Blackberry: Changes in BES 12.5.0a

On July 26 2016 BlackBerry released "BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5a" (BES 12.5.0a) without release notes. So there was no direct way of finding out what the "a" really changed.

Digging through the KB articles I found this:

http://support.blackberry.com/kb/articleDetail?articleNumber=000038323

So the short answer is: The "a" fixes one specific issue that would block you from upgrading from a previous BES version to 12.5.

If you already have upgraded to BES 12.5.0 successfully, you don't need to apply 12.5.0a. If you could not upgrade (e.g. from 12.4), version 12.5.0a now lets you upgrade.

Find below the full text of the KB, in case Blackberry deletes or changes it:

Unable to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5

Article Number: 000038323 First Published: July 13, 2016 Last Modified: August 12, 2016 Type: Support

Environment

  • BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12

Issue Tracking

  • JI 1557439

Overview

When attempting to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5 the upgrade fails during the database deployment phase.

Looking in the db_start_command_log log file in the deployment directory (the default location is C:\Program Files\BlackBerry\BES\Logs\deployment) the following error is seen:

2016-07-12T17:04:17,596 main MDMLogger ERROR  Problem processing sql: 
/* 59.13.4 */
UPDATE def_policy_setting_definition
    SET name = './Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Privacy/AllowInputPersonalization'
  WHERE internal_id = 'IT_CONFIG.WP.dataprotection.allow.input.personalization.x'
    AND name = './Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/DataProtection/AllowInputPersonalization'
    AND id_device_os_family IN (SELECT id_device_os_family
                                    FROM def_device_os_family
                                   WHERE name = 'WP');
com.microsoft.sqlserver.jdbc.SQLServerException: Violation of UNIQUE KEY constraint 'AK_def_policy_setting_dfn'. 
Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'dbo.def_policy_setting_definition'. 
The duplicate key value is (IT_CONFIG.WP.dataprotection.allow.input.personalization.x, ./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Privacy/AllowInputPersonalization, 6).

Cause

An IT Policy Pack update was pushed out on July 12th, 2016. This introduced some data into the database that is causing the Service Pack 5 upgrade to fail. Customers who upgraded prior to this update would have completed the upgrade successfully and will not be affected by this issue.

Resolution

Please run the attached script only once against the SQL server that hosts the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 database following these steps:

  1. Backup the BES Database.
  2. Download and execute the attached script.
  3. Re-run the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5 setup.exe file to upgrade BES to the latest version.

Repeat step 3 above on the BES12 instances installed in the same BES12 domain (sharing the same database).

Additional Information

On July 26 2016 BlackBerry released "BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5a" which includes a fix for this issue for customers who did not already upgrade to Service Pack 5.  This version can be used to upgrade without the need to manually run an additional script.

Note: If the server is already running Service Pack 5 and the above issue either did not occur or was already corrected, there is no need to upgrade to Service Pack 5a.

Attachment

 

Veeam 8.0: How to remove a restore point manually

Veeam is a good tool to backup and restore virtual machines. After you remove a server from backup (because you have decommissioned it, for example) you might get the following warning:

01.06.2016 11:04:33 :: Server01 is no longer processed by this job. Make sure this change is intentional.

This is happening because Veeam still has one or more restore points of this server. If you are sure you never want to restore this server again, you can delete the restore point manually:

Backup & Replication > Backups > Disk

Go to the job name that gives you the warning, locate the decommissioned server and right-click it. Choose

Remove from disk

You might get the following error:

Unable to perform the operation while primary backup job, or SQL transaction log backup jobs is running.

Make sure to stop and disable all jobs. I my case it was a "Backup Copy to WAN" job. Although it was idle, I had to disable it. Once disabled, I could remove the restore point.

Word 2013/2016: How to remove the extra "Save AS" Dialog Window

Word 2013 and Word 2016 introduced a new window when you use "Save As". Microsoft calls this "Backstage".

For me, this extra window has absolutely now value and just means one click more. Luckily, there is a setting that removes that extra window. Here is how:

  1. Click on File > Options
  2. Tick Don't show Backstage when opening or saving files
  3. Click OK

What is confusing is that if you go to File > Save As, you will still see the Backstage window! Unfortunately, that tick box only fixes the keyboard shortcut for saving. So if you press Ctrl-S, you will now go directly to the Save File Dialog.

If you don't want to use keyboard shortcuts or can't (because you are on a tablet), you can add the "Save As" to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Click the down arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar
  2. Click on More Commands...
  3. From the list on the left, select Save As and add it to the right list

You can now use Save As with one click: Just click on the Save As button (Floppy disk icon with a pencil on) in the Quick Access Toolbar

Outlook 2013/2016: Make Sender and Subject the same Font Size

In Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016, the sender is shown in a bigger font that the subject in the email list. This is a change from Outlook 2010 where both lines were with the same font size.

To get that behaviour back, do the following:

  1. Go to the View tab
  2. Click on View Settings
  3. Click on Conditional Formatting...
  4. Click on Add and give the new rule a name (e.g. "Sender name")
  5. Click on Font...
  6. Under the "Size" heading, click on Smaller
  7. Click OK
  8. You will get a warning that you have not created a condition. Click Yes

That's it.

Outlook 2013/2016: Don't Show Message Body in Email List

When you move from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 or 2016, you will find that in the list of Emails, Outlook has added a 3rd line:

  1. Sender
  2. Subject
  3. Start of email body

I wanted to remove that 3rd line as it only takes space and it normally only contains stuff like "Hello John" which adds no real information.

