Explored: 7 Key Areas of Hyper-V – FREE eBook from Altaro

Altaro, developers of Altaro Hyper-V Backup, have put out a really good eBook detailing how you can improve the core areas of your Hyper-V environment.


From the website, the eBook will help you master Hyper-V:

  • How to secure your Hyper-V deployment beyond the basics, managing access to Virtual Machine functions, applying Group Policy, best practices on antimalware, and more
  • How to get the most out of Hyper-V Manager, setting up Native Network Teams and how Hyper-V’s Virtual Switches work
  • Understanding the concept of vCPUs and how to undertake capacity planning for Hyper-V
  • Learn the proper use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks, how they operate and common myths surrounding the topic
  • How to connect storage to Hyper-V, including a variety of options as well as best practices.

Here is a list of the chapters.

  • Chapter 1: Seven Keys to Hyper-V Security
  • Chapter 2: Hyper-V Manager – An Introduction
  • Chapter 3: Set Up Native Network Teams for Hyper-V
  • Chapter 4: A Quick Guide to Hyper-V’s Virtual Switch
  • Chapter 5: Hyper-V Virtual CPUs
  • Chapter 6: Proper Use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks
  • Chapter 7: Connecting Hyper-V to Storage

You can download the eBook here - http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/lp/ebook/7-key-areas-improving-hyper-v-guide-ebook.php.

*Thanks to Dr Tom Schinder for the link!

More email Phishing and Malware – Take the Phishing Quiz

Here is an example of an email phishing attack. If you are using outlook, you can hover the mouse pointer over the link “click here”. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Just move the mouse over it. You will see the highlighted link, which has nothing to do with ebay or paypal. Always look for the part between “http://” and the next “/”. If that does not sat ebay.com or paypal.com or something that you are expecting, then it is a phishing/malware attack.


If you would like more practice, go to this link to take the Phishing Quiz - http://www.opendns.com/phishing-quiz/. How well did you do?

For more information on detecting email malware and phishing attacks, review my earlier blog - http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/security/how-to-detect-and-deal-with-malicious-email-viruses/

Apple IOS8 – Be alert and backup BEFORE upgrading

Apple has announced the availablility of IOS8 for the iPhone and iPad. As with all updates, this is a reminder for those rushing to get the latest and greatest software.


  1. If you get an email linking you to the update, DELETE the email. DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS. Apple will send the update notification via the Software Update section in Settings. Review this post for more information on dealing with suspicious emails - http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/security/how-to-detect-and-deal-with-malicious-email-viruses/
  2. Perform a backup of your iPhone or iPad. You can run this via the free iCloud account that you should have when your device was first set up. Or, install itunes (www.itunes.com), and perform a manual backup to your PC.
  3. Clear out as much space as you can (this update requires 5.8GB). This will enable the device to perform the upgrade properly. If you do not have enough space, remove your music, videos and photos (after backing them up). You can re-sync them again after the update. Also check Settings, General, Usage, Storage to see where all the storage space is being used.
  4. Restart your device. Press and hold the power button, then swipe to turn off. Wait until it is turned off completely, then turn it back on.
  5. Plug it into the power charger. There is nothing more catastrophic than having your device run out of power just as it begins to flash the update into the memory. See the next point.
  6. Be patient. The download is over 1GB in size, so it will take a while to download, unpack, and install. I have seen an update take over 2 hours to install.


Windows Storage Server Essentials is still with us

Here is a bit of news from Thecus, a NAS device vendor - http://www.thecus.com/media_news_page.php?NEWS_ID=15373

09/10/2014- Thecus Technology Corp. today announces another world first: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is now available for NAS users. Available this October, the 2-bay W2000, 4-bay W4000, and the 5-bay W5000 offer a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services, and secure remote access.

“Thecus NAS provide users with a complete solution to their storage needs. With the additions to the W Series, Thecus is able to offer a more diversified product to its customers. Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is an ideal pairing with Thecus NAS and will equip small businesses with a powerful and trusted storage solution.” – Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology Corp.

By running Windows Server software on a Thecus NAS, users will be able to simplify the integration of Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. These new NAS offerings provide users with an affordable, flexible solution that minimizes resources spent on business operations while still optimizing productivity.

“The Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials software allows small businesses to protect, centralize, organize, and access their data anywhere by using almost any device,” said Peter Han, Vice President of Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft. “We believe offering our software on Thecus NAS devices will provide an excellent solution for those small businesses looking to protect their data while optimizing their resources with a hybrid, on premise, and cloud-connected offering.”

