Register now for the Veeam Live Show!!

It’s not the first time for Veeam to throw an online show, but this time we have some very special hosts and guests: Ian Wells, Veeam Regional Director, Northern Europe, Aseem Anwar, Veeam Senior Systems Engineer, UK & Ireland, and Barry Coombs, ComputerWorld Pre Sales and Technical Architect Manager. Learn about the role of technologies in business and what we are up to in the next 5 years, plus:

  • Catch up on and debate IT trends, with a focus on datacenter technologies
  • Find out industry insights and the most important considerations
  • Get answers to questions that matter to you!

This will be an open discussion with NO script or boring slide deck! The show starts on: Sept. 18, 15:00 BST, 16:00 CEST

Don’t miss it! Register now and you’ll get an invitation to the next episode covering Veeam and SCOM for Hyper-v.

How to: Set Microsoft Office initials with Active Directory information using RES Workspace Manager 2014

When you’ve installed Microsoft Office in your environment, the first time the user starts one of the Office products, they receive a pop-up box for the initials. Default there are two things the user has to fill in. The username and the initials. The username is the displayname within Active Directory. The initials is the first letter of the username. But, what if you want to fill this field also with some Active Directory information, like the property Initials.

In this environment I’m using RES Workspace Manager 2014, so there’re also possibilities to set some user variables in your session. First I’ve created a new environment variable with a query to read the information from Active Directory.

1.) Open the RES Workspace Manager Console and create a new environment variable. In my example it is Initials
2.) Give the new variable the following value $adinfo(Initials) There’re some more values possible, like firstname, lastname, etc….
3.) Login to your session, in my example a Windows 8.1 VDI desktop and open the command prompt
4.) Type the command set and search for the new variable Initials. It’s the information from the Active Directory
5.) Now return to the RES Workspace Manager Console and create a new User Setting (User Registry)
6.) The values are stored in the following registrykey:
7.) Add this path in the new registry setting and create two new REG_SZ keys
UserInitials with the value %Initials%
with the value %Username%
8.) Configure the Access Control and the Workspace Container
9.) Login again into a new session and start Microsoft Office, for example Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc…
10.) Open the options and take a look at the user initials.

This is a realy powerfull solution to control your users initials. You can choose to apply the User Registry settings once, so the users are able to edit the initials. You can use a User Preference to store this information in a .UPR (User Preference) with RES Workspace Manager.

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How to: Install Exchange 2013 fully unattended

When you’ve to install a new Microsoft Exchange 2013 environment, you can start collecting all the necessary things, just lik pre-requisites etc…but there is a script available in the Microsoft TechNet Gallery. This script does the trick for you fully unattended. You just have to give in some names and paths. The script downloads all the pre-requisites, installs all the necessary Windows roles and features and installs Exchange 2013 the way you like :)

The script can be found here.

All you have to download is the Microsoft Exchange 2013 ISO and create some destination folders, that’s it!! You can also choose to install a multi role Exchange 2013 environment or maybe a multi server Exchange 2013 environment where you’ve multiple mailbox (MBX) and client access (CAS) servers. In my lab environment I’ve installed one multi role server in just a few clicks!! Below the commands I’ve used.

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

mkdir E:\Install\E2K13_ISO
mkdir E:\Databases\MDT01
mkdir E:\Logs\MDB01
mkdir E:\Install\Prereq

E:\Install\Install-Exchange2013.ps1 -Organization DemoLab -InstallMultirole -MDBDBPath E:\Databases\MDB01 -MDBLogPath E:\Logs\MDB01 -MDBName MDB01 -InstallPath E:\Install\Prereq -AutoPilot -Credentials $Cred -SourcePath E:\Install\E2K13_ISO -IncludeFixes -InstallFilterPack -Verbose

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Update Rollup 3 available for System Center 2012 R2

This week Microsoft has released Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2. This Update Rollup pack contains a lot of fixes for all the different products in the System Center 2012 R2 Suite! For alle the specific products, view the URL’s below.

Don’t forget to run the SQL script for System Center Virtual Machine Manager when you install Update Rollup 3.


Build your own FREE virtualization lab environment


The most affordable toolkit to meet your goals!

There is no better way to start virtualizing than with a FREE Microsoft Hyper-V environment, free backup, free virtual storage and free management software!

