Interim Roaming Profile Writes?

WIndows 2008 R2In the Citrix Optimization Guide: User Logon, there are two lines which seem a bit cryptic:

With Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory, enable interim roaming profile writes.  Alternatively, use a third-party profile solution that manages multiple sessions more appropriately.

“With Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory, enable interim roaming profile writes.”

I can’t find a reference to interim roaming profile writes.  The closest setting I can find with Windows 2008 R2 is the Group Policy setting Background upload of a roaming user profile’s registry file while user is logged on.  According to Microsoft’s Ned Pyle, Folder Redirection should take care of the rest of the profile data, which you should be storing in known folders.

So this is the likely setting Citrix is referring to.

“Alternatively, use a third-party profile solution that manages multiple sessions more appropriately.”

In the case of Citrix, they are probably referring to the Active Write Back feature of their Profile Management tool.  With Active Write Back “Changes are copied back to the network profile when updated files are closed, subject to no further updates in a window of 10 seconds after the close“.

References:

Group Policy Logging on Vista/Windows 7,8,10

group_policy_failedAt the end of “Our roaming profiles aren’t being saved …”, I wrote that

For Windows Vista and later, the log information is stored in the Event Log.  Under Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Group Policy\Operational.  Further information of this can be found in this Microsoft Technet post, Group Policy Logging on Windows Vista

Well it is in the event log, but there is another .log file.  You can enable the Group Policy Client Service (GPSVC) log file.  It seems to solely provide information about what Group Policy settings are being applied.

GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:476 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 2, GPOName: {31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-4FB98400C0F9} DisplayName: Default Domain Policy
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:483 PrintGPWMIInfo: WMIInfo: GPOName:{15A0E08F-4917-F60B-8358-8B78E802A8B7}, QueryId:{81430147-9924-9351-456D-2329BF3F317F}, NameSpace:noddyland.inside
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:483 PrintGPWMIInfo: WMIInfo: bFilterAllowed: TRUE, Rules:1;3;10;108;WQL;root\CIMv2;select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (Version like "5.1%" or Version like "5.2%") and ProductType = "1";
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:484 GetFgPolicySettingImpl (bSync: 1)
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:485 SaveGPOsToLocalCache(Machine): Server SKU runs in sync mode, skip cache operations.
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:486 GetGPOInfo: Get 5 GPOs to after filtering.
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:486 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: Local Group Policy DisplayName: Local Group Policy
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:487 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: {55DD0EE9-4A06-4707-940B-5482CB34C9EF} DisplayName: Domain Policy - Log files
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:488 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: {02263A92-9FC5-4B95-B9C0-127ECC8A6C32} DisplayName: COMPUTEROBJECT-Desktops-Everyone
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:493 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: {E1692B3D-D2DA-4DA6-8683-2663C08C6F69} DisplayName: COMPUTERUSER-User Base settings
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:494 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 2, GPOName: {3140B2F3-016D-11D2-945F-00CFB98044F9} DisplayName: Default Domain Policy
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:494 GetGPOInfo:  Leaving with 1
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:495 GetGPOInfo:  ********************************
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:496 ProcessGPOs(Machine): Get 5 GPOs to process.
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:496 ReadExtStatus: Reading Previous Status for extension {3378E5AC-683F-11D2-A89A-04FBB00CCFA2}

To enable the log file:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  4. Type Diagnostics, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click the Diagnostics subkey, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type GPSvcDebugLevel, and then press ENTER.
  7. Right-click GPSvcDebugLevel, and then click Modify.
  8. In the Value data box, type 0x30002, and then click OK.
  9. Exit Registry Editor.
  10. At a command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    gpupdate /force
  11. View the Gpsvc.log file in the following folder:
    %windir%\debug\usermode

    Note – if the usermode folder does not exist under %WINDIR%\debug\ the gpsvc.log file will not be created. If the usermode folder does not exist, create it under %windir%\debug.

References:

Reducing image sizes somehow else (Smush.it is dead)

With images for this blog, I reduce their sizes with Yahoo’s Smush.it utility.  The benefit of this is that it leads to small image sizes, which means less for your web browser to download.

This image, with Smush.It, reduces from 436KB to to 386KB:
Bendigo Tram No. 21
Unfortunately, Smush.It has been not so reliable of late, so I was thinking of writing my own replacement.  It’s not difficult to replicate what Smush.It has done, essentially:

  • if the image is a GIF, convert to PNG
  • optimize PNG images with pngcrush.
  • optimize JPEG images with jpegtran.

So it would be fairly simple to code something up, which calls pngcrush and jpegtran.

Or I could Google to see what’s out there, and see what other people have done.  After an hour of stuffing about, I finally settled on Radical Image Optimization Tool (RIOT)
Radical Image Optimization ToolThe Bendigo Tram image reduces down from 436KB to 126KB.  The image quality looks the same to me, and it’s good enough for a web blog.   So I’ll be using it in future for pre-processing images for this blog.  Plus it has “batch” processing, which I’d find useful as well.

If I was using a Macintosh, I’d look at using ImagOptim

References:

What are these strange files that the Macintosh dropped on my USB stick?

Lending, or just been given a USB stick from someone, can be hazardous from your computer’s health.

You’ve heard of the car-park study where security researchers dropped a handful of USB keys in a company car-pack, and just waited for some silly people to go

“Oh look!  Free USB stick!  Lucky Me!”

And plug them into their work PC.

