When Stupid Persists


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We all have our "moron for a day" events every now and then. Today belonged to me.

You see, we recently started allowing customers to pick hostnames for their $99 hosted SBS plans at Own Web Now. We call people up, tell them that their server will be up shortly and we ask them which hostname they prefered. You see, not everyone appreciates SERVER. Customer reasoned that because this is the center of their network the server computer name should be called NETWORK as well. It failed for the first monkey that did it. Then the second monkey supervised the first monkey. Then both monkeys turned over the box to me saying it "might be a hardware problem." Oh no, no siree. No piece of trash PCB from Taiwan is going to punk me, I will beat this box into submission.

Considering that I was fresh off the allnighter related to the Microsoft patching I just looked at the docs and did the same monkey procedure. Didn't notice the NETWORK part at all. Two reinstalls later (one from OPK other by text-based + F6) I finally pinged Mark from SBS PSS. Explained that I ran it in multiple ways, ran dcpromo manually, all the hardware and all the system logs checked out normally – the dang domain just isn't standing up! Why oh why? I still haven't told Mark what my server name was so it was a case of blind leading the blind for a little while. He suggested I get dcpromo.log and dcpromoui.log. So before looking at them (I know, brilliant) I first tinkered with the box to make sure I had USB working. 30 minutes later I got the file and decided to look at it first. Probably the first good decision of the day:

"Error – The promotion failed because the name of the local computer is the name of a predefined security identifier."

What the heck is my server name? Ohhh. Thats right, NETWORK. I'd say this is grounds for termination, not only because I'm an idiot but because I'm an MCSE on top of that. Holy crap, what was I thinking. NETWORK. NETWORK? How that didn't register through two reinstalls I will never know.

Update: Just FYI, the SBS installation wizard never warned me. It went through the full install and configuration and didn't even blink. Now that is not an excuse for my stupidity in naming the box NETWORK as client requested. The SBS setup actually went through all the way until it asked me if I wanted Exchange – to which it screamed that it didn't have a domain name.

8 Responses to When Stupid Persists

  1. Ken says:

    I thougth I was bad off when I archived myself into a hole with XTree Gold years ago. I had a great DOs Menu program(Direct Access 5) and setup batch files to unzip and run programs then delete everything but the zip file. This let me install a program amd store it a a fraction of the space(limited due to only having 110mb on 2 mfm drives). Then I thought, hey, I even go into Windows 3.1 from my menu, why not give it the same treatment. Worked great. Can anybody guess the next step? You can’t boot the computer without an os in and unzipped format! Do you think I was smart enough to use self extracting .exe’s? Not a chance!

  2. Bill Gates says:

    Please send the MVP award back. We only give it to the best and.. well, loved the post 🙂

  3. DonMurphy says:

    Haha don’t feel bad. I created a login script recently called “net.bat”. Great minds (Ok dumbasses) think alike?

    You wouldn’t beleive the havoc that that caused when logging in. And to top iyt all off the change was made on a Friday night ( I tested I thought that the strangeness was related to other network problems not related to me)


  4. Tim Barrett says:

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: I hate naming servers (still).


    -Tim Barrett

  5. RGBelon says:

    Hmmm. Never tried NETWORK for a server name. Don’t recon I will try it now. Vlad, you get some of weirdest minutia. 😉

  6. ScottInFlorida says:

    I never have this problem because all my servers use a complex naming convention based on the VLAD Protocol 32.30a.

    vlad-fs1, vlad-fs2, vlad-db1, et cetera.


  7. Ken Edwards says:

    Well.. I had a similar situation w/ SBS Setup.

    If you have a law firm that has several partners, do not add commas and periods after the 15th (or 21st) character in the company name. You will get all the way through the install and Sharepoint will not run.

    I searched for hours on google before I ran across something that pointed me in the right direction. Several complete installs of SBS gone to waste!

  8. Allen says:

    It is unfortunate that we cannot name our machines “Network”. I have resorted to calling my machine “Internet” instead.

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