none administrative accounts to the administrators group. All my attempts failed, but I was not about to give up and reinstall NT. I downloaded NTFS for DOS which I copied to a DOS boot disk. I first booted up my test PC with the boot disk, ran NTFS for DOS and copied the sam and security files to a floppy. Then I booted my main PC with the boot disk and copied the sam and security files off the floppy to replace the existing files. I then copied the profile for the administrative account from my test PC to my main PC. I rebooted and logged on successfully using the copied administrative account and had regained full administrative access to the PC. I had successfully completed my first official security hack.

Project number two is to add some additional internet security to my main PC. I downloaded and installed Zone Alert. Interesting product which lets you decide which applications on your PC can access the internet. You can also lock your PC so that no applications can access the internet. A quick test with Outlook verified that as soon as I locked Zone Alert, Outlook could no longer connect to Shaw's mail server.

Interesting development - the first time I tried to got to ZoneAlert popped up an alert saying I cannot go to I clicked on the more information button and I got information from zonelabs web page that is being investigated. I tried the web page again and this time I got to it with no problems. So far my efforts to duplicate the earlier events has not been successful. I tried going to a few web sites which might be considered dubious for security reasons and still cannot duplicate my earlier experience.

Well ZoneAlarm has provided me with want I wanted to show you just by being patient an letting things happen. The following image is similar to the the message I got earlier except that the earlier message informed me that access was being blocked to a web page.

The alert page at zonelabs is nearly identical to the one I got earlier when trying to access a web page that was blocked. 

Project number three is to get the Novell server I setup the other day leasing out IP addresses to my LAN. I actually had to do this midway through project one as both my NT boxes had their IP address leases expire on me. Setting up DHCP was about the same amount of work as setting up static IP addresses on both PCs would have been.

Project number four is to install ZenWorks 2.0. First though I have to upgrade Netware 5 to support pack 2 or greater. I downloaded support pack 4 and expanded its contents on the data drive on the server. I ran the NWconfig utility and installed the support pack. To complete the installation I downed the server and restarted it so that the files that need to be updated on the DOS partition could be replaced, and so that the server.exe file could be replaced. Then I logged on to the server as an administrator and installed ZenWorks.

With ZenWorks installed I used Netware Administrator to create a Windows NT user policy and applied the user policy to a test ID. Now when the test user ID is used, even if that ID has never been used on a particular PC before, the policy is copied to the PC and used. The policy can even be configured to be removed from the PC when the user logs off the PC.

Side bar - I don't use search engines a lot as I generally know where to get what I need off the net. This changed when I needed hacking tools to fix the broken security on my home PC. As a change of pace I used google to search for tools and am very pleased with the results. Most every search I have done using google has provided links to usable information in the first few links on the results page. Yahoo, Excite etc. never have come close to giving me this type of results in the past.



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Sunday is chore day. Pick up groceries, do laundry etc. and try to squeeze some computer time in. 

Playing with creating new users and a variety of different user policies on the Novell server. I am also organizing the NDS tree some by creating new Organizational Units for both users and policies. Doing things this way does two things, it makes it easier to find objects in the NDS tree, but it also means more navigation of the tree when associating policies to users. 

Getting policies and roaming profiles working is proving trouble-some. I think I am missing a small piece of the puzzle but not sure what it is. Time to do some research to find out where I am going wrong.


Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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