John Howard - Senior Program Manager in the Hyper-V team at Microsoft

Senior Program Manager, Hyper-V team, Windows Core Operating System Division.

July, 2005

  • Virtual Machine detection from guests

    There are a few "known" hacks to determine if a program is running under a Virtual Machine, unfortunately none of these supported by Microsoft. The most common one is the WMI query to find the motherboard manufacturer - if it is Microsoft, then, as...
  • How to automatically dismiss scripted dialogs boxes - alternative to msgbox function

    I guess I've been doing a fair bit of scripting recently - admittedly nowhere near as much as I did back in my dev days, but there's always something you learn new. I don't even have a specific use for this, neither was I able to imagine a practical situation...
  • TCP/IP Implementation in Windows Server 2003 and XP

    Here's a really interesting document I stumbled across yesterday, especially having written part of a TCP/IP implementation in years gone by. It was originally published a couple of years ago, but an updated version was released earlier this month which...
  • Implementing VPN Quarantine

    I see a busy weekend coming up :-) Not that I'm complaining - I'm up for the challenge.... Now that I have VPN back into my home network fully functioning with both PPTP and L2TP (PPTP is configured but disabled), it's time to implement some quarantining...
  • Malicious Software Removal Tool

    As much as a bookmark blog as anything else so I know where to find it. You may have seen the malicious software removal tool come down through WindowsUpdate/MicrosoftUpdate. What I didn't know was that a version with the latest updates is released on...
  • Longhorn renamed - it will be Windows Vista

    Yes, you heard right. I found out a little while ago and there's been a few rumours flying over the Internet this morning. However, now it's 2PM in the UK, and 6AM Seattle time, the announcement is now live on the Microsoft presspass site here .
  • WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)

    I just noticed that my there's a firmware update available for one of my wireless routers I use at home to support WPA2. I haven't delved into WPA2 so far, but may now give it a chance if I'm feeling brave. I'm always nervous when it comes to applying...
  • Debug logging and tracing with Automated Deployment Services (ADS)

    I'm nearly bald this morning. Last Friday I had what was nearly a full head of hair. Long story, but it all revolves around a series of problems I've been trying to resolve with Automated Deployment Services. I've been trying to locate the information...
  • IE7 Easter Egg

    Easter eggs in Microsoft software are these days unfortunately very few and far between - however, this potential one in the Internet Explorer 7 beta seemed a little extreme. Kudos to the development team, and even more so for someone finding it!!!
  • Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Performance Tips (KB903748)

    Just spotted this one released a few days ago. Much of the information in there is pretty well known to most people having been using virtualisation for a while, but it's nice to see it written up officially as a Knowledgebase Article, 903748 . Note that...
  • Windows Vista Beta 1 Available for download

    UPDATE: 9th June 2006. Windows Vista Beta 2 download information Now available for download, if you want to get your hands on Beta 1 of the "Longhorn" client (now obviously called Windows Vista), it's available to both MSDN and Technet plus subscribers...
  • MBSA 2.0 (Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser) Released

    After blogging about the beta of MBSA v2.0 a couple of months ago, I have to thank Steve for giving me the heads up on this as the official release notification must have slipped me by. My excuse is that I've been more than a little busy at TechEd last...
  • MS Press Book on Group Policy

    The Group Policy book from the Windows Server Resource Kit has recently been made available through MS Press as a seperate book. Although the resource kit has loads of great information, many people often only want one book. This is one of the best books...
  • 64-bit Computing on Windows Server System

    If you're now looking at 64-bit Computing on the Windows Server System, there's lots of information out there, if you know where to look. For developers, there a slew of webcasts available including ones for migrating, optimising, compatibility, and...
  • Generic scripted weekly backup solution - your feedback results

    Following last weeks post regarding the script I used to back up my home Exchange 2003 SP1 Server running under Virtual Server 2005 on a weekly full backup with daily differential backup, I've received upwards of 30 emails, all positive, thankfully!!...
  • VMWare at TechEd Europe 2005 Day 1

    OK, so kind of an interesting topic for a Microsoft employee presenting at TechEd about Virtual Server and Virtual PC. However, if you're over at TechEd this week, drop into booth B29. They're a great bunch of guys - we had some interesting discussions...
  • Data Protection Manager usage at Microsoft

    More interesting stuff I just came across - a case study which details how Data Protection Manager has been deployed internally at Microsoft to perform backups for over 130 remote sites or "Branch Offices". I just love that term being applied to the UK...
  • Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 R2

    At the World Wide Partner Conference last week, there was an interesting announcement which didn't seem to get much by way of attention, but is especially relevant to many of you running Small Business Server. The announcement was that Small Business...
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 through Automatic Updates

    Just a heads up on this one. If you are running Windows Server 2003 RTM currently and have your machines set for automatic updates, on 26th July, they will start receiving SP1 through automatic update (AU). If you haven't finished testing SP1 in your...
  • What does each Windows Service do?

    Another frequently asked question by many customers. A good answer can be found in the "Threats and Countermeasures: Security Settings in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP" document which can be downloaded here . A little out of date (being based on...
  • What do you take to the shower with you....?

    Answer: A laptop keyboard. I've been unable to do a lot of work for the past hour or so after spilling a tiny amount of coffee over my laptop keyboard. Fortunately I don't take sugar as Steve assured me that was a known killer. I dried it straight...
  • Popup follow-on from yesterday

    Well, there is another difference between the msgbox function and popup method as was pointed out to me by several people. Msgbox only displays the first 1024 characters of a dialog whereas popup displays a lot more (I haven't looked to see what the actual...
  • Active Directory Remote Administration

    There is a webcast on 22nd July at 17:30 (UK) about Active Directory Remote Administration - a topic I get many questions about. Hence, take this opportunity to ask your questions live. Here's the description of what's going to be talked about: ...
  • Group Policy Wiki

    I must learn more about Wiki's - it's not something I've been inclined particularly to look at in any great depth, but they are a great way to collaborate and share information about just about anything. Having just found a Wiki on Group Policy, it had...
  • Teched Europe 2005 Pre-Conference Day

    So I'm over in Amsterdam right now on the Teched Europe 2005 pre-conference day. As much as I'd want to listen to some of the great full-day sessions today, including John Craddock talking about Active Directory Internals, Mark Russinovich talking about...