Tag: Microsoft

Importing & Exporting Hyper-V VMs in Windows Server 2012 R2

HyperV_LogoThough often a less frequently used feature of Hyper-V, the import and export functions offer some very useful benefits.  In Windows Server 2012 R2 these benefits get even better.  I will explain how this functionality works, and why it is useful.  I’ll also discuss how these functions are very different from the commonly used checkpoints in Hyper-V. Continue reading

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Free eBook: Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals

Continuing a spree of free eBooks, Microsoft has done it again. This time they have released Mitch Tulloch’s “Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals”. This book covers not only web sites and databases, but also the new IaaS Virtual Machine offerings. Below are the download links for PDF, ePub, and MOBI formats. Continue reading

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Upgrading to Windows 8.1 RTM from Windows 8.1 Preview

On September 17, 2013, contrary to former public statements, Microsoft released the RTM (released to manufacture) version of Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows Server 2012 R2 to TechNet and MSDN subscribers.  This is before the October General Availability (GA) release date. Continue reading

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Free eBook: Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release

The past few years Microsoft has been on a trend of releasing free eBooks to the IT-Pro and Developer community. These are a good free way to stay ahead of the curve and learn what’s new in the newest version of Windows Continue reading

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Windows Server 2012 Feature: Share Nothing Live Migration in Hyper-V

Live Migration is the process of moving a virtual machine (VM) from one Hyper-V virtualization host to another Hyper-V host without any perceived downtime of the VM being moved. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/08/windows/windows-server-2012/windows-server-2012-feature-share-nothing-live-migration-in-hyper-v/

Shutdown Computers from Command Line

SHUTDOWN Notification in Windows 8

SHUTDOWN Notification in Windows 8

I was recently surprised by how many seasoned IT Pros didn’t know that they had the ability to shut down a server or workstation from the command line using the SHUTDOWN command. Not only is it possible to shut down the local machine from the command line, but it is also possible to shutdown other machines on your domain as well. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/07/windows/shutdown-computers-from-command-line/

Using SYSPREP in Audit Mode Before Creating a System Image

SYSPREP is a Windows utility that allows a computer to be generalized. If you’re restoring system images (using Ghost or a similar technology) to multiple PCs on a network, then it is imperative that you first run SYSPREP to generalize the system. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/07/windows/using-sysprep-in-audit-mode-before-creating-a-system-image/

Microsoft’s TechNet Subscription Service is Going Away for Good

Microsoft

Microsoft has announced today that they will be discontinuing the TechNet Subscription program. Microsoft’s TechNet Subscription Program is a paid program which allows partners to download full copies of most software titles to be used for lab or testing purposes. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/07/learning-resources/microsofts-technet-subscription-service-is-going-away-for-good/

Windows Server 2012 R2 (Blue) Preview Available for Download

Microsoft has released the preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 to the public. This is available for download for users with a Live ID at Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 Preview site.

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft’s “Preview Releases”, then let me explain a little. The preview is not a finished copy, but rather a beta version which contains most (if not all) of the features and improvements we should expect to see in the final version for GA (general availability). Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/06/windows/windows-server-2012/windows-server-2012-r2-blue-preview-available-for-download/

Windows Server 2012 Feature: Storage Spaces

There has always been a need to consolidate disks into a single large disk in order to store more data than any single drive can contain.  In the past we used hardware or software RAID to accomplish this.  Hardware RAID can be expensive due to the extra controller needed.  Software RAID is slow, and requires all disks to be identical. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/04/windows/windows-server-2012/windows-server-2012-feature-storage-spaces/

Windows Server 2012 New Feature: Hyper-V Replica for Failover

For mission critical systems, we often want to try to achieve the highest level of up time as possible, and the best disaster recovery strategy.  Often this involves expensive software which replicates servers or data for failover purposes.  This means Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/04/windows/windows-server-2012/windows-server-2012-new-feature-hyper-v-replica-for-failover/

Windows Server 2012 New Feature: Large Disk Support for Hyper-V

One of the biggest limitations of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 was that it didn’t support storing a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) on physical disks larger than 2 TB.  This was actually due to the sector size of the physical disk which was supported by Hyper-V.  Larger disks tended to use 4096-byte sectors (also known as 4k sectors).   Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2013/03/windows/windows-server-2012/windows-server-2012-new-feature-large-disk-support-for-hyper-v/

Windows Server 2012 New Feature: Store Hyper-V VHDs in a SMB 3.0 Share

When building high-performance Hyper-V host servers for a production environment, we often buy high-end servers with lots or memory and fast SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) or SSD (Solid State) drives.  These drives are fast but usually expensive, especially after adding in RAID redundancies. Continue reading

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Should I Purchase Windows 7 or Windows 8

It depends…

Whether you are buying a new PC or thinking of upgrading an existing PC, the choice of Windows 7 or Windows 8 is not an easy one.  To determine whether Windows 8 will work for you and your environment you first have to consider: application compatibility, added benefits, and usability.  Once you have done that you can then determine which edition of Windows you should purchase (Windows 8 Core, Pro, Enterprise, or Windows RT). Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.robertborges.us/2012/12/questions-answers/should-i-purchase-windows-7-or-windows-8/

Using SYSPREP Before Creating a System Image

SYSPREP is a Windows utility that allows a computer to be generalized. If you’re restoring system images (using Ghost or a similar technology) to multiple PCs on a network, then it is imperitive that you first run SYSPREP to generalize the system.

Not doing this will not only result in several PCs with the same computer name, but their unique identifiers (used by Active Directory and others) will all be identical. As you can imagine, having multiple PCs with the same computer name can be a real issue for network admins. Running a
SYSPREP allows the PC to be generalized with new unique IDs so that you get an “Out of the Box” experience (OOBE) on the next boot. While a SYSPREP can be done to any PC before attaching it to the network, I suggest running SYSPREP before you create a master image.

How to SYSPREP a Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC:

  1. Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep” folder and launch the SYSPREP executable.
  2. In the System Cleanup Action drop down select “Enter System Out of Box Experience (OOBE)”
  3. Make sure to check the Generalize checkbox
  4. In the Shutdown options I suggest selecting Shutdown. This way after the system is prepped, the PC will shutdown, and will be ready for you to create your master image.

Once your system has gone through the SYSPREP process, before the computer boots again, it is safe to create a master image using your imaging software.

This method works not only on Windows 7, but Windows 8 and Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012. I do also want to mention that it is a good idea to run SYSPREP on any virtual guest templates before rolling them out in masses on a Hyper-V or VMware host.

 

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