Unable to uninstall Citrix Receiver or Online Plugin

From time to time, users call in, reporting problems opening applications or desktops in Citrix. One of the many items in a support technician’s bag of tricks, is the old uninstall and reinstall routine. There are many reasons why this can be a good idea, among them that removing legacy applications that have been superseded by new versions can help resolve conflicts. Sometimes, however, the MSI files are damaged or just plain missing.

I have seen this particularly often with Citrix Receiver and Online Plugin. Luckily, Citrix has created the Receiver Cleanup Utility, which has yet to fail removing any and all versions of Citrix Receiver and Online Plugin. Simply download, unzip and run it, allowing it to uninstall the Citrix software installed. Then install a new version of Citrix Receiver, restart your browser and try again.

Disconnect non-mapped drive

From time to time, I have been unable to connect to the UNC path of a network share. The error message I get is:

The network folder specified is currently mapped using a different user name and password

This usually happens when I am remotely connected to another user’s computer. The message is straight-forward enough; so, too, is the solution. You simply need to disconnect from the share. Here’s how:

  1. Open a command line window
  2. Enter the command net use
  3. Find the mapped path in the resulting list
  4. Enter net use \\server\path /delete

That’s going to take care of it, and you should now be able to map the share as you normally would.

Internet Explorer: Search in the address bar does not work

A while back, a user called in, complaining that he was unable to use the address bar to search, in Internet Explorer 10. He further reported that he had just upgraded from Internet Explorer 9. I originally thought it was due to problems with a plugin, so that was where I started out. After looking at all of them; enabling and enabling, restarting IE and so on, I had gotten nowhere. At all.

The next step, was to look at search settings. At this point, you might be asking why I didn’t in the first place. Yeah, I know; classic mistake. At any rate, the answer was right there in front of me. It turns out that Internet Explorer 10 has a check box to enable or disable search in the address bar. It’s called “Search in the address bar”. It was, indeed, disabled.

2014 roundup

Another year, another roundup. 2014 has been far less turbulent than 2013, for which I am grateful. I have held the same job throughout the year, and studied Project and Service Management in the first half of the year. After the summer, I turned to Change Management (with a bit of project management and strategy thrown in for good measure. I have yet to blog on that subject, when I do, it will be under the category T227.

As before, the topics throughout the year have been varied, and many only belong here because I say they do. That’s how I like it; this blog is equal parts knowledge base,  sounding board and therapy session. The topics are far less eclectic than are my interests, and that is actually saying quite a lot.

In January and February  , the focus was on ITIL, while March saw solutions to specific challenges. April was a bit all over the place, while May and June had more solutions, tips & tricks. July, August and September saw me starting out with Linux, while I in October celebrated four hundred posts to the blog, a milestone of which I am very proud.  November had a number of book reviews, which spilled over into December, along with a couple of specific solutions and my first ever revisit of a previous topic.

2014 has seen a far more consistent posting rate from me than I have managed before, and I hope to be able to keep it up in 2015. I have a number of topics on the notepad, and, as is the nature of my job and studies, new topics tend to pop up from time to time. At any rate, the year to come promises a bit of excitement, too.

All that remains is to wish you all a very happy new year, and thank you for following me through 2014.

Unable to make Active Directory group member of another group

Some time ago, I was working on a request to limit access to a folder to members of four AD groups. Following the established practice at my employer, I created the group to grant access to the folder, and the one to control who has access. I made the latter a member of the former, and went to add the members. Two of the AD groups that were to have access were added, no problem. The other two were not. Not only that, I couldn’t even find them when searching for them,

Looking at settings for the group I could add, and comparing them to those I couldn’t, I found one significant difference; the setting under Group scope. Here they are; the ones I could add are on the left, the ones I couldn’t on the right:

Scope

Because the groups I couldn’t add were set to use a Universal, rather than Global, group scope, I was unable to find them when searching for them, or add them at all. Luckily, this is easily remedied, as you can simply change the setting.

