Category Archives: Computers

Overheating Lenovo W540

A Lenovo W540 was overheating, peaking at 99° before the Intel Core i7 4700MQ would automatically throttle down the speed to prevent permanent damage. A nasty side effect of this is reduced performance. A workstation-grade laptop should be able to handle this kind of heat without issue, what was going wrong!? This was obviously something hardware related since the fan would run at 100% while the air coming out of the fan was room temperature and the CPU was ready to boil water. After disassembling the machine I noticed the heat sink compound wasn’t “smooshed” against the CPU like it should be:

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Take a closer look at the image above. What is that desiccant ball doing in there, keeping the heatsink from pressing against the CPU correctly??

Close up of the heat culprit:

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I’m going to assume this mistakenly fell in during initial assembly and isn’t an intended feature. After removing the ball and securing the heatsink the compound spread much more evenly:

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Prime95 was also happy with the results:

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Setting up Routing and Remote Access Service on Windows Server 2012

Recently I came across a need to implement a simple VPN connection to my home network. I have a Windows Server 2012 box hosting my IIS, which also supports VPN connections over SSTP through the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) without any need for 3rd party software on either server or client side.

To get started I followed the instructions on technet which outlined how to add the feature to the server and start the service. I already had port 443 forwarded through my router for IIS.

I was unable to get my external Windows client to connect right off the bat. I needed to configure a few extra settings. The server was unable to reach the local router DHCP services. I worked around this by adding a static IP pool for the server to pull from instead of the router:

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I took this range of IPs out of what the router would hand out to clients to keep any IP address conflicts at bay.

I ensured that the user I was attempting to log in as had remote access permissions through the MMC console:

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Windows 7 and above supports the VPN connection natively:

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I found that after setting up the connection modifications were required to get the client using the correct protocol and credentials:

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After these changes I was able to make a successful connection and tunnel my connection through my home network.

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Since the SSTP protocol is basically an SSH connection, a valid trusted certificate is required to be installed on the server. the Windows VPN client does not support trusting non-verified certificates. If your connection address is mattlapaglia.com, a SSL certificate with the same CN is required on the server. I already had a certificate installed on the server for use with IIS which RRAS picked it up automatically. I was surprised there was no issue with IIS and RRAS fighting for control of port 443 (used with both RRAS for SSTP and IIS for SSL connections)