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Blog posts for the month of May,2008.
Windstar cracked transmission case5/9/2008 9:59:29 AM

Finally found the root cause of the leak.

After much trouble, a crack was found in the case of the transmission, that under high pressure was squirting / leaking transmission fluid onto the power steering components.  Since both fluids happen to be red, and hydraulic it was easy to confuse the two.

Car still runs fine, but the crack was caused by something "internal" breaking, so it may not run fine for long. 

I'm going to park and sit on it for a week or two.

Replacement is 2000-2500, but I don't think I can find a used car for that amount, but Windstar's seem to just be frought with issues, so I may ditch it and get a good used car.

Definetly I'll be babying and preparing to sell my other windstar before it does the same thing, from what I understand this seems to be a common problem with 1998-2002 windstar around 100,000+ miles.

Update, I'm ditching the windstar, i don't trust this dog enough to put $2500 into it, "this dog won't hunt no more".

 

SSIS "Reindeer" games5/13/2008 3:42:03 PM

Team working an issue with an SSIS package failing on a new installation of SQL Server.

Not sure why, but  basically we had an existing instance on a server.  We had capacity to install a second instance on the server.  We installed and prepared the new instance, all works great.

We have an administrative DTS Package that pumps data to an excel spreadsheet and emails the data.

Could not get the package to run, received the below error.  Note the error in green, this option is set to false, we tried all kinds of items to change it with no luck.


Message
Executed as user: VSQLCRM\SYSTEM. ...ute Package Utility  Version 9.00.3042.00 for 32-bit  Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp 1984-2005. All rights reserved.    Started:  10:27:21 AM  Error: 2008-05-13 10:28:52.79     Code: 0xC0014019     Source: Tracing_SSIS      Description: The connection manager "DestinationConnectionExcel" will not acquire a connection because the package OfflineMode property is TRUE. When the OfflineMode is TRUE, connections cannot be acquired.  End Error  Error: 2008-05-13 10:28:52.79     Code: 0xC00291EC     Source: Drop Baseline Tab Execute SQL Task     Description: Failed to acquire connection "DestinationConnectionExcel". Connection may not be configured correctly or you may not have the right permissions on this connection.  End Error  Warning: 2008-05-13 10:28:52.79     Code: 0x80019002     Source: Populate Baseline Tab      Description: SSIS Warning Code DTS_W_MAXIMUMERRORCOUNTREACHED.  The Execution method succeeded, but the number of e...  Process Exit Code 0.  The step succeeded.

Only solution was to uninstall Client components and re-install them.

Not sure why this works, but somehow the installation of the 2nd instance, and applying the associated service pack 2 and CU 6 caused this.  It's also possible that the automated push install from Polyserve somehow causes this, though all the Polyserve push is an un-intattended install setup script, so the bug would be with that utility that is run through Polyserve.

Lost 4+ hours worth of work chasing this bug down.

SQL Server Install Fails5/1/2008 12:38:13 PM

SQL Server install fails with the following error:


Error: Action "LaunchPatchedBootstrapAction" threw an exception during execution.  Error information reported during run:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Setup Bootstrap\setup.exe" finished and returned: 1612
Aborting queue processing as nested installer has completed
Message pump returning: 1612


Digging deeper in the logs we find:


Installing: msxml6 on target: BCPLYSQL01
Error: MsiOpenDatabase failed with 6e
Failed to install package
The installation source for this product is not available.  Verify that the source exists and that you can access it.
Error: MsiOpenDatabase failed with 6e for MSI {A8803AB4-1B37-4B0C-9BC4-95257CCDA8F5}
Setting package return code to: 64c
Complete: InstallSqlAction.9 at: 7d8/4/1 b:9:2b, returned false


This was caused by moving files from the windows installer cache, c:\windows\installer.  We occasionally run low on disk space and have to move files off the os.

Moving the files back to the windows installer cache solved the problem.

For information on the Installer Cache, see: Recovering Space on a windows Server.

Fuel Pump cutout, overheated ?5/1/2008 9:25:50 AM

77 Volkswagen westfalia camper.  Automatic, fuel injected. 

Experienced extremely heavy winds in the Kansas City area all day, difficult to drive even 60 mph in the bus, and even when you can it is so squirelly from the winds one must slow down to maintain control.

