Friday, February 29, 2008

Vista and Sysprep: Hey, what the heck happened to the VM Additions?

If you ever try to start a Vista (or 2008) Virtual Machine (Virtual PC) that has been sysprep, you probably noticed that The VM additions no longer works.

Mike Kolitz found a solution to that problem. You should set the PersistAllDeviceInstalls flag to true in the generalize pass of your unattend.xml. For more details read Mike's Virtual Varia Blog.

If you you can read french you could also take a look at the document «Création d’une machine virtuelle générique (master) de Vista/Windows Server 2008 avec les outils de l’AIK» from Jean-Benoit PAUX.

Source : blogs.msdn.com/mikekol

Database Maintenance for SharePoint Whitepaper

Bill Baer’s white paper: Database Maintenance for SharePoint is now live.  Here's a sneak peak into the contents.  Kudos Bill!  This level of content is outstanding!

 

  • CHECK FOR AND REPAIR CONSISTENCY ERRORS BY USING DBCC CHECKDB
  • About DBCC CHECKDB
  • DBCC CHECKDB and performance
  • MEASURE AND REDUCE FRAGMENTATION
  • Measure fragmentation in a SQL Server 2005 database (sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats)
  • Measure fragmentation in a SQL Server 2000 database (DBCC SHOWCONTIG)
  • Reducing Fragmentation for a Database
  • Reducing fragmentation for a specific table and its indexes
  • Using ALTER INDEX
  • Fine tuning index performance by setting fill factor
  • Shrinking data files
  • Shrinking a database by using Transact-SQL commands
  • Shrinking a database by using SQL Server 2005 Management Studio
  • CREATING SQL SERVER 2005 MAINTENANCE PLANS
  • Configure a SQL Server 2005 Database Maintenance Plan

Source : blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint

Google Sites

GoogleSites Google Sites, a new offering from Google Apps, makes creating a team site as easy as editing a document. Use Google Sites to centralize all types of information -- from videos to presentations -- and share your site with just a few people, your entire organization, or the world.

Google Sites is born from the acquisition of Jotspot in 2006. With this offering Google is making is debut in the collaboration software.

The question is : is it really a contender to Microsoft Sharepoint ?

Free Windows PowerShell workbook: server administration

Announced a while ago, now finally released: the second free Windows PowerShell booklet by Frank Koch is available for download.

Here's an excerpt from the table of content :

  • A AUTOMATIC INSTALLATION OF WINDOWS POWERSHELL
  • B SECURITY IN WINDOWS POWERSHELL
  • C EXERCISES WITH FILES
  • D WORKING IN THE REGISTRY
  • E EXERCISES USING .NET AND WINFORMS
    • EVALUATING FILE TYPES (EXTENSIONS)
    • SETTING ACLS IN THE FILE SYSTEM
    • SENDING AN E-MAIL FROM A SCRIPT
  • F EXERCISES WITH LOG FILES AND EVENT LOGS
  • G EXERCISES WITH PEEDY
  • H EXERCISES WITH THE ACTIVE DIRECTORY
    • PERFORMING A SEARCH IN THE ACTIVE DIRECTORY
    • WORKING WITH PARTNER ADD-ONS: QUEST
    • I REPORTS USING OFFICE WEB COMPONENTS AND POWERGADGETS
  • J PERFORMING EVALUATIONS WITH WMI
  • K PARTNER ADD-ONS: COMMUNITY TOOLS
  • THE ACTIVE DIRECTORY AS A PSDRIVE, THANKS TO PSCX
  • L PARTNER ADD-ONS: ASSIGNING GPOS USING SDM SOFTWARE
  • M PARTNER ADD-ONS: FULLARMOR WORKFLOW STUDIO
  • N ACCESS TO DATABASES VIA .NET

Source : blogs.technet.com/chitpro-de
download : download.microsoft.com/download

PowerGUI ROCKS!

PowerGUI is an extensible graphical administrative console for managing systems based on Windows PowerShell. These include Windows OS (XP, 2003, Vista), Exchange 2007, Operations Manager 2007 and other new systems from Microsoft. The tool allows to use the rich capabilities of Windows PowerShell in a familiar and intuitive GUI console.

PowerGUI is a freeware product.

PowerGui-1

PowerGui-2

Source : powergui.org

Likewise Open

LikeWiseOpen

Likewise Open enables Linux authentication on a Microsoft network using Active Directory. A user can now interactively log in to the Linux machine using Active Directory credentials, and can access any kerberized services that the Linux machine hosts.

