Phew! What a struggle THAT was…

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

Well, if you’re a regular subscriber to this blog, you would have noticed the blog went dark for about a week.  My appologies for that.  There are still parts of the blog, like SPCAP, that I’m working on restoring to full functionality, but I had to make a shift of my blog site last week.  As you know, my blog is hosted by SharePoint, well, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to be exact. 
As part of the pre-Beta program, MVPs got access to the SharePoint 2010 bits last week.  DON’T ASK!  You know I can’t tell you!  I’m under NDA remember.  All will be revealed at the SharePoint Conference 2009 in Vegas, October 19-22.
In order get knee deep in 2010, I had to stand up a server on my local private network.  I wanted to go 64 bit all the way, but my 64 bit server was the one hosting my blog.  That left me the task of virtualizing my blog onto VM hosted on the 64 bit server.  In addition, I wanted to stretch the legs on the new Windows Server 2008 R2 X64 RC before the final RTM bits are available next week and didn’t want to have to redo the blog server again so virtualization was the best option.
Since my server is older, it didn’t support Hyper-V in R2 so I had to choose a different option.  I went with Virtual PC 2007 which, though it wasn’t officially supported on R2, worked very smoothly… once the VM Additions were installed!
That’s when the problems started.  I first built the VM and waited patiently as all the security updates were done.  That takes forever!  Then I installed WSS 3.0 with SP2 choosing to simply use the Windows Internal Database.  I know, I know.  I should use SQL Server instead, but my blog backup being only 350 MB and lightweight, I figured it would be OK.  Murphey’s Law… it wasn’t… 🙁
When restoring my blog STSADM backup, I ran into some cryptic security issues which pointed to database permissions for the current account.  Since I was logged on as Admin, it was a problem.  If the Admin don’t have access, there’s a problem.  So I messed with that for a while and of course since I decided against using Undo Disks, I had to rebuild the VM from scratch again… waiting for the security updates etc. again…  Long story…
So then I rebuilt the VM.  This time, after fully updating the VM and just before installing anything else, I shut down the VM and switched on Undo Disks.  I then installed a 180 day trial version of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise which should get me past the SharePoint Conference at which point I can upgrade the blog to 2010 code.  Anyway, installedWSS 3.0 with SP2 and restored my blog backup with STSADM… held my breath as I pointed my browser to my blog URL from my laptop… TADA!  We’re back in business!  Now I can continue to submerge myself in SharePoint 2010 while my blog is hosted by the VM on 2007 code.  😉
Now I can’t wait for Windows 7 RTM on MSDN!!!  Wanna really give the Windows 7 / Office 2010 front end with Windows Server 2008 R2 / SharePoint 2010 back end a good shake out!  I’m lining up several posts about 2010 which will go live after the SharePoint conference.  Most importantly, I’ll be providing another upgrade/migrate Step-by-Step guide again.  Last version’s guide was a smashing success and I’ve had hundreds of people email me and thank me for the guide.  Thanks to everyone who did that.  It’s always good to know that the time spent putting such guides together is beneficial to the SharePoint Community at large!
Anyway, stay tuned for some MAJOR upcoming news related to 2010… NO… I won’t be breaking my NDA, but you’re going to LOVE what I have in the pipeline… 😀



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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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