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Talking about Error message in Windows Server 2008 R2 or in Windows 7 when you try to connect to a remote server: June 29, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Error message in Windows Server 2008 R2 or in Windows 7 when you try to connect to a remote server:
Error message in Windows Server 2008 R2 or in Windows 7 when you try to connect to a remote server: "Server Manager cannot connect to "

For a remote server that is running a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 R2

Method 1

  1. Log on as an administrator to the remote server by using the console or by using Remote Desktop Services.
  2. Open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    sconfig
  4. At the command prompt, type 4 to select the Configure Remote Management option, and then press ENTER.
  5. At the command prompt, type 3 to select the Allow Server Manager Remote Management option, and then press ENTER.

    Note If you have not already installed PowerShell, you are prompted to do this. Type 2 to select the option to install PowerShell. Click OK when you are prompted that the installation of PowerShell is finished. Additionally, you must restart the server before you complete step 5.

  6. Connect to the remote server by using Server Manager.

    Note You do not have to restart the remote server unless you have to install PowerShell before you complete step 5.

Method 2

  1. Log on as an administrator to the remote server by using the console or by using Remote Desktop Services.
  2. Open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  3. At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:
    DISM.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell

    DISM.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:ServerManager-PSH-Cmdlets

    DISM.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:BestPractices-PSH-Cmdlets

    Note The DISM feature name arguments are case-sensitive.

  4. Restart the server.
  5. Open an elevated Command Prompt window.
  6. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    powershell.exe
  7. At the command prompt, type the following commands to enable PowerShell script execution, and then press ENTER after each command:
    get-executionpolicy

    set-executionpolicy unrestricted

    Note Record the value of set-executionpolicy so that you can set it back to this value in step 9. By default, the value is "Restricted."

  8. At the command prompt, type the following PSH script command, and then press ENTER:
    configure-SMremoting.ps1 -force -enable
  9. At the command prompt, type the following command to set the script execution policy back to the level that you noted in step 7, and then press ENTER:
    set-executionpolicy <value that you noted in step 7>
  10. Connect to the remote server by using Server Manager.

    Note You do not have to restart the remote server

Windows Server 2008 Core Footprint Reduction June 27, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Windows Server 2008 Core Footprint Reduction
Reduce Your Windows 2008 Server Core Installation by ~200MB

In Windows Server 2008, Server Core installation does not include the traditional full graphical user interface (GUI). A Server Core installation provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles, which reduces the maintenance and management requirements and the attack surface for those server roles. A server running a Server Core installation supports the following server roles:

  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  • DHCP Server
  • DNS Server
  • File Services
  • Print Services
  • Streaming Media Services
  • Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Windows Virtualization (Hyper-V)

Although Server Core is a lot smaller in size than a regular full-GUI Windows Server 2008 installation, the Server Core blog has recently written about an interesting way to further reduce this footprint by removing the server roles and optional features that you do not require from the disk. By doing so, you can free up more space. It is estimated that you will be able to free up as much as 200 MB of disk space if you remove all un-needed roles and features. This procedure could be used to prevent an administrator from adding a role or feature to a server that is supposed to perform a fixed function.

Warning: Removing a role or feature from the hard disk is irreversible. Once a role or feature is removed, the only option is to reinstall; there is no way to bring it back.

An even greater warning: Be very careful to comment out any line that has a role you’re currently running! If you run this script on a Windows Server 2008 machine that already has that specifc role installed, this will remove it completely and render the machine useless…

To remove roles or features from a Server Core installation please follow these steps:

1. Run the following command in the command prompt window:

pkgmgr /up:<package to remove>

2. Reboot the server.  Note that it is possible to remove multiple packages before having to reboot.

3. Wait approx 30 minutes for the disk cleanup. This is important.

You will then notice:

  • the disk space used by the role or feature is freed up
  • oclist doesn’t show the role or feature as being available
  • trying to install using ocsetup results in an error

 

Vitual Machine has status Update Failed and am unable to undo or roll back after changing hard disk June 23, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Vitual Machine has status Update Failed and am unable to undo or roll back after changing hard disk
had a bad status in SCVMM as well. Personally, I don’t like running SQL scripts, so I went into SQL Server Management Studio for the VirtualManagerDB, expanded tables, and then went to dbo.tbl_WLC_VOject. I then opened the table, found the server name in the "Name" column $4th column$ and then looked at the object state. While I had SCVMM already closed, I edited the ObjectState to 0 and closed and saved. When I opened SCVMM again the machine’s status was fine and I had no more problems with it.

