Friday, February 7, 2014

Boo Boo Bee “dedup”

So Server 2012 has this really cool feature that allows the you to efficiently store, transfer and backup LESS data…..WHAT?!! (for the Nerd explanation visit here.)
To the average Joe this means that you’ll save a TON of space by making better use of your data/hardware…how much you ask?  Check out this chart of the average savings:
Yes, that about 30% on your documents…or for my world where I use Virtual Machines all the time, I’ll save almost 90%….this it’s too good to be true?  It’s not.
So my big issue is I use Windows 8.1…and guess what, it doesn’t come with this feature…..wait for it… it come…….Unless you know “Uncle Dale”.  I found away to strip out the feature from Server 2012R2 and import it into Windows 8.1.
First download the files from my SkyDrive.  Unzip them in a directory call (you can come up with your own name) d:\dedup.  then open a command prompt (as an administrator) …..and run the following command:
dism /online /add-package / /  / /  / /
Wait for it to complete.  Then type:
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Dedup-Core /all
Reboot and then go to your Add Windows features and click the Data Deduplication option
Now there isn’t a GUI interface for it.  Instead you’ve got to break out your PowerShell Ninja Skills and type Enable-DedupVolume D:        (or C: or E:, whatever).
Next start the depub’in and type: Start-DedupJob –Volume D: –Type Optimization
Take a nap or go catch a flick….and then check back.
Here’s my results (after 15 mins):
Yep, I gained 26.5GIG!!!!!
Have fun! ;-p
I’m OUT!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

“I want my P-D-F” –Dire Straits “Money for nothing…

So with Microsoft’s NEW and Improved method of getting Trainers our manuals, I’ve ran into some real issues…One of which is that I can’t read my manual WITHOUT their (insert sarcastic tone here) AWESOME reader…which won’t run on my Android device (I know, don’t tell anyone, but this Microsoft Certified Trainer isn’t using a Windows 8 Tablet)….any-who, I decided to take matter into my own hand… Here’s what I’ve done.

First I use our AWESOME “SkillPipe” and open my book.  From within skillpipe you have the option to “Print”.  So I print to my Foxit PhantomPDF Printer (THANKS Foxit for such a great product!….oh, don’t get to impatient…wait until skillpipe is done printing…Foxit opens automatically). 

This gives me a PDF document, but when I open it, there are no “slide” images included, just blank squares…plus there is also a watermark (by the way skillpipe, a watermark means there should be some transparence to it…silly thing is maybe 1 shade off from the text…makes it almost impossible to read).

So my 2nd step is I open the new PDF in Foxit PhantomPDF Reader and select “touchup object”….this allows me to select the watermark and hit the delete key…BAM! Gone.

3rd step I open my PPT for that module and save the slide deck as a .jpg.  You’ll be asked to save just the current slide or the whole deck.  Select “whole deck” and save it to your desktop, you’ll get a directory named after your PPT deck…inside are images of each slide.

Now comes the time consuming process of copying and pasting the images into the blank spots in the PDF.  Save and there you have it….your very own PDF courseware.

Now, the only thing that would be easier would be for Microsoft to give us back our PDF’s…that we’ve had access to for the past 7 or so years.

I’m just saying…


Friday, March 1, 2013

My brain hurts….

So I wouldn’t normally post something like the following on my blog site, but I can’t help myself…I have to say that I LOVE my ASUS laptop and when I build a PC I only use ASUS motherboards…that being said, I have to share with you the interaction between ASUS Support and myself.  My Blu-ray drive started acting up on me…so I called ASUS and after troubleshooting the drive with them, they agreed to send me a replacement drive.  I was told that it was easy to replace (and after digging into my system, it wasn’t that hard) and I paid to have the replacement drive cross-shipped.  It arrived today…with no instructions on how to replace it.  I contacted the “support" team via chat and…well I’ll let the chat session speak for itself.
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:19:25 pm  
  Hello Dale Meredith. How may I help you?  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:19:59 pm  
  i just got my RMA dvd drive for my G73sw laptop...are there direction on how to replace it?  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:20:27 pm  
  I do apologise for the issue that you are experiencing and I'm more than happy to assist you with that today  
  So we are on the right page, you create a RMA for your notebook and you are wondering where to ship the notebook to?  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:21:37 pm  
  no...I got my RMA drive...I need instructions to install it  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:22:13 pm  
  Okay i do understand, unfortunately we are unable to assist with installation  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:22:50 pm  
  WHAT!!!! why? it's your guys sent me the drive...what did you expect me to do?!  
  I wasn't asked to send the laptop guys sent me the drive  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:24:20 pm  
  Very Sorry Mr. Meredith, to install the physical drive for the notebook requires hands on help  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:25:28 pm  
  so why send me the stupid thing!? why are you guys wasting my time?!! HP sends the RMA and includes instructions..  
  what do you expect me to do with this thing?  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:28:10 pm  
  Very very sorry, I do apologize for any inconvenience caused at this time  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:28:57 pm  
  that's not an answer...  
  I paid for a cross-ship for this thing....please go find someone that CARES  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:31:11 pm  
  Okay Mr. Meredith  
  I will advise you to contact a local technician or Best Buy which is ASUS Authorized Service centre for assistance for installation of the DVD Drive  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:36:07 pm  
  and they're going to charge me....right?! I was told that this was an easy replacement, that I would received the RMA drive and instructions on how to replace it... I PAID for a cross-ship... tell me exactly why I should have to take it to another company (IT'S YOUR LAPTOP!!!)....  
  are you telling me that in is digital age, that ASUS Support doesn't have instructions on how to replace this drive...?  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:40:32 pm  
  Very sorry Mr. Meredith, Support staff does not have the instructions for the DVD drive installation  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:42:49 pm  
  really???? think about what you just said....the "Support staff does not have the instructions..." so what you're saying is that ASUS doesn't give their Support staff the documentation (tools) needed to support their who can I talk to get this resolved  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:46:09 pm  
  Unfortunately Mr. Meredith, the technicians at the service centre will have the instructions  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:47:26 pm  
  so why did you folks send me the drive? Why was I told that this was something I could do myself? Why did I pay for a cross-ship?  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:47:44 pm  
  Who was the one to tell you about cross ship  
  Dale Meredith Fri, 3/1/2013 02:48:18 pm  
  the "Support Tech" that arranged/issued the RMA  
  Syed S. Fri, 3/1/2013 02:49:27 pm  
  Very sorry once more Mr. Meredith but i am unable to assist with the installation of the DVD drive  

