My apologies to anyone trying to hit this site since Sunday of last week. I went totally off the grid for the week, and of course there was a hardware failure in my server. It’s been fixed, but I apologize if it’s caused the 3 of you that visit my blog any kind of issues this week .
I get asked pretty often in my day job to help people troubleshoot / analyze / attack slow boot and slow logon issues they face in their Windows client or Windows terminal services environments, whether they be physical machines or VDI instances. I wanted to share a few of the very quick and easy plans of attack that I take when the client endpoints are Windows 7 SP1 or servers are 2008 R2 SP1.
1. Install the latest enterprise hotfix rollup for Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 2008 R2 SP1 on all of your endpoints involved in the boot or logon process – that includes DCs, file servers, infrastructure servers, virtualization hosts, etc:
An enterprise hotfix rollup is available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Windows 7 SP1-based or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1-based SMBv2 client computer freezes when the computer is under a heavy load
…or so says Microsoft. A colleague of mine at an unnamed company that makes Extenders and the like has confirmed this, and it appears Microsoft published a KB article in December of 2012 confirming this as well…
So, if you’re using a Media Center Extender, and it’s NOT an Xbox 360, do NOT upgrade your Windows 7 Media Center box(es) to Windows 8, or your Extender(s) will stop working.
As the title says, I’m working on documenting some of the more tricky things I get asked about Windows 8 deployment, like Start Screen customization and branding. It may take me a bit to get right, but it’s coming. Hopefully sooner rather than later too.
As the title probably gives away, I’m a Windows Phone user. Why is that important? Well, I have a v1 Samsung Focus on AT&T, and I recently just got tired of waiting for AT&T to roll out updated builds post 7720 (aka Mango), which include things like the “disappearing keyboard” fix and security updates. AT&T has stated that they aren’t rolling out 8107 (or 7740 for that matter), but will roll out a “post-8107” update (probably “Tango”, or the “WP 7.5 Refresh”). The caveat is that they have not specified to which devices this update would be pushed to, and the v1 Focus is EOL (as are all v1 WP7 devices on AT&T), the relatively new Focus S/Focus Flash are soon to be EOL, and so far only the Nokia Lumia and HTC Titan II have any builds post-7720 on AT&T, so it’s hard to say for sure any devices prior to these two will actually be updated at any point in the future. The original WP7 promise was that all devices would get updates, and carriers could skip only one and had to release the next. Well, AT&T seems to say otherwise, and given 8107 has been available since January 2012 (and 7740 was available November of 2011 – AT&T didn’t push that one out either…) Guess that wasn’t true, huh. While I am pretty peeved at AT&T on this, I still have a functional device that works with everything in the marketplace – normally, I’d be OK with this decision (so far). However, as mentioned, build 8107 contains security updates as well as a pretty significant set of bugfixes for the “disappearing keyboard” fiasco and email threading issues with Exchange, this is really kind of a silly update to skip (not to mention it goes against the original “one release” skip promise.
Sorry about that. Once MDT 2012 and ConfigMgr 2012 are RTM, I’ll have more content. For now, hopefully what’s here will satiate you until then!
Probably one of the best things to come out of Microsoft in the client space, MDOP has now hit R2 in 2011. This release gives us RTM code for the bitlocker administration console (MBAM), as well as bringing the diagnostic PE environment (DaRT) up to v7.0 (which includes being able to RDP into the PE image). Also included is AIS 2.0, which is supposed to make it easier to get the big picture of your software inventory in the UI:
Available for download from your VL site, MSDN/Technet, and supposedly to Intune Subscribers (not sure how that works yet, but I’m looking into Intune).
Microsoft has created a toolset called the Windows Performance Toolkit, or WPT, to help developers and users visualize and troubleshoot performance issues. One of the tools in this toolset is specifically designed to assist with capturing traces of boot, shutdown, or reboot cycles, and can provide insight into drivers, services, winlogon, explorer, disk and CPU utilization, and even help with seeing things like disk fragmentation and driver load order.
Installing the tools
Before gathering any data, you will first need to download the installation packages necessary to install the Windows Performance Toolkit on your Windows 7 machine. The Windows Performance Toolkit is a part of the Windows 7 SDK, but you won’t need to install the entire SDK to get the WPT installation files if you follow this guide. First, you need to download the Windows 7 SDK, which is a 500K web installer (click the “Install Now” link). Once you start the installation, you only need to check the “Windows Performance Toolkit” checkbox under the “Redistributable Packages” section – uncheck EVERYTHING else:
In part 3 of this series, you’ll be configuring MDT – specifically, you will go about adding Windows 7 SP1 and XP SP3. You’ll also be adding Office 2010 (with SP1), and handling drivers for both Win7 and XP.
Create and Configure Your Distribution Point
The first thing you need to do, of course, is to create a distribution point. This is the main structure for deploying, so you need to do this first. To begin, open the Deployment Workbench from the start menu on your MDT virtual machine:
Once the workbench is open, right-click the Deployment Shares folder and select “New Deployment Share” from the menu:
The New Deployment Share Wizard will open – you will need to select a local folder to store your deployment files, the folder name, the share to expose from the server, and a few other options. Here you can see what I’ve chosen for my particular build share (C:\MDT\Build, Build, and Build$ – took the defaults for other options):
In part 2 of this series, you will be creating a second virtual machine which will be used to install and configure MDT for deploying Windows and applications. I’ll dive right into creating a virtual machine for your MDT server, which will be very much the same as creating the virtual machine for your domain controller in part 1.
Create a Virtual Machine for your MDT server
In the Hyper-V Manager, click Action > New > New Virtual Machine to bring up the New Virtual Machine wizard. On the first page, give the new VM a name that will show up in the Hyper-V console (I chose “MDT”), and click the “Next” button:
Next, give the virtual machine some RAM – I chose 2GB – then click the “Next” button: