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Expanding VM boot disk size in Windows 2008

I found the instructions on this site worked very well for increasing my VM boot disk size:

http://d3planet.com/rtfb/2009/09/21/increase-vmware-workstation-virtual-disk-size/

Most important thing for me: the diskpart command worked for me with a Windows Server 2008 VM. It did NOT work for me to attach the drive to another VM, as when I tried to boot my original VM again the virtual disk was hosed. As I recall, this is a problem I’ve had in the past.

Posted by Avonelle on Wednesday, June 09, 2010. There are 0 Comments.

Tips for Improving User Interface Designs

Smashing Magazine published this article yesterday for improving user interface designs. My favorite items were #7 (Auto-focus on input) and #10 (Verbs in labels). If you aren't already keeping an eye on Smashing Magazine, start now.  While their focus tends to be on site design, there is a lot of cross over stuff of value for programmers like me who build web applications.

Posted by Avonelle on Tuesday, December 16, 2008. There are 1 Comments.

Windows Activation, Round Two

In addition to this activation problem, I also was getting an activation error on a new Windows Server 2008. In this case, it appears the problem is because by default the MSDN subscription version of Windows Server 2008 expects to use the Key Management Service instead of Multiple Activation Key. This thread explains the solution.

Posted by Avonelle on Sunday, November 09, 2008. There are 0 Comments.

Painlessly Solving my Windows Activation Problem

We've been making some infrastructure improvements around here. One of the changes was an upgrade to VMware Server 2.0. I'm not sure if that was the reason why, or something else, but one of my virtual machines said the hardware had changed too much and that Windows re-activation was required. Unfortunately, I kept getting an error that it couldn't connect with teh activation server.

This KB article was helpful. I chose the third work-around, which was a simple IE configuration setting.

Posted by Avonelle on Wednesday, November 05, 2008. There are 1 Comments.

Why Remember Me Isn't Working

Today I solved a problem I was having with ASP.NET's membership provider and the "remember me" option for logging in. The problem was basically that if the user checked the "remember me" checkbox, during log-in, then closed their browser and re-opened the site, they were taken to the log-in page again. Thus, it appeared that the remember me option wasn't working.

It was.

The real problem was that the page "login.aspx" had been added as the default document in IIS. So, if the user didn't specify a page when they went to the site, login.aspx was loaded, and it looked like remember me wasn't working.

The solution was to remove login.aspx from the list of default documents in IIS. We also had to change the web.config so that the loginUrl attribute for the forms tag referenced login.aspx with a tilde (loginUrl="~/login.aspx").

This is a fairly obvious answer, but since I didn't find it when I was trying to resolve my problem, I'm adding it for the next guy.

Posted by Avonelle on Sunday, September 21, 2008. There are 0 Comments.

How to Save Your Desktop Icon Layout

I've been using remote desktop a lot lately to access my desktop computer from my new laptop. Something that really annoys me is that because the resolution is different, it messes with the icon positions on the remote computer. That sucks, because then when I use the desktop computer my icons are not in the right places. (I'm using my desktop wallpaper as a way to organize my desktop similar to this post.)

I was happy to discover this tool for saving and restoring desktop icon layouts in Vista, especially since it works with Vista x64. It would be better if it would fix them automatically, but since restoring them is only a few clicks away, it isn't too bad.

Posted by Avonelle on Thursday, September 04, 2008. There are 0 Comments.

How to Figure Out Why Your Database is HUGE

My customer's ASP.NET application database that went live on 7/1/08 has been growing at an alarming rate. I had to create a new 16 GB virtual drive in my VM just to restore it. Yikes! A lot of that was transaction log space, but the main database file was still quite large.

Since at this rate they'll run out of disk space sooner than we anticipated, I wanted to figure out where all the space was being used. So I discovered this great article with a cool stored procedure that shows me the physical disk space each table is using. That's when I discovered that one of my tables was taking up 270 MB.

This particular table is really a sort of temporary place for storing selections for printing on a report. I had no idea it would grow so fast, but that's okay. Records that are older than a day are no longer valid, so we will be using a nightly process that removes old records. That brought the size down to less than a MB. After shrinking the database, the database size is now under 50 MB.

Posted by Avonelle on Thursday, August 07, 2008. There are 1 Comments.