At this time, I left the session…After doing research (google is my friend) experimenting around, i finally figured it out.
So, I guess I would warn folks that you should always be mindful of the companies/brand you purchase…I remember the days when ASUS was just starting and they’d bend over backwards to please their customers…now (like a lot of companies that “grow into the big boys) they seem to have lost the “desire” to take care of those that helped to build them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cup of Joe…Fixed…. Note: This is for Enterprise level fix

Over the past several weeks, there has been great concern over some new Java bugs that compromise computers. I had been doing Java updates manually, per machine, up until now as (a) we have a slower network and (b) I wanted to roll out new installers via Group Policy after running extensive tests to make sure nothing broke.

So, given the increased rate of Java updates, I decided it was time to begin rolling out Java updates via GP.

1. Download and extract msi installers.

a. Download the offline Java 32- and 64-bit installers and extracted the 'jre_1.7.0" and "jre_1.7.0_x64" folders from ~\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java and copied them to my Desktop.

NOTE: This how-to makes reference to Java 7 update 11, but it can apply to any new version of Java.

2. Edit the properties of the msi installers.

Right-click on each msi installer and open it with Microsoft's Orca or Pantaray's SuperOrca. Make the following PROPERTY edits:


See this web page at Oracle for additional information and adjust to meet YOUR needs:

3. Upload msi installers to your server and create Group Policies.

Upload the msi installer folders ("jre_1.7.0" and "jre_1.7.0_x64") to your server. I could create just one group policy encompassing both, but I prefer two separate policies so I can differentiate which ones get loaded for WinXP vs Win7 machines. For my needs, I use the 32-bit policy for WinXP machines and both 32/64-bit policies for Win7 machines.

1. Create a new Group Policy Object called: Java 7 update 11 x32

2. Create a new Group Policy Object called: Java 7 update 11 x64


a. Open: Computer Configuration > Policies > Software Settings > Software installation.

b. In the right pane, right-click and select New > Package.

c. Navigate to the folder where your msi installers are installed and select the msi installer.

d. Choose Advanced.

e. Click the Deployment tab. Place a checkmark ON "Uninstall this application when it falls out of the scope of management". This will ensure that when I delete the policy from an assign AD OU that the corresponding app will automatically be uninstalled before new versions are installed.

f. Click the Security tab. Assign security permissions as needed. Often times the defaults are fine. I have tended to give full permissions to all of the default "users" listed and do NOT add any additional users.

g. Click the OK button.

h. Close the Group Policy Management Editor.

4. Create a batch file to uninstall earlier versions of Java.

Since this is the first time that I'm deploying Java via Group Policy, I need to ensure that all older versions of Java are uninstalled before the newest Java is installed.

a. Using a text editor, create a batch file called: java_uninstall.bat

b. REM uninstall all current instances of java 7

c. REM 20130114.0930 by david allie

d. REM

e. @echo off

f. REM next line checks to see if c:\java_uninstalls.txt exists.

g. REM if it does, the rest of the script does not process.

h. REM this is a simple way to use a run-once script.

i. if exist "c:\java_uninstalls.txt" goto end

j. REM

k. wmic product where "name like 'Java(TM) 6%%'" call uninstall /nointeractive

l. wmic product where "name like 'Java(TM) 7%%'" call uninstall /nointeractive

m. REM create the c:\java_uninstalls.txt file to ensure above-command

n. REM does not run again.

o. echo 20130114_0930 older java 6-7 uninstalled. > c:\java_uninstalls.txt

p. echo Do NOT delete this file as it will cause Java to uninstall on next 'gpupdate'. >> c:\java_uninstalls.txt

q. attrib +h c:\java_uninstalls.txt

r. :end

s. exit

5. Copy the batch file to your server and create a Group Policy.

a. Copy the batch file to your server.

b. Create a new Group Policy called: Java uninstall all

c. Edit the new policy.

d. Open Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Scripts (Startup/Shutdown)

e. Double-click on Startup.

f. Click the Add button and add your newly created batch file.

g. Click the OK button.

h. Close the Group Policy Management Editor.

6. Add the new policies to an Active Directory OU.

a. Add the new policies to an Active Directory OU.

b. Sort the new policies so the "Java uninstall all" policy executes BEFORE the x32 and x64 Java policies.

c. I use an Active Directory OU named "Tech TESTING" to test policies before widespread deployment and below is a pic of how it currently looks on my system:

d. Group_policy_management_01_big

7. Test and deploy.

Using the computer in my "Tech TESTING" OU, I run 'gpupdate /force /boot'. Once the computers restart, log in, open the Control Panel, and verify that the Group Policies are working as desired.


