Make yourself an admin in SQL Server 2008

The same colleague I was helping with their SQL install yesterday made another mistake. She mustn’t have set herself to be the db admin, because we’d get “Access denied” messages when she’d try to connect to her local db using SQL Server Management Studio.

Fortunately she found this script by Ward Beattie which fixes the problem. She only had to enter MSSQLSERVER as the SQL instance name.

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SQL Server 2008 install requires Visual Studio 2008 SP1

I was helping a colleague setup their new Windows 7 developer box today, and we couldn’t install SQL Server 2008. SQL Server’s installation would complain:

A previous release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is installed on this computer. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to the SP1 before installing SQL Server 2008.

Well, we’d already installed Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 so why wasn’t it working? Even after a reboot Visual Studio 2008 was reporting that SP1 was already installed.

In the end we had to install VS 2008 SP1 a second time, and after that the SQL Server install worked fine.

What went wrong? The developer had started to install SQL Server 2008 while VS 2008 SP1 was still being installed.

Speeding up my Wi-Fi b/g network at home

I was trying to watch recorded HD content from my HTPC on my laptop, but it would stutter and be unwatchable. I quickly realised that my wireless network was too slow.

So to diagnose the problem I tried copying a large (2 Gb) file across my wireless network and see what sort of speeds I was getting. Only around 700Kb/second! Hmm, that seems awfully slow.

I opened up my router’s config page (Linksys WRT54GL using the patched tomato firmware) and tried the usual suspects – 1. changing to a different channel; 2. moving the router away from possible sources of interference; 3. trying a USB wireless network adaptor I had lying around instead of my laptop’s built in wireless, all to no avail. I was still only getting around 700Kb/sec.

I went into the router’s Advanced settings page and had a look at the options in there. Hmm, let’s try disabling this Afterburner setting. Boom! Once that was disabled the file copy went up to 2Mb/sec. That setting is disabled by default, but I had enabled it when I first setup my router (a year ago) thinking it would probably make things faster. Well that wasn’t the case, it was slowing things down.

I then tinkered with a few other settings, and I found that enabling Frame Burst sped things up a little bit, to around 2.5Mb/sec.

So yay, now I can watch recorded shows over my Wi-Fi g network! I don’t need to buy a 802.11n router and USB adaptor :-)

Moral of the story, which applies to all technology really – stick with the default settings to begin with, and once you know your baseline then tinker.