Just today I sent an email to a friend of mine whose father was nearly tricked into this scam. I said then that I would love to get my hands on one of these low lifes on the phone. My wish came true.
I got home this afternoon and was barley in the house 20mins when the phone rings.
It’s a private number so I answer it.
Hello can please speak with a Mr. Papiccio please? <scammer>
Sounded distant and Indian. Great another telemarketer I thought.
Yeah whose this? <me>
This is (unintelligible) and I am calling from Microsoft Windows. Your PC has been sending error messages.
Microsoft Windows? That’s the product not the company. As an IT professional I deal with Microsoft here in Australia, Redmond and India and never once do they introduce themselves with a product name. Error messages? Oh brilliant it’s the scam thing I hear about. Lets have some fun I think to myself.
Did you say error messages? <me>
Yes sir. Error messages and virus alerts. <scammer>
Oh dear that doesn’t sound good. <me>
Yes sir your computer is having viruses and sending error messages to us. We are from Microsoft Windows and we are calling to fix this problem. <scammer>
How can I mess with these guys a bit. I know lets drop a hint I might know something.
Are they bad messages? (snicker slightly) <me>
Oh yes sir they are very bad. <scammer>
What was the Event ID that was registered? Can I get an ID so I can check my event logs? <me>
Try that little bit and see what you do with it.
I said can you give me the Microsoft Event ID that has been logged with you so I can check my event logs? <me>
I can now hear voices in the background though I can’t understand since it is in Indian, then I hear my call be transferred.
Hello sir this is (another unintelligible name). Our routers are showing your computer has been sending error messages and virus alerts. <scammer>
Routers logging pc events! Amatures. I’ve been transferred to the supervisor! Great now I hit my stride.
Really? The router you say? <me>
Yes sir it has been recorded on the Microsoft router in Sydney. <scammer>
Are you refering to rtr-au-syd-01.microsoft.com? <me>
Now that router name is as fake as this call but I wanted to see what they did J
That is correct sir the Microsoft router in Sydney. <scammer>
Sorry that is the cluster name of the router. Can you give me the IP address of the specific router that recorded these messages? <me>
I am sorry sir I cannot give your details out. I can give you mine. <scammer>
WTF, did they read the script wrong?
I don’t want my details I asked for IP address of the Microsoft router that recorded the messages.<me>
I am sorry sir I cannot give you this information.<scammer>
Why not? The IP address of those routers are publicly available otherwise my computer would never have been able to contact it.<me>
Just a minute sir. <scammer>
And then just like that they hung up.
I felt very satisfied.
I have stated in previous posts that over the years I have become disillusioned with Microsoft’s Hypervisor – Hyper V. I have also stated that I would be migrating my Virtual Machines of to ESXi as soon as I could.
Well this weekend proved to be the perfect chance for me to do it. I had acquired an old PC that could run ESXi that I would use as my “swing” server (a place to migrate my servers while I rebuilt the original). I had download VMware’s converter tool which could take a clone of my Hyper V servers and transfer them into vSphere. Simple right? Wrong!
As with everything IT what should have been a simple process turned horribly wrong.
So what went wrong and how did I fix it? Read on and you will learn.
The first thing that happened was that the converter would not move my 64 bit operating systems into the new PC. I tried to go into the BIOS to enable this feature but could not find it (I have since learnt where it was buried, lesson for next time though). No problems I thought. I will convert it to VMware’s Workstation and then convert it back when the server is rebuilt.
This took hours to do. I mean literally hours. I must have been working on the conversion for about six and half hours. During this phase I found that I had problems converting my Linux Ubuntu server which housed my Web sites, including this blog. Try as I might I could not convert it over. It would get to 95% then fail. After the third attempt and 5 hours later I was fed up. I decided to move the web sites to a spare Linux server I had running on my PC.
So here I began the tedious process of exporting MySQL and both my Word Press and Joomla web sites. (For those who are interested I will post a blog on how you do this latter). It took several more hours to move this and test it to make sure it worked. But by about 9:30pm last night I had my web sites hosted on a new server, my Windows servers (including a Windows 2008 R2 domain controller and an Exchange 2010 mail server) safely converted to Workstation VM‘s. I shut down all systems and relaxed in front of a movie for a bit before going to bed.
After Alex‘s soccer game I checked my NAS to make sure that I did indeed have some backups from my Windows Systems Backup scheduled job (just in case), then I proceeded in blowing my Hyper V server away and installing ESXi 5. 30 mins latter the new Hyper Visor was installed and I was ready to begin migration back. It was at this point that the whole exercise began to go pair shaped L
I attempted several times to use the conversion tool to convert my domain controller into vSphere. Each time it failed with a compatibility issue. It was saying my vmdk file was version 4 and needed to be a minimum of 6. This was rubbish! I tried several more servers and each one said the same thing. WTF? Ok about now I was starting to get nervous. I did not want to rebuild everything from scratch. My systems have become too complicated for that. So while I started reading through forums I also tried to initiate a restore from backups. This too decided it was going to be stubborn and not work. I was going to treat the backups as hostile witnesses and start getting medieval on their asses when I came across an interesting blog by Lewis Roberts (http://www.lewisroberts.com/2010/08/26/vmware-workstation-conversion-to-esxi-4/comment-page-1/#comment-21977)
He explained how he got around this problem by uploading the vmdk and vmdx files to the data store on vSphere. He then ran the vmkfstool to clone the vmdk file into one that ESXi can understand. I followed these instructions and what you know? It worked! I had to go into the VM and remove the Serial, CD and Network adapter to clean things up. I then also needed to re-add the network adapter so that vSphere would recognise it. Once this was done I powered up the VM and installed the VM tools to the guest OS. 20 mins more too tidy up and it was done!
It is now nearly 4PM and I am on my second last server. I will have Exchange 2010 done in another 1 hour and then I need to build my new Linux server to host my web site.
Over all the process has taken far longer and stressed me out more than I would have liked. Good thing it has rained all day and it was a good excuse to stay indoors.