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: VMWare working great on my computer

    I was at a conference a while ago and got talking to someone about virtualisation.  When the guy found out that I worked at Microsoft he gave me a VMWare ESX Server 3i VMVisor USB Flash Disk to try out, telling me that it was the best thing on the market and that I would love it.  I was extremely...
  • Blog Post: Windows 2008 Certification

    I often get asked about the changes to the certification roadmap for Windows 2008, but I have never had the time to go find the answer out as it did not seem straightforward.  So, I always said to the person asking that they should go see http://www.microsoft.com/certification as it is all explained...
  • Blog Post: Decorating Windows Explorer

    This is a tip that someone recently showed me that I really liked.  It allows you to display in Windows Vista (I haven’t tried it on any other Windows OS) a unique background image in Windows Explorer for each drive (internal or external) that you have in your computer.  This is particularly...
  • Blog Post: Getting my bits in a twist

    This week I installed a new Windows Vista virtual machine in Hyper-V.  I installed the OS, added it to the domain, then realised that I had not added the integration services for the guest OS.  Launching the install for them gave me the following error message which I had not seen before. As...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista Service Pack 2

    Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista (SP2) has been a hot topic recently.  While Microsoft has not released an immense amount of information regarding this upcoming important update, some interesting stuff has appeared ( here and here , for example). As normal, the service pack will include all previously...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live Installer - without the installer??!?!?

    To install a Windows Live product(s) you need to download and install the WLInstaller.exe file, which is a rolled-up package of all the Windows Live services.  You run the installer and then you can choose the components that you want to install from the main screen.  This is a great way to...
  • Blog Post: Getting burnt with DVD Burning

    For a pretty long time I have used Nero Recode to create DVDs from the movies I take with my video camera. The other day it decided to stop working and crashed whenever I added my avi files to it with a nice helpful "StackHash_1703" error. The solution given by Nero was to buy Nero 8 which quite frankly...
  • Blog Post: Hyper-V on the side

    I noticed today that someone has written a new cool gadget for the Windows Sidebar that lets you display what multiple Hyper-V servers are doing, all from your workstation. Double clicking on a server will also allow you to connect straight to it. You can get the gadget, and more info about it...
  • Blog Post: I want that text, and I want it now!

    How often have you had an error pop up in a dialog box full of useful error numbers, filenames, return codes, and plenty of other stuff, only to start cursing because you could not get a hold of the text content of the dialog box?  Normally people resort to a screengrab of the error box but the...
  • Blog Post: 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 the beta versions for a few months on a Windows...
  • Blog Post: Trigger happy events

    The new Task Scheduler functionality that was introduced with Windows Vista is superb, it knocks spots off what Windows XP ever had; my favourite feature is the ability to fire a task if a certain event is logged in the Windows Eventlog, which is great because it opens up all sorts of possibilities....
  • Blog Post: 5 Vista Adoption "Gotchas" and how to get beyond them

    I read an interesting article recently from Microsoft on the 5 most common problems companies experience when adopting Windows Vista and how they can overcome these issues. The points mentioned are great because they are 'real-world' examples. So, without any further mention, here they are... Hardware...
  • 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: In the immortal words of Homer, "Doh!"

    I use Bitlocker on my work laptop to ensure that all my data is safe as I would not want any corporate or client documents to fall into the wrong hands. Also, as most people do, I store some personal data on my work laptop. Nothing exciting really, just things like payslips and the odd photo of my family;...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Virtual 'Roundtable'

    Do you want to join in with an interactive live virtual roundtable session with Mark Russinovich about Windows Vista Service Pack 1? He'll be hosting an interactive virtual roundtable which will be broadcast live over the Internet on Wednesday, March 5th. He will be talking about Windows Vista, Service...
  • 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: Uninstalling the uninstall

    Windows Vista is a pretty big install, and then when you add to it the install of Service Pack 1, it becomes even bigger.  So, once you have been running Service Pack 1 for a while, you can safely remove the uninstall files for the Service Pack.  Doing so should save you around 1Gb of disk...
  • Blog Post: Windows Update - Why 3 am? & Help! I can't update anymore!

    By default, Windows XP downloads and installs updates from Windows Update nightly at 3 a.m; why did Microsoft choose 3 a.m.? I mean, the average user does not have their computer on that that time of day so it seems a rather bizarre default setting to to choose to me. The reason I am blogging about this...
  • 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...