This setup worked well for me. On my test computers, I had either Java 7u9 or 7u10 already manually installed. Upon running 'gpupdate' and rebooting, the startup script ran once to clear out the older versions of Java and then installed the newest update.

The small text file (c:\java_uninstalls.txt) is hidden and small, so I don't mind leaving it on the computers. Once all my computers have gpupdated to Java 7 Update 11... and when the next 7u12 update is available, I can delete the Group Policy containing the batch file.

Thanks David Allie!

“I want it now! What's the matter with those twerps down there?” -Veruca Salt

By default, when you create a new document library you are asked which document type you want to make "Default" for your list.  However, what if you want all four Office document types to show up? Here's what we're going to walk through; getting from this:


To this:     

Let's begin! First thing we're going to do is to create the document types for Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. (I don't create a word content type since I'm going to use that as my default type, but you can do this if needed using the same method).

  1. Let's first go create our "default template files" for Excel and PowerPoint--you need to have the Office applications installed to do this. Open up each application, and save the "blank" document you get when opening the application to your desktop. For example, Open Excel, click "Save As" and save it to your desktop as "excel_template.xlsx". Repeat for PowerPoint.

  2. OneNote is harder since you need to get a "*.onepkg" file. The easiest way to do this is to create a temporary document library that has OneNote as it's default. Here's the steps to extract the default OneNote:

    1. On your SharePoint Site, click New Document Library under the Site Actions menu (normally in the upper left corner)
    2. Provide some temporary data. Make sure you select "Microsoft OneNote 2010" as your default template:

    1. When the list gets created, on the Library ribbon tab click the Library Settings link.
    2. On the settings page, under General Settings click the Advanced Settings link.
    3. The second option on this page is "document template". Highlight the template URL value and Copy it.
    4. In your address bar, remove everything after your "site url" and paste in the document template path from the previous step. Essentially everything from "_Layouts/advsetng.aspx?List=" onward.
    5. Press enter. When you're prompted, press "Save" and save it to your desktop as "onenote_template.onepkg". This is your OneNote template.

  1. To delete this temporary list you can find a Delete this List option on the Library settings page—you can reach this from step g by simply pressing your browsers back button or "Cancel"
  2. Now that we have our templates, we need to create our content types. We do the same thing 3 times—once for each document type:

    1. Let's create the excel type. First we navigate to Site Settings from the Site Actions menu
    2. Under the Galleries section, click the Site Content Types link.
    3. On the content types page, click Create.
    4. Fill in the form by: Providing the Name & Description you want users to see in the New Document dropdown (leave description blank to have it say "Create a new <Name>". For the rest of the items, fill it in as you see below (Important:make sure you set the parent content type to "document"):

    1. After created, you're taken to the Content Type management page. Under Settings, click the Advanced settings link.
    2. In the first row, select "Upload a new document template:" radio button, and browse to the Excel "template" you created in step 1 above.

    1. Press "Ok" to save your changes.
    2. Repeat this entire set of steps to create a content type for PowerPoint and OneNote Notebooks.
  3. Last step—setup the Document Library.

    1. First, on your SharePoint Site click New Document Library under the Site Actions menu.
    2. Provide the name and description. Since we created content types for Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote I'm going to pick "Microsoft Word document" as my default template.

    1. We need to first enable custom content types for this list. In your new document library, click on the Library ribbon tab and click the Library Settings button (almost all the way to the right).
    2. On the Library Settings page, click the Advanced Settings link.
    3. The first option is "Content Types". Set "Allow management of content types" to Yes and then press OK

    1. A new section will have appeared under the menu on the Library Settings page called Content Types. Click the link at the bottom of this section called Add from existing site content types.
    2. Add the three custom content types we created in step 3 by selecting them one at a time and pressing the Add > button. I filter down the list to "Document Content Types" to make them easier to find. When you get something like I have below, press OK

    1. Now on the Library Settings page click the Change new button order and default content type link.
    2. On this page you can order the New Document menu options to your liking. When you're done, click OK

  4. We're done! Note that these content types now exist anywhere in this site so you can just do step 4 above to add these same options to another library.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I must be certifiable!

Found a GREAT youtube author that has some GREAT videos on setting up Server 2012 Essentials and certificates…which REALLY helps since MS doesn’t have any great setup whitepapers or manuals….Check them out:  THANKS TECHGLOBELONINE!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

All I wanna do is a xoom xoom xoom and boom boom..

This will show how to un-root your zoom using adb and fastboot method and returning to stock rom.
Download your regions build click on link:
Quick copy and paste shortcuts for command prompt, fastboot and adb:
Find device: adb devices
reboot boot-loader: adb reboot-bootloader
flash images:
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
clean: fastboot erase cache
re-lock: fastboot oem lock

Need to re-root?


Friday, August 17, 2012

Windows 8….Things that are driving me CRAZY!

