• Windows Server 2012: Install & Configure Windows Server 2012 using VHD Boot

    Hi IT Professionals,

    Often I receive lot of queries on evaluating Windows Server on their test environment or on some spare machines. Most of the times users want to carry a laptop to try/test evaluate Windows Server on their laptop. Well during our recent IT Camps, we delivered the same experience using Boot from VHD using Windows Server 2012. Attendees installed Windows Server 2012 on their sample machine and subsequently configured the demo machine to evaluate the features.

    Note: I WOULD RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO TRY THIS ON NON-PRODUCTION TEST MACHINE. MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP ALL OF YOUR CRITICAL DATA BEFORE YOU BEGIN.

    Minimum System Requirements

    Windows Server 2012 Evaluation – http://aka.ms/ws2012rtm

    1 GHz CPU supporting Intel-VT or AMD-V

    DEP – NX/XD

    SLAT – Optional

    4 GB RAM

    50 GB HDD on C: or D:

    Windows Server 2012 RTM Evaluation DVD

     

    NOTE: IN THIS SETUP PROCESS YOUR COMPUTERS’S BOOT LOADER WILL BE UPDATED USING WINDOWS SERVER 2012 INSTALLATION MEDIA.

    For detailed System Required kindly visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134246.aspx

     

    Insert Windows Server 2012 DVD & boot your computer from DVD. Press any key to boot from DVD.
    Please wait while Windows is loading the installation files…

     

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    Once completed you will see the following Windows Setup dialog box. Click Next

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    Click on Install Now button.

     

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    Please wait while Setup is starting.

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    Select Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Evaluation (Server with a GUI) x64 & Click Next

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    Accept the Licensing terms & click Next

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    Click on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)

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    On your keyboard press SHIFT+F10 key combination to invoke Command Prompt CMD.

     

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    After pressing SHIFT+F10 you will a command prompt. CMD

    !!IMPORTANT!!DO THIS STEP IS CAREFULLY. Do not modify/delete System Reserved Partition.


    NOTE: At this step we will create a 50 GB Dynamically Expanding VHD on C: or D:. Also, make sure that the physical partition has actual free space available because Dynamically expanding VHD gets mounted & occupies full space during VHD Boot.

     

     

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    Note:  In the next screen this D: is actually your original C: Windows Partition (Windows 8, Windows 7 or 2008 R2) When you are running Windows 8/7/2008 R2, you cannot view hidden System Reserved partition. But in this case the C: is assigned to that System Reserved partition & subsequent partitions will be allocated the drive letter in the same series.  

     

     

    Type the following command to create a new VHD on the D:

     

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    Close the CMD & Click on Refresh to see a new 50 GB drive with unallocated space. Click on the Unallocated Space (Drive 1 in this e.g.) and click Next

     

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    Please wait Windows Setup will installing the files on the disk. (It will take few minutes depending upon system performance) – You can grab a tea/coffee meanwhile

     

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    After completion system will be restarted automatically.

    Please wait while Windows is getting devices ready…It will take few minutes…

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    A system will be restarted…

     


    After a restart. You will see a DUAL Boot option. Choose Windows Server 2012& Press ENTER

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    Please wait while Windows Server 2012 loads for the first time…

     

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    On the Settings page, please enter an Administrator account password and click Finish


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    Please while Windows is finalizing your settings… It will take few minutes…

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    Congratulations. Your Windows Server 2012 Datacenter is now ready for Evaluation.

     

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    Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to sign in. Enter your Administrator account password. E.g. Passw0rd!

     

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    You are now logged on to Windows Server 2012 Datacenter with Full GUI. And it will launch Server Manager.

     

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    This completes your Windows Server 2012 Datacenter installation using VHD Boot.

     

    THANK YOU.

  • Microsoft Security Advisory (2661254) | Update For Minimum Certificate Key Length

    This is to inform you that Microsoft is announcing the availability of an update to Windows that restricts the use of certificates with RSA keys less than 1024 bits in length. This is a necessary step to enhance your security as today, keys smaller than 1024 bits cannot be seen as secure anymore. The private keys used in these certificates can be derived and could allow an attacker to duplicate the certificates and use them fraudulently to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks.

    The update is available on the Download Center as well as the Microsoft Update Catalog for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows. In addition, Microsoft is planning to release this update through Microsoft Update in October, 2012 after customers have a chance to assess the impact of this update and take necessary actions to use certificates with RSA keys greater than or equal to 1024 bits in length in their enterprise.

    Recommendation:-

    Microsoft recommends that customers download the update and assess the impact of blocking certificates with RSA keys less than 1024 bits in length before applying the update to their enterprise.  

     

    Known Issues.

    Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2661254 documents the currently known issues that customers may experience when installing this update. The article also documents recommended solutions for these issues.

     

    Suggested Actions:

    1.      The package will push out via Windows Update only in OCT 2012 (but it is already available in the Download Center). Since you have time on hands, please use it to assess the impacts and make necessary changes.

    2.      PLEASE READ the advisory 2661254 to understand the situation. It only affect certificates with RSA key length less than 1024 bits.

    3.      Please read the “KNOWN ISSUES” section to understand the impact of applying the fix

    4.      Test this in a UAT (non-production environment) before applying entire production CA servers

     

     

    Technical Reference:

    -      Main advisory: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/advisory/2661254

     

    PKI Blogs:

    o   http://blogs.technet.com/b/pki/archive/2012/06/12/rsa-keys-under-1024-bits-are-blocked.aspx

    o   http://blogs.technet.com/b/pki/archive/2012/07/13/blocking-rsa-keys-less-than-1024-bits-part-2.aspx

    o   http://blogs.technet.com/b/pki/archive/2012/08/14/blocking-rsa-keys-less-than-1024-bits-part-3.aspx

     

    SRD Blog:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/srd/archive/2012/07/10/microsoft-s-continuing-work-on-digital-certificates.aspx

     

     

    AD troubleshooting:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/instan/archive/2012/08/03/how-to-identify-if-your-adcs-has-issued-any-certificates-with-public-keys-lt-1024-bits-in-preparation-for-kb2661254.aspx

     

    Please feel free to reach out to us for any clarifications and questions.

    Regards,

    Aviraj Ajgekar

    Technical Evangelist

    Microsoft Corporation

  • Microsoft Download Center: Windows Phone 8 SDK

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    The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is now available

    Windows Phone 8 is here, and with it comes new and exciting devices, along with more markets and languages, making it easier than ever to build great apps for a larger audience. See what’s new in the SDK.

    Start here to take advantage of new opportunities to create apps targeting both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

    System requirements

    Supported operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro

    • Windows 8 64-bit (x64) client versions
    • Hardware:
      • 4 GB of free hard disk space
      • 4 GB RAM
      • 64-bit (x64) CPU
    • Windows Phone 8 Emulator:
      • Windows 8 Pro edition or greater
      • Requires a processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
      If your computer meets the hardware and operating system requirements, but does meet the requirements for the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will install and run. However, the Windows Phone 8 Emulator will not function and you will not be able to deploy or test apps on the Windows Phone 8 Emulator.

    DOWNLOAD HERE or you can download a full 1.6 GB ISO File HERE

    For more details visit http://dev.windowsphone.com

  • Microsoft Connect: Security Compliance Manager 3.0 now available for beta download!

    Security Compliance Manager 3.0 (SCM 3.0) is now available for download! SCM 3.0 is a free tool from the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team that enables you to quickly configure and manage both desktops and servers using Group Policy and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. In addition to key features from the previous version, SCM 3.0 offers new Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, and Internet Explorer 10 baselines! image

    Join the beta now.

    Secure your environment with new product baselines for Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, and Internet Explorer 10. The latest version of SCM offers all the same great features as before, plus an enhanced setting library for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 2008 R2 and bug fixes. The updated setting library gives you the ability to further customize baselines, and also improves GPO Import feature affinity. SCM 3.0 provides a single location for creating, managing, analyzing, and customizing baselines to secure your environment quicker and more efficiently.

    To learn more about the Security Compliance Manger tool, visit the TechNet Library.

    SCM 3.0 provides ready-to-deploy policies and DCM configuration packs that are tested and fully supported. Our product baselines are based on Microsoft security guide recommendations and industry best practices, allowing you to manage configuration drift, address compliance requirements, and reduce security threats.

    Easily configure Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office applications, and Internet Explorer with industry leading knowledge and fully supported tools.

    Next steps:

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    Join the SCM 3.0 beta. Click here to join the beta and get the latest version of the tool.

