OST files, VMware View, and Local Roaming over Persistent Disks

OST files by default are saved in appdata\local\microsoft\outlook. The environment I have been working with is plagued with the following error:

Outlook is using an old copy of your Outlook data file (.ost). Exit Outlook, dete the file, and restart Outlook. A new file will be automatically created the next time you initiate a send/receive.

The 200 user environment had elected to use Persona Management to roam the local profile instead of using persistent disks. By creating a new pool with persistent disks and migrating the users the issue is fixed.

Other issues manifested from local roaming. Ntuser.dat was being written to the VM at user log on but not being written back to the network location after sign off. This would cause any changes made to HKCU (current user registry hive) to be overwritten. My initial fix was to force outlook to populate OST files to the user’s home directory instead of the default directory in appdata. This only applies to newly created profiles, so I had to delete and recereate their mail profiles. All changes were lost after the user re-logged in, as user mail profile data is stored in HKCU.

Persistent disk seems to be the way to go and fixed all of the problems. However, I did not chase down why local was not properly writing back to the network at user log off. I reached out for more information but could not track down the underlying issue. Anyone with an idea, please assuage my curiosity and let me know. Are you using local roaming with Persona Management in your environment?

Exchange Online Auto-login Script

After I migrated my company’s email off of Communigate (seriously, who names their company Stalker?) onto Exchange Online I needed to do a lot of cleanup using Powershell. We’ve also got compatibility with Outlook 2010 to worry about which has created some issues. Below is a link to my auto-login script.

Note: Credentials are saved using DPAPI, so are secure but likely break compliance with other company security policies


Delta 3D Printer Build

I spent the summer building a 3D printer. I bought the kit off of Folgertech, although at the time their documentation incomplete for building. Also, I bought this kit with 2 other people here at work all within 6 months of each other and all had a different bill of materials. Challenge accepted!

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PC Build – The Hooligan

New PC Build with aesthetics as priority.

Inwin 904 case
Asus Sabertooth Mark S
Intel i7-4790k
Corsair H90 AIO Cooler
32GB DDR3-1866
Corsair 760
Galax HOF 980ti
140mm BitFenix Spectre Pro Fans

Hit more for build details.

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RPi SSH Authentication Server for 2FA RDP

My previous post showed that my home PC gets hit by about 35 remote login attempts a day by just having port 3389 forwarded to my home PC. More concerning is the MS Security Bulletin released last week showing serious vulnerabilities to RDP. To add another layer of security, I set up an SSH server on an old Raspberry Pi with only RSA authentication. Now to remote to my PC requires two-factor authentication, as you need not only the password to access the PC but the private key I keep on me at all times. Something you know and something you have.

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RDP Port Forwarding Drama

For the past year I have done everything on my home PC through a remote desktop connection that wasn’t gaming. It saved me hours of work when the school’s power went out. It keeps my free 15GB on Google Drive far below the limit. It prevents me from logging into sites on public computers.

On July 16th I enabled login auditing, just to see how much of a risk it is having port 3389 forwarded to my home PC. On the 20th I set up a custom view to show login failures.


4 days, 135 attempted logins. Long story short don’t do that. Thankfully I use complex passwords. My next post will address a more secure method for remote desktop connections.


Debian 8 Google Play Music Manager

I thought it would be perfect to have the “Minion” NAS always watching the shared Music folder to keep my music up to date. The following instructions assume you have a current Debian 8 “Jessie” and the LXDE desktop environment, although the latter condition may not be required to find this post useful.

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Debian based RAIDZ NAS

I have been using a 2TB external hard drive attached to a USB port on my RT-N66U router for my NAS solution. The router only supports USB2.0 and the R/W speeds are under 10MB/s. This works fine for streaming video, even with HD video playing on 2 of my HTHDTVPI‘s, but there is no redundancy. I cannibalized a few parts from other builds and bought some Western Digital Reds and built a NAS using ZFS.

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Debian 8 Minecraft Forge

I had a few hang ups with installing Minecraft Forge Server on Debian 8 a few months back and wrote down the process. I just got around today to cleaning up old Drive docs and found it. Hopefully this can help someone having issues. I am still exploring Linux, so if anyone has any corrections or simplifications I am always eager to learn. I desire to contribute to the collaborative knowledge for anything Linux.

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Zalman CNPS8900 Frustrations

If you have done your research, you know fans are not created equally. This Zalman CNPS8900 performed admirably in benchmark tests at Tom’s Hardware (my absolute favorite website for practical consumer hardware reviews).

I won’t get long winded on this. Long story short the heat exchange pipes do not fit with ram that has any profile to it. I feel like this stuff needs to be pointed out. Hopefully someone will see this and be warned. This fan only takes low profile ram. It should be right on the dang cover.

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