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Dave's MCT Stuff - Tuesday, September 27, 2011
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# Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I’ve created a video on installing Windows 8 Developer Preview as a virtual machine in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.  The video is long (a little over 16 minutes) but can help you if you wish to install Windows 8 yourself.


HowTo: Install Windows 8 as a Hyper-V virtual machine
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:17:49 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 
# Friday, September 23, 2011

Last night at the Montgomery Windows IT Professional Group meeting, I demonstrated booting Windows 8 and Windows Server 8 from a .vhd file.  Some asked how I set this up.  So let me show you how.  Now, please note you can boot from a .vhd in Windows 7 also, but I haven’t done this—only from a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine.  I am in the process of testing out the .vhd boot on Windows 7, and will show y’all how to do this soon, as soon as my tests are done.  Suffice to say it is easier (for me at least) to do this from Windows Server 2008 R2 (RTM won’t work), because you can have Hyper-V on it and make the virtual machines in the first place, which store their data in a .vhd file on that server.

So, I started off by making two virtual machines in Hyper-V,  one for Windows 8 (64-bit—don’t use 32 bit if you can help it!) Developer Preview, and the other using Windows Server 8 (ONLY comes in 64-bit) Developer Preview.  Once I got them installed and configured, I shut them down and took a snapshot.

First .vhd boot I did was on Windows 8, as follows:

1.  From Server Manager (remember , this is on the Windows Server 2008 R2 parent platform running Hyper-V), expand Storage.

2.  Right-click Disk Management, select Attach Virtual Hard Disk dialog box, click Browse.

3.  Browse to the location of the .vhd file for Windows 8, which in my case was d:\Program Files\Microsoft Learning\Windows8, and select the .vhd file, in my case I had named it windows8.vhd.  Click  windows8.vhd, open, then OK.  note the drive letter that Windows associates with the attached .vhd.  In my case, it was F:\.

4.Click Start, go to Command Prompt, right-click it and select Run as AdministratorYes, if required, to the UAC pop-up.

5.  At the command prompt, type bcdboot F:\windows  Note I used the drive letter Windows assigned in 3 above.

6.  At the command prompt, type bcdedit /set {default} Description Windows 8

At the command prompt, type shutdown /r /t 0  The system reboots.


Now here is where it got interesting.  The above steps swapped out my Windows Server 2008 R2 boot loader with the Windows 8 Developer Preview boot loader, so when the system came back up, the boot loader was a nifty Windows 8 green with two tiles, one for Windows 8 and the other for Windows Server 2008 R2.    I tested both by repeatedly booting and selecting each one and then logging on.  all worked fine.


Now I proceeded to set up the Windows Server 8 boot to VHD.  Same as above, but substitute the .vhd file for Windows Server 8 in step 3 above.  As follows, here’s how I did it (changes in red):

3. Browse to the location of the .vhd file for Windows Server 8, which in my case was d:\Program Files\Microsoft Learning\WinServer8, and select the .vhd file, in my case I had named it winserver8.vhd. Click winserver8.vhd, open, then OK. note the drive letter that Windows associates with the attached .vhd. In my case, it was G:\.

4.Click Start, go to Command Prompt, right-click it and select Run as Administrator. Yes, if required, to the UAC pop-up.

5. At the command prompt, type bcdboot G:\windows Note I used the drive letter Windows assigned in 3 above.

6. At the command prompt, type bcdedit /set {default} Description Windows Server 8

At the command prompt, type shutdown /r /t 0 The system reboots.

The interesting thing now is that the boot menu went back to the older boot loader (I guess that’s what Windows Server 8 uses) so the colorful, er, Green boot loader menu was short lived.  I tested out booting to all three and everything worked just fine.



Friday, September 23, 2011 8:20:25 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 


I've tested all of these out.  Some do not work on my keyboard, but your mileage may vary….



