Sargassum bloom in the Caribbean, and how it kills shoreline sealife


, , , , , ,

My deck drops onto a beach in Handsome Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI.  Whilst many of the North shore beaches are unaffected, some leeward beaches like ours are now feeling the full effect of the Sargassum bloom taking over the Caribbean.  It started as a nuisance, some 18 months ago, and has now reached epic proportions.  Recently we’ve seen drifts and piles up to 6ft deep along the shoreline.

Walking the dog before work last week, I stumbled across a loWP_20151002_07_21_35_Prone, large (2ft) puffer fish, fully expanded, and washed up onshore.  Thinking it odd, I carried on, and found one or two other dead fish (the odd one might be normal).

The following morning, I found around 20 dead fish within the first 10 yards – what followed along the next 200 yards was devastating – 1000s of dead marine animals washed up.  It seems the recent low wind and swell had allowed build up of the Hydrogen Sulphide released by the decaying Sargassum, along with exacerbating the oxygen depleting effects of its presence (it shadows out marine plants underneath, and microorganisms within the floating mass also consume a lot more O2.

This last month or so the Caribbean has felt this in full force – lets hope the world can start taking notice, as ultimately this is an effect of global warming, the slowing of the Gulf Stream, increased nitrate run off into the Atlantic, and a bunch of other cumulative factors suggesting we really are WP_20151002_07_17_31_Proat tipping point here.

Note the range of dead wildlife here – I found everything from slipper lobsters to a 7ft bull tiger shark and  a moray eel.

Most worrying of the side effects is the levels of Hydrogen Sulphide gas, which a lot of local residents including myself are blaming for headaches and irritated eyes currently…  levels are high enough that all chromed metal fittings and any silverware left out has turned black as well.  As a testing kit is $5k, we have now way of knowing the true levels, and it sems the government has done nothing to check for us, despite requests.

WP_20151002_07_21_27_ProWP_20151002_07_19_25_ProWP_20151002_07_21_52_ProWP_20151002_07_17_44_Pro WP_20151002_07_18_15_Pro WP_20151002_07_18_05_ProWP_20151002_07_18_39_ProWP_20151002_07_18_54_Pro WP_20151002_07_19_07_Pro  Further reading:

Another blog post on this

BVI sargassum issues

local environmentalists’ view

Hydrogen Sulphide’s effects


Skype phishing contact gets nasty, billy goat style


, , , ,

So the other morning, I had one of those random phishing contact and messages from an unknown on Skype, suggesting we have a chat and be friends, so I obliged:

[21/10/2014 9:04:58 AM] olive.tiner: hey 🙂
[21/10/2014 1:59:14 PM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: hi, who’s this?  sorry, i imported a million FB contacts!  did we meet in san paolo?
[21/10/2014 2:05:26 PM] olive.tiner: Hello there how are you doing!?!
[21/10/2014 9:48:06 PM] olive.tiner: hi there 🙂
[23/10/2014 9:20:51 PM] olive.tiner: heyy 🙂
[9:51:45 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
[9:52:11 AM] olive.tiner: Yay someone to talk to 🙂 !! how are u?
[9:52:20 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: IM FEELING SEXY!
[9:52:48 AM] olive.tiner: I’m great thanks for chattin with me I found your name in the skype members search 🙂 whatcha up to?
[9:53:48 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: i’M RIDING A GOAT!  A BIG DIRTY GOAT!
[9:54:05 AM] olive.tiner: dirty can be good 😉
[9:55:02 AM] olive.tiner: I would ask to exchange pics, but I think i’d rather see each other, u can see the real thing on my cam… u want to?
[9:55:19 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: DO YOU HAVE A GOAT?
[9:55:47 AM] olive.tiner: Click it’s a more secure place with my cam u will have to verify your age so I’m not showing my pussy to a minor ;), i had to do it too but dont worry its 100% FREE and its alot of fun once u get in 😉
[9:56:28 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: IS MY GOAT ALOWED IN?
[9:56:55 AM] olive.tiner: u can just watch me if u want, or we can both get on 😉 make sure sign up, then it should connect you to my cam
[9:57:48 AM] olive.tiner: ok, fill out your info,first and last name, make sure you put your correct b-day k? I got something really sexy on for u lol ur gunna like this 🙂
[9:59:23 AM] olive.tiner: Credit card, debit card, or atm is just to verify your age hun, your card will NOT be charged just validated see where it says that? like i said it’s FREE… cant show tits and pussy to know? 😉
[10:00:18 AM] olive.tiner: I’m inside waiting for you. can u see me yet??
[10:01:25 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: NO.  I GO NOWHERE WITHOUT MY GOAT.  NO GOAT, NO PLAY.
[10:01:40 AM] olive.tiner: k
[10:02:36 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: UNLESS IT’S KID AND PLAY.  THAT’S A GOAT JOKE.
[10:03:50 AM] Dxxxxxx Bxxxxx: COME BACK, I WANT YOU TO BLEAT ME

