• Windows 8: Enable .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) i.e. (NetFx3) feature in Online & Offline mode!

    I have been using Windows 8 for last few months. When Windows 8 CP released I installed CP & subsequently RP too. When I wanted to install some 3rd party application in my Windows 8 VM, I realized that these applications require .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.0 in few cases. Apparently my virtual machine does not have internet connection. Obviously the first step for us is to check the Program and Features to enable any available additional features in an Operating System. This is what you see in your Control Panel –> Program and Features. Click on Turn Windows features on or off.

    Here you can see .NET Framework as a feature and by default the feature is disabled. You can enable this particular right away using this GUI Tool but in order to do that you need to be connected to internet i.e. Online Mode. Other way is using DISM Command and this can be done in an Offline Mode using Windows 8 installation media. Let’s see these 2 methods.

    Method 1: When you are Online, connected to Internet.

    In order to install the following window click on the .NET Framework 3.5 (included .NET 2.0 and 3.0) select it & click OK

    image

    Now, it will download the entire package from the internet & install the .NET Framework feature.

    Method 2: When you are Offline and not connected to Internet

    If you open CMD.EXE with Administrative Privileges i.e. at elevated level & run the this DISM command dism /online /get-features you will see that from the State that .NET Framework is not part of the Operating System.

    image

    image

    So the first thing you need to do is to copy the required package to local machine before you run the command to install .NET Framework. To do that use Windows 8 ISO/DVD/USB Media. You need to copy SXS folder to local machine located at D:\sources\sxs (In this case D: your drive letter on which you have loaded Windows 8 Media)

    image

    You can also use the following command to copy this folder locally. xcopy d:\sxs\*.* c:\sxs /s

    Once completed, in order to install this feature you can run the following command dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:C:\sxs /LimitAccess  and hit Enter

    image

    After completing the installation of .NET Framework 3.5 you can see that the feature is enabled in the Control Panel –> Program and Features

    image

    Bingo. Now you can enable .NET Framework feature on Windows 8 without needing of an internet connection.

    Enjoy

    Update: There was a small typo in the command, I missed including : between source:C:\. I did fix it. Thank you all for your comments & pointing that out :)

  • How to find a machine serial number from command prompt using WMI

    Ever wonder how can you find laptop serial number using command prompt???

    Here is a quick command that you can use to find the Serial Number of your machine.

    To find the serial number, open command prompt (cmd) and type the following command.

    c:\>wmic bios get serialnumber

    This will give you your machine’s serial number by pulling the information from BIOS. This is how it will look like.

    image

    If you are interested in scripting the same visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/558124

    WMIC (Windows Management Instrumentation Command-Line) http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394531(VS.85).aspx

    Hope you enjoy !!!

    Update: Corrected syntax in the command

  • System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager (SCCM 2012) Installation: SQL Server Database Error when using Named Instance…

    Hi All,

     

    Last week one of our customers was trying to install System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager. During the installation customer encountered an issue with SQL Server when using Named Instance instead of Default Instance. MSSQLSERVER.

    I decided to try out the scenario on my own test environment to simulate the same issue by configuring the SCCM & SQL Server using the Names Instance instead of using the Default Instance that work on Port 1433.

     

    Here is my test scenario using 2 virtual machines.

    Domain Controller: DC.MSFT.COM

    SCCM Primary Site: SCCM.MSFT.COM

     

    There are steps I followed to begin my Configuration Manager deployment in my test environment.

     

    INSTALL Windows Features for SCCM.CONTOSO.COM machine. Following are the prerequisites required.

     - .NET Framework 3.5

     - Remote Differential Compression (RDC)

     - Bits with IIS Role

     - PowerShell 2.0 Engine

    Install WSUS Server Role

    Install Windows ADK with USMT, WINPE & Other components. I have installed Windows Assessment Services as it includes its own SQL Express database (Just to avoid any additional complexity)

    Create a Windows Firewall exception rule. Open WF.MSC. Create a new Inbound Rule for Port 1433, 4022 exception. Port 1433 to connect to SQL Database & Port 4022 for Service Broker. You can also enable these ports using a Group Policy.

    Install SQL Server 2012 with Named Instance: SCCM

     

    Till this stage everything was going smooth. I could open SQL Server Management Studio & connect to the database. Next step is to install the System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager.

    I launched the SCCM installer & started following the Primary Site Configuration. On the Database Information wizard screen I was getting the following error.

     

    clip_image001[5]

     

    The error states…

     

    ---------------------------

    Configuration Manager

    ---------------------------

    Setup is unable to connect to SQL Server with the connection information provided.  Verify the following:

    . The SQL Server and instance names are entered correctly

    . The specified SQL Server instance is not configured to use dynamic ports

    . If a firewall is enabled on the SQL Server, inbound rules exist to allow connections to the correct ports

    . The account used to run Setup has permissions to connect to the specified SQL Server instance

    ---------------------------

    OK  

    ---------------------------

     

    As you can see it has given me few details to check with. And then I started checking everything 1 by 1.

    For the first issue, I am sure that I have created an instance with correct name.

    For the second issue, I have assumed that SQL Server will use Port 1433. So we are good. We will come to the same point back after 2-3 lines Smile

    For the third issue I have manually created Firewall Port exception. So that was ruled out.

    For the last issue I have used the default system account that SQL Server 2012 configured so this was also ruled out.

     

    Now, let’s come back to Point 2 i.e. The specified SQL Server instance is not configured to use dynamic ports. In this example, this is the reason we are getting the error when using the Named Instance.


    Here is the FIX

     

    1.      Go to Windows Server Start Screen (yes Windows Server 2012 also has a new Start Screen as Windows 8 because of the shared codebase. NT Kernel 6.3 Build 9200 anyone J)

    2.      Search for SQL Server Configuration Manager

     

    clip_image003[4]

     

    3.      In SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server Network Configuration. Click on Protocols for SCCM (SCCM is your Named Instance)

    In the right side pane, right click on the TCP/IP (Status Enabled) and click on Properties

     

    clip_image004[4]

     

     

    4.      In that click on IP Addresses tab. Scroll down to the bottom & make a change to IPALL. TCP Dynamic Ports -> Blank. TCP Port -> 1433 (as this is our default port for SQL Server Database Connection). Click on Apply.

    And notice that you need to restart SQL Server (SCCM) Service.

    Additionally, you can also configure the same for all the IP Addresses. IP1, IP2…etc. In my case I just made the change as specified above.

     

    clip_image005[4]

     

    5.      To restart a service. Click on SQL Server Service. Right click on Instance Name: SQL Server (SCCM) and click on Restart. Wait for few seconds.

     

    clip_image006[4]

     

    6.      Now, last step go back to your SCCM Installation. Fill in the details

     

    clip_image007[4]

     

    7.      And…NO ERROR. You are on next screen that means you are ready to install SCCM using SQL Server 2012 Smile

     

    clip_image008[4]

     

    So that’s how the SQL Server related issue got fixed. Enjoy Smile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Active Directory Management tool by Stellar Active Directory Manager (1 Year Free Registration)

    Hi Everyone,

    In this post I am going to talk about a 3rd party Active Directory Management Tool from Stellar. I have been evaluating this tool recently & thought to share this with you all. There are many tools available in the market today that IT Administrators use.

