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  • Blog Post: I bet it runs Minesweeper like a sonofagun…

    Ned here. From the ‘holy smokes!’ file, here’s your chance to win a Cray desk-side supercomputer, MSDN subscriptions, or Xbox360 consoles: Super Duo Cray-Microsoft Contest Enter by January 31st, no purchase necessary – you just register and download the free datasheet and...
  • Blog Post: Getting a CMD prompt as SYSTEM in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

    Ned here again. In the course of using Windows, it is occasionally useful to be someone besides… you. Maybe you need to be an Administrator temporarily in order to fix a problem. Or maybe you need to be a different user as only they seem to have a problem. Or maybe, just maybe, you want to be...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Newfie from the Grave Edition

    Heya, Ned here again. Since this another of those catch up mail sacks, there’s plenty of interesting stuff to discuss. Today we talk NSPI, DFSR, USMT, NT 4.0 (!!!), Win2008/R2 AD upgrades, Black Hat 2010, and Irish people who live on icebergs. Faith and Begorrah! NSPI max sessions per...
  • Blog Post: Not IT-related (but geeks will enjoy, regardless)

    Ned here. As you can tell, I’ve been gone for a bit – hang tight, I’m replying to all these emails. In the meantime, here’s what I was up to: San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Oh sure, now you’re interested. :) A sampling of what my Windows Phone 7 camera and I came up with during the four-day awesome-o-thon...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Guest Reply Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. This week we talk: CA migration from 1 to 2 tier ADAM/ADLDS P2V ABC 123 Managing AGPM security filters Multiple IIS App pools and Kerberos AGPM multi-domain comparison ADUC domain password weirdness DFSR deletion conflict handling Stale account deletion...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack – Limping In Edition

    Hi there world. It’s been a particularly gnarly week: not too many questions that most people would find relevant, plus it was just crazy busy (stupid Windows 7 and R2, being all popular and whatnot, leads to a lot of USMT work for me… D-: ). Hence – late posting with not much sirloin...
  • Blog Post: Your email’s legal disclaimer is meaningless

    http://www.economist.com/node/18529895 And before you disagree, examine all paper mail coming from your company to see if it includes the same disclaimer… - Ned “hostile witness” Pyle
  • Blog Post: Tell us how we've been doing

    Ned here. Please take a moment to tell us how we've been doing over the past 18 months, and if you've found AskDS to be useful. The poll has been added to our sidebar on the left, just scroll down a little. It should take you less than 5 seconds to complete. :-) Thanks! - Ned Pyle
  • Blog Post: AD LDS Schema Files Demystified

    Hi, Russell here. When installing Active Directory Lightweight Domain Services (AD LDS) instances, it is quite possible to paint oneself into a corner rather quickly. That’s because LDS comes with minimal schema definitions. To truly make LDS useful to your applications, one must have an understanding...
  • Blog Post: Happy 25th Birthday Windows (tomorrow)

    On November 20th, 1985 Windows 1.0 launched. It fit on just two double-sided floppy disks and needed 256K of RAM – although you needed 512K if you wanted to actually run more than one program at a time. Within a year it had some incredible new features like postscript printer drivers and MS...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Shut Up Laura Edition

    Hello again folks, Ned here for another grab bag of questions we’ve gotten this week. This late posting thing is turning into a bad habit, but I’ve been an epileptic octopus here this week with all the stuff going on. Too many DFSR questions though, you guys need to ask other stuff! Let’s...
  • Blog Post: Our Long Winter's Nap

    Hi all. Most of us that maintain this blog are out of the office for Christmas and New Year. Hopefully you don't care because you are celebrating with your family and friends - not working. Feel free to keep sending us emails and comments, but don’t expect any answers until January 4th. In the tradition...
  • Blog Post: Gimme Some Sugar

    Hi all, Ned here again. Like Bruce Campbell, we’ve been away for awhile, but you can always count on us to return for the sequel. Some of the Windows Server “8” Beta blogging rules have been relaxed and we’re ready to begin firing our boomstick. Look for the first one here in...
  • Blog Post: Command-Line Compression in Core

    Hi, Ned here again. Today I’m going to talk about handling compressed files in Windows Server 2008 running as a Core server. You know, that thing with no pretty graphical interface and just a big command prompt that stares at you, daring you to try some successful administration. Core mode is...
  • Blog Post: Documenting Active Directory Infrastructure the Easy Way

    Hi, Ned here. From time to time customers ask us what their options are to document their Active Directory environments – site topologies, domains and trusts, where group policies are linked and what their settings are. Until recently we didn’t have an easy way to do this and they were forced...
  • Blog Post: Network Properties in a hurry

    Hi. Jim from DS here again to show you how to quickly access the properties of your network interface cards via a custom desktop shortcut. In my previous blog post I put together a lovely “at a glance” reference to launching administrative and system tools from the command line and START...
  • Blog Post: Yeowza, 0x1f4 articles!

    And I just noticed that the last post put us to our 500th article. That’s a post every 205,200 seconds! Wait, that doesn’t sound impressive. That’s a post every 2.3 days! OK, not quite Raymond Chen or Keith Combs , but it will have to do. You have kept us going with your comments, questions, and readership...
  • Blog Post: Throw Away Your Mouse! A List of Windows Snap-ins and Applets

    Hi. This is Jim from Directory Services. I spend a great deal of time working through remote Easy Assist / Live Meeting sessions, sometimes with client machines half way round the globe and the latency can be excruciating. In my experience I have found that using the CMD line as well as START - RUN...
  • Blog Post: It’s our turn to ask you a question

    Hi. Russell here. Scott and I are in the pre-production stages for a series of AskDS podcasts and video “How To’s.” We’d like your input on the content that will help you the most. As an example, we’ve been tasked with providing a video demo of Metadata cleanup. I bet you were not aware that there is...
  • Blog Post: I Hate Mondays

    The lesson here is if you go on vacation for a week, make sure your boss is gone too. Otherwise he will do this to your cubicle:     Which just goes to show how important a manager’s time really is, of course. Ah well, at least I got some cookies.   I hate you Mike. - Ned “Neebler Elf...
  • Blog Post: Monthly Mail Sack: Yes, I Finally Admit It Edition

    Heya folks, Ned here again. Rather than continue the lie that this series comes out every Friday like it once did, I am taking the corporate approach and rebranding the mail sack. Maybe we’ll have the occasional Collector’s Edition versions. This week month, I answer your questions on: The semi-myth...
  • Blog Post: I’m Baaaaaccccck

    Hey all, Ned here again. After a few months of training room huffing, airline food loathing, and PowerPoint shilling, I’m back in Charlotte. I’ve got a backlog of legacy product posts to share from colleagues, and with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 nigh , more new goo coming your way from me and...
  • Blog Post: Cool Auditing Tricks in Vista and 2008

    Hi, Ned here again. Today I’m going to show some interesting new features of Auditing in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that can be used for troubleshooting problems or seeing what’s happening in your environment. I’ll be building upon some of the basic information Dave Beach...
  • Blog Post: Think Positive

    In this line of work it‘s hard to remain optimistic. You deal with mistakes, bugs, ignorance. You repair more than you create. You often work for those who cannot comprehend what you do. Your most carefully laid plans unravel owing to the incredible complexity of distributed systems. You begin...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft North Carolina, Directory Services Team 3 – Doh!

    Ned here. We’ve been asked a few times to show a picture of the DS Support teams that you work with everyday. I’m finally able to oblige you for my team courtesy of the outstanding SimpsonizeMe website, run by the good folks at Burger King . See if you recognize any names from support cases...