Win Server 2003 Upgrade problem and fix

Pings are working again from my blog, I had a rocky week this week. I upgraded to Windows Server 2003 last week — why? Well, it just seemed like a fun thing to do. Plus I know how fast Microsoft dev resources migrate away from old platforms to the new platform, if you want great ongoing help and support you need to bite the bullet and run the latest stuff.

But the upgrade initially hosed me. The IPSEC service failed to load with a really vague error message, and when IPSEC doesn’t load it takes the machine off net. You can turn IPSEC off, but critical services like DNS Client depend on it. For a week I limped along with IPSEC off, and my web server worked, but the machine couldn’t do any client name resolution (among other problems) and so trying to ping DNS names didn’t work.

Thanks to the responsiveness of guys at Microsoft — Dave, Jawad, Stephen, Raymond, David, Osman, and more — we got it figured out. I had installed Port Explorer beta a long time ago and had quit using it. But it installs Winsock providers and these were hanging around on my system — we discovered these by using the sporder.exe tool from the windows platform sdk. On an upgrade to WinServer2003, these make IPSEC unhappy, it refuses to load, and things go to sh%t.

Once I uninstalled Port Explorer, things righted themselves.

I tried to use the online Microsoft support options to get this resolved — the KB, the support forums — but there was no info about, and the folks in the support forum just told me to reinstall. Thankfully the dev teams at Microsoft were super responsive. Thanks much guys!

Comments working again

OK after a pretty rocky week things should largely be working again on the site. Notably comments should be working, and my server should be pinging all the appropriate sites again.

Comments weren’t working because I had security cranked up on some directories which made it hard for anonymous users to force archive page regeneration when they posted a comment. I relaxed some settings and this should work now. I am not totally happy with the relaxed settings but decided I needed comments and trackback listings to work right. I may make more modifications here in the future.

Comments Semi-broken

BTW I’m aware that my comments are semi-broken. If you try to leave one, you will receive an error message about not have permission. in fact the comment is captured, but i don’t currently allow the actions of anonymous users to cause a rebuild of my index pages. i am thinking about ways around this, need to look for other commenting packages that people have used.

@#%@$# ISPs

Sorry for long absence. The ISP that served our office went toes up. The same ISP that served my house. The transition to a new T1 took weeks longer than quoted. And to top it off, my account on our exchange server is corrupted, and my calendar is currently nonoperable. Gosh it has been fun.

Firewall went toes up today

Firewall went toes up last night. Our Sonicwall at work went toes up last night, a hardware failure. Hence my blog was dead for a while. We are back limping with a temporary firewall solution, will have a new firewall in place by tomorrow am. A morning without net access is painful, I felt like I was missing an arm or something.

Outage

Outage. Off the web most of yesterday, as was our office at Ignition. Routing problem at Conxion. Surprising how hard it was to find — you would think that they could have discovered the problem in less than 8-10 hours.

Surprising how useless I am without the net for a day. No email. No shopping. No research. I just kept running “ping 206.204.4.6” all day long, trying to see my DNS server…