    As always make sure you test & evaluate it in your test lab environment first before deploying it in your production environment.

    ================================================================================================================================================================================================

    Today, almost every organization has a complex user network distributed across multiple departments. Managing large number of users and computers in such big organizations is considered to be a tedious and time consuming job. Most of the organizations use Active Directory Management Services (ADMS) to manage the users in the organization. The Active Directory Management Services is a very useful service to handle a limited number of users in an organization. However, in an organization having large number of users, it is very difficult to manage user accounts and resources. Handling a large number of users manually is extremely time consuming, tiresome, and prone to errors. Moreover, the administrator needs to have an in-depth knowledge about the Active Directory Management Services.

    The Active Directory tool also requires various admin inputs and can create further complexities while handling it. The IT administrators come across such challenges almost on a daily basis. For them, resetting thousands of expired and forgotten password of the users is routine work. It is one of the most common tasks handled by an IT administrator. It requires taking the time out from a busy schedule and lowers productivity. The admin also devotes a considerable amount of time while handling groups. Moreover, it allows you to configure or assign various group attributes for just one group at a time. Creating and Managing Contacts in an Active Directory is considered equally important as they have directory information associated with them. It is very important to ensure that a Contact has all the relevant information about a person as it helps in communicating with the people inside and outside the organization. In order to have an authenticated and reliable communication, most of the organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server. The MS Exchange Server works in synchronization with the Active Directory and considered as the backbone of the messaging service. Hence, it is as important as managing Active Directory for any administrator. Managing Microsoft Exchange Server for optimal performance is a very challenging task. Moreover, it is impossible to simultaneously manage Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007/2010/2013 in a single console. When it comes to sharing resources, it brings a major concern of assigning different resources at different levels of a network. The Active Directory uses a very long approach to manage file servers as it handles one user at a time. For example, whenever a new employee is added to an organization, the admin needs to grant him access to various shared resources such as organizational policies, staff details, HR policies, etc. However, granting access to any confidential data is not required, as it may lead to misuse of data. Such permissions need to be carefully granted to ensure data safety and security.

    There are many native Exchange and Active Directory tools, which claims to monitor and manage the Active Directory and Exchange to ensure best performance. Most of them tend to fail in handling Active Directory Domain Services. Active Directory Domain Service is a very complex service and lacks a user friendly approach.

    Stellar Active Directory Manager is a simple and user-friendly tool, which overcomes all the complexities involved in Active Directory Services. It simplifies the complexities of Active Directory Domain Service and provide you a complete control over Active Directory environment. The tool eases various management operations of Active Directory administrator with complete security and authentication. It comes with a complete set of management tools for efficient management of Active Directory. You can perform bulk operations on the user account, computers, contacts, and groups from a centralized location. It also has an inbuilt feature to run queries and generates detailed log report. It also enables the administrator to manage Resources, Account & Audit policies and resources & devices. Thus it helps in avoiding errors and saves a lot of time and cost.

    Some important features offered by the Stellar Active Directory Manager which efficiently addresses these concerns are: · Performs bulk operations on User's, Group, Deleted Objects, Saved Query etc. from a centralized location
    · Manages policies related to users account, audit, securities, rights, and resource management locally as well as remotely
    · Schedule events, manage tasks, and assigns rights for users and computers
    · Manages Sessions, Services , Events and Disk Space on target computers.
    · Generates AD Reports
    · Support for Windows 8/7Vista/XP and Windows Server 2008/2003 (32 & 64Bit)

    Stellar Active Directory Manager Screenshot

    image

    To know more about the tool & get your 1 year free registration key please visit: http://www.stellarinfo.co.in/adm/

    Thank You.

  • 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…

     

    clip_image002[4]

     

     

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

    clip_image004[4]

    Click on Install Now button.

     

    clip_image006[4]

     

    Please wait while Setup is starting.

    clip_image008[4]

     

     

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

    clip_image010[4]


     

     

    Accept the Licensing terms & click Next

    clip_image012[4]


    Click on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)

    clip_image014[4]

     


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

     

    clip_image016[4]

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

    clip_image018[4]

     

     

     

    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:

     

    clip_image021[4]

     

    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

     

    clip_image023[4]

     


    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

     

    clip_image025[4]

     

    After completion system will be restarted automatically.

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

    clip_image027[4]


    A system will be restarted…

     


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

    clip_image029[4]

     

     

     


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

     

    clip_image031[4]

     

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


    clip_image033[4]

     

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

    clip_image035[4]

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

     

    clip_image037[4]

     


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

     

    clip_image039[4]

     

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

     

    clip_image042[4]

     

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

     

    THANK YOU.

  • Windows Server 2012: Convert VHD to VHDX using Hyper-V Manager

    As you are all aware Hyper-V is Microsoft’s Virtualization platform and we use VHD as the file format for installing operating systems. VHD stands for Virtual Hard Disk. Windows Server 2012 features new file format known as VHDX.

    You can read more about it over here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831446.aspx 

    As enterprise workloads for virtual environments grow in size and in performance demands, virtual hard disk (VHD) formats need to accommodate them. Hyper-V in Windows Server “8” Beta introduces a new version of the VHD format called VHDX, which is designed to handle current and future workloads.

    VHDX has a much larger storage capacity than the older VHD format. It also provides data corruption protection during power failures and optimizes structural alignments of dynamic and differencing disks to prevent performance degradation on new, large-sector physical disks.

     

    The main new features of the VHDX format are:

    • Support for virtual hard disk storage capacity of up to 64 TB.
    • Protection against data corruption during power failures by logging updates to the VHDX metadata structures.
    • Improved alignment of the virtual hard disk format to work well on large sector disks.

    The VHDX format also provides the following features:

    • Larger block sizes for dynamic and differencing disks, which allows these disks to attune to the needs of the workload.
    • A 4-KB logical sector virtual disk that allows for increased performance when used by applications and workloads that are designed for 4-KB sectors.
    • The ability to store custom metadata about the file that the user might want to record, such as operating system version or patches applied.
    • Efficiency in representing data (also known as “trim”), which results in smaller file size and allows the underlying physical storage device to reclaim unused space. (Trim requires physical disks directly attached to a virtual machine or SCSI disks, and trim-compatible hardware.)

    Now you may say if we have so many benefits to VHDX then what about existing VHD files. Well, you can use exiting VHD files in Windows Server 2012 for Virtualization.

    HOWEVER THE INTERESTING QUESTION WOULD BE “HOW CAN I CONVERT MY VHD FILE TO VHDX FORMAT TO GET ALL THE BENEFITS?”

    Well, we use the Hyper-V Manager to Edit the Virtual Hard Disk. Here is how we do that.

    First open Hyper-V Manager & Click on Edit Disk

    image

    Now, on the Wizard click on Next and then on the next screen locate the .VHD file.

    image

    In the Choose Action box select the necessary action. In this case you can perform following actions Compact, Convert & Expand. Select Convert & click Next.

    Note: If you want to expand the VHD file select Expand & click Next, that will help you extend the VHD file up to 2 TB.

    image

    Select VHDX file format & click Next

    image

    In the next box Choose Disk Type, select Dynamically expanding & click Next.

    image

    In the Configure Disk, specify the file name & click Next.

    image

    After seeing the Summary, click on Finish.

