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sysprep – a fatal error occurred

I’m currently testing out Windows Deployment Services, and while working with sysprep on a Windows 7 Pro client machine, I got the following error:

sysprep error

Nothing seemed to work, till I tried the following recipe:

Open the run-menu, type in regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\SysprepStatus. Find GeneralizationState and set the value to 7.

Run a command prompt with administrative privileges. Type:

msdtc -uninstall
msdtc -install

Open up regedit again and find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform. Find SkipRearm and set the value to 1.

net stop WMPNetworkSvc

Try running sysprep again now. Hopefully it should work. That’ll save you some time of frustration and hopefully you won’t go bald sooner.

Should this not work, check the sysprep-log file at C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Panther\setuperr.txt.

VMware, i3 and multiple monitors

For a while now I’ve been trying to set up VMware to work with multiple monitors, in a Linux guest. With some windowmanagers it works out of the box without any issue, such as with Unity. I never figured out how to do it with xmonad, and recently I switched to i3 just to try something new. The damn “Cycle multiple monitors” button didn’t work here either. When I tried it, a message popped up saying:

The virtual machine must have up-to-date VMware Tools installed and running.

Convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data

I had a USB-stick formatted with FAT32, and when I tried transferring a file over 4GB to it, I suddenly got the error:

The file ‘example.iso’ is too large for the destination file system.

The file system FAT32 only supports file sizes of up to 4GB, thus this error. Luckily there’s an easy way to fix this – convert the file system from FAT32 to NTFS. This can be done easily with the command convert, and should not cause you to lose data on the device you’re converting, or have to format it. However, backup is always adviced.

So, the conversion itself:

1. Click on the Start-menu
2. Type cmd in the search bar
3. Check the disk for errors with the command:

chkdsk e: /f

Where e: is the letter of the drive of the USB-stick.

4. Execute the conversion with:

convert e: /FS:NTFS

The conversion-process will take a few minutes, and in the end the program will inform you when the conversion was successful.

That’s all there is to it. :)

Batch convert videos using Handbrake and a script

So I mainly use Linux, but for some tasks I turn to Windows. In this particular case it was setting up my iPad so that my wife could take it to Spain with her, packed with movies, to entertain the kids. This included the use of iTunes. I’m sure there’s some way to make it work in Linux as well, but I thought I’d write a post based on a solution I found in Windows, for once.

I needed to convert existing .avi-files to the format the iPad uses. This is where the program Handbrake comes into play. It’s excellent for converting from one format to another, but it’s the batch-convert part that isn’t too good. So how to solve this? Well, first install Handbrake, then proceed to create a .bat-script in the directory that contains the .avi-files. I do realize that Handbrake has a Add to queue function, but that sort of takes away the point of batch-converting. Rather I specify a folder, then it convert every file in it, than me adding a file manually one by one.

Open up Notepad, and place the following bit of text in it:

FOR /F "tokens=*" %%G IN ('DIR /B /S *.avi') DO "C:\Program Files\Handbrake\HandBrakeCLI" -i "%%G" -o "%%G".mp4 --preset="iPad"

When saving the file, remember to select All files on the Save as type-field. Then type in script.bat in the File Name field.

So when you’re done with this, it’s just a case of double-clicking the script to batch convert all of the .avi-files in the directory the script is placed in.

Oh, another word of advice. Make sure your Windows-machine doesn’t hibernate or go to sleep. I learned that the hard way.

This post never gets old. I constantly keep finding new and useful addons for Firefox. Here’s the list of what I consider to be some of the best Firefox addons out there.

  • Adblock Plus
  • Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them.
  • MediaplayerConnectivity
  • Allow you to launch embed video of website in an external application with a simple click.
  • StartupMaster
  • Asks for the master password at startup (fixes multiple password prompt).
  • Tab Mix Plus
  • Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager.
  • Tiny Menu
  • Replace the standard menu bar with a tiny menu popup.
  • Tree Style Tab
  • Show tabs like a tree.
  • Xmarks
  • Xmarks is the #1 bookmarking add-on. Install it on all your computers to keep your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords backed up and synchronized. Xmarks also helps you uncover the best of the web based on what millions of people are bookmarking.
  • It’s all Text!
  • Right click on a text area, select “It’s All Text!” and edit the text in the editor of your choice.
  • Web Developer
  • The Web Developer extension adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
  • BarTab
  • BarTab can intercept when tabs are loaded in the background or restored after a browser restart and will only load the content when the tab is actually visited. It also allows you to free memory by unloading already loaded tabs, either manually or automatically.

How to display UTF-8 in your Putty bash shell

My girlfriend was having some problems displaying the correct characters while talking on IRC through irssi, and putty. Eventually I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t my server or irssi that was configured badly. Searching the internet I found this:

echo -ne 'e%Ge[?47he%Ge[?47l'

Simply put that into your .bash_profile or .bashrc and relog to your server. It’s a collection of terminal escape codes that together means ESC %G – “switch to UTF-8”.