what, no fun?


SBS 2011 OWA, ActiveSync and Autodiscover not working after restore – duplicate / copy files in library


, , , , , , ,

One of our techs had a funny one the other day – a power outage and surge went straight through a client’s UPS, and rebooted the ESXi box running a virtualised instance of SBS 2011.  This corrupted the Exchange Database, which refused to mount on reboot.  Easiest solution was a restore to the previous night’s backup, which went fine, and all was working normally apart from OWA and any phones relying on access to it.

N.B. previous IT had installed Exchange and logs to default C: drive

Possible error messages include:

“Could not load file or assembly ‘2013-03-12 21-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa’ or one of its dependencies. The located assembly’s manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)”


Server Error in '/owa' Application.

Could not load file or assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. 

Exception Details: System.IO.FileLoadException: Could not load file or assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)

Source Error: 

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Assembly Load Trace: The following information can be helpful to determine why the assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' could not be loaded.

WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure logging.
To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog].

Stack Trace: 

[FileLoadException: Could not load file or assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)]
   System.Reflection.Assembly._nLoad(AssemblyName fileName, String codeBase, Evidence assemblySecurity, Assembly locationHint, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean throwOnFileNotFound, Boolean forIntrospection) +0
   System.Reflection.Assembly.InternalLoad(AssemblyName assemblyRef, Evidence assemblySecurity, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean forIntrospection) +416
   System.Reflection.Assembly.InternalLoad(String assemblyString, Evidence assemblySecurity, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean forIntrospection) +166
   System.Reflection.Assembly.Load(String assemblyString) +35
   System.Web.Configuration.CompilationSection.LoadAssemblyHelper(String assemblyName, Boolean starDirective) +190

[ConfigurationErrorsException: Could not load file or assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)]
   System.Web.Configuration.CompilationSection.LoadAssemblyHelper(String assemblyName, Boolean starDirective) +11326376
   System.Web.Configuration.CompilationSection.LoadAllAssembliesFromAppDomainBinDirectory() +388
   System.Web.Configuration.CompilationSection.LoadAssembly(AssemblyInfo ai) +232
   System.Web.Configuration.AssemblyInfo.get_AssemblyInternal() +48
   System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.GetReferencedAssemblies(CompilationSection compConfig) +210
   System.Web.Compilation.BuildProvidersCompiler..ctor(VirtualPath configPath, Boolean supportLocalization, String outputAssemblyName) +76
   System.Web.Compilation.ApplicationBuildProvider.GetGlobalAsaxBuildResult(Boolean isPrecompiledApp) +283
   System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.CompileGlobalAsax() +50
   System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.EnsureTopLevelFilesCompiled() +676

[HttpException (0x80004005): Could not load file or assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)]
   System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.ReportTopLevelCompilationException() +76
   System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.EnsureTopLevelFilesCompiled() +1012
   System.Web.Hosting.HostingEnvironment.Initialize(ApplicationManager appManager, IApplicationHost appHost, IConfigMapPathFactory configMapPathFactory, HostingEnvironmentParameters hostingParameters) +1025

