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WIM2VHD: Converting WIM files to VHD files

MSDN Code Gallery just released a first version for a very promising tool: WIM2VHD. With this you can take a raw WIM file (like the ones included inside any Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2) or a custom WIM (like a captured and customized image) and converted directly to a VHD that you can boot directly using Virtual PC, Virtual Server or Hyper-V. Take a look at this link: Windows(R) Image to Virtual Hard Disk (WIM2VHD) Converter Introduction The Windows(R) Image to Virtual Hard Disk (WIM2VHD) command-line tool allows you to create sysprepped VHD images from any Windows 7 installation source. VHDs created by WIM2VHD will boot directly to the Out Of Box Experience, ready for your first-use customizations. You can also automate the OOBE by supplying your own unattend.xml file, making the possibilities limitless. Fresh squeezed, organically grown, free-range VHDs – just like Mom used to make – that work with Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Windows 7’s new Native VHD-Boot functionality! Requirements A computer running one of the following Windows operating systems: – Windows 7 – Windows Server 2008 R2 – Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V RTM enabled (x64 only) The Windows 7 Beta Automated Installation Kit (AIK) or Windows OEM Pre-Installation Kit (OPK) installed. A Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installation source, or another Windows image captured to a .WIM file. How to Use It Create a Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Standard […]

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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part III

IMPORTANT: Updated versions from this series using Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 in automated deployment with MDT 2010 can be found here: Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III   This is going to be the last part (at least for now) for this step-by-step guide for customizing and deploying Windows 7 images with MDT 2010. On the previous posts we’ve learned how to run the firsts configurations on MDT, adding operating system files and creating a task sequence for the reference image (Part I); and also adding Office 2007 to the reference image and making it a silent installation (Part II). The third post it’s going to be just to deploy the reference and customized image, and then capture it into a .wim file, that we can later deploy using MDT or add it to Windows Deployment Services (WDS). Deploying Reference Image Since we already have our boot environments, ISO and WIM files; and that we have the Windows Deployment Services role installed, I’ll start using it: I’m going to add the LTI boot image to WDS that will let me create and capture the reference image. Note: You can also use the ISO file too boot from a CD […]

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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part II

IMPORTANT: Updated versions from this series using Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 in automated deployment with MDT 2010 can be found here: Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III On the first post of this series, we’ve managed to install MDT 2010 and its requirements, prepare distribution share and task sequence, add Windows 7 image to use it as reference and create the deployment point. We are now going to add Office 2007 as an application to be deployed included in the OS image and complete the environment to generate the reference image. The process of adding an application like Office 2007 it is quite simple, the only trick is to get the application to install silently (or unattended) without requiring for user intervention , we’ll see how that works. Adding Applications to MDT 2010: Office 2007 We’ll add the application using also a simple wizard, but the interesting part comes when you get the chance to modify default settings on the Office 2007 package: 1. “Deployment Workbench” > “Distribution Share” > “Applications” > “New”. 2. Select “Application with source files”. 3. Complete the data about the application. 4. Select the “Source Directory”. Since I have it on the hard drive, […]

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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part I

IMPORTANT: Updated versions from this series using Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 in automated deployment with MDT 2010 can be found here: Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III Microsoft Deployment Toolkit team released the first beta of their next version: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1 (you can access to the Beta program from Microsoft Connect and download the build). This new version includes several improvements, but perhaps the most important ones are related to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 compatibility. Some of the New Features Support for deploying: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hard Link Migrations using USMT 4 (User Migration Toolkit). Integration with new Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) 2.0 toolset such as BCDBOOT and Windows PE 3.0. DISM tool (Dism.exe) included with WAIK 2.0 replace three other tools on previous version: Pkgmgr.exe (Package Manager), Intlcfg.exe (Internal Settings Configuration Tool) and PEimg.exe (WindowsPE Command Line tool ). If you are planning to implement Windows 7 on your environment (check this link about the review I made about Windows 7 functionality) or you want to start to get to know Microsoft Deployment Toolkit in this new version; I’ve prepared this step-by-step guides that will cover […]

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Windows Server 2008 R2 Live Migration: “Overview & Architecture” and “Step-by-Step Guide” Documents Released

Microsoft released in the last days two new more documents about one of the most expected technologies on Windows Server 2008 R2: Live Migration. This new technology will allow you to move any running virtual machine using Hyper-V from Windows Server 2008 R2 or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (the free hypervisor offered by Microsoft) to another machine with any of those operating systems, without any downtime or disruption of the service. Here are the two links for the new articles: Windows Server 2008 R2 & Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 – Hyper-V Live Migration Overview & Architecture Step-by-Step Guide to Using Live Migration in Windows Server 2008 R2 Here’s an example graphic of how Live Migration setup handles Configuration Files of the virtual machines: It is important for you to notice that Live Migration requires Failover Clustering to be configured on all hosts, access to a shared storage (like in NAS or SAN environments) and a special network configured between them to be used only for Live Migration feature. For more information about Hyper-V Failover Clustering check this guide:Hyper-V Step-by-Step Guide: Hyper-V and Failover Clustering Complete list of requirements for Live Migration: Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Enterprise Edition Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Datacenter Edition Live migration is also supported on Microsoft® Hyper-V™ Server 2008 R2. Microsoft Failover Clustering must be configured on all physical hosts that will use live migration Failover Clustering supports up to 16 nodes per […]

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WSUS 3.0 SP2 Beta Available for Download

