Thursday, July 6, 2017

Powercenter Integration Service Won't Start: Error SF_34004 - Missing Environment Variables

I recently had an issue where I could not get the Informatica PowerCenter Integration Service to start after an install. The service generated this error code: SF_34004. There is an Informatica KB article describing this problem and the appropriate fix:

Basically, it's suggesting that the Integration Service was configured to connect to the PowerCenter repo using the schema credentials and not the domain administrator.

However, I found that this did not help. the repo service was running correctly and the integration service was using the correct credentials. I checked the user running PowerCenter, and realized the INFA_HOME, INFA_DOMAIN_FILE, and other variables were not set correctly. After setting these and restarting PowerCenter, I was able to enable the Integration Service.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Abnormally Long First Boot Times on Cisco 3750x's with 15.2.x code

I recently upgraded some Cisco 3750x (WS-C3750X-48T-S to be precise) from 12.2.x code to 15.2 code (15.2(4)E4.)

The reboot took a rather long time due to microcode updates. It was about 25-30 minutes. The following messages were displayed:

Front-end Microcode IMG MGR: Preparing to program device[0]...25166 bytes.
Front-end Microcode IMG MGR: Programming device 0...rrrrrrwssssssssssssssssssspssssssssssssssssssspp
Front-end Microcode IMG MGR: Preparing to program device[0]...86370 bytes.
Front-end Microcode IMG MGR: Programming device 0...rrrrrrwssssssssssssssssssspssssssssssssssssssspw

% Front-end Microcode IMG MGR: HW image is upgraded. MCU reset causes the switch to reload

If you're making such an upgrade, be prepared for a long wait. It will likely be worse on a stack.

While the 3750x is not a speedy switch, management-wise, this was impressively slow. The regular boot time after the upgrade was about 5-6 minutes, so be patient. Switches in a stack will take even longer to boot.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Android Nougat and OTG Sound Blaster E3 Sound Issues

I recently upgraded to Nougat and experienced sound issues using an OTG cable and my Sound Blaster E3 DAC. The sound was basically panned hard to the left, slower than normal, and there was some distortion.

I realized that ES File Explorer was activating each time I plugged the E3 in. The simple fix was to remove ES File Explorer. That being said, I'll probably experiment with its settings as it's a useful utility.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Raspberry Pi and 1-Wire Temperature/Environmental Sensors

I've discussed 1-wire before. In this case, I needed a cheap temperature sensor to alert on environmental conditions in an server room.

I set up a Raspberry Pi with stock Raspian and install digitemp like so:

apt install digitemp

I used an iButtonlink usb master (here: and a t-sense sensor here: )

The USB device shows up as /dev/ttyUSB0 as an FTDI serial port.

I can walk the 1-wire tree like so:

sudo digitemp_DS9097U -s /dev/ttyUSB0 -w
DigiTemp v3.6.0 Copyright 1996-2007 by Brian C. Lane
GNU General Public License v2.0 -
Turning off all DS2409 Couplers
Devices on the Main LAN
2149B214090000D1 : DS18B20 Temperature Sensor
01C3235419000000 : DS2401/DS1990A Serial Number iButton

That being said, you'll want to create a dot file to use this like so:

 sudo digitemp_DS9097U -s /dev/ttyUSB0 -i
DigiTemp v3.6.0 Copyright 1996-2007 by Brian C. Lane
GNU General Public License v2.0 -
Turning off all DS2409 Couplers
Searching the 1-Wire LAN
2149B214090000D1 : DS18B20 Temperature Sensor
ROM #0 : 2149B214090000D1
Wrote .digitemprc

I have one temperature sensor at the moment. After creating the .digitemprc, I can query it:

 sudo digitemp_DS9097U -s /dev/ttyUSB0 -t 0
DigiTemp v3.6.0 Copyright 1996-2007 by Brian C. Lane
GNU General Public License v2.0 -
Oct 30 20:16:45 Sensor 0 C: 21.00 F: 69.80

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Setting Up RAID Volumes on Cisco UCS C series with Avago/LSI/MegaRAID Controllers

On a C220M4, I discovered that the controller configures the drives as JBOD. Fixing this is easy, but not quite as straightforward as one would expect... especially considering that the controller has been a mainstay of servers for a very long time.

1. Go into the controller firmware (I had to do a control-M before I saw the control-R option):

As you can see, create virtual drives is not an option. Select "Make Unconfigured Good"

Select all the drives and click OK. 

Now you have the option to create a volume.

Cisco UCS C220M4s and the Purple Screen of Death - Could not start pcpu 1: TSC sync timed out

Recently, I had to install ESXi 5.5 on a Cisco rackmount server. VMware crashed with the purple screen of death.

Here's the display:

These are relatively new servers, so there was nothing especially helpful on the web. Other people had this problem, but I couldn't find any real solutions, other than a reference to C states on the CPU.

I experimented a bit and figured that CPU power savings might be the problem (I'd seen this before on Opteron servers.)

The fix is to set CPU performance to HPC (it defaults to Enterprise) in BIOS:

That's advanced -> CPU Performance -> HPC (from Enterprise)

This solved the problem. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Avocent ACS 6016/6008 Renaming Ports From CLI

These console servers are fairly easy to setup, but the CLI is segmented to facilitate differing levels of access.

If you wish to rename a serial port (i.e., with hostname) from the CLI, you need to do the following

1. Figure out which port is being renamed (i.e., port 11)
2. log in with appropriate credentials via SSH (or direct serial)

cd ports


cd serial_ports

4b. You can check out the parameters here:

--:#- [serial_ports/physical] cli-> show
port: 11
enable_cisco_rj45_pin-out = yes
status = enabled
speed = 9600
parity = none
data_bits = 8
stop_bits = 1

flow_control = none 

5. set port name

set port_name=my_new_name


--:#- [serial_ports/cas] cli-> set port_name=unused 

8. save the config


That's it, basically.