So I’ve been running Server 2012 for about a month now, and I was excited to see Windows 8 get released via TechNet.  So I downloaded…formatted…and installed and within the first couple of mins…I was being driven crazy by stupid little things.
I need to preference this posting by stating that since Windows 7….all the latest products had be saying “WOW…About time Microsoft”… so I’m a little confused why Microsoft is screwing up a good thing…
First I need to tell you my experience is with the Enterprise edition of Win8….that being said…here’s my first list/solutions
Installing .Net 3.5… Even though it’s listed in the “features” section, I kept “failing” to install.  It seems to be because I’m using a WSUS server.  So the manual way in installing .Net is to open a CMD prompt (admin level) and install using a DISM (a tool for modifying offline and online images…this is stupid):
  1. Insert the Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 installation media.
  2. At an elevated command prompt, run the following command: Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:<drive>:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess
    Note In this command, <drive> is a placeholder for the drive letter for the DVD drive or for the Windows 8 installation media. For example, you run the following command:
    Dism /online /enable –feature /featurename:NetFx3 /all /source d:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess
Next up is Activation…Yes I said Activation is a pain in the butt…It appears that enterprise is pre-baked with a KMS key, but unlike Windows 7 there is no button to "Change Product Key". 
You have to get elevated command prompt and type
slmgr.vbs -ipk "Your key"
UPDATE: I just found this option as well:  Open elavated CMD and type SLUI 3 (SLUI short for Software Licensing User Interface...3 is to bring up the Change Product Key windows...1=Status, 2=Activation windows, 4=Call MS and Manually Activate).
Oh yeah Microsoft…great way to start off your new flagship OS…make it harder and incompatible with your own technologies.
So I guess I’m heading back to the “WOW Microsoft…WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?”
I’ll post more as I experience more. Winking smile

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sing along with me…”I want my….I want my….I want my Windows Orb (Start button)–Dire Straits

So I’ve been playing around with Server 2012 and I’m NOT converted to the “new” metro feel.  The OS itself is cool (more posts later)…but I miss my Start button.

Found a solution…remember the old StarDock company that made cool  interfaces for Windows XP (that’s the last time I used it)…they release a FREE product called Start8

Start8 returns the good old start button to your task bar, but still has the metro feel.  Works for both Windows 8 and Server 2012.


-I’m OUT!

Friday, August 3, 2012

“Give me one ping….and one ping only…”

So here I am running iTunes (I KNOW!  ME??!!) and I’ve been getting tried of having the stupid “PING” button in my way…. I did a little research and found a way to disable the stupid thing (Thanks David Wolf1!).  So here’s what you do:

Enter the following commands in a Command Prompt window or the 'Run' dialog box.
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt hide-ping-dropbown 1
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt show-store-link-arrows 1
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt disablePingSidebar 1

If you're on a 64-bit version of windows, use this instead:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt hide-ping-dropbown 1
"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt show-store-link-arrows 1
"C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt disablePingSidebar 1

I’m OUT!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick! Remove the Quick Launch! ;-)

There is no way out of the box to hide the Quick Launch and the Tree View navigation in SharePoint 2010. Let´s say you have a team site and you really want to use the full width of the home page of this team site. How to do this?
The easiest way is to use the old school CEWP trick that worked even back in 2003, just add a the Web Part that now has the name Content Editor and add the following text in the HTML Source mode:

/*--Hide Quick Launch --*/

You can also download and import this as a .dwp from here if you like.

The Master page that includes this navigation control does not longer have a table structure as it had in SharePoint 2007, which gives a cleaner and a well-formed markup HTML. The DIV elements in the master are floated to each other and have their positions defined by margins or a width, this is why I had to set the margin to zero for the s4-ca class, the wrapper for the content in the page. The value for the left panel ID can be set to not be displayed.

Thanks to Christian Stahl for the hint!


icontexto-user-web20-linkedin icontexto-user-web20-google icontexto-user-web20-youtube icontexto-user-web20-blogger icontexto-user-web20-twitter

Quick! Remove the Quick Launch! ;-)

There is no way out of the box to hide the Quick Launch and the Tree View navigation in SharePoint 2010. Let´s say you have a team site and you really want to use the full width of the home page of this team site. How to do this?
The easiest way is to use the old school CEWP trick that worked even back in 2003, just add a the Web Part that now has the name Content Editor and add the following text in the HTML Source mode:

/*--Hide Quick Launch --*/

You can also download and import this as a .dwp from here if you like.

The Master page that includes this navigation control does not longer have a table structure as it had in SharePoint 2007, which gives a cleaner and a well-formed markup HTML. The DIV elements in the master are floated to each other and have their positions defined by margins or a width, this is why I had to set the margin to zero for the s4-ca class, the wrapper for the content in the page. The value for the left panel ID can be set to not be displayed.

Thanks to Christian Stahl for the hint!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I was an “Exchange Student”…and I didn’t get a sponsor family!

OK….I’ve been around teaching Exchange since (using old man voice) “Back in my day I used Exchange 5.5…back when snail-mail was still faster then the internet…we didn’t have that fancy web interface you young whippersnappers are so use to…Our email traveled uphill….both ways… 3 feet of snow…” I could go on, but the point is Exchange has dramatically improved over the years.  Ever since Exchange 2007, I’ve found myself looking that the features/technologies, and saying “Wow….IT’S ABOUT TIME MICROSOFT!”….and I have to say as far as study guides go….”WOW….IT’S ABOUT TIME MICROSOFT!” Winking smile

For years I’ve seen and recommended different study guides for my students that were trying to prep for a Microsoft Exam.  Unfortunately, most study guides are just a printout of some brain dumps.  I then found myself having a conversation with my students about using those types of guides and how they actually “hurt” the certification and the student’s career (I’ll have to post my thoughts on that later).

