Building a KMS host on Windows 7

Windows 7 with SP1 Support Lifecycle: This blog post is part of a series of posts, detailing the build process and activating capabilities of a KMS host on a particular host operating system. The operating system dictates which KMS host key (CSVLK) can be installed on that particular host, and that CSVLK determines what… Read more

Establishing Network Connectivity to a Share in the Windows Recovery Environment

Hi there! My name is Neil Dsouza and I’m a Support Escalation Engineer with the Windows Core team. Today I’m going to cover a scenario where you have a server that fails to boot and all you want to do is copy the data off the machine to a network share.  In most cases connecting… Read more

The New and Improved CheckSUR

One of the most used and arguably most efficient tools that we utilize when troubleshooting Servicing issues, prior to Windows 8/Windows 2012, is the System Update Readiness tool(also known as CheckSUR). However, as we continue to improve our operating systems, we must continue to improve our troubleshooting tools as well. Thus, I want to introduce… Read more

Troubleshooting a Stop 0x7B in Windows

The purpose of this blog is to provide information about the common Stop 0x7B bugcheck/Reboot Loop issue, and the best methods available to resolve it. We will discuss the main components involved in this type of bugcheck/crash, what can affect them, and not only troubleshooting steps to perform, but also steps to resolve the issue…. Read more

Alternate Data Streams in NTFS

This blog has been a long time coming. There is a bit of confusion about the subject of alternate data streams (ADS) and no small amount of suspicion. So I want to take a few minutes to set the record straight on ADS. A couple years ago I wrote a blog on NTFS attributes.… Read more

System Hangs at Splash Screen or Boot freezes on ACPITABL.DAT

Often we have seen operating system hanging at Splash screen as seen in the screenshot below. For Windows Server 2003: For Windows Server 2008 and above: As the first troubleshooting step, you would like to boot into safemode and you would notice operating system hangs at acpitabl.dat. See image below:   Unplug any external Devices… Read more

General activation concepts

Today’s blog posting is based on documentation written for our activation specialists to answer some of the most common questions for customers that are new to our current activation technologies.  Depending on the size of your organization and your familiarity with our current technologies, activation can be a very simple or complex discussion.  These are… Read more

How to backup recovery information in AD after BitLocker is turned ON in Windows 7

Hello, My name is Manoj Sehgal. I am a Senior Support Escalation Engineer in the Windows group and today’s blog will cover “How to backup recovery information in Active Directory (AD) after Bitlocker is turned ON in Windows 7 and above.” In this blog, I will try to answer a common question asked to us… Read more

How To: Customize the Windows 7 Start Menu and Taskbar Using unattend.xml

Today’s blog will cover scenario where you would like to customize the Start menu and TaskBar(also called SuperBar) as part of your deployment. In Windows 7 the start menu looks like this The top 5 icons in the start menu are not customizable. Note that over time these icons will be replaced by the users… Read more