I have been using Virtual PC 2007 for the last few months as it worked its way through Beta, and have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of Windows Vista in a virtual environment (following the performance tips I previously outlined here: http://blogs.technet.com/seanearp/archive/2007/02/20/virtual-pc-2007-released.aspx).
I enjoy living on the cutting edge, however, and now that Virtual PC 2007 has been released, and is quite stable, I figured that it was time to move back into unsupported territory.
My venture tonight involved installing Ubuntu Linux onto Virtual PC 2007. I have heard quite a bit about it on the interweb over the last few months, and thought I would take it for a test drive. As my test box is currently running Windows Home Server, I downloaded the Ubuntu ISO and fired up Virtual PC. Although the initial boot screen looked fine, the video rapidly changed into complete garbage once I hit the install screen (you can take a look at a screenshot here if you are interested). I tried rebooting into safe VGA mode, but the same problem persisted. It turns out that the default X11/x.org configuration for Ubuntu is 24 bit color (fine for physical hardware, but not so great for an emulated S3 Trio 4MB video card).
The Ubuntu community page lists instructions for configuring Ubuntu to work on Virtual PC 2004 here, but the instructions have not yet been updated for Virtual PC 2007.
From the ZDNet blog posting earlier, I found the solution to the problem:
Step 1: Boot Live CD, press F6 (Other Options)Step 2: Go near the end of the line and remove the word splash, then press Enter.Step 3: After Ubuntu 6.10 boots, Press Crtl-Alt-F1 to get to a command line interface.Step 4: Type in the following command to reset defaultdepth from 24 to 16:sudo sed -e 's/DefaultDepth.*24/DefaultDepth 16/g' -i /etc/X11/xorg.confStep 5: Press Ctrl-Alt-F7 to return to the Ubunto Desktop.Step 6: Press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to reload the Ubunto Desktop.Step 7: Graphics should be adjusted, and now you can perform an installation under VPC.
After following those steps, Ubuntu installed with no problems, and seems to work just fine. Those steps, however, remind me why I would still hesitate to hand a Linux CD to my dad and expect him to complete an install with no assistance. Windows still has the edge in the "It Just Works" category.
The interface of Ubuntu earns a "meh" from me. I happen to be a fan of eye candy, an area in which Ubuntu is lacking. After the initial reboot, Ubuntu informed me that I had a mere 138 software updates to install. Wow… 30 minutes later, the updates completed successfully, and I was set to go. I was unsuccessful in connecting to my server with RDP or to the file share, but to be honest, I did not put a lot of effort into it.
Alright… on Linux distro down, a couple more to go. This is by no means an officially supported Linux Distribution within Virtual PC, and the above is just my personal experience. The officially supported distributions are listed here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917437/en-us (at present, Red Hat and Suse distributions). Per Mike Neil (Virtualization GM), expanded Linux Guest support is on the way: http://searchopensource.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid39_gci1243601,00.html. Although the official Microsoft Virtualization Blog hasn't been updated since mid-last year, I would have to imagine that it will be updated over the upcoming months as Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 nears release and Windows Server Virtualization reaches beta. Keep tuned!
Quick Update: I found a blog that has a nice step-by-step for installing Ubuntu in Virtual PC 2007, complete with screenshots. He has a slightly different way of editing the xorg.conf file, but it's not Linux if something can't be done at least 7 different ways ;)
As an IT Professional, have you ever been tasked with setting up a new process or technology at your company? Didn't have a clue where to start? Sure... you may have read a book on the topic a year ago, and have a general idea as to how it works, but unless you have already been involved in a setup or migration or implementation at a previous company, you have a lot of research ahead of you. Unless you are working at a Fortune 100 company, it is highly likely that you are an IT Generalist, which makes it impossible to know everything about every technology that you support. That doesn't stop management from expecting you to be an expert in Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Content Management, Risk Management, Deployment...
With that in mind, Microsoft has an incredible (and free!) resource available from the TechNet Solution Accelerators team: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/solutionaccelerators/default.mspx
The Solution Accelerators contain end-to-end guidance on processes, tools, team composition, and best practices for nearly every rollout or IT project that you may be tasked with. Some of the better known Solution accelerators include the Business Desktop Deployment Solution Accelerator and the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP, but there are some real gems that address nearly every project you face.