To make this short and sweet….I loved this book.  This book is fill with “meat” (no potatoes)as far as information goes.  Not only does the author (Orin Thomas) teach you the concepts of Exchange 2010, but he shows you the “why’s”, which to me (as a MCT)  is SO important for understanding and learning of my students.  Orin (hope I can just use your first name Winking smile ), also takes the time to explain complicated technologies in a way that will make sense to students/readers that are new to some of the concepts.  Another cool feature of this book is that at the end of each chapter, Orin tests your comprehension with a great Q/A section! 

So instead of drilling answers to questions into your head from some stupid “here…cheat with the answers and then wonder why you can’t get past a technical interview” study guide, just to take a test….MAN-UP (or WOMAN-UP…don’t want to be sexiest)  and learn the in’s, out’s, and why’s of Exchange 2010 with this book.  You know, this book is good enough to be used as reference materials for your career as well.  For me personally, I’ll be looking at this series of books for my study needs.

Now that I think about it…”Hey Microsoft why didn’t you have these types of materials for us back in the day!?  Back when I was a poor student pulling out my hair for an exam”…how about a free Xbox for all my troubles! Winking smile

Wanna read a sample?

Book Sampler

Until next time….


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Monday, May 14, 2012

GREAT Read…Great Knowledge…Great Author.

I had the opportunity to get a copy of the NEW book by Brett Hill called “Working with Microsoft Office 365: Running your small business in the cloud..  Let me first say “WELL DONE BRETT!”

Brett Hill is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP, is a consultant, speaker, trainer, and author, specializing in cloud computing and online services.

This book was so well written for almost every type of user, but it focused on helping out  “non-technical” users in using Office 365.

The chapters were so well designed….taking the reader from the beginning and walking you all the way through using the entire suite of features that Office 365 has to offer.  From managing users to OWA to Lync Server.

Some IT folks might find the book a little “elementary”, but remember this book is designed for small business owners that have not technical back ground.  Even with my background, I found the book still had information that I hadn’t thought of, or would have missed.  You all know that I’ve been a little leery about moving to the cloud, but Office 365 is starting to “wear” me down! Winking smile

I was impressed (HEY MICROSOFT…TAKE NOTE HERE!) with how the author not only showed off features, but also included real world examples, and then “showed” you how to accomplish a task (maybe I’m a little bias here, but that’s the way I teach my classes).  I wish that all the Microsoft Curriculum/Press books where written this way (again kudos Brett).

I personally used the book to setup my own Office 365 site and found answers to many of the questions that I had as well as questions I know basic users will have.   For all my SharePoint Students…shell out an extra $6 and pickup your own Office 365 site…I’m using my to “tryout/demo” different aspects of SP without having to fire up a virtual server or using my own resources.  I’m currently working on customizing my “Public Site” (I’ll post the URL when it’s ready to go “LIVE”).

So when you’re ready to order note that you can order a physical book or (my favorite) digital copy (Oh, and if you order direct from O’Reilly, it will be DRM FREE!). 

If you’re one of my past students….remember you can get a discount if you use my discount code at the website and (email me if you forgot it) get 45% off!

Want to read a sample?

So I’m off to finish my Public Site…until then….



Monday, April 23, 2012

I have a NEW weekend project! ;-)

Remember how I showed you how to run OS’s based on a VHD…Well guess what!  Nice article… I might have to try Server 2008R2/Windows 8/Server 2012!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Well I finally got my fat fingers on a copy of Windows Server 8 Beta….and I’M WAY EXCITED!  Here’s the initial installation.  I’ll follow up with some video on installing AD and other roles…until then…enjoy.

Update: Microsoft this week released the OFFICIAL name of this new server….ready?  Sitting down?…. Server 2012!  Taadaa! Winking smile

Windows 8 to have only have 4 versions…FINALLY!

After years of complaints, Microsoft has listened to its consumers and will be releasing only four different versions of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

There will be one version for home use, one for business users, one for devices running ARM chips and finally one for large enterprises who buy in bulk.
"Windows 8" is for home use while "Windows 8 Pro" is for business users, "Windows 8 Enterprise" is for bulk buyers and "Windows RT" is the final name for Windows on ARM. Windows RT cannot be purchased individually as it will come preinstalled on PCs and tablets that run ARM processors. The operating system will run touch-based apps on Windows Runtime, including touch version of Microsoft Office suite apps like Word and Excel.

There was no word yet on pricing or availability.

Microsoft's decision should be a welcome move to many consumers who were confused with all the options of, for example, Windows 7 which came with three different "Home" versions and 6 versions total.

About time Microsoft! Winking smile


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A little mixed feelings here…but COOL certs for Clouds!

Big news from Microsoft about their NEW certification program…..

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a reinvented certification for today’s technology solutions

Microsoft has reinvented its certification program by building a broader and deeper set of technology solutions skills validation, starting with cloud-enabled solution skills. As one of the most recognized and respected certification programs, Microsoft is charting the path for IT Professionals and Developers to keep their skills relevant as new technology solutions are released.

Reinvented, Not Just Renamed:

· Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) emphasizes solutions

o Microsoft has reinvented its certifications to validate the skill sets needed to develop, deploy, and maintain Microsoft technology solutions. These certifications recognize IT Pros and Developers who have skill sets that run both broad and deep. Certifications are available at three skill levels:

I personally feel that this might create some confusion with folks when you say “I’m a MCSE”…Us “old-dogs” will think of the original certification, while you younger pups don’t know the difference (kind of like: not knowing a time when TV’s didn’t have remotes! Smile)

· Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

o The Associate level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get your Expert level certification. This certification validates the core skills you need to get your 1st job in IT.

· Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

o The Expert level is Microsoft’s flagship set of certifications validating that your skills are relevant in the constantly changing tech environment. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is the destination for established IT Professionals who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions.

· Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

o The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is the destination for established Developers who have expertise developing solutions with Microsoft tools.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

After you have achieved your Expert level certification, Master is the next destination. This certification is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers and achieve the highest level of skills validation.

The Cloud Changes Everything

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) helps bridge the new cloud computing talent gap

“With the demand for cloud skills growing quickly, the gap between hiring demand and talent supply across the United States is getting larger and causing more difficulties in sourcing candidates.”

Wanted Analytics, Hiring Demand for Cloud Computing Skills Skyrocketing, March 2012

The need for cloud computing skills has been pushing the market for months. Solution providers are seeking cloud-ready employees to bring their businesses to the next level. The cloud computing market is evolving at such a pace that while the number of job postings is skyrocketing, the talent isn't there to fill the positions.

In the past 20 years, Microsoft Certifications have been THE tool to address the skills gap. To be relevant, certifications need to continue to be the tool needed and recognized in the market.

That’s why Microsoft has reinvented its certification program—to certify a deeper set of skills that are mapped to the Cloud and to real-world business contexts. Rather than testing only on a component of a technology, IT Professionals and Developers are now tested on more advanced skills and a deeper understanding of the technology.

New Certifications Are Available Now

Microsoft Certification overview page:

Microsoft Certification overview video:

MCSE information page:

MCSE video on YouTube:

MCSE Private Cloud:

MCSE Data Platform:

MCSE Business Intelligence:

Also, you know Microsoft…always giving you something for free to try it out….they wasted no time in offering a 2 for 1 exam offer! Check it out here:


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Installing SharePoint 2010 Part 1

I get a lot of requests from students that would like directions on how to setup a “test” environment for SharePoint.  This SnipIT will start you off by showing you how to first install SQL and setting up the accounts to support SharePoint 2010

Installing SharePoint 2010 Part 1

Friday, January 13, 2012

Using PXE-Dust to fix my WDS 2008R2

After rebuilding a couple of machines over WDS, I noticed that clients were hanging with a TFTP timeout issue. I tried restarting the WDS service, but that didn’t help….
After doing extensive research (OK…I google’ed it)..The problem is caused by the fact that WDS and DNS are running side by side each other on the same machine. DNS can sometimes use a port needed by WDS, and so you can get a hanging bootup (especially if LAN > HDD in boot priority).
The solution was to disable the UDP Port Policy in Windows Server 2008 R2, which was done by changing the hex value of “UDPPortPolicy” from 1 to 0, which is located in: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Parameters.
Make sure you restart the WDS services…and “poof”…it’s fixed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Configuring OpenDNS to protect your family.

Here’s a quick little video to help you configure OpenDNS to filter websites.

I use it for my home….it’s not a full solution (nothing is) but it’s a start!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

“Apple Core…Tell me more!…Who’s Your Friend?… I AM!”

Here are some cool Server 2008R2 Core commands for setting up a bare server…Enjoy!

REMEMBER!!! Core commands ARE case sensitive!

// Rename the computer to BATCAVE
netdom renamecomputer %computername% /newname:BATCAVE

// Join domain DOM1 using user account DOMUSER1 (prompt for password)
netdom join %computername% /domain:DOM1 /userdd:DOMUSER1 /passwordd:*

// Graceful shutdown & restart with no delay
shutdown /r /t 0

// Add DOM1\DOMUSER1 to the local Administrators group
net localgroup Administrators /add DOM1\DOMUSER1

// Allow remote admin connections through the firewall
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes

// Enable Remote Desktop connections
cscript c:\windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /ar 0

// Enable WinRS (Windows Remote Shell) connections
winrm quickconfig

// NOTE: All ocsetup (Optional Component Setup) commands are case sensitive
// Install Hyper-V role
start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V

// Install BitLocker feature
start /w ocsetup BitLocker

// Install the Server Core flavour of the .NET Framework (required for PowerShell)
start /w ocsetup NetFx2-ServerCore

// Install the PowerShell feature
start /w ocsetup MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell

// Enable TPM (required for BitLocker, requires confirmation from the BIOS)
manage-bde -tpm –t

// Encrypt drive C: with BitLocker using a randomly-generated password
manage-bde -on C: –recoverypassword

// View the current status of BitLocker encryption
manage-bde –status

And remember…if you’re running R2 you can use the NEW sconfig.exe command!

-I’m OUT!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Installing Active Directory (AD)…explained ;-)

Very simple method of installing AD.


-I’m OUT!

Sysprep for dumm…..BEGINNERS! ;-)

Here’s how you sysprep a machine before you start imaging it.  In Microsoft’s world, before you image the machine you have to “strip off” all information that is specific about the system…that way you don’t have duplication of system names, IP’s, etc…… Enjoy!

I’m in the Export business now…;-)

Here’s how you can export out a Hyper-V machine without using VMM (which I LOVE!).  I use this method all the time to quickly create a new virtual machine….make sure that you watch the “How to Sysprep” video first!

-I’m OUT!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Solid State Drives…RULE!

O.K., so I purchased a SSD for my new laptop and did a default installation of Server 2008R2.  I then discovered that the OS isn’t tweaked for SSDs.  So I put together a little video to show you how to configure an SSD to run either 2008R2 or Windows 7….Enjoy.


Monday, August 29, 2011

hmmmm Excellent Smithers

Found a cool tool today…it allows you to take a local policy off of a computer and import it into a domain based GPO…

You can use a Microsoft tool called local GPO that I really like as it can do the below activities:

1. It can backup your local GPO to a GPMC formatted backup. Which means you could backup a local GPO and then use GPMC to import it into a domain-based GPO.

