Posts Tagged WS2008

Windows Server 2008 R2 & Hyper-V Cluster upgrades or not…

Ahh the joys of participating in beta programs! ūüėČ

¬†As part of my day job, and as co-founder of IT consulting firm ‚ÄúThe Full Circle‚ÄĚ ‚Ästa Microsoft Gold Partner that likes to keep ahead of the game (or at least stay in it!) by being an early adopter, we are always¬†working with new software¬†and that means building and rebuilding boxes.¬† Clearly virtualisation can make huge savings, especially in time¬†but not always, especially when working with beta & pre-release software…

Our current journey of discovery is clustering with Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) which is currently in late stages of development (went RC about month ago), and we are delighted to be a UK Early Adopter Program partner! ūüôā

We have been working with a couple of different builds, the beta build 7000, and recenly the Release Candidate build 7100.¬† Our own infrastructure was built using the beta, as is our customer EAP project, and following a number of cluster issues we performed an in-place upgrade to the RC code…

However, last week I learnt that in-place upgrades to clusters are not supported across beta/pre-releases to RC, and eventually to RTM Рthis is often the case as would never be a mass adopter / real-world scenario.

What this means is that from Beta->RC and from RC->RTM, you will have to do the following:

1. Move workloads onto fewest nodes (1 in my case)

2.¬†Using ‘Failover Cluster Manager’ drill-down on Nodes, and right-click on the non-primary node, chose More Actions…, Evict – you’ll get a message warning that evicting a node can cause problems if a clustered application requires that node.. obviously! – click ‘Evict node NODENAME’

3. When it comes to the last remaining node in the cluster, due to Quorum requirements, you will need to destroy the cluster.¬† Select the cluster, goto More Actions… select Destroy the Cluster

4. Remove the ‘Failover cluster virtual network name account’ from AD Users & Computers

5. Being slightly paranoid, I also disabled the Failover Clustering service from with Hyper-V Configuration and removed the machine from the domain (back to a workgroup)

3. Wipe/Reload with new version of Hyper-V.

4. Create new 1 Node Cluster, join to SAN etc

5. Move VMs, offline, to new Hyper-V host.

a.¬†Upgrade VM’s IC’s

6. Wipe/Reload remaining host

7. Join it to the cluster

8.¬†Smile, before you do the same for RTM… ūüėČ


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Windows Server 2008 64-bit on the ThinkPad T61p…

After reading Keith Combs’ excellent Blahg post on the same subject at¬†I thought I’d try and update (things move quickly in 64-bit software support) and continue where he left off… Making¬†WS2008 64-bit on a T61¬†your production machine…

I’ve gone for two approaches,¬†the first is¬†simply using imagex to backup and restore (into Hyper-V child/virtual) a T61 Vista laptop, and in parallel adding the other nice ThinkPad devices and system software to¬†the Windows 64-bit (Vista or WS2008 ) ThinkPad build¬†that made¬†the ThinkPad the market leader¬†in the first place – beyond awesome build quality – awesome system software to help productivity, management, and ultimately improve the RoI and reduce support costs¬†(even if¬†you are supporting yourself ;-))

I’d be tempted to start with the ThinkVantage System Update, at the time of writing this was v3.13.¬† System Update¬†allows you to pick and install all of this lot plus more from a single, simple GUI – just beware the local repository can get quite large especially if you start installing monsters like the Rescue and Recovery programs (600+MB!).¬† The local repositor is by default in¬†C:\Program Files\Lenovo\System Update\session – you can clear down¬†all folders bar ‘schedulerupdater’ &¬†‘system’¬†and next time you run the update the folders will be recreated but without the actual downloaded binaries, etc.

Intel(R) Chipset Software Installation Utility
Lenovo System Interface Driver
ThinkPad Power Management Driver
Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver for Windows Vista 64bit

Ricoh 4-in-1 Media Card Reader Driver for Windows Vista/XP

ThinkVantage Fingerprint Software Windows 64-bit
ThinkVantage Client Security Solution for Vista 64-bit ?

SoundMAX audio driver
Wireless LAN
Maintenance Mananer
Productivity Centre

ThinkPad Mobility Center Customization

Adobe Flash Player for
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit)

query on:
Windows Vista Update Modules KB932063 (Fix for Several problems occur on a Windows Vista-based computer when you work in a wireless network environment)
Windows Vista Update Modules KB929191 (Vista disk enumeration optimizations are disabled on IBM and Lenovo computers)

Whilst not all links mention 64-bit in the title (I’ve kept the titles true to the ThinkVantage System Update as of April 20th 2008) this does not mean they are not 64-bit such as the Ricoh 4-in-1 Card, if you read the detail you will see mentioned “Summarized Windows Vista x86/x64 drivers”

I’ll be adding more to this post and fleshing out the links during the week of 28th April as I¬† should¬†have plenty of time and, hopefully, the resources to hand¬†get this right as attending the Windows Essential Business Server (formerly “Centro”) partner airlift to Microsoft in Redmond ūüôā

Hyper-V & Hybernate, Standby, etc..
you can have Hyper-V installed but not started by the following registry setting:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

When¬†you start¬†your Hyper-V laptop¬†you will have full access to the power management fucntionality ūüôā
If you need to demo a VM, I can start Hyper-V with the command:

net start hvboot
(Power management is then disabled again until the next reboot)

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Windows Server 2008 Server Core setup scripts & common commands

In a previous post I talked about setting up Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition 64-bit¬†to be a Hyper-V platform, Microsoft’s recommendation is for the Virtual Machine host to be running Server Core¬†–¬†dig out your old PC-DOS or MS-DOS¬†commands then apply¬†20+ years of updates ūüėČ

Server Core is all about the command line and scripting and I was recently lucky enough to have attended a Microsoft Hyper-V RDP bootcamp in which we covered Server Core deployments, this and having trawled various blog posts but not being able to find a single source for common Hyper-V server core setup commands made me want to document the setup scripts I used to allow quick and easy replication and, of course, for all dev environments Рfrequent rebuild!

These are listed in the order I would perform them to either minimise¬†security or¬†network ‘steps’¬†(such as name registration order):

To enable Automatic Updates and force an immediate update (apparently you can also¬†define a schedule –¬†for non-managed servers we only allow Saturday at 03:00)
cscript \windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /au 4
net stop wuauserv
net start wuauserv
wuauclt /detectnow

To enable Terminal Services access
cscript \windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /ar 0
cscript \windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /cs 1

(for help on what commands are available via scregedit type cscript \windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /?)

To rename the local computer name
netdom renamecomputer <old_host_name> /newname:<new_host_name>
rem – a shutdown /r /t 0 will be needed to restart the computer for the change to be applied

To change the workgroup name
rem usage sc-changeWGroup <host_name> <workgroup_name>
wmic computersystemwhere name=”%1″ call joindomainorworkgroup name=”%2″
rem – a shutdown /r /t 0 will be needed to restart the computer for the change to be applied

To list the status of Hyper-V and install it (assumes any pre-req patches such as RC0)
oclist | find “Hyper-V”
ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V

To rename the new virtual switch interface from the default Local Area Connection 3
netsh interface set interface name = “Local Area Connection 3” newname = “Local Area Connection – Virtual”

Script to set IP, mask, G/W, & DNS servers
rem changes ip address by script
rem usage – sc-setIP <ip address> <subnet mask> <gateway> <dns1> <dns2>

netsh interface ipv4 set address name=”Local Area Connection – Virtual” source=static address=%1 mask=%2 gateway=%3

netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=”Local Area Connection – Virtual” address=%4 index=1
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=”Local Area Connection – Virtual” address=%5 index=2

netsh interface ipv4 show config | more

To open WMI for Hyper-V remote administration
winrm quickconfig
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)” new enable=yes
net localgroup “Distributed COM Users” /add Admin-TFCSupport

or to open a WorkGroup server for full remote administration…
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=‚ÄúRemote Administration‚ÄĚ new enable=yes

rem changes ip address by script
rem usage – sc-setIP <ip address> <subnet mask> <gateway> <dns1> <dns2>

netsh interface ipv4 set address name=”Local Area Connection” source=static address=%1 mask=%2 gateway=%3

netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=”Local Area Connection” address=%4 index=1
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=”Local Area Connection” address=%5 index=2

netsh interface ipv4 show config | more

netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8

(or to simply disable the entire firewall… netsh firewall set opmode disable)

w32tm /configure /,,0×8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL
net stop w32time
net start w32time
w32tm /resync /nowait

