Archive for the ‘Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Server’ Category

How to: Save your DPI settings in Windows 2008 R2 with mandatory profiles using RES Workspace Manager 2012

In Windows 2008 R2, users have the ability to change their DPI settings. When users change their DPI settings, they have to logoff and login again before the new settings are live. But….what if you’re using mandatory profiles. When the users logs off, the profile is unloaded and the settings are also gone!! The users are logging in again, and the new and “clean” mandatory profile is loaded, whitout the DPI settings!

When you’re using RES Workspace Manager, you can save the DPI settings when the users logoff and load the settings when the users login, also when you’re using mandatory profile! By default there are three options to choose:

1.) Smaller – 100% = 96 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)
2.) Medium – 125% = 120 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)
3.) Larger – 150% = 144 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)

Use the following steps to save the DPI settings for your users.

1.) Create a new global Zero Profling setting within RES Workspace Manager
2.) Save a registry value HKEY_Current_User\Control Panel\Desktop\LogPixels
3.) Login with a mandatory profile and change your DPI settings
4.) Logoff your session (now your DPI settings are saved using RES Zero Proling)
5.) Login again with a mandatory profile and look for your DPI settings

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Hyper-V: Generation 2 Virtual Machine compatibility error

Today I want to deploy a new virtual machine within Hyper-V (Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V). The virtual machine was an Windows Server 2008 R2 machine. After hitting the “Start” button, I received an error message:

“Boot Failed. EFI SCSI Device. Failed Secure Boot Verification”.

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The reason for this error was the new Generation 2 VM. I’ve created a new Generaion 2 (Gen2) VM for Windows Server 2008 R2, but it supports only Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 or higher!! So just remember, when you want to create an virtual machine whit an “older” operating system, just create an Generation 1 VM (Gen1).

RES Workspace Manager 2012 Recent Files not vissible in start menu

A copple of months ago I have configured a new Citrix XenApp 6.5 with RES Workspace Manager 2012 environment. Within this environment I have configured mandatory profiles, added to Workspace Manager as a custom resource.

When the user are opening some documents, the Recent Files folder is filled up with the last opened document. The save location is C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent.

I’ve created a new User Setting to save the content within this folder. Now there is something strange happening!! The content is saved within a UPF (User Preference File) correctly, but its not vissible in the user session from the start menu.

When I open a commandline and browse to my user profile, the content is there! Huh…?!? After some troubleshooting, I have figured out that I had to change one setting within my custom resource. The folder AppData\Microsoft\Windows\Recent was marked as Read-Only. That’s the problem! After disabling the Read-Only, the recent files are vissible from my start menu.

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How to: Building the ultimate lab environment using Windows 8 Client Hyper-V

When you have to create an testlab environment with multiple servers, it is a big job to install all the servers. Even when you are using Hyper-V in this environment. You manually have to install all the servers or make clones of another virtual machine. In this scenario it is very usefull to make use of Differencing Disks within Hyper-V. A Differencing Disks are linked to an master VHD or VHDX file. This master VHD or VHDX file is a virtual machine that has been sysprepped, for example Windows Server 2012.

Basically, all of the main reads for the VMs created with a differencing disk come from the master VHD or VHDX, while any changes (writes) are written to the differencing disk. The differencing disk will remain fairly small, because the amount of change should be minimal. You’re probably looking at around a couple of GBs per differencing disk. With a differencing disk you can build multiple machines with the same parent sysprep image.

labenvironment

My laptop contains Windows 8 with the Hyper-V role enabled, so basically my virtual environment is on my laptop. Because I have only 500 GB on storage available, it is very usefull for me to use differencing disks. A lot of virtual machines with a little need of storage.

You can build this environment by following the next steps;

1.) Create a new virtual machine within Hyper-V
2.) Install the Operating System with the specific updates
3.) Optionally you can install some base applications
4.) Sysprep the virtual machine. You can use the following command:
%windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown  
5.) Now the virtual machine is sysprepped and power off
6.) Create a new virtual machine (or multiple)
7.) Create a new VHDX file using differencing disk
8.) Navigate to the base VHDX file you’ve just created (the sysprepped virtual machine)
9.) Edit some other settings within the virtual machine (cores, memory, NIC, etc.)
10.) Boot the new virtual machine
11.) Walk through the “First Run” steps of the Operating System
12.) The new virtual machine is now ready to use
13.) Navigate to the differencing disk (VHDX) and see how big it is…right it’s really small!

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Z-Hire Active Directory, Exchange, Lync User Creation Tool

Z-Hire automates the IT account creation process for Exchange mailbox, Active Directory, Lync accounts, Office 365 cloud and SalesForce cloud deployments. With just a click of the button, your Exchange mailbox, and Active directory user and Lync accounts will be created simultaneousy. This tool can also create and set custom settings for Office 365 accounts using templates. Z-Hire serves as the platform for new hire accounts by allowing auto-creation of major IT user accounts with the option for custom scripts. Z-hire will increase your new hire user account deployment time by 600%, without the need for complicated and expensive identity management solutions. This tool makes creating Active Directory users a breeze. Some of the features include:

- Environment Auto detection (AD/Exchange/Lync/Office 365/SalesForce)
- Copy existing Active Directory User to Z-Hire Template (new in version 4.8.1)
- Support for Active Directory user, Exchange Mailbox, Lync 2010, Office 365 user and SalesForce user accounts
- Template based deployment (allows consistency for all user accounts)
- Office 365 account creation with major attributes
- Active Directory user account creation with major attributes
- Active Directory group selection
- Active Directory user duplicate SamAccountName verification
- Lync 2010 account creation supporting all policies
- SalesForce user creation support all major attributes
- Faster performance (compared to previous version)
- Best of all, this AD User Creation Tool is free!

