Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to connect to an iSCSI target from Windows Vista

In my last post on How to create an iSCSI target on Centos I detailed how to setup an iSCSI target. In this post I will list the steps I used to connect to that target from Windows Vista.

To connect to the iSCSI target from Windows Vista first open up the control panel and double click on the iSCSI Initiator Icon.

Once the applet starts click on the Discovery Tab. And ADD a target portal. Use the ip address of the iSCSI target server you created from my last article. I left the default port.

I then selected the Targets tab and hit the refresh button. My iSCSI disk that I set up on the Target server now appeared in the list.

To connect to it you will need to enter the user name and password that you used in the creation of the target (from my last article). Highlight the target from the list and click on the Logon button. You will then see the following popup box.

If you would like this connection to come up automatically when the system reboots select the checkbox for that option. Click on the Advanced button to bring up some additional options.

Check the CHAP login information check box and enter the user name and password you created the iSCSI target with. If all goes well you should see the Status column go from Inactive to Connected. Once this is connected you should see a new drive in the Windows Disk Managament applet that you can then format as needed.

Note that this was used for purely a test environment and should not be used in a production setting without some serious security and performance changes.

For other linux articles click here.
For other iSCSI articles click here.

How to create an iSCSI Target on Centos 5.3

This article is a quick howto on how I set up a working iscsi target on a centos box. Note that this was just for my own personal testing and should not be used in a production environment without some serious security and performance enhancements.

On with the HOWTO:...

Start out with a Centos 5.3 server. I will not go into how to set this up but I am willing to bet if you are looking at how to set up iscsi then you already know how to set up a Centos server.

From a command line type

yum update

This will make sure the system is up to date.

Then Download iscsitarget-0.4.17.tar.gz from SourceForge

I put the above file in /usr/src/iscsitarget If that folder does not exist you will need to create it.

mkdir /usr/src/iscsitarget

Then change to that directory

cd /usr/src/iscsitarget

Now you will have to enter the following commands to extract the files and install iscsitarget.

tar xvf iscsitarget-0.4.17.tar.gz
cd iscsitarget-0.4.17
make install

Once installed I created a folder to house my test disk files

mkdir /data/iscsidisks

Then create an empty file for your iscsi target file

dd if=/dev/zero of=/data/iscsidisks/LUN0 bs=1M count=512

(The above command will create a 512 MB file. Adjust accordingly.)

Now onto the config file for iscsitarget

Open up the /etc/ietd.conf file

I added the below options but there are many others as well. See the man file for more help.

IncomingUser scott 123456789012
OutgoingUser scott 123456789012
Lun 0 Path=/data/iscsidisks/LUN0,Type=fileio
Alias test
InitialR2T Yes
ImmediateData Yes
MaxOutstandingR2T 8

You may need to adjust the allow and deny files. For my testing I opened it up to allow all connection but you can adjust accordingly

Open up the /etc/initiators.allow file. I added

to the file.

Now you can then restart the iscsi-target service

/etc/init.d/iscsi-target restart

At this point you should now have a working iscsi target that you can connect to from an iscsi initiator. I will post a separate article on how to connect to this target.

For instructions How to connect to the iSCSI target from Windows Vista click here

For more linux articles please click here
For more iSCSI articles please click here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to mount a USB drive with writeable permissions on Linux

I have a Centos Linux server that I have connected at large USB drive to. Once I mounted the USB drive I can read and write files from the server only as the root user.

No matter how I chmod the files on the mounted share I could not get the permissions to stick. I came accross a solution online and figured I would post it here.
The solution was to mount the USB drive with the following command line.

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/usbdata -o users,umask=000

This allowed all of my users access to the device. Normally I would not want this but in this case I just have the space for extra backups and scratch space.

Hope this helps someone else.

For other Linux articles please click here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It Fixed it for me - Virtual Box Kernel Error

While running Virtual box 2.2.2 on Vista Home Premium 64 Bit, I attempted to start up some of my virtual machines. As soon as I try to run any of the individual VMs I received the following error:

Cannot access the kernel driver

The solution I found was to open up the control panel and go to "Programs and Features" applet. I selected the "Sun Virtual Box" item from the list and selected the repair option. This essentially went through the install of the software again and repaired any missing or damaged files.

How it got damaged in the first place I do not know but the above solution fixed it for me. I was then able to open up my VMs as usual again.

For more of my "It Fixed It for Me" series please click here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How to change VNC Server password on Linux

I was recnetly asked how to reset a password for VNC Server on a Linux machine.
For those that would also like to know here is how I did it.

You can either connect to the machine remotely over an ssh program like putty or you can do this directly from the terminal.

Open up a command prompt for the user that you have vnc server running as.
Then type


You will then be prompted to enter a new password twice. Choose your new vnc server password and then restart the vncserver service using the following command.

service vncserver restart

The above commands work when run as the root user on Centos but should work similarly on most other variation of Linux.

