PatchCleaner – clean up the windows/installer directory

Imagine you are in my shoes. I have 120 GB SSD with 10 GB of free space. The computer was installed 4 years ago and later upgraded to Windows 10. I install and uninstall a lot of stuff. I found out that folder “installer” hidden in my “windows” directory is taking up 18 GB. What can I delete safely?

PatchCleaner, freeware tool by HomeDev, comes to rescue.

The installer folder contains files needed to uninstall or update your software. PatchCleaner compares those files with the list your Windows is keeping and determines which of them are no longer needed. Then you can simply delete them (or move them) to reclaim your precious space. I got back 14 GB of 18 GB in the installer folder, neat, isn’t it?

Some of you will surely appreciate you can run PatchCleaner easily from the command line, with event log output and all. Great way to set up a scheduled task and forget it.

There are basically only 2 switches:

/d - execute and delete files
/m - execute and move to the standard location
/m [FilePath] - execute and move to your chosen location

Battlefield V shows all maps in new trailer

The DICE team released a beautiful trailer featuring all 8 maps available for Battlefield V multiplayer modes at its launch. And what can I say, every one of them looks absolutely stunning.

Narvik

  • Norway
  • inspired by the invasion of Narvik (1940)
  • harbor town with an industrial area

Fjell 652

  • Norway, arctic circle
  • fighting on the mountain
  • mountain cabins, AA guns
  • dynamic weather

Rotterdam

  • set in Holland (obviously)
  • city combat, streets, buildings, canals
  • elevated train tracks

Devastation

  • set in Holland
  • destroyed part of Rotterdam

Twisted Steel

  • France
  • flooded marshlands
  • massive steel bridge

Arras

  • set in France
  • fields, trenches
  • small town

Hamada

  • set in North Africa
  • the largest map at launch
  • tank battles
  • canyons, bridges

Aerodrome

  • North Africa
  • half-destroyed airfield after bombardment
  • big central hangar

Panzerstorm

  • Belgium
  • tank battles

VMware vSphere Web Client failed to load with error #2032

So, I wanted to check something in my vSphere Web Client (vCenter 5.5U3), but I was unable to log in and there was this error at the bottom of the screen:

RSL https://thisSERVERofMINE:9443/vsphere-client/locales/rsl/flex-common-lib-5.5.0.swf failed to load. Error #2032

There is a really simple solution and I would love if the error message was useful for once and told me so. You just need to clear your browser cache.

Internet Explorer – that would be CTRL-SHIFT-DEL and selecting temporary files
Google Chrome – also CTRL-SHIFT-DEL and selecting cache

The case against RAID 5, why use RAID 6 instead

For many years RAID 5 used to be best practices and golden standard for any organization, who cares about smoothness of their operations, especially when downtime means losing money. RAID 5 is cheap and when the hard drive in your array fails, you can replace it without data loss. You just swap the drive manually or you can have installed spare drive already in your storage device exactly for this situation. Users often won’t even notice something is wrong. RAID 6, on the other hand, is still seen as overkill with bigger overhead and with worse performance.

Disk cost

RAID 5 needs one more drive, which you cannot use for storing data. If any of the drivers fails, you can rebuild it without data loss.

RAID 6 needs two more drivers, bud you can lose 2 drives at once and you will still be able to rebuild the array successfully.

Speeds

The reading performance of RAID 5 and RAID 6 is basically the same.

The writing performance is a little bit more complicated, RAID 6 can be more power hungry (33 % more CPU power) and also little slower in some scenarios. But the difference can be eliminated using cache in your storage device.

So what’s the problem?

It’s the security. You are using RAID, so you obviously want no downtime –  restoring from backups takes precious time and you have to bring your information systems offline in most cases.

Many people think the chance of 2 disks failing at once is slim. It happens all the time, believe me. The drives have much bigger capacity today so the rebuild often takes days. When another drive fails in this period and you are using RAID 5, your data are gone.  Also, the rebuilding process is pretty disk-intensive and it can cause another failure. You have probably bought the disks at once, they can come from the same manufacturing batch and have the same defects. Hell, you probably installed them and started to use them on the same day!

There is another big problem, which wasn’t such a big deal years before. Storage is cheaper nowadays. With vast arrays of many terabytes, rebuilding times are not only much longer, but there is a higher chance to encounter URE (Unrecoverable Read Error) and again, lose your data.

One recommendation holds well against the time. RAID doesn’t replace backups. Have good backups, folks.

What do you think?

Those hellish Sharepoint 2013 backups

I spent a lot of time today on this one.

I tried to backup my Sharepoint 2013 farm, full backup, via Management Shell:

Backup-SPFarm -Directory \\SERVERXXX\farm_backup\ -BackupMethod full

It did save data but always ended with an error. At the end of the log file was this gem:

FatalError: Backup failed for Object Crawl-0 (E: on SERVERXXX) failed in event OnBackup. For more information, see the spbackup.log or sprestore.log file located in the backup directory.

It was a god-damned permission problem. If you are getting this error, check your database users – open up Sql Server 2014 Configuration Manager (or the version you have) and check those:

sql-server-config-manager-users

See? Those are default:

  • NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService
  • NT Service\MSSQL$SQLEXPRESS

Grant them NTFS permission to the backup location and to the share (full access). Run the backup to see if the problem persists. This did it for me.