Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

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  • It’s Live: The Springboard Blog

    Springboard Series Site - Resources for IT Pros

    As some of you may remember, I interviewed Celine Allee at TechEd this year for a TechEd Online video.  We spoke about the then-brand-new Microsoft TechNet Springboard Series web site. 

    Celine just sent an e-mail out informing us of the fact that she and the Springboard team now have a blog.

    From the text of her e-mail:

    “We want to call your attention to a new Blog by the Springboard Series team, providing  a frank, open and honest discussion on the challenges and rewards of adopting the modern Windows Client environment.  The Springboard Series team Blog will cover the tough issues around managing Windows desktop and mobile PCs, and will be the place to get up-to-date information on the latest Windows Client OS releases, beta opportunities, upcoming events, and more.   Check out the Springboard Series Blog here, and be sure to join in on the discussion.”

  • IMPORTANT NEWS: “Out-of-Band” Security Update Has Been Released

    <sigh...>

    Microsoft has some important news that we need to get out in every way possible.  I received an e-mail with a good “script” that describes the situation pretty well.  Here it is (highlighting is my own):

    “Today, Microsoft released security update MS08-067 to address a new vulnerability in all affected versions of Windows products, which could allow remote code execution. To address this issue, Microsoft initiated its Software Security Incident Response Process to investigate the issue thoroughly and developed a security update to protect customers.

    Based on its ongoing monitoring of the threat environment, Microsoft determined it was in the best interest of customers to release this update outside of its usual monthly release cycle. At this present time, Microsoft has determined there have only been limited and targeted attacks. Microsoft encourages customers to test and deploy this update as soon as possible.

    MS08-067 has a maximum severity rating of Important for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 and a maximum severity rating of Critical for all earlier versions of Microsoft Windows

    I’m  calling to ensure you’re aware of this critical security vulnerability as an attacker could exploit this  without authentication to run arbitrary code. Immediately updating your anti-virus signatures, running windows update to install the latest patches form Microsoft and ensuring  firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations are strongly recommended by Microsoft.  For more information and the updates please visit http://www.microsoft.com/protect.

    For additional Support assistance, please contact Microsoft Product Support Services at 1-866-PCSAFETY.”

    Check those links for more information, and get your machines updated ASAP, folks.

  • Breaking News: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is RTM!

    SCVMM (RTM = Released to Manufacturing – otherwise known around here as “SHIPPED!”)

    Finally, the latest tool in the virtualization arsenal is here.  System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 was released today. 

    “But what is it?”

    Here’s the text from the System Center Virtual Machine Manager product site:

    “Microsoft is pleased to announce the release to manufacturing (RTM) of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 – the next generation of Microsoft’s solution for managing the virtualized infrastructure. A key member of System Center – a centralized, enterprise-class suite of data center management products -- Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 enables customers to configure and deploy new virtual machines and centrally manage physical and virtual infrastructure from one console. New to this version of VMM is multi-vendor virtualization platform support, Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) and enhanced support of ‘high availability’ host clusters, among other new features.”

    “Wait a sec.. ‘multi-vendor’?  Does that mean that it can..”

    Yep.  SCVMM 2008 can manage Virtual Server 2005 servers and virtual machines like it did in SCVMM 2008.  But it now adds support for managing both the new Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V servers, and for FULLY managing VMWare virtualization also.

    For a good summary of the new features, check out this PDF file.

  • Happy Anniversary – Full of I.T.!

    BirthdayCake “Happy Anniversary, Kevin!  What we celebrating?”

    I just saw a recurring note that I made to myself on my calendar for the anniversary date of my first blog post ever – October 17, 2004.  So, I guess we’re really celebrating the birth of this blog.

    “Well.. Happy Birthday!  You have been truly full of IT for four years now!”

    Thanks.. I think.

  • Kevin’s Virtualization Resources for Omaha HDC!