Windows 8 Functionality

Windows logo key+spacebar

Switch input language and keyboard layout

Windows logo key+O

Locks device orientation

Windows logo key+Y

Temporarily peeks at the desktop

Windows logo key+V

Cycles through toasts

Windows logo key+Shift+V

Cycles through toasts in reverse order

Windows logo key+Enter

Launches Narrator

Windows logo key+PgUp

Moves Metro to the monitor on the left

Windows logo key+PgDown

Moves Metro to the monitor on the right

Windows logo key+Shift+.

Moves the gutter to the left (snaps an application)

Windows logo key+.

Moves the gutter to the right (snaps an application)

Windows logo key+C

Opens Charms menu

Windows logo key+Shift+C

Open Charms bar

Windows logo key+I

Opens Settings charm

Windows logo key+K

Opens Connect charm

Windows logo key+H

Opens Share charm

Windows logo key+Q

Opens Search pane

Windows logo key+W

Opens Settings Search app

Windows logo key+F

Opens File Search app

Windows logo key+Tab

Cycles through Metro apps

Windows logo key+Shift+Tab

Cycles through Metro apps in reverse order

Windows logo key+Ctrl+Tab

Cycles through Metro apps and snaps them as they are cycled

Windows logo key+Z

Opens App Bar

Windows logo key+/

Initiates IME reconversion

Windows logo key+J

Swaps foreground between the snapped and filled apps

Friday, September 23, 2011 7:38:21 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [1]    | 
# Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hi!  Over the next few days I’ll be showing you things I learned about Windows 8, so you can use it, too.


So here goes…


First of all, Windows 8 uses the Windows Phone 7 Metro user interface.  Behind is a desktop, but it’s not on top.  you go through Metro to get to the Desktop.  And the Start menu has no search text box as part of it, so forget typing in application names or .MSCs, it won’t work here (more on this later).  Clicking the Start flag just brings up Metro again if you’re in the Desktop view.

So what is Metro?  Metro is a user interface that focuses on tiles that are icons for various programs, applications, settings screens and phone-like apps.  So what you get is a bunch of tiles that you can click on to launch a program or app.  Apps can be launched but not closed (at least I haven’t figured this out yet) but you can bring up Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DELETE) and kill their process.

Now say you wanted to launch a program like regedit.exe.  You used to go to start/search and type it in, right?  So you can’t do that now.  However, by hovering your curser over the extreme lowest left corner, you can go to the new Start flag and select Search.  This will take you to a ultra-large tile where you can search different locations or for types of content for things.  So here you can select Apps and type in regedit in the text box.  Viola! Regedit comes up.

As you open programs and applications, you can pin them to the Task Bar on the Desktop, so at least you can do more one click type launching.  however, this quickly clutters the Desktop so it isn’t an optimal solution.

You can get rid of Metro completely and go back to a Windows 7-like start menu by hacking the registry.  Oh boy, I ‘m almost afraid to let this one out, as so many may do so and won’t learn the joys of Metro.  And I’ll admit, right now it is a PITA, but Microsoft will improve it I’m sure.  BUT…  Do not let me dissuade you from using Metro.  it is cool in its own way and it will be improved.  OK, so I am concerned that regular office users won’t like it because it’s different and perhaps awkward to them (ugh, shades of Vista)… but, try it and I hope you like it.

So, if you REALLY want to get rid of Metro here’s the trick:

Go into regedit.exe

Go to hive HK_Current_User\Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer 

Find the key RPEnabled. 

Change the value from 1 to 0. 

Log off, then log back in.  Metro is gone. 

To put it back, change the RPEnabled value back to 1.


Oh, and I should tell you how to log off in Metro!  Simply scroll to the right (if you have a touch-screen you can swipe to the right )by using your mouse’s scroll wheel—up for left, down for right.  Anyway, in the far upper right, you should see a tile icon of your logged on user name, click it, and a menu will pop up that lets you lock the screen or log off.

If you want to restart or shutdown, you do so by going to the start flag (hover over left lower corner of screen) and select Settings.  In the ultra-huge tile for settings, note the power button icon at the bottom. Click it to and a pop up menu will appear letting you shutdown or restart.

