Saturday, August 30, 2014

Recovering Laptop Harddrive with Sync Toy and USB Dock Master

Needed to recover data off of a laptop and moving the files just wasn't working...
Decided to try Microsoft's SyncToy. We use it on some of our laptops to backup data from the laptop user's documents folder to a server which has it's own backup.
Created folder pairs for syncing between the failed harddrive and new folder on my desktop.
Since the harddrive was failing (faint click sound), paging errors and the odd bad block error showed up in the event log and SyncToy would stall, but not stop responding.  (Unlike Windows explorer)
To get it to start copying again, simply unplugged the USB cable from my desktop and plug it in again.
Now most copy jobs would stop completely when you do this, but not SyncToy. It moved on to the next file and try to copy that one.  
Granted there would be some files that would be missed based on how long Windows took to re connect the drive however, that is better than no files at all or manually copying over file by file and trying to find out which one was failing.
Once that was done, reran the Windows Chkdsk program on the drive and then ran the SyncToy folder pairs again to recover more files. 
Since SyncToy catalogs and compares file changes, this time the Sync took less time.  The harddrive still had that faint click of death and still required unplugging and plugging the USB cable.  When SyncToy stalled on a bad file, wrote down the file name(s) and then went back into the Folder pair settings and excluded the file(s).  This helped recover as much as 90% of the folders contents in some cases.

Friday, August 8, 2014

SCCM 2012 Clients with Random Software Update Install Failures

Yesterday (Aug. 7, 2014) our SCCM clients started randomly failing to install locally published software updates.  Then even the new RDS servers started failing to install Windows updates via SCCM.  Yet for some reason other clients would install updates

First thought was WSUS certificate issues or Group Policy settings...  Strike one and two.

Try again in the morning...

Of course they didn't magically fix themselves over night (when does that ever happen).

This morning no clients would install any updates.

Looking at the windows update logs on the client machines found error about communication with the endpoint at http .... /clientwebservice/client.asmx.

So the WSUS server was the problem...

Sure enough Windows Update Server Service errors - Event ID in the Application log 12002,12012,12032,12042,12052,12072.

Started with restarting the WSUS service and Window Internal database service... Strike three.

Still not out... maybe I'll just stop using baseball references...

Started looking at the System event log and found that WAS or WsusPool had failed, so onto an IIS investigation. 

Restarting the WSUSPool, it look promising... Wsus was starting... no errors, but then failed after maxing out the CPU for about 5 minutes.

Found one website that said there was no solution, had to rebuild the server from scratch.  That would be bad... very bad... At that point I thought of restoring the system from the day before it failed.

Kept searching the internet for nearly 2 hours and then finally came up with this process...

1) IIsreset /noforce

2) Restarted the Windows Internal database service

3) Deleted the preferences in %appdata%\Microsoft\MMC for WSUS

4) Opened WSUS management console and waited...

Everything was back to normal and actually the final solution is not that complicated.

As with all solutions... there is no guarantee.  It worked for me, it may not work for you.

More SCCM related posts