March, 2014

  • What’s New in Windows Servicing: Reduction of Windows Footprint : Part 2

    My name is Aditya and I am a Sr. Support Escalation Engineer for Microsoft on the Windows Core Team. This blog is a continuation of the previous Servicing Part 1. So to understand this blog better, it is recommended that one reads the previous blog post.  As mentioned in the previous, this is a 4 part Blog series on Windows Servicing.

    What’s New in Windows Servicing: Part 1
    What’s New in Windows Servicing: Reduction of Windows Footprint : Part 2

    Before we dive into Single Instancing and Delta Compression, I thought it would be a good idea, to talk about why this was introduced and how it worked in the previous Operating Systems. The reason for both Single Instancing and Delta Compression was to reduce the Windows (Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2) footprint. Here is how and why:

    Windows Footprint Reduction Features:The disk footprint of a Windows directly affects end-users, as it reduces the amount of available space for music, videos, pictures, and all other content. Even as we shift more user content to the cloud, factors such as high-resolution photos and videos, limited and costly bandwidth, and safety/security concerns over cloud storage mean that local storage requirements would remain constant for the next few years.

    The disk footprint of Windows also directly affects our OEM partners. Available storage is one of the most important metrics, that an end-user looks at when purchasing a system, and OEMs are pushed to provide higher storage capacity. The current trend is that many of the OEM’s are shifting to SSD storage, due to its small footprint (enabling smaller, sleeker devices), low power consumption, low noise, and improved performance. Unfortunately, SSD storage can cost as much as 10x the price of conventional spindle based storage, which means that OEMs can only add limited storage to their systems before the cost becomes too great.

    If Windows consumes less of the available disk footprint, while still providing a great end-user experience, this provides end-users with more disk space for their content, without requiring the OEM to spend more on storage, thus reducing the price of PCs.

    For rollback purposes, the previous versions of Windows Components are sometimes kept in WinSxS store after installation of new updates through Windows Updates. The MUM Servicing feature which was introduced in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ensures that the disk space growth due to GDR installations can be reclaimed after a Service Pack (SP) installation by running Disk Cleanup Utility manually.

    Windows strives to constrain servicing footprint growth, which are due to GDR installations either before or after a SP installation. The feature also focuses on enabling the servicing footprint reduction support at the Component Based Servicing technology level that targets for the following scenarios:

    1. Consumers opt in for automatic updates on their Windows 8 devices, and notice that the WinSxS store footprint no longer grows significantly over time.

    2. Consumers notice that the WinSxS store footprint has grown due to update installations over time, and then run Disk Cleanup Utility to reduce the WinSxS store footprint and reclaim disk space on their devices.

    3. OEMs service their golden images in technician labs over time to keep them up-to-date and secured. Before the image is delivered to ODM for deployment at factory floor, they clean up the image by running DISM to scavenge away all the superseded components and recapture the smaller sized image.

    4. Similarly, IT Admins service master images in their image libraries to keep them up-to-date and secured. Before the image is ready for deployment to Client machines, they clean up the image by running DISM to scavenge away all the superseded components and recapture the smaller sized image.

    The feature to reduce the disk space used by Windows with the focus on Windows Components. Windows Update routinely installs patches on released Windows machines but does not always remove previous content that is replaced by the patches and which are not in use anymore. The purpose of this feature is to reduce disk footprint growth over time and also to provide a means by which power-users can reduce the original disk footprint of Windows.

    This feature reduces disk footprint grown over time by uninstall and deletion of content that can be removed from the system and compression of unused content that may not be removable from the system

    Reducing the footprint of Windows also improves deployment performance, which benefits consumers, Enterprise, and OEMs.

    1. Single Instancing Catalogs: This feature contributes to the component store footprint reduction by single-instancing catalogs across the CATROOT, and Windows Servicing Stack stores. 

