[MSFT-BE] Arlindo's Blog - IT Pro Evangelist

  • Vista RC1:: How to enable hidden audio devices

    One of my colleagues received a mail  from Matthias with the question how to find the stereo mix device in his recording devices, with the previous versions of Vista these devices where visible. The next day he sent us a mail that he had found the solution. I just wanted to share the solution with you.

     

    Open the Playback or Recording devices dialogue box (right click on audio icon in systray). Right click in the dialogue box and select show disabled devices, from here you can enable the devices and start using them.

     

     

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  • Vista:: Shortcut keys

    While I am using the Win-Tab (flip 3d) and Win-L (lock computer) key a lot I was wondering which keystrokes could be handy so I tried them out and here is the result:

     

    Win-Space: Show sidebar

    Win-D: Show desktop

    Win-Tab: Flip 3D

    Ctrl Win-Tab: Flip 3D which stays onto desktop, you can then scroll with up, down, left and right keys

    Win-E: Opens explorer window

    Win-R: Opens the run dialogue box, yes it still exists

    Win-T: Tabs between running applications onto the taskbar, you know like you would hover over each task with the mouse and get a live preview of the app's.

    Win-Q: When I tried this one out it launches the Office communicator for me, how does this behave for you?

    Win-F: Opens the search window.

    Win-G: Gives the sidebar the focus and when you press this key combination again it tabs between the gadgets on the sidebar

    Win-L: Locks the computer, I use this a lot just quickly lock the PC when you go grab a cup of coffee.

    Win-U: Opens the Ease of Access Center

    Win-M: Minimizes all windows

    Shift Win-M: Undo minimize windows

    Win-X: Opens the Windows Mobility center

    Win-Number: Press the Win key and then choose a number of the applications that are in the quick launch task bar. An example the third icon on the taskbar (starting from left) is IE so to run IE press Win-3 and it will launch IE.

    Another shortcut of key combination I use often is the ctrl-shift-esc to open the Task Manager

    Which shortcuts are you using?

     

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  • Deployment 4 Beta 3 Released

    Deployment 4 is the code name for the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007 and unifies the tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment into a common deployment console and collection of guidance. For the thousands of IT professionals already trained on BDD 2007, Deployment 4 requires minimal extra training to perform large-scale Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 deployments, while offering a further enhanced desktop deployment experience. Deployment 4 adds integration with recently released Microsoft deployment technologies to create a single path for image creation and deployment, including:

    • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Operating System Deployment
    • Windows Automated Installation Kit
    • Windows Deployment Services with new multicast technology
    • Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0
    • User State Migration Tool 3.0.1
    • Windows Server 2008 Server Manager for automated server role definition (coming soon)

    Deployment 4 Beta 3 combines the guidance and toolset from previous releases of Business Desktop Deployment and Beta releases of Windows Server Deployment. This release continues to support Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) of desktop operating systems using Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 with the Operating System Deployment Feature Pack and adds new deployment and task sequencing capabilities for desktops and servers using System Center Configuration Manager 2007. Deployment 4 also continues to provide Lite Touch Installation (LTI) support without infrastructure requirements and adds capabilities for Windows Server 2003 and pre-release versions of Windows Server 2008.

    New features in Deployment 4 Beta 3

    • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 support, with the following features:
      • Full support for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 deployments with Deployment 4 and Configuration Manager 2007.
      • Complete integration into the Configuration Manager 2007 admin console and task sequencing capabilities.
        • Quick start Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployments using one wizard to create needed task sequences and packages.
        • Extends the Configuration Manager 2007 task sequencing capabilities with new actions.
      • Feature parity with BDD 2007 and SMS 2003, including dynamic package installation, automatic determination of state store location, computer backup, database settings.
    • Lite Touch Installation (LTI) support for Windows Server 2008:
      • Support for deploying Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 and potentially RC0 (to be verified after RC0 release), including support for Server Core installation options. (Windows Server 2008 TAP customers only.)
    • Lite Touch Installation (LTI) enhancements:
      • Enhanced disk and network interface cards (NICs) configuration options, including support for static TCP/IP configuration.
      • Design changes to ease the migration from LTI to Configuration Manager 2007.
      • Support for multiple task sequence templates. New sample templates include:
        • Client template: Windows Vista, Windows XP
        • Server template: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008
        • Replace scenario template
      • Ability to invoke web service calls Support for web service calls from rules
        • Web services can be invoked as part of the rules processing performed by Deployment 4, using new rules that can be defined in CustomSettings.ini.
      • Support for side-by-side installation with Deployment 4 and BDD 2007 installed on the same machine.
    • Lite Touch Installation (LTI) multicast support:
      • Deployment Workbench supports multicast transmission of operating system images when performing LTI deployments from Windows Server 2008 servers that are running Windows Deployment Services.

    Where to Find Deployment 4 Beta 3

    Deployment 4 Beta 3 is part of the Windows Server 2008 Beta and TAP Programs. It is also available as an open beta download.

