Saturday, March 28, 2009

Whacked out Windows Service

I was supposed to blog about this sometime last year when we we're called in to be standby engineers for a large government organization in Singapore as they were trying to change their hardware for one of their SQL Server clusters (I had another similar incident today which reminded me to blog about it). When they didn't get the chance to successfully move to the new hardware, they rolled back their changes. Unfortunately, even their rollback process was screwed up as they couldn't bring up the services after doing a restore of their backup. Looking at the services applet in Windows, we couldn't start the service at all. It looks like their backup software was not able to resolve the long names in Windows, thus, introducing the tilde (~) character in the location of the executable for the service. The workaround for this is a registry hack. You can remove or change settings in your service by looking at this registry key


Look for the service name and update the ImagePath key to the correct parameters that you would need for your service. In case you're thinking of deleting a service when it was not properly uninstalled or when it is totally screwed up, you can use the Windows command line tool sc to do the trick

Friday, March 27, 2009

RELOG tool in Windows Server 2008

I was configuring one of our customer's Windows Server 2008 to capture PerfMon counters for our analysis when I accidentally ended up storing the log file in binary format. Now, I didn't like the idea of reading the binary file as I will be importing it in a SQL Server database for Reporting Services to use. Although PerfMon has the ability to log directly to a SQL Server database using ODBC, I am not allowed to do anything outside of PerfMon. After digging thru some options in Windows Server 2008, I found out about the RELOG tool. The tool gives you the ability to extract out the counters from any format generated by PerfMon and store them in a different format. In my case, I had to store them as a CSV file

relog PerfMonCounterLog.blg -f csv -o PerfMonCounterLog.csv

I was trying to find more about this tool from Microsoft TechNet but couldn't find any (or maybe I wasn't just looking hard enough) although MSDN has something about the method called ReLog which does exactly the same thing. It's exposed as an API so you can call it from an application should you wish to do so