    Term

    Definition

    Catroot

    %windir%\system32\catroot

    Servicing Stack Packages

    %windir%\servicing\packages

    Servicing Stack Catalogs

    %windir%\winsxs\catalogs

     The redundant catalogs are single-instanced by hard-linking them across the three stores, nullifying the Windows Servicing Stack footprint overhead. To minimize impact to other catalog clients, changes were scoped to just those catalogs installed by the Servicing Stack.

    More information on how hard-linking affects and works in the Windows Servicing Stack, one can refer to this TechNet article:

    Manage the Component Store

    2. Delta Compression of Superseded Components: This feature contributes to the component store footprint reduction by significantly reducing the size of files that have been superseded by later updates, yet they remain on the computer in case the user needs to uninstall a recent update. 

    Term

    Definition

    Component

    The smallest serviceable unit that includes files, registry data, meta-data, and etc., that describes how to service that set of files, and etc.

    Installed component - winner

    This is the ‘winning’ version of a component in a component family. This is the payload that is projected into System32 (or whichever location is specified in the component manifest).

    Installed component - superseded

    These components are installed, but are older versions than the winning component. The payload exists in the component store, but does not get projected to System32. If the winning component is uninstalled, the highest versioned remaining component becomes the new winner.

    Latent component

    These components are available for installation under the proper circumstances, but are not currently installed. The most common form of a latent component is a component that belongs to an optional feature that is currently disabled.

    Superseded components are kept in the component storein case a user uninstalls the winning component (by uninstalling an update, for example). End-users infrequently uninstall updates, making those updates a prime target for reclaiming space. This feature uses a type of compression known as delta compression to dramatically reduce the size of superseded and latent components.

    Delta compressionis a technology based on the differencing of two similar files. One version is used as a baseline and another versions is expressed as baseline + deltas.

    The delta compression is performed against the winner component at the time of compression. This means the deltas for a specific component is different from machine to machine, depending on which winner was available at the time of compression.

    Let me explain this by use of the following diagram Figure 1, in which V1, V2, and V3are all installed components prior to compression. During compression, V1 and V2 are compared against V3, the current winner, to create the necessary deltas.

    clip_image002

    Figure 1

    In the next example, refer Figure 2 below, where V1 and V2 are installed, with V2 being the winner. After compression, V1 delta is created using V2 as the basis. Subsequently, V3 is installed. After the next compression, V2 delta is created using V3 as the basis.

    Figure 2

    Decompression or Rehydration:If the winning component is uninstalled, Windows Servicing Stack decompresses any components that are using the uninstalled version as their baseline, and makes the next highest versioned component the new winner. The uninstalled version is marked for deletion, and later when the Servicing Stack’s maintenance task runs, the uninstalled version is deleted, and any remaining superseded files are compressed against the new winner. For example refer to figure 3 below.

    Figure 3

    There may be cases where a file needs to be decompressed, but its basis file is also compressed. In these case, the Windows Servicing Stack would decompress the full chain of files necessary to decompress the final winning file.

    Figure 4

    At this point the big question that comes to mind is When Do We Delta Compress Components? The answer is pretty simple, Delta compression of superseded and latent content in the component store happens as part of the Servicing Stacks maintenance task. This process can be triggered either manually, or automatically.

    Manual maintenance:Manually triggered by dism.exe.

    Dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

    Automatic maintenance: Triggered by a scheduled maintenance task when the system is idle.

    Task Scheduler Library  -->  Microsoft  -->  Windows  -->  Servicing

    The automatic case is interruptible and resume-able. It automatically stops when the computer is no longer idle, and resumes when it becomes idle again.

    For more detailed information, please refer to What’s New in Windows Servicing: Part 1.

    Definitions:

    Term

    Definition

    Delta compression

    Compressing a file by capturing a diff of the file against a basis file. Requires the basis file to decompress.

    Backup directory

    Directory containing copies of boot critical files that are used to repair corruption

    Manifest

    Files describing the contents of a component. Windows is essentially defined by component manifests, approximately 15,000 of them (on amd64).

