The Pocket Troubleshooter – HDMI High Definition Cable Tester Tool

I recently started working on my next book, tentatively titled “The Pocket Troubleshooter”. Whether you are your families designated technical support person, or do it as your chosen profession, this book will be for you. With the areas of technology seem to be a little on the gray side, you may end up doing a little of everything. For something to be included in this book, it has to be able to fit in your pocket. Understand, that with anything, the definition of how big a pocket is may be a little lax at times. The main thing is that you dont always need a fancy tool that costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollar to do something quickly that a $20 tool can do just as well. Now off to the first installment of my new book.

With more video related devices using an HDMI connection instead of connectors such as the traditional F connector (screw on connector) or RCA (usually seen on home stereo systems), having a way to test the cable can be handy. I ran into a problem several years ago where the satellite receiver I had at the time wouldnt complete the power up process. Calling tech support for the satellite provider ended up them telling me the problem was my TV. The satellite receiver would power up without the cable plugged in, so that got me starting to look at the cable. If I had this type of test tool in my bag of tricks, I could have saved myself over an hour of troubleshooting. Once I finally replaced the cable, everything started working again.

To see first hand what this troubleshooting tool can do, I have created a special playlist on my TechBytes with Ron Nutter YouTube channel. Please click on the icon on the left to see that video. Future videos on for this book will be placed in this same playlist. When the book is released, the links will be in there as well so they will be close by.

Clicking on this button will send you to Amazon where you can buy one for your collection. Full Disclosure – This is an affiliate link where I will receive a small commission for the purchase. This will not raise or lower the price you pay for the tool. Any purchase is appreciated!

Send to Kindle
Posted in Pocket Troubleshooter | Leave a comment

How to capture with Wireshark in VMware

You can capture traffic to/from a virtual host in VMware in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that some of the changes mentioned here may result in a brief outage while they are being put in place. I have yet to have that happen to me in a production situation but it could happen.

1) Directly on host

This is just like you were running on an actual physical host. While this might be the easiest way of getting a packet capture done, it might not be possible because you may not have access to the machine due to a variety of reasons. if you can directly capture at a host, make sure that you plenty of disk space. Depending on the type of problem you may need to diagnose, you may need a good amount of disk space to get the information you are looking for.

2) Using a Standard Switch

This is one of two virtual switches that you will find probably encounter in a VMware environment. For those without a VMware background, this is a switch that resides on a single physical VMware host. Just like a switch that has multiple vlan’s present, that is also the case with a VMware Standard Switch. In this case the name you will see is Port Group. This is where you assign a plan to the ports that the virtual hosts are connected.

The trick to doing a packet capture with standard switch is to create a port group with a different name but assigning it to the same vlan number is the port group that the virtual host is already one. Once you have the port group created, go into the properties for that port group and enable Promiscuous Mode. Save your changes. Assign the server to this temporary port group. VMware Admins will understand this request as “vMotioning” the server to the new port group. With luck you will see little to no packet loss during the move. The time to emotion the server between port groups can be as little as 20 seconds to as much as several minutes depending on other VMware management activity or the speed of the CPUs on the particular physical host. Once the vMotion process has finished, verify that the server still has network connectivity.

If there isn’t a VM available with Wireshark installed, get one created, patched and configured. To make the network card in your sniffing VM passive and not broadcasting its own traffic is to disable all of the protocol bindings for the network card in the sniffing VM. If you use a client OS such as Windows 7, 8 or 10, you will using a single network card. Client OS’s don’t usually deal with multiple network cards since they wont have routing protocols available. Your VMware Admin can give you console access through the vSphere or vCenter web client. Your VMware Admin may want to move some of the other VM’s residing on the host that your source and capture VM’s reside on as the capture VM may generate significant CPU utilization and potentially slow down the CPU for other VM’s.

If you using a Server OS as your capture vm client, you can access the vm via the secondary nic using RDP, TeamViewer or whatever system that you prefer to use.

3) Using a Distributed Switch

The Distributed type of switch is available only when you are using vCenter Server with the appropriate license to manage multiple vSphere hosts. The Distributed switch spans across all vSphere hosts. With a distributed switch, you have the option of doing port mirroring similar to what you are familiar with on Cisco or other managed type switches. Highlight the Distribute Switch and edit the settings of the switch. Look for the tab that is labeled Port Mirroring.

Since there probably aren’t any port mirroring sessions configured at this point, all detail fields will probably be empty. Click on the Add button to start the process of creating a monitor session. You can enter the name and a description. In case you need to re-use this port mirror setup at a later time, you might want to give it a name that means something. That might help it from being removed by another Admin because they don’t know what it is being used for.

Your next step is to add a source port. The first thing needed will the port ID number that the VM is on that you want to capture the traffic from. Your can find this out by click on the Distributed Switch and looking at the Ports tab to identified the port you need to select. Under the Traffic Direction tab, you will want to select Ingress and Egress to capture both traffic directions unless you are only looking at a specific direction.