Microsoft VDI – Overview – Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) Team Blog – Site Home – MSDN June 23, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions, Troubleshooting & Knowledge Bases.
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Microsoft VDI – Overview – Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) Team Blog – Site Home – MSDN
Microsoft VDI – Overview

Overview

In previous versions of Windows Server, Terminal Services enabled a server to host multiple, simultaneous user sessions. In Windows Server 2008 R2, we have renamed Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services because it offered a choice of presentation virtualization options: sessions for those for whom scalability was most important and virtual machines for those for whom isolation was most important. Since Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is new, this blog post describes the function that Remote Desktop Services role services (and some supplemental technology) play in enabling MS VDI.

 

Scenarios

Personal virtual desktops are virtual machines that are permanently assigned to users by an administrator. This configuration is saved in Active Directory Domain Services. A personal virtual desktop is typically used when a user needs a dedicated virtual machine (VM) with administrative privileges (for example, a user might want to install applications).

A virtual desktop pool is a group of identically configured virtual machines that are temporarily assigned to users by the Microsoft VDI system. Administrators can configure a VM to be a part of a pool.

Role Services and Technology Included in a Microsoft VDI Deployment

The following role services and non-RDS technologies are included in a typical VDI deployment.

Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RD Connection Broker)

The main purpose of this role service is to broker a user connection to an appropriate endpoint. Brokering of the connection involves:

  • Identifying the VM for the user to make a remote connection.
  • Preparing the VM for remote connections by communicating with the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host server (for example, waking the VM from a saved state).
  • Querying the IP address of the VM by communicating with the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host server. This IP address is returned to the Remote Desktop Session Host server running in redirection mode.
  • Monitoring user sessions in a virtual desktop pool scenario. A user with an existing session in a pool is redirected to the hosting VM.
Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server running in redirection mode

The purpose of the RD Session Host server running in redirection mode is to securely redirect an RDP client connection to a VM. The RD Session Host server running in redirection mode does not allow interactive user sessions, unless the user requests an administrative session by using the ‘/admin’ switch.

When a user requests a VM, the RD Session Host server running in redirection mode queries the RD Connection Broker server. The RD Connection Broker server in turn provisions a VM for the user and returns its IP address to the RD Session Host server running in redirection mode. The RD Session Host server running in redirection mode will then redirect the RDP client to connect to the VM by using the IP address.

It is recommended that the RD Connection Broker role service reside on the same machine as the RD Session Host server running in redirection mode (as shown in the diagram). However, the scenario where the RD Session Host server running in redirection mode and the RD Connection Broker role service are on separate machines is also supported.

Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host)

RD Virtualization Host is a Remote Desktop Services role service included with Windows Server 2008 R2. RD Virtualization Host integrates with Hyper-V to provide virtual machines that can be used as personal virtual desktops or virtual desktop pools.

An RD Virtualization Host server has the following functions:

  • Monitoring VM guest sessions and reporting these sessions to the RD Connection Broker server.
  • Preparing the VM for a remote desktop connection when requested by the RD Connection Broker server.

In order for RD Virtualization Host to perform the above functions, the guest OS must be configured to give permission to RD Virtualization Host. Refer to the Deploying Virtual Desktop Pools by Using Remote Desktop Web Access Step-by-Step Guide for further details.

Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access)

RD Web Access provides a user with an aggregated view of remote applications and desktop connections via a web browser. Using RD Web Access, a user can view all remote applications and virtual desktops (personal virtual desktops and virtual desktop pools) published to that user. VDI VMs are also accessible via the RADC feature (start menu) in Win7 clients.

Refer to the blog post for RD Web Access configuration in a Microsoft VDI deployment.

Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway)

RD Gateway is an optional role service in a Microsoft VDI deployment. Its main purpose is to securely route RDP connections over the Internet through a firewall.

Application Virtualization (App-V)

App-V can simplify management of Virtual Machine images within a Microsoft VDI environment. Using App-V, you can dynamically load and assign applications on a user group basis, reduce application testing, reduce application to application conflicts, and increase application compatibility. 

For more information on the next version of App-V refer to Get your applications virtualized on Windows 7 Beta with Microsoft App-V.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)

SCVMM’s console is a one stop shop for VM Management. As part of Microsoft VDI solution it not only provides the Hyper-V UI functionality but enables fast and easy VM provisioning, which is helpful in large deployments.

 

Create WMI Filters for the GPO June 19, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Create WMI Filters for the GPO
Create WMI Filters for the GPO

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Essential Business Server, Windows SBS 2003, Windows SBS 2008, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

To make sure that each GPO associated with a group can only be applied to computers running the correct version of Windows, use the Group Policy Management MMC snap-in to create and assign WMI filters to the GPO. Although you can create a separate membership group for each GPO, you would then have to manage the memberships of the different groups. Instead, use only a single membership group, and let WMI filters automatically ensure the correct GPO is applied to each computer.

