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Ask the Directory Services Team

  • Managing the Store app pin to the Taskbar added in the Windows 8.1 Update

    Update 9/9/2014

    Warren here yet again to update this blog to tell you that the GP to control the Store icon pin has shipped in the August 2014 update: If you want to control the Store icon pinned to the taskbar be sure to install the August 2014 update on all the targeted machines.

    You can now have the Store disabled and the Store Icon removed via GP, or leave the Store enabled but remove the Store Icon pinned to the taskbar if that is what you need. The previous behavior of preventing the Store icon from being pinned during installation of Update 1 if the Store is disabled via GP remains unchanged.

    The new GP is named: “Do not allow pinning Store app to the Taskbar”  

    The full path to the new GP is: “User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\Do not allow pinning Store app to the Taskbar”

    Explain text for this GP:

    This policy setting allows you to control pinning the Store app to the Taskbar

    If you enable this policy setting, users cannot pin the Store app to the Taskbar. If the Store app is already pinned to the Taskbar, it will be removed from the Taskbar on next login

    If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, users can pin the Store app to the Taskbar

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback on this issue and their patience while we developed and shipped the fix.


    Update 7/14/2014

    Warren here with an update on the Store icon issue. Good News! Your feedback has been heard, understood and acted upon. A fix is in the works that will address the scenarios below:


    Scenario 1 - You want to block the Store but have enabled the GP to block the Store after applying Windows 8.1 Update.  A fix will be made to the GP, such that it will remove the Store Icon pin if the “disable Store” GP is already set.


    Scenario 2 - You want to provide access to the Store but want to remove the Store icon pin from the taskbar. A GP will be provided that can manage the Store icon pin.


    Thanks for all of your feedback on this issue!





    Warren here, posting with more news regarding the Windows 8.1 Update. Among the many features added by Windows 8.1 Update is that the Store icon will be pinned to the users taskbar when users first logon after updating their PC with Windows 8.1 Update.

    Some companies will not want the Store icon pinned to the taskbar on company owned devices.  There are currently two Group Policy options to control the Store tile pin - one that you can use before deploying the update that will prevent the Store app from being pinned to the Taskbar, and another that you can use after the update has been deployed and the Store app has been pinned to the Taskbar.

    Option 1:  Turn off the Store application before Installing the Windows 8.1

    Use the Group Policy “Turn off the Store application”

    As mentioned earlier, the Store Icon is pinned to the Taskbar at first logon after Windows 8.1 Update is applied. The Store application will not be pinned to the taskbar if the Group Policy “Turn off the Store application” is applied to computer. This option is not retroactive. The Group Policy must be applied to the workstation before the update is applied. The full path to this Group Policy is:

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Store\Turn off the Store application


    User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Store\Turn off the Store application

    You can use either Group Policy. As the name of the policy indicates, this will completely disable the Store. If your desire is to allow access to the Store but do not want the Store tile pinned to the Taskbar see option 2.

    Important note: By default the Group Policy setting “Turn off the Store application” will not show up in GPEDIT.MSC or GPMC.MSC if you run the tools on a Windows Server. You have two options: Install the Remote Server Admin Tools (RSAT) tools on a Windows 8.1 client and edit the group policy from that machine or install the Desktop Experience feature on the server used for editing Group Policy. The preferred method is to install the RSAT tools on a workstation. You can download the RSAT tools for Windows 8.1 here:

    Option 2:  Use Group Policy to remove Pinned applications from the Taskbar after Installing the Update

    Use the Group Policy “Remove pinned programs from the Taskbar”

    This GP is a big hammer in that it will remove all pined tiles from the task bar and users subject to the policy will not be able to pin any applications or tiles to the Taskbar. This accomplishes the goal of not pinning the Store tile to the taskbar and leaves the Store accessible from Start.

    User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\Removed pinned programs from the Taskbar”

    Other Options

    The last available option at this time is to have users unpin the Store app on their systems. Programmatically changing the Taskbar pins is not supported nor encouraged by Microsoft. See

  • Our UK Windows Directory Services Escalation Team is Hiring – Support Escalation Engineers.

    Hi! Its Linda Taylor here again from the Directory Services Escalation team in the UK. In this post, I want to tell you – We are hiring in the UK!!

    Would you like to join the UK Escalation Team and work on the most technically challenging and interesting Active Directory problems? Do you want to be the next “Ned Pyle”?

    Then read more…

    We are an Escalation Team based in Microsoft Campus in Reading (UK). We are part of Microsoft Global Business Support and we work with enterprise customers helping them resolve the most critical Active Directory infrastructure problems as well as enabling our customers to get the best of Microsoft Windows and Identity related technologies. The work we do is no ordinary support – we work with a huge variety of customer environments and there are rarely two problems which are the same. We are the experts in our field and we work closely with the product group to help make Windows and all our other technologies better. 

    You will need strong AD knowledge, great customer services skill, strong troubleshooting skills and great collaboration and team work.

    You can find more of the job details here:


  • It turns out that weird things can happen when you mix Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers


    UPDATE:  The hotfix is now available for this issue!  Get it at

    This hotfix applies to Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers and should prevent the specific problem discussed below from occurring.

    It’s important to note that the symptoms of users and computers not being able to log on can happen for a number of different reasons.  Many of the folks in the comments have posted that they have these sorts of issues but don’t have Windows Server 2003 domain controllers, for example.  If you’re still having problems after you have applied the hotfix, please call in a support case so that we can help you get those fixed!


    We have been getting quite a few calls lately where Kerberos authentication fails intermittently and users are unable to log on.  By itself, that’s a type of call that we’re used to and we help our customers with all the time.  Most experienced AD admins know that this can happen because of broken AD replication, unreachable DCs on your network, or a variety of other environmental issues that all of you likely work hard to avoid as much as possible - because let’s face it, the last thing any admin wants is to have users unable to log in – especially intermittently.

    Anyway, we’ve been getting more calls than normal about this lately, and that led us to take a closer look at what was going on.  What we found is that there’s a problem that can manifest when you have Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers serving the same domain.  Since many of you are trying very hard to get rid of your last Windows Server 2003 domain controllers, you might be running into this.  In the case of the customers that called us, the login issues were actually preventing them from being able to complete their migration to Windows Server 2012 R2.

