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  • Blog Post: Interacting with Data Collector Sets via Powershell

    Background: In an earlier post I talked about some new features for Windows 2008 and Vista.  One of those new features that is often overlooked are the data collector sets (DCS).  One particular role that leverages data collector sets is active directory.  Active directory has put “hooks...
  • Blog Post: Display warning text when someone logs onto your servers

    This works for Windows 2003 and Windows 2008. We use it during our reliability study to let the server owners know that they shouldn't reboot their boxes without a good reason. You can use it for whatever you’d like. :) The two keys to set: reg add " \\brad-dc-01\HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows...
  • Blog Post: Supported upgrades for domain controllers to Windows 2008 (Melting Pot in CorpNet)

    Currently we are running Win2k3 SP1, R2, SP2, Win2k8 Beta3, RC0, RC1, and RTM Escrow idomain controllers in production...  Since we're running some downlevel servers in the environment and I was interested in what is supported to be upgraded to Windows 2008 when we sign off and the the DVDs start...
  • Blog Post: Vista SP1 and Windows 2008: No /console switch with MSTSC

    I've ran into this a few times here and each time I stare at my screen for some time (depends on how much coffee I've had) and then remember this change. When you install Vista SP1 or install Win2k8 the console switch for MSTSC will be ignored (it's gone). They've made a change that requires the use...
  • Blog Post: Vista and 2k8: Enabling Debug mode on boot up.

    Pre-Vista it could be an issue if you didn't have debugging turned on via the boot.ini file and your system stopped booting. Well in Vista and 2k8 you can enable "Debugging mode" on boot by hitting F8 after POST. You can also turn off driver signing verification on x64 systems, so if you REALLY wanted...
  • Blog Post: Domain doesn't know about my computer account? I vouch for my computer, you can trust me...

    Had an issue where a server would not allow logon via termian services each time you attempted to logon it would return this:     Soooooooooo, what to do here?  First, we made sure the account existed in the directory since that's why it appeared to be complaining.  So I opened LDP...
  • Blog Post: Windows Update fails with 8000FFFF (E_UNEXPECTED)

    Quick Solution:   Check the permissions on  the root of C: and ensure that BUILTIN\Users have Read access. Long Story: 8000FFFF == E_UNEXPECTED, not very helpful… Had a client where windows update was continually failing with the error code 8000FFFF.  When looking in the Windows Update...
  • Blog Post: Hey where did /3GB go in Longhorn and Vista?

    If you did not already know there is no boot.ini in Vista/LH. So how do you set usermode space to 3GBs? If you recall on x86 platforms there is 4GBs of addressable VM space. So by default that is split up equally. 2GBs for kernel mode and 2GBs for use mode. Now this is usually fine, but if you have...
  • Blog Post: Kernel stack not resident (Using .pagein)

    You might find yourself debugging an issue and a thread you are interested in is paged out. Here's the steps to use to page in the stack for the kernel side and user side... Be careful when doing this on a live machine that you want to release after debugging as paging in certain section of memory can...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides (17 total) for your downloading pleasure.

    Instead of trying to hunt down the docs you need, follow the link and download the services you will be deploying. Get them while their hot! http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=518d870c-fa3e-4f6a-97f5-acaf31de6dce&DisplayLang=en Creating and Deploying Active Directory Rights...
  • Blog Post: Some docs to help get you ready for Windows 2008.

    Yes you are going to want Windows 2008 in your shop.  We've been running 2k8 for over two year sin production and I'm very proud of the product we're shipping shortly.  Some of you will want to start thinking about what's new in the OS, what has changed, performance, and deployment.  Here...
  • Blog Post: Not getting kernel memory dumps in Windows Vista or Windows 2008?