    I hope this blog would have helped in understanding the efforts, put in the background by all the Windows team, in order to reduce the size of WINSXS considerably in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

    The next blog in the series we would be discussing about the Servicing Stack improvements in KB2821895for Windows 8, and why it will assist your upgrade to 8.1?? Till then happy reading….

    Aditya
    Senior Support Escalation Engineer
    Microsoft Platforms Support

  • Failover Clustering and Active Directory Integration

    My name is Ram Malkani and I am a Support Escalation Engineer on Microsoft’s Windows Core team. I am writing to discuss how Failover Clustering is integrated with Active Directory on Windows Servers.

    Windows Server Failover Clustering, has always had a very strong and cohesive attachment with the Active Directory. We made considerable changes to how Failover Clustering integrates with AD DS, as we made progression to new versions of Clusters running on Windows Servers. Let us see the story so far:

    Window Server 2003 and previous version.

    Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2

    Windows Server 2012

    We needed a Cluster Service Account (CSA). A domain user, whose credentials were used for the Cluster service and the Clustered resources. This had its problems, changing the password for the account, rotating the passwords, etc. Later, we did add support for Windows Clusters on 2003 to use Kerberos Authentication which created objects in Active Directory.

    We moved away from CSA, and instead, the Cluster started the use of Active Directory computer objects associated with the Cluster Name resource (CNO) and Virtual Computer Objects (VCOs) for other network names in the cluster. When cluster is created, the logged on user needed permissions to create the computer objects in AD DS, or you would ask the Active Directory administrator to pre-stage the computer object(s) in AD DS. Cluster communications between nodes also uses AD authentication.

    The same information provided for Windows 2008 and 2008R2 applies, however, we included a feature improvement to allow Cluster nodes to come up when AD is unavailable for authentication and allow Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) to become available and the VMs (potentially Domain Controllers) on it to start. This was a major issue as otherwise we had to have at least one available Domain Controller outside the cluster before the Cluster Service could start.

     

    What’s new with Clustering in Windows Server 2012 R2

    We have introduced, a new mode to create a Failover Cluster on Windows Server 2012 R2, known as Active Directory detached Cluster. Using this mode, you would not only no longer need to pre-stage these objects but also stop worrying about the management and maintenance of these objects. Cluster Administrators would no longer need to be wary about accidental deletions of the CNO or the Virtual Computer Objects (VCOs). The CNOs and VCOs are now instead created in Domain Name System (DNS).

    This feature provides greater flexibility when creating a Failover Cluster and enables you to choose to install Clusters with or without AD integration. It also improves the overall resiliency of cluster by reducing the dependencies on CNO and VCOs, thereby reducing the points of failure on the cluster.

    The intra-cluster communication would continue to use Kerberos for authentication, however, the authentication of the CNO would be done using NT LM authentication. Thus, you need to remember that for all Cluster roles that need Kerberos Authentication use of AD-detached cluster is not recommended.

     

    Installing Active Directory detached Cluster

    First, you should make sure that the nodes, running Windows Server 2012 R2 that you are intending to add to the cluster are part of the same domain, and proceed to install the Failover-Cluster feature on them. This is very similar to conventional Cluster installs running on Windows Servers. To install the feature, you can use the Server Manager to complete the installation.

    Server Manager can be used to install the Failover Clustering feature:

    Introducing Server Manager in Windows Server 2012
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2012/11/04/introducing-server-manager-in-windows-server-2012.aspx

    We can alternatively use PowerShell (Admin) to install the Failover Clustering feature on the nodes.

