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

2008 R2 Active Directory: Schema Updates, LCS, OCS, and LYNC

I recently ran across an unexpected issue regarding LCS 2005, OCS 2007, LYNC 2010 and AD 2008 R2 schema updates.  Unfortunately for my client we discovered the issue too late, but hopefully this article will provide you with the necessary understanding and information for you to be forewarned and therefore forearmed. Background – KB982020 While… Read more

Disaster Recovery

Have you ever tried to restore a server?  What about a Production server?  How about in the middle of the night?  It never goes smoothly.  Your cellphone never stops ringing.  Often, the only thing that gets the server recovered is your own ingenuity and rock-star efforts.  Let’s spend some cycles and try to get ahead… Read more

Am I Seeing Double? The case of "Multiple copies of the same DNS zone"

Introduction With the introduction of Windows 2003 and the new DNS application partitions, I have helped numerous customers resolve the issue of having multiple copies of the same DNS zone. So, today we’re going to cover the following:         1.) What exactly does this mean?         2.) What are the symptoms?         3.) How does… Read more