Off Campus

Michael Greene

Off Campus

  • How to bring back your stock Vista sidebar gadgets

    I long ago deleted the stock RSS gadget in Vista since I wasn't using it. Just the other day I decided I wanted it back for a special application. All is not lost. Those gadgets are stored in Program Files, presumably just to prevent people like me from...
  • Edit the registry on a mounted WIM

    This is an incredibly valuable task. Windows Vista employs "Image Based Setup", meaning their is no more i386 folder. Instead, Windows now comes on the DVD as an image that is copied and expanded during setup. An admin can capture a custom .WIM windows...
  • TFTP client in Vista

    At a presentation last week a gentleman asked me if Vista includes a tftp client. Today I was poking around in the Vista add/remove features and there it is! Below is the command line output of tftp /?.
  • Configuring iSCSI MPIO on Windows Server 2008 R2 (full)

    We have recently gone through the process of wiping out our lab and rebuilding from scratch on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. During this process, I recorded the steps I used to configure MPIO with the iSCSI initiator in R2. Just to make life more...
  • Use ImageX without installing WAIK

    I've heard a few people actually say ImageX.exe is included with Vista. That's not technically accurate. ImageX is most certainly a value add to Vista but it is packaged separately in a download called "WAIK" or Windows Automated Installation Kit . So...
  • Uninstall applications from Server Core

    There is no add/remove programs or programs and features dialogue, so how do you remove applications? Start by opening regedit and expanding to the section where all applications should publish their installation data ( according to the Windows Application...
  • Arrange your Outlook To-Do bar, Franklin-Covey style

    Quick tip - I've been a Franklin-Covey user for many years now. I might not have survived college without it faithfully by my side. I learned through their training to use the priority method of assigning things based on have to, need to, want to, or...
  • VPN to your Vista machine

    This may not seem all that interesting at face value but there are a LOT of people in higher education who have workstations that use public IP's. There is a secure way to connect to your machine remotely. Here's how to setup your Windows Vista workstation to accept new incoming VPN connections. This was also available in Windows XP but you have to know where to look in Vista to enable it. Full how-to follows...
  • Windows 7 Gadget – point and click time zone change

    I travel a LOT and find myself in 2-3 time zones per week. In Vista, a user could change time zones without elevation but it was nearly impossible to automate the process. Windows 7 includes a command line utility to make time zone change automation a...
  • Troubleshooting KMS Activation - Part 1, the client

    Windows activation is simple and straightforward if you understand the components. I have had a few customers that stumbled when getting a KMS online and in every case it has been an issue with name resolution, network connectivity, or they simply did not understand how to use the keys. Activation is designed to help you with deployments and sustain your environment even in the event a key gets lost. KMS is the simplest of all the activation methods because you only need to worry about putting a key in one machine. You can then deploy new machines without having to ever worry about keys unless your device will be off the network for more than 6 months. This is the first of a two part series to break down KMS troubleshooting in to a process that should help identify exactly what is at fault. I don't want to mislead or instill fear to those who are just starting out - the process is normally simple by design. However, for those who have run in to trouble, I'd like to publish a guide that will help you isolate and correct the issue you've encountered without spinning your wheels. Part 2 will be published next week with a focus on troubleshooting the server. Part 1, Troubleshooting The Client Let's assume you are a consultant from outside the organization and you know nothing about the environment, server or workstation. The first thing you'll want to do is understand how the client was built. It is possible the machine is retail or OEM, and neither of those use KMS for activation. Any of the "Home" versions, Basic, Premium, or Ultimate, are retail builds and do not use volume licensing methods at this time. This is no change from XP, Media Center and Home were not capable of using the VLK. If you are using the OEM media such as a recovery DVD you would see the machine come online "pre-activated". This is a result of a marker in the BIOS that corresponds with the OEM media. Note: if this marker is not present, such as the case of "naked" OEM workstations, then KMS is not an option for activation. So we are assuming the machine was built using volume media and is capable of being a KMS client. You can test this to be sure by running a the command line and looking for the Name and Description. Right click on the command line icon on the start menu and select "Run As Administrator". Then type - c:\windows\system32\cscript slmgr.vbs -dlv My machine returned this output, I replaced any sensitive data with <>:
  • KMS 1.1 for Server 2003 is Release to Web

