System F keys

Note: These function keys can change with any new software/firmware release and also different hardware types. These function keys are more for server hardware and not desktop hardware.


F1 : Setup
F2 : Diagnostics
F12 : Boot Device


F2 : Setup
F6 : Boot Menu
F7 : Diagnostics
F8 : Cisco IMC Configuration
F12 : Network Boot


F10 : Setup


F2 : Setup


DEL : Setup
F11 : Boot Menu
F12 : Lan boot


ESXi – if some of these don’t work ESXi could be hung or they could be disabled.

ALT-F1 : console
ALT-F11 : banner screen
ALT-F12 : VMkernel log


ALT-F1 : service console
ALT-F2 : service console
ALT-F11 : banner screen
ALT-F12 : VMkernel log


F2 : Setup
F12 : Network Boot
ESC : Boot Menu

Additional data:


Is the server a VM

Issue: Have you ever worked at a large company and get someone telling you their server is a VM but you can’t locate it?

What might have happened:

  1. the servers name was changed at on the VM or OS and someone has the new or old name and it no longer synced correctly
  2. out of date inventory/cmdb
  3. it could be physical
  4. DNS alias

A workaround:

Here are some commands that will help track down the system, you can twink a few of these commands to get additional data. You will need access to the server OS that you are trying to track down for these commands to work.

dmidecode -t system | grep ‘Manufacture\|Product\|Version\|Serial Number\|UUID’
dmesg | grep -i hypervisor (maybe)

wmic computersystem get model,name,manufacturer,systemtype
ipconfig /all

prtdiag -v | head -3
/usr/sbin/ifconfig -a
arp -a
/usr/bin/netstat -pn | grep SP
ipadm show-addr (solaris 11+)
uname -n

How to change SRM DB password

The issue:

You need to change or already did change your database password that site recovery manager is using. In my case someone change the password and didn’t update it in SRM so the service wouldn’t start anymore.

The Fix:

  1. open cmd
  2. navigate to your SRM install directory and then the bin folder
  3. installcreds.exe -key db:databasename -u databaseuserid
  4. enter your new password



TSM error ANS2310E


TSM for VE will sometimes give error ANS2310E The create snapshot task is disabled on the virtual machine ‘*’. As a result, the virtual machine cannot be backed up.


If the VM is getting vmotioned or storage vmotioned, snapshot tasks will fail and this error will be created.


Retry the backup job at a later time after the vmotion is complete.

RDP error Local Security Authority cannot be contacted

The error:

Remote Desktop Connection: An authentication error has occurred.
The Local Security Authority cannot be contacted
Remote Computer: hostname or ip

The issue:

Seems to happen more on 2012 server but if you have Network Level Authentication enabled it will not prompt you for a GUI change password option if you have change password at next logon selected. This error could happen for other reasons as well

One of the possible fixes:

  1. uncheck change password at next logon if its selected
  2. use a different tool to change your password at first logon

Additional info can be found at

Change password in RDP for 2012

Ctrl + Alt + End will create the same screen as Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your workstation. Useful on 2012 if you need to change your password via RDP.

File copy error

The Error: Error 0x80090006: Invalid Signature

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 2.43.31 PM

The Problem: We have had a few vmware VMs with some file copy problems. And they have produced some very odd messages.

The Workaround: Is to vmotion them to a new host. Seems to be an issue with the hosts physical network cards and network corruption.

OVF Tool error converting a OVA hardware version 4 VM

Trying to convert a OVA file that created a vmware hardware version 4 vm was giving the error below with OVF Tool 2.0.1


– Virtual machine has 8,194 megabytes of memory, which is outside the range of 4 to 3,600 megabytes supported on the host.  This may be a general limitation of the host software, or specific to the guest OS selected for the virtual machine.

The Fix

Locate the correct hardware version xml file default location is “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool\env\ovftool-hw4-config-option.xml” in the xml file you will find two memmax values (you can do a search for 3600 to locate them, just increase them to the number that the error is stating your VM has to get it to work.

How to roll up a vmware snapshot that is to large


A very old and large snapshot was removed from snapshot manager it said it completed, a month later the datastore was full that the VM was in. Looking in to the files for that VM it was found that the snapshot disks where still in the VM’s folder directory. But nothing was in the snapshot manager. Migrate/svmotion was also failing to move the disks out to a different datastore with space.


The Fix:

  1. Get a temp datastore created for size of all the drives on that system that have snapshot disks (hostname-000001.vmdk)
  2. clone the disks via command line, pointing the source vmdk to clone the snapshot disk and point the destination as the new datastore
  3. after the clone are done and all your vmdk files have been cloned and all data rolled up you can delete your old data from the old data store
  4. then copy the vmdk files from your temp datastore to your old datastore
  5. remove temp datastore

Note: To commit a snapshot you need twice the space of the snapshot to commit it, if you don’t it will fail.

How to change the keyboard for VMWare ESX


Someone installed ESX in a different country and picked there language. Now you have to fix a problem on the console or via ssh and can’t type your commands

The Fix:

  1. loadkeys xx from the command line (the xx for US is us) Note: this will only be a temp change until the next reboot

To fix it for good:

NOTE: make a backup of your files before making changes to them

  1. edit “/etc/sysconfig/keyboard”
  2. change KEYTABLE=”xx” to KEYTABLE=”us” for us keyboard