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You are trying remove Exchange 2003, but you get an error similar to “you cannot remove a server that is a target bridgehead for a routing group connector. This server is a target bridgehead for the following connections”.You have removed the connector in ESM.

You have run the Remove-RoutingGroupConnector command on the Exchange 2007/2010 servers

(If you struggle with this step and get an error because you have bi-directional connectors, such as: Remove-RoutingGroupConnector : The operation could not be performed because “RGC NAME” matches multiple entries. Run this command:

get-routinggroupconnector -Identity “RGC NAME” |Remove-RoutingGroupConnector)

You still continue to get the error on the 2003 server.

You have checked in ADSI Edit and the connector isn’t there.

Have you checked the exchange services? Did you disable them for a while to check that Exchange would be OK to remove from the environment? Are they still disabled?

Re-enable them, and start them up. You should be able to remove Exchange 2003 now.

After upgrading an ESX cluster from vSphere 5.0 to vSphere 5.1 a VM failed to reboot.. Instead, an error message was issued:

Failed to start the virtual machine.  Module DevicePowerOn power on failed.  Could not set up “macAddress” for ethernet0. Invalid MAC address specified.  00:0C:29:A0:B0:1D is not an allowed static Ethernet address. It conflicts with VMware reserved MACs.


The VM used to run on VMware Server and was transferred later to the ESX infrastructure. It acts as a license server. The services installed are tied to the MAC address of the LAN adapter, Therefore, in the past, the virtual MAC address was assigned statically. Unfortunately the selected MAC address was in the range of VMware’s dynamically assigned addresses. That wasn’t a problem for previous ESX versions, although the method is not recommended. Since version 5.1 addresses in the range 00:0c:29:x:x:x are strictly reserved for dynamic allocation. In the VMX file of the VM, however, was the following entry:

I first put the adapter address in the vSphere Client to “dynamic” and on the next reboot I got an address from the range 00:50:56:x:x:x. The VM did start, but the license service stopped working. So I shut down the VM and edited the VMX file, by entering the original value for the MAC address.

ethernet0.address = "00:0C:29:A0:B0:1D"

Bug exchange

So I got a new error:

“00:0c:29:xx:xx:xx is not an allowed VPX assigned Ethernet address. Invalid MAC address specified. Failed to configure ethernet0.”

The problem was, that the changing from “static” to “dynamic” in the virtual machine settings the addresstype changed to “vpx” automatically.

ethernet0.addressType = "vpx"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:xx:xx:xx"

At this point one has to understand, how addresses are generated.

  • generated : automatically generated by the MUI (MAC address starts with 00:0c:29)
  • vpx : generated automatically by vCenter (MAC address starts with 00:50:56)
  • static : manually assigned MAC address

A correct configuration must look like this:

ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:xx:xx:xx"

(*) Please replace xx:xx:xx with desired bytes. Don’t enter xx:xx:xx into your VMX file! (Thanks for the hint, Al) :-)

After that, you can boot the VM normally again. If you look at the settings, you’ll see the correct MAC address.

MAC is still being generated

In some cases I could see, the correct MAC in the VM settings (while the VM was powered off) in the first place (as shown above), but after starting the VM the MAC has been regenerated. This was due to the UUID of the VM.

Here you have to adjust the last three bytes of uuid.bios to the last three bytes of the desired MAC address. On next boot of the VM you may be asked, whether you have copied or moved the VM. Here you have to choose the “I moved it” selection, because otherwise a UUID and a MAC will be generated on random.

The easiest way to fix the issue is to make a copy of the VMX file with the VM still running on a non upgraded host. Update the copy of the VMX file with the ethernetX.addressType, ExthernetX.generatedAddress and the uuid.bios values (for all the vNics attached), shut down the VM, upload the new VMX, and power the VM back on. This will have your licencing VM off for a very small amount of time.

Once powered up, you can vMotion it over to a 5.1 host and then upgrade the 5.0 host at leisure.


(credits to for some of the content)

If you use Windows 7 and you have a touchpad on your laptop, you might find that the cursor jumps around while typing. It is a common issue with the Synaptics touchpad drivers (normally fixed by reinstalling them).

