Who Moved the AD Cheese?

Sometimes, we Microsoft engineers get called into a ‘forensics’ type situation to help a customer try to answer the “W” questions – where someone (WHO?) did something (WHAT?) at some point (WHEN?) in Active Directory (AD) or some other aspect of a Windows infrastructure. Usually, if we get the call, the change had a big (sometimes… Read more

How a DFS Namespace change ruined my morning…

Hello! Jake Mowrer here to share an “experience” with you all that will hopefully help you avoid running into a nightmare the next time you add a DFS Namespace (DFS-N) server. I find that DFS-N in customer environments works well, so well that they require very little maintenance. This tends to lead to admins not… Read more

A few things you should know about raising the DFL (and/or) FFL to Windows Server 2008 R2

Hello Greg Jaworski here again to briefly talk about two issues when raising the domain functional level (and/or) the forest functional level to Windows Server 2008 R2. While we have loads of documentation on this and numerous blogs there are a few issues that customers have hit that are a little harder to find. The… Read more

The 411 on the KDC 11 Events

Disclaimer: For brevity and to get some key points across, quite a bit of detail about Kerberos has been purposely ommitted from this blog entry. I’m certain that those that are experiencing any of the problems below won’t mind 🙂 As a Premier Field Engineer, I visit new customers every week and every customer, and… Read more

Base-Build Bullet-point List-o-rama

Alot more goes into a “well managed” base OS build design beyond booting from the OS media and then “Next > Next > Finish.”  The content of this post is the outcome of many fruitful whiteboard sessions around Windows base-OS builds.  Some of this applies to physical servers only, some to virtual only but most is applicable to both.  Many customer’s build processes were… Read more

The Journey of a Thousand VMs Begins with a Few Steps

As PFEs, one of our major roles and responsibilities is to relay best practices and “lessons from the field.”  In this post, I’ll present a method – not the only method – of how to progress through a Hyper-V infrastructure design.  This is a high-level post and the content should not be considered “enough” to… Read more

Central Store and ADM Removal Q&A (with an updated script!)

We’ve recently received some great feedback from several customers and other PFEs on the ADM template post that Mark and I wrote a month or two back. I thought I’d take some time to respond to some of those questions and to post an updated version of the script. Going forward, we plan to spend… Read more

So….. You THINK you Removed DNS from Your Server

Hi, my name is Doug Gabbard and also a Premier Field Engineer (PFE) with Microsoft for about the past 8 years.  I hope to add to the Ask PFE Platform blog with the others already here.  I get the opportunity to see challenges our customers face and how they resolve them.  I hope to share… Read more

How to Track the Who, What, When and Where of Active Directory Attribute Changes – Part I (The Case of the Mysteriously Modified UPN)

Hello our names are Ray Zabilla and Rick Bergman. Ray and I are Dedicated Premier Field Engineers with Microsoft and work with the same customer. We were both away from our customer during the same week attending training, when we had an issue pop up that needed our help. We were pulled into a situation… Read more

Taming Perfmon: Data Collector Sets

There I was, the computer clock showed 1AM, I was trying to figure out how to fulfill what seemed to be a simple customer request.  “How do I get a daily report from 12AM to 11:59PM every day on how my server is performing?” Now you may be thinking “Jake, why the heck were you… Read more