    We want all of our customers to be running their Active Directory on the latest supported OS version, which is frankly a lot more scalable, robust, and powerful than Windows Server 2003.  We realize that upgrading an enterprise environment is not easy, and much less so when your users start to have problem during your upgrade.  So we’re just going to come out and say it right up front:

    We are working on a hotfix for this issue, but it’s going to take us some time to get it out to you. In the meantime, here are some details about the problem and what you can do right now.

    Symptoms include:

    1. When any domain user tries to log on to their computer, the logon may fail with “unknown username or bad password”. Only local logons are successful.

    If you look in the system event log, you may notice Kerberos event IDs 4 that look like this:

    Event ID: 4
    Source: Kerberos
    Type: Error
    "The Kerberos client received a KRB_AP_ERR_MODIFIED error from the server host/  This indicates that the password used to encrypt the Kerberos service ticket is different than that on the target server. Commonly, this is due to identically named machine accounts in the target realm (, and the client realm.   Please contact your system administrator."

    2. Operating Systems on which the issue has been seen: Windows 7, WS2008 R2, WS2012 R2

    3. This can affect Clients and Servers(including Domain Controllers)

    4. This problem specifically occurs after the affected machine has changed its password. It can vary from a few minutes to a few hours post the change before the symptoms manifest.

    So, if you suspect you have a machine with this issue, check when it last changed its password and whether this was around the time when the issue started.

    This can be done using repadmin /showobjmeta command.


    Repadmin /showobjmeta * “CN=mem01,OU=Workstations,,DC=contoso,DC=com”

    This command will get the object metadata for mem01 server from all DC’s.

    In the output check the pwdlastSet attribute and see if the timestamp is around the time you started to see the problem on this machine.


    Why this happens:

    The Kerberos client depends on a “salt” from the KDC in order to create the AES keys on the client side. These AES keys are used to hash the password that the user enters on the client, and protect it in transit over the wire so that it can’t be intercepted and decrypted. The “salt” refers to information that is fed into the algorithm used to generate the keys, so that the KDC is able to verify the password hash and issue tickets to the user.

    When a Windows 2012 R2 DC is promoted in an environment where Windows 2003 DCs are present, there is a mismatch in the encryption types that are supported on the KDCs and used for salting. Windows Server 2003 DCs do not support AES and Windows Server 2012 R2 DCs don’t support DES for salting.

    You might be wondering why these encryption types matter.  As computer hardware gets more powerful, older encryption methods become easier and easier to break.  Thus, we are constantly incorporating newer, more powerful encryption into Windows and Kerberos in order to help protect your user passwords (and your data and your network).


    If users are having the problem:

    Restart the computer that is experiencing the issue. This recreates the AES key as the client machine or member server reaches out to the KDC for Salt. Usually, this will fix the issue temporarily. (at least until the next password change).

    To prevent this from happening, please apply the hotfix to all Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers in the environment.

    How to prevent this from happening:

    Option 1: Query against Active Directory the list of computers which are about to change their machine account password and proactively reset their password against a Windows Server 2012 R2 DC and follow that by a reboot.

    There’s an advantage to doing it this way: since you are not disabling any encryption type and keeping things set at the default, you shouldn’t run into any other authentication related issue as long as the machine account password is reset successfully.

    Unfortunately, doing this will mean a reboot of machines that are about to change their passwords, so plan on doing this during non-business hours when you can safely reboot workstations.

    We’ve created a quick PowerShell script that you can run to do this.

    Sample PS script:

    > Import-module ActiveDirectory

    > Get-adcomputer -filter * -properties PasswordLastSet | export-csv machines.csv

    This will get you the list of machines and the dates they last set their password.  By default machines will reset their password every 30 days.   Open the created csv file in excel and identify the machines that last set their password 28 or 29 days prior (If you see a lot of machines that have dates well beyond the 30 days, it is likely these machines are no longer active).

    Reset Password:

    Once you have identified the machines that are most likely to hit the issue in the next couple of days, proactively reset their password by running the below command on those machines.  You can use tools such as psexec, system center or other utilities that allow you to remotely execute the command instead of logging in interactively to each machine.

    nltest /SC_CHANGE_PWD:<DomainName> /SERVER:<Target Machine>

    Then reboot.

    Option 2: Disable machine password change or increase duration to 120 days.

    You should not run into this issue at all if password change is disabled. Normally we don’t recommend doing this since machine account passwords are a core part of your network security and should be changed regularly. However because it’s an easy workaround, the best mitigation right now is to set it to 120 days. That way you buy time while you wait for the hotfix.

    If you go with this approach, make sure you set your machine account password duration back to normal after you’ve applied the hotfix that we’re working on.

    Here’s the relevant Group Policy settings to use for this option:

    Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Polices\Security Options

    Domain Member:  Maximum machine account password age:

    Domain Member: Disable machine account password changes:

    Option 3: Disable AES in the environment by modifying Supported Encryption Types for Kerberos using Group Policy. This tells your domain controllers to use RC4-HMAC as the encryption algorithm, which is supported in both Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

    You may have heard that we had a security advisory recently to disable RC4 in TLS. Such attacks don’t apply to Kerberos authentication, but there is ongoing research in RC4 which is why new features such as Protected Users do not support RC4. Deploying this option on a domain computer will make it impossible for Protected Users to sign on, so be sure to remove the Group Policy once the Windows Server 2003 DCs are retired.

    The advantage to doing this is that once the policy is applied consistently, you don’t need to chase individual workstations. However, you’ll still have to reset machine account passwords and reboot computers to make sure they have new RC4-HMAC keys stored in Active Directory.

    You should also make sure that the hotfix  is in place on all of your Windows 7 clients and Windows Server 2008 R2 member servers, otherwise they may have other issues.

    Remember if you take this option, then after the hotfix for this particular issue is released and applied on Windows Server 2012 R2 KDCs, you will need to modify it again in order to re-enable AES in the domain. The policy needs to be changed again and all the machines will require reboot.

    Here are the relevant group policy settings for this option:

    Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Polices\Security Options

    Network Security:  Configure encryption types allowed for Kerberos:

    Be sure to check:  RC4_HMAC_MD5

    If you have unix/linux clients that use keytab files that were configured with DES enable:  DES_CBC_CRC, DES_CBC_MD5

    Make sure that AES128_HMAC_SHA1, and AES256_HMAC_SH1 are NOT Checked

    Finally, if you are experiencing this issue please revisit this blog regularly for updates on the fix.


    - The Directory Services Team

  • Adding shortcuts on desktop using Group Policy Preferences in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

    Hi All!

