Category Archives: Server 2008

Server Core Tools and Utilities

Being a public holiday today, I got my hands dirty with some Windows HyperV Server fiddling.
This blog post is just the beginning of some basic tools/commands/help information for managing and maintaining a Windows Server Core installation for those who are not used to command line work.
 
It is not meant to be the comprehensive list, nor is it limited to Microsoft information. As some of these tools are third party freeware, there are security concerns to consider when installing and using them.
 
USEFUL COMMAND LINE REFERENCE
SCONFIG – brings up the Server Configuration Menu, in case you closed it accidentally. Location: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\SCONFIG.CMD
HELP – Gives you a list of what you can do in the command prompt Wink
DISKPART – Disk Partition Properties, used in place of Disk Manager.
 
USEFUL THIRD PARTY UTILITIES
CORECONFIGURATOR – Graphical Interface providing quick GUI access to features. http://www.smart-x.com/?CategoryID=198&ArticleID=170&sng=1
HVREMOTE – HyperV Remote Management Configuration Utility. http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/HVRemote
DISK2VHD – Converts physical disks to VHDs. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx
VHDTOOL – This free tool helps create, extend, convert and repair VHDs. http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/vhdtool 
 

Auto Login to PC after restart

Sometimes, there are background processes and application that need the user to be logged on to the PC before they will run. On a domain PC, this is normally not possible. However, you can modify the registry to enable this. NOTE: the password will be clearly seen.
 
 
In regedit, navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
 
Add or modify the key, AutoAdminLogon (String) to 0
Enter in the user credentials in the three keys – DefaultDomainName, DefaultUserName, DefaultPassword.
 

Daylight Savings for Western Australia 2009

… is not happening.
 
Therefore, a hotfix has been released to deal with this issue. This is an out of band update, and should be applied to all systems used by WA users.
 
The Daylight Savings Planning Guide (September 2009) can be found here – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/bb821275.aspx
 
The hotfix (KB974176) can be obtained here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974176
 

SBS2008 Useful links

Here are a bunch of useful links to SBS2008 related resources that I have gleaned in the past month. (Thanks to Susan Bradley and the SBS Team!)
 
 
 

BITS, IAS, VSS and RRAS May Stop Responding on SBS 2008 With a Particular NIC Driver
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2009/05/18/bits-ias-vss-and-rras-may-stop-responding-on-sbs-2008-with-a-particular-nic-driver.aspx

SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 Migration to a Different Domain Name
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2009/05/01/sbs-2003-to-sbs-2008-migration-to-a-different-domain-name.aspx

You May Lose Network Connectivity on SBS 2008 When Using a Driver Which Utilizes TDI
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2009/02/12/you-may-lose-network-connectivity-on-sbs-2008-when-using-a-driver-which-utilizes-tdi.aspx

Catalog of Installation Error Messages in Windows SBS 2008
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2009/02/02/catalog-of-installation-error-messages-in-windows-sbs-2008.aspx

Problems accessing file shares on Windows Server 2008 64-bit running AntiVirus Programs
http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2009/05/20/okay-so-remind-me-again-what-antivirus-really-does-other-than.aspx

SBS Code plex – Custom XML code for alerts and resources
http://www.codeplex.com/sbs

Using Dual Monitors in Terminal Services with Remote Desktop

How to obtain dual monitor mode within Terminal Services when connecting with Remote Desktop.
 
The prerequisites are Remote Desktop Connection client version 6.0 or higher. Windows XP and 2003 users can obtain the client here – http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6E1EC93D-BDBD-4983-92F7-479E088570AD&displaylang=en
Windows Vista and 2008 user already have this version.
 
Obviously, you would already have two or more monitors. Some rules are:
  • The monitors must be the same resolution
  • The total resolution must not exceed 4096 x 2048
  • The top left monitor must be primary
  • The monitors must be horizontally oriented

From the start menu, open a Run dialog. Type in mstsc /span /v:servername

Optionally, you can also use the /w:HorizontalResInPixels /h:VerticalResInPixels switches.

 

Ntbackup Restore for Windows Server 2008 and Vista

For those who are missing “good old ntbackup”, there is a version for use with Windows 2008 and Vista that will allow restores from backups made using ntbackup in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
 
The utility requires that the Removable Storage Management Feature is enabled and can be downloaded here – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7da725e2-8b69-4c65-afa3-2a53107d54a7&DisplayLang=en

Windows 2008 Easy Print

Turns out that Windows 2008 Terminal Server Easy Print technology is not as easy after all. It is a great technology, but there are some things to watch out for.

Pre-requisites.
Requires Windows 2008 with TS Role (Duh!)
Also requires RDP v6.1 (which comes with Vista and XP Service Pack 3).
Also Requires .NET Framework v3.0 SP1 or later.

The technology states that it will automatically redirect print jobs via RDP to the local printers. Most of the time, it works great. However, I found out that it definitely does not work across Remote Web Workplace on SBS2003. It requires a direct connection via RDP. Normally, this is done through port 3389.

For more information – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753853.aspx

*** UPDATE ***
Just found out that RDC v6.1 is available for Windows XP SP2.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6E1EC93D-BDBD-4983-92F7-479E088570AD&displaylang=en

How to change Terminal Server’s listening port

An oldie but goodie. I use this often – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/187623

Regedit.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp

Change the port number from Decimal 3389 to something else.

You will have to restart the server after this.

PS. To access Remote Desktop quickly, type mstsc -v:[server, IP, or net address] from a command prompt.