    Install-WindowsFeature -Name Failover-Clustering -IncludeManagementTools

    An important point to note is that PowerShell Cmdlet ‘Add-WindowsFeature’ is being replaced by ‘Install-WindowsFeature’ in Windows Server 2012 R2. PowerShell does not install the management tools for the feature requested unless you specify  ‘-IncludeManagementTools’ as part of your command. 

    image

     

    BONUS READ:
    The Cluster Command line tool (CLUSTER.EXE) has been deprecated; but, if you still want to install it, it is available under:
    Remote Server Administration Tools --> Feature Administration Tools --> Failover Clustering Tools --> Failover Cluster Command Interface in the Server Manager

    image

    The PowerShell (Admin) equivalent to install it:

    Install-WindowsFeature -Name RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface

    Now that we have Failover Clustering feature installed on our nodes. Ensure that all connected hardware to the nodes passes the Cluster Validation tests. Let us now go on to create our cluster. You cannot create an AD detached clustering from Cluster Administrator and the only way to create the AD-Detached Cluster is by using PowerShell.

    New-Cluster MyCluster -Node My2012R2-N1,My2012R2-N2 -StaticAddress 192.168.1.15 -NoStorage -AdministrativeAccessPoint DNS

    image

    NOTE:
    In my example above, I am using static IP Addresses, so one would need to be specified.  If you are using DHCP for addresses, the switch “-StaticAddress 192.168.1.15 ” would be excluded from the command.


    Once we have executed the command, we would have a new cluster created with the name “MyCluster” with two nodes “My2012R2-N1” and “My2012R2-N2”. When you look Active Directory, there will not be a computer object created for the Cluster “MyCluster”; however, you would see the record as the Access Point in DNS.

    image

     

    For details on cluster roles that are not recommended or unsupported for AD detached Clusters, please read:

    Deploy an Active Directory-Detached Cluster
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn265970.aspx

    That’s it! Thank you for your time.

    Ram Malkani
    Support Escalation Engineer
    Windows Core Team

  • Windows XP support ending April 8, 2014

    I’m sure you already know this, but if you don’t, XP Support Ends on April 8th, 2014.  That is 21 days from this post.  Below are a couple of links that will give you more information on moving forward:

    image

    <SNIP from the second link above>

    As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentialsfor download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

    If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

    </END SNIP>

    Windows main page

    John Marlin
    Senior Support Escalation Engineer
    Microsoft Global Business Support

  • Timestamp difference in Windows Explorer FTP folder view

    Good morning AskPerf! Anshuman here with a quick post on timestamp differences in Windows Explorer when accessing FTP sites.

    Scenario

    On Windows 7(SP1), Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, you access a folder using ftp by opening an explorer window and typing in the FQDN FTP URL in the address bar. In the FTP folder view, if you access the properties of a file, you may notice that the Modified time in the properties of the file may not match the Date modified time stamp displayed in the detailed view in explorer.  See screenshot below:

    image

    This behavior can be observed if the local time set on the machine from where you access the FTP folder in explorer view is set to a Time Zone other that the UTC time. In this case you will see that the Timestamp of the item, when its property is accessed is displayed as UTC, while the timestamp that we see under the Date modified column for the same file is shown as per the Time Zone that’s set on the machine.

    Please note that both the timestamps are correct. The difference is due to the Time Zone bias added or subtracted from the UTC time.

    Additional Resources

    -Anshuman Ghosh

  • XP Support coming to an End soon…

    Hello AskPerf!  I’m sure you already know this, but if you don’t, XP Support Ends on April 8th, 2014.  That is 21 days from this post.  Below are a couple of links that will give you more information on moving forward:

    image

    <SNIP from the second link above>

    As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

    If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

    </END SNIP>

    Windows main landing page

    -Blake Morrison

  • What’s New in Windows Servicing: Part 1

    My name is Aditya and I am a Senior Support Escalation Engineer for Microsoft on the Windows Core Team. I am writing today to shed some light on a the new changes that have been made to the Windows Servicing Stack in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. This is a 4 part series and this is the first one:

    Windows 8.1 brings in a lot of new features to improve stability, reduce space usage and keep your machine up to date. This blog series will talk about each of these new features in detail and talk about some of the troubleshooting steps you will follow when you run into a servicing issue.