    To join Deployment 4 beta 3 program, follow these steps:

    1. Visit the Microsoft Connect Web site (http://connect.microsoft.com).
    2. Click Invitations on the Connect menu.
    3. You will need to sign in using a valid Windows Live ID before you can continue to the Invitations page.
    4. Enter your Invitation ID in the box. Your invitation ID is: BDDP-QMYH-VWTH
    5. Click Go.
    6. If you have not previously registered with Microsoft Connect, you might be required to register before you continue with the invitation process.

    To download Deployment 4, click Download Now.

  • IT Pro Momentum Program: New Technologies

    Do Need some help to test/pilot/deploy the latest Microsoft infrastructure technologies list here?

    image
    What is the Momentum Program?

    Momentum is a Microsoft program focused on supporting “early adopters” – IT professionals who bet on the newest technologies to drive business value for their companies and advance their career. And it is for free!

    Is IT Pro Momentum right for you?
    • Interested in learning more about the newest Microsoft technologies?
    • Need help to evaluate different Microsoft products and features?
    • Willing to test and pilot in production Microsoft beta products?
    • Would like to have access to exclusive forums and Microsoft product support?
    • Want to share your early adoption experience with the IT Pro community world-wide?
    Through the Momentum Portal, participants will have access a number of benefits including:
    • In-Depth Technical Content 
    • Managed Forums 
    • One year TechNet+ Direct Subscription
    • Support Requests
    • Access to Beta bits

    What's in it for you?
    • Exposure and Career Opportunities
    • By sharing early adoption successes, IT Pro's receive community recognition and increase their opportunities for networking and career growth.
    • Your Voice is Heard
    • Through Momentum, IT Pros establish a direct, two-way communication channel with Microsoft which allows you to provide feedback and influence the future of our products and services.
    • Reduce Risk of Failure
    • Momentum benefits such as free TechNet subscription and PSS support requests reduce the risk and complexity of deploying new technologies.
    • Competitive Advantage – Be the First to Use & Know
    • You will receive a gift from Microsoft

    Program participants have access to the latest information and cutting-edge technologies developed by Microsoft.

    Does this sound interesting to you? Then send me a mail (arlindo.alves@microsoft.com)

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  • Vista:: Blocking USB Storage devices

    Today I was working at a booth on a Partner Event. I was explaining how we can block the installation of USB devices by using Group Policies. I also showed how we can change the default message a user gets when he tries to install such a device. I talked about the fact that we can allow the installation of specific devices like mouse and keyboards. Now one of the customers had a question about can I allow only this specific USB Memory stick. I never thought about it before. So I wanted to find out if you can do that. So I have two identical memory sticks "USB Mini Cruzers" and I want to be able to use one of them and block the other.

     How does it work? First you need to find out the Hardware ID's. Open the device manager and scroll to the "Mini Cruzer Disk drive" you will this under "Disk Drive" or under the "Other Devices" section. Double click on the USB memory stick and select the Details tab. Then select the Hardware ID's option in the properties section.

    On the above screenshots you can see that we have the same device's but there is only one difference and that is the "USBSTOR\DiskSanDisk_Cruzer_Mini_____0.1_" or the "USBSTOR\DiskSanDisk_Cruzer_Mini_____0.2_" ID.  We will use the "USBSTOR\DiskSanDisk_Cruzer_Mini_____0.1_" to allow the installation of this device.

    If you want to install for example all Sandisk Cruzer Mini USB sticks you could select the "USBSTOR\DiskSanDisk_Cruzer_Mini_____" hardware ID.
    Now we have our Hardware ID we can start configuring the Group Policies to block the USB device installation. Let me explain what I mostly do to apply the policies, I open the Group Policies (gpedit) console and I go to the following location, Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation Restrictions.

     

     

    The above screenshot shows you the options you have to edit. I edited the following items:

    • Display a custom message when installation is prevented by by policy - balloon text: Here I specify that the company blocked the installation of such devices and redirect the user to the IT Helpdesk
    • Display a custom message when installation is prevented by by policy - balloon title: Here I specify the title of the custom message
    • Allow the installation of devices that match any of these device ID's: Here I added the following key "USBSTOR\DiskSanDisk_Cruzer_Mini_____0.1_" 
    • Prevent the installation of devices not described by other policy settings: I just enabled this option, this makes it possible to override the installation prevention for certain device ID's

    With these settings configured I block the installation of all USB devices except the one memory stick that matches the in the Group Policy defined Hardware ID.

    This is a great feature for many companies who want to protect their infrastructure. Know what do you think about this is this clear or should I create a screencast on how to block USB devices, let me know.

     

  • Longhorn:: Hypervisor - Windows Server Virtualization Demo

    I just posted the TechReady keynote demo, which I talked about earlier, on soapbox.

    In this demo you will see:

    • Windows Server Virtualization running on Server Core managed from another Windows Server Longhorn box
    • 64-bit hosts and 32-bit hosts and a Linux running on the same server core box
    • An 8-core virtual machine
    • System Center Virtual Machine Manager
    • System Center Operations Manager
    • Monitoring the VMs on the Server Core box 
    • Fire off a PowerShell script to hot-add another NIC to a SQL VHD Image

    This demo is just awesome. I loved the PowerShell script where Jeff just added another NIC to a VM.

    I can barely wait to get me hands on this kind of technology. Now I am already testing the Longhorn server but once I can get my hand onto the Windows Server Virtualization I will definitely move my VM towards this Technology.