    The new version of KMS for Server 2003 is now available for download.  As stated on the site, KMS version 1.1 for Windows Server 2003 provides: A single KMS host which supports volume license editions of both Windows Vista RTM/SP1 and Windows Server...
  • How to provide a Vista image to departments without storing your MAK in clear text

    This scenario comes up frequently and I want to show exactly how the process works. The concern I have heard is from Universities that wish to provide an image to a remote department and for whatever reason the KMS is not an option. In most cases the...
  • Space in the system tray

    I just learned something new about Vista. I've noticed there was an empty space on the system tray but didn't understand why. It's a divider between system applications and 3rd party apps with systray icons.
  • How to use the Snipping Tool to capture context menus

    I use this almost every day. If you read my blog you'll notice I love screenshots and I always have a green border around them. That comes from a setting I have applied to the Vista Snipping Tool. Initially I was capturing good stuff but was frustrated...
  • This Silverlight tutorial is worth your time

    Remember this basic tutorials that Macromedia used to put out so new users could get up to speed quickly? I've been looking for something similar on Silverlight. I found it. nibbles tutorials Simple, short, well written. It took a matter of minutes...
  • Spend an hour today and think about mobile devices in schools

    If it was just that easy... Mobile devices in Education is something that we really do feel passionate about across my team at Microsoft. Trying to find the right devices, and the right solutions, to provide value to the educational environment such that...
  • Best placard to ask for money, ever

    Spotted last week while we were in Seattle. I did not actually see this sign but a friend of mine saw the guy and unfortunately didn't have any money to give him. "Dad killed by Ninjas, need money for Karate lessons." If anyone has a photo, please post...
  • Tired eyes? Read this now.

    Of all the "tricks" Vista has available, there is one I use the most frequently and appreciate more than any other. That is resizing text. I originally found this trick on Techlog . I do not have perfect eyesight. I can focus on far away things or close...
  • My Vista autounattend file template

    This is an answer file I use to demonstrate an unattended setup with Vista Business/Enterprise. First off, please do not copy this file verbatim with hopes of using it in mass deployments. There are settings I have cleared or set generically so you need...
  • x64 drivers for the smartcard reader in HP laptops!

    Sweet, I just heard, tested, and confirmed that the drivers HP has posted for the TI smartcard reader work for 64-bit even though they are only listed in the category for 32-bit versions of Vista. I am only able to test this on my nc8430 and my nx6125...
  • Office team posts new EDU content

    The Office team has released a lot of new content to help students/teachers to kick off the school year. This includes a slew of templates and content for office applications as well as training and tools that "Educationalize" the Office platform. Inside...
  • Deploying Live to school computers

    There are many bloggers/journalists actively discussing Windows Live publishing out several new free tools this month. So what? Well these tools will be available through WSUS which many schools already have in place, so deployment is very low-cost. There...
  • Hyper-V @ EDU

    This morning Microsoft announcied the Release to Manufacturing of the hypervisor for Windows Server 2008, also known as Hyper-V .  You’ll also find that some of our existing case studies are in Education!!! I was ecstatic to learn during TechEd that...
  • I’m back baby, and I’ve brought the HP Mini 1000 (or The Minzilla Project, Part Uno)

    After many months away from the blog, I’m finally back. You guys/gals in EDU have powned my calendar since Hyper-V went RTM. I’ve decided to let all the stale Email in my inbox get staler (turns out that’s a word?) and get back to blogging, an activity...
  • Wake On LAN (WOL) – PowerShell style

    Working on another project and I needed a way to wake up an offline server from within my PS script.  I found this genius blog post and converted it to a script. Genius blog post - The PowerShell Guy : PowerShell Wake-on-lan script I saved the below...