Tip of the Day: Some hidden DFSR improvements

There are some well-hidden DFSR supportability improvements in Win2012: Dirty shutdown worker progress – Background – DFSR used a per-volume ESE database to track all file changes in replicated folders on those volumes. DFSR contains code to attempt graceful and dirty recovery of the database after a dirty shutdown Legacy behavior – DFSR logged DB…


Tip of the Day: Disabling Server Manager at logon

Today’s tip… In Windows Server 2012, the option to disable Server Manager from automatically popping up after a logon is a bit hidden. The other option of note here is the refresh rate for Server Manager, which by default is set to 10 seconds.


Tip of the Day: Quick CMD Prompt

Today’s tip… With all the command line tools that I have, I’m always needing to spawn a CMD prompt to do this or that, and it always seems that I’m in Windows Explorer at the time. So in Windows 8, my new favorite way to open a CMD prompt is built into Explorer. Click on…


Tip of the Day: Task Manager

Today’s tip… One of the changes in Windows 8 that I’m enjoying the more that I use it is the face lift we gave to Task Manager. Here are the two improvements I want to call out. The Performance tab has this nice visual along the left side that gives you a quick idea of…


Tip of the Day: DHCP PBA

Today’s tip… Windows Server 2012 introduces Policy Based Assignment for DHCP. This new functionality allows administrators to better control IP assignment in their environment. Example: Here is a small DHCP scope I created from 192.168.5.1 to 192.168.5.25. Next I created policy for that scope with a condition for MAC addresses starting with 00-15-5D-0A-16 and set…


Tip of the Day: BitLocker Pre-provisioning

Today’s tip… Unlike Windows Vista and Windows 7, Windows 8 has the ability to pre-provision the system volume during installation. To use BitLocker Pre-Provisioning, we have three options open to us, MDT 2012, SCCM 2012 SP1, or WinPE 4.0. In MDT 2012, we use the Enable Offline Task Sequence which uses ztibde.wsf file to encrypt…


Tip of the Day: BitLocker PIN/Password Change

Today’s tip… While it still requires administrative privileges to configure BitLocker, with Windows 8, standard users can now by default change their own PIN/Password.  It is recommended that this be used in conjunction with the ‘Configure use of passwords’ GPO setting to enforce length and complexity. One thing this means for enterprises is that they…


Tip of the Day: BitLocker ‘Encrypt Used Disk Space Only’

Today’s tip… Previously, BitLocker encryption has been an ‘all or nothing’.  Either a volume was completely encrypted or it was not.  Windows 8 brings us a new option, ‘Encrypt Used Disk Space Only’.  Just like it sounds, this option allows us to encrypt only the parts of the volume that are currently in use.  As…