2. It can take a GPMC backup of GP settings and import them into a local GPO on a machine.

3. It can restore a local GPO to its default state.

Let’s take a look at how to use each function of this tool,


For backing up the local GPO, the syntax is simple:

From command-line here.cmd (open this cmd from the Local GPO folder), and simply type:

cscript LocalGPO.wsf /path:c:\gpbackups /export

Where c:\gpbackups is a path to where I want to store my backup and /export tells the script to export my local GPO settings.

Now if I want to import a GPMC backup or exported GP object from another stand-alone server into my local GPO, the syntax is even easier. you simply have to provide the path to the GUID-Named folder that GPMC creates under the backup directory when you back up a GPO, like this:

cscript LocalGPO.wsf /path:C:\gpbackups\{42ADD8FE-EDF6-479B-92C6-557343D8D091}

And, to restore a local GPO to its default config:

cscript LocalGPO.wsf /restore

-I’m OUT!…uhhh, I’m not gay…I’m saying I’m done! Winking smile

Holy Social Networks….

So I left Facebook for Google+, but I still have some friends on FB (less intelligent Winking smile ) that would like to see my updates….so the question is….”How can update both FB from Google+.  (my props to Josh for coming up with the method…not bad for a  Liberal! Winking smile 


  1. Login to your Facebook account and head to In the middle of the page there will be an email address that starts with some random characters followed by “”. Copy it.
  2. Go to your Google+ Circles page. Create a new circle (I just called mine “Facebook”) and add the email address that you just copied as the only person in the circle.
  3. Now just post as you normally would but include your new circle in the post and check the boxes to notify by email.

Facebook takes a couple minutes to update but it does work, I’ve tested it a few times. It should also work from any browser and the mobile app (although I haven’t tested it yet).Try it out.

Update 2: Unfortunately it looks like your text will cut off after about 50 characters using this method. This is because Facebook uses the subject of the email as the status and Google+ truncates the subject text in the notification email. Right now I don’t think there is a way around this but I suggest that you use Google+’s “Send Feedback” function and request more subject text in the notification emails. Who knows, maybe they will consider changing it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I’m living on Cloud 9…..NOT!

Here’s another reason why I’m not too excited about hosting mission critical systems on the cloud…


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The BEST testing software out there!

OK folks I found one of the best software tools for practicing for your exams.
Check it out!
You can then download test files to help you study.  I love the fact that with the “designer” app I can add my own notes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adding MMS to iPhone 3g after Jailbreak and Unlocking

I struggled with finding a way to add MMS to my daughter’s iphone.  This is a GREAT link to how to add MMS:

-I’m OUT!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Take a Class from SuperDale and get a BIG discount on MS Press Books

If you took a Microsoft Class from me, I shared with you some product codes that will get you discounts for MS Press Books.  Here are the links for ordering:(If you sat my class you’ll have the code need to get your discounts!)

E-Book Libraries

Order printed books or single E-books:

Have fun!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dual Booting Windows 7 and Server 2008R2 from VHD files

I learned a REALLY cool concept from Keith Comb of Microsoft ( that I want to share with everyone.
I’m starting to use this method on all my machines!  Good luck!

Here are the step by steps...including how to add Server 2008.

The only issues that I've seen using this technology is that if you're wanting to use Ready-boost, you'll get an error that the drive is too slow (duh, it's running off of a VHD on a drive).

The COOL thing is on the server installation, you can actually run Hyper-V off of it...(running Hyper-V off of a's like the time space hurts my head to think about it! ;-)

  1. Boot your machine with a blank hard drive using the Windows 7 DVD.
  2. Click next on the language screen if English is appropriate.
  3. SHIFT+F10 to launch a WinPE command console.  Although the commands below are in upper case, the commands are not case sensitive.  I am only using upper case for readability here.
  4. Enter DISKPART to run the utility.
  5. LIST DISK to see the available disks in your system.  I am assuming a single raw disk.
  6. SEL DISK 0
  10. ASSIGN
  11. LIST VOL
  12. CREATE VDISK FILE=c:\windows7rc.vhd MAXIMUM=200000 TYPE=EXPANDABLE
  13. SELECT VDISK FILE=c:\windows7rc.vhd
  18. LIST VOL
  20. exit DISPART
  21. exit WinPE command console
  22. Continue installing and select the new partition (200gig'ish) virtual hard disk which looks just like a partition to Windows Setup
  23. To install Server 2008... Repeat steps: 1 (using Server DVD) through 4 then skip to steps 11-18 for the Windows  but with the obvious changes for the vdisk filename, size, etc.
I'm OUT!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh, My Holy Cool! The Best Android App!

So I do a lot of flashing of custom ROM’s on my Vibrant and each time the one thing that drives me crazy is that I loose all my text messages and call logs (who I’ve called and texted).

So I’m looking around for an App that would help me and I found SMS Backup+.  This is the coolest thing since….since…Android!.

It backs up all your text messages and call logs to your Gmail account!!!!  It creates a folder (SMS and Call Log) and uploads you’re texts and call log as email to your Gmail box…but wait there’s more! There’s even a way to restore you messages back to you phone if you delete some by accident!

I’m sold…but guess what, IT’S FREE!!!! Even if it they charged for it, this would  be an App I’d buy in a heart-beat!


I’m OUT!


