The blogs of Black Marble staff

Update on my Vista problems

I reinstalled Vista again on my Dell 5150, but this time I used the Nvidia drivers from the and my lack of a login prompt has not reappeared.

However, it is not all good news, the Aero interfaces has only appeared once, the rest of the time it is the non-Aero version. The performance rating of the PC seems to vary everytime I run the tool, which might be the cause.

Anyway better than no login!


Boot failure with black screens using Vista on my Dell 5150

I have been battling with Vista CTP (5308) for a few days. I have now installed it twice on my Dell Inspiron 5150 (80MB drive, 2Gb memory, Bios A38) and both times it has installed fine, automatically updated the Nvidia FX5200 driver via Windows update and let me install applications, rebooting a few times as I go along and ending up with a working system. I thought everuthing was fine, as I could reboot and hiberate it without problems.

However in both cases when I came back to boot it the next day it will not boot to a login prompt. I end up at a black screen (note not a blank screen) showing the build number in the bottom right. If I try to boot in VGA mode or Safe mode I get exactly the same. I even tried booting with digital signing off again no effect.

The only option seems to be a reinstall, a lot of work each day if I want to use Vista!

It seems I am not alone in this problem, but normally most people can get into Safe mode and remove some offending driver. This is not an option open to me as Safe mode does not work.

The most common theory seems to be it is the Nvidia driver; so I booted with the install disk, and opened a command prompt and had a poke around on drive C: I renamed the nv4_mini.sys driver, had not effect on the Safe mode boot, and killed the ‘real boot’. This made me think it might not be the video driver, anyway you would expect the VGA or Safe mode work even if it was an Nvidia problem.

I also thought it might be my Mcafee VirusScan 8 anti virus (though it seemed to run OK, but won’t auto-update), so I renamed the Network Associates directory, again to no effect.

So I am open to any ideas, it must be fairly fundamental as it kills Safe mode.

ASP.Net 2.0 ReportViewer

I have been fighting an authentication problem on this all day with the new ReportViewer in ASP.Net 2.0.

I have been getting 401 authorisation errors when I tried to set any parameters (or run a report with no parameters) inside the viewer.

Turns out the problem was that the ReportViewer1.ServerReport.ReportServerUrl  was set to, if I changed it to http://locahost/ReportServer it all leapt into live, even though they should both resolve to the same server, and both work if I browser there with IE.

Well it is a solution for now, but not I long term one I guess.

Experiences of updated from .Text .94 to CS 2.0

We had been running our blogs using separate single blog installations of .Text .94 for best part of two years without any major issues. With the release of Community Server 2.0 we decided that it was a good idea to upgrade, the danger of getting left behind on the upgrade path was just too real. So how do you go from .Text .94 to CS 2.0, well it is not that straight forward.


Firstly there is no direct path for the upgrade. However; there is an excellent tool for moving from .Text .95 to CS 1.1 from Kevin Harder ( I checked with him to see if there was any plan for a tool to go from .Text .95 to CS 2.0, there will be soon (a few weeks) but not yet, also you cannot use the old version as the DB schema are different between each version of CS. He suggested going via CS 1.1 for now.


So firstly I needed to upgrade our .Text to .95, a full update was not required, just the DB schema update. I downloaded .Text .95 from and ran the SQL update script, on each instance of .Text .94. One added issue here, highlighted in the forums, is that the update script does not add an IsActive column to one of the tables. I needed to add this manually and populated wit the setting true.


I then download the CS 1.1, a bit hard to find now CS 2.0 is released, as all CS download links end up at the new version, but I got it via and did a default install on a development PC.


I could then run the DotText-CS-Converter tool and imported the .Text .95 data from our live server into my development CS 1.1 database.


Now this is where I had an issue, we had two blogs to import, both on single blog installations. The first blog went on fine, but the second failed with violation of primary key constraints at stage 3 of the import when it needed to move the actual content. I realised that we were getting clashes of primary keys in the contents table between the old separate blogs.


The fix I did was to edit the data in the old .Text DB, luckily there were only a few tens of entries in the smaller one. I had to remove the identity flag on the table, then I could alter the row ID (and any parent row IDs in other rows) to avoid a clash, basically I just added 5000 so 123 became 5123. When this was done the import then worked. I hope I have just stored trouble for the future when the new server row identities reach the numbers I manually used!


So I now had a working CS 1.1 server with two blogs imported. This I then updated to CS 2.0 using the web install. All was OK on my development PC. I just needed to get it on the live server.


To get it on our live server I used the MSI of CS 2.0 to very quickly get a working server up, for any new installation I cannot recommend this MSI enough. I then restored the DB from my development PC over the one on the live server. The only strange bit here was that I got the message that the ‘Network Service’ user could not access the DB, but when I check the SQL login rights it had the correct rights. It actually turned out that this error was due to the fact that the web site running CS 2.0 had somehow got reset to use ASP.Net 1.1, as soon as this was changed back to 2.0 all was Ok.


The final step was to put in some redirects via virtual directories to make the links to our old blog work for the new server.


So a bit complex to get it all working but it works now, and it was well worth the effort. CS 2.0 at a great product, looks good, is flexible and easy to use.

Update to CS 2.0

We have been running .Text 0.94 for a good while now, and all has been OK until a couple of weeks ago. We noticed an increase in Spam and that IE7 beta did not render some of the pages correctly, so making editing hard.

So I took this chance to update to the newly release Community Server 2.0, I will post my experiences soon