    My name is Saurabh Koshta and I am with the Core Team at Microsoft. Currently I work in the client space so supporting all aspects of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is my primary role.

    We very often get calls from customers who are evaluating Windows 8/Windows 8.1 for deployment, but are concerned about some of the changes in the UI that may confuse their users. A typical concern we hear is that users are used to having shortcuts on the desktop for Computer, Documents, and Network. So, I wanted to take a minute to show you how you can easily add those shortcuts (or others) to desktops using Group Policy Preferences.

    I have an OU in my domain called “Domain Computers”, which has Windows 8 machines.


    The next step is to create a policy and link in to the “Domain Computers” OU. In this case it is called “Shortcut”


    Edit the policy and go to the following location:

    Computer Configuration -- > Preferences -- > Windows Settings -- > Shortcuts

    Highlight Shortcuts and on the right pane, right click and select new Shortcut


    In the ‘New Shortcut Properties’, make the following changes so the values look like below:

    1. Action : Update

    2. Target type : Shell Object

    3. Location : All Users Desktop

    4. For Target object, click on the browse option and then chose ‘Computer’

    5. Name : My Computer

    Leave rest of the options as default. Once you have made all the changes, it would look like below:


    Similarly for Network the options are:

    1. Action : Update

    2. Target type : Shell Object

    3. Location : All Users Desktop

    4. For Target object, click on the browse option and then chose ‘Network’

    5. Name : My Network Places


    And for Libraries the options are:

    1. Action : Update

    2. Target type : Shell Object

    3. Location : All Users Desktop

    4. For Target object, click on the browse option and then chose ‘Libraries’

    5. Name : My Documents


    So we have the following three shortcuts


    Restart the client and once logged in with a domain user, the desktop would have the three shortcuts as listed above and it would look something like below:


    The above steps also work with Windows 8.1. Here is how it looks:


    Hope you all find this information useful.


    Saurabh Koshta

  • Options for Managing Go to Desktop or Start after Sign in in Windows 8.1

    Hi, David here.  Over the past year we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from our customers about the pain of changing from older versions of Windows over to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.  While it’s a great OS with a lot of compelling features, it’s a big change – and as any desktop administrator will tell you, change is a really scary thing for users who just want to be able to log in and get their work done every day.  Well, we listened, and in the update we’re releasing this week, we’ve made it easier for you to help manage the change for your users and make the transition to Windows 8.1 a little more friendly for them.  Below is some awesome information courtesy of the inestimable Warren Williams.

    First, a quick history lesson.  Don’t worry, there’s not a quiz at the end.

    Start Screen history

    Starting with Windows 8.0 Start is the main application launch pad in Windows. Start replaces the Start Menu used in previous versions of Windows going back to Windows 95.

    With each update of Windows 8.0, more control over Start’s configuration has been added.

    Windows 8.0

    The Start Menu was removed from Windows and replaced by Start. The default behavior in Windows 8.0 is that users always boot to Start. There was no Microsoft supported method of controlling the boot to Start behavior in Windows 8.0.

    Windows 8.1

    In Windows 8.1 Microsoft added the ability for users and administrators to control what environment would be displayed when the user logged on. The user can either boot to the Start screen or the Desktop. The behavior was still to always boot to the Start screen however the behavior could be controlled manually with a setting in the Taskbar Navigation properties. Administrators could use a new a Group Policy “Go to the desktop instead of Start when signing in” to specify what environment the user would see after signing in.

    Everyone got that?  Ok, let’s talk about the new stuff now.

    Windows 8.1 Update

    In Windows 8.1 Update Microsoft added the ability for the OS to perform device type detection. After applying Windows 8.1.update Tablet devices will boot to the Start Screen and have modern application file associations. All other device types boot to the desktop and the desktop application file associations. The two preceding behaviors occur if the default setting for Taskbar Navigation properties have not changed.  Some things to note:


    • If customizations to the Start Screen behavior had been made by the user before applying Windows 8.1 Update those customizations will remain in effect.
    • Group policy will take precedence over Windows 8.1 update 1 default behavior. If the Boot to Desktop settings are controlled by Group Policy a user will not be able to makes changes to the Taskbar Navigation Properties.
    How Device Type Detection works in Windows 8.1 Update

    Device type detection in Windows 8.1 Update is accomplished by querying the value of Power_Platform_Role and taking action based on the value set. The value for Power_Platform_Role is set by the manufacturer of the device and cannot be changed. If the value for Power_Platfor_Role is set to a value of 8 the user will sign in to Start. Any value other than 8 will cause the user to sign in to the desktop, instead of the Start Screen.

    The possible values for Power_Platform_Role are:



















    Table 1Power_Platform_Role Values

    See this MSDN page for more information: “POWER_PLATFORM_ROLE enumeration

    How to query a device’s Power_Platform_Role value 

    Run the following command at elevated cmd prompt

    Powercfg /energyreport


    At the top of the report look for Platform role field


    To change the default behavior using Unattend.xml see the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | DesktopOptimization | GoToDesktopOnSignIn

    Tablets that boot to the desktop

    It is possible for a tablet device to boot to the Desktop if the tablet’s Power_Platform_Role was set to a value other than 8 by the manufacturer. Windows does not set the value of Power_Platform_Role nor can the value be changed. The value is set by the device manufacturer in the BIOS and is read by Windows at boot time and stored in WMI.

    See: “POWER_PLATFORM_ROLE enumeration” -


    Options to Control Sign in to Desktop Behavior in Windows 8.1 Update

    Fortunately, you can change the behavior without having to be an OEM.

    Manually - Taskbar Navigation Properties

    To manually change the environment that the user logs on to perform the following steps

    1. Open the desktop

    2. Right click on the taskbar and select properties

    3. Select the “Navigation” tab

    a. If you want the Start Screen to load when a user logs on uncheck the box “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start”

    b. If you want the Desktop to load when a user logs on check the box “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start”


    Figure 4Taskbar Navigation Properties

    Administrative - Group Policy

    A Domain Administrator can use Group Policy to control the Boot to desktop behavior on many machines from a centralized location. If Group Policy is used to control this setting the user will not be able to change the Boot to desktop behavior. If an administrator wants users to be able to set the desired behavior they should set the default behavior in their image. The Group Policy is located in the this path

    “User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\Go to the desktop instead of Start when signing in”

    Description of this Group Policy

    “This policy setting allows users to go to the desktop instead of the Start screen when they sign in.

