Friday, January 30, 2009

Sql 2005 Install Woes on Shiny New Big Server

I had a new one this time.

I (of course) ran into the install-hangs-on-setting-file-security issue (KB910070), but I was expecting that. What really threw me was after that then install then just kept dying, leaving this in the logs:

Faulting application sqlservr.exe, version 2005.90.1399.0, faulting module sqlservr.exe, version 2005.90.1399.0, fault address 0x0000000000b323f0.

This really threw the installer too - after an uninstall, and even after a manual cleanup, the installer still though there was an instance hanging around. Which it was. I had to manually delete the SQL Services (using SC), a bunch of instance registry settings and the instance files directory (the MSSQL.1 folder) before I could finally get it to re-install. I guess the uninstall died too.

So then I tried installing again, and again. And again.

So I started speculating. Was it the virus scanner .... No. Could it be the Sql 2005 installer didn't like .Net 3.5 sp1? Uninstall... No. Was I definately using the 64 bit version... Yes. Could I slipstream SP2 and workaround some issue I didn't understand yet... No. Was it the monster 24 cores the server had (4 x hex core)... maybe.

There is a known issue with Sql 2005 instal failing with odd number of cores (ie Phenoms). That (obviously) doesn't count: but maybe Sql can't either. So I used the instructions in KB954835 to criple my monster server down to a single CPU, and then it all installed just fine. I can now install SP2 (3 actually) which allegedly should then make it all work.

Obviously I should have been installing Sql 2008 instead
It's clearly becoming way too easy - with multi-multi-core boxes - to drop into some massively unexplored race condition territory in something that's otherwise really quite stable and well tested.
You can have too many cores

Other thoughts:
There must be a better way to restrict an installer or app to run on only one core without farting about with BOOT.INI
Once I put SP3 on it better all work otherwise the boss is going to be really pissed ('What, those other 23 cores? They're um ... spares')

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forcing Web Part pages into Edit Mode

(Before I forget again :)

Even if you've hacked about with a SharePoint master page to remove all the SharePoint chrome (including the edit button and suchlike) there are URL hacks you can use to get the page back into edit mode:
(There's a few more like this, see Sharepoint Tweaks... ) well as the hack to get a page into the Web Part Maintanance page:


Special cleaning instructions for Nokia 6110 Classic

Mine had a bit of a smudge on the screen so I thought I'd pop it through the wash and clean it up. The critical bit here was to make sure the phone was in the pocket of my cycling shorts, so it didn't get bashed / scratched by the washing machine drum.

After an afternoon out on the line drying (still in shorts pocket) bingo: one nice clean phone.

Nokia: tough as.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recordset to Powershell object collection

I've found this pretty damn useful: it converts an ADO.Net IDbDataReader into a collection of powershell objects, mapping column names to property names so you can sort and filter and whatnot using standard PS syntax.

# Executes an IDbCommand and converts the resultset
# to a Powershell object collection
function ExecuteCommand(
$command = { throw 'Command must be supplied' }
$rows = @();
$reader = $command.executereader()
$values = new-object object;

for($i = 0; $i -lt $reader.FieldCount; $i++){
$name = $reader.GetName($i);
$value = $reader.GetValue($i);

Add-Member -in $values noteproperty $name $value
$rows+= $values;

Next week: why I was doing this in the first place (much more interesting)

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