[HttpException (0x80004005): Could not load file or assembly '2014-10-24 23-00 Copy of Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)]
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.FirstRequestInit(HttpContext context) +11420374
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.EnsureFirstRequestInit(HttpContext context) +88
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.ProcessRequestNotificationPrivate(IIS7WorkerRequest wr, HttpContext context) +4405156

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.5485; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.5483

The fix was bizarre, and found via two Expert’s Exchange answers which was a lifesaver, as the cause is not something you would expect, but obviously something a few people have now experienced when restoring in the same situation (we are guessing the restore process created copies of these files somehow).

Browse to the following folder:

c:\program files\microsoft\exchange server\v14\ClientAccess\owa

and also look in any of the these subfolders of Exchange

C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\Autodiscover\bin
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\ecp\bin
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ExchangeOAB\a986a330-9e79-4eef-bb89-11ab58573e49
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\exchweb\ews\bin
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\Owa\Bin
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\RemoteScripts
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\Scripts
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\Sync\Bin
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\Sync\Xsd
C:\Program Files\Exchange Server\V14\Bin



If you find any “copy of…” duplicate files in these folders, simply delete

Somehow these copy files are created during the restore, and Exchange simply tries to load whatever libraries happen to be in those folders, and if it detects a mismatch, errors out.

Credit to EE answers available with paid subscription here:
and here:


Restoring SBS Essentials 2011 BMR (Bare Metal Recovery) image backup to Hyper-V VM (Virtual machine)


, , , , , , , ,

It’s blog post titles like the above that make me really want to re-evaluate my career choice, sell up and bugger off round the world on a 2 year trip using only smoke signals to communicate to the rest of the world…

Anyway – to the issue in question!

I’m basically going to tell you how you can restore a SBS 2011 Essentials Backup on an external USB, to a VM running on Server 2012 Hyper-V, but more importantly, where you might get tripped up along the way, choosing the seemingly obvious path.

Some of you may have small business customers using SBS 2011Essentials (or standard), and if you’re a small shop like us, you may have hit upon the idea of a Hyper-V loan server, to use in times of disaster when the clients’ physical servers fall over.  Restoring a BMR backup to a loan Hyper-V server is a really neat, easy way to support lots of differing hardware.  At least when it goes according to plan…

This latest incident has had me stumped for days – especially as I performed the same recovery a few months ago, (and have since later learnt that I happened to use the solution by chance accidentally during the initial incident).  Basically, the long and short of it, and insane stumbling block, is that you need to use Server 2008 R2 64bit DVD media for the recovery, NOT the SBS 2011 Essentials DVD media, despite them being based on the same recovery environment.  It may be a bug, or an evil trick left behind, but you would never know from the errors you encounter. (Technically SBS 2011 Essentials isn’t licensed to be run as a VM, though SBS 2011 Std is with the Premium add-on, and all versions of 2012 are OK).


1. Create a new HyperV VM for the server to be restored from backup – do not install an OS, and configure networking as per suitable for your hardware (use of Virtual Switch recommended).

2. Important – by default the VHDX file will by dynamic and not big enough – immediately edit the disk, and expand to size bigger than the whole when server restored.  If you do not do this, you will encounter the somewhat unrelated error:
“No disk that can be used for recovering the system disk can be found”
when attempting the actual recovery.  Solution found here:

3. Plug the backup drive into the Host Hyper-V server.  Ensure you remove any drive letters, and then mark it as offline in the Host server’s disk management console.

4. In the VM’s settings, now got to the SCSI controller, and highlight hard drive in the box, before clicking add, to attach the USB drive to the new VM.

3. In the VM’s settings, set the CD to be at the top of the boot order, in order to boot from the DVD media.

6. Insert the Server 2008 R2 Std 64 bit media into the Host’s DVD drive.  Do not use the SBS 2011 Essentials DVD media.  Also, despite it being a Hyper-V 2012 host, the Server 2012 media will not work for the restore to the VM.