    After that it will show you the following box stating Editing the virtual disk.

    image

    After few minutes (or based upon the actual VHD file size) you will see the new VHDX file will be ready to use. Enjoy.

    Happy Virtualization

  • Windows 7: Boot from VHD First Impression: Part 2

    Hello,

    In my previous post i.e. Windows 7: Boot from VHD First Impression: Part 1 we seen creating and attaching the VHDs. Using the Disk Management or Diskpart utility we can attach the existing VHDs. In this part we will actually cover the boot from VHD feature.

    We will cover the different ways by which we can actually boot from VHD file. In order to boot from VHD, the bootloader needs to support boot from VHD file. So, what are the basic benefits of having VHD Booting.

    You can use Boot for VHD feature in your test environment or development where you want to try out different applications or devices, which is not possible in Virtual Environment.

    Booting from VHDs means booting the machine as if running from primary hard disk so your operating system will leverage all the hardware available in your system like Graphics, Wireless, USB etc. which is not possible in most of the virtual environment.

    This is good for multi-boot environment where you want to run multiple operating systems on same machine without losing the performance. This is possible by VHD booting. As every VHD is like a Hard disk with primary partition; so you can create multiple VHDs with operating systems installed onto it.

    In this discussion we will cover the following key points.

    • Booting a Windows 7 VHD or Windows Server 7 (aka Windows Server 2008 R2) VHD
    • Preparing VHD file using Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 Media or existing VHD running Hyper-V
    • Adding the VHD entry in Boot Menu for VHD Boot and then Boot from VHD

     

    Booting a Windows 7 VHD or Windows Server 7 (aka Windows Server 2008 R2) VHD

    This feature is only supported by the Windows 7 client VHD and Windows Server 7 aka Windows Server 2008 R2 VHD.

    In order to boot from VHD we need to prepare the VHDs using any of the two methods.

    1. The first method is obtaining the existing Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 DVD VHD and make sure it is sysprepped to clear all the hardware information. So why sysprep ?

      Benefits of Sysprep

      Sysprep provides the following benefits:

      • Removes system-specific data from Windows. Sysprep can remove all system-specific information from an installed Windows image, including the computer security identifier (SID). The Windows installation can then be captured and installed throughout an organization.
      • Configures Windows to boot to Audit mode. Audit mode enables you to install third-party applications and device drivers, as well as to test the functionality of the computer.
      • Configures Windows to boot to Windows Welcome. Configures a Windows installation to boot to Windows Welcome the next time the computer starts. In general, you configure a system to boot to Windows Welcome immediately before delivering the computer to a customer.
      • Resets Windows Product Activation. Sysprep can reset Windows Product Activation up to three times.

      For more information about sysprep visit How sysprep works ? and What is Sysprep ? that will give you clear idea about sysprepping a system.

    2. Applying a WIM Image directly to the VHD file using ImageX utility. The ImageX utility can be used to extract the required operating system edition directly to the attached VHD file in Windows 7

    The ImageX utility is part of WAIK. i.e. Windows Automated Installation Kit. You can download the WAIK for Windows 7 from here

    Preparing VHD file using Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 Media or existing VHD running in Hyper-V

     

    From my previous post create a new VHD and attach it using Disk Management. Now, you will have newly attached X: created with label 'Windows7', which is of size 20 GB.

    Now, you will require the 'install.wim' file from the Windows 7 Media or Windows Server 7 Media. Along with that we will require ImageX utility.

    In order to extract image to the X: we will use the following syntax.

    image

     

    d:\imagex>imagex /apply d:\install.wim 1 x:\

    In the above syntax we can see we have used 'd:\install.wim' followed by '1' and 'X:\' (this is the attached VHD.)  Now this 1 denotes Image Index i.e. edition of the Operating System.

    As you can see I have used the 'install.wim' file from the Media of Windows Server 7 Beta and 1 denotes Enterprise Edition.

    In order to check the Image Index we will use the following command

    d:\imagex>imagex /info "d:\Download\Windows Server 7 R2\install.wim" (i.e. the location of the install.wim file)

    image

    Once finished the extracting the OS using ImageX it will look like this

    image

    Once the image is applied to particular drive in our case X:\. Detach the X: Drive from the Disk Management. Now your VHD file is ready to boot.

     

    Preparing the VHD file using Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

    If you have Windows Server 2008 running Hyper-V, launch the virtual machine running Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 aka Windows Server 2008 R2 and the run the following command

    c:\windows\system32\sysprep>sysprep /generalize /shutdown

    sysprep

    After running the above command in the virtual machine, this will launch the System Preparation Tool 3.14. Select the checkbox for 'Generalize' and click on OK.

    Once the sysprep is completed the virtual machine will be shutdown and ready for booting. You can copy that VHD now.

    Note: Sysprep does not work on upgrade. You need to have Clean Installed Windows 7

     

    Adding the VHD Entry in Boot Menu and then Boot from VHD

    Now that we have successfully created VHD files. The last step is adding boot entry for the VHD file in your Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 using BCDEdit.exe tool.

    For this step open the Elevated Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges and type the following commands.

    C:\>bcdedit /copy {current} /d "My New VHD Description"

    Note: This will Return the GUID of the Loader Object that you will use to replace <guid> below
    C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> device vhd=[driveletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> osdevice vhd=[driverletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>

    Note: vhd=[driveletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename> is the new syntax supported for BCDEdit.exe to locate VHD File and Bootmgr will locate the partition containing the VHD File to boot from.
    C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> detecthal on

    Note:

    Following is the attached screenshot of the my machine. In this case I have Windows 7 as the default OS and I have added the VHD File in the Boot Entry.

    bcd

    Well just after that run the following command to test if your boot entry is successfully created using C:\>bcdedit /v

    image

     

    Similarly, if you want to add multiple VHDs into Boot entry you can use the following lines to the command prompt

    C:\>bcdedit /copy {current} /d "New VHD Description"
    C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> device vhd=[driveletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> osdevice vhd=[driverletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> detecthal on

    Note:  detecthal is used to force windows to auto detect the Hardware Abstraction Layer.

    If you want to delete any existing VHD entry from the Boot Menu you can always use the command C:\>bcdedit /delete <guid> /cleanup This deletes the specified operating system entry from the store and removes the entry from the display order.

    Well, we are ready to Boot from VHD. Once you restart the computer you will see additional entry in Boot Menu along with the default Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 OS.

    Here is the screenshot from newly booted Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta from VHD. I have installed Desktop Experience Pack and enabled Aero Glass.

    win 7 server

    Happy Virtualization

    Update 1: Thanks much Mark Shyn for pointing out method 1 correction.

  • Installing Windows 7 using usb thumb drive

    Hi everyone,

    Those days gone when we used to carry floppy disks to copy small documents, text files here and there. Now, we prefer USB thumb drives or pen drives for copying documents, multimedia files. Over the last few years USB drives have been quite cheap to buy. And these days when we have operating system size grown into GBs we have to burn the DVD disc every time we want to install the OS. But using USB thumb drive we install Windows 7 without wasting any DVD disc. Many of us who try different builds and format the machine often; for such users installing from USB drive is peace of mind. No need to burn the DVD every time. Also, the netbooks are getting very common for eg. Asus Eee PC. As netbooks don’t have built-in DVD drive, installing from USB drive is the most convenient option than hunting for USB Optical drive.

