Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reinstalling VMware Player 4.0.2 on Windows

Having trouble with the network adapter on a VM thought I might uninstall VMware Player 4.0.2 and install it again. Trouble is the uninstall failed with The MSI ‘’ failed message.

This KB from VMware offers a tool called VMware_Install_Cleaner.exe for cleaning-up the registry entries and allowing re-installation.

Cleaning up after an incomplete uninstallation on a Windows host

Monday, March 26, 2012

TreeSize Free

TreeSize Free shows the size of a folder including all subfolders and files. In an Explorer-like style, also the wasted space.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

JBoss 4.2.3 with Apache Portable Runtime (APR)

By default JBossWeb uses the standard pure-Java implementation and you can observe this in the log:

INFO  [AprLifecycleListener] The Apache Tomcat Native library which allows optimal performance in production environments was not found on the java.library.path: [...]
INFO  [Http11Protocol] Initializing Coyote HTTP/1.1 on http-
INFO  [Http11Protocol] Initializing Coyote HTTP/1.1 on http-8443
INFO  [AjpProtocol] Initializing Coyote AJP/1.3 on ajp-
INFO  [Catalina] Initialization processed in 1118 ms
INFO  [StandardService] Starting service jboss.web
INFO  [StandardEngine] Starting Servlet Engine: JBossWeb/2.0.1.GA
INFO  [Catalina] Server startup in 93 ms

where with native libraries installed it will look like this:

INFO  [main] [org.jboss.wsf.stack.jbws.NativeServerConfig:51] JBoss Web Services - Native
INFO  [main] [org.jboss.wsf.stack.jbws.NativeServerConfig:52] jbossws-3.0.1-native-2.0.4.GA (build=200803312044)
INFO  [main] [org.apache.catalina.core.AprLifecycleListener:181] Loaded Apache Tomcat Native library 1.1.22.
INFO  [main] [org.apache.catalina.core.AprLifecycleListener:189] APR capabilities: IPv6 [false], sendfile [true], accept filters [false], random [true].
INFO  [main] [org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11AprProtocol:113] Initializing Coyote HTTP/1.1 on http-
INFO  [main] [org.apache.coyote.ajp.AjpAprProtocol:166] Initializing Coyote AJP/1.3 on ajp-
INFO  [main] [org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina:536] Initialization processed in 992 ms
INFO  [main] [org.apache.catalina.core.StandardService:507] Starting service jboss.web
INFO  [main] [org.apache.catalina.core.StandardEngine:431] Starting Servlet Engine: JBossWeb/2.0.1.GA
INFO  [main] [org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina:584] Server startup in 39 ms

To enable APR, download the appropriate package for the environment from and extract into jboss\bin – in my case a Windows server, and that would be tcnative-1.dll and openssl.exe. They need to be in the application path, if it doesn’t find them JBoss will revert to standard Java implementation.

One problem now is that APR uses openssl.exe and the HTTPs configuration has to be changed, but I didn’t look too much into that, since my environment doesn’t require it I just commented it out; otherwise it will throw an exception at start-up complaining about the setup of the secure connector.

 <!-- Define a SSL HTTP/1.1 Connector on port 8443
      This connector uses the JSSE configuration, when using APR, the 
      connector should be using the OpenSSL style configuration
      described in the APR documentation
   <Connector port="8443" protocol="HTTP/1.1" SSLEnabled="true"
           maxThreads="150" scheme="https" secure="true"
           keystorePass="hgf8tx" sslProtocol="TLS" />

Restart JBoss and check the performance.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

VMware ESX, xperf, IntelPPM

One more case, this time a Windows 2008 R2 SP1 VM running in VMware ESX, analysed with xperf – part of Windows Performance Analysis tools.


  • Registry values:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Processor\Start = 3
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Intelppm\Start = 3
  • xperf -on latency
  • [workload]
  • xperf -d latency_before.etl
  • xperf latency_before.etl
geekbench - before
xperf latency - before


  • Registry values:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Processor\Start = 4
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Intelppm\Start = 4
  • xperf -on latency
  • [workload]
  • xperf -d latency_after.etl
  • xperf latency_after.etl
geekbench - after
xperf latency - after


It seems that intelppm.dll is now off the radar, but hal.dll has increased in number of events, although half the number. The GeekBench scores have gone slightly up, but at the same time it’s a virtual machine. I can’t say there is a visible gain, remains to be tested further from application throughput point of view...

Update 28 March 2012

You may find that after the registry change that vmware-vmx.exe will exhibit constant high CPU consumption on the host system, in which case you might want to revert back to the default registry values.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview on ASUS R2H

And the tiny ASUS R2H survives another round and gets to run the bubbling fish :-)

Installation not much different from before:

My ASUS R2H doesn’t get as much attention lately, I might come back with more details next week – I know some of you were interested, at least it confirms it does run.

ASUS R2H - Windows 8 Consumer Preview - Metro

ASUS R2H - Windows 8 Consumer Preview - Desktop

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview - 0x0000260 error

Just tried Windows 8 Consumer Preview x32 on my old Sony Vaio VGN-A115B and while the installation worked fine, at first boot it failed with error 0x0000260.