Configuring Windows Firewall for iSCSI Software Target June 19, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Configuring Windows Firewall for iSCSI Software Target
Configuring Windows Firewall for iSCSI Software Target

Applies To: Microsoft iSCSI Software Target

Before you install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, you must configure the Windows Firewall to allow the necessary network traffic to pass. The following table lists the required ports.

 

Port or application Description

TCP 3260

Microsoft iSCSI Software Target Service. This port provides the primary access to the Microsoft iSCSI Software target.

TCP 135

Remote Procedure Call (RPC), this port is required for Component Object Model (COM) communication.

UDP 138

NetBIOS Datagram Service, this exception should already exist for File and Print Service role, but may need to be added manually if not present.

%windir%\System32\Wintarget.exe

Microsoft iSCSI Software Target Service

%windir%\System32\WTStatusProxy.exe

Microsoft iSCSI Software Target status proxy

Steps to move a DHCP database from a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 to another Windows Server 2008 mach June 16, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Steps to move a DHCP database from a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 to another Windows Server 2008 mach
Steps to move a DHCP database from a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 to another Windows Server 2008 machine

Courier: First Details of Microsoft’s Secret Tablet June 13, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in *New Products, Computers, Server, Slate.
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Courier: First Details of Microsoft’s Secret Tablet
Courier: First Details of Microsoft’s Secret Tablet

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Courier: First Details of Microsoft’s Secret Tablet

It feels like the whole world is holding its breath for the Apple tablet. But maybe we’ve all been dreaming about the wrong device. This is Courier, Microsoft’s astonishing take on the tablet.

–>

To watch the video, you’ll first need to install the flash player.

–> ‘ Courier is a real device, and we’ve heard that it’s in the "late prototype" stage of development. It’s not a tablet, it’s a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They’re connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.

Until recently, it was a skunkworks project deep inside Microsoft, only known to the few engineers and executives working on it—Microsoft’s brightest, like Entertainment & Devices tech chief and user-experience wizard J. Allard, who’s spearheading the project. Currently, Courier appears to be at a stage where Microsoft is developing the user experience and showing design concepts to outside agencies.

Microsoft has a history of collaborating with other firms, especially in the E&D division: Zune and Xbox have both gone through similar design processes. (And plans for the Microsoft Store leaked through a third-party agency were confirmed as genuine prototype layouts and concepts.) This video is branded Pioneer Studios, a Microsoft division within E&D that specializes in this kind of work, working with another agency that’s a long-time Microsoft collaborator on confidential projects.

The Courier user experience presented here is almost the exact opposite of what everyone expects the Apple tablet to be, a kung fu eagle claw to Apple’s tiger style. It’s complex: Two screens, a mashup of a pen-dominated interface with several types of multitouch finger gestures, and multiple graphically complex themes, modes and applications. (Our favorite UI bit? The hinge doubles as a "pocket" to hold items you want move from one page to another.) Microsoft’s tablet heritage is digital ink-oriented, and this interface, while unlike anything we’ve seen before, clearly draws from that, its work with the Surface touch computer and even the Zune HD.

Over the next couple days we’ll be diving much, much deeper into Courier, so stay tuned.

Change desktop background in Windows 7 Starter edition June 7, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in Solutions.
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Change desktop background in Windows 7 Starter edition
Change desktop background in Windows 7 Starter edition

Windows 7 Starter edition does not allow a user to change the desktop background wallpaper. Microsoft has taken many measures to lock down the default desktop background. Some of these are :

  1. The default wallpaper is %windir%\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg
  2. The default wallpaper file’s SHA256 hash is hard coded in shell32.dll and is checked every time you logon.
  3. The registry entry for the wallpaper is changed by Windows every time you logon.

But there is a workaround. If you remove the permissions for the registry key where the path of the wallpaper is stored, then you alone would be able to change the desktop background wallpaper. Here is how :

Note : You must have administrator level access to follow the procedure.

  1. Open Notepad, copy and paste the following and save the file as change.txt somewhere on your hard disk. In this example, we will save the file as c:\users\public\pictures\change.txt.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop [7]
    Wallpaper = REG_SZ C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures\Penguins.jpg

    Change the string C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures\Penguins.jpg to the full path of any wallpaper image file you want to change the desktop background to.

  2. Open an elevated command prompt window. Read how to do so.
  3. In the elevated command prompt give the following command :
    regini c:\users\public\pictures\change.txt

    Change the c:\users\public\pictures\change.txt to the full path of wherever you saved the file in step 1.

  4. Now change the [7] to [8] in the file we saved in step 1. The contents of the file should look now :
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop [8]
    Wallpaper = REG_SZ C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures\Penguins.jpg

    Save the file and again give the command as shown in step 3.

  5. Log off and then log on. You would see your wallpaper changed.