    If you enable this policy setting, users will always go to the desktop when they sign in.

    If you disable this policy setting, users will always go to the Start screen when they sign in.

    If you don’t configure this policy setting, the default setting for the user’s device will be used, and the user can choose to change it.”


    Figure 5Group Policy to control "Go to desktop instead of Start" behavior

    Administrative – Deployment using a Unattend.xml answer file

    Deployment Admins can specify if the user go to Start or the desktop after signing in using the DesktopOptimization tag in their unattend.xml file. This method allows admins to specify a default behavior and still allow users the ability to set their preferred Sign in environment.




    For more information consult the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) helpfile. The ADK can be downloaded from here.

    Hopefully this information helps all of you out there with giving your users a better experience on Windows 8.1.

    - Warren “The Updater” Williams

  • Remove Lingering Objects that cause AD Replication error 8606 and friends

    Introducing the Lingering Object Liquidator

    Hi all, Justin Turner here ---it's been a while since my last update. The goal of this post is to discuss what causes lingering objects and show you how to download, and then use the new GUI-based Lingering Object Liquidator (LOL) tool to remove them. This is a beta version of the tool, and it is currently not yet optimized for use in large Active Directory environments.

    This is a long article with lots of background and screen shots, so plug-in or connect to a fast connection when viewing the full entry. The bottom of this post contains a link to my AD replication troubleshooting TechNet lab for those that want to get their hands dirty with the joy that comes with finding and fixing AD replication errors.  I’ve also updated the post with a link to my Lingering Objects hands-on lab from TechEd Europe.

    Overview of Lingering Objects

    Lingering objects are objects in AD than have been created, replicated, deleted, and then garbage collected on at least the DC that originated the deletion but still exist as live objects on one or more DCs in the same forest. Lingering object removal has traditionally required lengthy cleanup sessions using tools like LDP or repadmin /removelingeringobjects. The removal story improved significantly with the release of repldiag.exe. We now have another tool for our tool belt: Lingering Object Liquidator. There are related topics such as “lingering links” which will not be covered in this post.

    Lingering Objects Drilldown

    The dominant causes of lingering objects are

    1. Long-term replication failures
    While knowledge of creates and modifies are persisted in Active Directory forever, replication partners must inbound replicate knowledge of deleted objects within a rolling Tombstone Lifetime (TSL) # of days (default 60 or 180 days depending on what OS version created your AD forest). For this reason, it is important to keep your DCs online and replicating all partitions between all partners within a rolling TSL # of days. Tools like REPADMIN /SHOWREPL * /CSV, REPADMIN /REPLSUM and AD Replication Status should be used to continually identify and resolve replication errors in your AD forest.

    2. Time jumps
    System time jump more than TSL # of days in the past or future can cause deleted objects to be prematurely garbage collected before all DCs have inbound replicated knowledge of all deletes. The protection against this is to ensure that :

      1. your forest root PDC is continually configured with a reference time source (including following FSMO transfers
      2. All other DCs in the forest are configured to use NT5DS hierarchy
      3. Time rollback and roll-forward protection has been enabled via the maxnegphasecorrection and maxposphasecorrection registry settings or their policy-based equivalents.

    The importance of configuring safeguards can't be stressed enough. Look at this post to see what happens when time gets out of whack.

    3. USN Rollbacks

    USN rollbacks are caused when the contents of an Active Directory database move back in time via an unsupported restore. Root causes for USN Rollbacks include:

    • Manually copying previous version of the database into place when the DC is offline
    • P2V conversions in multi-domain forests
    • Snapshot restores of physical and especially virtual DCs. For virtual environments, both the virtual host environment AND the underlying guest DCs should be Virtual Machine Generation ID capable. Windows Server 2012 or later. Both Microsoft and VMWARE make VM-Generation ID aware Hyper-V host.

    Events, errors and symptoms that indicate you have lingering objects
    Active Directory logs an array of events and replication status codes when lingering objects are detected. It is important to note that while errors appear on the destination DC, it is the source DC being replicated from that contains the lingering object that is blocking replication. A summary of events and replication status codes is listed in the table below:

    Event or Error status

    Event or error text


    AD Replication status 8606

    "Insufficient attributes were given to create an object. This object may not exist because it may have been deleted."

    Lingering objects are present on the source DC (destination DC is operating in Strict Replication Consistency mode)

    AD Replication status 8614

    The directory service cannot replicate with this server because the time since the last replication with this server has exceeded the tombstone lifetime.

    Lingering objects likely exist in the environment

    AD Replication status 8240

    There is no such object on the server

    Lingering object may exist on the source DC

    Directory Service event ID 1988

    Active Directory Domain Services Replication encountered the existence of objects in the following partition that have been deleted from the local domain controllers (DCs) Active Directory Domain Services database.

    Lingering objects exist on the source DC specified in the event

    (Destination DC is running with Strict Replication Consistency)

    Directory Service event ID 1388

    This destination system received an update for an object that should have been present locally but was not.

    Lingering objects were reanimated on the DC logging the event

    Destination DC is running with Loose Replication Consistency

    Directory Service event ID 2042

    It has been too long since this server last replicated with the named source server.

    Lingering object may exist on the source DC

    A comparison of Tools to remove Lingering Objects

    The table below compares the Lingering Object Liquidator with currently available tools that can remove lingering objects

    Removal method

    Object / Partition & and Removal Capabilities


    Lingering Object Liquidator

    Per-object and per-partition removal


    • RemoveLingeringObjects LDAP rootDSE modification
    • DRSReplicaVerifyObjects method

    • GUI-based.
    • Quickly displays all lingering objects in the forest to which the executing computer is joined.
    • Built-in discovery via DRSReplicaVerifyObjects method
    • Automated method to remove lingering objects from all partitions
    • Removes lingering objects from all DCs (including RODCs) but not lingering links.
    • Windows Server 2008 and later DCs (will not work against Windows Server 2003 DCs)

    Repldiag /removelingeringobjects

    Per-partition removal


    • DRSReplicaVerifyObjects method

    • Command line only
    • Automated method to remove lingering objects from all partitions
    • Built-in discovery via DRSReplicaVerifyObjects
    • Displays discovered objects in events on DCs
    • Does not remove lingering links. Does not remove lingering objects from RODCs (yet)

    LDAP RemoveLingeringObjects rootDSE primative (most commonly executed using LDP.EXE or an LDIFDE import script)

    Per-object removal

    • Requires a separate discovery method
    • Removes a single object per execution unless scripted.

