Confessions of a Microsoft Consultant

Daniel Oxley is an Infrastucture Consultant working for Microsoft Consulting Services in Madrid, Spain. He specialises, amongst other things, in large-scale deployments of Microsoft Windows using technologies such as BDD2007 and the Microsoft Deployment

Confessions of a Microsoft Consultant

  • GPS, but without GPS

    Most modern laptops still don't have GPS receivers built into them. My HTC Snap Windows Mobile 6.5 does, although it never seems to connect to anything at all so I am starting to suspect that it is just a lie... I'd like GPS built into my laptop though...
  • Virtual PC Just Became More Accessible

    If you have tried to use XP Mode in Windows 7 in the past, then you may have seen the below error message: This error was caused because the machine in question is trying to start a virtual computer using Virtual PC, on a computer that has a CPU that...
  • Smartcard Needing Drivers In Order To Be Smart

    My company laptop dual-boots between Windows 7 x64 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This is for the simple reason that Hyper-V is an indispensible tool for a consultant, but the comfort of a desktop OS like Windows 7 means that I don't want to do without either...
  • Family IT Nirvana

    Working in I.T. also means fixing the computers of family members, friends and neighbours. Trying to do this over the phone (especially with my father, who consistently asks "but where is the Start menu?") is pretty much impossible because they just can...
  • Incorrectly speculating about my friend 0xc000000f

    Back in April I blogged about how to get around the 0xc000000f error when trying to install programs over the network via RDP. In the original post I speculated that the problem was likely caused by some network latency issues, or something similar. However...
  • Wasted Space, Begone!

    A few months ago I won an 8Gb Zune in an internal Microsoft competition. I really like the device and use it all the time on the train to work to help with the monotony. The interface is simple to use, I like the way the music is organised in the library...
  • Slimming Down Office Documents

    Being a consultant means that I always have to write bucket-loads of documentation, and the documents tend to be rather long and include plenty of images.  Writing a 50 page document is not uncommon, not because I like to waffle (believe me, I don...
  • Converting Windows Error Codes To Something More Friendly

    I can never remember how to do this, so I always end up looking it up.  Therefore, I am posting it here partly for me as a reference, but also in case anyone else finds it useful :-)   Sometime the error codes that are returned by Microsoft...
  • Ooops, that’s not right…

    I have been asked twice this week if this is possible and if so how to do it, so I guess either the information is not readily available on the Internet, or the two people who asked me just couldn’t be bothered to look it up...!   I’m sure you’ve...
  • Wallpapering your Windows 7 computer

    As some of you may know, certain countries have personalisation packs for Windows 7 that are activated on during the installation of the operating system, depending on the regional settings you first set.  So, if you tell Windows 7 setup that you...
  • Anti-Virus Software, That's Free!

    I am probably the last Microsoft blogger to actually get round to writing something about this… but hey, I have been busy! Microsoft recently released to the public their free anti-virus solution, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). I had been trialling...
  • Best Practices for Windows 7 Migrations Using Microsoft Application Virtualization

    There is a webcast this month that should be of interest to anyone interested in using application virtualisation, particularly if you are migrating to Windows 7.  The date of the webcast is Monday the 26th of October 2009 at 12pm, but be aware that...
  • Putting iexplore.exe on a diet

    I have gotten very used, very quickly, to the excellent tabbed browsing feature that was introduced with Internet Explorer 7.  This feature was tweaked a fair bit for Internet Explorer 8, but the most noticeable change is that now each tab opens...
  • Benchmarking Windows 7

    A very common request that clients make when starting a Windows deployment project is that we must reliably and accurately demonstrate that Windows Vista or Windows 7 is worth upgrading to from Windows XP, especially if the purchase of new hardware is...
  • Application Compatibility List for Windows 7

    A very common misconception that I am hearing regarding Windows 7 is that Microsoft has removed all of the problems that Windows Vista had caused with application compatibility. While it is true that certain features of Windows 7 have been improved/tweaked...
  • Greater Internet Dickwad Theory

    I stumbled across the below picture the other day and I think that it is so true that it is worth linking to here :-)   I have always said that it is amusing how big people’s egos (I was going to put something else here, but I censored it) can grow...
  • Creating Your Own Search Provider in Internet Explorer

    For me, this is possibly one of the most overlooked, but invaluable, features of Internet Explorer 7 and 8.  I actually only discovered it a few days ago, but I now use it pretty much daily. First introduced with Internet Explorer 7, the Instant...
  • It seems that getting stronger wood than Superman has never been easier…

    It always amazes me the sheer levels of SPAM emails that are sent (and I have the misfortune to receive), but thankfully Outlook 2007 does a pretty good job of filtering them all out for me so that all I need to do is just empty the Junk E-Mail folder...
  • Laptop Hunters and Apple

    I have to confess that I never got to see any of the advertisements that Microsoft has been running (I saw a couple on YouTube out of curiosity, but never on TV) where they give something like $1500 to a person and tell them to buy the best computer that...
  • Quicker Access to Windows 7 Virtual PC settings

    To edit the settings of a virtual computer using Virtual PC in Windows 7 requires the opening of the Virtual PC console, selecting the virtual machine you wish to edit, and then pressing the ‘Settings’ button, as shown in the screenshot below. In...
  • Saving The World, Printer Ink First

    Saving something seems to to be the big thing in I.T. at moment, which is never a bad thing. The current big thing is the Green Computing initiatives, particularly with the prominence now of virtual computing and power saving features in new operating...
  • PowerShell Script ExecutionPolicy

    Seeing as PowerShell is included by default in Windows 7, and also because you get the PowerShell icon on your quick launch bar by default, I try to use that over the de rigueur cmd.exe command interpreter that we have all had since the dawn of time. ...
  • He-Man on YouTube

    This has absolutely nothing to do with IT, nor Microsoft, but I thought I’d post it anyway seeing as today is Friday :-)    Some people have too much time on their hands!  It’s an extremely funny video (for me, anyway!), especially...
  • Application Installs, be gone!

    As a follow up to my earlier post about modularising my computer, I wanted to add a couple of points which I either missed out, or did not explain so well :-S The first, which is a common question, is how to install Windows 7 into a VHD file without having...
  • Green IT (with a difference)

    My rotund brother (not Mr Anti-Microsoft, another one) works in IT at a bank in the City of London and took this photo of what a trader had done to the keyboards on his desk.  Apparently he wanted to have a bit more greenery around him to brighten...