    October 16-17, 2008

    E-mail Technical Questions: Kevin Remde – Kevin.Remde@microsoft.com

    Feedback e-mail to my boss: Rich Russell– richruss@microsoft.com

     

    Future Live, In-Person Event Information
    TechNet (for IT Pros):
    http://www.technetevents.com/kevinremde
    MSDN (for Software Developers):
    http://www.MSDNEvents.com
    Microsoft Across America:
    http://www.microsoft.com/acrossamerica

     

    15%-OFF Special TechNet Plus Subscription Promotion –
    Yes, save $52.39 off of a TechNet Plus Direct Subscription,
    and even more on the others!

    Use Promotion Code TMSAM08 (that’s ZERO-8.  Think 2008) at
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/subscription
    IMPORTANT UPDATE: This promotion and promotion code have expired.
    Please CLICK HERE for the most current promotion.

    { Virtualization Resources }

    Microsoft | Virtualization home

    http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization

     

    Windows Server Web Site

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008

     

    Windows Server Hyper-V FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-faq.aspx

     

    Windows Server 2008 Reviewer’s Guide

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/2008/bb414776.aspx

     

    Top 10 Reason’s to Upgrade

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/why-upgrade.aspx

     

    Virtualization and Consolidation

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/virtualization-consolidation.aspx

     

    Virtualization Products

    http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/products.mspx

     

    Terminal Services

    http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/solution-product-ts.mspx

     

    Desktop Virtualization – Virtual PC 2007

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc

     

    Product (FREE): Hyper-V Server

    http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/default.mspx

     

    Management – System Center

    http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter

     

    App-V – Application Virtualization

    http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/appv

     

    Hyper-V WMI API

    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc136992(VS.85).aspx

     

    Virtual Hard Disk Specification OSP

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/virtualserver/downloads/vhdspec.mspx

     

    MSDN & TechNet Powered by Hyper-V

    http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/archive/2008/05/20/msdn-and-technet-powered-by-hyper-v.aspx

     

    Virtualization Solution Accelerators

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/cc197910.aspx

     

    How to install the Hyper-V role

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-install.aspx

     

    Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Performance Tuning Guide

    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/Perf_tun_srv.mspx

     

    Using Hyper-V & BitLocker White Paper

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2c3c0615-baf4-4a9c-b613-3fda14e84545&DisplayLang=en

     

    Kevin's TechNet Webcast: 24 Hours of Windows Server 2008 (Part 02 of 24): Server Virtualization with Hyper-V Features and Architecture

    http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032369761&CountryCode=US

     

    I’m a PC!

    http://imapc.lifewithoutwalls.com/

  • Questions (and Answers) from our TechNet Event in Omaha! (Part 4 of 4)

    "Mmm... Profile Errors!" Question 4:
    “Sometimes when a user logs in, they get an empty desktop without their usual icons.  When they log off and log back in, they get their expected desktop back.  Why is that?”

    This is a problem that I’ve experienced myself.  As your system was coming up, something about the profile was seen to be corrupt, or otherwise unusable, and so the operating system gives you a temporary profile instead.  (Your user should have seen a message that scared them about something being corrupted.  I know it scared me.)

    Here’s how it was explained to me:

    “99 times out of 100 it is because an update needed to do some post reboot operation and it needed to be done by a full admin.  The other time it is because something was holding the profile open during the login, and it was a glitch.”

    So.. it’s quite annoying, and a little scary.  But usually it’s not really serious.  It really shouldn’t be happening often..  But if it is, you might want to consider perhaps that you have a failing hard disk or some other type of software or hardware corruption that is confusing things.

    --

    TECHNET EVENT ATTENDEES: Don’t forget that I’ve posted the resource links as well as the attached .zip file containing the PowerShell Demo Sample on my Resource Page HERE.

  • Breaking News: Official Name of “Windows 7” Announced

    Windows 7 is now Windows 7 “It is?  It’s announced?  What’s the name?”

    “Windows 7”

    “Yeah.. the product that was codename ‘Windows 7’.  What’s the official name?”

    “Windows 7”

    “Um.. The official name of what was known as ‘Windows 7’ is..”

    “Windows 7”!  Yep. 

    “I’m confused.”

    That’s the official name now.  Windows 7 is now the official name of the product formerly codename “Windows 7”.