    Repadmin /removelingeringobjects

    Per-partition removal


    • DRSReplicaVerifyObjects method

    • Command line only
    • Built-in discovery via DRSReplicaVerifyObjects
    • Displays discovered objects in events on DCs
    • Requires many executions if a comprehensive (n * n-1 pairwise cleanup is required. Note: repldiag and the Lingering Object Liquidator tool automate this task.

    The Repldiag and Lingering Object Liquidator tools are preferred for lingering object removal because of their ease of use and holistic approach to lingering object removal.

    Why you should care about lingering object removal

    Widely known as the gift that keeps on giving, it is important to remove lingering objects for the following reasons

    • Lingering objects can result in a long term divergence for objects and attributes residing on different DCs in your Active Directory forest
    • The presence of lingering objects prevents the replication of newer creates, deletes and modifications to destination DCs configured to use strict replication consistency. These un-replicated changes may apply to objects or attributes on users, computers, groups, group membership or ACLS.
    • Objects intentionally deleted by admins or application continue to exist as live objects on DCs that have yet to inbound replicate knowledge of the deletes.

    Once present, lingering objects rarely go away until you implement a comprehensive removal solution. Lingering objects are the unwanted houseguests in AD that you just can't get rid of.

    Mother in law jokes… a timeless classic.

    We commonly find these little buggers to be the root cause of an array of symptom ranging from logon failures to Exchange, Lync and AD DS service outages. Some outages are resolved after some lengthy troubleshooting only to find the issue return weeks later.
    The remainder of this post, we will give you everything needed to eradicate lingering objects from your environment using the Lingering Object Liquidator.

    Repldiag.exe is another tool that will automate lingering object removal. It is good for most environments, but it does not provide an interface to see the objects, clean up RODCs (yet) or remove abandoned objects.

    Introducing Lingering Object Liquidator


    Lingering Object Liquidator automates the discovery and removal of lingering objects by using the DRSReplicaVerifyObjects method used by repadmin /removelingeringobjects and repldiag combined with the removeLingeringObject rootDSE primitive used by LDP.EXE. Tool features include:

    • Combines both discovery and removal of lingering objects in one interface
    • Is available via the Microsoft Connect site
    • The version of the tool at the Microsoft Connect site is an early beta build and does not have the fit and finish of a finished product
    • Feature improvements beyond what you see in this version are under consideration

    How to obtain Lingering Object Liquidator

    1. Log on to the Microsoft Connect site (using the Sign in) link with a Microsoft account:

    Note: You may have to create a profile on the site if you have never participated in Connect.

    2. Open the Non-feedback Product Directory:

    3. Join the following program:

    AD Health

    Product Azure Active Directory Connection Join link

    4. Click the Downloads link to see a list of downloads or this link to go directly to the Lingering Objects Liquidator download. (Note: the direct link may become invalid as the tool gets updated.)

    5. Download all associated files

    6. Double click on the downloaded executable to open the tool.

    Tool Requirements

    1. Install Lingering Object Liquidator on a DC or member computer in the forest you want to remove lingering objects from.

    2. .NET 4.5 must be installed on the computer that is executing the tool.

    3. Permissions: The user account running the tool must have Domain Admin credentials for each domain in the forest that the executing computer resides in. Members of the Enterprise Admins group have domain admin credentials in all domains within a forest by default. Domain Admin credentials are sufficient in a single domain or single domain forest.

    4. The admin workstation must have connectivity over the same port and protocol required of a domain-joined member computer or domain controller against any DC in the forest. Protocols of interest include DNS, Kerberos, RPC, LDAP and ephemeral port range used by the targeted DC See TechNet for more detail. Of specific concern: Pre-W2K8 DCs communicate over the “low” ephemeral port between 1024 and 5000 while post W2K3 DCs use the “high” ephemeral port range between 49152 to 65535. Environments containing both OS version families will need to enable connectivity over both port ranges.

    5. You must enable the Remote Event Log Management (RPC) firewall rule on any DC that needs scanning. Otherwise, the tool displays a window stating, "Exception: The RPC server is unavailable"

    6. The liquidation of lingering objects in AD Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS / ADAM) environments is not supported.

    7. You cannot use the tool to cleanup lingering objects on DCs running Windows Server 2003.  The tool leverages the event subscriptions feature which wasn’t added until Windows Server 2008.

    Lingering Object Discovery

    To see all lingering objects in the forest:

    1. Launch Lingering Objects.exe.

    2. Take a quick walk through the UI:

    Naming Context:

    Reference DC: the DC you will compare to the target DC. The reference DC hosts a writeable copy of the partition.

    Note: ChildDC2 should not be listed here since it is an RODC, and RODCs are not valid reference DCs for lingering object removal.


    The version of the tool is still in development and does not represent the finished product. In other words, expect crashes, quirks and everything else normally encountered with beta software.

    Target DC: the DC that lingering objects are to be removed from

    3. In smaller AD environments, you can leave all fields blank to have the entire environment scanned, and then click Detect. The tool does a comparison amongst all DCs for all partitions in a pairwise fashion when all fields are left blank. In a large environment, this comparison will take a great deal of time as the operation targets (n * (n-1)) number of DCs in the forest for all locally held partitions. For shorter, targeted operations, select a naming context, reference DC and target DC. The reference DC must hold a writable copy of the selected naming context.

    During the scan, several buttons are disabled. The current count of lingering objects is displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the screen along with the current tool status. During this execution phase, the tool is running in an advisory mode and reading the event log data reported on each target DC.

    Note: The Directory Service event log may completely fill up if the environment contains large numbers of lingering objects and the Directory Services event log is using its default maximum log size. The tool leverages the same lingering object discovery method as repadmin and repldiag, logging one event per lingering object found.

    When the scan is complete, the status bar updates, buttons are re-enabled and total count of lingering objects is displayed. The log pane at the bottom of the window updates with any errors encountered during the scan.
    Error 1396 is logged if the tool incorrectly uses an RODC as a reference DC.
    Error 8440 is logged when the targeted reference DC doesn't host a writable copy of the partition.


