Category Archive: Windows

Nov 12

Windows 7 VDI? Here are some hotfixes you should be installing…

Microsoft PFE Robert Smith has published a list of hotfixes recommended be tested and deployed, if no issues arise, on Windows 7 installations used for VDI. Find the data at the link, here:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/20893.windows-7-vdi-image-hot-fixes.aspx

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2013/11/12/windows-7-vdi-here-are-some-hotfixes-you-should-be-installing/

Oct 15

Easy Windows Updating on Server Core from PowerShell!

Are you running Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008, 2008R2, 2012, or 2012R2?  If you can, you should be.  And if you are, or just like using PowerShell for everything, you should really take a look at the Windows Update PowerShell module available from the TechNet Script Center, by MVP Michal Gajda.  It’s gotten quite good over the last few revisions, and I find myself loathing working on systems where it’s not been installed.

If you want an easy way to go about updating your Windows installations from PowerShell (locally or remotely), consider giving this add-on a try.  I think you’ll like it.

http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/2d191bcd-3308-4edd-9de2-88dff796b0bc

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2013/10/15/easy-windows-updating-on-server-core-from-powershell/

Aug 19

Installing IE10 into your Windows 7 image offline? You’re missing an update or two…

If you’re like me, you like to make sure the latest version of Internet Explorer supported by your organization is baked into the images you push into production, and IE10 on Windows 7 is no different.  Whether you’re slipstreaming it into the base image, or (better) using MDT to rebuild your base image and including IE10 into it, Microsoft has provided a handy list of updates that you should have already included before you attempt to install IE10 on Windows 7 without internet access (as most image build environments should be – right?  Right????):
How to obtain prerequisite updates for Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 that fail to install

That article lists 5 hotfix packages you will need – KB2533623, KB2670838, KB2729094, KB2731771, and KB2786081.  However, the astute amongst you have probably noticed that the IE10 installer, when left to it’s own devices during install, actually installs 6 hotfix packages, not 5.  That “extra” hotfix package is:
“0x00000050” Stop error after you install update 2670838 on a computer that is running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2013/08/19/installing-ie10-into-your-windows-7-image-youre-missing-an-update-or-two/

Mar 26

Microsoft Hotfix rollup and updates to attack Slow Boot / Slow Logon in Windows 7 SP1–plus some other things to help out

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
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2775511

Windows 7 SP1-based or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1-based SMBv2 client computer freezes when the computer is under a heavy load
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2792026

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2013/03/26/microsoft-hotfix-rollup-and-updates-to-attack-slow-boot-slow-logon-in-windows-7-sp1plus-some-other-things-to-help-out/

Jan 02

Media Center Extenders for Windows 8 – if it’s not an Xbox, it won’t work

…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…

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2796618

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2013/01/02/media-center-extenders-for-windows-8-if-its-not-an-xbox-it-wont-work/

Aug 01

MDOP 2011 R2 released

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:

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/business/archive/2011/08/01/mdop-2011-r2-now-available-for-download.aspx

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).

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2011/08/01/mdop-2011-r2-released/

Jul 22

Using xbootmgr to trace boot, shutdown, and reboot performance issues

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:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2011/07/22/using-xbootmgr-to-trace-boot-shutdown-and-reboot-performance-issues/

Jun 28

MDT for the small(er) guys – Part 3

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):

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2011/06/28/mdt-for-the-smaller-guys-part-3/

Jun 23

MDT for the small(er) guys – Part 2

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:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2011/06/23/mdt-for-the-smaller-guys-part-2/

Jun 23

MDT for the small(er) guys – Part 1

After writing a piece about MDT and installation from a USB key, I’ve gotten a steady stream of requests for a more in-depth piece on the actual installation of MDT, how I recommend it be configured, and some tips and tricks about managing it for a smaller organization, or a small (non-royalty) OEM, or even how it can be used in an environment for building machines for friends or relatives in machines someone might be stuck supporting.  With that in mind, I’ve gone ahead and rebuild my lab (as promised earlier this year), and taken some screenshots to go along with this post.  I will cover the installation of the WAIK, MDT 2010 Update 1, and DHCP and Windows Deployment Services (for those with a domain, as WDS requires a domain to work properly).  I think it’s worth noting that nothing I post here is specifically exclusive to this site, and most of what I’m putting together here has probably been posted on and/or discussed at length all over the internet.  I’m just putting together a beginning to end document for those who are looking for a one-stop shop to at least get started, and are willing to try some of the more advanced stuff on their own.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cluberti.com/blog/2011/06/23/mdt-for-the-smaller-guys-part-1/

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