System Requirements
- Windows 7 X64 w/ .NET 3.5 (Domain Joined)
- Windows Server 2008 X64  w/ .NET 3.5 (Domain Joined)
- Windows Server 2008 R2 X64  w/ .NET 3.5 (Domain Joined)

Permission Requirements
- Ability to create Active Directory user
- Ability to create Exchange Mailbox
- Ability to create / enable Lync user

Supported Environments
- Active Directory (all versions)
- Exchange 2007 (all versions)
- Exchange 2010 (all versions)
- Lync 2010 (both Standard and Enterprise versions)
- Office 365 Cloud
- SalesForce CRM Cloud

Download Z-Hire tool on Microsoft Gallery

How to: Lock desktop icon using RES Workspace Manager 2012

When you’re using a Server Based Computing environment managed with RES Workspace Manager 2012, the users have the abbility to lock their desktop. Normally, the users using the tray icon to lock the desktop. One of the disadvantages using the tray icon, is the 5 seconds wait time before the desktop is actually locked. After a black screen for 5 seconds, the desktop is locked.

It is also possible to create a application for the users to lock their desktop. A great thing about this is that the user don’t have to wait 5 seconds before the desktop will be locked.

1.) Create a new application
2.) Use the following configuration
Command:%systemroot%\system32\rundll32.exe
Working directory:%systemroot%\system32
Parameters: user32.dll,LockWorkStation
3.) Select the user of users that are going to use this application
4.) Select the right Workspace Container, for example Windows XP, Windows 7 or Citrix Xenapp environment

Now the users have a new application available in the start menu. You  can force a mandatory desktop icon. All you need to do is double click the new application and your desktop is locked now!

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How to: Remove public Libraries in Windows Server 2008 R2 using RES Workspace Manager 2012

Default in Windows Server 2008 R2, there’re libraries available for each user. This Libraries are located in the left bar in the Windows Explorer. When you’re using a Server Based Computing environment, for example Remote Desktop Services or Citrix Xenapp, you want to edit this libraries. Default, the users have own libraries, but also an public library. The public libraries are located to C:\Users\Public. In an Server Based Computing environment, the users haven’t access to that location. Let’s have a look on have to delete this public libraries.

In this environment I’m using Windwos Server 2008 R2 with the Remote Desktop Services role enabled. The workspace is managed with RES Workspace Manager 2012. The users are using mandatory profiles, published as a custom resources with RES Workspace Manager.

1.) First of all, let’s have a look in the Windows Explorer. In the left bar there’re the libraries.
2.) The library folders are located in the directory
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries
Documents.library-ms
Music.library-ms
Pictures.library-ms
Videos.library-ms

3.) Let’s open these files in notepad (or another texteditor)
4.) There’re two sections. One for the library and one for the public library.
5.) Right-click on each public library and choose Remove Location from library
6.) The public libraries are located to C:\Users\Public. In an Server Based Computing environment, the users haven’t access to that location.
7.) After deleting the public libraries, navigate back to the library directory in your profile
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries
Documents.library-ms
Music.library-ms
Pictures.library-ms
Videos.library-ms
8.) Open each file within notepad and delete the rows
<ownerSID>….</ownerSID>
<serialized>….</serialized>
This will make the files generic for using as a baseline for all the users.
9.) Open your RES Workspace Manager Console and navigate to Administration, Custom Resources
10.) Open your mandatory profile and navigate to
Mandatory Profile\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries
11.) Delete the orrigional files and add the four customized files into this folder
12.) Update the cache of your RES Workspace Manager Agents and login with a user
13.) The public libraries are gone now and users didn’t receive error messages anymore :)

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Hopefully this blogpost is usefull for your own production envirenment!

Windows Management Framework 3.0 Compatibility Update

Windows Management Framework (WMF) 3.0, (currently distributed as KB2506146 for Windows Server 2008 SP2 and KB2506143, for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1) has been temporarily removed from Windows Update to protect from accidental installations on unsupported systems. Those who want to install WMF 3.0 to take advantage of all the great features this update provides can do so by installing the update from the Microsoft Download Center, after reading the known compatibility issues detailed below.

Background:

Windows Management Framework (WMF 3.0) was released to the Download Center on September 17, 2012. On December 11, 2012,this package was released through Windows Update. Although it was released as an optional update, many customers chose to deploy the package automatically.  Because there are compatibility issues between some released server applications and WMF 3.0, we have temporarily removed WMF 3.0 from Windows Update. This should prevent customers from inadvertently installing the package on unsupported systems.

Known Compatibility Issues:

Windows Management Framework 3.0 (WMF 3.0) is not currently compatible with the following applications.

-         System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2796086  (Configuration Manager Management Points collocated with clients fail after installing Windows Management Framework 3.0 and running Client Health Evaluation)

-         System Center Virtual Machine Manager

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2795043 (Managing Hyper-V hosts using Virtual Machine Manager fails with Error: 0x8033803b after installing WMF 3.0)

-         Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/12/14/windows-management-framework-3-0-on-exchange-2007-and-exchange-2010.aspx (Windows Management Framework 3.0 on Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010)

-         Microsoft SharePoint 2010

http://connect.microsoft.com/PowerShell/feedback/details/746908/powershell-3-0-and-sharepoint-2010  (Windows PowerShell 3.0 and SharePoint 2010)

-         Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Small Business Server 2011

http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/12/15/windows-management-framework-3-0-applicability-on-windows-small-business-server-2008-2011-standard.aspx  (Windows Management Framework 3.0 applicability on Windows Small Business Server 2008/2011 Standard)

Systems that are running the above server applications should not run Windows Management Framework 3.0 at this time. WMF 3.0 is otherwise supported on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and Windows Server 2008 SP2.