Oracle 10g Instant Client

Did some work on AX client installation today. I wanted to see how hard it will be to do a Oracle 10g Instant client install… looks pretty easy, although I don’t see why those $%#$%$# at Oracle can’t be bothered to make a light-weight MSI installer for the 10g client… it is the messy Java “Universal Installer”, or the installer-free “instant client”. Bah!

anyway, here is what I did…

-Go to, downloads, database, 10g Instant Client, log in, fetch the Instant Client Base package, and the SQLPlus files. also grabbed the ODBC files, even though I do not really need them at this time.
-Extract all of these .ZIP files to C:\Program Files\Oracle InstantClient\
-SET the System Variable PATH to include the instantclient_ subdirectory of the above path
-SET the new System variable SQLPATH to the same value just appended to PATH, above
-SET the new System variable TNS_ADMIN to the same as SQLPATH, but append “admin”.
-Create a new folder “admin” in the instant client directory
-Create a TNSNAMES.ORA file in this location, past required entries into it (copied from the %ORACLE_HOME%\network\admin directory on the server “DOCIMG1″).
-Run the ODBC Installer .BAT file in the instant client directory
-Log out, then log in again to initialize the newly set variables.
-Test connectivity to the IMG databases using SQLPlus.exe:
C:\> sqlplus

Now I can install XSAdmin and ApplicationXtender applications. Connecting meerly requires that I select the correct Data Source provider (Microsoft OLE provider for Oracle).

Deep Thoughts, #2

I do believe the “A” in “Type A Personality” should stand for “asshole”.

These also should be a “Type J Personality” for “jerk”.

(Throught attributed to Steve Cavrak)

Deep Thoughts, #1

Somedays, your arteries just need hardening.

Citrix Printing

Some discovered information on how Citrix prints (that is, when it actually prints at all…)

Citrix performs “automatic printer creation” for ICA client sessions. When a client uses ICA to connect, the Citrix server creates a “local” printer that points back down the ICA pipe to the client’s locally defined printers. The Server must have a driver which matches the client’s. If I have a Canon IR2300 printer defined locally, the Citrix server must have this same driver loaded and ready. Applications on the server will format print jobs using it’s own driver, and then send them back to the client.

Exceptions to this client/server driver 1:1 driver mapping can be made in the wtsuprn.inf file:
%System Root%\system32\wtsuprn.txt
Here, you can assign specific driver names to a different driver already present on the server. Most commonly, we map printers to a relatively generic PCL driver such as the HP LJ 4000 or LJ4. This is a Good Thing, because it allows the sysadmin to avoid loading untested/unstable drivers (think “Savin”) on the terminal server.

Unfortunately, this does not always work. Some printers, such as most Savin printers we have worked with, simply refuse to map, and they do not even have the courtesy of logging errors on client connect.

Citrix recommends using the “Universal Printer Driver” for troublesome printers. Unfortunately, the UPD is not available under MetaFrame 1.8 (which is what we are using). So, the short answer to the question “why is my Savin printer not working with Citrix” is “because it is not supported”.

Additional discoveries:
You can see which printers were autogenerated for a client by looking in the registry.
shows all of the printers mapped for a currently logged-in user. Note that reg keys are loaded at user login time.
You can determine a user SID by issuing the following command line:
dsquery user -samid | dsget user -sid

If you want to see the user hive for a non-logged in user, you will have to import it from:
:\Documents and Settings\\USER.DAT

DiskXtender installation and configuration

Well, we finally got DiskXtender from the IKON folks. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a license code for the product, which we will need soon if we expect the service to run for more than 30 days… regardless…

I uploaded the installer .zip to d:\install, then extracted. There are documentation PDF files in this folder. Following the instructions there, I have created a service account for the “Data Manager” (or primary DiskXtender) service. The account is CAMPUS\sa_dx-DataMngr. The account has been added to the local administrators group, as per the documentation.

Outside of that, all I have done is run the main DX setup.exe. The oply two options that I set were 1) the name of the service account to be used for the service and 2) the name/location of the Legato Licensing server. (The installer notes that the license sever on DOCIMG1 does NOT have a license for DX at this time, as noted above).

Note that I did NOT install the MediaStor application. This component does not appear to be required in our case as we will not be managing removable storage devices with our installation of DX.

