Install DFSRDIAG On Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2016

Working on multiple versions of Exchange means having multiple different labs.  Each lab will have different versions of Exchange, different update levels and also different Active Directory site layouts.  They are all required to test and validate different configurations. These VMs are not always running.  As a result, DFS sometimes needs attention if the environment…

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Change AD FS 2012 R2 Service Account Password

One of the added features in AD FS 2012 R2 was the ability to leverage group managed service accounts (gMSA) which obviated the requirement to manually change the password associated with the service account.  See Getting Started with Group Managed Service Accounts for some background on gMSA.  You may also see the term sMSA which…

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New Netstat Options

New?  Well some options are not that new really.  Others are however! Sometimes it is the little things in life that can help immensely.  Take our venerable friend, netstat!  Even though it has been around for many moons folks often get into the habit of using only certain options, switches or parameters.   For reference purposes,…

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Updating Windows Server 2012 R2 AD FS SSL and Service Certificates

Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) heavily leverages X.509 certificates to allow the solution to function securely.  As with all of the other certificates that you deploy within your enterprise, there must be a process to manage and renew certificates prior to them expiring.  If a certificate expires this can be summarised quite simply as…

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Exchange Services Not Starting on Windows Server 2012 Due to Network Location Profile

Some of my lab servers run in Microsoft Azure with no redundancy.  This is because they are only a lab, and I want to minimise the monthly billing costs for these environments.  When the servers are restarted due to patching or maintenance activities, there can be a little fallout.  In the case below, some Exchange…

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Install Desktop Experience – Windows Server 2012 R2

This is an updated version of the original Windows Server 2012 post.  The genesis of which was an application requirement to install Media Player onto a couple of servers.  This met with some muttering and cursing from my colleague in the nearby fabric covered box, as the option to install the Desktop Experience feature is…

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Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer – You Must Provide A Value For This Property

When creating a new Database Availability Group, there was a bit of rude shock when the installation failed.  This customer had deployed multiple Exchange 2010 DAGs over the lifespan of the product, yet their latest build ran into an issue.  They were able to create the DAG, but when adding the first mailbox server to…

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Case Of the Disappearing GUI

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Is it as Miles Kington said, “Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in your fruit salad”.  Or is knowledge learning by your experience, and wisdom is learning through other people’s experiences?   Let’s make this post use the second option, and…

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AD FS 2012 R2 – An Error Occurs When BadPwdCount Not Set

AD FS 2012 R2 provides an interesting feature called Extranet Lockout Protection, where the intent is to protect AD accounts from malicious lockout from external access attempts.  Previous versions of AD FS had no native mechanism to protect AD from such hammering attempts.  For details on the feature please review this post.   One issue that…

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How To Import Windows 2008 R2 VM To Windows 2012 or 8.1 Using Boot To VHD

One of the popular topics lately has revolved around the Hyper-V Did Not Find Virtual Machines To Import error.  This issue can arise when we try and import a VM into Windows Server 2012 R2 or 8.1 which was originally exported from Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2.  Such exported VMs from 2008 or 2008…

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