This post isn’t about that.

It’s about the hidden files that Apple Macintoshes drop onto your USB stick.  Not a big thing if you’re expecting it, but a bit of a surprise if you’re using a PC; and you’re not.
Deleting spotlight files

.Spotlight-V100, .Trashes, .fseventsd and .DS_Store.

These files are created by Mac OS X to assist with searching, file modification and deletion tracking and desktop incon placement.

You can safely delete them.

Reference:  Hostilefork – .Trashes, .fseventsd, and .Spotlight-V100

HTC Sync Manager – No backup found yet

The HTC Sync Manager could not find my iPhone backup.  The Sync Manager is supposed to allow you to transfer content from your iPhone backup to your HTC phone.

Yet, I kept getting “No backup found yet”.
HTC - No backup found yet

I did have iPhone backups, but they were set to be encrypted.
iTunes - encryption selectedAfter de-selecting the encryption option, I did a fresh backup, and HTC Sync Manager was able to find the backup.

Yay!

My final(?) SAMBA Post – File copy performance.

sambalogov1200x154.pngI’ve written a bit about SAMBA before, and I hope this will be the last time I do.

A customer was complaining recently that the file copy performance from their Windows 7 PC to one of their Unix boxes was dreadful.  But file copy performance was ok if they were copying to a Windows Server.  The customer was kind enough to provide a network capture so I could see what was going on.

Looking at the network capture, I saw that communications to the Unix boxes were using the SMBv1 Protocol, and the communications to the Windows Servers were using SMBv2.

If you Google “smb performance windows 7″ you’ll find lots of complaints about Windows 7 being slower than Windows XP for Samba file copies.  It appears that SMBv1 file copies are in fact slower with Windows 7.

The solution I suggested to the customer was that they upgrade the SAMBA version on their Unix boxes to a version which supports SMBv2.  In particular, the “durable file handles” feature will fix their issues.  This SAMBA wiki page has further details.

South Face Road - Rawson end

Another “C” Road Trip – Korumburra to Walhalla.

This was a trip suggested by my good friend Rebecca.  165 km / 3h 40min according to Google Maps.

The C425 from Korumburra to Warragul.
This was actually the best part of the ride.  Nice roads with some moderate bends, not that many other motorcyclists on the roads, a bit windy at times.

The C425 from Warragul to Noojee
Noojee Trestle BridgeMore bikes.  Boring-ish road.  Best part of the ride was visiting the Noojee Trestle Bridge.  The bridge was rebuilt in 1939 following the Black Friday Bush Fires.  Bec tells me that public toilets at Neerim South are probably the best ones on the ride.

The C426 from Noojee to the South Face Road.
South Face Road or Mt Baw BawWinding.  On a sports bike it would be a hoot.  On a oversized super moto, less so.  But I still had fun ripping though the corners.  I remember getting to Tanjil Bend and thinking “Shit!  I’m lost.”  A check of the map and away I went.  Parts of this road would be very slippery in the wet, with all the leaf matter and all.  Most dangerous part of the trip was clueless riders using the whole road to corner.
You’ll eventually get to the Mt Baw Baw turnoff.  Not being a snow bunny, I continued onto the South Face Road.

The South Face Road
South Face Road - Rawson end26kms of unsealed winding road, with a bike running road tires and road tire pressures, what could possibly go wrong?!?  As it turns out, nothing.  But I wish I noticed on the map that it was dirt before I got to it.  As far as dirt roads go, it was smooth, and I wouldn’t want to go speeding into the bends.  My average speed was amount 50 km/h.  At the end of the South Face Road, I turned left towards the Thomson Dam.

Thomson Dam via C466
Thomson DamWhy???  Well it’s Victoria’s largest water reservoir, and I’ve never seen it.  It’s about a 20km ride up there.  Saw a speed camera car parked on the side of the road, which was a surprise.

South Face Road to Walhalla (C466 to C461)
The township of Rawson is a pleasant little place to stop and have a look around.  The road from Rawson to Walhalla becomes narrow in sections, slippery, and occasionally there is roadkill.  Nothing like a dead wombat to make you change your line, mid-corner.

Walhalla
Very much the tourist town, you could spend the day walking around looking at things.  The Long Tunnel Mine is worth a look if you’ve never been in a mine before.

Google maps link to the route here

Roaming Profiles and OneDrive for Business

OneDrive For BusinessThe customer reported that their roaming profile wasn’t saving to the network.

So I had a look.

The customer had sync’d 2GB of data using OneDrive and was storing it in their roaming profile.  The reason being something like “so it’s available wherever I log on.”

Which I understand.  But storing anything in a roaming profile becomes a trade off between portability and reliably.  Plus you can throw in “increasing network logon/logoff times when you have a larger roaming profile.”

Microsoft’s advice on this can be best described as “la la la I can’t hear you …”

For the OneDrive for Business sync app to work as designed, the following requirements must be met:

  • The application must be installed on the local computer.
  • The user must be able to write to the user profile.
  • Data that’s written to the user profile must be saved to the local hard disk and be available without a network connection.

Leong Chee Loon, MSFT Support

So Microsoft isn’t saying Roaming Profiles are not supported, but “user must be able to write to the user profile.”  But if your System Admin has set limits on how large the Roaming Profile can grow, then the user won’t be able to write to the user profile.

Or to put it another way, OneDrive for Business is not designed to be used with Roaming Profiles.

References: