Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Windows 7 Delayed Logon Screen


After booting a Windows it stops at a black screen with the cursor just before the logon screen.

Download process monitor from Microsoft.

Enabled Boot Logging in Process Monitor by going to Options > Enable Boot Logging and selected to generate profiling events every second.

Reset the filter to the Process Tree to see the start and end times of various processes upon system startup. Scrolling through the tree looking at lifetime column for one that had sat for the longest amount of time.

Once found look at the offending tool/service and see if it can be removed or updated and then you will be back to a speedy boot.


This information came from Greig Mitchell's Blog

Monday, August 27, 2012

W2K8R2–>Windows Server 2012


There are been some massive improvements in scale in Windows Server 2012, here are the key new features in virtualisation…

Subsystem, services R2 2012 Improvement factor
Hardware CPU 64 3200 5x
Hardware RAM 1TB 4TB 4x
Virtual CPU 512 1024 2x
CPU per VM 4 64 16x
RAM per VM 64GB 1TB 16x
Running VMs 384 1024 2.7x
Virtual disk size 2TB 64TB 32x
Cluster nodes 16 64 4x
VMs 1000 4000 4x

For VDI there are some nice new features, and one of the best in the new VDI wizard… More to come here.


Note: from TechEd 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Windows 7/2008r2 Group Policy diagnostic event log


Windows 7 / 2008R2 Group Policies are located in the Event Viewer. Under
\Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Group Policy\Operational.

While Windows 7 logs many events to event log you sometimes need the operational additional information.

GPO is processed by the Windows  service called "Group Policy Client". You can enable a detailed diagnostic report for this services via the reg key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Diagnostics]

The log files are: %WINDIR%\debug\usermode\gpsvc.log

(need to reboot or restart the service).

Friday, August 17, 2012

BYOD, are you a part of the problem?


A common user pet peeve is that organisations take too long to deploy new hardware, operating systems, and applications. BYOD enables users to embrace cutting edge technologies on their own, which reduces frustration and leads to happier employees.

A fringe benefit of happy, satisfied workers is increased productivity. Users who have the freedom to choose the platforms and devices that seem most intuitive to them are able to accomplish basic tasks faster. Users armed with newer technology can work more efficiently than users forced to work with systems they find frustrating or confusing.

We found that:

1. 67 % of people are using personal devices in the workplace whether its officially sanctioned or not.

2. More organisations prohibit BYOD than subsidise BYOD.

The above is a snippet taken from the article: BYOD–is it Good, Bad or Ugly from the User Viewpoint? All credit to Jeff Jones, for me it just struck a sore point…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Boot time Windows XP and Windows 7


I know that ‘people’ game the statistics on boot time, they don't join a domain, disable lots of services, use SSD drives, disable POST etc… Well that looks good on stage but in the real world, computers are upgraded, have PXE turned on, BIOS is out of the box, run anti-virus and are domain members.

I needed a real working set , so in extensive testing (2 identical and mid-spec computers – hey I did it twice). Here is the comparison.

So on the same hardware (Dell OptiPlex 790)

Windows XP:

Windows 7:

BIOS: 20 seconds

OS Boot time: 40

To the logon screen: 1:27

To the desktop (logged on): 2:11

To power off: 2:47

BIOS: 20 seconds

OS Boot time: 54

To the logon screen: 1:22

To the desktop (logged on): 1:42

To power off: 1:58

So the Windows 7 computer is not faster to boot however it is however faster to the users desktop and ready to use about in 1/5th of the time of the Windows XP machine.

Faster still is to stop using power off, shutdown and power on, sleep takes 9 seconds and to wake up take 4 seconds. The power consumption in sleep mode is 5% of the running power when compared to being fully powered..

Notes about this:

  1. Same hardware, RAM, disk, network etc
  2. WXP and W7 current and fully patched (both new builds)
  3. Similar apps (office 2003 v office 2010 etc)
  4. Both with SAV AV
  5. Same logon to domain (folder redirection)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Create Windows 7 64bit USB flash install media on Linux PC

(this was so easy before I never bothered to blog it, but this time, maybe because it was 64bit, maybe because of the colour of the moon, it took about 4 different attempts, so here it is…)

Use either df or other command to find your USB device

$ df -h

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on

/dev/sda1       691G  488G  169G  75% /
udev            3.8G   12K  3.8G   1% /dev
tmpfs           1.6G  940K  1.6G   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            3.9G  436K  3.8G   1% /run/shm
/dev/loop0      5.3G  5.3G     0 100% /mnt/iso
/dev/mmcblk0p1  3.8G   32K  3.8G   1% /media/72AD-2013_
/dev/sdb 8G 0G 8G 0% /media/usbdrive


Check what device your USB media is assigned above it is /dev/sdb.


Use gparted to dismount and format the drive to NTFS (creates /dev/sdb1 on /dev/sdb)


Mount ISO and USB media:

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/iso

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/usb

$ sudo mount -o loop Windows7-64bit.iso /mnt/iso

$ sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb


Copy over all files (GUI or command line):

$ cp -r /mnt/iso/* /mnt/usb/


Download, untar, and install (make, sudo make install) ms-sys from here.

Use ms-sys to install a Windows 7 Master Boot Record on the USB stick:

$ ms-sys -7 /dev/sdb


And away you go…

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Well you got your MDACs and .NETs but what versions?


How you can see if and what version of the .NET Framework has been installed?

You can look in the registry or look at the files on the boot drive;

via the reegistry check the keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\*

Or check for a local directory like %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\<version>

where <version> is

v1.1.4322 - for .NET Framework v1.1
v1.0.3705 - for .NET Framework v1.0
v2…. Etc etc



How you can see if and what version of the MDAC has been installed?

Download and install:

Run the too CC.EXE in the folder C:\CompChecker\


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