I was working on my business partner’s computer to help him fix errors with his Sitecore instance for his certification class. He experienced multiple issues with the Sitecore 8 installer on Windows 8 and we went the manual route of deleting Sitecore to install clean and start from scratch. In the process, we:
- Deleted the IIS website instance in the IIS Manager
- Deleted the databases used by the instance
- Deleted the root folder in the filesystem
After launching the installer again, it kept returning the error “The name you entered is not unique.” when naming the Sitecore instance to one previously used. After checking the IIS metabase and a few other typical locations, couldn’t figure out where the Sitecore installer was finding the name since we deleted everything manually. It turns out that the Sitecore executable installer creates a registry entry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Sitecore CMS which is used to display information in Windows Programs and Features. This registry key is also checked during the installation process and if a child key with the same name as the one being installed is found, the above error message is shown.
To fix this:
- Start -> Run (or Windows Key + R)
- Type regedit
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Sitecore CMS.
- Delete the registry keys containing the information about the previously installed instance.
NOTE: You’ll need to relaunch the installer as it apparently caches the key information.
A client of mine had their wordpress hacked and when you would load the site, it would simply display a message that said “hacked by Moroccanwolf”. I did some digging and luckily it wasn’t a major hack and they didn’t mess with the posts or other settings as a lot of the hacks do.
- To fix it, you’ll need to connect to your database using an editor of some sort, such as PHPmyadmin.
- Once logged in, expand your database on the left.
- Click on ‘wp_options’.
- On the top right, click the ‘Browse’ tab.
- Look for ‘widget_text’ in the option_name field. (For my client, it was at row 90). You should see something similar to this:
<script>document.documentElement.innerHTML = unescape(''%48%61%63%6b%65%64%20%62%79%20%4d%6f%72%6f%63%63%61%6e%77%6f%6c%66%20%26%26%20%61%62%64%65%6c%6c%61%68%20%45%6c%6d%61%67%68%72%69%62%69'');</script>
Delete the entire tag and this should restore your website. Now remember to change your logins and update wordpress.
How I Figured it Out
- To fix it, you’ll need to connect to your database using an editor of some sort, such as PHPmyadmin.
- Once logged in, click on your database on the left. Ensure you’re on the database and not a table.
- Click Export.
- Leave it to quick and click go.
- You should now see a textbox with a mess of SQL commands.
- Copy and paste into your favorite editor,
- Search for <script> and you should find something that doesn’t belong. In this instance, that was the only thing I found of note.
- You’ll want to scan the rest of the database for things that don’t belong. Additionally, you’ll want to replace all the wordpress files and confirm no .htaccess files were created that give hackers write access.
If you’re trying to update your install of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, you may get the following message:
“These applications must be closed before the software can be installed:
Microsoft Database Daemon
Close these applications and try again”
If you try to kill the apps using activity monitor, you’ll find they keep getting restarted. The only way I found that worked to stop them is by following the instructions below.
- Open a terminal window and enter the following command:
launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist
This will unload the SyncServicesAgent. Unfortunately the Daemon kept running for me after the latest update. To stop that, do the following:
- Open activity monitor
- Scroll down until you find Microsoft Database Daemon in the list of active applications.
- Click on Microsoft Database Daemon and click on the Quit Process button in the toolbar
Go back to the install utility and you should now be able to proceed with the install. Once the install is finished, you’ll want to restart the Sync Services Agent, so do the following:
- Go back to the terminal window and enter this command:
launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist
Now you should be all set with updates and can close terminal.
One of my teammates was working on a Windows server and needed to access IIS to complete a Sitecore upgrade on the machine. After logging in, he was reporting that he only saw a blue screen with no user interface. I logged in under the administrator account and ran into the same thing. Here’s how I was able to reset:
- CTRL + ALT + END
- Start Task Manager
- Click processes tab and find all instances of “explorer.exe”
- Right click each process and selected “End process tree”
- Once all instances are gone, select the Applications tab
- Click new task button
- Type “explorer.exe” without the quotation marks
- Click OK.
If it’s a user account and you can login to the administrator account and see the UI, you can load remote desktop as admin.
- Start -> Run
- Type “mstsc /v:servername /console /admin” in order to access the server.
- In “Windows Taks Manager”, go to the Users tab and proceed to do a right click over the account that you want to “Log Off”, select log off.
This should free the locked session used by that account and bring the UI back.
