Category Archives: Hardware

Dell Firmware Update Fails With “Creation of Dynamic Partition Failed.”

When attempting to run a Dell firmware update you receive the error “Creation of Dynamic Partition Failed.”

DellFWUpdate0

In order to resolve the error reset the Dell iDRAC from the command prompt.  Open a command prompt as administrator and run racadm racreset.

DellFWUpdate1

Once the iDRAC has reset retry the update.

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Install Windows Server 2012 R2 On Dell PowerEdge Server From A USB Flash Drive

As part of my evaluation of Windows Server 2012 I needed to install the operating system on an old Dell PowerEdge 1950.  As this server is old I decided not to use the Dell System Build and Update Utility DVD and instead chose to install Windows from a USB flash drive as it’s much faster than using a DVD.

In order to install from USB, obtain an ISO file containing the Windows installation files.  Next, download and install the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool .  Start the tool and follow the wizard to extract the ISO files onto a USB drive of 4GB or greater and make the USB drive bootable.

When starting the server I selected the BIOS boot order and selected the USB flash drive, but received a boot error.  In order to enable USB boot, enter the BIOS and change the USB Flash Drive Emulation Type to Hard Drive.  Reboot and USB boot will work.

USB Boot

Enable Turbo Boost On Windows Server 2008 R2

If you have a server that has Intel processors that support Turbo Boost and you’re using Windows Server 2008 R2 in the default, Balanced Power plan, you’re probably not getting the full power of your processors.

The Processor Performance Boost Policy is a percentage value from 0 to 100.  In the default Balanced power plan this parameter is 35 percent and any value lower than 51 disables Turbo Boost .  To enable Turbo Boost , set this value to 51 or higher.  To set the Processor Performance Boost Policy to 100 for the current power plan run the command below

Powercfg -setacvalueindex scheme_current sub_processor 45bcc044-d885-43e2-8605-ee0ec6e96b59 100
Powercfg -setactive scheme_current

Ensure you run Powercfg -setactive scheme_current to enable the new settings. More information can be found in this document

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463392 Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2


					

Poor Wireless N Performance With Netgear DGN1000

This post is about poor wireless n performance I experienced when using a Netgear DGN1000 Wireless ADSL modem router.  I was connected to the router with an HP Pavilion DV6-3112SA laptop, which has a wireless adapter based on the Ralink RT3090 wireless chipset.  This chipset supports wireless n and the router is described as supporting 802.11 b/g and some n features.

The problem was that when accessing certain websites, the pages would take so long to load that I received a Page Cannot Be Found error.  Hotmail was particularly bad, I often couldn’t load the site at all.  If I connected the laptop to the router with a network cable, performance was fine and a different laptop connected to the same router had no problems.  Updating all drivers and firmware made no difference.  I disabled the laptop’s built-in wireless and installed a Linksys USB wireless n adapter.  The problem remained.  I realised that the other laptop I’d connected to the router with no problems only supported 802.11 g, so I wondered if wireless n was the issue.  I reconfigured the router to only support 802.11 b/g and the problem was solved.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, the DGN1000 is described as supporting 802.11 b/g and some n features.  Unfortunately, it appears the n features have some compatibility issues.  I’ve since connected the laptop to a Netgear WNR2000 router, which has full wireless n support and had no problems at all.

Retrieve Graphics Adapter Info Using VBScript

I needed to upgrade the graphics driver on one model of our desktop PCs.  Below is an example script you can use to retrieve the display adapter description and driver version using VBScript.

 

Set objWMIService = GetObject(“winmgmts:\\.\root\cimv2”)

Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery(“Select * from Win32_VideoController”)

For Each objItem in colItems

Wscript.Echo “Display Adapter Description: ” & objItem.Description

Wscript.Echo “Driver Version: ” & objItem.DriverVersion

Next
Set colItems = Nothing

Set objWMIService = Nothing