Hope this helps.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Product Review - Zoobuh - Kid safe email

In looking for a simple email provider for my young daughter that would block all inappropriate emails I came across a website called The site offers a free trial for one month then is only $1 per month for each email account. The kids email account has many configurable options that allow almost total control of all incoming and outgoing email. One of the best options is the ability to have a copy of all incoming and outgoing email to be sent to a parents email address for monitoring. Another option is the ability for each account to only send and receive email to addresses that are in your contact list. A list which I might add can be locked by a parent so that every email is from a known source.

So far my daughter has really enjoyed sending email to her friends and family. And I have enjoyed knowing that any her email is spam free and from known sources.

Fot those of you that have small kids and are worried about email protection I highly recommend a account. I can not and will not guaranty that this is 100% safe but so far I have not seen any reason to be even the slightest bit concerned.

For more of my Product Reviews please click here

Friday, May 15, 2009

Product Review - Wireless Network Meter - Windows Gadget

This is a nice find that I came across for Windows Vista. It is a windows Sidebar Gadget and is available from Add a Gadget .

The item I tested was The Wireless Network Meter V3.0. See the screen shot below.

I have this gadget at the top of my list. It shows me which wireless network I am connected to as well as other items like my ip address, the public ip address I am connected to the internet with, a way to lookup my ip location geographically, and wireless signal strength. It also has some nice statistics on my network speed both up and down. It even shows a real time graph of network traffic.

It is very easy to install. Just download the single zip file, extract and double click the file to install. You can then go to the options screen and select the NIC that you would like it to monitor.

I find that I look at this gadget all the time. It has a nice UI that goes well with my other Windows Gadgets. I highly recommend this gadget to any Microsoft Windows Vista user using the sidebar that like to keep tabs on network info.

For more of my product reviews please click here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It Fixed it for me - yumex hangs on Centos

I recently came across this problem. I have a Centos 5 server that I tried to update using yumex. I selected the updates I wanted and tried to apply the updates. Yumex started to process but would hang before any of them were installed.
I tried to install one update at a time to see if it was a conflicting rpm that was causing the issues. It wasnt.

I then used the folling command to rebuild the RPM database

rpm --rebuilddb

It took a short while to run but after the rebuild my yumex ran successfully again.

It may not be the only way to solve this problem but ItFixed it for me.

For other Itfixed it for me articles please click here

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It Fixed it for Me - Outlook Auto Fill Cache File

I had a client recently who run running a windows XP Pro laptop. This client needed to change windows domains. In this process a new windows user profile was created.
After setting up Outlook the user then tried to send email to friends on his contact list. The user used to be able to type a few letters and the rest of the email address would appear in a list. This is what is called Outlook Autofill.

When a new user profile is created the outlook autofill cache file is empty. In the case of only a few contacts it may not be a big problem however this user had over 300 contacts that were already in the previous cache file.

Long story short I needed to copy the old cache file to the new profile.

On Windows XP the file is located at:
c:\documents and settings\username\application data\microsoft\outlook\Outlook.nk2

You must close Outlook if it is running and then copy the file from the old profile to the new profiles folder.

After Outlook is restarted the autofill cache should have all of the previously entered email addresses available in the drop down list.

Hope this helps somebody else.

For more ItFixed it articles please click here

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Product Review - Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000

I recently had a client that wanted to set up a small office with video conferencing capability. The client had informed me that he had used Skype and likes the way that it works.

I had never used Skype in an office environment like this but I thought it was a good idea. I picked up 3 Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 web cams for about $50 each. I then created a free Skype account for each of the users in the office and added each use to all of the others contact list.

The cams have a built in microphone and a small stand to sit on top of a monitor or clip on to the top of a flat panel screen. The resolution on this model is 640 x 480 and it comes with a 1.3 MP camera. The next model up (VX-6000) does have a 5MP camera and is capable of 1.3MP video resolution.

The Skype software is relatively easy for the users to understand. If you get a call you are prompted with a Answer or Answer with video button. To make is call is also very easy you select the user you want to call from your contact list and click call or call with video.

Granted the cameras are not hi-res at all but for a basic video conference in a small office you cant beat the price.

So far they are working ok but you may have to tweak the video setting to get the best picture.

For more of my product reviews please click here

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It Fixed it for Me - XP Installation Problem

This one had me stumped for a while today.
I had to rebuild a clients PC and was attempting to re-install XP Pro. The install started fine but would error out with a message about "XP Pro installation cannot copy files from installation disk".

I restarted the setup several times and the error would come up with a different file each time.

After scratching my head I decided to eliminate things one at a time. I tried a different Cd...same error. I tried installing a different CD ROM drive...same error. I then tried different cables to connect to the CD ROM drive...again same error.

What fixed this for me was to remove all the RAM sticks and replace them one at a time. After process of elimination it turned out it was a bad RAM module. Once I removed the bad RAM the PC installed as usual.

Hope this helps