    Video: Longhorn - Windows Server Virtualization 

     

  • Try TechNet Plus Direct for FREE

     

    Do you want to receive a two month subscription to TechNet Plus Direct. TechNet Plus Direct is our new online version of TechNet Plus subscription, you will have the same information and software available but this time it's only online and not onto DVD.

    If you are a member of our TechNet Community in Belgium and Luxembourg and you want to subscribe for this two month free trial, head over to our TechNet Plus Direct site and register. Once you register you'll be automatically subscribed to the TechNet Flash newsletter and receive a two month free trial to TechNet Plus Direct.

    During your trial period our TechNet Plus Direct channel partner will contact you with an offer for a full two year subscription, without any obligation of course.


    And YES both Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System are already available as downloads on the TechNet Plus Direct site for you to evaluate.

  • Free iSCSI Target Software

    Recently during one of my Windows Failover clustering presentation I received the question how to emulate iSCSI shared disks to build a failover cluster without having to buy an expensive storage environment. In my case I'm using our own iSCSI target software but there are some other vendors that let you use their target software for free:

    Now you have all the tools needed to start testing out Windows Server 2008 failover clustering.

    Enjoy!

  • Manage your Virtual Server Machines with VMRC Plus

    One of my colleagues developed a tool called VMRC Plus which is an improved version of the VMRC client that is deployed together with Virtual Server 2005.

    As soon as I got the link I downloaded this tool, installed it on my machine. Unfortunately I didn't have Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 running. So I downloaded and installed it without IIS and I didn't installed the Web Administration tools. Why? Because you don't need them :)

    What does VMRCplus offer?

    • Direct control of local or remote instances of the Virtual Server service. IIS and IE browser are no longer required!
    • Tabbed interface to quickly jump between Virtual Server hosts and guest VMRC sessions.
    • Reusable saved states: this feature allows users to preserve a particular saved state and return to that state at any time.
    • Multiple guest selection supported for startup/shutdown/save/display.
    • Browse button navigation for media, hard disk images, ISO images, .VMC files, etc.
    • Drag and Drop support for .VMC files, ISO's images, VHD and VFD files.
    • Resizable desktop support for guests running Virtual Machine Additions (maximize VMRC window supported).
    • Limited cut and paste of text from host to guest (only).
    • A built-in utility to take JPG screenshots of running guests. Useful when filing bugs.
    • Built-in error notification with Virtual Server event log viewer.
    • A Virtual Networks Manager and Virtual Disks Manager that cover all features.
    • Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl-S to save state a guest).
    • Create multiple guests at once.
    • Create guest from parent (or multiple guests)!
    • Automatic reconnect to a designated Virtual Server host.
    • Toolbars in both Guest and Console Manager for quick access.
    • Unlimited number of guests.
    • Maximum of 32 Virtual Server hosts.
    • Sorting on columns of guests so you can sort based on status and multi-select.
    • Automatic detection of Virtual Machine Additions and notification.
    • Detection of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

    Some screen shots:

    Main VMRCplus window (Guest Manager)

    image

    Create a new Guest

    image

    Hardware Settings page

    image

    Remote control sessions through the Console Manager

    image

     

    This is yet another tool the Admin's should have in their toolbox it is definitively in mine now. Managing my Virtual Server will be so much easier now but.
    The VMRCplus tool is not an Enterprise tool neither is it supported by Microsoft, for Enterprise management I suggest you to have a look at
    System Center Virtual Machine Manager


    This tool Rocks!!

    Note: I updated the download location to the Microsoft download center 

    Download

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=80adc08c-bfc6-4c3a-b4f1-772f550ae

     

     

  • My RSS Bandit on Vista

    Still having some difficulties running RSS Bandit on Vista. My current build is 5536 and I can use RSS reader but I have some troubles configuring the reader. Thanks to workaround of Eric Denekamp I can now configure the RSS.

    On his blogpost he explains that he found out why RSS bandit runs but cannot open the config windows. It must be something with the Aero Glass theme, when you disable the theme and run it in the standard theme you can open the config windows of RSS Bandit.

    I like the RSS Bandit very much so I hope they will fix that soon or should I use another way to read my feeds using outlook perhaps.

    Anyway I will use this workaround to configure my reader and enable Glass as soon as I finish with this task.

     

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  • DPM 2007 Release Candidate

    SC-DPM07_bL_3

    The DPM website has been updated (www.microsoft.com/DPM) - with new information on the upcoming release of DPM 2007, pricing/licensing details, and best of all - new downloads.

    We have a release candidate for DPM 2007 - and now everyone can start to evaluate it.

    This evaluation downloadable is the complete feature set for the upcoming release, so check out:

    • Blending continuous data protection with traditional tape backup
    • Protection for Microsoft SQL Server 2000, 2005 and even 2008-previews
    • Protection for Exchange Server 2003 and 2007
    • Protection for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 & WSS 3.0
    • Protection for Virtualized Environments hosted on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2
    • Protection for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 files and shares
    • Windows XP Professional (sp2) and Windows Vista Business edition or better
    • System State protection
    • Command-line control through Windows PowerShell

    And new since Beta 2 for this evaluation and the upcoming RTM:

    • Document-level restore for SharePoint
    • Bare Metal Recovery

    Source: Jason Buffington

     

  • Windows Server 2008: Access Based Enumeration

    Last week during a community meeting I was talking to Kurt Roggen about all the cool new features  in Windows Server 2008. While talking we came to the discussion if Access Based Enumeration (ABE) was still implemented and if we had a GUI to enable it.