From what I could find, it appears this is a problem happening when running the software in virtualisation without PAE/NX features enabled or on older Pentium M laptops.

Mine is a Pentium M “Banias” 1.5 Ghz – I guess it was bound to happen at some point with legacy hardware, I just wish maybe I knew before I went through the trouble of installing it in the first place...

Sony Vaio VGN-A115B

Windows 8 Consumer Preview - error 0x0000260

Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation using Network Boot (PXE) - Update

An update to previous post explaining how to network boot using PXE. With Windows 8 Consumer Preview out, I’m back to trying to boot my old Vaio laptop using PXE and given Serva64 1.5.0 another shot.

It turns out that now running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my laptop, both SolarWinds TFPTD and Serva64 were failing to serve files through TFTP to my laptop. Appears that the TCP/UDP Offloading were causing the issue, once turned off from my wired adapter, I could use Serva64 for both DHCP and TFTPD, simpler this way and using just one piece of software. I also changed from “PXE Compatibility” to “Option negotiation”, thanks to one of the comments on previous post (thanks Anonymous!).

Serva64 TFTP settings

Turning off all TCP and UPD Offload features from the wired adapter:

  • IPv4 Checksum Offload
  • Large Send Offload v2 (IPv4)
  • Large Send Offload v2 (IPv6)
  • UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4)
  • UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4)
  • UDP Checksum Offload (IPv6)

Network Controller - Advanced settings - offloading

Thanks to the Windows 8 feature that allows to easily mount ISO as virtual DVD drives, there is no need for additional software like Virtual Clone Drive and the such, I could just share the Windows 8 kit directly for remote install.

Windows 8 ISO drive

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Devolo dLAN 200 AVmini Starter Kit

Reading about power line communication technology a few years back when it was just a concept, I can see it came a long way and it seems quite mature now. Just bough this Devolo dLAN 200 AVmini Starter kit (2 adapters) to replace my wireless WDS setup (wireless router upstairs going through a wall and the floor to another router downstairs in the living room) - not necessarily to get higher transfer speeds, but to improve latency. I was annoyed at times when playing on Xbox Live and getting killed when I thought I got a swipe at the other guy to watch the replay later to find out that it wasn’t like that at all. I can see now a good improvement with the Devolo dLAN 200, although I guess the rest is up to me :-)

I had the kit installed for a couple of weeks now and fairly happy with it – very easy to connect, just plug in and devices will find each other quickly and you have a network in only a few seconds. The units seem to consume little power (~4 Wh), and they are smart enough to sense when the device connected to them is power off and will switch to power saving mode, pinging for activity every couple of seconds.

One device is plugged upstairs into my Linksys WRT54GL wireless router, and the second one downstairs plugged into a mini-switch, servicing both the Xbox 1 and Xbox 360. Both units are powered through extension leads, cause I don’t have enough power sockets on the wall, although Devolo recommends not do that, and for good reason as you will see, the performance is poorer that way. You can find units with pass through power socket to solve that issue, but didn’t want to pay extra really cause I thought I won’t really need it.

Here is the performance test with both units in extension leads – transfer speeds at around 4.5 MB/sec.

Copy transfer - extensions

Devolo Cockpit - extension

Running the test again with both units connected directly to wall sockets almost doubles the transfer speed at around 7.7 MB/sec.

Copy transfer - wall

Devolo Cockpit - wall

Personally, I don’t mind the transfer speeds so much, I don’t transfer a lot of files around to my Xboxes, and Xbox Live and Internet access seems to be faster than my old 802.11g WDS setup, so I’m reasonable happy with it, cause latency seems to have improved a lot. On the other hand, I guess if you are streaming HD content or wanting to transfer large files across the local network fast, you might not be too excited about it.

One other thing I found, and this is about the Devolo Cockpit application (screenshots), which you only need to review and configure the units, might consume a considerable amount of CPU (devolonetsvc.exe) – I did contact Devolo Support and they came back quickly enough, explaining what the service is used for and that it can be set to manual and stopped as it’s not required for the units to work.

Windows 8 : Windows Easy Transfer Reports

You got to love this tool, just used it again to migrate from Windows 8 Developer Preview to Consumer Preview – it allows to save all your profiles with their settings (and other files if you want) to a separate partition or external HDD, do a fresh Windows install and then use it again to restore the profiles and voila. Such a time saver and so easy!

Another feature that might always have been in there but ignored it is the Easy Transfer Reports, telling you which apps you had installed on the old Windows and might want to install again!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

HashMyFiles - Calculate MD5/SHA1/CRC32 hashes of your files

HashMyFiles is small utility that allows you to calculate the MD5 and SHA1 hashes of one or more files in your system. You can easily copy the MD5/SHA1 hashes list into the clipboard, or save them into text/html/xml file.

HashMyFiles can also be launched from the context menu of Windows Explorer, and display the MD5/SHA1 hashes of the selected file or folder.

HashMyFiles screenshot