Wireless Bridge & Engenious 5611P

A quick review of the Engenious 5611P that we have been using for a few months to connect two offices.Engenious 5611P

My company recently leased space in a building adjacent to our head office. These two buildings are separated by 250 feet of parking lot, with clear line of sight.

We wanted network connectivity for data, as well as Voice Over IP, so that an additional phone system and receptionist aren’t required.

A wireless link is the obvious solution in this case, and we started with a Cisco WAP4410N. The interface for these devices was good, and setup was quick. We used the draft-N protocol and setup a WPA2 secured WDS bridge.

For ease of install we placed the two devices within the building behind the window.

Performance was acceptable, and after a few tests we deemed the link good. However, after about a week of activity in the office, there were severe performance issues, with packets dropping frequently and the Cisco devices locking up.

Ultimately we sourced the issue as being:

  • Cisco WAP4410N being a crappy device
  • Interference in the B/G/N network range within our area


Based on that, we purchased two Engenious EOC-5611P devices, to set up an 802.11a network.

Here’s a couple screenshots of the web interface:

Web Interface
Main Screen - Web Interface
Engenious WAP
Advanced Wireless - Web Interface

Since setting this up, the link has been rock solid, through hot weather (35 Celsius), cold weather (-40 Celsius), rain and heavy snow. (again, these are indoor behind a window). Our VOIP equipment has zero problems and we haven’t had any issues with the software on the devices.

The only downside that we have found of the Engenious devices is the lack of WPA2 encryption while using the bridge mode. Currently only WEP is supported for that mode.

I would immediately recommend these devices for anyone looking for a line of sight link, especially with 802.11a protocol. We purchased from NCIX here:


MD3220i MPIO driver install on Hyper-V

We just finished setting up our Hyper-V failover cluster with a Dell MD3220i, and in the process I had a hard time finding information about the specific MPIO driver to use from Dell. Its actually very simple.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Install the MD Storage Manager software somewhere if you haven’t already
  2. On the server you installed it on, look in C:\Program Files (x86)\DSMDrivers. Copy the md3dsm folder to your Hyper-V host.
  3. On the Hyper-V host, enter the mpio control panel by typing mpiocpl:
  4. Click on the “DSM Install” tab, and then browse to the md3dsm folder.
    MPIO control panel
  5. Use the md3dsm.inf file, and then click “install”.
  6. Restart your Hyper-V host, and after going back into the mpiocpl, you should see additional providers listed:
    MPIO devices

PeerLock Review

Image from Ask DS blog
Image from Ask DS blog

A short review of PeerLock and how it has worked (and hasn’t) for us.

We use DFS through Windows Server to replicate our files to each branch office. This is preferable to having really slow access from the branch offices, or not having a consolidated file structure from which to work from.

One of the disadvantages of DFS is the lack of File Locking. If you have a file open on any member server, and someone opens the same file on a different member server, you will receive no notification that the file is in use.

This is explained in more detail here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2009/02/20/understanding-the-lack-of-distributed-file-locking-in-dfsr.aspx

This review is mostly a grouping of my comments on that blog post.

What is it?

PeerLock (http://www.peersoftware.com/products/peerlock/peerlock.aspx) is software used to facilitate locking of files between servers.

It is installed (and licensed for) each member server that contains a copy of the files you want to lock. In our case, we have one hub DFSR member, and 3 spoke DFSR members. We set up the PeerLock program to watch each of our DFSR shares, with the target being the same DFSR share on the spoke servers.

How is it?

Well, for us, it didn’t work out. We are still using PeerLock, but in a much reduced role.

Note: this is based on version 2.02. We haven’t budgeted for an upgrade to the latest version, so performance may be improved.

Since we are replicating about 900 GB of data, with 100`s of files open at once, across business ADSL connections, PeerLock ended up causing many replication issues, conflicts and sharing violations.

