BM-Bloggers

The blogs of Black Marble staff

Wrong package location when reusing a Release Management component

Whilst setting up a new agent based deployment pipeline in Release Management I decided I to reuse an existing component as it already had the correct package location set and correct transforms for the MSDeploy package. Basically this pipeline was a new copy of an existing website with different branding (css file etc.), but the same configuration options.

I had just expected this work, but I kept getting ‘file not found’ errors when MSDeploy was run. On investigation I found that the package location for the component was wrong, it was the build drop root, not the sub folder I had specified.

image 

I have no idea why.

The fix was to copy the component, and use this copy in the pipeline. It is probably what I should have done anyway, as I expect this web site to diverge from original one, so I will need to edit the web.config transforms, but not something I thought I would have had to do now to get it working.

Fix for cannot run Windows 8.1 units test on a TFS 2013 Build Agent

I recently hit a problem that on one of our TFS 2013 build agents we could not run Windows 8.1 unit tests. Now as we know the build agent needs some care and attention to build Windows 8.1 at all, but we had followed this process. However, we still saw the issue that the project compiled but the tests failed with the error

Unit tests for Windows Store apps cannot be run with Limited User Account disabled. Enable it to run tests.’

image

I checked UAC settings and the build accounts rights (it ran as a local admin) all to no effect.

The answer it seems, thanks to the product group for the pointer, is that you have to make sure of the registry setting

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

"EnableLUA" =  1

On my failing VM this was set to zero.

I then had to reboot the the VM and also delete all contents of the c:\builds folder on my VM as due to the chance in UAC setting these old files had become read only to the build process.

Once this was all done my Windows 8.1 builds work correctly. Hope this post saves some other people some time

Living with a DD-WRT virtual router – three months and one day on (static DHCP leases)

Updated 28 Feb 2015 – Added bit on static addresses

image

When using a DD-WRT virtual router, I have realised it is worth setting static a MAC address in Hyper-V and DHCP lease on the router for any server  VMs  you want access to from your base system OS. In my case this is TFS demo VM a connect to all the time.

If you don’t do this the address of the VM seems to vary more than you might expect. So you keep having to edit the HOSTS file on your base OS to reference the VM by name.

You set the static MAC address in the Hyper-V setting

image

And the DHCP lease in the router Services tab, to make it a permanent lease leave the time  field empty

image

And finally the hosts file add an entry

# For the VM 00:15:5d:0b:27:05
192.168.1.99        typhoontfs

On down side of this is that if you are using snaphots as I am to address DHCP Wifi issues, you need to add the lease to any old snapshots you have, but once it is set there should be no more host file editing

Updated 28 Feb 2015

I have still found problems with strange routes in my routing table due to the internal switch issuing an address (and gateway) via DHCP; these seem to cause problems for my Microsoft direct access (a VPN) . Today I had the realisation I can avoid this problem by using a static address for my host PC’s connection to the internal router e.g. 192.168.1.50 set on the Windows adaptor, as opposed to DHCP. By making it static I avoid the issue of extra routes or DNS entries by simply not adding them.

image

Living with a DD-WRT virtual router – three months on

I posted in the past on my experience with DD-WRT router running in Hyper-V to allow my VMs internet access. A couple of months on I am still using it and I think have got around the worst of the issues.

The big problem is not with the DD-WRT router, but the way Hyper-V virtual switches use WiFi for some operating systems. Basically the summary is DHCP does not work for Linux VMs.

The best solution I have found to this problem is to use Hyper-V snapshots in which I hard code the correct IP settings for various networks, thus removing the need for DHCP.

At present I have three snapshots that I swap between as needed

image

  • One is set to use DHCP – I use this when my ‘external’ virtual switch is linked to a non-WIfi adaptor, usually the Ethernet in the office
  • One is hard coded for an IP address on my home router’s network, with suitable gateway and DNS setting
  • The final one is hard coded for my phone when it is being a Mifi

I can add  more as I need them, but as I find I am using hotel and client Wifi less and less as I am on an ‘all you can eat’ 4G mobile contract, I doubt I will need many more.

Seems to be working, i will report back if I learn more

When trying to load Office document from SharePoint I keep ending up in the Office Web Application

Whenever I tried to load an Office 2013 document from our SharePoint 2010 instance I kept ending up in the Office Web Application, the Office application was not being launched.

If I tried the use the ‘Open in Word’ context menu I got the following error (and before you ask yes I was in IE, IE11 in fact, and Office 2013 was installed)

image

My PC has been build of our standard System Center managed image, others using the same best image seemed OK, so what had gone wrong for me?

The launching of Office application features is managed by the ‘SharePoint OpenDocument Class’ IE add in (IE > Settings > Manage Add-ins). On my PC this whole add-in was missing, don’t know why.

image

The fix it turns out was to got into Control Panel > Add remove Programs > Office 2013 > Change and do a repair and a reboot. Once this was done Office launched as expected.

Qualified to treat owies and boo-boos…

Day 963 in the House of Black Marble:

Yep, you heard me, I am now qualified to treat owies and boo-boos. Yesterday I went on the Emergency First Aid at Work course that St John offer, and was assessed in various scenarios:

I can’t stress enough that just knowing basic first aid can help save lives. Having been in the situation where I’ve needed to help - courses like these are vital, and everyone should know what do in a first-aid situation.

Try this St John quiz, and find out if you’d know what to do. You could learn something that could one day save a life…

And if you’re interested in first aid (and you should be), St John also do a FREE First Aid Guide on their website, you can request one here: First Aid Guide.