    Check out the Windows Vista Team Blog for the official announcement.

    “Wow..  Really.  Hmm.  Well.. that’s easy to remember.”

    Yep.  No worries about screwing up during some webcast/podcast/screencast and slipping up by saying the wrong thing.  Now it’s “So you see here in Windows 7… er, I mean.. in Windows 7… “

    Easy.

    “So, do you like the name, Kevin?”

    I love the name ‘Kevin’.

    “I mean.. do you, Kevin, like ‘Windows 7’?”

    Of course.  I especially like anything that rhymes with ‘Kevin’.  Seriously, though, I didn’t like the Windows Vista name originally, but it grew on me.  But this one I actually like pretty well.  I might like it better as “Windows VII”, but that’s just because I think roman numerals are cool.

    --

    What do you think?

  • Questions (and Answers) from our TechNet Event in Omaha! (Part 3 of 4)

    Stay Genuine

    WARNING: What we have here is a licensing question…

    Question 3:
    “How do I upgrade an OEM copy of Vista Home Basic or Premium to Vista Ultimate edition?”

    The easiest way to do this is to take advantage of the “Anytime Upgrade”.  You can purchase an upgrade online.

    “But what if I want to go from OEM to Full-Packaged-Product?” 

    Unfortunately that’s not an upgrade path that is allowed.  The upgrade only upgrades an OEM license to OEM, and a FPP to FPP.  So to do that will require you to do a fresh install.  (Not as bad as it sounds, if you consider that a fresh install doesn’t need to nuke your hard disk.. but will save your documents into a “windows.old” folder, where you can later restore them from later.  It’s still strongly recommended that you do a backup of your files prior to your installation, of course, but having them there makes it a little easier.)

    And on a related note - another question I had was about the Windows Vista software that we gave out at the event...

    "You gave us a DVD with 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate, with a key that we can retrieve online to install and activate it.  THANK YOU! ..but, I really want to test the 64-bit instead!  Ordinarily you get both 32-bit and 64-bit software, with one key, when you buy Vista Ultimate Edition.  If I already have, or can borrow the DVD media for Vista Ultimate SP1 x64, will the key you gave me work?"

    Good news: The answer is YES.  If you have a friend with a Windows Vista SP1 x64 disk (SP1 version only - it won't work with RTM), then you can install and activate it using the key you acquire online. 

    --

    Wanna come to a TechNet Event?  We’d love to see you there!

    EVENT ATTENDEES: Don’t forget that I’ve posted the resource links as well as the attached .zip file containing the PowerShell Demo Sample on my Resource Page HERE.

  • Questions (and Answers) from our TechNet Event in Omaha! (Part 2 of 4)

     

    Winter?  I'm sleeping through it! To Hibernate, or NOT to Hibernate…

    Question 2:
    “I like using Hibernate.  But after I installed [an antivirus program that shall not be pointed to here], hibernate stopped working.  I don’t even have an option in the menu anymore.”

    There are a couple things that may have messed with hibernate.  Apparently there was an issue with the Disk Cleanup feature (and I’m not sure if this is pre-SP1 only, or even a “feature” of disk cleanup) that disabled the hibernation file, which caused hibernate to be shut off.  Of course I have no way of knowing whether your antivirus program somehow messed with your hibernation file (hiberfil.sys), but anything is possible.

    It may also be that you have “hybrid sleep” enabled on your machine. 

    For those of you not aware of what that is: hybrid sleep is like sleep, but more safe; it also will save your memory to the hard disk for safe keeping.  This is particularly useful on desktop computers.  These don’t typically have batteries, so if the power goes out, the old XP-style of sleep (“standby”) wouldn’t be able to recover from something really nasty like an unexpected power outage.  Laptops, with their batteries, are of course more resilient in that way… so they don’t really need hybrid sleep in most cases.  But you do want that memory to be saved if the battery is getting low.  So by default, it will save memory to disk when the battery is getting low.

    “Hybrid Sleep also saves my memory to disk?  That sounds like hibernate!”

