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: Not quite a perfect install of Win2K8 R2

    The beta releases of both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (WIN2K8R2) have really been the hot topics of the last month or so, as you’ve probably seen if you read various blogs on TechNet/MSDN or other IT news sources.  I’ve avoided commenting on how great they are, especially Windows 7, simply...
  • Blog Post: 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 to first install Window Server 2008 with Hyper...
  • Blog Post: 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 seen the below screen appear during the first boot...
  • Blog Post: 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 the time zone is GMT-5 .  To join the event...
  • 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: 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, such as User Access Control (UAC), there will...
  • Blog Post: Pink computing

    Last weekend I bought my wife one of those handbag sized netbook computers, an Acer Aspire 1 – 150, in a bright shiny pink case.  The guy in the shop tried to convince me to get the one that had Linux preinstalled on it because “it just works, and is really user-friendly” – yeah, right.  The...
  • Blog Post: 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, but I can't imagine I'd use it too often. GPS can...
  • 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: Yes, I am still alive...!

    I know posts here have been sparse recently but I haven't neglected the blog, honest! Firstly, I was in the Canary Islands for a week’s holiday and since then I have been swamped with preparation work for the upcoming release of Windows 7. Consequently, I will have some great Windows 7 topics to blog...
  • Blog Post: 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 not part of the project; often, and logically, clients...
  • Blog Post: 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 order to reduce the number of required steps to...
  • Blog Post: IKEA-fying my computer

    I have had this blog post in the pipeline for a while now, but I have been waiting until all the pieces fell into place, to make it something actually worthwhile to read! Be warned though, this is a rather long blog post – but please stay awake! Having access to earlier builds of Microsoft operating...
  • Blog Post: 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, it turns out that the actual cause of the...
  • Blog Post: 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 operating system. I keep the R2 installation...
  • Blog Post: 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 does not support hardware-based virtualisation...
  • Blog Post: 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 are in the United Kingdom, one of the wallpapers...
  • 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...