Category Archives: Microsoft

Install Windows 10 Tech Preview using Parallels Desktop

Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Technical Preview and Preview for Enterprise this week. If you’re like me and you use a mix of Macs and PCs, you may decide to run the Technical Preview using some sort of virtualization software. In my case, I was trying to install the preview with Parallels Desktop 10.

During the install, it was asking for drivers before the install could continue. Turns out the fix for this issue is a very simple one. Instead of using a SATA DVD drive in the VM, change the DVD drive to use and IDE drive, as illustrated below.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 10.16.40 PM

It’s time to transform the datacenter!

With just over 314 days until July 14th, 2015, it is time to transform the datacenter. If you are still running servers with Windows Server 2003, now is the time to migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2.

Myself and several other MVPs from across the country are hosting a roadshow event in a city near you and presenting on various topics including What’s New with Windows Server 2012 R2, what’s a hybrid cloud, how to upgrade and migrate from Windows Server 2003, and how you can enhance your investment in Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft Azure.

If you’re in one of the cities listed below, click the link to register for the event in your town and thank you in advance for joining us!

Cincinatti, OH – 9/20/2014Register Here 

Tampa, FL  – 9/22/2014Register Here

Chicago, IL – 9/22/2014Register Here

Bellevue, WA – 9/23/2014Register Here

Phoenix (Tempe), AZ – 9/24/2014Register Here

Denver, CO – 9/25/2014Register Here

Houston, TX – 9/26/2014Register Here

Detroit, MI – 9/27/2014Register Here

 

MVP Summit Tips and Tricks

If you are a first-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional or this is your first time attending the MVP Global Summit in Seattle, then this post is for you.

This is my fourth year as an MVP and will be my third time attending Summit. I wanted to provide my tips and tricks to those who have not attended before.

First rule of summit – don’t talk about summit. But for real, remember your NDA. Don’t tweet, blog, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, or Snapchat anything you learn during summit week. There may be times that it is okay, but err on the side of caution and ask first.

If you’re arriving in Seattle, and you are looking for reliable transportation to / from the hotel and airport, I would recommend Shuttle Express. I have used them since 2008 and the service has always been superb. With gratuity (tip) you are looking at about $50 for round trip service.

When registration opened you might have heard some talk about the Hyatt. Why is the Hyatt so important? A) it’s centrally located to Lincoln Square / Bellevue Square, B) it’s a large hotel so a lot of activities take place here, and c) the rooms are really nice. If you missed out on getting a room at the Hyatt this year, remember, there is always next year.

In most years, registration has taken place across the street from the Hyatt at the Westin Lincoln Square so I would guess that registration will be here again as well. There are also side sessions and other activities that can take place here so keep an eye on the session builder tool to know where to go.

Once you get on the Microsoft campus, it’s like being transported to a whole new world. Yes, it’s a corporate campus, but there is a variety of building design, style, and tons of cool amenities. If you’ve never been on campus before, navigating can seem a bit daunting. I spent two summers in high school working at Microsoft on the main campus and I still didn’t entirely know my way around. But never fear! Here’s a PDF of the Microsoft Campus Map that should come in handy.

If you get lost or just want to know how to get to a different building, feel free to look for anyone from the event services team (typically red shirts in prior years), or you can go to any building receptionist and they can page a shuttle for you to get you to where you want to go.

While you are on campus, make sure to visit building 92. Building 92 is where the Microsoft Visitor Center (really cool museum displays and hands on stuff) and Microsoft Company Store (logo’ed gear and access to the holy grail of goodies that are provided with a VIP pass from the MVP program team) are.  If you are an international MVP, make sure you take advantage of your company store reward, as you will not be able to redeem it online through the online store.

As far as touristy things go, here are some of my recommendations. Bear in mind that I’m not a big tourist but there are my personal favorites.

Office 365 / Azure Integration Update for Windows Server 2012 R2

If you’re a Windows Server 2012 R2 user and you use the Essentials Experience role (same features as the standalone SKU) in a multi domain controller (DC) environment, you may have noticed that the wizards for integrating with Office 365 and Windows Azure Active Directory are disabled. This is because they were designed to function in a single DC environment.

Today, Microsoft has corrected this behavior as part of update rollup 2975719. If you install this update rollup, you should now be able to use the wizards as intended.