3 Blocks from the house, she cuts out, whoo, near a gas station, i try to coast her in, but that final bump over the hump turning in is too much.  No way to push her up, to much of a hump, I roll her backwards to an apartment complex.

Quick assesment yields no easy observation of the issue.  I squirt some starting fluid in the s-boot leading to the intake manifold and she fires right up and dies, i detect no humming sound of a running fuel pump.

Crawl underneath, sure enough fuel pump is not running.  Wires all look good, but it is too hot to touch for more than 10-15 seconds.  Check out all electrical connections, looks good, try to start again, nothing.

Preparing to walk home and get tow rope and friends, but wait a bit.

After about 20 minutes, I try to start her again, and she comes right to life, no waiting or hesitation i get the 3 blocks home and park.

She probably needs a new fuel pump anyway, by the looks of it, this is the original pump.  May also be a blocked or clogged fuel filter causing the pump to work too hard.  Based on the fact that a new pump is $100-175, I may try the fuel filter first...

Don't put off the tune-up !5/2/2008 9:28:27 AM

   Anything put off will surely come back to haunt you.

 

I've been putting off tuning up my 69 VW for a good month, today, you could hear the occasional mis-fire, back-fire and late detonation of a vw needing a valve adjustment and tune-up!

 

ALWAYS adjust the valves in your Volkswagen yourself, it's a personal thing.  Get back there, and get your hands in that engine.

 

Overall the valves were not that far out of adjustment, the points (for those that remember them !), were pitting and the nub of the points that rides on the cam inside the distributor had started to deterioate and was leaving some matter on the cam and cam lobe itself.  Most likely this was the cause, I always carry a spare set of points (along with fuel filter and various other parts), and should have stopped and checked them right when I heard the misfire.

 

I also threw in a set of new plugs, rotor and cap, wires looked ok so I left them in.  The misfire had caused some arcin inside the cap and on the rotor, physically causing some deterioation of where the rotor contacts the metal stub inside the cap leading to the plug wires.

 

She runs great now, fweeemmmm....

 

This has not been my week for vehicles, i've had issues with all three of them !

We'll see if the guy at FLAPS knows what points are this time...

SQL Native Client Error install error5/17/2008 3:08:24 PM

Wow, was this a pain...the below error was received:


An installaton package for the product Microsoft SQL Server Native Client cannot be found. Try the installation again using a valid copy of the installation package ‘sqlncli.msi’


The history of the install, is most likely the root cause, this was on a application server, we first installed the SQL Native Client and applied SP2.  Then we had a requirement for SQL Reporting Services, than of course another new requirement, Integration Services and Work Station components.  We were able to bring up the install and select the new components, but then the error above happenned.  I think it all revolved around SP2 being applied first.

Some quick research indicated that a possible solution may be to uninstall the SNAC, SQL Native Client, and re-run the setup, selecting the new components.

How to un-install SNAC that was applied with SP2 ?  Manuall extract it and then find the sqlncli.msi, execute the msi (double click on it) and select un-install.

This worked for us !

CRM 3 to SQL Server 2005...5/17/2008 10:11:21 AM

While upgrading our CRM SQL Server to sql 2005 (or rather testing the application after the upgrade), we received the error below.


The transaction active in this session has been committed or aborted by another session.

Error: 3971, Severity: 16, State: 1

The server failed to resume the transaction. Desc:3300000008.


This was not really an upgrade, but a move to a new server.

I found several references to this error, mostly dealing with MS DTC and SQL 2000, but this was 2005 and did not involve linked servers, so the error was odd.  It also did not show up in any of our testing for this migration.

The only thing we could think of was that something on the client wasn't working right.  We quickly pointed the QA Web layer, which did not have this error, at the new production server, no error.  This allowed us to quickly determine the Database layer was working good.  We realized that we had not upgraded or rebuilt the web servers, and both the development and QA web servers were fairly new.

We applied mdac 2.8 with no success.

We then applied SNAC, SQL Native Client, and all began working.

MS DTC - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;329332 

A post on google (Link below), combined with the QA success, is what got us thinking that the issue had something to do with MDAC / the client:

Post on google... 

 

Day of destruction5/17/2008 3:12:43 PM

Just another Saturday.