So I thought I could go to the View setting and change

Maximum number of lines in compact mode = 2

But I still saw 3 lines in my email list! It took me quite a while until I found out what to do:

  • Go to the View tab
  • Choose Message Preview
  • Choose Off

Simple, isn't it? Why it took me so long to find that out is that I associated "Message Preview" with the Preview Pane (now called "Reading Pane"), so I never looked in there.

Internet Explorer: Favorites list is jumpy and loads very slowly

In Internet Explorer, I found that my favorites list loads slowly and when I hover over it with the mouse, the mouse pointer is hanging and jumpy.

I have redirected my favorites to a network folder, so I can have the same favorites on all my Windows machines. The problem does not occur if my favorites are kept on a local drive (but that is not a solution for me).

What helped and made the favorites list (and the favorites bar) quick and snappy again was the following:

  1. Open File Explorer (not Internet Explorer)
  2. Go to Organize > Folder and Search Options > View
  3. Un-tick Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items
  4. Click OK

That's it. Favorites are fast again.

ESXi 5.5: Get USB 3.0 Passthrough working

With ESXi 5.5 Update 3, VMWare addes USB 3.0 Passthrough support. It does this via xHCI USB adapter and the necessary drivers.

When I upgraded from ESXi 5.5 Update 2 to Update 3b, USB 3.0 did not work, though. The necessary driver had not been installed automatically with the upgrade. So here is what I had to do (in PuTTY):

  1. Install the xHCI driver from the bundle I used to do the upgrade:
    esxcli software vib install -n xhci-xhci -d "/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/Install/VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-Update3-3568722-HPE-550.9.5.0.33-Apr2016-depot.zip"
  2. Restart the ESX host.
  3. Make sure the driver is loaded:
    esxcli system module load -m xhci
  4. You should now see your USB 3.0 device with:
    lspci
    lsusb
  5. You can now add the xHCI USB controller in the VM and then add the USB device.

ESXI 5.5: How to install the vCenter Appliance on an existing Host

If you just have ESXi 5.5 installed and you manage it with the vSphere client, you might want to install vCenter, which has some benefits (vSphere Web Client, get ESX alert emails and many others). Be aware that while ESXi 5.5 is free, the vCenter has a license cost. Also, make sure that the vCenter you install is always a newer or the same version than the ESXi you have.

You can either install the vCenter to run on an existing Windows Server or you can just import a virtual appliance (based on Linux). In this post, I describe the import of the virtual appliance.

  1. Download the vCenter .ova file from the myvmware.com page (you must create an account and apply for a 60 day evaluation). The file name is, for example: VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-5.5.0.30400-3730881_OVF10.ova
  2. Start the vSphere Client and choose File > Deploy OVF Template
  3. Browse to the .ova file you just downloaded and click Next
  4. Leave all the defaults and click Finish at the end. The VM will now be deployed (this can taka a while).
  5. Start the new VM (it is called "VMWare vCenter Server Appliance" by default).
  6. Open a console to the VM.
  7. First you have to login to the Unix shell. Use
    User name: root
    Password: vmware
  8. To change the IP address, type
    /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_config_net
  9. Once networking is setup, you can do the further configuration via web browser:
    https://192.168.1.2:5480
    (of course, you must take the IP address you have just configured)
  10. Login to the web page with the same credentials as under point 7.
  11. Configure vServer via web page (leave the defaults for most of the things).
  12. Once completed, use the vSphere Client and connect it to your vCenter IP address (not the ESX host directly anymore).
  13. You are now guided through the data center setup.
  14. That's it.

Blackberry 10: Remove Anti-Theft Protection from Device

With OS version 10.3.2, Blackberry has introduced Anti-Theft Protection (the company was required to do so by law). It did this by integrating Anti-Theft functionality in its "Blackberry Protect" offering.

While this might reduce the number of stolen devices, it is a horror for people that have forgotten their Blackberry ID password. Their Blackberry has turned into a useless brick and Blackberry support was in many cases less than useful.

But there is now a method to remove Anti-Theft Protection. It basically consists of 2 steps: Install an older device OS (e.g. 10.3.1) which removes Anti-Theft and then update to the latest OS again. Here are the steps in detail (this is for a Z30 with the currently latest 10.3.2.2836 Software Release on):

  1. Switch your "bricked" phone on and go through the setup wizard until you get to the "The anti-theft protection feature is on. To continue with device set-up you must enter your BlackBerry ID" screen.
  2. Download the developer version of the 10.3.1 Autoloader of your device, e.g. for the Z30 it is
    Autoload-STA100-3-10.3.1.997.exe
    downloadable from the Blackberry web site here:
    http://downloads.blackberry.com/upr/developers/downloads/Autoload-STA100-3-10.3.1.997.exe
  3. Run the executable on a PC (must have BB Link installed for the correct drivers).
  4. Once it says "Connecting to Bootrom", connect your Blackberry device.
  5. It will restart and load the old OS. Wait until this is 100% complete.
  6. Once the device is restarted, it will run you through the setup wizard. Indicate that you want to install updates.
  7. Once the setup is completed, check if updates get installed via "Settings > Software Updates".
  8. It will install the updates, restart, and that's it! You have a "de-bricked" device.

My experience with servers, networks and gadgets.