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

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

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  • Blog Post: Backing out overdone Software Restriction Policies

    One of the things about playing with Software Restriction Policies is that you can go too far and end up not being able to do anything to rectify the situation. Active Directory Group Policy applied through a link to an OU is easy enough to fix - simply remove the GPO link and reboot the client. However...
  • Blog Post: Do you use blogging software?

    Something which cropped up internally over the past couple of days has been a discussion about how many people at Microsoft must have moved on beyond using the standard HTML interface to their blog engine for posting. I kept quiet at this point once discussions got round to all sorts of software I'd...
  • Blog Post: Hands-on Windows OS Internals and Advanced Troubleshooting

    I received an email from David Solomon - author of Windows Internals this morning. By amazing coincidence, I happened to have a copy of it open and reading it just as the email came in. David & his colleage, Mark Russinovich regularly give courses to folks in the Windows Core OS Division here in...
  • Blog Post: 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 the second tuesday of every month, and can be run...
  • Blog Post: Silently Removing XP Games

    I'm often sent questions by email about how to do x, how to do y, what does z do etc. This one was a common issue, so I felt it was worth sharing. During their installation, a particular company had included the standard XP games (minesweeper, solitaire and so on). It was a relatively small company ...
  • Blog Post: ADS to deploy Windows XP?

    I have to admit, I'd never thought of this one. Yes, I've looked into using ADS (Automated Deployment Services) for deploying Windows Server 2003 and use it as part of the Virtual Server Migration Toolkit ( VSMT ) solution but never thought of using it to deploy Windows XP. Unsupported it may be, but...
  • Blog Post: Multimedia Card drive icons in Window Explorer

    Still jetlagged :( 2AM again. Maybe tomorrow night I'll get round to sleeping finally! So hands up everyone who's built their own MCE machine - particularly those who have MSDN, for example, and like to "test" :) And... for those MCE machines, keep your hands up if you've bought one of those multi...
  • Blog Post: Winter Fun Pack 2004 for Windows XP - free download

    The Winter Fun Pack 2004 for Windows XP was recently published on microsoft.com. The download includes: Stunning Holiday visualizations, skins and PowerToys for Windows Media Player 10. Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer and Holiday Elf Dancer. Holiday music autoplaylists for Windows Media Player 10. A new...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista Fast User Switching on domain joined machines

    Woohoo!!! I'm suddenly one very happy person. The killer feature I've been hoping to see in Windows XP Pro is present in Windows Vista Beta 1. No guarantees for the future, but it shows the boys in Redmond have the capability. Here's what it is and why it's important to me. I have various machines...
  • Blog Post: Enable Remote Desktop Connection through Windows Firewall Remotely

    Yesterday evening, I was at home and attempting to remotely connect to my XP desktop machine in the office to access an application which was installed there, but not installed on my laptop. This was over VPN. Now I’ve only had both machines for a few weeks since moving over here and was positive that...
  • Blog Post: Applying Least Privilege to User Accounts in Windows XP

    You've already probably heard by now the many efforts and changes which will be coming into place with the release of Windows Vista later this year regarding how "least privilege" (I use quotes as the actual term has changed a few times and I'm not sure that the latest TLA is) will be strongly enforced...
  • Blog Post: Scriptomatic (revisited)

    The Scripting Guys released version 2 of their "Scriptomatic" tool a couple of weeks ago. Don't be put off by the somewhat frivolous name - it has some very true value. One such example I frequently use is for the WQL queries in WMI filters when building Group Policy Objects - this tool saves a lot of...
  • Blog Post: Accidents with Internet Explorer

    The simplest things can be the best! Many of you already know that you can enter "go dilbert" in the address bar in IE to search for information about Dilbert. By total accident, I came across a great tweak to Internet Explorer at http://www.commandline.co.uk/searchurl/index.html which has registry extensions...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista Webcasts Next Week

    Just seen the list of webcasts for next week - there's a couple on the list worth mentioning. All times are PST (add 8 hours for UK time) Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Windows Vista for the Enterprise (Level 200) Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Pacific Time Glenn Fincher, Senior...
  • Blog Post: Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1

    I've had a couple of people ask me about this over the past week, so rather than answer individually, here's the location for the latest version of the Group Policy Settings Reference spreadsheet. This spreadsheet lists Group Policy settings described in Administrative Template (.adm) files and Security...
  • Blog Post: How to run Virtual Server under XP (or what to do when the admin site doesn’t work)

    So there I was, a month after joining Microsoft with a new monster laptop freshly delivered. This really is a monster – hyper-threading mobile P4, 2GB ram, built in gale-force wind generating fan. It also doubles as a portable heater now the colder time of year approaches. The first decision was what...
  • Blog Post: New Windows Support for RAW file format - RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer

    If you're a fan of Digital Photography, read on. There was an interesting press release yesterday (which I can't unfortunately find on the Presspass site) about how Microsoft is going to be natively supporting the commonly used RAW file format in Digital Cameras in the next version of Windows, codename...
  • Blog Post: Turn Off Low Disk Space Notification

    Next part of a series of blogs about changes to my home network, but equally as valuable to anyone who runs Virtual Machines in the sort of way I'm going to explain. For performance and due to lack of physical memory on my Virtual Server host, I've seperated out the swap file for a few virtual machines...
  • Blog Post: Windows Desktop Search - Index network shares for faster searching

    Can't wait to get home tonight..... just saw a pointer to this download on microsoft.com which is an addin for Windows Desktop Search, supported on Windows Vista which provides indexing capability for network shares. Given I've got hundreds of GB of data sitting on network shares which I'm regularly...
  • Blog Post: 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 WS2003 RTM and XP SP1), but dead useful information...
  • Blog Post: My reason for not backing up

    Somewhat of a cynical post, but there's always a bright side to even the darkest of corners. So here's a "glass half full" reason why not to do a backup, or at least not to do a backup in the way I tried yesterday. I run Windows Server 2003 on my main laptop (as many of you are probably bored of me...
  • Blog Post: New windows not opening in IE? Use the Knowledge Base - it knows a lot of stuff!

    Internet Explorer on my test Windows Server 2003 box has been playing up for a couple of days - every time I clicked a link which opened a new window, I got a blank window with nothing in the address bar. Annoying, but sometimes you don't have time to sort it out, so you end up working around the problem...
  • Blog Post: Windows Task Manager - Alternate View

    This is one of those small almost unheard of "things you can do in Windows" tips. The left image below is a "normal" Windows Task Manager screen shot. If you double-click anywhere in the graphical part of the tab, it changes appearance to the screen on the right. Click image to enlarge. You...
  • Blog Post: Part 3 - Hyper-V Remote Management: You do not have the required permission to complete this task. Contact the administrator of the authorization policy for the computer ‘COMPUTERNAME’

    Update 14th Nov 2008 . I've just released a script which does all this configuration in one or two command lines: HVRemote   Quick links to the all parts in the series: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 and 5   Although I thought I’d finished at part two, after even more emails and comments on part one and two...
  • Blog Post: TechNet and Languages in Internet Explorer

    I'm sure this isn't going to teach a lot of people anything new, but given I just noticed it myself, I think it's worth mentioning just in case. Due to my recent change of laptop, and the fact that my new laptop doesn't run Windows Server 2003 (actually it does, just not very well - the power settings...