    Before we start talking about ABE in Windows Server 2008 I would like to set the stage and explain very briefly what ABE does.

    ABE filters shared folders visible to a user based on that individual user’s access rights, preventing the display of folders or other shared resources that the user does not have rights to access.

    End users see only what files and folders they need for their responsibilities rather than spending time looking through lists of inaccessible folders and files. Administrators can be more productive because they do not have to help less-skilled users navigate through dense shared folders. Administrative inefficiencies can consume resources as surely as technical problems, and minimizing time-consuming problems help make any IT organization more productive.

    ABE was introduced in Windows Server 2003 SP1 as an additional install, once installed you could manage ABE through a GUI, cmd-line tool or using the API's.

    Check out the details for Windows Server 2003 ABE: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/abe.mspx

    Now the good news is yes we still have ABE in Windows Server 2008 and we have a GUI where you can enable this. Let me explain to you how you do it:

     

    1. Open the "Share and Storage Management" MMC and Provision a new share.

    image

    2. Follow all steps to create a share and when are at the SMB Settings window, which is shown below, click on the Advanced button.

    image


    3. In the Advanced window you are able to Enable or Disable ABE, by default it's enabled.

    image


    So basically you don't have to do anything to enable ABE on you shares.  The screenshots above show you how you can create/provision a new share using the GUI. The ABE is also enabled if you create the share through the folder directly by right clicking onto the folder and select share. However if you create a share through the command prompt using the "net share" command it won't be enabled by default.

    You can always enable / disable the ABE after you created the share by using the "Share and Storage Management" MMC just right click onto a share and hit the advanced button. So far I didn't found any cmd-line tool to enable or disable ABE.

    image

     

  • Building a Failover Cluster with Server Core Part 2

    In my previous post I've talked about how to use base images to quickly deploy new servers in my Hyper-V environment. In this post we will configure the shared storage based on the microsoft iSCSI target software, in a real life environment you could use either a Windows Storage Server or another iSCSI or FC based storage environment.

    Before actually digging into the failover clustering installation I want to briefly explain what I have setup so far to be able to build a cluster in the first place.

    First I have created a Domain Controller and installed the iSCSI target software to be able to emulate a shared storage environment. I've created two disks one which is 100MB in size and will be used as a witness disk (used to be called Quorum disk) and I have a second disk which is is 1GB of size and will be used as a data disk.

    Secondly I have installed two Server Core machines and added the to the domain (read Configuring Windows Server 2008 Server Core or use the Coreconfigurator tool). Make sure your Server core machines have at least two network cards, one for the normal traffic and one for the cluster heartbeat. After having configured all basic things we are now ready to start with the installation and configuration of the clustering software.

    Let's do this step by step:

    Step 1: Install the Failover Cluster role

    failovercluster-1

    Make sure you do this on both Server Core machines

    Step 2: Configure and Start the iSCSI initiator service

    failovercluster-2

    Again perform this on both machines. Now the Microsoft iSCSI initiator service is configured and will start up during boot time.

    Step 3: Connecting the Server Core boxes to the iSCSI storage box

    Here are all steps you should take on both Server Core boxes to connect to the storage.

    1. iSCSIcli QAddTargetPortal <Storage Box, Portal IP Address>
      Required to refresh the new target built,
    2. iSCSIcli ListTargets
      You should see the iQN of the target created

      failovercluster-3
    3. iSCSIcli QloginTarget <Target IQN>
      You should see a connection and session id
    4. iSCSIcli PersistentLoginTarget <target_iqn> T * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 0

      NOTE: There are 15 “space” + “*”
      You do this so you can survive a reboot
    5. iSCSIcli ListPersistentTargets
      You should see a target

      failovercluster-4
    6. iSCSIcli ReportTargetMappings

      You should see the target and a LUN x mapping for every LUN defined in the target

    At this stage you have assigned both disks to the server core machines the next step will be to configure the disks

    Step 4: Configuring the clustered disks

    By being GUI less you need to do this onto the command line.

    First list the disks in your boxes by using the diskpart commandline tool:

    diskpart

    list disk (this will return the disks available in your system in my case I had disk 0, 1 and 2 with 0 being my OS disk and the other two the disks for my cluster)

    select disk 1
    attribute disk clear readonly
    online disk
    create part primary
    select part 1
    assign letter=Q

    select disk 2
    attribute disk clear readonly
    online disk
    create part primary
    select part 1
    assign letter=S

    exit

    image


    Format each disk by typing format x: /q  where X is your drive letter and don't provide any label name.

    The servers are now completely configured to form a Windows Failover Cluster, this process will be explained in Part III of this post.