This is an open source community project sponsored by Likewise Software. You can download Likewise Open without cost and use it to join Linux machines to your Active Directory infrastructure.

Source : www.likewisesoftware.com

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ShellRunas v1.0

By Mark Russinovich

The command-line Runas utility is handy for launching programs under different accounts, but it’s not convenient if you’re a heavy Explorer user. ShellRunas provides functionality similar to that of Runas to launch programs as a different user via a convenient shell context-menu entry.

ShellRunas works on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008.

ShellRunas

Source : technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals

Should I install SP1? What if I was told to wait? Post SP1 Rollup and Black out Rollup Now Available

In a recent report from product support, they have explained that customers running SP1 are experiencing less issues with no reported regressions not known or otherwise were not included in the post SP1 rollup.  SharePoint hotfixes are cumulative.  As always please test, test, test.  The best and I'd say required reading and documentation on deploying service packs and hotfixes for WSS and MOSS are on TechNet.  There are tips and tricks for deploying a TON faster.  Yes, you should install SP1, Yes, you should install the post SP1 rollup or blackout to be on the latest set of fixes available.  The post SP1 rollup below and the black out rollup builds are below.

Source & hotfix's links : blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Software Development Kit (SDK)

A new version of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Software Development Kit (SDK) is available at Microsoft.

Download : www.microsoft.com/downloads
Read : msdn2.microsoft.com

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wii Fit

e3-2007-wii-fit-screens-20070711000003341

Looks really cool !
Wii Fit will debut in America on May 19 for "under $100."

In the mean time checkout the screen shots at ing.com

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Information about programs that are known to experience a loss of functionality when they run on a Windows Vista Service Pack 1-based computer

Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista is an important update for Windows Vista. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains many security, reliability, and feature updates for Windows Vista. A program may experience a loss of functionality after you install Windows Vista SP1. However, most programs will continue to work as expected after you install Windows Vista SP1.

This article lists programs that have been reported to experience a loss of functionality when they are installed on a Windows Vista SP1-based computer.

Source  : support.microsoft.com/kb/935796/en-us

AIK 1.1, WinPE 2.1 & Windows 2008

I missed that one, but there is a new version of Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK). This new version, among other thing, add support for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. It also include a new WinPE (version 2.1)

Check the new features : technet2.microsoft.com
Download : microsoft.com/downloads

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How are you planning to upgrade your NLB clusters to W2K8?

Windows Server 2008 is launching on February 27th. This is an extremely exciting date for all of us here in Windows Server, especially in the High Availability team. Of course, for you, this means learning about all the cool new features in this release and planning your deployment; something you might have already started.

For those of you who have workloads being load balanced using Network Load Balancing (NLB), and who are planning to deploy W2K8 there, I’d like to drop a quick note that NLB supports rolling upgrades.

Take a look at the NLB rolling upgrade guide:

http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/library/8ec0e9a3-d774-47f4-8e0c-0fc6f74f943d1033.mspx?mfr=true

(Note: pretty soon, we’ll have a full NLB deployment guide online. Once that happens, I will update this link.)

Even if you are not planning to perform an in-place upgrade of your W2K3 cluster nodes to W2K8 (maybe the hardware requirements for W2K8 are not met), you can still minimize the down time of your NLB-clustered application(s) by joining the new W2K8 machines to your existing W2K3 NLB cluster as you transition to a W2K8-only setup.

Good luck!

Regards,

Ahmed Bisht
Program Manager
Clustering and High Availability – Microsoft

Source : blogs.msdn.com/clustering

Update on Windows Vista SP1 Prerequisite KB937287

We've heard a few reports about problems customers may be experiencing as a result of KB937287, the servicing stack update I blogged about last week, and I wanted to provide a quick update for you. Immediately after receiving reports of this error, we made the decision to temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update to avoid further customer impact while we investigate possible causes.  

 

So far, we've been able to determine that this problem only affects a small number of customers in unique circumstances. We are working to identify possible solutions and will make the update available again shortly after we address the issue.

 

Customers who may be experiencing this issue can use system restore to correct it or contact 1-866-PC-Safety for help troubleshooting.  Additional guidance will be available via Microsoft's free Update Support Center soon.

Source : Windows Vista Team Blog

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Review

winvista_sp1_review_promo

Paul Thurrott's as an excellent review of the new service pack 1 (SP1) for Windows Vista. Be sure to check it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How To Uninstall or Remove Bonjour mDNSResponder.exe

Bonjour, also known as zero-configuration networking, enables automatic discovery of computers, devices, and services on IP networks. Bonjour uses industry standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically discover each other without the need to enter IP addresses or configure DNS servers.

