Thursday, September 25, 2008

copy user - parameter is incorrect error

So recently I've been trying to fix an issue that was preventing me from copying existing user accounts. You'd get to the final step and click finish and be rewarded with an error box stating: Windows cannot create the object such and such because: The parameter is incorrect.

As it turns out, this error is caused by bad data in one of the user Attributes. The good news is that it can be fixed, the bad news is that it may require some perseverance to find it. The following steps and screenshots were done on a Win2k8 controller so some things might look different. The user and computers MMC is currently in 'advanced' mode (View-> Advanced Features)

Open up a known good user that you can copy and on another window or another dc open up the problem user. Go to the Attributes Tab and set the Filter in the bottom right to "Show only attributes that have values" and repeat in the other window. (That is unless you like spending LOTS more time doing this). This will narrow the search down considerably.

Now do a side by side comparison and look for values that either exist in only one user or that look odd.

In my case, when I went to Edit the msRADIUSCallbackNumber attribute, I found that it had garbage in it. Just hit the Clear button and OK out.

After I torched the msRADIUS values on mine, I was able to copy the user without any problems. And due to a shortage of time, I didn't get around to writing a powershell script to dump it out to excel but maybe if I get bored one day...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dell Latitude E6400 first impressions

Where to begin? It has a completely redesigned exterior and IMHO looks a bit more like the stinkpad laptops. That aside, the slick black top does look nice. The battery has been relocated to the rear of the unit and they added firewire, usb powershare (which allows you to charge devices off of it while it's off), HDMI output, SD Card slot, eSATA port, and an optional built in webcam for the lid. It also feels lighter but I'm haven't decided yet if it feels as sturdy as the D630 series that it replaced. The only downside so far is that it only has 3 USB ports but honestly it's a fair trade. The power cord has a glowing blue light near the plug which is probably just for bling but to me it's a power system troubleshooting tool (confirming power is getting there).

The new BIOS interface looks like it was designed by the guys who did the UI for the diagnostics CD. It has built in mouse support and a few menu tweaks. It didn't prompt with an option to go into BIOS from the boot Logo so I used the F12 boot menu option to get into it. One step backward is that it wouldn't let me use special characters in the admin password (ie $%^@). These type of things are common for major version changes and will probably be ironed out in a few patches.

The new docking station selection is pretty snazzy and come with multiple elevation options. The one I got has Dual DVI and HDMI ports as well as the base VGA port.

Overall the performance has been good so far.

Updated: 10/12/08 - Upon closer inspection, it's actually a DisplayPort in the back and not an HDMI, but you can buy an adapter from Dell. It appears they're still trying to push the DisplayPort technology even though the rest of the world is going HDMI.