    So, what do we need to install the Windows 7 from USB drive ? A USB thumb drive with capacity 4 GB or more and of course Windows 7 DVD media. Right now we have Windows 7 Beta build 7000 having total DVD media sizing just over 2.4 GB.

    Let’s start by pluggin the 4 GB USB thumb drive.

    Open the elevated command prompt with administrator privileges and type the following commands.

    image

    C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

    Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7000
    Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: AVIRAJ

    DISKPART> list disk

      Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
      --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
      Disk 0    Online          149 GB      0 B
      Disk 1    Online         3834 MB      0 B

    DISKPART> select disk 1

    Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

    DISKPART> clean

    DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

    DISKPART> create partition primary

    DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

    DISKPART> format fs=fat32 quick

      100 percent completed

    DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

    DISKPART> active

    DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

    DISKPART> exit

    Leaving DiskPart...

    C:\Windows\system32>exit

    Now, just copy the files located on Windows 7 DVD Media.image

    Make sure in the BIOS you have selected USB Boot option. Otherwise you won’t be able to boot from the USB thumb drive.

    Next step, plug in the USB thumb drive into the notebook or netbook, where you want to install Windows 7. It will boot from the USB thumb drive. Installing from USB drive improves installation time vs installing from DVD Media as optical media is lower that USB.

    Using this same USB thumb drive you can install Windows 7 on any computer that supports booting from USB. And now on you won’t be wasting the DVD disc for burning any new build of Windows 7. Just replace the media files on the USB thumb drive and install the OS. :)

    Enjoy

  • Microsoft Download Center: Windows Server 2012 R2 Test Lab Guide

    We recently published the new Windows Server Test Lab Guide for building your own internal labs for demo purposes. If you are looking forward for testing scenarios on Windows Server 2012 R2, this guide provides a good reference.

    This Microsoft Test Lab Guide (TLG) provides you with step-by-step instructions to create the Windows Base Configuration test lab, using computers running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2, With the resulting test lab environment, you can build test labs based on other Windows Server 2012 R2 TLGs from Microsoft, TLG extensions in the TechNet Wiki, or a test lab of your own design that can include Microsoft or non-Microsoft products. For a test lab based on physical computers, you can image the drives for future test labs. For a test lab based on virtual machines, you can create snapshots of the base configuration virtual machines. This enables you to easily return to the base configuration test lab, where most of the routine infrastructure and networking services have already been configured, so that you can focus on building a test lab for the product, technology, or solution of interest.

    image

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Windows Azure PowerShell Error: Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile : No certificate was found in the certificate store with thumbprint

    I have multiple Azure Subscriptions configured with my Microsoft Account (formerly Live ID) Some time back couple of subscriptions were disabled due to excessive usage, which is fine. However, at this time when I tried to manage the same using PowerShell I was getting the following error every time I tried to Import the Publish Settings file using Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile command.

    I ran the following command

    PS C:\> Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile -PublishSettingsFile 'C:\Final\<SUBSCRIPTION_NAME>.publishsettings'

    image

    I did not understand what was the problem around the same as every time I use the same method & it works. But never I faced any issue. I checked on to the management portal just to verify if it has created proper certificates. Here is the output.

    image

    I then decided to search online to see what was the problem. I found a link that explains the same behavior.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsazuremanagement/thread/93750a76-9f87-4b00-ad4d-4908cf55c12d

    Interestingly the answer suggested by Neil was appropriate. The subscription data was stored earlier in the following folder C:\Users\aviraj\AppData\Roaming\Windows Azure Powershell

    image

    And that was the problem as the data included my disabled subscription details as well, which are not available in my newly downloaded Publish Settings File.

     

    SOLUTION

    Just delete all the files in the folder C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Roaming\Windows Azure Powershell

    And try to re-run the same command Import-PublishSettingsFile & voila problem is solved Smile

    image

    Enjoy!!

  • Microsoft Download Center: Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture - Fabric Architecture & Fabric Management Architecture Guide

    Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Architecture Guide
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38817

    This document provides customers with the necessary guidance to develop solutions for a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure in accordance with the IaaS PLA patterns that are identified for use with the Windows Server 2012 operating system. This document provides specific guidance for developing fabric architectures (compute, network, storage, and virtualization layers) of an overall private cloud solution.

     

    Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Management Architecture Guide
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38813

    This document provides customers with the necessary guidance to develop solutions for a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure in accordance with the IaaS PLA patterns that are identified for use with the Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This document provides specific guidance for developing a management architecture for an overall private cloud solution.

    Enjoy!

  • Microsoft Download Center: Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library documentation as a PDF.

    Hi Everyone,

    Recently, we announced the availability of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library documentation available as a PDF on Microsoft Download Center.

    We highly recommend that you should always rely on the latest documentation available on http://technet.microsoft.com

    This download is an Adobe® PDF of the entire contents of the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 section of the Microsoft TechNet Library, for the convenience of Windows Server users who have limited Internet access, or require a portable version of the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 documentation. The PDF is 116 MB, and 7,970 pages in length. Highlights of the PDF include the following.

    image

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft Download Center: Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters

    Get the all new Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture posters.

    Provides a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2 and focuses on Generation 2 virtual machines, Hyper-V with virtual hard disk sharing, online virtual hard disk resizing, storage quality-of-service, enhanced session mode, live migration, Hyper-V failover clustering, and upgrading your private cloud.

    image

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft Download Center: System Center 2012 SP1 Integration Map

    The downloadable files listed on this page contain the cross-component documentation for the Technical Scenarios for System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). The available downloads include:

    • System Requirements for System Center 2012 SP1 - last updated January 15, 2013
    • Upgrade Sequencing for System Center 2012 SP1 - last updated January 15, 2013
    • System Center 2012 SP1 Integration Map - last updated February 21, 2013. This diagram shows the integration points between the various System Center 2012 SP1 components.

    image

    This technical documentation is also available in the TechNet Library.

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft Download Center: Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 4.0 (EMET)

    The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is designed to help prevent hackers from gaining access to your system.
    Software vulnerabilities and exploits have become an everyday part of life. Virtually every product has to deal with them and consequently, users are faced with a stream of security updates. For users who get attacked before the latest updates have been applied or who get attacked before an update is even available, the results can be devastating: malware, loss of PII, etc.
    Security mitigation technologies are designed to make it more difficult for an attacker to exploit vulnerabilities in a given piece of software. EMET allows users to manage these technologies on their system and provides several unique benefits:
    1. No source code needed: Until now, several of the available mitigations (such as Data Execution Prevention) have required for an application to be manually opted in and recompiled. EMET changes this by allowing a user to opt in applications without recompilation. This is especially handy for deploying mitigations on software that was written before the mitigations were available and when source code is not available.
    2. Highly configurable: EMET provides a higher degree of granularity by allowing mitigations to be individually applied on a per process basis. There is no need to enable an entire product or suite of applications. This is helpful in situations where a process is not compatible with a particular mitigation technology. When that happens, a user can simply turn that mitigation off for that process.
    3. Helps harden legacy applications: It’s not uncommon to have a hard dependency on old legacy software that cannot easily be rewritten and needs to be phased out slowly. Unfortunately, this can easily pose a security risk as legacy software is notorious for having security vulnerabilities. While the real solution to this is migrating away from the legacy software, EMET can help manage the risk while this is occurring by making it harder to hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the legacy software.
    4. Ease of use: The policy for system wide mitigations can be seen and configured with EMET's graphical user interface. There is no need to locate up and decipher registry keys or run platform dependent utilities. With EMET you can adjust setting with a single consistent interface regardless of the underlying platform.
    5. Ease of deploy: EMET comes with built-in support for enterprise deployment and configuration technologies. This enables administrators to use Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager to deploy, configure and monitor EMET installations across the enterprise environment.
    6. Ongoing improvement: EMET is a living tool designed to be updated as new mitigation technologies become available. This provides a chance for users to try out and benefit from cutting edge mitigations. The release cycle for EMET is also not tied to any product. EMET updates can be made dynamically as soon as new mitigations are ready
    The toolkit includes several pseudo mitigation technologies aimed at disrupting current exploit techniques. These pseudo mitigations are not robust enough to stop future exploit techniques, but can help prevent users from being compromised by many of the exploits currently in use. The mitigations are also designed so that they can be easily updated as attackers start using new exploit techniques.


