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Blog posts for the month of February,2011.
Client Network Utility2/15/2011 10:14:02 AM

Always thought this wasn't available unless client tools were installed, but that is not correct.

Found a great post here on the client network utility, but what surprised me was this part,

"If you haven't installed the SQL Server 2005/2008 client tools, you can still create an alias using the SQL Server Client Network Utility. This has come installed automatically on every operating system from Windows 2000 on. To bring up the utility, click on Start, then Run, and run cliconfg.exe."

No sense rehasing such a great tip, but at least I'll have a place holder on my blog for cliconfg.exe; especially for those pesky vendors that tell you they can use a named instance, but then after you do all the paper work to open the ports on the firewall wait for the monthly change window and then the vendor on site (at our expense).... "well we can use a name instance, but we can't specify a port number" !  doh !  They have to have the slash \ ; which i don't want to open port resolution with the firewall...

Client network utility to the rescue;

1.  Client network utility does not require sql client tools to be installed.

2.  Just because sql client tools is not installed, does not mean an alias does not exist on a server.


Experience - a noun2/9/2011 11:04:29 AM

That thing you get immediately after you needed it.


Ford Windstar Alternator replacement2/2/2011 11:02:27 AM

So if your driving through the a not so nice part of town at 6am in the dark, and you notice your headlights are awful dim, your turn signals aren't working and your 4 miles from work.  Do you:

A.  Pull over with no flashers on the side of the road in the dark in the worst part of town.

B.  Finish driving to work with almost no lights and no signals


That little issue aside, your alternators not working.  Replacing an alternator in a 2000 Ford Windstar is an easy job.

  1. Disconnect Battery cable.
  2. Jack up Front Right of car (use jack stands for safety).
  3. Remove Front Passenger Tire
  4. Get another set of hands
  5. Reach up in the passenger Tire well and locate the Tensioner pulley
  6. Use a 13 mm wrench and remove tension off of the serpentine belt
  7. Using your other set of hands (remember your under the car !), take the belt off of the alternator
  8. Disconnect electrical from alternator (one snaps in, one bolts, the ground is on the mounting bolt).
  9. Remove Mounting bolts
  10. Take to FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store) and buy a new / rebuilt alternator (take the old one with you or you'll have to pay a core deposit).
  11. Mount Alternator
  12. Reconnect Electrical
  13. Crawl underneath Car and pull on 13mm wrench to give slack for Serpentine belt
  14. Using your other set of hands put the belt back on the alternator
  15. Put Tire back on, lower car
  16. Reconnect Battery
  17. Done - Easy, takes about 30-40 minutes.

This is a good time to relace your belt and possibly your idler pulley if you need it; i had done that about 30K miles ago, so it was ready to go:

Some Pictures of the work:

This is the bad alternator, you can remove it and have them test it, but one way i've always found to test one is keep it in the car, with the car running touch a screw-driver to the back, if it's magnetized than the alternator is working, if it isn't, it's toast.

This is the inside tire well where you need to reach up and put a 13 mm wrench on the tensioner pulley, it's tight but not difficult.

You can just see the wrench hanging off of the tensioner pulley.

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