FTTC VDSL on a Cisco 897VA

I’ve recently changed broadband to Fibre-to-the-cab (FTTC) VDSL connection. As I have a small data cab in the house I wanted a rack mount router instead of the ISP provided one, and I had a spare Cisco 897VA hanging around which is perfect for the job.

Unfortunately there isn’t a web based config on this router so I’ve had to configure via terminal/SSH but it’s not too difficult to get running on your VDSL connection.

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UEFI Network Boot Across Subnets

UEFI style network boot – press Enter, not F12!

A few years ago when UEFI became much more common on new PCs I wanted to use the UEFI network boot, rather than the old style PXE boot, for imaging machines. This worked fine for computers sat on the same subnet and VLAN as the server, but getting this to work when the client device is in a different subnet took a bit of work.

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Wake on LAN revisited

If only it were as simple as a BIOS setting any more!

A couple of years ago I wrote about the pain of getting Wake on LAN to work on HP switches. While this got some of my machines to work, there was still quite a large proportion (about 60%) that weren’t playing ball.

I’ve finally had a bit of time to look into this, so here’s everything I’ve gone through to get a lot more of the PCs powering up on command. Of course there will always be some PCs which just refuse to work (we have some Gigabyte H81M based machines where they just don’t Wake on LAN – whatever you do the LAN link drops when the power is turned off), and some older H61M based machines that are a bit hit and miss. Continue reading “Wake on LAN revisited”

Windows 10 and Super fast logon times

Could be in for a long wait… let’s see if we can speed things up a bit.

I’ve been working at really cutting down the initial logon times – started last year, and again with me rolling out Windows 10 2004 I’ve had to struggle to remember what I actually did, one of the main reasons for my blog is helping out future Katy as she is very forgetful 🙂

This has always been something that has bugged me, as I remember in 2003 at university there was a Windows 2000/XP network with some sort of NetWare back end. The Windows 2000 PCs (libraries etc mostly) logged on in about 2 minutes, nice and speedy, but in the computing labs they ran XP and it was a 13 minute logon (literally 13 minutes as I timed it). Subsequent logons were also 13 minutes. Extremely frustrating, yet means I’ve always been dismissive of people complaining of a 90 second logon time.

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Schrödinger’s Network Location – Direct Access client is both inside and outside corporate network at the same time?!

I’m currently working from home and managed to get myself locked out of a PC (Long story involving Bitlocker). Only way out from this was to re-install Windows and then rejoin to the domain.

Re-install is easy as I have WDS configured on my home network. Re-joining the domain is easy, I could either do an offline domain join with Direct Access policies embedded, or just connect the FortiGate VPN and join the domain and run gpupdate. I went with the latter as it seemed like it’d be the easier option. As I’d used WDS, the PC was now part of my home network domain, so I removed it from the domain, renamed and rebooted. I then went and connected it to the work domain and ran gpupdate, all fine, and restarted the PC. That’s when it got weird.

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Wake on LAN across subnets with HP switches

As part of setting up SCCM I wanted to get all PCs to wake-on-LAN to enable truly zero touch deployment. I’m using mostly HP v1910/1920 edge switches with a HP 5406zl core switch. To send WoL packets while testing I’m using a tool from http://magicpacket.free.fr/ (once all set up SCCM will be doing the wake on LAN packets).

I’ve since written a new post about Wake on LAN, which may be useful for troubleshooting.
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