Richard's Weblog

  • Charting with PowerShell

    You may be aware that there are some 3-rd party add-ins for PowerShell that allow you to create charts and graphs from your PowerShell scripts. What you may not be aware of is that there is a free download from Microsoft that will allow you to do the...
  • Protecting Removable Drives with Bitlocker

    In a recent post , I explained how easy it was to use Bitlocker to secure your drives in a dual-boot scenario with Windows Vista and Server 2008.  Following this I had some discussions with colleagues about how to securely backup copies of the files...
  • Programming Hyper-V with WMI and C# - Getting Started

    You may have seen from a recent post that I received a new laptop that was capable of running Hyper-V.  Well, it's all fully installed and working, so I thought I might blog about it a bit.  There are plenty of existing blogs on Hyper-V, so...
  • (Virtually) Everything You Need to Know About Hyper-V

    Following on from my post last year on general virtualisation resources, here is a similar one just for Hyper-V. Enjoy! Note: Thanks to my colleague, Tushar, who sent some of these links around to our team recently. Official Hyper-V Web Sites...
  • Vista, Server 2008 and the Case of the Bitlocker Dual Boot

    This week, I received my shiny new work laptop, which I'd been anticipating for some time.  Normally, I'm not much of a hardware geek and don't get overly excited with new kit, but I was really looking forward to this as it is 64-bit and finally...
  • Manipulating Performance Monitor Logs

    If you need to monitor or troubleshoot performance problems on a Windows system, chances are you'll simply fire up PerfMon, log some data to a file, which you later load in PerfMon for analysis. This is great and is often all that you need, but it's a...
  • Viewing Your MSDN Product Keys Off-Line

    If you have an MSDN subscription, then you'll know that the subscription includes a set of product keys for use with the versions of Office, Windows, etc that your subscription gives you access to.  The keys can be viewed on-line at the MSDN subscriber...
  • Forcing Theme Settings in Windows Vista

    Recently I was working with a customer to find a way to automate forcing a specific Aero theme in Windows Vista.  The idea was to have the Vista clients "colour-coded" according to their use; so whenever a user logs on the window border...
  • Service Security in Windows Vista

    After a long break from blogging due to holidays and a heavy workload, I've finally got round to writing something new. To follow on from my last post on File and Registry Virtualisation , I thought I'd take a look at another Vista security-related topic...
  • Windows Vista File and Registry Virtualisation

    Windows Vista is designed to be more secure than previous versions of Windows. Part of the improvements are related to User Account Control (UAC), which encourages the good practice of not logging on with an Administrator account (and even if you do,...
  • Clustering Best Practices: Checking Hotfix Compliance

    Do you use Microsoft Clustering? Are your clusters configured according to the current Microsoft recommended practices? How can you be sure of the configuration? Questions, questions. The first is easy, the second you might be unsure of and the third...
  • Professional Microsoft Virtual Server 2005

    The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a reference to an unpublished Virtual Server book buried in the middle of my recent list of virtualisation resources . At the time I compiled the list, the book wasn't actually available, but it is now, so I thought...
  • (Re-)Start Me Up ...

    As I mentioned in a recent post , I'm currently working on a Windows Vista workshop. As part of that, I've created a simple application that demonstrates the basic interaction of the Windows Installer with Vista's new Restart Manager (RM). I thought I...
  • Windows Vista Resource Kit Released

    If you're a long-time Windows Admin, then you'll know how invaluable the Windows Resource Kit has been for the various Windows versions over the years. Now the Windows Vista version has been released and with 1,500 pages of in-depth technical information...
  • How to Interpret Windows Installer Logs

    [Updated: 4 April 2007] If you have a problem with the Windows Installer or an MSI package you're installing, it's a sure bet that you will be told by some smart person to "enable logging". That's great advice, except ... what do you do with...
  • Winlogon, What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?

    If you are having issues with slow startup, logon, logoff or shutdown, it is possible to enable extra status messages from Winlogon to help pinpoint the cause of the problem. Enabling this verbose output for Windows 2000/XP/2003 is described in these...
  • Vista Link Extravaganza

    Following on from my last post on vitualisation, I've compiled a similar "one-stop-shop" list for an up-coming session I'm delivering on Windows Vista, except this time you get to see the information before the workshop attendees (unless, of course, you...
  • (Virtually) Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Virtualisation Technologies

    For a recent customer presentation on Virtual Server, I created a handout CD that contained a lot of tools, documents, script, etc related to Microsoft Virtualisation technologies. Having everything (more or less) in one neat little package proved quite...
  • Windows Installer Best Practices

    As a first post on my shiny new blog, I thought I'd post something old! Here is a set of Installer best practice guidelines I posted last year on the Windows Installer Team blog : Tao of the Windows Installer Fundamentals Packaging Deployment Patching...