Goodbye Windows Vista!

By Garth Jones I know that I’m in the minority about Windows Vista because I liked it! I thought it was a good replacement for Windows XP, and it was about time. One of the reasons I liked it was because it helped to put the focus on security by adding User Account Control (UAC). UAC meant that end users needed to approve administrative privileges. This helped to expose malware or a virus doing something unexpected. To give you an example, here are some administrative privileges: -Running an application as an Administrator -Installing applications -Editing the registry -Adding user accounts to the computer Windows Vista also introduced one of my favorite features, Windows Experience Index (WEI). WEI allowed you to quickly see how your computer would perform in various situations. For IT pr...

Required Update WMF 5.1 Now in the Update Catalog

On June 1, 2017 Microsoft will end support for the Windows Management Framework (WMF) version 5.0 and will actually remove the download from its servers. The company expects that all PCs will be updated to WMF 5.1 by then. The upgrade is intended to simply install in-place over version 5.0. The company today has made WMF 5.1 available in the Windows Update Catalog, listed as KB3191564 and KB3191565 – but only for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows 8.1. The edition for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are still only available via the Download Center for now. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Windows Experience Index in Windows 10

By Garth Jones I love Windows Experience Index and I was truly sad to see that Microsoft removed it from Windows 8.1. Why did I love it? Well, ask any techy, we get asked by friends and family all the time, “What computer should I buy?” As an Enterprise Mobility MVP, I’m not what you would call a, “bit head.” You know, the person that can tell you exactly why you should buy one video card over another. Bit heads know the performance stats of every hard drive, CPU and motherboard. One of my old roommates was like that and it was great having him around to answer all of those questions! When Microsoft Vista came out I loved the fact that Microsoft finally came up with their own built-in version of the Norton Utilities system information and desk test. Remember the one from 1985?! Image curte...

Gmail to Lose Windows XP and Vista Support This Year

Google stopped releasing updates for its Chrome web browser for Windows XP and Windows Vista after version 49, in hopes that users would migrated away from Microsoft’s unsupported operating systems to take advantage of Chrome’s new features and better security. While the number is dwindling, there are still many running these old, unsupported versions of Windows. In December 2017, Google will stop supporting Gmail in Chrome running on Windows XP and Windows Vista. Gmail will still work, but Google will start redirecting users to an feature-hampered HTML version of Gmail. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

How to Rename a Windows Server When SQL Server and WSUS Are Already Installed

By Garth Jones Not long ago, as I described in a blog post last week, I rebuilt my System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch Technical Preview (ConfigMgr CB TP) lab. In order to rebuild my lab, I re-used an existing server with both SQL Server 2012 and ConfigMgr CB TP 1608 installed. My first step was to uninstall ConfigMgr CB TP 1608. Next, I changed the host name of the Windows Server from CM1608 to CMTP. I know that problems can arise when you rename the host server AFTER SQL is installed (which was the case in my lab), however, there are a few easy steps you can take which will prompt SQL to accept the new host name. Keep in mind that I’m writing this blog post AFTER I fixed everything, so I will not be showing you the before screenshots. Once the Windows Server is renamed and...

Google’s Microsoft Windows Deployment Tools

Instead of using Microsoft-supplied tools like the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Configuration Manager, Google has developed its own deployment solution that is configured entirely via text files. Called Glazier, Google developed the solution so that it could be text-based & code-driven, scalable, and extensible. Glazier is available from GitHub: Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Avoid Installing WID and SQL on the Same Server

By Garth Jones Recently I built a new test lab. As an aside, in my opinion, this is one of the most complicated labs that you could have, but I’ll write more about that at a later date. While building this lab, I needed to setup WSUS on my new CAS server. Usually, when you setup the WSUS server role on the server, there is a post role task that needs to be completed before WSUS can be used. Normally you click the post task in Server Manager and a few minutes later the task gets marked as successfully completed. Needless-to-say, the post task didn’t complete successfully for me. When I reviewed the log file, I saw the following error message: You can clearly see within the error message (highlighted text) that it looks like there was an error within the database (DB) structure. When I resea...

Watch the WinHEC 2016 Keynote Right Here On-Demand

Today, at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China, we joined our partners and hardware engineering creators from around the world to talk about our vision for building the next generation of modern PCs supporting mixed reality, gaming and more; to make mixed reality mainstream; and to introduce always-connected, more power efficient cellular PCs running Windows 10. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Devs, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Migrating from FRS to DFSR

By Joseph Yedid Recently I noticed that there were some errors in my OpsMan environment that needed my attention. After further inspection, it looked like I was having some GPO replication problems. What was going on? First, I had to check to see which GPO or GPOs were being affected. In reviewing the Group Policy Management console, I discovered that some of the GPOs were not replicating because File Replication Service (FRS) was being used. Since I no longer have any Windows 2003 DCs, the best course of action to resolve the replication issue was to migrate to the new Distributed File System Replication (DFSR), which by the way was introduced in Windows 2008. Subsequently, after the migration was complete the GPO issue was resolved. Full instructions can be found here. Although the docum...

Where after Windows 10? Computer Weekly 500 Club event.

Last week I had the pleasure to present at the Computer Weekly 500 Club. An event for IT leaders that, every month, talks about a different subject about modern challenges faced by organizations. I was invited as one of the three speakers for the night along with Ian Turfrey, IT Director at City & Guilds and Andy Beale, Director of Common Technology Services for GDS. The topic of the month was the future of desktop and technology in general after Windows 10 is released. Conversations were very diverse and the round table discussed very interesting topics proposed by the audience. A great article with the main topics of the events was published on the Computer Weekly website. Check it out. For those who missed the event, here is a brief intro video recorded on the night. Cheers David Nu...

10 #1 best practices for OS Deployment with ConfigMgr 2012 R2

Here’s a quick list of the links from my TechEd Europe session this morning.  More info to follow over the next few weeks! “KISS—start simple, and work your way toward complexity.” – Rob Marshall “Automate process to import drivers and create driver packages.” – Kent Agerlund and “Automate, Automate, Automate. Manually building images is not […]

I’ll See You at the Midwest Management Summit!

Just in case you haven’t heard the news yet, my friends over at the Minnesota System Center User Group are sponsoring the inaugural Midwest Management Summit (MMS)!  This is going to be a great conference. Think old-school Microsoft Management Summit, remove the keynote, as well as the 100, 200, and most 300-level sessions. Oh yea, remove […]