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28
Jul

PowerShell WinForm ToolStrip Bug Workaround

There is a known bug with the Tool Strips in Windows Forms. The issue is that when using the renderer, you will see a white border around your ToolStrip. Microsoft has stated that they will not be fixing the bug, however there is a C# workaround by overloading the method. Read moreRead more

17
Feb

Azure RMS Connector Installation Issue

When trying to set up the Azure Active Directory Rights Management Server Connector, I ran into some problems when trying to install the Connector in relation to the credentials to connect to Azure RMS. Read moreRead more

12
Feb

Endpoint Protection February 2015 Update Problem (4.7.205)

Update 3/2: Today Microsoft has released an update to resolve this problem (KB3041687).  The update brings the client version to 4.7.209.  You can find more about the update here: http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/3041687

This last Tuesday (February 12, 2015) Microsoft released a platform update to Endpoint Protection (4.7.205).  This update appears to have a major issue with Windows 8.1/Windows Server 2012 R2.  I have not seen these issues in Windows 7.  In my environment, I saw two problems with the update. Read moreRead more

10
Feb

SCCM 2012 R2 CU4 Client Upgrade Issue

I recently upgraded our System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 environment to CU4.  The upgrade of all the site systems went very smoothly.  However, when upgrading all our clients I did run into some problems. Read moreRead more

10
Dec

Alert Widget Static Column Width

Update 2/10: This issue appears to be fixed in 2012 R2 UR5.

A while back I ran into an issue with creating some dashboards for SCOM.  Specifically, the issue came along when working with the Alert Widget.  I ran into the issue where columns in the Alert Widget would get very wide and one column could fill up an entire screen, rending the rest of the view essentially useless.  This is due to the “Auto” width feature in the widget.  While it is great to have Auto as an option, it isn’t always appropriate for all columns. Read moreRead more

17
Oct

VMware PXE Limitations

Update 12/12/2014: While the information below is valid that VMware does not appear to support RamDiskTFTPBlockSize above 1432 due to no support to deal with IP Fragmentation.  However, it has been found that it is much better to adjust RamDiskTFTPWindowSize instead of RamDiskTFTPBlockSize to speed up TFTP (reduces amount of ACKs required and does not cause IP Fragmentation).  VMware and other vendors all appear to handle this scenario perfectly. Modifying the WindowSize is easy to do from most PXE providers, including WDS (modify BCD).  There is an issue changing this setting in Configuration Manager due to dynamic BCD that ConfigMgr manages itself with no native way to modify the setting  (see the comments section for how to workaround this issue – thanks Patrick!).  More info throughout the comments section.

Update 3/18/2016: Microsoft has released an update (currently in preview) that will now allow modifying both the WindowSize and the BlockSize without a hacked DLL. Info here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt595861.aspx#BKMK_RC1603. This update is in 1603 Technical Preview and should also be apart of the next Current Branch release of Configuration Manager.

Update 7/22/2016: Microsoft has released a new Current Branch of SCCM, version 1606. I have confirmed that Current Branch version 1606 contains these modifications that were in version 1603 Preview. I have also tested the WindowSize/BlockSize registry keys and they are working great.
Example:
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\DP
Type: DWORD
Name: RamDiskTFTPWindowSize
Value: 6
Note: After making changes, make sure to restart the Windows Deployment Service.
Read moreRead more

9
Oct

Install Application Step fails in Task Sequence

We recently ran into a problem where we were getting failures in our OSD Task Sequences trying to use the Install Applications step using System Center Configuration manager 2012 R2.  When the Task Sequence hits the Install Application step it would fail with the error 0x80004005.  After some troubleshooting were able to isolate the cause of the problem and find a workaround. Read moreRead more

7
Oct

Improving RemoteFX Performance

When deploying RemoteFX, we found several settings that had to be tweaked in order to achieve usable performance.  I have found some of this information is not really talked about in the documentation.

First, it is important to set Power settings both in BIOS of the Hyper-V host, to Max Performance.  It is also a good idea, to set the Power Settings in Windows to Performance as well.  (Windows can control some BIOS power settings depending on how to BIOS is configured, but I still find it is better to simple set both to Max Performance in RemoteFX systems).

Secondly, do not use the Legacy NIC with the RemoteFX adapter.  We found huge amounts of lag when using RemoteFX and the Legacy NIC.  If you need legacy NIC for PXE, it is recommended to switch to the standard NIC once the machine is ready for production.

Hopefully these two things will help you see performance improvements in your RemoteFX VDI environments.  In our case, performance was about 10x better according to graphical benchmark tests.

21
Aug

Lync 2013 VDI Plugin on Windows Embedded 8.1

When trying to setup some new thin clients using Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise, we ran into a problem where the Lync 2013 VDI Plugin would not work.  The Lync 2013 VDI plug-in would successfully pair with the Lync 2013 Client (green check box in the lower right hand corner of the client) but the Lync client would error saying that there was no Audio Devices available. Read moreRead more

5
Jun

SQL max worker threads Problem When Using VSS To Backup Numerous Databases

In our ongoing (sort-of pilot) migration from VMware vSphere 5.5 to Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2, we encountered a very concerning and puzzling issue with backups. The transition had been smooth for the most part and we used the project to bring aging Windows/SQL 2008 servers up to 2012 R2 and 2014, respectively. Two of our SQL environments had moved over just fine and were being backed up successfully with Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 for the time being (other products are being considered, including Veeam). The third of such SQL environments ran into a host of VSS errors once its data was populated and a backup attempted.

sqlvss_dpmfailed

DPM 2012 R2 – Job Failed

Background (before/after):

  • Hypervisor: vSphere 5.5 to Hyper-V 2012 R2
  • Guest OS: Windows Server 2008 to 2014
  • Backup product: EMC Avamar 7.0.1 to MS DPM 2012 R2
  • Backup method: Crash-consistent image to VSS-quiesced image

 

We had seen an occasional VSS-related backup failure from time to time in DPM, but most were tied to available disk space for the protection group (DPM doesn’t do so well with deduplication of images, so growing has been near-continual). Retrying didn’t make a difference this time, though. We restarted VSS writers and even took downtime to restart the VM. Still the same failure. Read moreRead more