     

  • Find drivers for an unknown device

    This weekend I had to reinstall a Windows XP machine for my daughter, she got her first PC :). So she couldn't wait and it had to be installed right away. So I had to put in a new disk  because the old one crashed and died. Installed Windows XP SP2 (Dutch Version) onto the box. And guess what everything was fine beside one device which Windows XP did not recognize. How do you solve this? Through the blogpost (in Dutch) of one of my colleagues Tony Krijnen I found the procedure again to find out which device it is.

    image

    Let me explain to you how I found the driver for this unknown audio device. First open the device manager (I suppose you know how to do that) and double click onto the unknown device.  A new window will open and here you have to select the details tab and choose Hardware-Id's (see screenshot).

    image

    Here you see the Hardware ID for the unknown device it's defined as follows

    BUS \ VEN_[xxxx] Dev_[yyyy]

    So BUS means on which kind of hardware bus it is connected to,this can be PCI, USB, IDE, etc ....
    The VEN means the vendor this piece of hardware and the DEV can be the device type of the vendor.

     

    How can you look this up? Easy there is a website devoted to that and its called http://www.pcidatabase.com. I looked for the vendor 1106 which is VIA Technologies and within the vendor page I looked for the Device ID 3059 which returned "AC97 Enhanced Audio Controller".

    The next step is straight forward I just looked up the driver for the "AC97 Enhanced Audio Controller" device and installed it.

     

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  • Longhorn:: 10 Reasons to look at Windows Longhorn Part 2: PowerShell

    PowerShell is our newest and coolest command line shell and scripting language. It is built on the .Net Framework and introduces features that enable command-line users and script writers to leverage the power of that foundation. It introduces a number of powerful new concepts, but it enables you to reuse both the knowledge you have gained and the scripts you have created within the Windows Command Prompt and Windows Script Host environments.

     

    There are over 130 standard commandlets ("cmdlets") for completing common system administration tasks such as working with the registry. Exchange 2007 was the first team that worked with PowerShell and created over 350 cmdlets to manage an Exchange 2007 environment. Other products like Operations Manager 2007, Virtual Machine Manager are also leveraging the power of PowerShell. PowerShell is a verb-noun based scripting language for example the help command is Get-Help.

     

    With Vista now released we also introduced 13 new WMI providers like Bitlocker, TPM, IIS7, .... we are also able to query those WMI providers trough PowerShell.

    Lot's of customers ask us questions like do I have to learn .Net, I have a set of tools do I need to rewrite them? ...

    Well the good news is that you don't need to learn .Net and you can still use your existing tools. It's really easy to start with PowerShell you can learn on your own pace and there is online help available. What I personally do like about this shell is that it's very easy to try a script out, you can actually execute line by line and then put it in a script. This was rather difficult with for example VBScript where you had to debug the script.

    It's also easy to access your files and even registry from within the shell - "cd HKCU". With this simple command you just have access to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive in the registry.


    There are some third parties that leverages the power of Powershell:

    NetCmdlets

    PowerGadgets (tutorial for IT Pro's)

    And I am sure that there are many other tools available today.

     

    Community Resources:

    Channel 9 tag: http://channel9.msdn.com/tags/Monad

    Team blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/PowerShell/O

    Mark van Orsouw’s blog: http://thepowershellguy.com

    Arul Kumaravel's Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/arulk

    Lee Holmes' Blog: http://www.leeholmes.com/blog

    Abhishek Agrawal’s Blog: http://abhishek225.spaces.msn.com/PersonalSpace.aspx

    MshAnalyzer tool: http://www.karlprosser.com/coder/?cat=8

    I can't share a lot of information with you about how PowerShell and Longhorn server will work together but as soon as I know I will post it onto this blog.

    By the way there are two PowerShell sessions planned during the Dev & IT Pro Days 2007 - Bruce Payette will deliver them.

     

    10 Reasons to look at Windows Longhorn Part 1: Server Management Improvements

    The next blogpost I will talk about Internet Information Server 7.0 and what benefits the IT Professional will get out of this new version.



  • Vista RC1:: Sound settings

    What I really like in Vista and particularly in this build is that you define different sound settings for your applications. So if you are listening to a podcast or viewing a Webcast you don't want to have your Messenger sounds interfering with that.

     

    Here's a screenshot of my settings I usually use:

     

     

    However what I somehow miss is the is in the Mobile center where we can define presentation settings that we are not able to select the applications you don't want to have sound enabled for. The workaround for that is to set the settings onto the volume mixer for those items that you certainly do not want the sound to be enabled. Anyway it's a real improvement if you compare it with Windows XP.

     

    As you may know we changed the audio stack quite a bit here is a whitepaper about the Audio Innovations in Vista.

     

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  • Configuring Windows Server 2008 Server Core

    I'm currently preparing my demo machine that I will use during the roadshow next week. I wanted to have all my demo's running on Hyper-V Beta so I decided to start from scratch and create a complete new environment. I've installed the Hyper-V Beta and configured everything to start deploying my Virtual Machines.

    I deployed a WS2008 DC, 2 WS2008 IIS server to show how the shared configuration works, one WS2008 Terminal Server, a TSGateway and as last machine a WS 2008 Server Core. If you're not used to use the command line to configure the different network settings like IP Address, DNS settings or changing the name of the server, adding the server to a domain, can be time consuming. So therefore to help you and have a reference for myself I will list all the steps and commands needed to configure a server core in an Active Directory domain.