6. Connect to the VM, then power it on, tapping the space bar to ensure the bare/blank VM boots from the DVD media, then after entering setup, and choosing regional options, choose to repair the computer, then restore from image.

*** See below for what happens when you use incorrect media, if you like to hear of others’ pain.  Hopefully it may be of some use for others Googling this issue.

7. Your backup image should now have been picked up by the Recovery Wizard – select latest, and choose to wipe/format all disks and perform full recovery.

8. Wait for the blue bars to go past, reboot, and away you go…


***  This point is where the DVD media makes the difference. Should you have been foolishly attempting to use the correct SBS 2011 Essentials media , you would now have been spending hours/days tearing your hair out, wondering why you were not able to see the USB backup drive.   You might have Googled the various 0x00^&*%^&* errors and messages you were now encountering, coming across other seemingly useful articles like this:

After going mad wondering why I couldn’t see the drive, some other articles told me that USB pass through wasn’t possible when the VM was booted from DVD media (possibly directed at older versions of Hyper-V in reality).  These articles led me down the path of attaching the USB drive to the host server, creating a backup share with full permissions from the USB drive, and attempting to connect to the Backup share via a UNC path  \\Hyper-Vhost\Backup  and also trying IP address of server.

Now I was getting the likes of:
“The Network path was not found”
leading me to believe I was on the right path at least…although the incorrect path at the same time, as it were.


This had me replacing the NIC adapter in the VM with the Hyper-V legacy NIC driver, to allow comms to the Hyper-V host from the VM.

Finally I was getting to a Windows Credential prompt, indicating I was successfully finding the backup media – but for the life of me I couldn’t get them to take, now  encountering the enlightening error:

“An internal error occurred while enumerating backup sets”
Promising articles I found included

Posts suggesting backup corruption (this would have been very bad at this point) were investigated, until I finally altered the path to include the \\Hyper-Vhost\Backup\WindowsImageBackup folder itself.

Bingo – my credentials were accepted!!  But wait – I’m straight back to the backup image selection box, without the image selected, and with no error!!

It was at some point here that I remembered – on my original successful attempt performing a similar restore some months earlier, I had used Server 2008 R2 64bit media, as I didn’t have the Essentials media to hand.

I re-attached the USB drive directly to the VM, and started again, booting from the Server 2008 R2 64bit media. Whilst visually nearly identical this time the results were the opposite.  The image popped up straight away, as attached to the local machine.  I selected it, and apart from the VHDX size error detailed in step 2., everything went perfectly.


Afterwards, I replicated the results with some other SBS 2011 Essentials DVD media, so can say for definite that this is the issue.  I hope this helps some other poor soul…

1955 Land Rover 86″ Basic or Station Wagon 1997cc spread bore – Home Market


, , , ,

A friend recently had to leave island in a hurry, and as a result I was offered something I couldn’t (or maybe should have) refused.

Its a 1955 Series 1, and pretty tidy all round apart from the outriggers which need a “spot of welding” *ahem* …

I’ve already had my first hedge find in the quest to pilfer old parts, pulling a steering box and hub from a rotting series 1 109″ found quietly rotting in a side road.

Not that I need another project, but what are weekends for if not for pulling old cars apart and some amateur spannering?

new landy!!


By the way – the owners club forum is a great resource, full of knowledgeable, helpful and friendly members.    Get registered if you have a Series 1 and want advice.

how to make an 18 year old Vitara / Sidekick look nice


, , , , , ,

I was up very early to not go fishing on a cancelled offshore sport fishing trip the other week…

On the bright side, I got to watch the sun come up, and caught this rather nice  picture of my battered old island jeep (relegated to emergency duties these days) against the incoming new day.  Using a pretty weak Samsung Focus phone camera too.  You can’t even see the gallon of filler on each corner, and hand painted matt black paintwork… where was Suzuki’s press dept I wonder?