    What is Servicing and The Servicing Stack: Windows Vista onwards use a mechanism called Servicing to manage operating system components, rather than the INF-based installation methods used by previous Windows versions. With Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, component-based builds use images to deploy component stores to the target machine rather than individual files. This design allows installation of additional features and fixes without prompting for media, enables building different operating system versions quickly and easily, and streamlines all operating system servicing.

    Within the servicing model, the update process for Vista+ Operating systems represents a significant advance over the update.exe model used in previous operating systems. Although update.exe had many positive features, it also had numerous issues, the foremost of which was the requirement to ship update.exe engine with each package.

    Servicing is simplified by including the update engine, in the form of the servicing stack, as part of the operating system. The servicing stack files are located in the C:\Windows\WINSxs folder.

    image

    This folder can grow very large on Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 system and more information can be found at why this happens at :

    What is the WINSXS directory in Windows 2008 and Windows Vista and why is it so large?
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2008/09/17/what-is-the-winsxs-directory-in-windows-2008-and-windows-vista-and-why-is-it-so-large.aspx

    What’s new in Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2:

    1. Component Store Analysis Tool:

    A new feature has been added to the DISM command that will allow users to get detailed information on the contents of the Component Store (WinSxS folder).

    There have been many users, mainly power users and IT Admins of Windows, who have raised concerns around the size of the WinSxS store and why it occupies so much space on the system. These users also have complaints about the size of WinSxS growing in size over time and are curious to know how its size can be reduced. A lot of users have questioned what happens if the WinSxS store is deleted completely. There have been multiple attempts in the past to explain what the WinSxS store contains and what the actual size of the WinSxS store is. For this OS release, a reporting tool has been created that a power user can run to find out the actual size of the WinSxS store as well as get more information about the contents of the Store. This is in addition to the article we will be publishing for users to understand how the WinSxS is structured, and what the actual size is as compared to the perceived size of this store.

    The purpose of this feature is two-fold. First, is to educate power users and IT Admins of Windows about what WinSxS is, what it contains and its importance to the overall functioning of the OS. Second, this feature will deliver a tool via the DISM functionality to analyze and report a specific set of information about the WinSxS store for power users.

    From various forums and blog posts, there seem to be two main questions that users have:

    · Why is WinSxS so massive?

    · Is it possible to delete WinSxS in part or completely?

    In addition to this, OEMs do have questions about how they can clean up unwanted package store, servicing logs, etc. from the image.

    Based on these questions, we felt that the most important metric for our tool would be the actual size of WinSxS. Secondly, it would be good to report packages that are reclaimable so that a user can startcomponentcleanup to scavenge them. Lastly, for devices like the Microsoft Surface, which remain on connected standby, it may be possible that the system never scavenged the image. In that case, considering that these tablets have small disk sizes, it becomes important to let users know when it was last scavenged and whether scavenging is recommended for their device.

    We expect the amount of time for completion of the analysis to be somewhere between 40 and 90 seconds on a live system. In this scenario, there needs to be some indication of progress made visible to the user. We will use the existing progress UI of DISM to indicate the % of analysis completed to the user. The user will also get the option to cancel out of the operation through the progress UI.

    The following steps describe the end to end flow of using the component store analysis tool:

    · The user launches an elevated command prompt by typing Command Prompt on the Start screen.

    · The user types in the DISM command:

    Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /AnalyzeComponentStore

    At the end of the scan, the user gets a report of the results like this:

    image

    2. Component Store Cleanup:

    The Component Store Cleanup functionality is one of several features aimed at reducing the overall footprint and footprint growth of the servicing stack. Reducing the footprint of Windows is important for many reasons, including providing end users more available disk capacity for their own files, and improving performance for deployment scenarios.

    Component Store Cleanup in Windows 8 was integrated into the Disk Cleanup Wizard. It performs a number of tasks, including removing update packages that contain only superseded components, and compressing un-projected files (such as optional components, servicing stack components, etc.). For Windows 8.1, we will add the capability to perform deep clean operations without requiring a reboot.

