Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maintaining Sixaxis Settings in Steam Big Picture Mode on Linux

Using Steam Big Picture Mode on Ubuntu 15.10, with a PS3 Sixaxis controller over Bluetooth, was proving difficult. Every time I would restart BPM, it would lose all of my controller mappings. The normal solution of using xboxdrv didn’t work, since this was via Bluetooth and not wired.

I configured the controller as normal via BPM (the default A and B buttons for me were left-stick-click and right-stick-click respectively), then closed Steam.

After exiting Steam, open ~/.local/share/Steam/config/config.vdf, and look for the line that begins with “SDL_GamepadBind”. Copy the large value in quotes.

Edit the Steam startup script (this may be overwritten on Steam updates)

sudo vi /usr/bin/steam

And before the ‘export STEAMSCRIPT’ line, add a line with


making sure to replace CONTROLLERSTRING with the large value in quotes.

2008 BPA for AD Group Policy “Access to this computer” Error

When running the AD Best Practices on Server 2008, you may receive the following error:

The AD DS BPA should be able to collect data about Group Policy Results setting “Access this computer from the network” from the domain controller <DCNAME>

Check the XML log file for a more detailed error message.  It can be found by default in ‘Logs\BPA\Reports\Microsoft\Windows\DirectoryServices‘ in your %systemroot% as ‘DirectoryServices_EngineReport.xml‘.  Look for a section called <Error>.  There will be a Message section with a somewhat more useful error.  In this case, it was ‘Some or all identity references could not be translated.’, which would indicate that a deleted account is still referenced somewhere on a GPO.  Unfortunately it doesn’t tell you which GPO has this error.

To find the GPO at fault, open up Group Policy Management Console, and back up your GPOs manually.  Right-click the Group Policy Objects container, and choose Back Up All.  As it is backing up, it will eventually give you an error on whichever GPO has the outdated SID:

GPO: Default Domain Controllers Policy…Succeeded, but note the following issues:

[Warning] The security principal [S-1-5-21-940797813-2055044403-441284377-1536] referenced in extension [Security] cannot be resolved, but the task will continue.

Fix the referenced GPO, and re-run BPA.

ADMT Child Leaf Objects Error

When using the Active Directory Migration Toolkit, you may receive an error that a user cannot be moved while they have child leaf objects.  This is usually due to the user tying a device to their Exchange account via ActiveSync.

To solve this, make sure you have the Support Tools for Windows Server installed.  Open up ADSI Edit (adsiedit.msc), and browse out to the user object.

Under the user container will be another container, ExchangeActiveSyncDevices.  Select it, and you’ll see a list of all associated phones for the user on the right pane.

Delete the phones one at a time (right-click, Delete).  Once all the phone objects have been deleted, you can then delete the ExchangeActiveSyncDevices container.

Once this is done, you should have no more problems moving the user with ADMT.


Dead Monitor

What better way to revive a near-dead blog named SmashTech than by smashing a dead LCD with a 3 lb drilling hammer?


Error 0x80005000 using LDAP in VBScript

Logon Error

While rolling out a new logon script, I started getting reports of an error message like this one showing up. Error 0x80005000 with a source of (null) isn’t particularly helpful.  The particular section of code referenced in the error dealt with pulling a user’s group membership from LDAP, and mapping drives accordingly.

After stepping through the script, I found that it was bombing out on a group with a forward slash (/) in the name.  The / was throwing off the LDAP query, since it is a reserved separator character.  There are 2 fixes for this.  You can either do a substring replace, and replace ‘/’ with ‘\\/’ (yes – double backslash slash), or you can do what I did and just rename the group in ActiveDirectory to not contain a /.

RAID is not Backup – My Experience

It’s a common theme you read on many sysadmin forums – ‘RAID is not backup!’ I have always agreed with that statement, but it didn’t hit home until recently.

A little over a month ago, I was on site in Kentucky to switch some T1 lines around. When I got there, I noticed one of the drives on their server had failed. I requested a replacement drive from the corporate office. Since I was stuck on hold with the telco during the data line switchover, I ran a backup of the server. The next morning, the replacement drive had not arrived. I left instructions to just swap the drive out when it did show up, and started on my drive back up to Michigan, with the backup tape in my laptop case.

A few hours later, my phone rings. “Jim, I switched out the drive, and now everyone says all their files are missing.” I walk through a couple of checks, and come to the conclusion that this is pretty much the worst case scenario – one of the other RAID drives failed during the array rebuild, and took the entire array down. Worse yet, I have the only full backup tape, and I’m on the road almost halfway between Michigan and Kentucky. A long weekend was in store for me.

Fortunately, the server that went down was ‘only’ their file & print server, and not the Exchange server or only DC for that domain. Another plus was that the server was down over a (relatively slow) weekend, as opposed to the middle of the week. To work around some of the issues, DHCP services were moved to the primary router at the Kentucky site, and DNS was repointed to Michigan. Users could still access email and the terminal system. Corporate IT began building a new server in Michigan, so I could start restoring data as soon as I got back.

After 6 hours of restoring the tape, the replacement server was mostly back up and running, with users losing less than 12 hours of saved work, and no email. Printing was an issue on the new server, as it was loaded with newer drivers that caused problems for some of the older PCs.

Lesson learned: RAID is not backup. As drive capacities become larger, the likelyhood of having additional drives fail during the rebuild increases. To help work around this, build your RAID arrays with at least 1, preferably 2 hotspare drives for automatic failover, and configure your server to send email or text alerts when it detects hardware issues.

UNetbootin – Create Linux & Utility Bootable Flash Drives

Out of blank CDs? Is your burner giving you nothing but coasters?

With UNetbootin, you can download almost any of the common Linux distros or  various utilities such as NTPasswd or SystemRescueCD, all from within one small program, and create a bootable USB flash drive. It also works with any GRUB or isolinux based CD image.

Not only does it automatically download the distro of your choice, but it also provides version history, and builds for x86 or x64.