Fix INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE with Boot Camp Windows Systems

Like any self-respecting computer geek, I like everything. I typically run-up Windows on my Macs by installing it via Boot Camp, and then booting it as a VM. This lets me run everything in parallel, but also go full native mode when needed.

Recently, I found I couldn’t boot my Windows natively any more, though it would still work fine in my VMware Fusion. When booting natively, my Windows install with BSOD on an INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE exception. After a bit of googling, I found that this was likely related to storage drivers. I ultimately managed to fix my Windows environment (without a reinstall), here are the steps:

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Make an old Mac OS X install DVD from macOS Catalina

This brief post is just my notes specifically on how to make a Mac OSX Lion install DVD from within macOS Catalina. This isn’t really meant to help anyone other than my future self. But I hope it helps the odd other person too.

Step 0. Optionally order a copy from Apple, do a search online and you can find Lion and Snow Leopard disks still available for order directly from Apple, as of late 2019.

Step 1. Get the Installer Image from Apple (I’ve personally been archiving these for a while).

Step 2. Open the Terminal, enter the command:

hdiutil burn LionInstaller.iso

That’s it. Done. Here’s example output:

Death by PEBKAC evaded by amazing ZFS snapshot CTRL+Zery

Tonight I was doing a little development work towards a telemetry system I’m building for a thing. Along the way I managed (like a 10/10 n00b) to delete a bunch of vital configs on my reverse proxy server that handles all my traffic. Thanks to the amazing ZFS snapshot function made easily available by FreeNAS, I was able to recover from this otherwise devastating fckup, super fast and without service disruption.

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Using pfsense to sign private wildcard SSL certificates

pfsense is a wonderful router appliance BSD distro that I’ve enjoyed for some years now.

I use the pfsense certificate manager to issue certs for my VPN client devices. For my Internet-facing life, I have legit SSL certs for everything, I’ve a neurosis about it. But it’s bothered me that for my LAN servers, I’ve continued to use Self-Signed certs for interfaces. Today I fix that.

Here are my notes on how to create and sign a wild-card SSL cert using pfsense for internal use. Note that this approach means you will make your own certificate authority which then must have its root cert installed on any machine you want to use your own certs.

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VMware ESXi 6.5 – Replacing the default SSL/TLS certificates

One of my weird hobbies is installing legitimate SSL certificates EVERYWHERE. Here’s steps for replacing the default self-signed garbage SSL certificates you get out of the box with VMware ESXi:

Steps

  1. Get your SSL cert, obviously. You’ll need a .key file and a .crt. (If you need help at this stage, take a look at my SSL cert management scripts on github.)
  2. Enable SSH access to your ESXi box. Login as root over ssh. (If you don’t know about this, perhaps this whole process is not for you at this time)
  3. From your root ssh session to your ESXi box, follow these steps:

    cd /etc/vmware/ssl
    mv rui.crt orig.rui.crt
    mv rui.key orig.rui.key
  4. Use vi to open new rui.key and rui.crt files and paste in your own crt and key files.
  5. Restart services so your certs are in-play:

    /etc/init.d/hostd restart
    /etc/init.d/vpxa restart

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