Thanks to proven Thecus hardware based on the Intel Atom platform, serviced by dual LAN ports and no less than 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and all featuring media connectivity (HDMI and VGA), the new line of world-first Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials NAS are user-friendly yet robust answers to the data needs of every forward-thinking small to medium-sized business.

 *Thanks Susan Bradley, for the link

5 million Gmail account passwords leaked

A number of major news sites have reported today that a list of 5 million Gmail addresses and passwords were leaked to a Russion hacker site on Wednesday.

What can you do about this?

  1. Check if your account password was leaked - https://isleaked.com/en
  2. Change your Gmail password. Use a strong password - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-vista/tips-for-creating-a-strong-password
  3. Take this as a reminder to run a manual virus and malware check - http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/useful-links/free-security-products/



Installing Office365 ProPlus on a RDS Server (Terminal Server) using Shared Computer Activation

Microsoft have announced the ability to run Office 365 ProPlus on a RDS Server using a new feature called Shared Computer Activation. For more details of this feature, read the blog here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2014/09/03/office-365-shared-computer-activation.aspx

Here is a walkthrough on how to implement this.

  1. Download the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36778


  2. Run and extract the tool to a folder on your RDS.


  1. Edit and configure the configuration XML file as follows:


    <Add SourcePath=”\\SERVER\SHARE\” OfficeClientEdition=”32″ >

    <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>

    <Language ID=”en-us” />



    <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”True” />

    <Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”1″ />


    **NOTE: Edit and configure the \\SERVER\SHARE path


  2. From an elevated Command Prompt, run Setup to download the installation files.

    Setup.exe /download configuration.xml

    ***NOTE: Add location paths as needed

    The Office365 ProPlus installation files will be downloaded to the specified share with the following structure.


  3. From an elevated Command Prompt, run Setup to install Office Click-to-Run.

    Setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

    When the installation is complete, the Office 2013 suite will be available for use.


  4. On starting the application, you will be prompted to Activate Office. Click Next and Sign in.


  5. Once signed in, you are ready to go. Office will automatically activate and configure the applications.


For more information, head on to the following 2 MS Technet articles.



You can now install Office 365 on Remote Desktop Services Servers (Terminal Servers) using Shared Computer Activation

When attempting to run Office 2013 Professional Plus, installed from your Office 365 subscription (P2, M, E3+), the following error message occurs.

Finally, there is some good news! Microsoft have announced that as of 1 September 2014, all Office SKUs – Office ProPlus, Project Pro, Visio Pro, can now be used on a shared device or virtual machine. This enables users on Remote Desktop Computers – ie Terminal Servers, to run an activated copy of Office without the requirements of purchasing an additional Volume License or Open License.

Kudos to Microsoft for finally making this feature available! For more information on this feature, see the official Microsoft blog post here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2014/09/03/office-365-shared-computer-activation.aspx

I will post a blog shortly to run through the installation process with screenshots.

Cannot access the Mail control panel applet after Office 365 installation

When installing Office 365 Professional Plus on a PC, the wizard automatically connects the email accounts to Office 365 easily. However, if you want to add an additional Microsoft Exchange on-premises account, there may be an issue where the Mail applet in the control panel does not work.

This appears to be cause by incorrect registry settings. Uninstalling Office 2013 and Re installing it appears to solve the problem in most cases. Settings appear to be retained and do not need to be reconfigured.

Hotfix: Resolve Issues in mixed Windows Server 2003 and 2012R2 Domain Controller environments

The issues were documented here - http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2014/07/23/it-turns-out-that-weird-things-can-happen-when-you-mix-windows-server-2003-and-windows-server-2012-r2-domain-controllers.aspx

The main issue is that users could not log on to the domain and Kerberos errors (EventID 4) were logged. This could lead to issues, and frustration, especially in migration situations.

The hotfix can be obtained here - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2989971

Enabling Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials integration with Microsoft Online Services when there are multiple domain controllers

The latest August 2014 update rollup for Windows Server 2012 R2 has addressed this issue. The integration feature previous only worked when the Essentials server was the only domain controller in the domain, which led to some difficult workarounds in migration scenarios.

The rollup can be downloaded via Windows Update or directly here - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2975719.

You can read the Microsoft announcement here - http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/08/13/announcing-the-availability-of-enabling-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-integration-of-microsoft-online-services-in-environments-with-multiple-domain-controllers.aspx.

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