EJ Breaks ceiling Fan in living room.

TJ Breaks light switch in ceiling fan in his room.

Dad (me) breaks garage door window.

Sunday will be a day of repairs....

Tensioner and Idler Pulley replacement5/5/2008 9:17:37 AM

2000 Ford Windstar, 3.8l v6 - Odd squeal and hesitation and general "bad" noise detected while driving.

I'm not 100% sure if it was the tensioner or idler pulley, but they were cheap enough parts to get and put in. 

If you have the $250-$300 to pay to have it done, go ahead, this was about a two hour job and $75.00 for the two parts.

The idler pulley of course did not have enough clearance between the frame pulley to remove the bolt:, so go:

    • loosen the motor mounts
    • find a 6 foot breaker bar (i used a chain link fence post)
    • Insert breaker bar between fram and engine (solid peice next to water pump)
    • Gently move the engine the 1/8 of an inch and remove pulley with bolt
    • repeat in reverse for re-installation, don't forget to tightent he motor mounts

The tensioner and pulley is sold as a unit.  This is a difficult task, due to the limited space.  3 Bolts.  the one on the bottom is easy, the two on top were quite difficult.  10mm Bolts, top 2 require the smallest ratchet you can find; I have a 1/4" set, so it worked nicely.  The smaller your hands the easier the job will be, I found it easier to get the top two bolts, from the top of the engine for both removal and installation.

Hopefully this solves the problem...

 

DTA - Failed to initialize MSDB database for tuning5/23/2008 3:11:17 PM

Started receiving this error on some new installations of SQL Server 2005, sp2 + Cumulative Update 6.

I don't know what the root cause is, but we have many servers running this same configuration without the error, I have no idea why this started happenning.

Database Engine Tuning Wizard: "Failed to initialize MSDB database for
tuning (exit code: -1). (DTAClient)

These objects were missing from the server that was failing, so I scripted them from a server that was working.  Once I created the objects in the MSDB database, Database Tuning Advisor now works.

I wish I new what changed in the server / installs that started this happenning, I've checked the last few recent installs of SQL Server 2005 and notice that it is missing from most of them, both 32 bit and 64 bit installs.  Very odd, makes me nervous that something else was missing from the install or that an error happenned and didn't "bubble" up to the installer. 

I'm going to open a case with Microsoft on monday and see what they say, I need confidence that these installations of the DBMS are complete and without any issue, if the Database Tuning Advisor stored procedures and tables were missed, what about service broker, encryption or many of the other features we haven't touched on yet for these particular installations that we expect to be there installed and ready to use ?

I've created a script files of the objects to create, it is available here, DTA_Objects_SQL.txt (433.76 KB)

Cumulative hotfix 5, 3215 install issues...1/28/2008 10:36:07 PM

Oh why, why have the hotfixes become such a head ache, this one fought me quite a bit, but finally she gave in...

Also I usually extract the hotfix manually so I can review it, do this from a command prompt (remember to make the target directory).

c:\sqlserver2005-kb943656-x64-enu.exe /x:c:\sqlhotfix\

The errors seen with 3215 are (some of these we have see with other hotfixes as well).

  1. MSP Error: 29511  Failure creating local group IUSR_DEVPLYSQL01
  2. MSP Error: 29528  The setup has encountered an unexpected error while Setting Internal Properties. The error is: Fatal error during installation.
  3.  MSP Error: 29534  Service 'MSSQL$QAEAM' could not be started. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services. The error code is (52) You were not connected because a duplicate name exists on the network. Go to System in Control Panel to change the computer name and try again.
  4. MSP Error: 29538  SQL Server Setup did not have the administrator permissions required to rename a file: f:\MSSQL\DATA\distmdl1.ldf. To continue, verify that the file exists, and either grant administrator permissions to the account currently running Setup or log in with an administrator account. Then run SQL Server Setup again.
  5. MSP Error: 29537  SQL Server Setup has encountered the following problem: [Microsoft][SQL Native Client][SQL Server]Cannot find the object 'dm_exec_query_resource_semaphores', because it does not exist or you do not have permission.. To continue, correct the problem, and then run SQL Server Setup again.

1st failure was a really strange one:

MSP Error: 29511  Failure creating local group IUSR_DEVPLYSQL01

As I didn't need IIS on this machine I deleted the account as it already existed, mistake there, this lead to the 2nd failure.