For more information on AD Group Scopes, see information from Microsoft TechNet

RStudio does not detect R

I recently had a user contact me to have R and RStudio installed. I downloaded and installed them both, and thought that would be the end of it. As it turned out, it wasn’t. When she went to run RStudio, this message popped up:

Choose R Installation

Neither default versions worked, and when we browsed to where they were installed, no executable could be found (though we saw it just fine when browsing the folder). I noticed, however, that R had not been installed to C:\Program Files\, but rather to the user’s Documents folder. I ran the installation once more, this time as administrator, making sure that R was installed to C:\Program Files\. Lo and behold; when we next ran RStudio, it started up, no mention of any problems.

Security database trust relationship revisited

A little over a year ago, I showed you how to fix a broken trust relationship between the client computer and Active Directory. That post has since received a number of comments, and I will address some of them below:

@Uncle Reggie: Yeah right, and lose your entire profile and everything you have ever installed. Oh, sure, there are ways to get it back (most of it), but it isn’t pleasant. If you follow this advice, don’t be surprised when you log in to find a brand-spanking new desktop and all of your programs and documents and favorites gone.

As I said in my response to the original comment, I have literally never seen it happen, and can find no sources on the web discussing it either. I am still calling bullshit on the claim; Uncle Reggie does not know of that which he speaks.

@Doug: This solution will resolve the issue but it will NOT prevent the issue from happening again. We need to determine WHY the issue is happening so we can resolve the root cause and not get use a ban-daid and just remove and add it to the domain.

I agree that a proper fix would be great. The cause should be researched if time allows, however, I have found that the fix usually also means that the problem does not reappear. There are two well-known exceptions to this rule. The first is when the trust relationship breaks because the computer has been out of contact with Active Directory for so long that the account expires – this we can do little or nothing to prevent, and we should simply fix if whenever we see it.

The second is when the computer account in Active Directory becomes corrupted. This one can be resolved by deleting the computer account. If that does not help, the computer should be removed from the domain, given a new computer name, and rejoined to the domain.

@Stanley Sikondwama: This can work just fine if you can log in! If you cannot (because the administratot account has been disabled) then you have had it! What is the solution in a situation like that?

It is true that many SysAdmins set up computers, disabling the built-in administrator account. When doing so, it is best practice to create a new, local, account, with full local administrative privileges, which has another name. If you have not done so, and no local accounts are set up, you are in trouble. A solution has, however, been provided for us by @Rocketman:

@StanTheMan, download Ntpass at http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/and create a bootable CD from the ISO. Boot from the CD which will allow you to change passwords and also enable disabled account.

 

Reviewed: the Goal

Last week, I reviewed the Phoenix Project. Here are my thoughts on its predecessor:

Author: Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Publisher: North River Press
Year: 1984
ISBN: 9780884271789
Length: 362 pages

Having read the Phoenix Project, I wanted to read its predecessor, to see what lessons could be learned from it. As it turns out, there is quite a bit to be learned. An even better read the the Phoenix Projectthe Goal centres around a manufacturing plant in dire straits. By taking a close look at work in progress, bottlenecks and planning of work, the plant managers are able to get more profitable results at lower costs.

An inspiring read, this, too, is worth reading, if nothing else, then to see the similarities – and differences – between it and the Phoenix Project.

Reviewed: the Phoenix Project

A while back, a friend of mine tipped me off to this book, and said it was a book I should read. Here are my thoughts.

Author: Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and  George Spafford
Publisher: IT Revolution Press
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780988262591
Length: 345 pages

An IT Operations department in dire straits, facing the very real possibility of layoffs and outsourcing, starts to turn the ship around, implementing processes as needed in this inspiring fictionalized account. The IT version of Eli Goldratts bestselling book the Goalthe Phoenix Project shows not only how to use process tools such as ITIL and Kanban to turn a situation around, but also what insights are needed to successfully do so.

It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that I am a big believer in ITIL, and I recently wrote about my thoughts on Kanban in an IT Operations setting. This book is an interesting look at how things can be turned around, and a good read, too. I heartily recommend it.