More to follow on all things Windows 8 over the next several posts…



Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:09:15 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 
# Thursday, September 08, 2011


Bringing Hyper-V to “Windows 8” - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Please check out this official Microsoft blog post on Windows 8!

It includes the following:

The Windows Product Team made 2 Windows 8 public announcements today:

  • Windows 8 Client will have  built in support for Hyper-V
  • VM support for 32-procs w/ 512GB RAM (current is 4-proc 64 GB RAM)
    • Critical for running Tier 1 workloads (e.g., large SQL databases) and winning against VMware

I’m very happy to see this.  Do keep in mind that Microsoft had previously said the hardware requirements for Windows 8 will be the same as Windows 7…  However, I do believe that running multiple virtual machines (VM) will need a significant amount of RAM; certainly more than a minimum install of Windows 7.  Of course, memory requirements vary greatly depending on the operating system of the VM.  For example, Windows XP Professional can run on 256MB, but 512MB would be ideal, so if you’re running several XP VMs, than you’ll need half a GB for each one.  Your mileage may vary, but you get the idea….



Thursday, September 08, 2011 5:56:52 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 
# Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hey everyone!  Check out this!  New blog on MSDN – Building Windows 8!  Now I’m a systems and administration kind of guy; not a developer, and this blog is from the developers—that is, programmers, of Windows 8.  But it is available, finally, some clues and information on the build, from the official group who is creating Windows 8.

Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs


Saturday, August 20, 2011 10:36:14 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 
# Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Well, the folks at Microsoft have really outdone themselves with this latest version of MDOP.  I’ve tried it and it is outstanding!  The tool I’ve used the most has been DaRT, and I’m glad for it, but I am now moving over to various virtualization technologies, and also test driving the new MBAM.  Read the link below, which is from a blog post written by the Windows team’s Niamh Coleman!

MDOP 2011 R2 Now Available for Download!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 4:47:29 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 
# Friday, July 15, 2011

All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.



So why am I posting biblical verse?

It’s simple.

There is virtually no problem you are having on a system, application or hardware that hasn’t happened before—and been fixed!

The main issue then is finding where others have had it and what they did to fix it.

Google is our friend!  Bing is our Buddy!

Type the error message, no matter how long or verbose, into Google.  More often than not, you’ll get a posting on a web forum or page where someone else has had that problem, and advice on what to do to fix it, or how the folks that got it fixed it.

Over the past decade or so, a vast, world-wide, troubleshooting database has developed, and it’s mostly accessible from the web’s major search engines.

You can do a lot to help it grow.  First of all, if you’ve posted an error or question on a problem, great!  That is the start.  Secondly, be sure to use the actual error message verbiage, or learn to use the best overall terms to describe the issue.  That helps subsequent searches.  Next, if you didn’t get a reply, but fixed it later, go back and answer yourself as to what you eventually did to resolve the issue.  That way others can try the same as well.  Lastly, help out.  if you happen to see a post with a problem, and you’ve had it and fixed it in the past, reply as to what you did.

Hope to see you on the World Wide Web!!!


Friday, July 15, 2011 9:10:11 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0]    | 
# Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sometimes Information Technology professionals forget that others might not have our knowledge about computers.  We joke around about “dumb” users, I-D-10-T errors, and “problem between keyboard and chair” issues, but I often remind myself, say, if the user is a lawyer, how well do I know contract law or arguing in a courtroom (without being issued with contempt by the judge) or, if the user is an accountant, how well could I balance the books, meet payroll successfully, or be able to get the best tax rates for my business?

You see, I have none of those skills.  Now, when it comes to computers, I do have a lot of skills, experience, and knowledge.

Just how much computer skills should the average user have?  Fellow MVP Glenn Lloyd has written an excellent article about required Microsoft Office skills on his blog.  Click the link to learn more:

Essentials – Microsoft Office Applications



Sunday, July 03, 2011 3:36:56 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [1]    | 
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