Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Office Communicator for Mac 2011 Crashes in OSX Lion – PATCHED!

In the compatibility war, I’ve come across my first real casualty after my OSX Lion upgrade.  What’s strange is this didn’t appear until today, and I’ve been running Lion and Communicator for more than a few weeks now.

The symptom appears to be that when Microsoft Communicator, which is part of the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 package, attempts to reach out to one of your contacts, by any means from my basic testing (chat, audio, video), Communicator crashes even though it starts up and lets you get that far.

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SQL Server 2008 Installer Fails on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Have you tried rebooting?

I ran across an issue on Windows Server 2008 R2 but also found the issue to happen on Windows 7 installations.

Apparently this will be fixed in the R2 releases of SQL but since those aren’t available yet for the enterprise and similar versions, there’s a pretty simple fix.  I found an article that references a few fixes that I’ll link to here in case the fix that I have doesn’t work.

The error states that “Invoke or BeginInvoke cannot be called on a control until the window handle has been created.”

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Build a Windows Server 2008 R2 Domain Controller

I posted a tutorial on creating a domain controller using Windows Server 2003, and decided to post an update that included step-by-step instructions for Windows Server 2008 R2.  This should be the same for Windows Server 2008.

This is great for developers, testers, and anyone looking to learn Active Directory or deploy to a small network.  If this is for a production deployment, you might want to bring in a professional to help you.  There are many other things to consider, like ‘hardening’ your server and setting up Group Policy.  Having an insecure or unprotected domain controller is inviting havoc on your network.

So without any further ado and in the immortal words of ‘Marv’, “Let’s get to it!”

In the Server Manager click on Add Roles.

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Keep reading…

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Windows 7 – Initial Usage Review

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Whenever Microsoft releases a new OS, I try to at least install it in a VM and poke around with it.  With Windows 7 however, I jumped, both feet in and installed it on my laptop and desktop.  The installation was quick and easy, on my desktop all the devices were recognized and on my laptop, I only needed to download two or three things from Dell.  I still need one or two more for the laptop, but it seems to be functioning very well so far, and I’ve yet to figure out what the few devices that it didn’t recognize are.  Maybe my smartcard reader… ???

There are a few features that I want to touch on in this review that make this OS a significant step after the relative fiasco with Vista.  I wasn’t a Vista hater by any means, but the OS was pretty slow compared to XP, and the features it added tended to slow it down more.  I still think Vista is an OK operating system, but Windows 7 is kicking butt so far.

Keep reading. 🙂

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Increase VMware Workstation Virtual Disk Size

You can increase your HDD size of your workstation VMs using vmware-vdiskmanager.  vmware-vdiskmanager is a command line utility that will allow you to manage your virtual disk files.  One of the options allows you to expand your virtual disk.  There are two steps that need to be taken, the first is using the command line utility and the second is changing the formatting within your guest OS to be able to utilize the expanded space.

If you need to increase the size of your os/boot/system drive, you’ll need another working VM to mount the drive in and use DISKPART to extend it.

In this example, I’ll be changing the virtual disk size of a workstation VM from 16GB to 20GB, and it is the OS/BOOT/SYSTEM drive.

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SharePoint Virtualized = Excellent For Production

Though it goes against my better nature, as it is not like me to go against what some really big brains say, I’m tired of hearing from many people as well as ‘company lines’ that SharePoint and SQL Server are not good candidates for virtualization.  It’s easy to sell it that way, but it’s just not true.

The simulations and production deployments that I have been a part of speak otherwise, along with candidate architectures and testing that have been conducted by EMC.  As a matter of fact, I would say that SharePoint and SQL Server are excellent candidates for virtualization, as every production implementation should consider their COOP (Continuity of Operations) and DR (Disaster Recovery) scenarios as a major point of design.

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Building an Active Directory Domain Controller for Development using VMware Workstation – Pt. 2

In my last post, we created a VM (Virtual Machine) using VMware Workstation 6.5.2 running Windows Server 2003 R2.  If you’re getting started here with a VM of your own, or physical hardware, the current status of the VM for this tutorial is a standard Windows Server 2003 R2 installation, with all recommended updates / patches applied.

If this server is running in VMware Workstation, feel free to snapshot the VM at this point so that you have a clean build of Windows Server 2003, that can then be sysprep’ed and used to deploy multiple other servers.

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Building an Active Directory Domain Controller for Development using VMware Workstation – Pt. 1

So I guess earlier this year someone was going through my post for setting up a development environment and called it useless because the post didn’t discuss setting up an Windows Server AD (Active Directory) Domain Controller.  They called the post useless, but I figured there are a ton of posts out there for setting up DC’s (Domain Controllers).  Oh well, since they complained and I haven’t posted anything in a while, I decided to write a tutorial on setting up AD for development purposes.  I suppose that you can also use this post to set up a production system, but I’m not going into AD Policies and such in this post.

For this tutorial, I’m going to be using VMware Workstation 6.5.2 build 156735, and by the end of the tutorial, you should have a step-by-step roadmap to setting up a DC for development.  I’ll be installing Windows Server 2003 R2, not 2008, but the steps for a Windows Server 2008 DC are very similar and if someone requests it, I’ll post pics of the Windows Server 2008 steps.

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VMware VI Toolkit for Windows – Tip: Regular Expressions

The importance of having a naming schema for your virtual machines in VMware VI (ESX / Virtual Center) has become much more important with the release of the VI Toolkit for Windows.

If you’re not sure what the VI Toolkit for Windows is, please see a post that I wrote earlier this month: VMware VI Toolkit For Windows.

The VI Toolkit can allow you to automate and script a lot of tasks that would require quite a bit of UI interaction with the VI client.  Something that you can do to facilitate this effort is by naming your virtual machines with a consistent pattern.  A typical naming convention might end with a tag about the server’s function and a number representing the server’s redundancy.

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Getting Started with Virtualization and Server Consolidation

ConsolidatinQuick

Virtual what?

Many people over the last several years have used the word Virtualization and the phrase Server Consolidation as buzzwords.  Meaning they used the words to sound knowledgeable in specific areas or felt the oncoming rush of what is now upon us.  These are no longer buzzwords and catch-phrases.  It is an actual movement within the technical community that is gaining momentum on a daily basis.  Virtualization is the running of a physical server as a software server, while server consolidation is the converting of physical servers to software based servers.  If this seems to be a strange and foreign concept, that’s because it is.  People are used to installing operating systems on a physical machine and now you can install operating systems on non-physical (virtual) machines, so that any single physical machine can run multiple virtual machines.  The obvious gains are increased server utilization, ability to provision new servers without the need to purchase new hardware, lower power usage due to less hardware running, lower equipment and maintenance costs, and lower physical space needed as far as server footprints.

One of the biggest questions involved in getting started with virtualization for the first time, is what software to use and how to use it.  I’ll begin by saying that in this blog entry, I’ll only be discussing VMware products.  I’ve come to love and adore the VMware offerings, and it’s not just because I work for EMC.  I’ll mention some other products that you can research on your own if you should so choose, and actually I’d advise you to, so that you can arrive at your own decision as to product quality.  Onto the VMware products and how I’ve used them over the past several years.

VMware offers a multitude of virtualization products that are designed to meet a multitude of business needs.  Fortunately over the last few years, competition with Microsoft, and VMware’s efforts to increase the market’s interest in virtualization (completely my opinion and not backed by VMware or EMC) VMware has begun to offer a few top of the line products for free.  The products that I intend to cover in this article are:

VMware Workstation – low costs
VMware Server – free product
VMware ESXi – free product
VMware ESX / Virtual Center (also known as VI3) – costs

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