How Many Coffees Can You Drink While Windows 7 Boots?

Hey y’all, Mark here again with a quick post. Did you attend Tech Ed this year but miss a chance to see Xperf stealing the show? Great news, the session is online along with many others!       This is a great session led by Stephen Rose ( @stephenlrose), PFE’s own Matthew Reynolds who… Read more

Becoming an Xperf Xpert Part 3: The Case of When Auto “wait for it” Logon is Slow

Hey y’all, Mark here again with an interesting “Real World” XPerf trace from the depths of a WDRAP (Windows Desktop Risk Assessment). If your infrastructure hasn’t had a WDRAP yet, or it’s been a while, work with your Technical Account Manager to see if you can schedule one. I highly recommend it as a great… Read more

First, Do No Harm

As time passes, the business value derived from a company’s IT infrastructure continues to expand. Usually, along with this, the ‘interconnectedness’ of the infrastructure expands, too. One of the goals of an IT Pro is similar to a paraphrase of Hippocrates: “First, do no harm.” When we DCPROMO a Domain Controller (DC) out of Active… Read more

Windows Server and Processor Cores… (Part 1)

Recently someone asked me of my thoughts on how Windows Server handles processor cores.  With newer processors available with more than 2 or 4 cores each, it seemed like a good time to revisit this topic.  If you have a system with multiple processor sockets and a few new processors with 2, 4, 6, 10, or… Read more

MCM: Core Active Directory Internals

Disclaimer: For brevity and to get some key points across, quite a bit of detail about about Active Directory, the underlying database, and replication have been purposely ommitted from this blog.  Part 1 – MCM – So You Want to be a Master, eh? Now, there is no possible way to cover every possible detail from… Read more

Too Many Admins in Your Domain: Expose the Problem(s) and Find a Solution. (Don’t forget PowerShell)

In my role as a transactional PFE, I have the privilege of visiting 40-50 customers per year. Often I’m called in to perform an Assessment of the Active Directory Infrastructure. Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges most customers face is managing the membership of the privileged groups in their domain. The challenge manifests… Read more

The Case of the Missing SRV Records

I was recently on site with a customer performing an ADRAP when we found that several domain controllers were missing certain generic SRV records from DNS. The environment had around one-hundred DCs and thirty of them were missing records. Unsure why this was inconsistent, we started to investigate, first by restarting the netlogon service on… Read more

Becoming an Xperf Xpert Part 2: Long Running Logon Scripts, Inconceivable!

Login scripts once implemented in an environment tend to never really get removed. They are always there, running. The fact that many of these login script functionality, such as mapping drives, could be moved to Group Policy Preferences ( ). The real question is do you know how long your login scripts take to complete?… Read more

Clustering: What exactly is a File Share Witness and when should I use one?

Customers ask from time to time: “What is a File Share Witness (FSW)?” Sometimes they’ve worked with prior versions of clustering and don’t know what a FSW is, or that the option exists. The next question asked is usually: “When should we use one?” Before going into that, I’ll review some subtle differences between legacy… Read more

Becoming an Xperf Xpert: The Slow Boot Case of the NetTCPPortSharing and NLA Services

So now that you are in the loop on the XPERF greatness, let’s look at a real world example of how XPERF can help us optimize boottimes.  (For those of you that missed the XPERF memo, go back and read Mark’s post) When we first started looking at this client laptop, he was getting to… Read more