  • Announcing two new Solution Accelerator beta programs for System Center products

    The Solution Accelerators team has started two new beta programs focused on tools, automation, and knowledge for System Center products. One program will provide Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) service templates and a SCVMM add-in to help you discover them. The other program will provide datacenter automation for private clouds using System Center Orchestrator. Datacenter automation for System Center Orchestrator enables you to automate operations of private cloud workloads such as SharePoint and Windows Server.

     

    We invite you to join and participate in these beta programs.

    To learn more about SCVMM service templates, join the beta program.

    To learn more about datacenter automation for System Center Orchestrator, join the beta program.

     

    Note: Save the Date for Live Meeting Sessions

    We would also like invite you to join us for two Live Meeting sessions to learn more about these beta programs and provide the opportunity for you to give us feedback. Here is the information you need in order to join us for these Live Meetings sessions.

     

     

     

    SCVMM Service Templates Session Details

    Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

    Join the meeting

    Audio Information:

    Telephone conferencing
    Use the information below to connect to the telephone conference:
    Toll-free: +1 (888) 320-3585
    Toll: +1 (425) 706-3500
    Participant code:
    1523457

    First Time Users:

    To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

    Troubleshooting:

    Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:

    1.  Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join

    2.  Copy and paste the required information:
    Meeting ID: MBR99J
    Entry Code: M7s[{>/\c
    Location:
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft

    If you still cannot enter the meeting, contact support.

     

    Datacenter Automation Session Details

    Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

    Join the meeting

    Audio Information:

    Telephone conferencing
    Use the information below to connect to the telephone conference:
    Toll-free: +1 (888) 320-3585
    Toll: +1 (425) 706-3500
    Participant code:
    1523457

    First Time Users:

    To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

    Troubleshooting:

    Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:

    1.  Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join

    2.  Copy and paste the required information:
    Meeting ID: 7DH6GW
    Entry Code: 4fXc[!&?n
    Location:
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft

    If you still cannot enter the meeting, contact support.

     

     

     

    Notice: Microsoft Office Live Meeting can be used to record meetings. By participating in this meeting, you agree that your communications may be monitored or recorded at any time during the meeting.

     

     

     

    We welcome your participation in these beta programs and look forward to you joining us for these two Live Meeting sessions.

    Sincerely,

    Solution Accelerators Team
    Microsoft Corporation

  • Microsoft IT Camps India–Windows Server 2012 Resources

    Hello IT Professionals,

    First of all I would to say 2 words. THANK YOU. Thank you very much for your time & dedication making our IT Camps – Windows Server 2012 a great success.

    As promised I am sharing the Windows Server 2012 Resources that we used during our IT CAMP events. Starting with my presentation on Windows Server 2012. You can download it over here http://sdrv.ms/PQQ8mV I have taken used the same deck that was used in TechEd North America 2012.

    Here are additional resources to start with…

    Videos

    TechEd North America/Europe Content – Windows Server 2012 & System Center 2012

    TE NA 2012 - https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012?sort=sequential&direction=desc&term=&t=windows%2Bserver

    TE EU 2012 - https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012?sort=sequential&direction=desc&term=&t=windows%2Bserver

    TE NZ 2012 - https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NewZealand/TechEd-New-Zealand-2012?sort=sequential&direction=desc&term=&t=windows%2Bserver

    TE AU 2012 - https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Australia/2012?sort=sequential&direction=desc&term=&t=windows%2Bserver

     

    Note: By default filter is applied for Windows Server 2012. You can search for System Center& other datacenter related topics too.

     

    Microsoft Virtual Academy – Structured self-paced courseware for Windows Server 2012 & System Center 2012

    www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com

     

    TechNet Library & Product Group Blog

    What’s new in Windows Server 2012

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831769.aspx

     

    If you visit this link it covers all the enhancements/new features introduced in Windows Server 2012 as well as those features changed/removed/improved compared to Windows Server 2008 R2.

     

    Virtualization Product Group Blog

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/

     

    Windows Server Team Blog

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/

     

    Server & Management Blogs. – Many other product group blogs listed there J

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-management/

     

    Hands-on Labs

    Windows Server 2012 – 16 Labs focusing on Virtualization, Management, Networking, Storage, Web, Identity etc.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/hh968267.aspx

    Download EVALUATIONS

    Windows Server 2012 – http://aka.ms/ws2012rtm

    System Center 2012 – http://aka.ms/sc2012rtm

    For any questions/queries or any feedback feel free to reach out to me on my email Aviraj@microsoft.com or on twitter @aviraj111

    THANK YOU.