If you’ve installed software by Apple such as iTunes, software by Adobe such as Premiere Pro, Skype, Gizmo, chances are there’s already a Bonjour folder in your Program Files. This service starts automatically and runs a process named mDNSResponder.exe which cannot be ended by Windows Task Manager. If you do not want Bonjour to be in your computer and want to uninstall it, sometimes you can’t find any uninstaller for it! Even if you go to Control Panel’s Add or Remove Program, you can’t find the uninstaller there as well.

Here’s how to safely uninstall Bonjour and remove mDNSResponder.exe

Source : hwww.raymond.cc/blog

Using Windows Server 2008 as a SUPER workstation OS

Vijayshinva Karnure as an excellent article on how to use Windows Server 2008 as a workstation os.

Read it : blogs.msdn.com/vijaysk

Microsoft DreamSpark - Free software development tools for students

DreamSpark

On Live in Europe, Brian Groth reported students can get free software development tools:

Over on Channel 8, the video blog for students, Bill Gates just announced free software for students in a program called DreamSpark.

 DreamSpark is simple, it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools
at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a
head start on your career.

Available software:

  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • XNA Game Studio 2.0
  • 12-month free membership in the XNA Creators Club
  • Expression Studio (Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design and Expression Media)
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
  • SQL Server Developer Edition
  • Virtual PC 2007
  • Visual Basic 2005
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C# 2005
  • Visual J# 2005
  • Visual Web Developer 2005

At the moment it's available to students in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium. More countries will be added to the list throughout the year.

In order to get this software from Microsoft at no charge, you will be asked to establish or verify your student status once every 12 months. This process is built into the DreamSpark site itself. Verification of valid student status will enable students from around the globe to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge. Note: You must be at least 18 years old or have otherwise reached the age of majority in the place (province, state or country) where you live, or if not, your parent or legal guardian must accept the Microsoft DreamSpark software license terms on your behalf, in order for you to download and use the software.

Source : LiveSide.net

It's official: The war is over, HD-DVD loses

Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Tuesday it would stop promoting its HD DVD format for the next-generation DVD after losing the support of key studios and retailers to the Blu-ray technology backed by Sony Corp.

Source : Bink.nu

Monday, February 18, 2008

New features in Windows Server 2008

From 4sysops blog :

Windows Server 2008 RTM is out for some days now. I suppose only the adventurous are running it already in a productive environment. Even if you’re not planning to deploy Windows Server 2008 in the near future, I recommend having a look at its new features now. Who knows, maybe there are one or two features that may convince you to install Microsoft’s latest server OS earlier than planned.

I’ve been blogging about Server 2008 for quite some time now. Below you’ll find a list of those posts discussing new features. I also recommend skimming over Microsoft’s new white paper: Changes in Functionality from Windows Server 2003 with SP1 to Windows Server 2008. The word file has 341 pages. So you could say it is a free e-book about Windows Server 2008. Of course, you won’t find any critical comments there. (There is also a web version of this document)

German speaking readers might also have a look at the comprehensive article about Windows Server 2008 I wrote for Computerwoche. I added another chapter about the Terminal Services recently. You will find even more critical words there than in my blog posts.

All in all, I think that Server 2008 is a more interesting product than Windows Vista. Particularly, the consequent modularization, the new Terminal Services, Network Access Protection and Server Core are new functionalities that convinced me, even though I found a couple of shortcomings, too.

Source : 4sysops.com

SharePoint Advanced Content videos and whitepapers now available on TechNet!

I’m pleased to announce that we've just released some extremely useful SharePoint Advanced Content videos and whitepapers on TechNet!!

This includes streaming videos of SharePoint experts presenting and demoing a selection of advanced ITPro topics. Also available are white papers that support the videos.

 

The topics include:

  • Overview: Office SharePoint Server server farm architecture
  • Overview: Configuring server farms
  • Securing server farms
  • Configuring Performance Options
  • Capacity planning
  • Backup, Restore, High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • Operations and management
  • Search architecture and configuration

This content will help you plan, deploy, and configure server farm solutions with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

 

We’re hoping to roll out more advanced topics in the upcoming months.

Enjoy the new content,

 

Michal.

Source : Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to run Windows Server 2008 for 240 days without activation

This article describes how to extend, or re-arm, the Windows Server 2008 evaluation period. The evaluation period is also known as the "activation grace" period. These instructions apply to any edition of Windows Server 2008. This includes evaluation copies.