After the install, I started up the DiskXtender Administrator program. I then ran the Service->New Extended drive wizard, and added the “I:” drive (mounted iSCSI LUN on “”). It is requested that you configure a number of options for the “Extended drive” at this time. I accepted the defaults for most options, other than “drive scan”, which I changed from “disabled” to instead run once a week on Saturday at 2:00 am.

The wizard also requests that you setup a “media folder” for the extended volume. I quickly added “hr_images”… I will wade through the documentation to see if I really need separate media folders for the whole volume. I would rather avoid touching this interface in the future… certainly I do not want to make setting up new media folders a prerequisite for new AX applications, if at all possible.

Feeling Down

Despite having gotten my orthodonture off last week,
despite the beautiful loving wife,
despite being the pround parent of a devastatingly cute 2 year old boy and a beautiful 2 month old girl,
despite making a livable wage,
despite owning my own home,
despite not being hungry, at war, in danger…

I am feeling a bit down today. It seems we never make any real headway here in CIT. I am wondering how we can be more effective?

PXE Config for RIS/Unattended Dual-boot

Microsoft RIS and “Unattened” both have support for network-boot installation. With RIS, this is the only supported configuration. With Unattended, this is one of several supported configurations.

A little work needs to be done to get the two system to co-habitate on the same server.

Initially, I had throught to use the “PXELINUX” boot system which ships with Unattended as the primary boot system, adding additional entries to the default.cfg file in the TFTP boot directory. However, I have been unable to find any “how to’s” for this configuration.

Instead, we will attempt to use RIS for the primary boot image. We will then add Unattened’s PXELINUX boot files as a “Tool” in the RIS setup menu. This was done following instructions at:

(we omit the step that suggests altering the .osc file).
Note that the “Unattened” tool now shows up under the “RIS Service” tab in the DSA.msc MMC console (AKA “Active Directory Users and Computers”).

Since I had previously requested special DHCP configuration options for the 104.0 subnet where our pre-prod RIS/Unattended box resides, I have had to request these options be altered. They were:
filename “pxelinux.0″ (note the quotes)

For RIS, the filename option needs to be changed to “/OSChooser/i386/”. (note again the very important quotes)

Now we need to enable the “Tools” menu on the RIS server. Through near-random web searching, I discover that this is a group policy setting. For starters, I make a new GPO called “CIT – RIS Policy”. This policy is linked to the “PEOPLE” OU with NO FILTERING (at present… probably need to change that… probably make it part of the “Windows Services” user policy). I disable COMPUTER side processing, then under “Windows Settings->Remote Installation Services”, I enable “custom” and “Tools” options. NOTE that using loopback processing and linking the policy to the server’s OU does NOT work… apparently GP processing in the CIW (AKA the RIS Client Installation Wizard) is not that sophisticated.

When we netboot to the RIS server and login, we now get a TOOLS option… Huzzah!!!! When we select Tools, then Unattended, Unattended starts right up! Double Huzzah!

Interesting to note that MS maintains that OEMs will provide Tools snapins for firmware updates and the like. I will have to see if Dell makes these available.

Also consider emSoft’s RIS menu editor:

(This is a free download of the 1.0 version… 2.0 is a cheap pay-ware app).

Deployment Introduction

I have been working on expanding the features on our Desktop system distribution servers.

Currently, CIT uses a Microsoft RIS on three servers to deploy MS operating systems to computers purchased through the Depot.

One system, “RISPrime”, is installed permanently in the Depot. This system is located at IP and is joined to the production “CAMPUS” Active Directory domain.

Two security groups control access to the RIS server (beyond “authenticated users”, all of whom are allowed access to RIS-boot and pull down disk images).
First, “CIT – Workstation Join” is used to grant rights to populate computer objects into the RIS-Workstations,CIT,Resources,campus,ad,uvm,edu container. These are the users who will be able to auto-generate computer objects when running RIS.
Second, “CIT-RISImageMakers” are granted the rights to add disk images to the “RemInst” share on RISPrime, under the Setup->English->Images folder.

The two remaining RIS systems are not in active use except during back-to-school system deployment and port-deployment help-fairs. These systems each run self-contained Active Directory environments (complete with DHCP and DNS services), and have a separate mirrors of the RISPrime disk images.

A test

This is a test.


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