Of course, a lot of these commands are not just specific to Server Core but can be also run on full versions of WS2008, the new Hyper-V Server soon to be launched, or indeed Vista.
One last great command line line tool to confirm many of the outcomes and changes executed by the commands detailed here is¬†‘systeminfo’ – try it!

update… two excellent resources that expand way more than¬†I have time to are:

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Why virtualise when a server costs less than a desktop‚Ķ (bar ‚Äėgreen IT‚Äô of course!)


As part of our business – an IT consulting firm called “The Full Circle” – and as a Microsoft Gold Partner that likes to ahead of the game by being an early adopter, we are always playing with new software¬†and that means building and rebuilding boxes.¬† Clearly virtualisation can make huge savings, especially in time¬†but not always is virtualisation suitable (such as testing the latest 64-bit drivers and support packs).

However recently I came across an HP Proliant ML110 G5 server (dual core Xeon 2.33GHz, 1GB RAM expandable to 8GB, 250GB SATA, Gigabit Ethernet) for only ¬£220 + VAT which is about ¬£100 cheaper than HP’s value DX2300 desktop range and better spec’d (well bar the 8MB Matrox GPU! ;-).

I¬†sent a mail to my colleages titled “An HP server for less than a desktop?¬† Virtualise when you can have a physical?”




HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Xeon 3065 2.33/1333 Dual-Core, 1x1GB, Non Hot Plug SATA

250 GB, DVD¬ĪRW (+R double layer), Gigabit Ethernet – ¬£220 inc VAT


I‚Äôm in the process of building a new ML110 G5 with Windows 2008 Server Enterprise Core (x64) which is now RTM with a view to this being a Hyper-V platform for a number of other guest VM‚Äôs including my main desktop which may or may not prove a little optimistic re: things like driver support, etc. we will see…


Note ‚Äď you need to enable the CPU VM support before installing, it is disabled by default.


will aim to get a physical Vista platform built to test suitability for normal desktop use and may even try restoring an existing XP image just for the hell of it but won’t be spending too much time troubleshooting if it doesn’t play nicely for obvious reasons.


In the meantime some interesting & essential reading below if you are thinking of Windows Server 2008 virtualisation…


I‚Äôd say the RC1 ref‚Äôs re: Hyper-V support are now out of date as I‚Äôve successfully installed it on the RTM platform I built this morning, although already running into issues with ‚Äėcore‚Äô that may have me reinstalling with a nice GUI such as:


Enabling Hyper-V in a Server Core deployment

The following steps will replace steps 4-7 above for a Server Core installation.

1.Type ‚ÄúStart /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V‚ÄĚ to enable Hyper-V role.

2.     Restart when prompted.
Note: To Manage Hyper-V, you can remotely connect to the server from an existing Hyper-V Manager MMC on a different system.


I think without training (I‚Äôve re-included the recent WS2008 links) it may be too much to learn/dig around with not enough time (other priorities!) trying to pursue the core build, I can feel a shutdown /c ‚Äúrebuild with GUI‚ÄĚ /f /r coming on… ūüėČ



¬†…since writing that mail in mid-February¬†I’ve¬†been on the UK Hyper-V RDP training with Microsoft and have learnt lots about server-core and just how difficult it currently is to remote manage… will be posting some findings and tips n tricks soon… (althojgh next job building a T61p laptop to be a Hyper-V host for some Centro / Essential Business Server work we are doing… ūüôā

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