Downloading Dell software

I try and keep up to date with things like Dell OpenManage Server Administrator but it can be tricky, so I rely a lot on their SUU tool. However, these downloads are now getting massive- the latest one is over 7GB, which promptly filled up the cache disk on our proxy server and caused the download to stop.

I knew the file name I needed (by going to support.euro.dell.com) and, as I have straight-through ftp access on our firewall thought I’d use FileZilla to search ftp.us.dell.com. Bad move. It might be well organised, but this site is just enormous. I couldn’t find any way of digging out the SUU ISO via ftp on the support website, so tried right-clicking and “View Source” whilst on the Driver Details page. Bingo! I found this bit of text- http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER01529610M/1/SUU_721_x32_Q12013_A01.iso– which was still useless at that point, as I can’t use HTTP because it’ll just fill up the proxy’s cache disk again. However (and thankfully) Dell seem to mirror the download structure between their http and ftp sites, so it was just a case of browsing to FOLDER01529610M/1 in FileZilla and it’s now downloading direct from Dell without any proxies in the way, although it’s still going to take 5 hour s apparently.

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 installation

Running System Center 2012 is just an evaluation project at the minute, but as with SharePoint yesterday there are a couple of things that will make life easier before trying to install it:

  • Install full blown SQL! Not Express;
  • SCCM runs a utility called setupdl.exe to download a whole raft of pre-requisite files. This utility seems to use the proxy configuration stored in inetcpl.cpl. This worked for me anyway; I messed around with netsh winhttp and the UpdDwnldCfg.exe utilities and neither worked. However, putting the right proxy settings into inetcpl.cpl worked instantly;
  • Install the Windows 8 ADK from http://www.microsoft.com/en-GB/download/details.aspx?id=30652 first. You only need Windows PE, USMT and Deployment tools- this will save you (hopefully) from encountering some failures when SCCM runs the pre-requisite checks before the install;
  • Install IIS (I installed everything apart from Application Development) and Remote Differential Compression- this will prevent yet more failures;
  • You should be good to go then; the pre-req’s checker will still bring up a lot of warnings, but I really do just want this to play around with and I thought it would ne a lot easier than this (when I walk into a shop to try out a laptop, I don’t usually expect to source the screen myself and then actually put the laptop together but c’est la vie);

NSA and PRISM surveillance.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying any of the surveillance being carried is right or morally justifiable in any way!

But… I really don’t get the furore over this supposed “discovery”. What discovery? I live about an hour from GCHQ- I’m assuming they could pretty much intercept anything they wanted to about me, especially if they have reason. If not them, then Menwith Hill.

I’m not saying I like it, but I’ve always assumed that I am (or can be) tracked and if anything, the internet just gives a slightly more “live”, probably more focussed way of tracking. Would I have assumed that someone, somewhere was almost watching me write this blog before all of this kicked off? Yup.

SharePoint Foundation 2013 on Windows Server 2012

This has been an absolute ‘mare. I don’t know if I was doing something wrong, but this was a brand-new Server 2012 (full GUI) install… and nothing else so far.

Anyway, the link that might help is this one:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2765260

I went straight to Method 2.2 to get all the roles and features installed (offline method, remembering to use the -Source switch). This got me so far, but then the pre-requisites have also been a complete nightmare. I think it’s probably because I’m behind a proxy and the pre-requisite checker really doesn’t like this, but in the end I had to resort to this article:

http://technet.microsoft.com/library/cc262485(office.15)?ocid=fwlink#section5

… and even then modify it! Unless I’m doing something very, very wrong, prerequisiteinstaller.exe does NOT like the switches I provided (/SQLNCli etc), so it tries to download the files which of course fails because of the proxy. My recommendation is to download all the pre-req files separately and install them manually (except .Net 4.5 and Management FrameWork 3.0, which you can install from server manager). Even then, MS seem to have got it wrong: they mention running the Windows AppFabric installer with /i CacheClient,CachingService,CacheAdmin /gac, but all this did is tell me I was trying to install it twice so it failed. So, I ran it with just /GAC and then only chose the 3 cache options from the GUI. After 1 final reboot, SP 2013 Foundation installed successfully. I know it’s free, but come on MS: this has been a terrible install, and has taken tweak after tweak to get it to work. Can’t you just bung all the pre-req files + roles and features into the installer?