2nd failure was on:

MSP Error: 29528  The setup has encountered an unexpected error while Setting Internal Properties. The error is: Fatal error during installation.

This turned out to be a registry issue with deleting items, while not specifically addressing CU 5, it did fix the issue: (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925976).

For a stand-alone installation of SQL Server 2005

1. Remove the following registry subkeys that store SID settings:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Setup\SQLGroup
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Setup\AGTGroup
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Setup\FTSGroup
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Setup\ASGroup
Note In these registry subkeys, MSSQL.X is a placeholder for the corresponding value on a specific system. You can determine MSSQL.X on a specific system by examining the value of the MSSQLSERVER registry entry under the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\Instance Names\SQL\
2. Reinstall the SQL Server 2005 service pack or the SQL Server 2005 hotfix package.

Finally after all that it installed, as easy as could be !

---------------------------------------

Experienced this error too:

 MSP Error: 29534  Service 'MSSQL$QAEAM' could not be started. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services. The error code is (52) You were not connected because a duplicate name exists on the network. Go to System in Control Panel to change the computer name and try again.

-------------

The above error is because of the tcp/ip stack being modified by polyserve, i correct this with a change in the registry networking settings.  I've had some questions on what I corrected, basically under Polyserve the virtual IP "floats" to whatever node is active, if for some reason, it is moved from one node to another, and not removed from the previous node...you run into an issue where that other node will not start, you'll receive some very nice errors like these in the sql server errorlog:

2008-05-10 20:52:42.83 Server      A self-generated certificate was successfully loaded for encryption.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Error: 26024, Severity: 16, State: 1.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Server failed to listen on 10.10.48.40 <ipv4> 40020. Error: 0x2741. To proceed, notify your system administrator.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Error: 17182, Severity: 16, State: 1.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      TDSSNIClient initialization failed with error 0x2741, status code 0xa.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Error: 17182, Severity: 16, State: 1.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      TDSSNIClient initialization failed with error 0x2741, status code 0x1.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Error: 17826, Severity: 18, State: 3.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Could not start the network library because of an internal error in the network library. To determine the cause, review the errors immediately preceding this one in the error log.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      Error: 17120, Severity: 16, State: 1.
2008-05-10 20:52:42.85 Server      SQL Server could not spawn FRunCM thread. Check the SQL Server error log and the Windows event logs for information about possible related problems.

This error happens because you can't have two sql server instances use the same IP Address, makes perfect sense when you think through it.

The real problem now that you have root cause, is how to fix it.  Polyserve performs some complex tasks with "swapping" registry entries and moving instances, this is not an easy issue to correct and you must be careful.  These errors rarely happen on version 3.6, but were pretty common on 3.4. 

I'd adise to engage HP / Polyserve support to correct the issue, and then as you become familiar with the SQL Registry and how polyserve works, this can be corrected quite easily yourself.

Depending on the scope of the problem you may only need to focus on the SuperSocketNetLib IP address entries.  The server that won't start will most likely contain the virtual ip, and there will be another node in your cluster already running the IP.  Sometimes you can edit the IP1, IP2 and IP3 to just reflect your Public, Private and loop Back IP Address.  But before starting SQL, Double check where your SQL Instances are "pointing" if they are pointing to the virtul root, than you have a bigger registry issue, and you must correct that too.

Very much fun !

-----------

Windstar - Power steering leak !5/6/2008 2:44:41 PM

This windstar is racking up the little issues.

Pull into parking garage at work, smelling that tell-tale odor of hydraulic fluid burning.  I've known that that 1998-2000 Ford Windstar's are known for transmission issues, of i've got that sinking feeling of having to decide on what to do, put $2500 into a car worth $3500 ? or move on to a different vehicle.  Of course it's not just a leak, it's a flood and right over the catalytic converter too !  No driving this thing, too much risk of fire with little ones to tote around.

Overall this car has been good to me, a great buy at $4,000, so i've got my money's worth, but sure would like to get more miles out of her.

I decide it needs a professional diagnosis, so I take her up to Certified Transmission.  Good news, maybe, it's not transmission fluid, but Power steering fluid, shop didn't charge me anything, nice.  Being a transmission shop they can't determine the problem, but they also can't find where it's leaking from, not the pump, maybe the high pressure line or the Steering rack and pinion itself, yikes !