    Today, Component Store Cleanup must be triggered manually by an end-user, either by running DISM, or by using the Disk Cleanup Wizard. In order to make Component Store Cleanup more useful for the average end-user, it will be added into a maintenance task, automatically saving disk space for end-users. To enable this, a change will be made to allow uninstallation of superseded inbox drivers without requiring a reboot (today, all driver installs/uninstalls done by CBS require a reboot).

    The superseded package removal feature of deep clean attempts to maintain foot print parity between a computer that has been serviced regularly over time vs. a computer that has been clean installed and updated.

    2.1. How can Component Store Cleanup be initiated?

    Component Store Cleanup will support being initiated in the below 3 ways:

    1. Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

    clip_image002

    2. Disk cleanup wizard :

    a. To open Disk Cleanup from the desktop, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings (or if you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings), tap or click Control Panel, type Admin in the Search box, tap or click Administrative Tools, and then double-tap or double-click Disk Cleanup.

    b. In the Drives list, choose the drive you want to clean, and then tap or click OK.

    c. In the Disk Cleanup dialog, select the checkboxes for the file types that you want to delete, tap or click OK, and then tap or click Delete files.

    d. To delete system files:

    i. In the Drives list, tap or click the drive that you want to clean up, and then tap or click OK.

    ii. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, tap or click Clean up system files. clip_image003 You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

    clip_image005

    c. In the Drives list, choose the drive you want to clean, and then tap or click OK.

    d. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, select the checkboxes for the file types you want to delete, tap or click OK, and then tap or click Delete files.

    clip_image006

    e. Automatic from a scheduled task:

    i. If Task Scheduler is not open, start the Task Scheduler. For more information, see Start Task Scheduler.

    ii. Expand the console tree and navigate to Task Scheduler Library\Microsoft\Windows\Servicing\StartComponentCleanup.

    iii. Under Selected Item, click Run

    clip_image008

    The StartComponentCleanup task can also be started from the command line:

    schtasks.exe /Run /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\Servicing\StartComponentCleanup"

    For all three methods, an automatic scavenge will be performed after the disk cleanup in order to immediately reduce the disk footprint. When scavenge is performed for option 1, NTFS compression will not be used since it has a negative impact on capture and apply times, but Delta Compression will be used since it will help with both capture and apply. When run automatically for option 3, deep clean and the scavenge operation will be interruptible in order to maintain system responsiveness.

    2.2. What does Component Store Cleanup do?

    During automatic Component Store Cleanup, packages will be removed if the following criteria apply:

    § All components in package are in superseded state

    § Packages are not of an excluded class (permanent, LP, SP, foundation)

    § Package is older than defined age threshold

    · Only packages that have been superseded for a specified number of days (default of 30 days) will be removed by the automated deep clean task. In order maintain user responsiveness automatic Component Store Cleanup will perform package uninstall operations one at a time, checking to see if a stop has been requested in between each package.

    · The Component Store Cleanup maintenance task will be incorporated into the component platform scavenging maintenance task. This task runs every 1 week, with a deadline of 2 weeks. This ensures that scavenging and deep clean processing happens relatively quickly after patches are released on patch Tuesday.

    Manual Component Store Cleanup

    During manual Component Store Cleanup, packages will be removed if the following criteria apply:

    · All components in package are in superseded state

    · Packages are not of an excluded class (permanent, LP, SP, foundation)

    The functionality for manual Component Store Cleanup largely already exists in Win8. To improve performance, manual deep clean will perform all package uninstall operations in a single KTM transaction, and is not interruptible. Superseded packages are not subject to an age limit. Instead they are removed immediately.

    The next blog in the series we will discuss more about Delta Compression & Single Instancing…

    Aditya
    Senior Support Escalation Engineer
    Microsoft Platforms Support

  • Enable RDP or Reset Password with the VM Agent

    [UPDATE 07/17/2014] Make sure you are using version 0.8.5 or later of Azure PowerShell as there was an issue with earlier versions where you could not interact with the extensions when the VM was in an availability set. For more information, see Unable ...read more