    Right.  But with the added benefit of quicker sleep and re-awakening.  In fact, it’s so much like hibernate that the hibernate option also goes away if you have hybrid sleep enabled.

    So – how do you re-enable hibernate if you really want it?  You still want to have the option to go completely “zero-power-consumption” right away?

    First, make sure that hybrid sleep is turned off in the advanced settings of your power options.

    image_thumb2

    And if that alone doesn’t do it, then follow the simple steps of using the “powercfg –h on” command from an elevated command-prompt to re-enable the hibernation file.

    --

    So.. what are you doing?  Sleep?  Hibernate?  Migrate south for the winter?

  • Questions (and Answers) from our TechNet Event in Omaha! (Part 1 of 4)

    What a young geek.  Will he ever amount to anything?

    Hello Omaha!  Thanks for being such gracious hosts, as always!  I love coming to town.  Sorry none of you took me up on the Karaoke Challenge out at Mic’s.  Maybe next time!  (Hey.. how about this next week? I’ll be at the Omaha HDC, and likely going out to Mic’s on Thursday again.)

    I have a set of 5 questions that were asked during the TechNet Event; questions that lead me from responses of “I want to find more details for you”, all the way to “I have absolutely no idea.”    Ordinarily I’m okay posting questions and answers all in one blog post – but these are sufficiently interesting that they deserve their own posting.  So here’s the first one.  Watch for the others over the next 5 days.

    Question 1:
    (Actually two questions about a similar problem)
    “I have a file Sharing problem.  In a workgroup, peer-to-peer network, why can ‘t I see the other
    Vista machines on my network?  I want to do file sharing, or set up printer sharing, but I can’t find those machines.  Yes, I have it file and printer sharing enabled on the workstations.”

    “Can’t find my XP Shared Printer from Vista Machine – F/P sharing enabled, Can ping the vista from XP, but not the other way.  And I don’t think it’s the firewall, because I already tried with the firewall off.”

    I found a good set of troubleshooting steps in a TechNet Community Forum thread HERE.  Simple things such as having the same workgroup name on all machines, or firewalls getting in the way (and I know one of you already tried turning them off temporarily) might be the problem.  Other issues such as whether the LLTD (Link-Layer Topology Discovery) Responder is installed and working on XP can cause XP machines to not show up in the network diagram. 

    Hopefully one of the troubleshooting steps will help you pinpoint the problem.

    --

    EVENT ATTENDEES: Don’t forget that I’ve posted the resource links as well as the attached .zip file containing the PowerShell Demo Sample on my Resource Page HERE.

  • RTW of two new Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides: File Services and Print Services

    (RTW = Released to Web)

    Planning and Designing Away For those of you who may not be aware of these, the IPD Guides (Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides) are a series of guides that can help you with your planning.  And your design. 

    “Of your Infrastructure?”

    You got it.

    And today the team that makes ‘em announced that two new Windows Server 2008 guides have been released.  From the IPD Overview Page:

    • Windows Server 2008 File Services

      This guide provides the basic building blocks upon which many other infrastructure services are based. Enjoy peace of mind in knowing that all critical phases of the plan are included, allowing you to establish a good foundation for future expansion. Download this guide now.

    • Windows Server 2008 Print Services

      The goal of this guide is to enable you to strategically plan your print infrastructure. By analyzing your printing needs, you will be able to design print servers with sufficient memory and spooler capacity. Efficiently designing printer pools can help you avoid problems before they begin, erase performance bottlenecks, and serve your customers more reliably. Download this guide now.

  • TechNet Radio: Mitigating Application Compatibility Issues on Windows Vista Using Shims

    TechNet Radio: Tune in.  Geek out!  The other day I interviewed Chris Jackson about some pretty interesting options you have to support application compatibility in Windows Vista.  That interview went live today on TechNet Radio. 

    Here’s where you find TechNet Radio

    And here are the links directly to the interview in various formats:

  • Make your Vista run better

    “Better?  How so?”

    Watch this screencast!  John Baker (friend and coworker) has created and shared this screencast all about doing just that.