Nov 17

Windows 10 upgrades and the taskbar

I apologize for the horrible picture, but I couldn’t take a snapshot during the upgrade from my physical box.  Guess the Windows folks don’t bother testing the upgrade process with the taskbar in a non-standard location, eh?


Nothing to worry about, as the upgrade went fine.  Was a little odd to see, though.

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Oct 16

Windows 10 VDI configuration script published

I’ve published the Windows 10 VDI script to github – grab it and take it for a spin!

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Sep 26

PowerShell Profile

This is basically the profile posts from (which is written as different posts by Rikard Rönnkvist) and simply put together in a single profile script which I use on all of my Windows boxes:

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Jan 20

Network Connections dialog empty / teaming “Host Unmanageable” – fix

I’ve run into this with increasing frequency in my Server 2012R2 clusters, and it ended up being WMI corruption. IPConfig would show correct IP addressing (and even the teamed NICs created with Windows teaming), and ping would work; however, the network connections dialog box (ncpa.cpl) was completely empty, Server Manager said teaming was disabled, launching the teaming administration page (lbfoadmin.exe) would show “Host Unmanageable” as the status, and attempting to make any connection to any other machine other than ping would result in failure (for example, \\server\share would fail immediately with the host being unavailable).

Here are the steps I needed to use to get the machines up and running again (and I’ve restored from failed backups on a few to test and retest these steps, and in this particular order which did seem to matter, to validate):


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Jan 12

Make WMI more robust to large volumes of queries

Ever had a machine where WMI stopped working properly and needed to be rebuilt?  Was it running something that does high volumes of WMI calls (like System Center agents, or Tivoli, or HP OpenView (to name a few regular problem children – I’m sure you can think of more)?

Here’s a PS script I run to increase memory per WMI process (and globally across the machine) available to WMI, as well as modifying it in the boot order (if you rely on RSOP, WMI’s default configuration means it’s possible it won’t be completely loaded properly when Group Policy runs, and can cause RSOP issues, amongst other things).

$oWMI=get-wmiobject -Namespace root -Class __ProviderHostQuotaConfiguration

Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winmgmt -Name 'Group' -Value 'COM Infrastructure'
winmgmt /standalonehost


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Dec 15

“Disabling” IPv6 – breaking down the DisabledComponents registry value

I’ve gotten an elevated number of requests recently on “how do I disable IPv6” or “what’s the best way to configure IPv6 in my environment”. I’m not entirely certain of why I’ve gotten so many recently, and I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or if there’s more to it. However, what I’ve found is that most IT departments I’ve come across over the years simply go and set IPv6 to completely disabled via setting the disabledcomponents registry value to 0xffffffff. While this does indeed disable IPv6 entirely, I have to warn everyone I come across with this set that Microsoft doesn’t test this setting at all, and support for resolving issues with this set have usually resorted to setting disabledcomponents back to 0x0 and retesting, where things magically work, and that’s the extent of what is done for obvious reasons. This can (and sometimes does) also break functionality in Windows, and the one that most customers eventually run across is DirectAccess (with Remote Assistance in second).

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Sep 10

KB2966828 breaks Net.Pipe listener adapter service and more!

NOTE – This has been fixed with the MS14-053 update.



Install from Windows Server 2012 R2 Update 1 media (technet, MSDN, etc. – doesn’t matter):
Install Server 2012 R2

Add the features .NET 3.5, HTTP, and Non-HTTP activation, and you will end up with the service in question, Net.Pipe Listener Adapter:
Service is working...

Install KB2966828, and restart (that is the awesome PSWindowsUpdate in action):
Install KB2966828...

The service is now busted:
It's not working anymore!

I’ve also encountered it causing issues with starting ASP.NET app pools and causing failures while running iisreset. A quick workaround is to add the public key token that is failing (b03f5f7f11d50a3a, found while debugging the crash) to the registry in the strong name validation bypass list:


Adding that will allow things to work again, until the problem is fixed by Microsoft at some point.

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Sep 05

Put agent into maintenance mode remotely via PowerShell in SCOM 2012 R2

Our SCOM monitoring environment monitors one of our provisioning environments, where machines come and go regularly. These hosts are potentially in many, many different groups depending on function, and they can come and go many times a day. Yes, a group can be put into maintenance mode easily, but doing so for a host, remotely, isn’t necessarily as easy. Here’s a PowerShell script (created after reading about something similar on the Coretech Blog, here) that takes machine names passed in as the first parameter, places all machine names in an array, and sets each machine into maintenance mode in a particular SCOM management group. There’s little error checking here, so if you wanted to make this more robust, you’d probably want to add some parameter validation, etc. Without ado, here it is:

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Jul 18

VSS “System Writer” missing? No CryptSvc or CAPI errors? No problem!

I had a set of Windows 2008R2 servers today that were having trouble backing up the system state via Windows Server Backup – they would fail with the error “System writer is not found in the backup”. I scoured the ‘net and talked to colleagues, and all of the resolutions I could find involved re-registering components, re-securing things in the Cryptography Service (prompted by CAPI or CryptSvc errors in the event log), setting ownership on WinSXS folders, etc. I did not have any such errors in my logs to indicate a permissions issue – in fact, I saw no errors at all (usually good – not so much when something is broken!). However, every time I ran “vssadmin list writers”, indeed the system writer was missing.

After taking a procmon, I noticed that the last thing that was searched were some setupapi.ev* files in \Windows\Inf:

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May 26

Getting Kerberos token size with PowerShell

Recently, I had the unpleasant requirement to validate Kerberos token size for a network where users were experiencing random issues hitting certain sites and databases. Today I validated it was token size, but not until after I found Jacob Ludriks’ excellent PowerShell script to do so. I was about to write one myself when I stumbled across this gem, which came in immensely useful in helping a good colleague in a bad situation.

Without further ado, here’s the link to the script:

In the event this script ends up getting taken down, here’s the content – please visit Jacob’s site if you find this useful. He’s got some other PowerShell goodies over there too that you might like.

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