    So first thing first you install the Windows Server 2008 Server Core (SC) and at first login you need to change the password, very easy process to do using the GUI.

    Now you have a SC up and running with the default settings after the installation. So let's configure this server step-by-step now:

    • Configuring the Server Name
    • Configuring an IP address
    • Joining a domain
    • Configuring Windows Updates
    • Enabling remote  functionality like  MMC, Remote RDP, Windows Firewall and Remote Shell
    • Activating the server

    Configuring the Server Name

    You can use different commands to identify the name of a server, I usually use the hostname command but you could also make usage of the environment variables and use for example set c and set u to find out the computer name and your username.

    1. Determine the computername with the hostname command
    2. Netdom renamecomputer <computername> /NewName:<newcomputername>
    3. Reboot the server by using shutdown /R /T 0

    Configuring the IP Address

    By default the IP Configuration will be DHCP based, so to change it to a static address we will need to use the netsh commandline tool

    1. Netsh interface IPV4 sho interface (or use the shorter version netsh int IPV4 sho int)

      image

      In the above screenshot you see the results of this command and you only need to remember the Idx number or using the complete name of the network you want to configure.
    2. netsh interface ipv4 set address name="<ID>" source=static address=<StaticIP> mask=<SubnetMask> gateway=<DefaultGateway>

    3. netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name="<ID>" address=<DNSIP> index=1

      ID= Idx number of the Network Interface
      Add a number to the index for each DNS Server that you want to add.

    Joining a Domain

    At this stage the server has the correct name and IP configuration the next step I usually do is adding this server to the domain by using the netdom command.

    1. Netdom Join <machine> /Domain:<domain name> /UserD:<domain user name> /passwordd: *

      No there is no typo in passwordd you need to add the second d, using the * means that you will be prompted to enter the password.
    2. Restart the server shutdown /r /t 0

    Configuring Windows Updates

    To configure or view the settings of the Windows Updates you will need to use a script called Scregedit.WSF. Let's first have a look at the settings.

    1. cscript C:\Windows\System32\Scregedit.wsf /au /v

      By default you will get something like "Value Not Set".
      Now let's configure the automatic updates
    2. cscript C:\Windows\System32\Scregedit.wsf /au 4

    Enable Remote functionality



    Terminal Service settings

    Again here we will use the script that we have used to configure the automatic updates.

    To view current settings:

    1. C:\Windows\System32>cscript SCregEdit.wsf /AR /v

      If you see "1" in the script output, that means that TS connections will be denied. To change that you need to execute:
    2. C:\Windows\System32>cscript SCregEdit.wsf /AR 0

      Now we need to enable the inbound firewall rule to make sure you can connect through RDP port 3389
    3. netsh advfirewall firewall show rule name=all

      Find the name of the Remote Desktop Incoming rule.
    4. netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Desktop (TCP-IN)" new enable=yes

    Enable Windows Remote Shell

    If you want to be able to use the new tool called WinRS (Windows Remote Shell) to administer a Server Core you need to configure WS-Managenement listener. The easiest way to do it is by using following command

    1. winrm quickconfig

      Winrm /? Will show you all the various options if you want to configure the listener differently. I’m just going to cover the quick setup and let you all experiment.

      You can also configure the listener through an unattend file, by adding the following in the <settings pass="specialize"> section:
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Web-Services-for-Management-Core" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" processorArchitecture="x86">
         <ConfigureWindowsRemoteManagement>true</ConfigureWindowsRemoteManagement>
      </component>

    Enable Remote Firewall Management

    If you want to use the MMC snap in to remotely manage a SC firewall you need to enable the remoting first onto the SC box.

    1. netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable

      Now you can add the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security snap in onto your managament machine and configure the firewall through this mmc instead of using the netsh command line tool.

    Enable Remote MMC Management

    To enable remote management for any MMC you just need to use the following command:

    1. netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes

    Activate Server

    To activate the server you can use the following command:

    1. slmgr.vbs –ato

    You can also do it from a remote machine by using the same script:

    1. slmgr.vbs –ato <servername> <username> <password>

    You're server is now up and running, the next step is to add roles and features to this server. I might explain this process in another post any soon.

  • DPM 2012: The preview by Mike Resseler

    As MMS 2011 is going to the end, today was the most wanted session of the entire summit Winking smile

    image

    The session started with the overview of how DPM has changed over the years, starting with V1, V2 and so on… Now, with DPM 2010 (which is V3) gaining more momentum, the team released what the new stuff will be in V4, or DPM 2012

    The nice thing is that they listened to all of us out there, and implemented the most requested features

    image

    So what can we expect for the next release:

    Centralized Management

    • Centralized Monitoring
    • Remote administration
    • Remote recovery
    • Role Based management
    • Remote corrective actions
    • Scoped Troubleshooting
    • Push to Resume Backups
    • SLA based Alerting : Alert only when SLA violated
    • Consolidated Alerts ensure one ticket per root cause issue
    • Alert categorization (Ex: infra alerts versus backup failure alerts)
    • Allow admins to automate/extend the base functionality using PowerShell

    image

    I can’t show you screenshots of how it looks, because they did a live demo but I can guarantee you that the crowd in the room went wild.  The integration with OpsMgr is very neat and gives you real good tools to work on your DPM server(s) easy, straight to the point and last but not least… FAST.

    Role-based management

    image

    You asked for it, you get it.  While you still need to be admin on the DPM box to be able to manage it, in the next version there will be different roles available for you to scope your DPM environment to the right people.  While the picture above will probably still be subject of change, I think it is clear that role-based administration is on the way, and that the combination of DPM role-based administration and OpsMgr integration…. Well, I think it speaks for itself Smile

    Certificate Base Protection

    image

    DPM 2010 already has workgroup support… With DPM 2012, this will be done by certificates, which is much easier to manage in larger environments and from a security point of view will be much more appreciated by the security people.  Oh yeah, and there will be support for workgroup clustering protection.

    Tape Media Co-location

    image

    In DPM 2012 you will have the possibility to co-locate multiple protection groups on one tape set… Yes, you have read that correctly Smile

    SharePoint item-level recovery

    image

    In DPM 2010 and with SharePoint 2010 you already had easy Item-Level Recovery.  (It is also possible with SharePoint 2007 but then you need the recovery farm)  It can take a while to recover a single item, but it’s there.  In 2012, they will enhance that experience and recover much faster then before.

    Virtual DPM Enhancements

    image

    You run DPM virtually?  (Which works well BTW) You can’t do item-level recovery of hyper-v because of this?  It’s coming now!

    Generic Data Source Protection

    image

    For me, this is one of the most exciting features.  This will open up DPM to every Microsoft workload as long as the product team will adapt this.  And they will need to do that.  As example, we were shown how Virtual Machine Manager has already leveraged this to protect the VMM database.  In the future, they will extend that with the protection of the VMM library so that you can protect VMM the same way as SharePoint.  One-box, one-click, and of you go.

    Want more?

    image

    Watch out for the future because more exciting things are coming.  Integration with Service Manager.  Powershell integration.

    Should I wait to install DPM?

    NO!  Start now by implementing DPM 2010 already.  The centralized management will be able to connect to your DPM 2010 boxes.  There is no need to wait because the product is ALREADY great, and with the upgrade track / side-by-side migrations and everything they will provide us with it will be easy to go to DPM 2012 when it is released.

    If you have questions or want to know more about DPM, don’t hesitate to contact me through this blog or contact the Microsoft people.

     

    Mike Resseler

  • TechDays 2011 WP7 App

    The official TechDays 2011 WP7 App developed by Realdolmen is now available on the Marketplace.
    The app will give you the ability to browse to the current and upcoming sessions. Once the session is started you can give live feedback.

    You can favorite a session and see what your upcoming favorite sessions are.

    Let us know what you think about the sessions, the food, the location, the event. Your feedback counts!

    Download the App

  • Apache still loses market share against Microsoft

    Since a few months now we see a shift and a decreasing adoption of Apache servers and Microsoft IIS gaining market share. Does this mean people are moving from Linux boxes to Windows Servers with ISS?  Or do we just have more websites running on our install base? I'm wondering how much of the IIS Servers are running on top of Windows Server 2008. Anyway the microsoft.com site are hosted on an IIS 7 platform and it run's great. I advise you to take a look at our new IIS Web platform.

     

    Apache loses 2.8% share this month, partly through the strong growth at the major blogging systems, and partly due to 2.5 million domains on Apache expiring at trouble-free.net. Apache has around a 10% market share advantage over IIS now, which is the smallest gap between the two since IIS was launched in 1996.

     

    Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains August 1995 - October 2007

    image

    Top Developers
    Developer September 2007 Percent October 2007 Percent Change
    Apache 68,228,561 50.48% 68,155,320 47.73% -2.75
    Microsoft 47,232,300 34.94% 53,017,735 37.13% 2.18
    Google 6,616,713 4.90% 7,763,516 5.44% 0.54
    Sun 2,212,821 1.64% 2,262,019 1.58% -0.05
    lighttpd 1,515,963 1.12% 1,541,779 1.08% -0.04
    Developer September 2007 Percent October 2007 Percent Change
    Apache 29,409,320 47.78% 30,550,119 45.75% -2.03
    Microsoft 22,547,608 36.63% 25,529,297 38.23% 1.60
    Google 5,609,078 9.11% 6,516,133 9.76% 0.65
    lighttpd 245,503 0.40% 265,298 0.40% -0.00
    Sun 190,905 0.31% 169,352 0.25% -0.06
     
     
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  • Hyper-V: Virtual Machine Bus cannot find enough resources

    A few weeks ago my colleague installed Hyper-V onto her laptop and she copied one of her Virtual Machines onto this server.
    When she booted the server there where some issues with the virtual machine, the main issue was that the vmbus technology was not available.
    After a bit of troubleshooting I find out where the problem was.

    I’ve looked into the device manager and saw that the Virtual Machine bus failed to load.

    vmbus01

    In the details pane of this device you can see the following error:

    vmbus02

    The device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. Basically this means that the VMBus cannot load. This is due to the fact that this VM was build on a non Hyper-V platform and therefore using a wrong HAL. The HAL running in the VM must be an APIC HAL. Now with Windows Server 2008 and Vista you can force to detect the correct HAL during the boot process. This is disabled by default but I will show you how you can enable it. First, open the System Configuration tool by running “msconfig”.