WSUS 3.0 SP2 Beta has been released to the public today, January 26. You can download it from Microsoft Connect at this link (remember to login with a Passport account): Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Beta. You will find all of these resources to download: WSUS 3 SP2 Beta x86 and x64 compilations Beta Scenario Instructions WSUS 3 SP2 Beta Deployment and Operations Guide. WSUS 3 SP2 Beta Step-by-Step Guide WSUS 3.0 SP2 Beta Overview New Windows Server and Client Version Support Integration with Windows Server® 2008 R2 Support for Windows 7® client Support for the BranchCache feature on Windows Server® 2008 R2 BranchCache is a new feature in the R2 version improves significantly end user experience at branch locations, by locally caching frequently used content on the branch office network. More info here on this document. Auto-Approval Rules New functionality lets you specify the approval deadline date and time. You can now apply a rule to all computers or to specific computer groups. Update Files and Languages This release provides improved handling of language selection on downstream servers.  Cross-Version Compatibility The user interface is compatible between Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 for WSUS 3.0 on both the client and the server. Software Updates Stability and reliability fixes for the WSUS server, such as support for IPV6 addresses greater than 40 characters. The approval dialog now sorts computer groups alphabetically by group name. Computer status report sorting […]

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WSUS 3.0 : Connecting, Managing and Moving SUSDB as Internal Database

Like you should know, WSUS gives you the choice, at the moment of installation, to choose a database instance where you would like to keep the WSUS database (SUSDB): Internal database (formerly known as SQL Server embedded), an existing database or an existing database on a remote computer. Sometimes, for example if you are just spiking about WSUS and you don’t want to install any version of SQL Server, you best choice would be the Internal Database option. But what happens if you change your mind later and you want to change the location of that internal database to a different drive? Or simply executing other tasks on the database, like generating a backup or shrinking? Fortunately there’s a way to connect to that DB without having to re install WSUS: Using SQL Server Management Studio Note: If you don’t have it, you can download the stand alone tool for SQL 2005 version: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express; or you can download SQL Server 2008 Express Edition (the latest of the free SQL Server versions, includes among the tools the SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express). 1. Open SQL Server Management Studio. In my case, I’m using SQL Server 2008 Express Edition.   2. Using the connection window, connect to this instance: \\.\pipe\MSSQL$MICROSOFT##SSEE\sql\query   3. You should see now in Object Explorer the database instance connection. Right-click on SUSDB –> Tasks –> Detach   4. Check the options for […]

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More Free eBooks: Windows Server 2008 Server Core and SQL Server 2005 Integration Services

Two more new and completely free eBooks from MS Press are available for download: Windows Server 2008 Server Core Administrator’s Pocket Consultant On this book you’ll find: Introduction to Server Core Deploying Server Core Initial Configurations Installing Roles and Features Local and Remote Management Detailed description of all roles available: Active Directory and DNS Hyper-V DHCP File and Print Services Web Server Others Maintaining Server Core Did you give Windows Server Core a chance already? On the obvious security reasons that you can find to install it; you’ll see other benefits like having a small footprint operating system, licensing price, great performance to take advantage all the features on the mentioned roles, including Hyper-V clustering. You can start on this book to get a nice introduction and to know all the possibilities with Server Core. And again, on the devs side (but it is also quite useful for IT guys) you’ll find a SQL Server 2005 book: SQL Server 2005 Integration Services Step-by-Step For another free eBook (“Virtualization Solutions”) still available, click here. Enjoy! Cheers!

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Experiencing Lenovo W500 with Windows 7

  Also check the updated post using Windows 7 RC: Experiencing Lenovo W500 with Windows 7 (RC) – Part II   Well finally my wait was over on the last week, I could finally get my self a fresh new laptop with all the horse power that I was wanting for :) This new toy of mine is the Lenovo ThinkPad W500. This fine solid piece of machine it’s not actually a brand new model (around 6 moths older now on their firsts models). My own model (4063-33Y) fits perfectly on most of power users looking for a nice laptop with a better performance. A few highlights of this notebook (full hardware review at this CNET link): Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53 GHz) VPro Technology 4GB RAM DDR3 160GB 7200rpm HD 15.4in 1680×1050 LCD ATI™ Mobility FireGL™ V5700 512MB Before I even received this notebook I knew that Windows 7 was going to be the first operating system to be installed. So, I want to tell you about my experience so far working with Windows 7 inside this laptop. Installation No problems here, the installation process executed without any problem. The version selected was the 64 bits. Note: This is a cool link about why to use Windows 7 with a 64bits architecture. Drivers After the Windows 7 installation, almost every “important” device was automatically configured: Video, wireless, Ethernet card and audio. But if you check the Device Manager, you’ll […]

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Infrastructure Planning and Design: Complete Package

This is, no doubt, one great link to share with the community. Whenever you are planning to implement any kind of technology or solution on your company regarding to Windows Server, you’ll need to take a look at these documents. Infrastructure Planning and Design The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides will help and guide you among the design process giving you all the tools and scenarios needed for a correct design. The new document available is the complete planning and design for System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1. Another interesting thing about it, is that the download also includes for each technology not only the document of IPD but also a great PowerPoint that can help you around with maybe a small presentation for your team or management in your company.   Overview Infrastructure Planning and Design guides share a common structure, including: Definition of the technical decision flow through the planning process. Listing of decisions to be made and the commonly available options and considerations. Relating the decisions and options to the business in terms of cost, complexity, and other characteristics. Framing decisions in terms of additional questions to the business to ensure a comprehensive alignment with the appropriate business landscape. These guides complement product documentation by focusing on infrastructure design options. Each guide leads the reader through critical infrastructure design decisions, in the appropriate order, evaluating the available options for each decision against its impact on […]

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