I just came across one of the guides that was published in January that piqued my interest: Fundamental Computer Investigation Guide for Windows. You'll find industry best practices and tools to help you conduct a computer investigation—using methods that will stand up in a court of law. Using many of the tools that we acquired from SysInternals, you will learn how to analyze a computer (both remotely and locally) to complete an internal investigation on malfeasance that may have been carried out within your company. It's actually a very interesting read (covering everything from acquiring the data, to analyzing it, to reporting on your findings to management). It finishes up with an applied example at Woodgrove Bank that turns the conceptual theory into actionable practice. Head on over!: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/guidance/disasterrecovery/computer_investigation/default.mspx
I just saw the following come through my email, and thought that I would share (as I don't see anything already posted about this…)
In last couple of weeks, the Exchange team has been getting increased call volume around Error 0x80004005 (DST). Some of the following are known causes for the issue, which might reduce turnaround time of resolution with your customer.
Currently identified causes:
* The tool was not able to find any time zone values in the mailbox of the specific users. To resolve this, try adding ReadCalendarTimeZones=1 to the MsExTmz.ini file to force the tool to examine recurring calendar items for time zone information. You can create a new input file by using the DNs from the error log you received from the last run.
* Unable to process mailbox /O=CONTOSO/OU=FIRST ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=TESTMB01 - 0x80004005: Carefully review the legacyExchangeDN and make any corrections as necessary. Using ADSIEdit to copy/paste the value can ensure accuracy.
* You are referencing tzmove.exe from the wrong directory. Either extract the downloaded install into the folder where MsExTmz resides or update the MsExTmz.ini to include a full path to where tzmove.exe is installed on the workstation you are using.
NOTE: When you download the Time Zone Data Update Tool for Microsoft Office Outlook, the tzmove.exe file is the installer for the actual tool. Referencing the installer will result in errors when you run MsExTmz.
* The account you are using to run MsExTmz does not have full mailbox permissions and has not been delegated the proper Exchange permissions. To resolve this, run the "Grant Mailbox Permission" script from an Exchange Server computer.
Daylight Saving Time Open Q & A Sessions
Microsoft product and engineering experts will be on hand to take customer and partner questions online and live during the session.
Future External Customer Web Casts/Live Meetings are also posted at
In a previous post, I alluded to the fact that there were some awesome things in the pipeline in regards to Virtualization coming from Microsoft. One of the folks on the Longhorn product team has recorded a demo of virtualization in Longhorn, and I think you'll like what you see!
In this demo you will see:
Video: Longhorn - Windows Server Virtualization.
Update: A much higher quality version of this demo has been uploaded to the Windows Server Longhorn site. Direct link to video here.
Virtual PC 2007 has been finalized and been released to the web for download today. You can read more about Virtual PC 2007 (and download it), from the new (and great looking!) Virtual PC website: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx.
Features of Virtual PC 2007:
The Technical Overview White Paper is available, (you will need an XPS Viewer) if you want to read more about the inner workings and changes with Virtual PC 2007.
So can I run Exchange 2007 in a Virtual PC Environment then? Unfortunately, once people see "x64" support in the feature list, they stop reading at that point, and miss the note that x64 versions of Windows are supported as the HOST. Not the guest… There is a 32 bit version of Exchange available for testing purposes, but it is not supported in production. A pre-configured VPC of Exchange 2007 is available here, and it works great within VPC 2007. (You will receive a message that the hardware standard isn't recognized, but it will then boot up and run just fine…)
Support for 64 bit GUEST operating systems will come with Windows Server Virtualization within 180 days of the release of Longhorn. There are some AWESOME capabilities that will be introduced with WSV and System Center Virtual Machine Manager that should keep our friends at VMWare busy for a while. I'll try to post some more information once I take the time to figure out what is public and what is not ;)
While you're at it, Virtual PC Images of the following applications are available (perfect for testing them out, working on a certification, or to build another skill set to add to your resume)
Now, in order to set this post aside from some of the other "Virtual PC 2007 has been released!" postings, I thought I would share some best practices relating to the usage of Virtual PC that I have picked up from doing demos over the last year or so (as well as from an internal demo optimization doc that made its way into my inbox a few months ago):
Turns on host-side disk caching, which can improve performance of virtual machines running operating systems other than Windows. This parameter can be useful for resolving poor performance problems with disk intensive tasks. This parameter can be used only when starting Virtual PC.
