Troubleshooting web performance

Been working on a tricky problem which shows how you have to be methodical to try and find the problem

Our helpdesk database was running very slow

so i upgraded the instance ram – this made loading pages faster but seem to make any writes to the mysql db slower!

Now this is a lightly loaded server so should be lightening fast

I looked at the apache logs – nothing obvious but a couple of errors

I upgraded the system to the latest version – this enabled me to spot the first problem

Schema updates had not been applied – this is fairly painless – take a back up and run

rt-setup-database-4 –action upgrade

This boosted the load times but still did little for the saving

after trailing round the RT forums it occurred to me that there must be a simple solution

I disabled various ad-ons – no real change

Then i realised the problem was SENDING emails – the way its setup it waits for sendmail to send the message BEFORE loading the next webpage

So why was it taking so long to load?

In the end it was our old friend DNS – removed the dead dns server  from resolv.conf (which was obviously timing out) and much much faster

With hindsight – it was taking a little while to ssh to the server – this was caused by the same problem, but wasn’t really  a problem.

So next time i get slow ssh’s into a server i will remember – check your dns setup!

I could change the configuration to not wait for sendmail to finish  – but lets see how it goes…





Handy Geek Links with instuctions

Troubleshooting DNS:

Troubleshooting the misbehaving website: http viewer

Troubleshoot MX records:

Track down the random ISP .txt records or the exchange server that will not work remotely….

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

IF all else fails … did you check the hosts file??


Article #7: Changing product Keys In WIN7 command line

Needs a tidy up but you get the idea….

Class: Procedures
Key Change in WIN7


Description Freefield: Changing the windows product key in windows 7 can be done through the command line;To Start open cmd, by typeing cmd into the start menu search bar, When the cmd icon is shown right click it and select open as administrator.With your administrator cmd prompt open you then type in “slmgr.vbs -ipk ” replacing with the windows key, making sure to include the Dash’s i.e. “4j3h3-3543j-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxxx” and then press enter.

This should then bring up a small box informing you if the key was correct and installed successfully, if the key is incorrect make sure that the key was typed properly and that the cmd prompt is being ran as an administrator.

After successfully installing the key it needs to be activated this can be done by typing slmgr.vbs –ato into the Administrator cmd prompt and pressing enter.

This will then bring up a box informing you if the key activated successfully or not.

Article #20: vmware hp P2V fix

A classic problem i get asked about a lot: HP Teaming refuses to die!


Class: Solutions
fixing the network teaming


Description Freefield: Using HP Proliant Support Pack Cleaner v1.1 from



Article #5: Fujutsu Megaraid HDD upgrade


Class: Solutions
Adding disks to Fujitsu servers


Description Freefield: Fujitsu Disk upgrades with LSI megaraid

After much experimentation the solution I found to do this

Add the additional hard disks on spare sata ports
Boot into the raid configuration and create a new array with the two hard disks
The ui here sucks – you need to press spacebar/enter to select each disk press f10 to create the array – ignore that it says that it will add them to the existing array when you press f10 again it does create a new array make sure to select raid 1 (The default) and ensure you have added both disks
There is no need to initialise the array – if you make a mistake you can delete the new array safely and try again
On reboot boot of an up to date version of acronis to copy the drives and resize
Power off – remove the old disks

Power on – tell megaraid to ignore the drive changes

Article #15: Configure nat on virgin superhub


Class: Solutions


Description Freefield: Virgin Super Hub turn off NAT

Took me a little while to find the settings



Change the router password to something more secure and write it on router

Click on Superhub settings

scroll down and enable modem mode

You must connect your firewall wan port to the port nearest the coax connector

if you want to change any settings the superhub will move to


Article #25: Windows 8 – Product activation blank disk


Class: Solutions
If you install Windows 8 upgrade on a blank drive you won’t be able to activate it.


Description Freefield: If you install Windows 8 upgrade on a blank drive you won’t be able to activate it.Why can’t I activate Windows?

If you received a message saying that Windows couldn’t be activated, here are a few reasons why it might not have worked, and some things you can try to fix the problem.

You upgraded to Windows 8, but didn’t have a previous version of Windows installed (error 0xC004F061)

If you see error 0xC004F061 when you try to activate Windows 8, it means that you’re using a product key for an upgrade version of Windows 8 and a previous version of Windows wasn’t on your PC when Windows 8 was installed. To install an upgrade version of Windows 8, you must already have Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP installed on your PC.

If you formatted the drive before the upgrade version of Windows 8 was installed, you won’t be able to use your upgrade product key to activate Windows 8. To activate Windows 8, you’ll need to install your previous version of Windows, and then reinstall Windows 8. For help with the activation process, contact support.

Here is the fix for this problem:



Change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0

Run the following a command prompt with elevated rights:
slmgr /rearm


List of commands:
  • Regedit:
  • HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE
  • Change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0
  • Run the following a command prompt with elevated rights:
  • slmgr /rearm
  • Reboot.