    Lingering Object Liquidator discovery method

    • Leverages DRSReplicaVerifyObjects method in Advisory Mode
    • Runs for all DCs and all Partitions
    • Collects lingering object event ID 1946s and displays objects in main content pane
    • List can be exported to CSV for offline analysis (or modification for import)
    • Supports import and removal of objects from CSV import (leverage for objects not discoverable using DRSReplicaVerifyObjects)
    • Supports removal of objects by DRSReplicaVerifyObjects and LDAP rootDSE removeLingeringobjects modification

    The tool leverages the Advisory Mode method exposed by DRSReplicaVerifyObjects that both repadmin /removelingeringobjects /Advisory_Mode and repldiag /removelingeringobjects /advisorymode use. In addition to the normal Advisory Mode related events logged on each DC, it displays each of the lingering objects within the main content pane.

    Details of the scan operation log in the linger.log.txt file in the same directory as the tool's executable.

    The Export button allows you to export a list of all lingering objects listed in the main pane into a CSV file. View the file in Excel, modify if necessary and use the Import button later to view the objects without having to do a new scan. The Import feature is also useful if you discover abandoned objects (not discoverable with DRSReplicaVerifyObjects) that you need to remove. We briefly discuss abandoned objects later in this post.

    Removal of individual objects

    The tool allows you to remove objects a handful at a time, if desired, using the Remove button:

    1. Here I select three objects (hold down the Ctrl key to select multiple objects, or the SHIFT key to select a range of objects) and then select Remove.

    The status bar updates with the new count of lingering objects and the status of the removal operation:

    Logging for removed objects

    The tool dumps a list of attributes for each object before removal, and logs this along with the results of the object removal in the removedLingeringObjects.log.txt log file. This log file is in the same location as the tool's executable.


    the obj DN: <GUID=0bb376aa1c82a348997e5187ff012f4a>;<SID=010500000000000515000000609701d7b0ce8f6a3e529d669f040000>;CN=Dick Schenk,OU=R&D,DC=root,DC=contoso,DC=com

    objectClass:top, person, organizationalPerson, user;
    sn:Schenk ;
    name:Dick Schenk;
    cn:Dick Schenk;
    distinguishedName:<GUID=0bb376aa1c82a348997e5187ff012f4a>;<SID=010500000000000515000000609701d7b0ce8f6a3e529d669f040000>;CN=Dick Schenk,OU=R&D,DC=root,DC=contoso,DC=com;
    displayName:Dick Schenk ;
    value is :<GUID=70ff33ce-2f41-4bf4-b7ca-7fa71d4ca13e>:<GUID=aa76b30b-821c-48a3-997e-5187ff012f4a>
    Lingering Obj CN=Dick Schenk,OU=R&D,DC=root,DC=contoso,DC=com is removed from the directory, mod response result code = Success
    RemoveLingeringObject returned Success

    Removal of all objects

    The Remove All button, removes all lingering objects from all DCs in the environment.

    To remove all lingering objects from the environment:

    1. Click the Remove All button. The status bar updates with the count of lingering objects removed. (the count may differ to the discovered amount due to a bug in the tool-this is a display issue only and the objects are actually removed)

    2. Close the tool and reopen it so that the main content pane clears.

    3. Click the Detect button and verify no lingering objects are found.

    Abandoned object removal using the new tool

    None of the currently available lingering object removal tools will identify a special sub-class of lingering objects referred to internally as, "Abandoned objects".

    An abandoned object is an object created on one DC that never got replicated to other DCs hosting a writable copy of the NC but does get replicated to DCs/GCs hosting a read-only copy of the NC. The originating DC goes offline prior to replicating the originating write to other DCs that contain a writable copy of the partition.

    The lingering object liquidator tool does not currently discover abandoned objects automatically so a manual method is required.

    1. Identify abandoned objects based on Oabvalidate and replication metadata output.

    Abandoned objects can be removed with the LDAP RemoveLingeringObject rootDSE modify procedure, and so Lingering Objects Liquidator is able to remove these objects.

    2. Build a CSV file for import into the tool. Once, they are visible in the tool, simply click the Remove button to get rid of them.

    a. To create a Lingering Objects Liquidator tool importable CSV file:

    Collect the data in a comma separated value (CSV) with the following data:

    FQDN of RWDC


    FQDN of DC to remove object from

    DN of the object

    Object GUID of the object

    DN of the object's partition

    3. Once you have the file, open the Lingering Objects tool and select the Import button, browse to the file and choose Open.

    4. Select all objects and then choose Remove.

    Review replication metadata to verify the objects were removed.


    For those that want even more detail on lingering object troubleshooting, check out the following:

    To prevent lingering objects:

    • Actively monitor for AD replication failures using a tool like the AD Replication Status tool.
    • Resolve AD replication errors within tombstone lifetime number of days.
    • Ensure your DCs are operating in Strict Replication Consistency mode
    • Protect against large jumps in system time
    • Use only supported methods or procedures to restore DCs. Do not:
      • Restore backups older than TSL
      • Perform snapshot restores on pre Windows Server 2012 virtualized DCs on any virtualization platform
      • Perform snapshot restores on a Windows Server 2012 or later virtualized DC on a virtualization host that doesn't support VMGenerationID

    If you want hands-on practice troubleshooting AD replication errors, check out my lab on TechNet Virtual labs. Alternatively, come to an instructor-led lab at TechEd Europe 2014. "EM-IL307 Troubleshooting Active Directory Replication Errors"

    For hands-on practice troubleshooting AD lingering objects: check out my lab from TechEd Europe 2014. "EM-IL400 Troubleshooting Active Directory Lingering Objects"

    Finally, if you would like access to a hands-on lab for in-depth lingering object troubleshooting; let us know in the comments.

    Thank you,

    Justin Turner and A. Conner

    Update 2014/11/20 – Added link to TechEd Lingering objects hands-on lab
    Update 2014/12/17 – Added text to indicate the lack of support in LOL for cleanup of Windows Server 2003 DCs

  • An Update about the Windows 8.1 Update

    Hi everyone, David here.  Today over at the Springboard series blog we announced some important news that applies to anyone who has been trying to roll out the Windows 8.1 update in an enterprise environment.  We don’t usually do announcements about things being covered by other Microsoft blogs, but this one addresses something we’ve gotten a lot of questions about.

    If you haven’t read the blog, here’s the super-short version:

    - We have a fix for the Windows Update problem that prevents organizations from using WSUS to deploy the Windows 8.1 Update.

    - We’ll be issuing security updates for Windows 8.1 (without the update) in the catalog until August, instead of stopping next month as originally announced.  This gives enterprises more time to test the feature changes in the Windows 8.1 Update and deploy them, without having to worry about not getting critical security updates.