If you use Steam and suddenly find yourself unable to connect receiving the error “Steam is having trouble connecting to the Steam servers.”, check and see if you have Peerblock installed and running. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out why the connections wouldn’t go through and finally went through apps running in the background one by one, until I closed Peerblock and discovered Steam suddenly started working. If you would like to continue to use Steam while Peerblock is open, follow these instructions for a workaround:
1. Start PeerBlock
2. Click List Manager
3. Click Add
4. Put something in the description like steam-allow
5. click add url and paste this: “http://list.iblocklist.com/?list=steam” (no quotes)
6. Choose type: allow
7. Click Ok then close the List Manager.
This will download a list that adds exceptions for Steam and should let you connect with no issues.
Today I loaded up Visual Studio to continue work on a project and created by a random bunch of errors. All were complaints that various packages could not be loaded. The one I captured was:
I had just installed SyncFusion’s Essential Studio which apparently screwed something up. I tried doing a repair on Visual Studio which unfortunately did not work.
I was able to fix it by following these steps:
- Close Visual Studio Open the *Users*\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\ folder
- Rename the ComponentModelCache folder
- Restart Visual Studio.
Visual Studio should now rebuild the cache and no longer display the error messages.
In making the switch to ASP.NET MVC, I’ve moved away from using my old Data Access Layer that I’ve used for years and have opted to use Dapper as my ORM of choice in the quest for optimal performance. My DAL was actually pretty optimized for WinForms and WebForms (using straight SQL Queries and SQL parameters) but mapping it to models wasn’t something I had in mind when I created it. I’m finding Dapper takes some getting used too but it is still pretty fast. The downside is that writing the code for Models to wire it up is proving to be a little tedious.
To that effect, I wrote a little application that has helped me generate the models from a database dynamically. It’s in it’s infancy stages and something I cobbled together in less than 8 hours but it works. I’ll add more features too as time goes on if there’s enough interest or to satisfy my own needs. In the meantime, I’m open sourcing the project as it may help others and I’d love to see it become something grander if others are willing to contribute to it. There’s also some useful bits of code that others may find useful to reference like dynamically reading fields from a database, pluralization/singularization of words, amongst others.
You can find the repository on Github: https://github.com/gregvarghese/MVCModelGenerator
Today I ran into a strange issue where Firefox version 28 and below rendered style widths different than Firefox 29 and above. Firefox 29 and above appear to have fixed the issue and render sizes to match Chrome/IE8+/Opera/Safari. Unfortunately, as old as Firefox 28 is, our client’s legal review team is stuck on that version as IT refuses to let them upgrade. As such, we needed to add a kludge fix to the site to add a style to fix the issue for those running older Firefox versions. JQuery removed the version support from version 1.9 so here’s a handy script that will allow you to detect the browser and version without any extra dependencies.
Usage is very simple:
BONUS: If you need to detect a specific version and add special classes, here’s a quick snippet that will allow you to add a class to the HTML tag using plain old vanilla.js.
if(browser.name == 'Firefox' && browser.version <= 28)
var root = document.documentElement;
root.className += " firefox28";
I’ve recently started using Git for development and while I am getting used to the command line tools on Windows, I have been using Atlassian’s free tool, SourceTree to help manage my code. Recently I’ve run into an issue where SourceTree crashes on start up.”Oh dear. We’re sorry, but SourceTree just crashed. How terribly embarrassing.”
I submitted an issue (https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/SRCTREEWIN-3011) and received a response that didn’t solve the issue. I submitted a follow up but never heard back so I did some further digging and found that SourceTree was crashing because it corrupted a repo and was still trying to load it back up on start up. The application does not exit gracefully or even give you the option to start in a safe mode which loads nothing.
To prevent it from opening the repo on start up:
Open %localappdata%/Atlassian/SourceTree/opentabs.xml in notepad or another editor.
Delete the problem repo.
Viola! No more SourceTree crashes on start up.
In working on implementing a Sitecore site into an existing code base inherited from another vendor, I discovered that the admin password had been modified and the vendor would not share it. Not being able to login to the admin section of Sitecore was not ideal to say the least. After scouring the web, most articles contained instructions on how to reset the password, but almost all of them applied to Sitecore 6 and below. For Sitecore 7 and above, most articles were not applicable as they introduced the PasswordSalt field into the database which Sitecore uses to hash the password.
If you’ve run into a similar situation, or you’ve forgotten or lost your admin account password, getting access back to everything is pretty simple. Load SQL Management (or your favorite SQL editor) and execute this query against your Core database:
SET [Password]=’qOvF8m8F2IcWMvfOBjJYHmfLABc=’, [PasswordSalt]=’OM5gu45RQuJ76itRvkSPFw==’, [IsApproved] = ‘1’, [IsLockedOut] = ‘0’
WHERE UserId IN (SELECT UserId FROM dbo.aspnet_Users WHERE UserName = ‘sitecore\Admin’)
This will now reset the default admin password to ‘b’ so that you may login to the Sitecore desktop. Happy editing!