Lookup DNS on a Specific Nameserver with NSLOOKUP

The nslookup command is really easy to use. You just type nslookup [host-name] and you get an answer. But what do you do when it looks like it is working, but your monitoring is detecting intermittent issues connecting to a website? The answer is, you check each nameserver individually to make sure they are allContinue reading “Lookup DNS on a Specific Nameserver with NSLOOKUP”

Turn an Old Phone into a Programmable Keyboard

It seems like everyone has a high-quality, expensive, programmable deck on their desk these days. Elgato’s Stream Deck, with it’s glowing LCD buttons, comes in flavours that cost between £100 and £200 (depending on how many buttons you want). It’s beautiful bit of kit that glows its way into the hearts of tech geeks everywhere.Continue reading “Turn an Old Phone into a Programmable Keyboard”

A Glance at PowerToys and WinGet

PowerToys and WinGet are exciting previews for Windows Users. If you are a civilian, you’ll be getting these in general release soon, but for technical folks might want to try things out early. Or now! PowerToys PowerToys has been in preview for a while. You’ll install it when someone shows off FancyZones, which gives youContinue reading “A Glance at PowerToys and WinGet”

Failed to Load penimc.dll and Related Problems

Following on from a series of recent Windows Updates, a couple of our servers had a problem running Server Manager (“Server Manager has stopped working”) and SQL Management Studio (“Failed to Load penimc.dll”). The details of the Server Manager error were in the event log: Application: ServerManager.exe Framework Version: v4.0.30319 Description: The process was terminatedContinue reading “Failed to Load penimc.dll and Related Problems”

Secure Octopus Deploy with an Auto-Updating Let’s Encrypt Certificate

Octopus Deploy has a web portal that runs a self-hosted website on whatever port you specify. You can even have Octopus generate a self-signed certificate in order to use HTTPS when browsing the web portal… but if you connect other application that are strictly validating certificates, they won’t be too pleased with self-signed certificates. PurchasingContinue reading “Secure Octopus Deploy with an Auto-Updating Let’s Encrypt Certificate”

Configure Remote Desktop Connection Disconnected Session Timeout

In older versions of Windows, you could set disconnected Remote Desktop Connections to timeout after a set period using the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration. In Windows Server 2012, you may find that Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration is missing from your Administration Tools – but don’t despair as you can configure this using groupContinue reading “Configure Remote Desktop Connection Disconnected Session Timeout”

Using Log Parser Studio to Find Common 500 Errors

The following Log Parser Studio query will find common erroring URLs. You could adapt this to find common addresses for other status codes too. SELECT TOP 20 cs-uri-stem, COUNT(*) AS Total, MAX(time-taken) AS MaxTime, AVG(time-taken) AS AvgTime FROM ‘[LOGFILEPATH]’ WHERE date > SUB(TO_LOCALTIME(SYSTEM_TIMESTAMP()), TIMESTAMP(‘0000-01-02 00:00’, ‘yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm’)) AND sc-status = ‘500’ GROUP BY cs-uri-stem ORDERContinue reading “Using Log Parser Studio to Find Common 500 Errors”

Free Up Windows Update Disk Space

If you are regularly updating your servers, you may notice that after re-starting the disk space is not actually given back (i.e. the temporary files downloaded for the update remain). This is because the files are typically still needed during the first re-start as the installation completes as part of this process. The simple fixContinue reading “Free Up Windows Update Disk Space”

Use Log Parser Studio To Get List Of Top IP Ranges

If you are getting suspicious traffic, it often comes from a range of IP addresses. The below queries get the count using the first three octets of an IP address, so for “” it will return “192.168.0” and a count of all traffic for the range ( – To get the first threeContinue reading “Use Log Parser Studio To Get List Of Top IP Ranges”