If that doesn’t work, simply install and run this neat application called TouchFreeze and the problem will be gone!

DarkMarket – Cybercrime

Posted: August 23, 2011 in Security
Tags: ,

I got a personal mention in the Sunday Times on 21.08.11, relating to the discovery of a fraudster, who was sought worldwide.
The article is an excerpt from the book, available from
DarkMarket: CyberThieves, CyberCops and You by Misha Glenny, is authoritative and completely engrossing. Its a must-read for everyone who uses a computer: the essential crime book for our times.

“In Darryl Leaning, a local lad, they found the right person to take on the job. Apart from his technical competence, he was young and scrupulously honest, but perhaps most importantly his relaxed, friendly manner disguised an unusually sharp wit. It is a little appreciated fact that the best computer managers are as talented in managing social and psychological expectations as they are in fixing widgets.”

If you would like any consultancy for Information/Systems security, please use the contact page.

MiFi is a wireless 3G access point, which allows several devices to use a 3G connection over Wireless. The Huawei E585 is sold by Three in the UK, and of course comes locked to the network.

There are different versions of the software on the device, but luckily (at the time of writing), the unlock code is stored unencrypted in the firmware in all current versions. You just have to read the code our from the device.

So, on to the unlock procedure. You will need either one, or two pieces of software (available below), depending on the firmware version. New devices require one extra step and the extra software, which is free.

Firstly, this procedure comes without warranty. The chances of you breaking anything are slim, but undertake everything at your own risk.

What you will need:

  • A MiFi device, locked to Three (or another provider, however this has only been tested on Three)
  • PSAS – Available HERE
  • DC-Unlocker (for the newer software versions) – Available HERE
  • Notepad – built in to Windows

Step 1, required for all versions:

The first thing you need to do, is plug in the MiFi device to your PC using a USB cable. Make sure that nothing is connected to the MiFi via wireless for all of the following steps . Let Windows automatically install the communication drivers.  If Autorun is disabled, manually run the autorun.exe file on the virtual CD drive that appears when you plug the MiFi in. These drivers are required for the following steps.

Confirm the drivers are all installed by unplugging, and plugging the device back in at least once. When the drivers and software are installed, put a different SIM into the MiFi & turn it on. Plug it in to your PC again using the USB cable.

At this point, a quick check in device manager (click start and type devmgmt.msc into the run/search box) should show some ports related to the MiFi which appear and disappear when you plug/unplug the device.

E585 huawei ports

Make sure that the connection manager isn’t running (it may not be, but check the system tray near the clock just in case). Click the ‘Safely remove hardware’ icon in the tray too, and disconnect the virtual CD drive.

Step 2, required before step 3, for newer firmware versions only. Try step 3 FIRST, and come back here if you can’t read the EFS data. If you just received the device, the chances are that this step will be required, as your software will likely be the new version. (1026. is an example of the new firmware version)

Install the DC-Unlocker client. After it has installed,  right-click the shortcut and choose “Run as administrator” if using Vista/Win7. XP users can just double-click it.

When the DC-Unlocker software opens, click the search (magnifying glass button). After a few seconds, you should have the details of your device listed in the software, as shown below:

DC-unlocker E585 Mifi

If you don’t get a full reading, check again that device is on, the connection manager software isn’t running, and that the ports are showing in device manager. Having already unlocked my device using this method, the SIM Lock status above shows “unlocked”

Leave the software open just as it is, and move on to the next step.

Step 3, reading the firmware from the phone.

Install the PSAS (Phone System Analysis Software) tool from the link above. Run it as administrator from the right-click menu.

Choose “Hardware Forensics” from the menu at the top, and select “Use Mobile Ports”

From the dropdown I chose the selected option in blue, however some have reported the other “Com10” option worked for them. The port number may not be the same for you, but you should be able to identify the MiFi device port for yourself pretty easily. It will be one of a maximum 3 options.

E585 psas unlock free

For the baud rate, 115200, & 57600 allowed me to read the filesystem, but be warned that it takes around 5 minutes or so to complete.