    Below is a summary of the features and changes that are included with the EMET 4.0 release:
    • Certificate Trust: considering the raise of PKI-related attacks, we decided to implement a configurable SSL Certificate Pinning to try to detect Man in the Middle attacks that leverage SSL/TLS certificates. The Certificate Trust feature in EMET is rule-based and allows to pin a specific SSL/TLS certificate to a trusted Root Certificate Authority.
    • ROP mitigations and hardening: in the last Technical Preview release of EMET, we introduced some mitigations to try to stop ROP-based attacks by implementing some of the winner ideas of the BlueHat Prize contest. With this new EMET release we hardened the ROP and other mitigations to detect and stop novel attack techniques.
    • Early Warning Program: this feature will allow EMET to send contextual data back to Microsoft, through the standard Windows Error Reporting channel, every time that an exploit has been detected and stopped. We are adding this feature to help us respond to new 0day exploits as soon as possible.
    • Audit mode: if an exploit is detected, EMET will not terminate the attacked process but it will just report the attack and let the process continue. This mode is only applicable to certain mitigations, for example the anti-ROP ones, that detect the attack when the process is not already in a crashed state. This feature is useful for enterprise customers for testing purposes and to spot false-positives and app-compat problems without compromising the user experience.
    EMET 4.0 also includes bug fixes and UI changes to improve the overall user experience. Also, at the end of the installation, EMET will offer the user to automatically apply recommended settings to protect Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat/Reader, and Oracle Java, as well as a pre-defined set of rules for the Certificate Trust feature that will monitor the main Microsoft and other popular online services. More information are available in the User Guide, available in the EMET installation folder.
    Please remember that EMET 4.0 requires .NET Framework 4, and in order to protect Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 you need to install KB2790907 – a mandatory AppCompat update that has been released on March 12th.

    image

     

    KB Articles: KB2458544

    EMET BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT http://blogs.technet.com/b/srd/archive/2013/06/17/emet-4-0-now-available-for-download.aspx

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft Download Center: Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 8.5

    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop, server and cloud migrations. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside within their current environment. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments. Learn more.
    The MAP Toolkit includes the following components:

    • Microsoft_Assessment_and_Planning_Toolkit_Setup.exe. Installation package containing the tool and SQL LocalDB.
    • readme_en.htm. Available as a separate download. Provides information to read before installing the MAP Toolkit, including installation prerequisites and known issues.
    • MAP_Sample_Documents.zip. Available as a separate download. Contains sample reports and proposals.
    • MAP_Training_Kit.zip. Available as a separate download. Contains sample database and instructions for completing various exercises.

    For more details please visit the MAP Toolkit Team announcement http://blogs.technet.com/b/mapblog/archive/2013/07/08/microsoft-assessment-and-planning-toolkit-8-5-now-available.aspx

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft Support KB: Microsoft server software support for Windows Azure Virtual Machines

    During my recent TechEd India 2013, Pune event, I was asked a question during our Stump the Speaker Session, the question was about what all Microsoft Server software is supported in Windows Azure Virtual Machines environment. And I have responded to the audience to wait for some time so that Azure team to share more details. Well, after the Windows Azure GA announcement, Microsoft has released a list of Microsoft server software supported in Windows azure Virtual Machines.

    Feel free to share the following information with your customers. Hope it helps Smileimage

     

    This article discusses the support policy for running Microsoft server software in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine environment (infrastructure-as-a-service). 
    Microsoft supports Microsoft server software running in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine environments as listed in the "More Information" section. This support is subject to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy. For more information, visit the following Microsoft website:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=lifecycle

    (http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=lifecycle)

    All Microsoft software installed in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine environment must be properly licensed. Windows Azure Virtual Machines include by default a license for use of Windows Server in the Windows Azure environment. Certain Windows Azure Virtual Machine offerings may also include additional Microsoft software on a per-hour or evaluation basis. Licenses for other software must be obtained separately. For information about Microsoft’s License Mobility program see:
    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx

    (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx)

    In some cases, specific versions of Microsoft server software are required for support. These versions are noted in this article, and the supported versions may be updated as needed.

    Microsoft BizTalk Server
    Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 and later is supported.
    Microsoft Dynamics GP
    Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and later is supported.
    Microsoft Dynamics NAV
    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and later is supported.
    Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager
    Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 SP1 and later is supported.
    Microsoft Project Server
    Microsoft Project Server 2013 and later is supported.
    Microsoft SharePoint Server
    Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and later is supported on Windows Azure Virtual Machines. For more information, please see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj154957

    (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj154957)

    Microsoft SQL Server
    64-bit versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and later are supported. Please see http://support.microsoft.com/?id=956893

    (http://support.microsoft.com/?id=956893)

    for details.
    Microsoft System Center
    System Center 2012 SP1 and later is supported for the following applications:

    • App Controller
    • Operations Manager
    • Orchestrator
    • Server Application Virtualization
    • Service Manager
    Microsoft Team Foundation Server
    Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2012 and later is supported.
    Windows Server Roles
    Windows Server 2008 R2 and later versions are supported for the following roles.  This list will be updated as new roles are confirmed:
    • Active Directory Domain Services
    • Active Directory Federation Services
    • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
    • Application Server
    • DNS Server
    • File Services
    • Network Policy and Access Services
    • Print and Document Services
    • Web Server (IIS)
    • Windows Server Update Services

    The following roles are not supported on Windows Azure Virtual Machines:
    • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server
    • Hyper-V
    • Remote Access (Direct Access)
    • Windows Deployment Services

    Windows Server Features
    Notable features that are not supported:
    • BitLocker Drive Encryption (on the OS disk – may be used on data disks)
    • Failover Clustering
    • Internet Storage Name Server
    • Multipath I/O
    • Network Load Balancing
    • Peer Name Resolution Protocol
    • SNMP Services
    • Storage Manager for SANs
    • Windows Internet Name Service
    • Wireless LAN Service

    FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE VISIT: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2721672

  • Microsoft Download Center: Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit v4 Beta