At times, by 8:30AM we would have over 1000 files in the backlog, and they wouldn`t clear because DFSR had too many sharing violations. Through experimentation we found this was directly caused by PeerLock.

Because of this we have begun using it only for high-collaboration folders, instead of our entire DFSR shares.

On a smaller scale, it has been working great, and other than the steep price I would recommend it. Our files and folders that are commonly shared between offices are protected, while the majority of our files which are used by only one office are just monitored for conflicts.

Here are some considerations when using PeerLock:

  • Peerlock can run as a GUI, or a service, but not both. This means to run on a server that is logged off, you need to use the service, but to make configuration changes, you have to stop the service, start the GUI, make changes, close the GUI, start the service.
  • CPU usage is very high with a large amount of files protected. The program was using about 35% CPU constantly, on a 2009 PowerEdge 2900 server with a single Quad Core CPU.
  • Price – it was somewhere around $990 CAD per license, and you need one for each server.

If you are using PeerLock, here`s a knowledgebase article that really helped reduce some of the issues:


Adobe Flash GPO Deploy error “InstallAx.exe”

Update: An updated script has been posted with some improvements, here.

“The file ‘installax.exe’ is not marked for installation”

This post details how to fix this issue, when Flash won’t uninstall correctly from a GPO deployment.

Adobe Flash PlayerThe Problem

I deploy the latest Flash versions through Group Policy, because it’s quick and simple. Some time ago, there was a version of Adobe Flash Player (10.1.5xx I think) that began causing problems with later versions.

What would happen is upon upgrades to Flash being pushed out, when updating the previous version an error would be logged. The GPO would successfully update the player, however it would continue to try updating every day, every time the computer started.

This occurred for both Windows 7 and Windows XP, and got to be quite annoying for my users.

When trying to update manually, the error that appeared was:

"The file 'installax.exe' is not marked for installation"

Here’s how I resolved it:

Based on various forum reports (http://forums.adobe.com/message/3124297) it seemed to be a problem with Flash leftovers.

On a test machine, I uninstalled all Flash versions, and then did a registry search, and removed these items:


These keys are a mix between Windows 7 x64 and Windows XP.

After that I manually installed the latest version, and it was successful. Now I needed to write a script that would remove these values and install the latest version.

The Script

I wanted to run this as a Shutdown script through group policy, rather than trying to push it out to all our clients through a scheduled task or something. This way it would eventually get applied to everyone. I think I’ll wait a period of time, and then disable this script and go back to a GPO msi install.

I made extensive use of echo and pause statements to ensure it was being applied correctly. Because I didn’t want a script for Windows 7 x64 and a separate one for Windows XP, there’s a bit of logic thrown in to check for version.

Here’s the script:

:: Adobe flash giving "installax" errors when updating from GPO :: This batch file will remove those errors and install
:: This batch file should be run from a shutdown or startup script

:: Check if Windows 7 or Windows XP, and goes to the proper section IF EXIST "C:\Program Files (x86)" goto :Win7Check
goto :WinXPCheck

:: Check if the latest version is installed already in Windows 7. If so, exit. Otherwise install Set "AdobeVersion=" & setlocal & Set "$V="
:: Look in the Uninstall area of registry, where the installed version of Flash player is listed Set "RegKey=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Adobe Flash Player ActiveX"
Set "RegItem=DisplayVersion"
:: Take the output of a REG QUERY to the location above, and put it into the AdobeVersion variable
For /f "tokens=3*" %%! in (
   '2^>nul Reg.exe QUERY "%RegKey%" /v "%RegItem%" ^|(
   Findstr.exe /ri "\<%RegItem%\>"^)') Do Set "$V=%%!"
endlocal & call Set "AdobeVersion=%$V%"

:: If what is currently installed matches latest version, exit. Otherwise, go to install section
if "%AdobeVersion%" == "" goto :exit
goto :Install