More info: Update Rollup August 2014 | Office 365 Integration KB

Tip: Install Windows Server 2012 Essentials Connector without Domain Join

There may be times where you want to install the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Connector without joining a domain. By not joining the Essentials domain, the following features are impacted:

– Any features that require a domain such as Group Policy, SSO by use of AD credentials to domain resources

– Any 3rd-party add-ons or applications that require the use of a domain

The connector can be installed in these cases by creating a registry key prior to launching the connector installation.

1. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator

2. Run the following command (may need to remove the dash in “SkipDomainJoin” due to formatting):

reg add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment” /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

3. Launch the Connector Installation

Honored for 4th year in a row as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional

I am very pleased to announce that Microsoft has chosen me to be a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the 4th year in a row. As many of you may know, I have been an MVP for Windows Home Server. However, with the discontinuation of Windows Home Server, I have been chosen to be an MVP for Windows Server for Small and Medium Business.

I am honored to have been chosen, and I look forward to all the amazing community work ahead in 2014.

Dear Tom,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Windows Server for Small and Medium Business technical communities during the past year.

Microsoft releases Media Streaming Pack for Windows Server 2012 R2

As some of you may have noticed, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials no longer includes media streaming functionality out of the box. This feature existed in the non-R2 version, as well as previous versions, dating all the way back to Windows Home Server v1.

Instead of keeping this feature in the base product, Microsoft have released the Media Streaming Pack for Windows Server 2012 R2.

The Media Streaming Pack adds media streaming functionality to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials as well as those Standard and Datacenter servers running the Essentials Experience role.

The following features are included:

  • Streaming of media (photos, music and videos) to DLNA-compliant receivers
  • Smooth streaming to HTML5-compliant browsers through Remote Web Access and web service applications
  • Configuration through the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard

The Media Streaming pack is a free download from Microsoft and is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40837

How-to: Install Windows Server Update Services on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

It’s here! As part of the general availability of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, I’m releasing a new how-to guide. This guide is for installing Windows Server Update Services on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Windows Server Update Services is a valuable tool in any IT professional’s toolkit, and can be used to manage the distribution of updates to clients, be very useful in low-bandwidth environments where it is not a good idea to have 20 clients downloading the same files 20 times from the internet, and is a great way to get basic reporting about systems.

If you have feedback, either leave it in the comments or send me an e-mail (tom at tomontech dot com). NOTE: I can not provide individualized installation support, I simply don’t have the time.

WARNING: By viewing and / or downloading this guide, you assume all responsibility and liability in case anything goes wrong. You agree that I can not and will not be held responsible for any data loss or other issues resulting from the installation or use of Windows Server Update Services. This guide is intended to be a sample and is not representative of every scenario. Please consult with a qualified professional if you are unsure about any of the steps herein.

To view the guide, click here, or view the embedded version below. To download a PDF copy of this guide, click here.

Configuring Group Policy for Windows Server Update Services on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

This post is intended to be a supplement for the Installing WSUS on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials guide.

To configure your client workstations to connect to WSUS, it is highly recommended to use Group Policy. Below I have included examples of Group Policy settings and the necessary WMI filters that can be used as a baseline policy in any environment.

The Default Windows Update Settings policy is intended to the base / default policy that is applied to all systems in the domain.

The Windows Update Settings – Servers policy is intended to supplement the default settings and apply server specific installation settings to server OSes. This policy requires the Servers WMI filter.

The Windows Update Settings – Workstations policy is intended to supplement the default settings and apply workstation specific installation settings to workstation OSes. This policy requires the workstations WMI filter.

WMI Filters

The following filters will work with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Namespace (case-sensitive) WMI Filter
Servers (applies to domain controllers and member servers) root\CIMV2 select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (Version >= “6.1%”) and ProductType = “2” or ProductType = “3”
Workstations root\CIMV2 select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (Version >= “6.1%”) and ProductType=”1″

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Experience Release Notes

Might be old news for some, however, in advance of General Availability this week for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, I wanted to highlight a couple items relating to the new Windows Server Essentials Experience.

From the Release Notes:

· The Windows Server Essentials Experience only works in a single-domain environment that does not include a read-only domain controller. There is no workaround at this time.

· If you install Windows Server Essentials as a virtual machine, and if your server is not connected to the network (or the DHCP service is not available) while running the Configure Windows Server Essentials Wizard, Anywhere Access functionalities (such as Remote Web Access, virtual private networking and DirectAccess) are blocked.

To avoid this, ensure that your server has a network connection when you install Windows Server Essentials as a virtual machine and run the Configure Windows Server Essentials Wizard. If this has already occurred, manually configure the DNS settings.