    The enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is designed to help prevent hackers from gaining access to your system. The new EMET 4.0 (Beta) features provides a preview on what’s in store for the final version. Please note that this is a "Beta" release. It is not ready for wide enterprise deployment. The latest official EMET release, EMET V3, is ready for enterprise deployment.
    Below is a summary of the features and changes that are included with the EMET 4.0 Beta release: • Certificate Trust: considering the raise of PKI-related attacks, we decided to implement a configurable SSL Certificate Pinning to try to detect Man in the Middle attacks that leverage SSL/TLS certificates. The Certificate Trust feature in EMET is rule-based and allows to pin a specific SSL/TLS certificate to a trusted Root Certificate Authority; • ROP mitigations and hardening: in the last Technical Preview release of EMET, we introduced some mitigations to try to stop ROP-based attacks by implementing some of the winner ideas of the BlueHat Prize contest. With this new EMET release we hardened the ROP and other mitigations to detect and stop novel attack techniques. For example EMET 4.0 beta is able to stop one ASLR/DEP bypass technique presented at this year’s CanSecWest; • Early Warning Program: this feature will allow EMET to send contextual data back to Microsoft, through the standard Windows Error Reporting channel, every time that an exploit has been detected and stopped. We are adding this feature to help us respond to new 0day exploits as soon as possible. • Audit mode: if an exploit is detected, EMET will not kill the attacked process but it will just report the attack and let the process continue. This mode is only applicable to certain mitigations, for example the ROP-related ones, that detect the attack when the process is not already in a crashed state. This feature is useful for enterprise customers for testing purposes and to spot false-positives and app-compat problems without compromising the user experience; EMET 4.0 beta also includes several bug fixes and UI changes to improve the overall user experience. Also, at the end of the installation, EMET will automatically import settings to protect Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat/Reader, and Oracle Java, as well as a pre-defined set of rules for the Certificate Trust feature that will monitor the main Microsoft online services. More information are available in the User Guide, available in the EMET installation folder. Please remember that EMET 4.0 requires .NET Framework 4, and in order to protect Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 you need to install KB2790907 – a mandatory AppCompat update that has been released on March 12th.
    Software vulnerabilities and exploits have become an everyday part of life. Virtually every product has to deal with them and consequently, users are faced with a stream of security updates. For users who get attacked before the latest updates have been applied or who get attacked before an update is even available, the results can be devastating: malware, loss of PII, etc.


    Security mitigation technologies are designed to make it more difficult for an attacker to exploit vulnerabilities in a given piece of software. EMET allows users to manage these technologies on their system and provides several unique benefits:
    1. No source code needed: Until now, several of the available mitigations (such as Data Execution Prevention) have required for an application to be manually opted in and recompiled. EMET changes this by allowing a user to opt in applications without recompilation. This is especially handy for deploying mitigations on software that was written before the mitigations were available and when source code is not available.
    2. Highly configurable: EMET provides a higher degree of granularity by allowing mitigations to be individually applied on a per process basis. There is no need to enable an entire product or suite of applications. This is helpful in situations where a process is not compatible with a particular mitigation technology. When that happens, a user can simply turn that mitigation off for that process.
    3. Helps harden legacy applications: It’s not uncommon to have a hard dependency on old legacy software that cannot easily be rewritten and needs to be phased out slowly. Unfortunately, this can easily pose a security risk as legacy software is notorious for having security vulnerabilities. While the real solution to this is migrating away from the legacy software, EMET can help manage the risk while this is occurring by making it harder to hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the legacy software.
    4. Ease of use: The policy for system wide mitigations can be seen and configured with EMET's graphical user interface. There is no need to locate up and decipher registry keys or run platform dependent utilities. With EMET you can adjust setting with a single consistent interface regardless of the underlying platform.
    5. Ease of deploy: EMET comes with built-in support for enterprise deployment and configuration technologies. This enables administrators to use Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager to deploy, configure and monitor EMET installations across the enterprise environment.
    6. Ongoing improvement: EMET is a living tool designed to be updated as new mitigation technologies become available. This provides a chance for users to try out and benefit from cutting edge mitigations. The release cycle for EMET is also not tied to any product. EMET updates can be made dynamically as soon as new mitigations are ready
    The toolkit includes several pseudo mitigation technologies aimed at disrupting current exploit techniques. These pseudo mitigations are not robust enough to stop future exploit techniques, but can help prevent users from being compromised by many of the exploits currently in use. The mitigations are also designed so that they can be easily updated as attackers start using new exploit techniques.

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft DPE India Blog…

    Hi Everyone,

    We have recently started the DPE India Blog for Announcements from Developer & Platform Evangelism Team in India. The blog will focus upon the activities from DPE India team targeting Developers, IT Professionals & Students.

    Here is the first blog post targeted for IT Professionals http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpeindia/archive/2013/07/08/cloud-os.aspx

    Make sure you subscribe to the DPE India Blog for all the upcoming activities, events etc.

    Regards,

    Aviraj Ajgekar

  • Microsoft TechEd North America 2013: All of Infrastructure & Datacenter Management Sessions

    Hi IT Professionals,

    I want to share with you a complete list of sessions/labs related to Management (System Center, Windows Intune, Hyper-V, MDOP, and MDT) from TechEd NA 2013. Thanks to Cleber Marques & our community for sharing the list Smile

    clip_image002[4]

    clip_image004[4]

    · Keynote Presentation

    · Deploying and Managing Windows 8 in the Real World

    · Simplify and Maximize System Management with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration…

    · New for SP1: Upgrading from Microsoft System Center 2012 - Configuration Manager to Configuration…

    · Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 Sequencing, Migration and Coexistence

    · Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0: Flexible Virtualization with Virtual Application…

    · Getting Started with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1

    · Implementing and Managing Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0

    · Microsoft Bitlocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) v2

    · Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT)

    · Microsoft User Experience Virtualization Overview

    · Microsoft User Experience Virtualization Setup and Configuration Lab

    · Windows 8 Deployment Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 and Microsoft System Center…

    · Advanced Software Distribution

    · Basic Software Distribution

    · Deploying a Microsoft System Center 2012 - Configuration Manager Hierarchy

    · Deploying Microsoft System Center 2012 - Configuration Manager

    · Deploying Windows 8 to Bare Metal Clients

    · Implementing Microsoft System Center 2012 - Endpoint Protection

    · Implementing Settings Management

    · Introduction to Microsoft System Center 2012 - Configuration Manager

    · Managing Applications

    · Managing Clients

    · Managing Content

    · Managing Microsoft Software Updates

    · Migrating from Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012

    · New for SP1: Deploying Windows 8 Applications in Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration…

    · New for SP1: Expanding a Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager Hierarchy

    · New for SP1: Implementing App-V 5.0 in Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager

    · New for SP1: Implementing Database Replication Controls in Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 -…

    · New for SP1: Implementing Linux Clients in Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager

    · Implementing Role-Based Administration

    · Enhancements with Window Server 2012 R2 Hyper-v Replica

    · Deploying and Managing Microsoft Workloads with Microsoft System Center 2012

    · Monitoring Your Infrastructure and Network with Microsoft System Center 2012

    · Managing App-V 5.0 with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager

    · Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack: Advanced Group Policy Management 4.0 SP1

    · Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0 Overview

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Application Performance Monitoring

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Configuring Your Infrastructure

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Configuring Your Private Cloud

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Installation and Deployment

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Chargeback and Reporting

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Creating a Management Pack in Microsoft Visio

    · Microsoft System Center 2012 - Orchestrator: Overview and Automation of IT Process

    · Performing Basic Customizations for Microsoft System Center 2012 - Service Manager