    Next click onto the “Boot” tab and select the “Advanced Options”.

    vmbus03

    Click onto “Detect HAL” and close the tool and reboot the server. Once the server is rebooting it will detect the new HAL and install everything that is needed. If you open the device manager again you will see that the VM is now a “ACPI x86-based PC” (you can find this under the computer settings).  After the reboot you can uncheck the “Detect HAL” option in msconfig.

    I hope this helps.

     

  • System Center Operations Manager 2007 Beta 2

     

    Before installing System Center Operations Manager 2007 Beta 2 (SCOM 2007) the setup process will check your server against the prerequisites:

     

     

    What you need is:

    • Windows 2003 SP1
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (can be Express edition)
    • MDAC 2.80 or higher
    • .NET Framework v2.0
    • WinFX Runtime Components (or should we replaced it by the .NET Framework 3.0)
    • Windows Powershell

    After installing all the prerequisites you will be ready to install SCOM 2007 Beta2.

     

     

    Here you can select which components of SCOM 2007 you want to install did you notice the "MOM Monad Command Shell" yes SCOM is the second product after Exchange 2007 that uses the Powershell scripting shell. What can you do with Powershell? You can have script based access to MOM data and operations like for example install a agent onto a computer (install-AgentManaged Computer). I will play around with Powershell and write some blogposts later about that.

     

    Next fill in the Management Group name. Now you will need to select the SQL server where you want to host the SCOM Database. I installed SQL Server 2005 Express edition which is  free version of SQL Server(the limitations of this database should be enough for me here).

     

    The next step in the install process is to define the size and location of the database. The size will depend on the size of your environment (number of objects) the more servers and managed clients the bigger the database will need to be. I used the default size  and location.

     

    Now you need to fill in a Management Server Action account, you can either choose the local system user or fill in a user from AD. Personally I recommend to create a MomServer account which will give you more control about how SCOM will have access. This user is for example needed to deploy agents to computers.

     

    Another account will be needed for the SDK and Config Service in MOM. The SDK service is a data access layer between the agents, consoles and databases and the Config service is responsible to distribute the configuration to the agents. We recommend you to take another account because this account will logon to the database.

     

    The last step is to enable the Error reporting, by doing that SCOM will send error reports to Microsoft which helps us to create a better SCOM.

    We now have a SCOM 2007 up and running and are ready to deploy the agents and start monitoring my environment. First I will try to find some interesting Management Packs but that's for later.

     

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  • System Center Data Protection Manager V2 Beta1

    As of today you can download System Center Data Protection Manager V2 Beta 1 (DPM V2). To download the beta bits just go and apply for the beta program onto the connect site.

    How does DPM works? Well you install an agent onto the servers you want to backup and the agent will capture all changes and put this into a sync log, every 15 minutes data is pulled to the DPM server. We only copy the byte level changes which reduces the amount of data to transfer over the wire and make this product interesting to use for remote locations backup.

    Once the data is onto the DPM server you can do different things to it, you could create snapshots of the data by using the VSS technology or you could back it up towards tape drive

    Because we are talking about disk to disk backup we can have a very fast restoration time and even the end-users could restore their data backup by using the DPM client which will shows them which versions of their files are available for restore.

    What's new to DPM V2:

    DPM offers integrated support for E12 CCR and LCR clusters, shorter SQL backup windows without the need for compression, and integrated Farm, DB, and site-level restores for SharePoint. DPM also provides one touch application restores so there’s no need to pre stage recovered data and then utilize other application-specific UI’s.

     

    Support for Microsoft Exchange (E2k3 & E12), including advanced configurations such as E12 Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) and Local Continuous Replication (LCR) clusters.

    Support for Microsoft SQL (2k3 & 2k5), including advanced configurations such as SQL 2005 mirrored clusters. DPMv2 also supports shortened SQL backup windows without the need for costly compression solutions.

    Support for Microsoft SharePoint (WSS2.0 & WSS 3.0).

    Bare metal Recovery, including recovery to alternate hardware.

    Update: The sharepoint support and Bare Metal recovery are not yet available int Beta1

    Because we support local tape library we can have the following backup scenarios:

    Disk-to-Disk – Data can be moved from the source disk to the DPM attached secondary disk using a very efficient block level replication solution.

    Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape – Once data is on DPM attached secondary disk, it can be moved to DPM attached tape media where it is written using the industry standard MTF format.

    Disk-to-Tape – Data can be moved directly to DPM attached tape drives.

    I will cover some more in the coming weeks as I get more information and performed some tests.

     

  • Vista:: Ever wondered what a Vista power user screen looks like?

    No need to comment :)

     

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  • Funcast:: Windows Powershell for Exchange 2007

    Last week we had our first Funcast and I must admit the session didn't went like we planned it. We had major sound issues, Our apologies for that. I recorded this session again for you.

    You can view the recording from here

     

    Our next funcast will be held on Nov 22th and we will show you how to create a blog- and wiki site with Sharepoint 2007. I will post more info about this funcast later on and hopefully we will not have sound issues anymore.