Monday, February 7, 2011

IPv6…the countdown continues…”IPv6-Day”


What is it?

On 8 June, 2011, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks will be amongst some of the major organisations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour "test drive". The goal of the Test Drive Day is to motivate organizations across the industry - Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies - to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 addresses run out.

Why should I care ?

By offering their content over IPv6, these sites could become unreachable or experience very slow response time for users with a misconfigured IPv6 stack.

Typically, the most common problem we observe at is a home router which has IPv6 enabled, but no IPv6 connectivity. As a result, computers and networked devices on the LAN get an IPv6 address and default route, when in fact their outgoing IPv6 traffic never goes beyond their own router.

Take the test!

Check today your readiness for world IPv6 day ! Click here to take the test. If the first test takes too long and gives you a warning about IPv6 misconfiguration, be prepared to fix your network before the 8 June !

If the test passes, be it IPv4 only or v4+v6, you shouldn't experience any trouble on world IPv6 day. Actually, you may not even notice something is going on.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

IPv4….Bye, bye!

NetworkWorld reports the last two IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) address blocks for the Internet have just been assigned, and, in line with predictions, we’ve run out of addresses. All new Internet addresses now employ IPv6 address spacing.

Experts say it will take anywhere from three to seven months for the registries to distribute the remaining IPv4 addresses to carriers.

So what?

The impending changeover from IP version 4 to IP version 6 won’t really be a big deal, and most people won’t even notice it as it happens. But the Internet will be running on both protocols for a while, and the head of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) cautions that some online applications may run slower as a result.

All new devices or sites that come along will now use IPv6. Don’t lose too much sleep over your systems, however. Industry planners have been aware of this matter since the 1990s. Most hardware and software has been ready for IPv6 for some time.

Businesses should start checking their configurations before the changeover takes place, as glitches may come up. “We can’t actually get an IPv6 host and an IPv4 server to talk to each other, because the IPv4 server only knows 32 bits. It’s much like if your telephone was set up to only ever dial seven digits, and it wouldn’t let you dial 10. Sure you could almost have a conversation, but you couldn’t call most of the world.”

As the changeover occurs, “ISPs are going to have to start using IPv6 to connect customers,” he explains. “Then, they’re going to have to put IPv6 gateways in, boxes that work like network address boxes, to translate IPv6-connected customers to the IPv4 websites on the Internet. That will work, but that’s going to be suboptimal, because those are gateways doing the translation.” This may slow down online applications such as Skype, Voice over IP, real-time video games, which “won’t necessarily run smoothly going through those translators.”

Curran points out that the Internet will be running on two protocols for some time. “If you really want to start a business that’s Internet based, you’re going to want to take your equipment, and make it connected by both IPv4 and IPv6.”

Some businesses have more of a challenge ahead of them than others, Curran says. While the major ISPs have been underway with IPv6, “the content providers are just beginning to work on this,” Curran says. “And that’s going to take a lot of work, and they need to enable a lot of software that we think of as the Web 2.0 software infrastructure. While all the parts may run IPv6, that doesn’t mean your infrastructure is ready.”


Thursday, January 27, 2011

“Take Your Cap off Sir!”

Now that T-Mobile is throttling data, some of us run start getting slower speeds after your 5GIG (I heard that it was also 10GIG)

AnyWho… If you create a new ARIN location, you can switch between them until your billing cycle hits.

Here are the settings:

Change/Add the Access point name to

When you get new minutes, restore back to

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OK…now THAT’s Cool!

So for several years now I’ve been using several products to help with different solutions.

As a Microsoft Trainer, I’m working several machines all at the same time….and sometimes I find myself wishing I had some of the files that were/are on another computer (my laptop, home machine, or work computer).

Guess what?  Microsoft has release the COOLEST feature called “Live Mesh”.

With Windows Live Mesh and the Devices website, you can finally stop emailing files to yourself, carrying them around on a USB drive, or worrying whether the version you have with you is the latest.

This does require a Microsoft Live account…or in the old days it was called a “Hotmail” account Winking smile… no big deal, it’s free (yes another account to keep track of)…

Any-who.. when you download and install “Live” (by the way you also get access to other Live products via the download, like: Messenger, LiveWriter (that’s what I use to create my blogs), Family Protection (lockdown websites), SkyDrive (save up to 25GIGs online…YES IT’S FREE!), Photo Gallery, Movie Maker and Mail (for checking your Hotmail/Live emails…HOLY CRAP THAT’S A TON…FOR FREE), you then have the ability to select which machines you want to sync your files on…here I’m sync all of the MY DOCUMENTS between my work PC, Home PC and Laptop.


I can also sync “My Favorites” from IE.  Now when I create a document at work and save it…in the background MESH will copy it to my other machines!  Wait…it gets better!

I can also take remote control of any of my computer like “GoToMyPC”…DID I MEANTION IT’S FREE!!!!


Wait for it…(I feel like a Pitchman here) “If that’s not enough, we’ll include, FOR FREE, the ability to save up to 5GIG of those sync’ed files online…FOR FREE!.. yes that right FREE!”


So let’s look at this from a “protect my data” stand point:

My laptop hard drive crashes… NO PROBLEM…data is on my Work and Home PC’s!

I’m on vacation…need a file…NO PROBLEM…I can use any computer and logon to my LIVE account access my SkyDrive!

Can you tell I’m as giggle as a little girl!?

Oh, and yes, I’ll keep my Carbonite account, as I have almost 1.5 TB of data (movies, mp3s, pictures and documents) backed up with them as a “redundancy” issue.