    · Protecting File Servers with Microsoft System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager

    · Integrating Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Operations Manager with Team Foundation Server (TFS)

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Hybrid Cloud Management

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Network Virtualization

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Service Delivery and Automation

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Linux Configuration and Management

    clip_image006[4]

    · Enabling People-Centric IT

    · Transform the Datacenter with Server and Management Innovations from Microsoft

    · Lessons Learned from Implementing Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 for Hosters…

    · Microsoft System Center 2012 - Orchestrator: Crash Course

    · Automate Private Cloud Protection and Recovery with Microsoft System Center 2012 - Data Protection…

    · Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 Migration and Co-Existence with 4.6

    · Building the Perfect Windows 8 Image

    · Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager Overview

    · Replacing BIOS with a UEFI Deployment

    · Mission: IT Operations for a Good Night's Sleep

    · Introduction to System Center 2012 R2

    · CSPP Enables You to Deliver a Private Cloud in the Enterprise Coupled with Chargeback

    · What's New with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1

    · Hyper-V - What's New in Windows Server 2012 R2

    · Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager and Veeam: Better Together

    · Running and Managing Linux and UNIX with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center

    · Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Operations Manager: Overview and What’s New

    · Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 and Microsoft Office: Better Together

    clip_image008[4]

    · What's New in Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1

    · Transform the Datacenter Immersion, Part 1 of 4: Infrastructure Foundation

    · Implementing Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0: Lessons Learned from a Production Rollout

    · What's New in Infrastructure: Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager…

    · Getting Started with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1 (repeats on 6/5 at 10:15am)

    · Deliver IT Agility in the Modern Datacenter with Integration of Virtualization, Cloud, and…

    · Integrating RDS with Microsoft System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager Service Templates:…

    · The Replaceable PC

    · What's New with Windows 8 BitLocker and Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Management (MBAM) 2.0

    · Transform the Datacenter Immersion, Part 2 of 4: Infrastructure Management

    · Best Practices in Virtualizing and Managing Microsoft SQL Server with Microsoft System Center and…

    · Effective Capacity Planning of Your Infrastructure Resources with Microsoft System Center 2012 -…

    · Key Metrics and Practices for Monitoring Virtualization Platforms

    · Best Practices in Virtualizing and Managing Microsoft SharePoint with Microsoft System Center and…

    · Transform the Datacenter Immersion, Part 3 of 4: Application Management

    · Deploying and Configuring Mobile Device Management Infrastructure with Microsoft System Center 2012…

    · Deploying and Managing Virtual Applications and Settings with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 -…

    · Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track v3: Private Cloud Reference Architecture Based on Windows Server…

    · What’s New in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 - Virtual Machine Manager

    · DevOps: Global Service Monitoring

    · Building Hosted Clouds Using Windows Server 2012 R2

    · Comparing Windows Server Hyper-V and VMware vSphere

    · Transform the Datacenter Immersion, Part 4 of 4: Insight and Availability

    · How to Design and Configure Networking in Microsoft System Center - Virtual Machine Manager and…

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Managing a Microsoft Exchange Infrastructure and Lync Server 2013 -…

    · Microsoft System Center 2012 - Orchestrator: Integration Packs

    · How to Design and Configure Networking in Microsoft System Center - Virtual Machine Manager and…

    · Storage Management: Spanning the Enterprise to Low Cost Scalable Solutions

    · Microsoft System Center 2012: Network Virtualization (repeats on 6/5 at 5pm)

    · Monitor Your Cloud Application Infrastructure on Windows Azure and Amazon EC2

    · Windows Intune Overview

    clip_image010[4]

    · Advanced Real-World Microsoft System Center Data Warehouse and Reporting

    · Deploying and Managing Windows 8 with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager

    · What's New in Windows 8 Deployment

    · Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V): How to Manage and Deploy UE-V across an Enterprise

    · Building Cloud Services with Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 and the Windows…

    · Enabling On-Premises IaaS Solutions with the Windows Azure Pack

    · Managing Embedded Devices with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager

    · Configuring and Tuning Windows 8

    · Advanced Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Customizations: Dueling MDT Enhancements

    · Windows Azure Services for Windows Server

    · Managing Multi-Hypervisor Environments with System Center 2012

    · Integrating with Microsoft System Center 2012 and Windows PowerShell

    · Deploying Applications in Microsoft System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager Using Services

    · Unified Modern Device Management with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager…

    · Upgrading Your Private Cloud with Windows Server 2012 R2

    · Making PC Recovery Easier with the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT)

    · Administering and Automating On-Premises IaaS Scenarios Using the Windows Azure Pack

    · Pieces of 8: Prospecting for Windows 8 Gold

    · Microsoft IT: How We Upgrade Microsoft System Center - Configuration Manager Hierarchy (Almost)…

    · Sequencing Applications Using the New Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 Sequencer

    · Enabling Multi-Tenant IaaS Clouds in Microsoft System Center and Windows Server

    · Automating Microsoft System Center Deployment with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit

    · Monitoring and Managing the Network and Storage Infrastructure with Microsoft System Center 2012 -…

    · Application Availability Strategies for the Private Cloud

    · Migrating from VMware: Tools and Tips

    · Application Delivery with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager and Windows Intune

    clip_image012[4]

    · A Drivers Saga: Mastering Windows Deployment

    · Deploying Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 - Configuration Manager with Windows Intune at Microsoft

    · Integrating the New Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 with other Virtualization Solutions

    · Windows 8 Image Engineering: Notes from the Field

    · Workloads: Monitoring the Microsoft Private Cloud Fabric with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 -…

    · Implementing Self-Service Desktop Refresh in Six Easy Steps with Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 -…

    · How Microsoft Monitors Applications Using APM, Global Service Monitor, and Microsoft Visual Studio…

    · Case Study: How Microsoft IT is Using Microsoft System Center 2012 - Configuration Manager

    · Demonstrations of Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit Tools

    · Comparing the Microsoft Private Cloud and the VMware vCloud

    · Top 5 Server Application Deployment and Servicing Problems Addressed by Server App-V and System…

    · Tips and Tricks for Creating Custom Management Packs for Microsoft System Center - Operations Manager

  • Microsoft Download Center: Windows Azure Training Kit–August 2013

    The Windows Azure Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs and presentations that are designed to help you learn how to use the latest Windows Azure features and services.
    August 2013 UpdateWindows
    The August 2013 update of the Windows Azure Training Kit includes updated versions of Introduction to Access Control Service 2.0 to the latest portal experience and MVC 4; Getting Started Windows Azure Storage with two extra exercises that go deeper on each storage abstraction security; and 4 new labs showing brand new portal functionalities.
    Content Updates:

    • New Lab: Going Live with Windows Azure Web Sites
    • New Lab: Automatically Scaling Web Applications on Windows Azure Web Sites
    • New Lab: Creating a Windows Azure Mobile Service with a Custom API
    • New Lab: Introduction to Windows Azure Active Directory
    • Updated Introduction to Windows Azure Access Control Service 2.0
    • New Exercises: Getting Started Windows Azure Storage

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    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Microsoft Download Center: Windows Azure Poster (June 2013)

    Introduces Windows Azure for developers and IT pros. Summarizes benefits such as global coverage and extensive language support. Provides a description of current services by category: app services, data services, compute, networking, and store. Depicts common uses including Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Mobile Services, and Media Services. The poster is intended to be printed and measures 26" x 39”.

    image

    DOWNLOAD HERE

  • Windows 7: Boot from VHD First Impression: Part 1

    Hello,

    As you all know Microsoft released the Windows 7 BETA build 7000 for testing. Many of you must be excited about the much more enhanced version of the operating system.