Source  : support.microsoft.com/kb/948472/en-us

Monday, February 11, 2008

Windows SteadyState - Shared Computer Toolkit grows up

Microsoft has been enhancing their tools for computers that are in shared environments - but for software packagers that are restricted from using Virtual Machine technology, this kit has another great use ...

 

Windows SteadyState has a host of sophisticated and growing features to help managed computers that are shared in labs, kiosks, etc.  One interesting feature of Windows SteadyState is the ability to reset the disks of a regular computer - similar to how it can be done in virtual machines.  If you install SteadyState you can set a disk checkpoint and revert back to a clean machine much quicker than reimaging a system.  If you are doing this for repackaing you can save yourself even more time by logging in your test user ids (to do the cached profile creation) and doing your before snapshot - so you can simply reset the machine and start up your setup program.

Visit Site
Download 2.0 Now (3.4 Mb)
Download 2.0 Handbook Now (4.8 Mb)
Download 2.5 Beta Now (5.5)
Download 2.5 Handbook Now (1.8 Mb)

Source : desktopengineer.com

FREE: vOptimizer Freeware Version!

vOptimizer crushes a Virtual Machine's disk size by 20-60% and can increase performance dramatically - they have a freeware version now, but it's hard to find on their website...

 

I was able to take a minimally prepared XP SP2 VMWare virtual machine from 1.1 GB to 780MB and vOptimizer Freeware was FAST - did it in about 15 minutes.  I had already taken pains to ensure I did not unnecessarily ballon the virtual disk (like running SP2 from uncompressed source from an ISO image.  The new version runs OUTSIDE of the vm and operates directly on the disk files.

 

The information on the freeware version is not easy to find on Vizioncore's website and did not come up on the web searches I did.  The download is also not provided at their site - but on the traditional freeware sites.  The link below takes you to the page that compares the freeware version with their other versions.

 

Visit Site

Download Now (5.5 MB)

Source : desktopengineer.com

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2005 Extensions User Guide, Version 1.1

User Guide for the Visual Studio 2005 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, version 1.1
A User Guide and Samples in VB.NET and C# for the VSeWSS 1.1 tools for developing custom SharePoint applications with Visual Studio 2005.

Source : www.microsoft.com/downloads

Friday, February 08, 2008

WSUS 3.0 SP1 is now RTM!!!

Dear WSUS users,

I am very excited to announce the release of WSUS 3.0 SP1, now live and ready for download! This is a significant release that represents a huge milestone for all involved and we thank you greatly for your feedback and support through out the life cycle of this project. 

The improvements that SP1 offers include:

  • Support for Windows Server 2008.
  • New Client Servicing API:
    • Support client registration.
    • Filter of updates by category and classification. 
    • Provide applicability rule extension mechanism. 
    • Obtain package metadata and report update status for each client.
  • Improvements for local publishing: supports publishing of drivers within the enterprise by using vendor provided catalogs. API include support for bundles and prerequisites.
  • All hotfixes: WSUS 3.0 SP1 includes all the changes and hotfixes that have been issued since the release of WSUS 3.0.
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005: WSUS 3.0 SP1 lets you use SQL Server 2005. 

WSUS 3.0 SP1 is now located at the Microsoft Download Center. To download and to obtain installation instructions,  please visit the following Microsoft Web site:

www.microsoft.com/downloads

Congratulations team and WSUS community on this great milestone, enjoy!

Cecilia Cole

WSUS Program Manager

Source : WSUS Product Team Blog
More infos : Release Notes for Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1, WSUS Techcenter

Open XML Theme Builder

themeblder

The Open XML Theme Builder is a tool that helps with the creation of theme files (*.thmx) that encapsulate the visual appearance and formatting of a document in order to help create a better looking document. So it helps in creation of custom themes or modify the existing ones. Theme files can be used by Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Excel 2007, and Word 2007.

Source : meraTechPort
Download : www.codeplex.com/openxmlthemebuilder

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Standardization and Consistency is the key - SharePoint Configurator Released to Codeplex

I'm happy to announce the release of the SharePoint Cross Site Collection Configurator!  This functional sample source and solution deployment is designed to be simple to configure and easy to deploy, and is available now on Codeplex.  Not only provides consistency and ease of deployment for IT and business standards, but it also supports much more flexibility in your information architecture so you can truly scale while having tens of thousands of site collections and not having to put all your eggs in one basket (single site collection with a single database).  (Note super large scale tests have not been performed and it's recommended to test these in your environment.)

