How to Enable Shadow Copies for a volume in Windows Server 2012 R2

Enable Shadow Copies (Enable Previous Versions) Click Start , point to Administrative Tools , and then click Computer Management .   In the console tree, right-click Shared Folders , click All Tasks , and then click Configure Shadow Copies .   The window that opens will look something like this, displaying all of your local disks: In Select a volume , click the volume that you want to enable Shadow Copies of Shared Folders for, and then click Enable . You will see an alert that Windows will create a shadow copy now with the current settings and that the settings might not be appropriate for…

Read More

How to use Robocopy to Preseed Files for DFS Replication

Use Robocopy to Preseed Files for DFS Replication I’ll write this here first, since it’s important: The folder in which you are robo-copying (ex c:\test) must not exist on the destination server (ex. f:\test). If you create the folder manually on the destination server, the file-hashes will not match and DFSr will see a conflict. So make sure your destination (ex. f:\ ) doesn’t contain a folder named the same as the source folder. Pre-seeding your DFS Replication Group with Robocopy: Log on to the destination server with an Administrator account. Open an…

Read More

Send message to all users logged into Windows Server 2012 R2 Terminal Server

Hi. It’s me. You are trying to upgrade a server but there are people logged in. You want to tell them all that you’ll be doing work, so you need to send a message… It’s easy, but you’ll write it down anyways.     Open CMD..   Type msg * “your message here” For example:   This will output a message like this:     Cheers to being courteous.

Read More

Cloning VMs in VMware vSphere ESXi without vCenter the right way

Sure, there are many ways to make a copy of an OS or VM and spin it up in another instance. But here is the proper way… with vSphere at least.   I’m assuming you already have basic knowledge of templating and wiping the system’s unique identifiers (sysprep for windows, etc) When  you have a VM crafted in the way that you like, with all the software installed or just simply up-to-date with Windows Updates and of course, past the installation. The proper way to clone a VM in my…

Read More

Extending the size of an iSCSI based Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) in Windows Server 2012

I just had to expand the size of one of our CSV’s without much notice. I wasn’t prepared for this, but I knew two things: The iSCSI LUN had to grow The Virtual Disk inside Windows also had to grow. Our Hyper-V cluster contains three virtual disks: Volume1, Quorum Witness, and Volume2. Volume1 = 1TB Volume2 = 1TB Volume 2 filled up. Only 11GB free. Not okay. 1. Expand the iSCSI LUN size There’s a Synology backing this cluster. I didn’t do any documentation of expanding the iSCSI LUN because…

Read More

Disable Microsoft Office 2013 first-run wizard and welcome splash with Group Policy

The computer lab is coming together, but every time a student logs in, they are forced through the first-run wizard. I was asked to disable this, and here’s how: Download and Import ADMX files First, if you have not already, you will need to obtain and import the Microsoft Office 2013 Administrative Template Files (ADMX) Copy all the ADMX files plus your language folder and paste them into your /Policy/PolicyDefinitions folder within your domain’s SYSVOL share. Now open a fresh Group Policy Management console, modify an existing GPO or create…

Read More

Create full-screen “kiosk-mode” shortcuts to websites in Google Chrome using PowerShell

I was given a list of 200 or so webpages so I could create shortcuts. Not just any old shortcut, but they needed to contain an argument to tell the browser to open a URL in full-screen kiosk mode. This is so that the user cannot immediately exit the page; beneficial for controlled environments and public portals. After creating- I don’t know- twelve shortcuts; I thought, there has to be an easy way to do this. It wasn’t too bad, just.. cumbersome. It could be scripted, I thought. I made the determination…

Read More

Automatically force log off and terminate disconnected RDP sessions to free up system resources.

I’m working with a situation where all of the computers in a computer lab are actually zero-clients connecting to a dedicated Windows 7 VM on a server cluster. This environment has its complexities, and I’m working to improve the performance. That being said, I would get frequent notices from the Instructor that the computers would be running slow. Rebooting the VMs would fix that, but it appeared that was just a Band-Aid. I noticed that each VM would hold on to the disconnected RDP sessions and continue to consume resources in the background.…

Read More