    Windows 7 is much more faster that the Windows Vista and utilizes the resources more efficiently improving end user performance. We have seen many new features related to UI and Performance.

    One of the best features that is being discussed around is the native support for VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) Yes the same VHD files that are used in virtualization platform i.e.. Hyper-V, Virtual Server and Virtual PC.

    Today we will see the following key items.

    • Creating native Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) in Windows 7
    • Creating and Attaching VHDs using Diskpart utility
    • Attaching and Detaching the VHD file

     

    Creating Native Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) in Windows 7

     

    Right Click on My Computer and Click 'Manage' that will open up Computer Management, in that click on Disk Management.

    Disk Management

     

    Right Click on Disk Management and select 'Create VHD' This will open new windows 'Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk'

    create

     

    In this windows select the location where you want to create the VHD file. Make sure you have sufficient free space while creating new VHD file. After that provide the Virtual Hard Disk size and format of the VHD.

    By default the Fixed size is recommended but you can select Dynamic expanding if you don't want to allocate the disk space. There would be slight performance difference between fixed size and dynamically expanding.

    For production environment it is suggested to go for Fixed size. For the demo purpose we will go ahead with dynamically expanding VHD format.

    created vhd

     

    Click on OK and that will install newly attached (mounted) VHD. Now next step will be initializing the disk

    newly mounted vhd

     

    Alright now Right Click on Disk 1 (Blue icon) and click on 'Initialize' This will open a new window 'Initialize Disk.'

    Select the partition and click on 'OK.' You can leave the current selection to default.

    initialize done

     

    As you can see now the status of the Disk 1 is changed to 'Online.' We create a new simple volume on the Disk 1

     

    unallocated

    So Right Click on the 'Unallocated' area and select 'New Simple Volume' This will launch 'New Simple Volume Wizard.'

    After that click on next and specify size, we will  keep the default NTFS File System and select the complete size i.e. 20 GB and click on 'Next' to specify drive letter. I will select Drive Letter 'X:' and click on 'Next'

    On the next page we will select Label for the drive (in this case 'Windows7') and click on 'Next.' Now, we will get the brief summary of the choices we selected. Click on 'Finish' to continue.

    simple volume

     

    This way we have successfully created a new Virtual Hard Disk. As you can see the status of the
    disk ready

     

     

    Creating and Attaching VHD using Diskpart utility

     

    Open the Elevated Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges and type the following commands

    DISKPART

    CREATE VDISK FILE="c:\win7\win7.vhd" MAXIMUM=20000

    SELECT VDISK FILE="c:\win7\win7.vhd"

    ATTACH VDISK

    CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

    ASSIGN LETTER=X

    FORMAT QUICK LABEL=Windows7

    EXIT

    This will create the VHD file of primary partition. You will see the newly attached disk in Disk Management with Drive Letter X:

    create using diskpart

     

    Attaching and Detaching VHD in Windows 7

     

    Right Click on My Computer and Click 'Manage' that will open up Computer Management, in that click on Disk Management. Just like previous part.

    Then Right Click on Disk Management and select 'Attach VHD' This will open new windows 'Attach Virtual Hard Disk'

     

    attach

     

    Click on OK and that will attach the existing Virtual Hard Disk. Now, if you don't want to make write anything on the VHD, we will select the 'Read-only' check box

    attach read only

    And subsequently we will have the attached VHD in explorer.

    disk ready

     

    NOW WE WILL DETACH THE VHD

     

    To detach the VHD simply Right Click on the 'Disk 1' (Blue Color) and select 'Detach VHD'

    detach vhd

    After clicking on 'Detach VHD' you will be prompt you with 'Detach Virtual Hard Disk' message. Click on OK to detach. Also, if you want delete the VHD permanently you can select the Checkbox.

    detach delete data

     

    This way we have seen how can we create new VHDs, attach/detach existing VHDs using Disk Management and Diskpart utility.

    In the next part we will how can we boot the newly created VHDs using Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (aka Windows Server 7)

     

    Thanks

  • System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager (SCOM 2012) Create a Maintenance Mode Report

    Hi Everyone,

    Recently while working for a customer, I got a query around generating a real time report of all the objects in the maintenance mode. They wanted to schedule a maintenance mode report so that every time they run a report that should display a all the objects (servers, clients etc.) in the Maintenance Mode State. Ideally, when you use Operations Manager console, you can see the objects like servers in the maintenance mode state. However, if you want to generate a report then we have to make use of the Reporting capability & it gives us the historic data by querying on to the Operations Manager Datawarehouse DB. So, when I was looking for a solution to share with my customer, few of my Microsoft colleagues pointed me to a blog post written by Microsoft PFE UK Manageability Team. Microsoft PFE Richard Hawes have written 5 Part blog series around generating different types of HTML based report using PowerShell scripts.

    Part 5 of the blog mentioned about generating the real time information of all the objects in the Maintenance Mode.

    Here is the link http://blogs.technet.com/b/manageabilityguys/archive/2013/10/01/how-to-create-daily-reports-with-system-center-operations-manager-2012-and-powershell-part-5.aspx

    You can download a PowerShell scripts from their blog, which generates a nice HTML based report. So, in a nutshell, you need to use PowerShell to generate the information about what all objects are currently in the Maintenance Mode. Here is a sample

    $mc = get-scomClass -name Microsoft.Windows.Computer
    Get-SCOMClassInstance  $mc | Where {$_.InMaintenanceMode -eq 'True'}

    clip_image002

    When you use the PowerShell from the blog you will see the following output in the HTML formatted report.

    Of course, since it is PowerShell based cmdlets you can definitely customize the details, fields etc. and also use the scheduling options to generate a report every hour, day depending upon your requirement.

    For the detailed instructions, visit the blog by Microsoft UK PFE Team. I hope this is a useful information for all of those looking for this kind of a requirement.

    Thank you.

    Aviraj Ajgekar
    Technical Specialist – Datacenter
    Microsoft Corporation – New York Metro

  • Microsoft Windows Server: Virtualize Enterprise Applications Guidance

    Many customers begin their virtualization journeys’ by virtualizing the low intensity, less critical workloads, such as File & Print Servers, or Web Servers, but as customer confidence in virtualization grows, customers need to understand the impact of virtualization, from a performance, scalability and reliability perspective, on their more mission-critical, tier 1 and tier 2 applications and workloads, like email & collaboration systems, databases, and CRM systems.

    With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Microsoft has brought to market a high performance, scalable, robust, and cost-effective virtualization platform which allows customers to virtualize these mission-critical workloads with confidence. In addition, with System Center 2012 SP1, Microsoft provides customers with comprehensive management of their infrastructure, from accelerating deployment, through to providing deep insight into health and performance to keep your key applications and workloads running at their best.

    On this page, you’ll find information on the performance of key workloads when virtualized on Hyper-V, and in addition, links to further information and guidance on best practices for virtualizing and managing these workloads.

     

    image

     

    Visit here to download all the relevant content http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/datacenter/virtualization-enterprise-applications.aspx