I'll finish with some links to useful Virtualization reading:
Virtual PC Guy's WebLogTips to speed up Virtual PC for Microsoft CRMVirtual Server Community
Post any virtualization questions (relating to Microsoft virtualization solutions) in the comments, and I'll answer to the best of my ability! I am really excited about both what we have as well as what is coming, and I'd love to answer any questions in the tech community at large.
My team just gave two successful all-day sessions to Gold Partners on the tools and best practices for Deploying Vista and Office, and I wanted to share with everyone a collection of useful links relating to the tools we covered:
Microsoft Deployment Guidance
Windows Vista Deployment EnhancementsWindows Vista Deployment Step by Step Guide
Windows Vista Migration Step-by-Step Guide
Windows Deployment Services Update Step-by-Step Guide
Business Desktop Deployment 2007 (BDD)
User State Migration Tool
USMT Download linkUSMT Resource KitUSMT documentationWhat is new in USMT 3.0What does USMT3.0 migrate?
Windows PEWindows PE 2.0 for Windows Vista OverviewTechNet: Getting Ready for Windows PE 2.0How to create a custom startup WinPE CD-ROM in Windows XPMicrosoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) for System BuildersWindows Preinstallation at Windows Hardware Development Central (WHDC)
ImageX and System Image Manager (SIM)
ImageX and WIM image formatSystem Image ManagerWindows SIM Technical ReferenceWindows Automated Installation KitImaging and Desktop Engineering
Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 Product GuideMicrosoft Office Compatibility Pack for 2007 File Formats2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as XPS
Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
Microsoft Windows Deployment ServicesWindows Vista Deployment EnhancementsMSDN WDS LibraryWindows Deployment Services Update Step-by-Step Guide
Okay… so here's the scenario. I have two different tables in a SQL Database, where I need to compare both tables, and find all values in Table B that do not exist in Table A. There are two ways to do this. One with a JOIN, and one with a "NOT EXISTS" Clause:
FROM DBName.dbo.tblB b
LEFT OUTER JOIN DBName.dbo.tblA a
ON b.[ColumnName] = a.[ColumnName]
WHERE a.[ColumnName] IS NULL
GROUP BY b.[ColumnName];
WHERE NOT EXISTS
WHERE a.[ColumnName] = b.[ColumnName]
I hope this helps someone! My malformed queries have been driving me nuts all week…
As part of my role here at Microsoft, I spend a significant amount of time in LiveMeeting doing presentations to Gold Partners. Sometimes it is a small meeting with only a few attendees, and sometimes the meetings involve hundreds of Partners at a time. LiveMeeting scales very well for both scenarios, and the experience on both sides (presenter and attendee) is usually quite nice. The audio portion of the session can be conducted via an audio conferencing bridge, or via "Internet Audio Broadcasting" where LiveMeeting dials into the Phone Bridge and then broadcasts the audio to attendees so that they can listen with their computer speakers. This is really the preferred method once you have a large number of attendees, as you will INVARIABLY have several folks that don't remember to keep their phone on mute (or that puts the entire conference on hold), which really ruins the experience for all involved. With that in mind, the following are some Best Practices that I use when preparing for and giving my presentations:
You will of course have to modify the above rule to fit your specific scenario, but do not enter the trap of giving a presentation with 100 slides and 16 point font. It will put your audience to sleep and force you to read from your slides, which is the cardinal sin of presenting!
Alright- I have the Technet Blog account setup, and the "New Blog" window open in Word 2007. This initial post will be to make sure that everything is working as expected.
A little bit about myself and what I hope to cover on this blog…
I am a Technical Service Coordinator on the Gold Certified Partner team, where I work with Gold Certified Partners in an advisory capacity. As I serve in a technical generalist role, I have the fortune of coming across technical issues (and solutions) on a wide variety of topics. I intend to post the various useful tidbits that I come across, and hopefully they can expand the sea of knowledge on the internet! My interests include Network Security, as well as playing with the latest and greatest technologies (which is why Microsoft is the greatest place in the world to work!).
I'll keep the first posting short, and my next posting will contain some useful information relating to best practices for presenting via Live Meeting.