:: Check if the latest version is installed already in Windows XP. If so, exit. Otherwise install Set "AdobeVersionXP=" & setlocal & Set "$T="
:: Look in the Uninstall area of registry, where the installed version of Flash player is listed Set "RegKeyXP=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Adobe Flash Player ActiveX"
Set "RegItemXP=DisplayVersion"
:: Take the output of a REG QUERY to the location above, and put it into the AdobeVersion variable For /f "tokens=3*" %%! in (
   '2^>nul Reg.exe QUERY "%RegKeyXP%" /v "%RegItemXP%" ^|(
   Findstr.exe /ri "\<%RegItemXP%\>"^)') Do Set "$T=%%!"
endlocal & call Set "AdobeVersionXP=%$T%"

:: If what is currently installed matches latest version, exit. Otherwise, go to install section
if "%AdobeVersionXP%" == "" goto :exit
goto :Install

:Install ::Uninstall current versions of Flash from DFS share start /wait \\domain.com\apps\Public\General\adobeflash\uninstall_flash_player.exe -uninstall

:: Remove offending registry entries causing the error (mentioned below) regedit /s \\domain.com\apps\Public\General\adobeflash\flash_remove_fix.reg

:: Install latest version of Flash start /wait \\domain.com\apps\Public\General\adobeflash\install_flash_player_10.1.102.64.exe -install
goto :exit


The registry file mentioned contains this (what is at the top of this post, with the removal switch):


This script successfully runs on Windows 7 and Windows XP, and merely exits when the latest version is already done.

Check what version of Adobe Flash Player you have, and what is current:


Uninstall Utility used to remove Flash Player


.NET Function to produce link to UNC path

The following code is not mine, but from personnel within our company who really helped me out. Thanks Dan!

We have a few reports built within SQL Reporting Services 2005. One of these reports lists financial information for our projects. A request was made to create a link between the project on the report, and the project’s folder within our DFS share.

This is the custom code used on the report to produce those results. Depending on how folders are stored, it could be very useful for others as well.

For this to make sense, here’s a quick primer on how we store our files:

Each project has a 5 digit unique identifier within our DFS. It looks like this: “34321 deptcode short description”. These are organized by the major ‘ten thousandth’ value. For example:

Jobs >

Now for the code. To begin, you need to add the custom code to your report:

Report Properties

Use the “Code” tab, and paste the code in. Here’s the code I used, with comments:

'Start the function, with the value passed from the reportserver as jobnum Public Function Extract_jobs_path(ByVal jobnum As String) As String  'Find the first two digits of the folder name by taking the last 5 digits of the record and keeping first 2     Dim Prefix_job As String = Strings.mid(jobnum,5,2)     Dim Result As String = "" 'Make Director1 equal to the root folder of the job number (ie 33000), using the first two digits grabbed  Dim Director1 As New System.IO.DirectoryInfo(\\domain.ca\files\Jobs\ & Prefix_job & "000")      If Director1.Exists = True Then  'Grab the first 5 characters of the job number   Dim job_number As String =strings.mid(jobnum,5,5)  'Set Folder1 as the root folder, same as Director1   Dim Folder1 As String() = System.IO.Directory.GetDirectories(\\domain.ca\files\Jobs\ & Prefix_job & "000")  'For every subfolder of the root, search the first 5 digits and see if they match job_number   For Each subFolder As String In Folder1    If Strings.Mid(subFolder, 27, 5) = job_number Then        Result = subFolder            Exit For          End If         Next     End If 'If there was a match, switch around the slashes, add in the file:/// to build the link, 'and return the value     If Result <> "" Then      Result = Replace(Result, "\", "/")        Dim Poz1 As Integer = InStr(Result, "domain.ca")         If Poz1 > 0 Then          Return "file:///" & Result            End If         End If     End Function

Now all you need to do is call the code within a spot in your report. We have a table with a specific cell that has the code inserted into the “Navigation” properties of that cell, using this:



Clicking on that cell automatically opens the UNC path in Windows Explorer.