    Click here to read the full announcement.

  • An update for ADMT, and a few other things too.

    So, we’ve been quiet for a few months, which is extraordinarily embarrassing after I basically told everyone that we were going to not do that. The reality of what we do in support is that sometimes it’s “All Hands on Deck”, which is where we’ve been lately.

    At any rate, here’s some assorted news, updates, and announcements. Today we’re going to talk about ADMT, SHA-1, Folder Redirection, Roaming Profiles, STOP errors, and job opportunites. Yup, all in one big post. It’s not quite a mail sack but hopefully you all will find it interesting and or useful – especially the bit at the end. We’ll try to get the regular posts moving again asap as we get into 2014.


    ADMT OS Emancipation

    Update coming to allow you to install on any supported server OS version

    News just in: There’s an updated version of ADMT on the way that will allow you to install on newer OS versions. Here’s what we got from the ADMT product team:

    In short, the update will allow ADMT to install on our newer OSs (both the ADMT and PES components). This should help alleviate some of the problems that customers have been reporting with the tool. We know that there are many of you who would like to see improvements or additional features in the tool beyond this, but we made the decision to focus this update on the OS compatibility issues, since that’s the thing that is impacting migrations the most right now.  We currently do not have any plans for further updates after this one (beyond bug fixes).

    The changes we have made require a fair bit of testing before we can release them – among other things, we have to test full-scale migrations against each combination of OS versions to make sure that nothing unexpected occurs.  Once that testing is complete, we’ll publish the new version for public download, probably as an update to the existing 3.2 version.  We don’t have an exact date right now, since it’s likely to take us a few months to finish our testing, but we’re hoping to have it out and available in the first quarter of 2014.

    Update:  The new version of the tool is available via the Connect site located here.  To get it, you will have to log in with a Microsoft account and join the Azure AD Connection program.  (This is just the name of the program, you don't actually have to be using Windows Azure Active Directory or anything like that).


    Out with the old (and the insecure)

    We’ve announced the deprecation of SHA-1 algorithms

    This one comes to us from former AskDS writer Mike Stephens. Mike changed roles last summer, and most of what he works on these days we can’t talk about – but some things we can:

    Some of you may remember this security advisory where we announced the deprecation of RC4-based cryptographic algorithms. Some of you may also remember this blog post from a few months ago where we talked about the upcoming deprecation of MD5-based algorithms.

    Deprecation is a fancy word for “we don’t support it anymore moving forward, so you should look at turning it off.”

    If you’re sensing a trend here, you’re not wrong. We just announced yesterday that we are planning the deprecation of SHA-1 algorithms.

    This means that moving forward, the minimum security you want on anything cryptographic is SHA-2 with a 2048-bit key. Those of you running certificate authorities should start planning on transitioning to stronger keys as soon as you can. Those you who have server or web applications in your environment (pretty much everyone) should start reviewing your applications to find any applications that are using weak certificates. Update them if you can, contact the application vendor if you can’t.

    Just like the previous updates, we’re not going to issue a hotfix that turns off SHA-1 on all your servers and workstations. We know that there are lots of older applications out there that might need to be updated before your environments are ready for this kind of change so you are in control. What we will do is give you a KB article that tells you how to turn SHA-1 off when you’re ready. That, and we’ll turn it off by default in the next version of the OS.

    That being said, two notes of caution. First, make sure you really, really check before disabling support for older cryptography algorithms in your environments. We’ve had a few cases where admins didn’t check the certificates their applications were using, and caused an outage with one or more of their applications when they turned off RC4. The point here is to test and verify application dependencies and compatibility before you make a widespread change. Second, have a plan to roll back the change if something you didn’t expect breaks. Finally, don’t wait to start transitioning your environment to stronger [using] crypto graphic algorithms. The longer your environment is using less secure cryptography, the more vulnerable you are to attacks. You can get ahead of the curve by updating your application requirements now to higher standards, and starting the work to transition your existing apps over to new certificates.


    One way, or the other…

    Folder Redirection Group Policy doesn’t apply to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 clients when you also configure it in System Center

    This one comes to us from one of our tech leads, Kapil Chopra. Among many other duties, part of Kapil’s role is to watch for trends in the support cases that come into our frontline engineers, so that we can prioritize fixes that are affecting lots of customers.

    I had a chance to work on multiple cases where in folder redirection doesn’t gets applied on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. So I thought of posting the details to make sure that everyone is aware of the fact and should be able to resolve the issue.

    In all the cases that I addressed, we see the below mentioned symptoms on the client:

    1. In the RSOP, under the properties of User Configuration, we see that the Folder Redirection settings got applied successfully.

    2. Under the RSOP, when we browse to the User Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings, we don’t see Folder Redirection folder.

    3. Under the GPRESULT /v output we see that the folder redirection setting is showing up as N/A.

    4. There is no failures reported under the Application / System logs.

    5. Group Policy Logging states that the policy is applied as mentioned below:

    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 ProcessGPOs(User): Processing extension Folder Redirection
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 ReadStatus: Read Extension's Previous status successfully.
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 CompareGPOLists: The lists are the same.
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 CompareGPOLists: The lists are the same.
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 GPLockPolicySection: Sid = S-1-5-21-2130729834-1480738125-1508530778-62684, dwTimeout = 30000, dwFlags = 0x0
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 ProcessGPOList: Entering for extension Folder Redirection
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 UserPolicyCallback: Setting status UI to Applying Folder Redirection policy...
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:136 ProcessGPOList: No changes. CSE will not be passed in the IwbemServices intf ptr
    GPSVC(32c.43c) 12:55:50:136 Message Status = <Applying Folder Redirection policy...>
    GPSVC(32c.b6c) 12:55:50:152 ProcessGPOList: Extension Folder Redirection returned 0x0.

    6. Under the folder redirection tracing, it isn't getting past fdeploy.dll into the shell components and is not even attempting to read the fdeploy.ini files.

    From the above symptoms, it is pretty evident that there is something that is stopping the Folder Redirection engine from proceeding further. So we went ahead looked into the Folder Redirection operational logs under “Event viewer > Application and Services Logs > Microsoft > Windows > Folder Redirection > Operational Logs”.

    Under the Operational logs we found an interesting event which might be causing the problem:

    Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-Folder Redirection/Operational
    Source: Microsoft-Windows-Folder Redirection
    Date: 11/4/2013 11:54:58 AM
    Event ID: 1012
    Task Category: None
    Level: Information
    User: SYSTEM
    Description: Folder Redirection configuration is being controlled by WMI configuration class Win32_FolderRedirectionUserConfiguration.

