Friday, August 31, 2012

Windows 8 Introduction and Tips Series Annoucement

Starting the new road…

So I’ve finally had some time and installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my home machine.
And…well, although I’ve installed some very early version of this new Microsoft’s O.S. I never tried it on a really deep way.

So, after installing it (which is very simple by the way…) there are no major differences for a user when comparing the setup process with Windows 7, just if you get a little advanced or custom setup, you’ll get some more information to fill in.

I was interested in the the new login system (using a Windows Live account) and it’s really really nice to use it.
All your preferences are saved so you can login in another Windows 8 machine and all your experience can be the same including favorites, lock screen, background, etc.

After the first login…well…after the first login some “user interface” problems started.
Years and years of a Start Button can really mess your head in Windows 8.
The UI it’s completely different from what everyone it’s used about so you’ll need to get around the system a couple of hours to get used to it.
Just to give you an idea, I had to Google to know how to shutdown/restart the system!

I really don’t know if Microsoft shouldn’t think about to include a feature on the O.S. to allow the return of the Start Button…

Because I add some first issues I’ve decided to create a new Tips Series to help people like me that are starting to use this new O.S.

Hope to help someone to get working smooth and fast in Windows 8! Smile

Friday, August 24, 2012

Adobe Reader – Latest Versions (offline installers) Download

After yesterday’s post about how to download the latest versions of Adobe Flash Player so you can distribute them over your enterprise environment, here’s the way to download another piece of software that is installed at a very large scale worldwide, called Adobe Reader.

This time, to download the offline installers, we have a FTP address:

Enjoy it! Smile

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Adobe Flash Player – Latest Versions (offline installers) Download

If you work on a medium-large enterprise and your responsible for the users desktops, I believe that one of your main concerns its that your environment it’s controlled and the installed programs are as much as possible almost the same in all machines. You also want to have your core applications or utilities up-to-date.

Nowadays, and although HTML5 starts to get some terrain, Adobe Flash Player it’s one of the most installed applications/plugins in the world. Because you’ve a controlled environment you want to decide when to install the new version of the plugin and you’ll need to use a standalone/offline installer instead of the default way where you go to Adobe website and download a web installer.

To get the latest versions (in exe or msi format, or even SCCM format) go to the Adobe website below:
Adobe Flash Player Distribution

Friday, August 10, 2012

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit – Task Sequence Has Been Suspended Error

This one made me go crazy! Smile

So, today I went to my MDT because I needed to generate a new base image.
Power on machine; F12 to network boot; select Generate x86 image; Windows PE boot and…the error shown bellow:

After some search the root cause and solution where really easy.

Root Cause
I’ve previously generated another base image on this same machine, but…after the wim was saved to \\mdtserver\deploymentshare$\captures I didn’t click the Finish button. Instead, I just turned the machine off. Well…the root cause was exactly that! Smile

This one it’s really really easy!
When you get the error above, press F8 to get the command prompt.
Now at the command prompt, type the following commands:

.: Diskpart
.: select disk 0
.: clean
.: exit

Now, reboot the machine and you are able again to generate images! Smile


Hope this helps anyone with the same issues

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MDT Wizard Editor

Nice tool for those who need something more from the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit wizards

Have you ever been using the default MDT wizards and thought that: “It could be useful to have ‘this’ feature here!”.

Well, now you can let your imagination drive you through what you thought it was useful and take control of the MDT Wizard.

The MDT Wizard Editor makes it easy to edit the XML/HTML files you see during the WinPE phases.

To test it and, who knows, to give new ideas, visit the CodePlex website where the latest versions are available:
CodePlex - MDT Wizard Editor

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Windows 8 – Windows Store – Managing Client Access

One of the new big things on Microsoft Windows 8 it’s definitely the new Windows Store.
Although this isn’t a new concept, it’s a major step for all the upcoming Windows ecosystem (Windows; Windows Phone; Live Services; etc.)

If this new feature it’s great for home users, fortunately Microsoft understood that this could be a big headache for IT Administrators, since on an enterprise environment there’s a lot of restrictions about what users install.

Group Policy
First of all…YES, there a Group Policy Object (GPO) that allows IT Administrators to completely disable the Windows Store for managed computers, users or groups. You can also just disable the auto-download of updates for installed applications.

Access Permission Considerations
Windows 8 Metro style applications run with a very limited privileges when compared to a non-metro style application that usually run with standard user privileges.

Metro style application can only access to resources (files, folders, registry keys and DCOM interfaces) to which they have been explicitly granted access.
This permissions are not given by default, so for example, if you create a new folder (C:\NewFolder) a metro style application will not access it unless you specifically give permissions to do so using Access Permissions (ACLs).

Availability of Metro Style Applications for “Internal/Enterprise” Applications
Microsoft offers support for enterprises that what to deploy their internal application in a metro style way.
Enterprises can choose to deploy metro style applications without going through the Windows Store infrastructure.

To get a more detailed info about Windows Store for IT Administrators take a look at:
Microsoft Technet - Managing Client Access to the Windows Store

Windows Server 2012 – File and Storage Services Overview

What’s new on the upcoming Microsoft’s O.S. for servers


So, there’s not an enormous list of news but some (like Data Deduplication) seems to promise a lot:



Data Deduplication Saves disk space by storing a single copy of identical data on the volume
iSCSI Target Server Provides block storage to other servers and applications on the network by using the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) standard
Storage Spaces and Storage Pools Enables you to virtualize storage by grouping industry-standard disk into storage pools, and then create storage spaces from the available capacity in the storage pools
Unified remote management of File and Storage Services in Server Manager Enables you to remotely manage multiple file servers, including their role services and storage, all from a single window
Windows Powershell cmdlets for Files and Storage Services Provides Windows Powershell cmdlets for performing the majority of administration tasks for file and storage servers

To get a more detailed info about what’s new in Windows Server 2012 concerning File and Storage Services take a look at:
Microsoft Technet - File and Storage Services Overview