sunrise over Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI, and a knackered old Vitara

sunrise over Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI, and a knackered old Vitara

Windows 8 Pro DVD fails to activate – product key is from upgrade media


, , , , , , ,

Had a funny one the other day, after a client brought in a laptop to be installed from scratch, with Windows 8 Pro DVD media bought from a local shop

No where on the packaging did the DVD claim to be “upgrade media” –  to me it looked like a standard Retail copy of the OS, although it was on sale for only $99.   Equally, no where did it claim to be a system builder or OEM copy.  Microsoft really need to be clearer with their packaging here.  The only readable info on the outside, viewable without breaking the cellophane, was “Windows 8 Pro”.  Inside, once you opened the packet, there was “quick setup instruction” , that suggested that you ran the install from within Windows with non mention of booting from the media, so maybe Microsoft are now assuming that unless using an OEM / System builder’s copy, all people will be “upgrading”?

So, I installed it, using the supplied key card.  No problem.  Then I updated it and added apps etc.  Then on one reboot, it started coming up with a prompt to Activate Windows again.  So I tried, and failed, and tried and failed, with it now not accepting the key supplied in the package.  Nowhere was there a message on how to resolve this, or what the actual problem was, just a link to the general Customer service lines, and a “the key didn’t work” message.

Some googling, and I found out how to get more info.  I attempted to register via a elevated command shell, and managed to get an error message by the following commands:

slmgr.vbs -ipk  >enter-product-key-here-complete-with-dashes<

slmgr /ato

this would then fail, so then then to find out why the above failed, to display the error text type:

slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004F069

(as an aside,     slui.exe 3    will launch the GUI version)

Apparently the Product Key was claiming to be for an Upgrade Media, not Retail Media.  The DVD media said nothing of the sort – only labelled as Windows 8 pro, as per the above.

I then had to spend 40 minutes on the phone to Microsoft, firstly via the Activation line.   They then passed me to customer support, who opened a case for me after confirming that my Key should be for a retail version, and from there I was passed onto tech support, who resolved the issue with the following steps:

1. Open Regedit

2. Navigate to the following key:


3. Edit the REG_DWORD value and change from 1 to 0

4. open up an administrative Command Prompt, and type:

slmgr /rearm

5. Reboot, and you should have an activated copy of Windows…

Seemed to work OK! Now what this makes me wonder is whether my media is really the retail or upgrade media, and if whether doing the above will allow you to do a fresh install, using the upgrade media, without needing the full retail/OEM/system builder DVD media…    If someone is bored and wants to give it a go  😉

wow, yet another way Pharma is hitting us, in particularly nasty way with zero forethought to the Earth’s ecology… never even thought of this one.


Writing my second entry on disposable plastics has been somewhat of a challenge. The deeper I dig the more complex the topic appears. I decided to take a different angle on the whole topic by understanding how plastics have crept into my own everyday life. I was ‘gobsmacked’, I believe the English would say.

In my first entry on disposable plastics I roughly identified two types of disposable plastics, one being all the single-use packaging/holding/utensil products we use, the second being micro plastics or ‘micro beads’. Micro beads are a fairly recent (and growing) new application of plastics, primarily used as abrasive and fiber ingredient in a range of cosmetics products, soaps, eye lash enhancers, toothpaste, hair-gel, bathing gel and what not.

Going through my own grooming ‘range’ I quickly identified three products, ELMEX Sensitive toothpaste, containing Polyethylene (PE), L’Oreal Techni Art Glue structurising fiber gel, containing VP /…

View original post 1,591 more words

Introducing Windows Server 2012 (RTM Edition) – Free ebook from Microsoft


, , , ,

Following on from the Windows 8 free ebook here, Technet have also released one for Server 2012.   It’s available in PDF, EPUB or MOBI for Kindle, and well worth downloading.  The more I’m using Server 2012 and Windows 8, the more I really appreciate the leaps forward MS have made with their new OS kernel.  Occasionally info is a little lacking or hard to find though, and this ebook is a great start.