Now click the “Diag Port” tab, and click the “Send” button. This should return a result similar to this:

E585 free unlock diag psas

If you don’t get a response similar to this, you may need to go through Step 2. If you followed Step 2 with success, try changing the port, or the baud rate and try again.

Next choose “Read EFS” & “Use alternate method” in the software as below:

e585 free unlock psas

Click the “lets go” button, and choose a filename and location for the firmware dump that you will locate easily (like Desktop).

The software will say “Please Wait…” and take several minutes to complete. Be patient. When the process is complete, “successfully read EFS” wil be displayed. If you have trouble and the software crashes, try setting the lines to 250, but this only works for older firmware with the unlock code that isn’t at the end. New firmware (SP01 in the version) needs the whole file. The whole file is around 742kb.

e585 free unlock psas

Step 4, finding the unlock code

For this step, you will need the file you read from the MiFi, and notepad to read the file. Open the file in Notepad Click start and type notepad into the run/search box). It may take a while for the file to open.

If you have the earlier firmware versions, the code can be found by using the “find” feature under the notepad edit menu. Search for PST, the number after PST is the unlock code.

For later firmware, the code is located at the and of the file, scroll to the bottom of the file with notepad maximised, as shown below (the code is 54951935 in this case)

E585 unlock code free

Step 6, Entering the code

Connect to the MiFi with no other internet connections on your PC, and the Simlock page should show up. Simply enter the code.

Alternatively, type into the address bar and press enter.

If that fails, you can follow the instructions and use the software HERE.

The device will now reboot and is unlocked.

You will need to create a profile for the network providers and input the APN (including Three again) to connect to the internet.

Step 7, Adding network profiles

Make sure that you are connected to the MiFi, preferably by cable.

  • Open http://3.home,  or Click
  • Find the section ‘Change Your Settings’
  • Enter admin password (By default the password is ‘Admin’)
  • Click Log In
  • Click Advanced Settings > Connection Settings > Profile Settings > New
  • ‘Profile Name’ – Anything you want (e.g. Vodafone )
  • ‘Connection Number’- *99#
  • ‘UserName’ – Your network operator’s username (See below)
  • ‘Password’ – Your network operator’s password (See below)
  • ‘Authntication’ – PAP
  • APN – Your network operator’s APN (See below)
  • IP Address – Dynamic
  • Click Save > Continue > Advance Settings > Connection Settings > Connection Settings
  • Select your new profile from the ‘Profile List’ drop down menu (e.g. Vodafone)
  • Click Apply

Please see This page for APN settings.

If you want the MiFi device to work on 2G too (required in some countries, like T-Mobile USA), go to the following setting:

Advanced Settings > Mobile Network Settings Network Settings > Select “3G Preferred > Apply

All that there is left to do is enjoy your unlocked MiFi Device!

If you run, manage or maintain a computer network, Spiceworks is something you probably should be aware of.
“Spiceworks is the complete network management software, helpdesk, network configuration & IT reporting solution designed to manage everything IT in small & medium businesses.”

Spiceworks now has both an iPhone & Android app for remote management of devices & tickets.

I have been using Spiceworks since version 1.6, & I use it as a full helpdesk ticket system, and my main troubleshooting and network overview tool. The network inventory, which also includes timeline change tracking of devices, and many other useful tools for network administrators is invaluable. VMware & ESX Servers are also supported.
Spiceworks is totally free, supported by unobtrusive & useful IT related advertisements.
A summary of features are below, taken straight from the Spiceworks homepage (hyperlinked):

Inventory Your Network

Monitor Your Network

Run an IT Help Desk

Manage Configuration Changes

Map Your Network

Troubleshoot Network Problems

Be an MSP

Join an IT Pro Community

I really can’t give this product enough credit for what it does and the time it saves.
The community behind Spiceworks are also very knowledgeable, when you need help with pretty much any IT related issue.

You should also check out the “unofficial” SpiceWorks site, which has the latest unreleased news and hints, managed by Andy (akp982), a very active member/friend from the Spiceworks Community.

Click the button below, and try Spiceworks for yourself.
Set It Free!