    In order to confirm if it’s only the Folder Redirection or other components as well getting controlled by WMI, we ran the powershell command “gwmi Win32_UserStateConfigurationControls” and found that all components i.e. Folder Redirection / Offline Files / Roaming User Profiles were controlled by WMI.
    __GENUS : 2
    __CLASS : Win32_UserStateConfigurationControls
    __DYNASTY : Win32_UserStateConfigurationControls
    __RELPATH : Win32_UserStateConfigurationControls=@
    __DERIVATION : {}
    __NAMESPACE : root\cimv2
    __PATH : \\WIN8TEST\root\cimv2:Win32_UserStateConfigurationControls=@
    FolderRedirection : 1
    OfflineFiles : 1
    RoamingUserProfile : 1
    PSComputerName : WIN8TEST

    Now the question is, what this WMI Class “Win32_FolderRedirectionUserConfiguration” has to do with Folder redirection?

    In order to answer that, everyone should be aware of the fact that with Windows 8 we have introduced new WMI classes to manage and query Folder Redirection and Remote User Profiles configuration using WMI controls. These WMI classes are mentioned below:




    The redirection properties of a known folder


    The health of a known folder that is being redirected


    The health configuration properties for a known folder that is being redirected


    The user's folder redirection configuration settings


    Represents a roaming profile background upload operation


    The roaming profile configuration for a computer


    The slow-link parameters for roaming profiles


    Represents a roaming profile user configuration


    Represents health configuration properties for all roaming user profiles on a computer


    Represents a user profile


    Contains properties that control the user state configuration for a computer. The property value settings for this class determine whether Group Policy or WMI should be the configuration mechanism for user state components.

    So, the big question is - who is giving the control on FR/CSC/RUP to WMI?
    In all the cases that we have dealt with, we found that the machines were deployed and managed using SCCM. So there might be something in the SCCM configuration which is changing the default behavior and passing on the control to WMI. We looked into the System Center Configuration Manager and found the setting which might be causing all the pain. The exact configuration is mentioned below:

    Under the SCCM Configuration manager,
    - Select Administration
    - Select Client Settings


    - Pull up PROPERTIES of Default Client Settings configuration and click on Compliance Settings

    - Enable User Data and Profiles mentioned above is the setting which drives the control of Folder Redirection and Remote User Profiles.

    The above configuration by Default is set to NO. Once enabled (set to YES), it passes the control of Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Remote User Profiles to WMI and stores this configuration under the registry path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UserState\UserStateTechnologies\ConfigurationControls


    This is evident from the fact that FolderRedirection, OfflineFiles, and RoamingUserProfiles registry entry mentioned in the above snippet is set to 1.

    More details about Managing UserState via System Center Configuration is documented under the articles mentioned below:
    - How to Create User Data and Profiles Configuration Items in Configuration Manager :
    - Example Scenario for User Data and Profiles Management in Configuration Manager :


    To resolve the issue we need to change the value of “Enable User Data and Profiles” to NO under the Compliance settings in SCCM Configuration.

    Another important fact that I need to point out is, changing the value of above registry entries to “0” will resolve the issue for a while on a client but the registry entries will automatically be flipped to 1 once the SCCM configuration client piece gets executed on the Win8 or Win8.1 machines. By default, this configuration runs every hour to pull changes from the System Center Configuration Manager server. So you have to make the change in System Center if you want it to stick.

    Most customers don’t realize what they are doing when they set this value to YES, so they will want to make sure it is set to NO in their environments. If a customer does want to use it, then they will need to make sure they are managing Folder Redirection through WMI and not through Group Policy or they will run into the problems mentioned above.


    Getting Rid of Pesky STOP Errors

    Hotfix released to correct a crash in TCP/IP.

    Here is a fix you will want to test and then deploy to your servers as soon as you can. For the past few months we have been tracking a large number of cases where servers would crash (blue screen) with a STOP 0xD1 error. We’ve been tracking this issue for a long time, but we were never able to figure out what exactly caused it because it only happened under specific circumstances on multiprocessor computers It took us so long to figure this out. Those conditions used to be pretty rare but as multiprocessor computers are now the norm, problem frequency has increased.  We now have a hotfix for Windows Server 2008 R2 available just in time for the holidays.

    Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 versions of the same hotfix are being tested and will be released in January 2014 if the testing pans out.


    Making the kids play nice together

    Roaming profiles now coexist properly for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 computers.

    Some of you may recall a blog post from one of our friends in PFE about problems roaming user profiles between computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8. In the original blog, we presented a workaround that, while it helped, was not really a fix for the issue.

    Well, now we have a fix for the issue. Two of them, rather. I’ll explain.

    To set expectations: Windows 8 uses a new profile format (just like Windows 7 had a new format when compared to XP). Windows 8.1 uses a third (or fourth) new profile format. So, if you want to move data between computers running Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, you will need to use Folder Redirection…. OR you can consider using the cool new feature called Work Folders, which we’ll be adding support for Windows 7 in the coming months. But if you don’t do one of these things, then the two profiles are separate – no data gets shared between the two OS versions.

    KB 2887239 and KB 2890783 allow roaming profiles to “roam” properly even if you’re in a mixed OS environment. That means users will be able to log in seamlessly to different devices without having to follow the workaround mentioned in Mark’s blog post.


    Last, but definitely not least:  We’re hiring.

    I mentioned at the start of this that the last few months for us in DS (and really in all of support) have been “All Hands on Deck”. And while things slow down a little over the holidays, we have more work to do than we have hands and minds to do it right now.

    So we’re hiring. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys fixing hard problems, who likes getting into the guts of how software works, and who’s not afraid to constantly be asked to learn something new, you really should check out our careers page. There are positions available in Charlotte, NC, in Las Colinas, TX, and in Fargo, ND. And this isn’t just for DS – it’s for all of our Windows support teams (and others). If you’re interested, look for Support Engineer positions and send in your resume.

    What we do is possibly the most technically demanding and challenging infrastructure job there is. Every day we work on problems that impact hundreds or thousands of users out there in the world, and some with more impact with that. It’s not an *easy* job. But it is a very fulfilling one.

    If you’re interested in applying, check out these two blog posts we put up a while back, and we’ll look forward to talking to you.

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