With this free toolkit, you can create your own test lab, run a small business or even scale your production environment up to 1,000 VMs. It’s a FREE way to virtualize!

  1. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
    Free Hypervisor with all the functionality of it’s ‘big brother’, Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication
    Effective and easy-to-use tool for Hyper-V backup
  3. StarWind Virtual SAN
    Reliable shared storage with unlimited storage capacity for a single-node device
  4. 5nine Manager
    Simple and easy-to-use Graphical User Interface, local or remote, to manage Hyper-V virtual machines

Start today!!

And if you would like to just download Free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, please click here.


How to: Directly install from a distribution point during OSD in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

During a OS deployment with ConfigMgr 2012 R2, the WIM file is downloaded locally and than installed on the C: drive of your system. The download proces for the install.wim file takes a while! This post will discribe how to configure the task sequence to directly apply the install.wim from the distribution point.

1.) Open the task sequence and select the step “Apply Operating System”. Navigate to the “Options” tab.
2.) Select “Access content directly from the distribution point” and select “Apply”
3.) Navigate to your Operating System Images and select the properties of the image
4.) Navigate to the “Data Access” tab
5.) Select “Copy the content in this package to a package share on distribution points”
6.) Select “Apply”
7.) The install.wim file will be copied to the SMSPKGE$ folder on your distribution point
8.) Right click on the image and select “Update Distribution Points”
9.) Wait until the content status is “Success”
10.) Start a deployment of a system
11.) The download step is gone now and the image will be installed directly from the distribution point

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How to: Install ConfigMgr 2012 R2 hotfix KB2910552 during OSD

A few weeks ago Microsoft has released a update KB2910552 for ConfigMgr 2012 R2. This update fixes a lot of issues, but also speed up the OSD within ConfigMgr 2012 R2. I should highly recommend to install this hotfix in your environment. The hotfix is updating the site system automatically, but the client not. This blogpost will discribe how to install this hotfix during a OS deployment (OSD).

1.) First install the hotfix KKB2910552. The hotfix is vissible in the installation folder of ConfigMgr. In my example E:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\hotfix\KB2910552\Client
2.) Copy the content in this folder to your source directory.
In my example \\CM01\Sources\OSD\Hotfix\KB2910552\Client
3.) Add a new package and configure the source location to the right directory.
In my example \\CM01\Sources\OSD\Hotfix\KB2910552\Client
4.) Select “Do not create a program
5.) Distribute the package to your distribution point(s)
6.) Open the task sequence and add a new step “Run Command Line
7.) Select the right package and configure the command line
cmd.exe /c xcopy x64\*.* “C:\Hotfix” /E /H /C /I /Q /Y
This is for x64 systems only! Change x64 to x86 for deployment to x86 systems
8.) In the “Setup Windows and Configuration Manager” step, add the following installation properties
This is for x64 systems only! Change x64 to x86 for deployment to x86 systems
9.) Start the deployment of a x64 system
10.) After the deployment has finished, navigat to the control panel and Configuration Manager
11.) On the general tab you’ll see the new version number 5.00.7958.1104

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Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI available

Working with System Center products is one of my favorite things!! A great solution I’m using is the Powershell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) is a set of scripts and knowledge for automated deployment of System Center 2012 SP1/R2, including SQL all prerequisites, and all automatable post-setup integration. PDT is written by Rob Willis.

Download the Powershell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) here.

Because Powershell Deployment Toolkit contains some Powershell scripts and XML files, this is not a easy thing for everyone! To make this powershell scripts just more powerfull, the Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI is created!! This is a graphical user interface for the Powershell Deployment Toolkit. The original PDT is created and maintained by Rob Willis from Microsoft Corporation. The PDT GUI is created and maintained by German Microsoft Partner ‘Elanity Network Partner GmbH’ and is not an official Microsoft Product. The PDT GUI helps to create fast PDT Configuration-Files (Variable.xml) for Zero Touch System Center Deployments. PDT GUI creates and validates the configuration files for PDT, it does not alter the existing PDT in any way. An installed PDT is neccessary for a succesful PDT Deployment.

Download the Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI here.

Benedict Berger (Hyper-V MVP and Hybrid Cloud Geek) and Kamil Kosek (Powershell Geek and Automation IT Pro) teamed up end created this free tool. Special credits to this guys, great job!!

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