Dude where's my PFE?

I am a Premier Field Engineer (PFE) for Microsoft.

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  • Blog Post: The Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) view on Virtual Desktop (VDI) Density

    For some, VDI is about density. How many guests can we stuff into a host with performance and user experience still at acceptable levels? This script is the clarion call for those, a herald in dark times of performance degradation. It is, the script a couple PFEs wrote… It makes an image lean...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 6

    Step 4.1 The Task Sequence magic Now that the Task Sequences are created, its important to note you are NOT done here yet.  It is not yet soup… Before we proceed any further, I typically implement the changes the Deployment Guys recommend to add your own custom actions to the Task Sequence editor...
  • Blog Post: DPC triangle…

    So once upon a time, a PFE had a problem with his video game stuttering.  The game would be playing fine and then suddenly, the sound would skip until he rebooted his PC.  Nothing in the event log, device manager reports all good… So we collected an xperf trace using the following flags: xperf...
  • Blog Post: Xperf for the layman, performance analysis unchained, Windows Assessment Toolkit revealed.

    If you have been following along in performance land the last year or three, you’d hear about xperf and the WPT (Windows Performance Toolkit). Mayhap you’ve had some time to practice and you know what you are doing. Cool. This tool might still interest you. If you, on the other hand, haven’t...
  • Blog Post: How to collect a netmon 3.4 and xperf kernel trace and stop when a problem occurs.

    <updated 7.29.2013 for updated NETSH and WPR commands, thanks Carl Luberti!> So at a customer location the following question was posed to me: “In our VDI environment, how do we capture trace information? How can we set a capture for the network and xperf the user can start (or logon...
  • Blog Post: RunAsRadio.com spot

    Look for the Dudes’ interview with Richard Campbell on RunAsRadio , where I get into a discussion on Slow Boot/Slow Logon scenarios, tools to use and common culprits. The spot appears on May the 18th! Links discussed on the interview are: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents...
  • Blog Post: How to collect a trace for audio or video problems in Windows 7

    Assume the following:  You have a Windows 7 host that you want to collect a trace from.  The user complains of audio issues, stuttering, latency, etc…or video frame rate is low.  Something annoying. Like my previous post, lets cover a few basic rules here as we get started: 1.  If...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 7

    Ok, break time is over yo…. Step 5 The Task Sequence magic So lets do another properties on our Task Sequence and go to the “OS Info” tab, which will look like this: Click “Edit Unattend.xml” Now this is why I (we, you are following along right?) selected an x86 version of 7 to do the console in… x64...
  • Blog Post: How to collect a good boot trace on Windows 7

    Assume the following: You have a Windows 7 host that you want to collect a trace from. A good trace. One that you know other people will be able to decipher as well as yourself. Maybe I’ve asked you to collect a boot trace so I can look at it and pointed you to this blog. Maybe your Sherpa of IT...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 2

      Step 2.  Import OS into the reference share So mount an ISO of the OS you want to capture and deploy into Hyper-V as the DVD drive of the MDT-Console VM. Then in the MDT workbench, right click the folder “Operating Systems” and create a folder for that OS.  Then right click that folder...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 3

    Step 3.  Here come the apps! Much like the Operating System area, in the Application area we want to create a logical folder structure.  These are applications we may want to cook into our reference image. In the end, mine looks something like this (I’m building out a new MDT 2012 site here...
  • Blog Post: The effects of Acoustic Management on rotational media disks.

    So one of the trends I’ve been seeing in WDRAPs I’ve performed is that companies are making use of older hardware for newer tasks on a much more frequent basis than before. Budgets seem to mandate a 4-5 year (or longer) pc recycle timeframe and the net result of this is companies are running...
  • Blog Post: The Dude’s Greatest Hits

    As requested by several customers, I’m putting up a list of tools I find useful in troubleshooting, etc… First up…. Data Gathering I use the following tools to gather data from systems.  Each has its own place, much like a mechanic has many tools, so does the average engineer… PFE MPS Reports . ...
  • Blog Post: 33 Seconds lost at boot…

    Imagine you are an enterprise customer who has several thousand desktops that boot slow.  Inordinately slow…slow enough that your user base resists requests to reboot them for patch cycle or power savings efforts or diagnostics. So imagine you do the right thing, you keep the BIOS and firmware up...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 4

    Step 3.1 App Bundles So at this point you’ve imported/added your applications and are wondering why I created a folder named bundles…maybe? These are groupings of applications so we can force feed a bundle of apps onto a build, rather than selecting them one at a time in a wizard…. I’ve defined a x64...
  • Blog Post: Yet another xperf analysis post

    Pump up the volume, Pump up the volume… Slow Boot: Yep, that’s slow.  Clearly not in CPU usage though…what about disk? Nope (the dude knows nothing about this trace except he (when looking at it the first time) named it ROFLCOPTER)…. So basically the system hangs at boot from 30 second mark through...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 1

    There are many MDT environment setups, this one is mine.   Step .1  Pre-Flight I use a 2008 R2 SP1 Server as my base.  I enable the Hyper-V role on it and create 2 VMs.  Half of you reading this are going to say “But we’re a VMWare shop, we don’t run Hyper-V.”  Ok, so stand it...
  • Blog Post: What does a good boot look like (aka, what should I be happy with)?

    It’s a question I wasn’t prepared for in class last week, but one that made sense really.  For the IT Pro that doesn’t eat breath and sleep this stuff, what does a good or ‘fair’ trace look like? Something like this: What we are looking at here is a boot up that finishes before 45 seconds, with...
  • Blog Post: Why do I have long boot times? Pt 1

    So one of the questions that comes to mind every now and then in technical circles (and outside as well) is "Why doesn't it take so long for my machine to boot?". Just what's going on in there while these friendly, soothing graphics come up on the screen, and I wait and wait for a prompt to login? ...
  • Blog Post: Download this KB now!

    And test it first please. An enterprise hotfix rollup is available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2775511 This is a collection of the various updates we kept (we being PFEs who do WDRAP in particular) and Yong Rhee published for us, like http...
  • Blog Post: How I stand up a new MDT environment, Part 5

    Step 4.  Task Sequences So now with Operating Systems and Applications added to the console, it’s time to add a Task Sequence or three… I always give my Task Sequences an ID of a number.  You can use anything, but I like the numeric relevance, and its easier to type if you end up specifying...
  • Blog Post: The dude does xperf…

    So the Dude (that’s me) has gone over how to collect xperf traces a few times now, but what do we do after we’ve collected a solid .etl file you may ask?  Well, that’s what this post is all about.  This is how the Dude does it.  The Dude you see is listening to Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd...
  • Blog Post: 20 minute delay deploying Windows 7 on 802.1x? Fix it here!

    Someone mentioned to me that he has a 20 minute delay deploying Windows 7 to 801.1x EAP networks.  They noted http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978152 which is “A Windows Vista-based or Windows Server 2008-based computer does not respond to 802.1X authentication requests for 20 minutes after a failed...
  • Blog Post: Ladies and Gentleman (and low lifes), it is with outstanding pleasure tonight that I am able to present to you, the reader, with an xperf trace….

    For those who didn’t yet know, the Dude is a fan of old school rap.  So one of these days, not much to do, I was chillin with my old school crew and I ran into a slow boot scenario… (Yes, I am in fact listening to Mona Lisa by Slick Rick the Ruler!) So I’m not picky, let me share this trace out...