Retirement Planning (for service packs)

Yesterday I wrote about end-of-life planning for OSes and so it makes sense to talk about the end of a service pack, as retirement – it is after all the word that is used on the product lifecycle pages. Of course we don’t mean retirement in go and live by the seaside sense… Special police…


How to activate Windows from a script (even remotely).

I have been working on some PowerShell recently to handle the initial setup of a new machine, and I wanted to add the activation. If you do this from a command line it usually using the Software Licence manager script (slMgr.vbs) but this is just a wrapper around a couple of WMI objects which are…


How to: have nicer Active Directory management from PowerShell – without upgrading AD

One of the first books I read on PowerShell  had a comment about using AD from the PowerShell V1 which amounted to “It’s too hard, don’t bother use VB Script instead”. I’d taken against the book in question (no names no pack drill) – in fact it reminded me of something Dorothy Parker is supposed…


Customizing the Windows 7 logon screen: no additional tools required

A few of people have noticed that I’m running Windows 7 with a customized logon screen, and a couple of them asked me if I used “logon studio” which (as I understand it) rummages round inside some of the image resources buried in DLL files. In Windows 7 we have provided a registry key for…


Lies,Damn lies and licence interpretations.

From time to time people ask me who I write for, and I always say I write for myself in the hope that there are enough people out there like me to make a reasonable size audience. It always surprises me how many people inside Microsoft read this blog, not to mention the number of…


Active Directory User Group, first meeting with John Craddock and Sally Storey

We now have a UK AD user group (ADUG) And they have their first meeting set for October 23rd at Microsoft’s offices in London, from 6 till 9 in the evening. They’ve managed to secure John and Sally – probably the best established AD double-act in Europe (their tech-ed sessions are always among the top…


UK Windows server user group

The title says it all ready. Mark Wilson has created a group on Linked in to help get the ball rolling again – he explains why this was needed and what to do on his blog. Please take a look.


How I get the server I want: #1 Disabling the shutdown event tracker

I think that the shutdown event tracker came in in Server 2003, and I’m sure that in some data centres it is a very useful tool for logging why servers were manually shut down. On a demo system, it tends to be a nuisance. Hyper-v, for example, disables Sleep and hibernate so if you have…


Hyper-V RC-1 available for download

There was a slight hiccup which meant news appeared, disappeared and then re-appeared. But all the right announcements are posted, notably this one from Taylor Brown on the Virtualization team blog. Windows Server 2008 Patch KB950049 – the Hyper-V RC-1 update – is available.   I gave some general guidance about moving between versions and…


Search: A quick round-up

I’ve been meaning to have a play with Search Server since Viral demo’d it on the last roadshow. We have a downloadable VHD for it with a very good walk-through, I can say that honestly because I’ve just spent a couple of hours walking through it. Of course since I’m doing all my virtualization on…