    Backstory: With the advent of Windows Vista there are changes made in how the operating system determines if it can take a kernel memory dump or not. Starting in Vista the amount of memory allocated for kernel mode could vary dynamically . If the pagefile is not big enough, switching to minidump at dump...
  • Blog Post: Returning just the errors using Wevtutil.exe

    I posted on how you can use Wevtutil to enumerate the event logs on server core or LH. Someone left a comment asking how could they just return the errors from the System log instead of all the events. Seems like a reasonable question and with a bit of research here is the solution. This will query...
  • Blog Post: Hey Admins! Don't be a hater, be a collaborator (Windows Meeting Space)

    I have to say I am quite pleased with this little gem in Vista. Once I started using it I haven't gone back. It's a real easy way to collaborate with another user(s) when you need them to see what you see or let them drive your session. I've used it about a dozen times when I have a TS session and want...
  • Blog Post: Stuff to check out for Windows 2008

    Just got released yesterday: X86: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9ff6e897-23ce-4a36-b7fc-d52065de9960&DisplayLang=en X64: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d647a60b-63fd-4ac5-9243-bd3c497d2bc5&DisplayLang=en Overview Microsoft Remote Server Administration...
  • Blog Post: win32_processor and cim_processor CurrentClockSpeed shows lower value than actual processor speed

    Was looking at an issue today where a whole bunch of our servers were showing clock speeds that didn’t match the max clock speed.  These servers were showing up on our exBPA reports and thus landed in my lap to investigate.  At first I assumed that something most be wrong with the report and...
  • Blog Post: Booting into DSRM in Windows 2008

    Since the boot.ini file no longer exists in Windows 2008, the way to boot into directory service repair mode has changed. You can setup the OS to boot to DSRM a couple of ways as shown below. I'd also mention that to due offline defrags and other NTDSUTIL commands against the database you can now just...
  • Blog Post: What do you say you DO here?

    Just noticed the AD jigsaw poster has been updated for 2k8. So next time your boss asks you "What do say you do here?", don't reply with I'm a people person! Do the following: 1) Download one of the jigsaw posters from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c2b9e44e-0bbd-47cb-bc09-b3d48be7f867&DisplayLang...
  • Blog Post: Hey Admins! Windows System State Analyzer (Beta)

    Windows System state analyzer tool Helps create snapshots of the computer—some of which include fixed drives, services, drivers and the registry. Users can create two snapshots at different points in time and compare them to view differences. A detailed report could be generated at the end of a compare...
  • Blog Post: Tidbits for admins for the 2k8 release...

    Just some random stuff as you get ready for 2k8... Getting the Classic cluster logs: Clustering in Win2k8 has undergone some major changes (for the better). One of those changes is that the cluster events are now part of the event stream so sifting through the cluster logs is a thing of the...
  • Blog Post: I PTE the fool: !SYSPTES 4 works in Vista SP1/WS08

    System Page Table Entry (PTE) issues are some of the top support issues for servers that run large server applications and have a relatively large amount of Random Access Memory (RAM). PTEs are structures used to track pages of RAM, similar to the way a telephone number is used to track a telephone to...
  • Blog Post: Staring at a blank desktop, due to Interactive missing from Users group

    Ran into an issue this week that was strange.  When you TS’d to the box it would just show a blank background and nothing else.  If you tried to launch task manager it would just fail silently to the user (actually access denied in the debugger).  My user account was in the admin group...
  • Blog Post: Discrepancy in volume size when you extend a volume with DISKPART

    Had an issue come in today where the customer requested that one of their drives on SAN storage be expanded. They carved out the necessary disk space and expanded the LUN which was verified showing 430GB total on the array. Rescanned in Disk Management and showed the Unallocated Space. They then used...
  • Blog Post: Using TypePerf to get performance data on the command prompt.

    I was tracking a high CPU issue this week and needed to know when one of my servers was pegged so I could investigate. I could of used perfmon I guess but I really like to do everything I can from the command prompt. I always like it when there is a tool that can do data collection from the command prompt...
  • Blog Post: Unable to remotely manage a Server Core machine (MMC, WMI, Device Manager)

    I've been seeing a lot of churn internally and externally about installing a role on a server core machine and then trying to connect to it remotely only to find that the remote server core machine won't allow you to connect. Remote Management: To allow remote management of a server core machine run...