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: Restarting the Microsoft File Transfer Manager

    Unless you have been hiding under a rock this week you’ll no doubt be aware that the beta versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 both were released on TechNet and MSDN.  If you’ve tried downloading them as well then you’ll know that they will take a while as each one requires a download...
  • Blog Post: Yet Another Core Configurator

    In the true spirit of Linux, it seems that everybody is re-inventing the wheel – because they can.  So, just as your favourite Linux distro had 9,999 different versions of the same basic calculator tool (but all written by different people), it seems lately that everybody has written a graphical...
  • Blog Post: Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008

    I came across the following document the other day that contains plenty of useful tuning parameters and settings that you can tweak in order to improve performance in Windows Server 2008.  The nice thing is that each setting and its effect (or side-effect) are explained so that you can decide if...
  • 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: Letting Hyper-V get some sleep

    I blogged a few months ago about how activating Hyper-V on a laptop that is running Windows Server 2008 will disable all hibernation and sleep functionality. It seems that most people had not known this because I got quite a few comments on the post about it. The comments varied from simple complaints...
  • Blog Post: Closing time for the bar

    If you run Outlook 2007 on a Windows Server 2008 machine, then you may have noticed that your Outlook persistently shows that little yellow bar saying "Click here to enable Instant Search".  Unfortunately, clicking on the bar does not enable Instant Search because the Operating System...
  • Blog Post: Dude, where's my GUI?

    A colleague of mine, Daniel Matey , recently blogged about the efforts of another Microsoft person who has developed a GUI to help with the administration of Server Core. So for those of you who like the idea of Server Core but don't like the idea of banging out a 10,000 character command string just...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 doesn’t have to ignore the MBSA if you don’t want it to

    The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser (MBSA) is an excellent free tool by Microsoft that provides a simple and easy-to-use method of identifying common security misconfigurations for your Microsoft Windows computers.  The current version (MBSA 2.1) runs on Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista,...
  • Blog Post: Server Unleashed - "more than meets the eye"

    I stumbled across this website today (yes I know, I should have been aware of it since the launch but I've been busy). It is a Silverlight-animated launch site with loads of cool info and stuff about Windows Server 2008; someone in marketing definitely liked Transformers as a kid. Go check it out here...
  • Blog Post: Self-healing NTFS

    Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 contain an often overlooked feature called NTFS Self-Healing.  In a nutshell, it is basically an improvement to the NTFS system whereby Windows will detect a file system error and automatically fix it on-the-fly.  All this is performed in the background...
  • Blog Post: Disconnecting Hyper-V

    My work laptop runs Windows Server 2008 for one main reason, Hyper-V. I have a 64 bit CPU with 4 Gb of RAM installed, so it seemed the obvious choice to install it! Everything runs very well, especially my virtual machines which as an Infrastructure consultant I could not live without. However, one thing...
  • Blog Post: Kicking the tyres

    Want to try out Windows Server 2008? Or perhaps Exchange Server 2007? You can download complete virtual machine environments for a whole list of Microsoft products, free of charge. Check out the Test Drive program here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb738372.aspx for more information and the download...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista, please can you stop changing the view of my folders without asking me?

    Something that really bugs me with Windows Vista is that it ‘decides’ all by itself what view you want for your folders in Windows Explorer; and it seems to always get it wrong (as least for me anyway). As you can seen in the the picture below, I have 5 files in a folder but Vista has deduced that I...