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Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) released for Windows 7

Well, with the Windows 7 Beta 1 released to the public recently, you now have one less excuse to try on Windows 7. You can now completely have full management of your servers using Remote Server Administration Tools. The RSAT suite is now available for Windows 7 and you can download it from here. Remember to install and start using these tools, you must use the same procedure as in Windows Vista: Install the downloaded package. Access “Turn Windows Features on or off “.  Scroll down Remote Server Administration Tools.  Select the tools you would like to add Windows 7 and click OK. RSAT installed on Windows 7 Enjoy! Cheers

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Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Beta Available for Download!

Did you get the chance to try on the free Hyper-Visor released by Microsoft a few months ago, Hyper-V Server 2008?. Don’t get confused, this is not a version of Windows Server 2008, it’s just the hyper-visor released as a "bare-metal" operating system, based significantly on remote administration (nothing much to do locally), but the great feature is that is completely free. Now they’ve also released the R2 version of this operating system, and you can download it from here (~1.2gb). The main improvements from the previous versions: Hyper-V clustering supported! Live Migration. Processor and memory upgrades (up to 32 cores and 1TB of RAM). Includes an Hyper-V configuration utility. I had the chance to work with the first version and it’s been a great experience. Since it’s just an hyper-visor with a really small footprint, has an awesome performance on their virtual machines, including a small attack surface design. One of the significant drawbacks that I found on the first version is that Hyper-V clustering/failover was not supported, but this new release sounded like a great news when I saw that is going to support this feature. Making this free operating system with a great performance, high-available and scalable design. Give this one a chance to test it, you won’t regret it. Check a previous guide I’ve made regarding Hyper-V Server 2008 (applies as well for the R2 version): “Hyper-V Server: Installing, Configuring and Troubleshooting” Cheers!

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Free eBooks: "Understanding IPv6" and "Writing Secure Code for Windows Vista"

THESE BOOKS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD. You can still access the “Virtualization Solutions” free eBook from MS Press on this link. I’ll keep you updated whenever this offers appears!   More very interesting reading MS Press books available for free. On the IT side, you can find "Understanding IPv6". Great book to get to know this (still not commonly used) networking and security protocol. IPv6 Protocol for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 IPv6 addressing and headers Neighbor Discovery Address Autoconfiguration IPv6 name resolution ISATAP Teredo Deploying IPv6 Setting up a lab with IPv6 On the devs side, "Best Practices Writing Secure Code for Windows Vista". Enjoy. Cheers!

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Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Unattended Installation Files Examples

After completing three posts about unattended deployment of full operating systems with WDS (Part I, Part II and Part III), I had pending this post about the examples of the unattended files. So here they are. Note: All of the data about the components and values used on these two XML files, are explained on Part III about WDS Deployment. WDSClientUnattend Download example here. (Change file extension from .doc to .xml to start using it or you can still open it as a Word file). Part of WDSClientUnattend.xml AutoAttend Download example here. (Change file extension from .doc to .xml to start using it or you can still open it as a Word file). Part of AutoAttend.xml Hope that you find it useful! Cheers! Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part I) Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part II) Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part III)

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Preparing and Installing Windows XP Embedded Images – Part III: Using Remote Boot

After what we’ve seen on the previous posts: Setting up the environment (Part I) and building an Windows XP Embedded Image (Part II) we can complete the remote boot process with diskless devices with this last part. There are special hardware requirements for this procedure and could get a little tricky. In the computer you are using to prepare the image (the server), you need an additional hard disk (or virtual disk) which you will use to boot the image from. To prepare the image for remote booting: 1. Add a second drive to the machine that act as server. Format the volume and set it like an “Active” partition. 2. Copy all of the files that were created on the Windows Embedded Images subfolder you chose to a second disk (virtual disk if you are using virtual machines) Note: Since this disk will be used to boot an operating system image, remember that the partition within must be Active. Otherwise the operating system will not boot. 3. After copying all of the files to the second hard disk, move it to a client machine and boot that client using the disk. 4. After the image boots, you’ll see that several components are configured in the image, by a process named First Boot Agent. This process takes a few minutes to complete. If you are using the System Cloning Tool, then fbreseal is run in the first boot, as the […]

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Preparing and Installing Windows XP Embedded Images – Part II: Building Images

Now that the environment is ready as we’ve seen on the first part of these posts, let’s start on creating our own Windows XP Embedded image. There are involved different kinds of tools to accomplish this, but you will see that is a simple process at the end of it. The big picture of this process is that the images are built on the server; using the hardware data from the clients. Target Analyzer This is the tool that you will use to get the hardware data from the clients. The data represents all the drivers that the Windows XP Embedded image will include to support the hardware on the clients. When Windows XP arrived you probably noticed that a huge difference appears on the hardware detection of the operating system; it’s mainly because the XP included almost every device driver that was available on the market. With Windows XP Embedded the same thing happens, but since you are customizing images for particular clients you must first find out the hardware that it’s available on them. Using Target Analyzer it’s very simple: 1. First of all you’ll need access to the client’s machine to run this tool.  If it’s a virtualized environment where the server and clients will be using same type of host (physical machine) then there’s no need to access to a “client machine” because the hardware will be the same as in the server. If that’s the […]

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Preparing and Installing Windows XP Embedded Images – Part I: Setting up the Environment

Embedded operating systems have been present among us since a long time ago. Windows XP Embedded and several others have been a part of tons of devices for various reasons: – Componentized version of the bigger operating system, with only the components that the user requires. – Small footprint: Around 40mb at minimum for Windows. – Secure operating systems; with selected features installed we can reduce at minimum the attack surface. Payphone working with Xp Embedded. Microsoft recently released Windows Embedded Standard 2009 that will succeed Windows XP Embedded. This version it’s not actually the embedded version of Windows Vista. That embedded operating system is still in progress (expected for 2010) with the codename “Quebec” that will contain most of the Vista features, like Aero, Bit locker encryption, Windows Defender, etc. Windows Embedded Standard contains basically the same kernel than XP Embedded with a few improvements: Silverlight, .Net Framework 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, NAP, among other features. Diskless Operating System These types of operating system have been designed for special cases and special type of devices (like the one shown on that payphone), most of them that need a “locked-down” operating system, the smaller and secure as possible. That’s why the design it’s prepared to use this operating system on diskless devices, having a Remote Boot Manager server that contains the client operating system image and the device requires the image from that server and boots it directly from RAM […]

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