James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

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  • Blog Post: Virtualization road show

    Earlier in the week we took the virtualization tour over the Irish Sea. Tuesday was Belfast – and with the snow, getting there was quite a challenge. I felt ill all day and didn’t think I’d delivered the content as well as I should have, but the feedback forms were really positive, better than I thought...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 for everyone !

    I don’t normally cut and paste things from mail straight to my blog but this arrived in ready to read format so here it is The Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is now available to download for everyone , and is available until June 2009 to download. Download the RC So what’s new in the RC?   Check...
  • Blog Post: Server 2008 R2 feature map.

    One of the popular giveaways at our events this year has been the feature poster for server 2008-R2 – which is now available for download. I think the prints were A2 size, although at 300 DPI it is closer to A1 dimensions – the paper copies have all gone although I’m told more are being printed if you...
  • Blog Post: Support for Red Hat OSes on Microsoft Virtualization (and Vice Versa)

    One of the questions which comes up on our internal distribution lists for Hyper-V is “when will such and such and OS be supported on Hyper-V” and the somewhat frustrating response is usually in the form “We’re talking to OS vendors, but we can’t talk about contract negotiations while they are going...
  • Blog Post: Customizing the Windows 7 logon screen: no additional tools required

    A few of people have noticed that I’m running Windows 7 with a customized logon screen, and a couple of them asked me if I used “logon studio” which (as I understand it) rummages round inside some of the image resources buried in DLL files. In Windows 7 we have provided a registry key for OEMS to turn...
  • Blog Post: Desktop Virtualization Hour

    I had a mail earlier telling me about desktop virtualization hour , planned for 4PM (GMT) on March 18th. (That’s 9AM Seattle time, 5PM CET … you can work out the others I’m sure). More information and a downloadable meeting request are Here . Some effort seems to be going into this one, which makes me...
  • Blog Post: More on VHD files

    I’ve had plenty to say about the uses of VHD files on different occasions. They get used anywhere we need to have a file which contains an image of a disk. So from Vista onwards we have had complete image backup to VHD, we use VHD for holding the virtual disk to be used by a Virtual Machine (be it hyper...
  • Blog Post: Oink flap –-- Microsoft releases software under GPL --- oink Flap

    Mary-Jo has a post about the release of our Hyper-V drivers for Linux entitled Pigs are flying low: Why Microsoft open-sourced its Linux drivers , it’s one of many out there but the title caught my eye: I thought I’d give a little of my perspective on this unusual release. News of it reached me through...
  • Blog Post: Retirement Planning (for service packs)

    Yesterday I wrote about end-of-life planning for OSes and so it makes sense to talk about the end of a service pack, as retirement – it is after all the word that is used on the product lifecycle pages . Of course we don’t mean retirement in go and live by the seaside sense… Special police squads...
  • Blog Post: How to Install an Image onto a VHD file.

    The last post I made talked about customizing windows image (.WIM) files, and the post before that talked about creating Virtual hard disk (.VHD) files. So the last step is to look at putting an image onto a VHD and making it bootable So the steps are Identify your WIM file and if it has multiple images...
  • Blog Post: Release the Windows 7 !

    It’s official. Windows 7 has released to manufacturing. http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2009/jul09/07-22Windows7RTMPR.mspx   It’s official. Windows Server 2008 R2 has released to Manufacturing http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2009/07/22/windows-server-2008-r2-rtm.aspx It’s...
  • Blog Post: Thoughts on uses of YouTube … and virtualization

    I’m taking a breather from re-recording the voice track for a Video on Live Migration in Hyper-V. When it’s done it will end up on YouTube. Now YouTube is giving me pause right now: it is certainly the easiest way to put up videos so that people can find them. I’m viewing it as an experiment because...
  • Blog Post: VMware – the economics of falling skies … and disk footprints.

    There’s a phrase which has being go through my head recently: before coming to to Microsoft I ran my a small business; I thought our bank manager was OK, but one of my fellow directors – someone with greater experience in finance than I’ll ever have – sank the guy with 7 words “I have a professional...
  • Blog Post: Managing Windows Update with PowerShell

    I mentioned some of the server management and config tools I’ve been creating with Server 2008 R2 core in mind, and I’m going to put the major bits here. I’ll post the whole script at the end of the set of posts but for now here is the code to look after Windows update First I created two hash tables...
  • Blog Post: UK techdays Free events in London – including after hours.

    You may have seen that registration for UK TechDays events from 12 th to 16 th April is already open - but you probably won’t have seen this newly announced session, even if you are following   @uktechdays   on twitter After Hours @ UK Tech Days 2010 – Wednesday 14th April, 7pm – 9pm. Vue Cinema...
  • Blog Post: How to: customize Windows images with DISM

    In the initial release of Windows Server 2008 one of the the questions which always came up was “how do I add X” – the answer was we had tools named OCSETUP and OCLIST. These have been superseded in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 with the new Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM.EXE). The...
  • Blog Post: How to: work with VHD files at the command line.

    Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) files have been given greater importance in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2. They’ve always been used for hosting virtual machines (from the earliest Virtual PC through to Hyper-V) , and in Vista the complete image backup began to use VHD format, the iSCSI target software in Storage...
  • Blog Post: How to activate Windows from a script (even remotely).

    I have been working on some PowerShell recently to handle the initial setup of a new machine, and I wanted to add the activation. If you do this from a command line it usually using the Software Licence manager script ( slMgr.vbs ) but this is just a wrapper around a couple of WMI objects which are documented...
  • Blog Post: Dynamic memory in Hyper-V

    We have announced that in Service pack 1 for Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V will support dynamic memory . We haven’t yet set a release date for SP1. It is also worth saying that we are introducing changes to Windows Server , the same Service pack will update Windows 7, where it will be little more than a hotfix...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the PowerShell Configurator.

    For a little while I have had a beta version of a project I call PSCONFIG on codeplex. I’ve changed a couple of things but from the people who have given it a try, it seems that it is working pretty well. It’s aimed at servers running either Hyper-V server R2 Or Core installations Windows Server 2008...
  • Blog Post: Boot from VHD – the joy of BCDedit and a nice hyper-v gotcha or two.

    I’ve been updating two of my machines from the Beta to the RC of Server 2008 R2. It’s been quite a learning experience, and I’ve put together a video to show some of the things that Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 can do with VHDs which should be posted soon. Along the way I’ve found some of the pitfalls...
  • Blog Post: Two useful Hyper-V links

    A short post by my standards On the server core blog, Chuck has posted Top Issues for Microsoft Support for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V , which makes an interesting read. If you do a lot of hyper-v you’ll probably stumble over one of these at some point. On the Main Microsoft site we have Windows Server...
  • Blog Post: Free the Windows 7 !

    Brandon has a post on the Windows team blog Windows 7 will be in stores beginning October 22nd. I was talking a group of people a little while ago who said “In the stores in time for the Holiday season means what ? A reason margin before thanksgiving in the US ?” So this fits nicely with that enough...
  • Blog Post: How to deploy Windows 7 – 3 useful posts

    I mentioned a few days back that I was going to write some posts about deploying Windows 7, but there is some good material out there already and there is no sense re-inventing the wheel So I’d like to recommend 3 posts from fellow evangelist and all-round good chap Alan Le Marquand, Choosing the path...
  • Blog Post: You can’t be a 21st century admin without PowerShell

    When I was at school my father gave me a copy of an article he’d seen at work. I remember nothing of the article itself, but the title has stayed with me: “You can’t be a 20th century man without maths”. I think even then “You can’t be a [time] [person] without [skill]”  was a  Snowclone -...