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Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

Failed to gracefully demote domain controller

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I was getting ready to upgrade the hardware and server version on an old Windows Server 2008R2 domain controller when I ran into a interesting problem. After launching DCPROMO and going through the steps, I received an error that said “The directory service is missing mandatory configuration information, and is unable to determine the ownership of floating single-master operation roles”.

After doing some research, it turns out that the domain controller has incorrect information as to the FSMO operation master owner. It is set to a domain controller that has been deleted or does not exist. In my case, the person before me must have improperly decommissioned a domain controller, leaving cruft behind in the AD. I launched ADSIEdit on the domain controller I was trying to remove and went to the infrastructure container and sure enough under “fSMORoleOwner” is had garbage.

When I tried to edit the value, I received an error stating “Operation Failed. Error code: 0x20ae The role owner attribute could not be read 000020AE: SvcErr: DSID-03152BF7, Problem 5003 (WILL_NOT_PERFORM) Data 0”. If you receive this error message when trying to change the value of “fSMORoleOwner”, you must change the value from the domain controller that holds the FSMO role. Once you change it there, depending on your replication scheme, the change should be updated on the domain controller you are trying to demote and it should now allow you to complete the process.

VirtualBox Error 0x000000C4

November 21, 2013 5 comments

I recently tried to upgrade a Windows 8 VirtualBox virtual machine to Windows 8.1 and ran into an error during the process. If I tried to run the upgrade from within the operating system (which is the required way), I received an error stating that my system did not meet system requirements. Specifically it mentions that my processor does not support “CompareExchange128”. After doing some research, I figured out how to turn on support for that in VirtualBox.

In Linux type the following in a terminal:
VBoxManage setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
NOTE: Be sure to replace [vmname] with the name of your virtual machine.

In Windows type the following in a command prompt:
"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
NOTE: Be sure to replace [vmname] with the name of your virtual machine.

This also affects individuals installing Windows Server 2012 R2 on VirtualBox.

Command Line Activation Tools for Windows and Office

November 21, 2013 2 comments

If your a Windows Administrator, you should be familiar with the following tools. slmgr.vbs is a command line software licensing management tool for Windows. It works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS). You can call it from anywhere in a command prompt. slmgr.vbs has many options including installing a product key, uninstalling a product key, displaying license information, and activating. For a complete list of options, visit the following TechNet article.

opss.vbs is also a command line software licensing management tool but for Microsoft Office. It also works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS).

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

For more information on opss.vbs visit the following TechNet article.

You can easily use these tools to install and activate a product key in a batch script and deploy it to a large number of machines.

Microsoft Remote Desktop App for iOS and Android

October 17, 2013 11 comments

Microsoft has finally released a remote desktop client application for iOS and Android. Remote Desktop, as the name implies, uses the same Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that Microsoft has used for years across its Windows desktop and server releases to connect to a PC. The application will support all Windows PCs that have Remote Desktop turned on, an option that can be configured in Control Panel. Until now, iOS and Android users had to use third party solutions that were usually not free. Ironically, no remote desktop application has been released for Windows Phone. Microsoft assures Windows Phone users that a remote desktop application will soon follow for them.

Categories: Microsoft

Windows 8.1 Available for Download

October 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Windows 8.1 has been available for some time now for MSDN subscribers, but today Microsoft has just publicly released Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro users. You can get this new update through the Microsoft Store. It is packed with many updates, fixes, and tweaks that will hopefully improve the user experience. Of these changes, my favorites are:

  • The return of the Start button
    The Start button now sports the new Microsoft logo and launches the start screen. The veteran Windows users would like to see the return of the original start menu, however, this is a welcomed improvement over the previous method where you had to put your cursor in the very bottom left corner of the screen.
  • The option to boot directly to the desktop
    To turn on boot-to-desktop, right-click the Taskbar and choose Properties, and then Navigation. Finally, under Start screen, check the box that says “Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in.”

How to Use a Command Prompt During GUI-Mode Setup

June 29, 2013 2 comments

In some cases, it may be helpful to have access to a command prompt during GUI-mode Setup for the purposes of troubleshooting, partitioning the disk, copying drivers, starting and stopping services, starting tools such as Task Manager, or other for other needs.

To gain access to a command prompt during GUI-mode Setup, press SHIFT+F10.