Definetly cheaper than a transmission, but now I'll have to take it to a shop that can hopefully put some dye into the power steering resevoir and figure out where the leak is...hopefully just a hose. 

(If anybody in Kansas City knows where to get this elusive power steering fluid dye, let me know, it maybe an urban legend.  I visited 5 FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store), and called several others, none carried it, though they all knew of it).

Now I'll be taking the vehicle to Monte's Safety Line, a friend with the same year windstar had a similiar problem and Monte fixed him up for 380, so maybe I'll get lucky.

UPDATE - 5/9 - WRONG, Monte reviewed and found no issue with the power steering, upon review with me, Monte drove the car up to Certified Transmission and helped diagnose the issue properly.

 

Quoted Identifiers5/29/2008 12:54:24 PM

Recently we had some issues with stored procedures having quoted identifiers set differently.  We wanted to run a query to get a listing of any other procedures having quoted identifiers set on or off.

With some help from people at work we found two queries using the DMV's.

select * from sys.sql_modules
where uses_quoted_identifier <> 1

and

Select name
From
sys.all_objects
where ObjectPropertyEx(Object_ID, 'ExecIsQuotedIdentOn') = 0 and type = 'p'

Windows\Installer Files (The Patch Cache)5/7/2008 9:15:36 AM

Windows\Installer Files (The Patch Cache).

 

The Windows root directory usually contains a folder, c:\windows\installer; we have noticed over time that this folder can grow to consume a significant amount of space, 2-6 gigabytes of space.  Many of these installer files are “dead” and can be moved, not removed !  Moving them to another partition may free up space.  Be careful as some installtion programs or modifications to existing programs will reference this directory, and if you can not move the files back, you have a very big problem.  Specifically installations of SQL Server 2005 require this directory for adding additional instances or options not selected, and if the files are not found in c:\windows\installer, you can not install or modify the programs.

 

The Patch Cache and Freeing Space

 

 Reference from http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths/archive/2007/01/17/the-patch-cache-and-freeing-space.aspx

When you install a patch using Windows Installer, the .msp file is cached in the %WINDIR%\Installer directory. This accounts for some of the space required by Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1.  A single patch is cached only once regardless to how many products the patch applies.

Starting with Windows Installer 3.0, any patches that contain the MSIPatchSequence table cause the Windows Installer service to cache any of the original files being replaced into the baseline cache.  Any files being replaced in the latest minor upgrade by small update patches with this table are also cached. It is this baseline cache that consumes a lot of drive space on the system drive after installing VS 2005 SP1. The baseline cache facilitates patch uninstall by storing the original files so that they can be copied back to the target locations. Files in existing patches do not need to be cached because they are contained within the cached .msp files. For this reason and because Windows Installer will require these patches during repair and future patch scenarios, the .msp files should not be deleted except by uninstalling the patch from each product to which it's applied. The baseline cache also improves performance when using binary deltas.

Baseline caches are created separately for per-user unmanaged installations, and for both per-user managed and per-machine installations. If you enable Windows Explorer to display system files or type dir /a:s under %WINDIR%\Installer you'll find a directory structure like the following:

  • %WINDIR%\Installer
    • $PatchCache$
      • UnManaged
        • {UserSID}
          • {Squished ProductCode}
            • {ProductVersion}
      • Managed
        • {Squished ProductCode}
          • {ProductVersion}

Be careful doing any modifications under %WINDIR%\Installer. Like registry changes, making mistakes here could cause problems that may require the difficult task of rebuiling the Windows Installer cache or even reinstalling Windows.

To free up space, you can remove the baseline cache for Visual Studio 2005 under %WINDIR%\Installer\$PatchCache$\Managed by deleting the directory with the squished GUID representing the ProductCode for whichever Visual Studio 2005 products you have installed. The squished GUID is a transformed ProductCode. Attached you'll find a list of product names, product codes, product languages, product editions, and squished GUIDs for Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0.

Again, be aware that by removing the baseline cache for a product, future repair, patch install, and patch uninstall scenarios may require your original installation media. If you have the drive space it is recommended that you keep the baseline caches available.

 


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