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

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  • Blog Post: Self-writing code

    If you do a lot of scripting for Windows, then you probably use VBScript (VBS) to do it. With VBScript you can easily retrieve information about pretty much anything that is in your computer, or connected to the network, which is what makes it a good choice as a scripting language. When working on...
  • Blog Post: Job/Life/Reputation protector 2.0

    Back in January I posted some simple VBA code for adding an “are you sure?” type question to the Reply To All button in Outlook. Since then I have received a few suggestions for improving the code, one of the most common of which was to add to the question box the list of names that the mail will be...
  • Blog Post: Creating a WIM the quick way...

    IMAGEX is a fantastic tool, but it has a command line that can, at times, be way too complicated. As of yet, there is no official, nice, easy-to-use interface or GUI to simplify the whole thing although a couple of people have posted DIY ones on the web with various levels of success. My current client...
  • Blog Post: 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.  Although, without thinking, I still often run...
  • Blog Post: HTAMount – Simplifying the mounting of Hyper-V VHD files to your computer

    HTAMount is a HTML application that I wrote a while ago that provides a no-nonsense interface allowing you to mount/unmount offline Hyper-V virtual disk images (VHD) to your local file system, in read-only mode. It consists of a HTML Application (HTA) front-end with some VBS script doing the mount/unmounting...
  • Blog Post: VBS Functions

    The lack of a decent GUI for VBS development has always been a problem for most people.  The advantages of using VBS are great, but writing the scripts can be labourious, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience and know all the commands/functions etc.  Nowadays, there are plenty of...
  • Blog Post: Doesn't this thing go any faster?

    A Knowledge Base (KB) article and related software update was released on the May 20th 2008 that seems to have gone fairly unnoticed by quite a few people.  The article ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/952830 ) is rather vaguely titled "Description of Windows Script 5.7 for Windows XP"...
  • Blog Post: Gulp! Did I really just send that to the entire company...?

    I am sure that it has happened to everyone in some way or another. You receive an e-mail from a colleague and decide to reply with some harmless comment/joke/snide remark/insult/opinion* but without realising that you pressed the 'Reply To All' button, nor realising that HR and/or your boss were copied...
  • Blog Post: Updating your deployment point programmatically

    I was asked recently if it was possible to launch an "Update" and/or an "Update (files only)" in MDT via a script as my client did not want to open the MMC console just to update their Distribution Point.  Well, yes it is possible and here you have a PowerShell script that does...
  • Blog Post: Junction points with network drives

    Ever wanted to create a 'junction point' style pointer but using a network drive as the source? Now you can! With Windows XP you can create junction points on your disks but the prerequisite is that the source point is on your local disk. This is no good if you need to create the junction point that...
  • Blog Post: Faster Creation of Virtual Machines

    I recently noticed a blog post on TechNet about a new tool that was released on CodePlex.  WIM2VHD is a command-line tool allows you to create sysprepped VHD images from any Windows 7 installation source (and I suspect Windows Server 2008 R2 as well) that work with Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Microsoft...