The next item to configure is the destination. The options for this are either another VM or an unused uplink port. Using an unused physical uplink port gives you the option of using an external device to capture the traffic.

Just like the standard switch scenario, you will need to setup some type of capture VM. If there isn’t a VM available with Wireshark installed, get one created, patched and configured. To make the network card in your sniffing VM passive and not broadcasting its own traffic is to disable all of the protocol bindings for the network card in the sniffing VM. If you use a client OS such as Windows 7, 8 or 10, you will using a single network card. Client OS’s don’t usually deal with multiple network cards since they wont have routing protocols available. Your VMware Admin can give you console access through the vSphere or vCenter web client. Your VMware Admin may want to move some of the other VM’s residing on the host that your source and capture VM’s reside on as the capture VM may generate significant CPU utilization and potentially slow down the CPU for other VM’s.

If you using a Server OS as your capture vm client, you can access the vm via the secondary nic using RDP, TeamViewer or whatever system that you prefer to use.

Once you are finished with the configuration, click on the Finish button to active the port mirror configuration entered.

4) Other capture options

If your VMware farm includes the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch or Phantom vTap from Ixia (formerly Netoptics), then you have other options to considering when doing a packet capture.

Send to Kindle
Posted in VMware | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Protect your Yahoo login in as little as 3 steps!

yahoo_logoProtecting your online account is accomplished by taking a series of steps. The first step is to create a better mousetrap. That mousetrap begins creating a password that is more difficult to guess.

Continue reading

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries | Leave a comment

Directions for Future Posts – Raspberry Pi, Vmware, Two Factor

First off, I want to apologize for the lack of new content on the site. I have been spending a good deal of time working on several books that I have released on the Kindle and on paperback. I would appreciate your input on the survey that follows to help me know what your preferences would be for future content.

Create your own user feedback survey

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries | Leave a comment

ESPN reports LA Lakers Bryon Scott Instagram Account hacked

For details, please check this link – http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/42618/lakers-scott-claims-instagram-account-was-hacked.

The sad thing is that there was a good chance this could have been avoided or at least made a little harder. Learn how to protect your Instagram account in as little as 3 steps – http://amzn.to/1jXcBSn

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries, Social Media | Leave a comment

Amazon – 3 Steps to keep your account from getting hacked

Amazon is one of the more popular e-commerce companies who offer a variety of services. This is another area where you should consider implementing a strong password and two factor authentication to keep you from loosing access to Amazon. Follow the steps outlined here to help prevent that from happening.

Continue reading

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries, Social Media, Two Factor Authentication | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Microsoft One Drive – 3 steps to keep your account from getting hacked

Microsoft One Drive is a cloud storage drive where you can keep files without having to worry where your flash drive is. It should be protected just like any other online account that you have. By following the steps I have outlined, you will do as much as you can to keep others from trying to get into your account. If you have a Skype account and have enabled Two Factor Authentication there, you are already ready to go. The instructions are listed here with minor changes so that those who don’t use Skype but use One Drive will be able to setup this same level of protection.

Continue reading

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries, Product Reviews, Social Media, Two Factor Authentication | Tagged , | Leave a comment

GoDaddy – 3 steps to keep your account from getting hacked

GoDaddy is one of the more popular web hosting companies who offer a variety of services. This is another area where you should consider implementing a strong password and two factor authentication to keep you from loosing access to the services you are getting from GoDaddy. Follow the steps outlined here to help prevent that from happening.

Continue reading

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries, Social Media, Two Factor Authentication | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dropbox – 4 steps to keep your account from getting hacked

1. Use a Strong Password

DropboxFor those that aren’t familiar with this term, a Strong Password is one that contains (where permitted by the website or service) a combination lower case letters, uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation or other special characters to make up a password. The longer the password is, the long it will take for someone to guess or hack your password. This is an area where I am probably as guilty as everyone else is on this. I have a “favorite” password or two that I liked to use in the past. This kept me from having to have a way to keep track of all the passwords that I used on different websites. With more websites adding additional layers of security such as challenge questions, etc., I have had to start using a password manager app to help keep track of the different passwords, the challenge questions and answers used on a particular website, the recovery procedure if I am locked out of a website, what additional login procedures I have used for that site, etc. Continue reading

Send to Kindle
Posted in Blog Entries, Social Media, Two Factor Authentication | Tagged , | Leave a comment

PALADIN TOOLS – PA1461 – PRO-GRIP CRIMPER, 4-INDENT D-SUB (20-12 AWG)

Amazon Price: $63.56 $63.56 (as of May 28, 2017 4:29 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

PRO-GRIP CRIMPER, 4-INDENT D-SUB (20-12 AWG) Crimp Size:20AWG to 12AWG For Use With:4-Indent Crimping of Closed-Barrel D Subminiature Contacts RoHS Compliant: NA

Send to Kindle
Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment