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Author Topic: In search of ... several diagnostic tools  (Read 4335 times)

barney

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In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« on: February 17, 2012, 10:57:40 PM »
Folk,

If you've been following mouser's hard drive crash thread, you'll know the whys and wherefores of some of this.  If not, I'll try to be clear.

I've just transferred from a Dell laptop to a Gateway/Acer.  Went from an Intel Core i7 to an i3.  Same RAM (4G), same OS (Win7 Ultimate 64-bit).

But in the process of moving stuff from the Dell, I seem to have hosed the Gateway/Acer.  I cannot load anything from the onboard server (Apache 2.2) via localhost, 127.0.0.1, or win74ggw (hostname).  Always the message that the connection was reset.  And I have questionable connectivity to MySQL (v5.x):  SQLYog connects, but Database WorkBench v4.x says it's not allowed.  I've totally disabled UAC - which I don't like to do - but I still have issues.  Since most everything I do Web-wise involves a database, that may be why the Web pages don't work - one of the first includes is a database connection script.  Oh, yeah, I'm also getting BSODs involving memory management.

So.

First off, I'd like a recommendation for a reasonably decent memory test proggy in order to help isolate the BSOD cause.  I don't think it's RAM, but no sense in skipping what could be a vital test.  Then I'd like to get some recommendations on tools to discern the database connectivity and Web reset  faults.

The last time I was directly involved in IT was 2000-2001 (retirement has its benefits  :-*), so my toolkit is woefully out of date as, apparently, is my skill set  :'(.

This is kinda embarrassing  :-[:  I'm the go-to guy for a number of local folk for both hardware and software  :-[ :-[.

Yes, I know I could prolly find all this via search.  But this has already cost me a calendar week, and I have deadlines.  Besides, I don't know of any search engine that could replicate the knowledge and experience that resides here  :-* :-*.

bscott

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 11:54:01 PM »
For memory testing I use the free memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com/).

You can download either an Iso or floppy disk image and then boot from the cd or floppy to run it.

There is also memtest86+  (http://www.memtest.org/) which does the same thing.


barney

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 12:10:15 AM »
'K.  I have that.  Just figured there'd be some new kid on the block. 

Floppy?  You might be as old as me  :P.  Although I do have a USB 3.5" floppy drive, I don't know that I could find diskettes for it  :P.

Now all that's left is the security issue  :(.

iphigenie

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 02:19:23 AM »
I found that getting network stuff like services access etc. was one area where 7 can be fiddly. Homegroup functionality for example can get in the way.

Things it could be:
- apache problems. Some file or certificate or some part of the config is unhappy with the machine change
- firewall/malware scanner problems
- tcpip configuration
- connectivity to mysql, either a config needs changing or the mysql user access settings
- interference with tools, sometimes these beautiful manufacturer support service tools are php/apache based. unlikely that they use the port you do, but worth a check
- i can probably keep thinking of more but hopefully won't need to

MS has a primitive network troubleshooter that should have a tool to check the setup for remote access
There should be a security event log in the event viewer (except I cannot see the network log here on mine) - should help you spot if it is one of the core windows features interfering or not. It might not be, so worth checking

"connection was reset" can mean either that something prevented you from connecting, or that your server request errored and died, so it might be worth checking the apache error log to eliminate that possibility. It might give you a good hint to look at the access log as well and see if your server receives the requests or not, that eliminates a lot of possibilities if we know which

4wd

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 02:50:43 AM »
'K.  I have that.  Just figured there'd be some new kid on the block. 

Floppy?  You might be as old as me  :P.  Although I do have a USB 3.5" floppy drive, I don't know that I could find diskettes for it  :P.

Now all that's left is the security issue  :(.

Win7 has a memory tester, it's also available on the installation DVD, IIRC.

barney

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 06:56:51 AM »
"connection was reset" can mean either that something prevented you from connecting, or that your server request errored and died, so it might be worth checking the apache error log to eliminate that possibility. It might give you a good hint to look at the access log as well and see if your server receives the requests or not, that eliminates a lot of possibilities if we know which

Nothing significant in any of the logs - but I've not checked the Apache access.log file as yet.  And nothing shows in the Windows Event Viewer logs.  I've looked at the config files - httpd.conf, my.ini, php.ini - but nothing there seems out of sorts.  Don't know that a packet filter would do much good, but that's in the [future] mix.  This happened to me once before, under similar circumstances, but too many years (eight (8 ) or nine (9)) have passed since that happened.  And one time ~fifteen (15) years ago at MCI, but that turned out to be a RAM stick, physical corruption.

Win7 has a memory tester, it's also available on the installation DVD, IIRC.

I've never used that, so wasn't certain how reliable it might be.  I'm kinda surprised that memtest86 still holds sway:  I guess it was done right  ;).

Stoic Joker

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 11:04:07 AM »
Just for a Quick-N-Dirty sanity check, have you tried to connect to the MySQL server the command prompt? This will separate Apache from SQL and make it easier to see whose "at fault". I had to resort to this last week when I was setting up my laptop for a business conference. permissions and pathing issues were causing the databases to disappear at runtime.

Not sure how you're installed, but if you did a default install, remember that the real data path and my.ini file are in ProgramData ... The ones that show up in Program Files are a decoy. <-That one drove my nutz for an hour)

Innuendo

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 11:51:27 AM »
Not sure why the logic of moving from a Dell with an i7 to an Acer/Gateway with an i3, but....anyway, have you tried updating the NIC driver from the manufacturer's web site?

And have you considered reinstalling the OS? I've seen more than a couple laptops come from the factory with a jacked up OS. It's like someone queued up a bad image to be laid onto the hard drives. Doing a fresh 'normal' install of the OS cleared up all wonkiness.

barney

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 02:50:09 PM »
@Stoic Joker
Yep.  Only thing that chokes, other than Web pages, is Database Workbench 4.  Since I'm just testing it, that's not a significant problem, but the nature of the connect failure concerns me, as does the failure of PHP connection to it.  I'm just not as familiar with UAC permissions as apparently I should be  :(.  I haven't yet tried to take ownership of the files, mostly because I'm uncertain what I'd need to own  :-\, but I suppose that's the next step.  Since these files have been moved from the old Dell drive, they're prolly earmarked with a different server/username and that obviously was not altered by the transferal  :mad:.  On the location front, I'd already been bitten by the location bug, so I did a custom path install instead of the typical Windows install  ;).

@Innuendo
The first part of this story can be found here.  Synopsis is that a failed image restore bricked the Dell until I have time to remove the drive and manually restore it.  So I moved to the Gateway, which has done yeoman duty for a couple of years.  (Recently it has been in use for VHS to DVD conversions, but that's a different topic.)  It and the Dell are the only two (2) boxes I allow on the Internet - there are currently three (3) other boxes on the LAN, as well as Baby Daughter's system.  But those three (3) boxes have never seen the Net, and never will.  OK, that's a different story

I activated the old Dell drive externally, and it's working just fine.  But I can't restore the Dell image to the Gateway (although I did try, and nearly bricked the Gateway  :o ;D).  So now I'm manually transferring a number of items to the Gateway that were on the Dell.



Next step on the MySQL front is to try taking ownership, but I'm not totally certain just which files I need to own, so it'll be a piecemeal process with no indication of whether it'll work until/unless it does. 

On the Web front, I cannot connect the the on-box server as localhost, nor as 127.0.0.1, but I can connect using the Gateway's IP.  I've looked at all the config files, but nothing seems amiss.  Nothing in any of the event or error logs, although Apache's access.log is not being updated, even though it's in the httpd.conf properly.  That happened to me once before, when I attempted to truncate the file - Apache just quit writing to it.  However, it was long enough ago that I don't recall what fixed it, unless it was a re-installation of Apache.  Anyway, the Web issue may also be attributable to ownership, although that seems a bit of a reach.

Stoic Joker

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 10:19:39 PM »
Just checked my laptop, the data folder's owner is SYSTEM. And Full Control (NTFS perms) belong only to SYSTEM & Administrators.

Damn strange that you can't connect to localhost....can you ping it? Host file could be borked. I'm using a TCP/IP connection to localhost so I can/could test an application (run locally) without opening a port on the firewall.

Shades

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 12:38:31 PM »
Till now I encountered a lot of issues with Windows 7 and 2008 R2 when using a web interface to connect to services running on those machines. Lately I found out that it really makes a lot of difference if you start extra services like MySQL, Apache etc. with a user-name that is associated with the service.

When installing MySQL, Apache etc. you notice that extra Windows user groups are created (at least that is the case with Oracle software (which MySQL is now a part of)). Associate your user-name with that group and grant your user-name the 'Log on as service' right.

Initiate/restart the MySQL and/or Apache services with your user-name and suddenly your networking issues disappear.

Really, for anyone who is dabbling with Oracle software (on windows 2008 or higher), use the above method...it will save a lot of time, hair and other kinds of frustration.


Shades

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 12:45:11 PM »
Actually, the use of a WAMP package solution (Windows, Apache,MySQL, PHP) would be preferable. Previous experiences with XAMPP package make me recommend it heartily.

Free, portable and doesn't even require installation if the archive is extracted in the root folder of a partition. Ideal for a transfer between different systems.

Stoic Joker

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 12:50:07 PM »
When installing MySQL, Apache etc. you notice that extra Windows user groups are created (at least that is the case with Oracle software (which MySQL is now a part of)). Associate your user-name with that group and grant your user-name the 'Log on as service' right.

Um... Doesn't that sort of fly in the face of LUA?? ...I've never had an issue with MySQL running under the SYSTEM account.

Shades

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Re: In search of ... several diagnostic tools
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 05:23:49 PM »
Tell me about it!

But the beast that is Oracle requires some strange manipulations to run right...sometimes. Over time I have created quite some Oracle databases (9i, 10g and 11g) using the Oracle tools intended to create databases. But in Windows 2008 R2 these sometimes do not deliver the intended result. Oracle uses a listener that handles the access to their database. but sometimes the listener is not able to make contact with the database, giving you all kinds of error messages that imply you need to pay (top dollar) for Oracle technicians to fix.

Or you can use the method suggested by my previous post. That solved my problems on three occasions already. Oracle with older Windows operating systems never gave me these kind of errors.