  • Applying Master Pages across a SharePoint server farm.
  • Applying audit settings across all my sites.
  • Adding advanced settings such as “Allow content type management” to all types of lists.
  • Adding a new Expiration Policy at the site collection level.
  • Adding a new Expiration Policy to content types, lists, and documents.

Source : Joel Oleson's Blog SharePoint Land

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Beyond the Red Line

BTR

BSG: BtRL is an open source, space flight simulator powered by the enhanced FS2: Source Code Project engine.

This standalone game is set in Ron D. Moore's Re-imagined Battlestar Galactica universe.

Website : www.game-warden.com/bsg

Tremulous

Tremulous

Tremulous is a free, open source game that blends a team based FPS with elements of an RTS. Players can choose from 2 unique races, aliens and humans. Players on both teams are able to build working structures in-game like an RTS. These structures provide many functions, the most important being spawning. The designated builders must ensure there are spawn structures or other players will not be able to rejoin the game after death. The overall objective behind Tremulous is to eliminate the opposing team. This is achieved by not only killing the opposing players but also removing their ability to respawn by destroying their spawn structures.

Website : tremulous.net

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 FAQ Updated for RTM!

My Windows Vista Service Pack 1 FAQ has been completely updated for the final release. Curious about when you can download Vista SP1? I've got the answer!

link : Bink.nu

Sharepoint: Standardize Data Management with Custom Content Types

The vast number of disparate documents and other content items stored throughout a large organization can make it difficult to manage documents, their associated metadata, and their behaviors in a centralized and reusable way. Take a look at how you can use content types in SharePoint 2007 to simplify content management across the enterprise.

Read the complete article on TechnetMagazine

SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool

Finally, after many weeks waiting (SCPT was remove form Microsoft Connect), you can now download the final release of the SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool (SCPT).

The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool is a set of free models of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). The two models use the analysis and simulation features of System Center Capacity Planner 2007 (SCCP) to help you explore suitable IT infrastructure options for your SharePoint deployment, based on the SharePoint usage requirements for your organization that you provide to the tool. It can give you a head start on planning your SharePoint topology by producing a first approximation of the topology your organization needs. Architects, systems integrators, and deployment engineers will find it to be a valuable starting point for further refinements of the topology.

You will need System Center Capacity Planner 2007 to use this tool. You might also be interested in the SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool Executive Overview

Download : microsoft.com/downloads

First Silverlight game to appear on Miniclip.com

I am sure you all must have sometimes or the other played games at miniclip.com, a site for small but very interesting flash based games. Now to this list a new game Zombomatic has been added. So what's special about it? Zombomatic is the first Silverlight 1.0 based game to appear on Miniclip.com.
It has been created by Terralever , yes the company which gave us Zero Gravity. I had posted about it earlier.

Now you can try your hands on this new game Zombomatic.

Source : meraTechPort

Notable Changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate

This document provides more detail about the notable changes made to Windows Vista in Service Pack 1, which were focused on addressing specific reliability, performance, and compatibility issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards.

Read it : technet2.microsoft.com
Download it : www.microsoft.com/downloads

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Inside Vista SP1 File Copy Improvements

Windows Vista SP1 includes a number of enhancements over the original Vista release in the areas of application compatibility, device support, power management, security and reliability. You can see a detailed list of the changes in the Notable Changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 whitepaper that you can download here. One of the improvements highlighted in the document is the increased performance of file copying for multiple scenarios, including local copies on the same disk, copying files from remote non-Windows Vista systems, and copying files between SP1 systems. How were these gains achieved? The answer is a complex one and lies in the changes to the file copy engine between Windows XP and Vista and further changes in SP1. Everyone copies files, so I thought it would be worth taking a break from the “Case of…” posts and dive deep into the evolution of the copy engine to show how SP1 improves its performance.

...

Read more : Mark Russinovich's technical blog

Monday, February 04, 2008

Watch Superbowl's commercials

Check out http://www.myspace.com/superbowlads ! You can watch all superbowl's ads.

Friday, February 01, 2008

System Center Capacity Planner 2007

Yesterday Microsoft released the final version of System Center Capacity Planner 2007.

System Center Capacity Planner 2007 is a pre-deployment capacity planning and post-deployment change analysis solution that provides best-practice guidance and hardware-specific knowledge to help information technology professionals make solid architecture decisions when planning a new deployment or changes to an existing deployment for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and other Microsoft server products as add-in application models become available.

Unfortunately :

Add-in knowledge for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Microsoft Windows® SharePoint Services 3.0, and Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007, coming soon

Download : Microsoft.com/downloads
Web site : Microsoft.com/systemcenter/sccp (not updated yet for the final release)