Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hyper-V R2: Live Migration common problems

Recently the ASKCORE Team wrote an excellent article about the most common problems that they receive from their clients regarding to Hyper-V R2 Live Migration.

According to them, the most common problems are related with some bad habits and bad decisions regarding to network configurations. The article also explain some techniques to increase the speed of the process (they’ve called it – Bonus Material :)).

Read more at “The devil may be in the networking details.”

Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool V2.1

Microsoft released their new Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool; the new version of this tool includes support for Windows Server 2008 R2 and VMM 2008 R2.

What this tool can do for you?

Basically allows you to perform updates in your offline VM's that are in your VMM library. A scheduled job runs, deploys the VM, updates it and stores it back in the library during this process.

Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 now supports the following products:
  • Hyper-V-R2
  • VMM 2008 R2
  • SCCM 2007 SP2
  • WSUS 3.0 SP2
  • Updates to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines.

Download it Here

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Disk2vhd v1.4 available for download

New update for Disk2vhd, now we can use the 1.4 version of the product.

Back In October SysInternals gave us the Disk2vhd v1.1 the announcement was made here at ENIACK, the v1.3 was released in November, now SysInternals is back with the new version of the same tool “v1.4”.

To download, click HERE

Read more about the new version at Sysinternals

Core Configurator 2.0 available for download

Core Configurator 2.0 is now available for download at CODEPLEX.

It is completely open source so it can be ammended and change to fit your requirements, this version has been a year in the making and has been written in powershell with a reference to Winforms so that a GUI format is displayed.

The primary focus of this project is to try and get feedback and contributions back from the community to make this a tool the best/ free tool everyone will want in there toolkit, so if you have some code or features that you might want included then please leave a comment and we will get in touch.

Core Configuration tasks include:
-Product Licencing
-Networking Features
-DCPromo Tool
-ISCSI Settings
-Server Roles and Features
-User and Group Permissions
-Share Creation and Deletion
-Dynamic Firewall settings
-Screensaver Settings
-Add & Remove Drivers
-Proxy settings
-Windows Updates (Including WSUS)
-Multipath I/O
-Hyper-V including virtual machine thumbnails
-JoinDomain and Computer rename
-Add/remove programs
-Complete logging of all commands executed

Monday, November 23, 2009

Windows 7 Application Compatibility Tool

In this webcast, Chris Jackson, demonstrates how you can use the Windows 7 Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 to get your application portfolio ready to migrate from a Windows XP to a Windows 7 environment. He shows how to gather an application inventory and mitigate application compatibility issues.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hyper-V: How to Shrink and change the partition Size for a vhd file

Recently Tonyso posted an interesting article about how to shrink and change a partition size for a vhd file.

There’re a lot of reasons why should be interested in doing something like this, for instance, you may need to reduce the size of a vhd file that was created during a P2V migration, or you may need to reduce the maximum size of a given partition for an old miss configured vhd file with extra unused space, or perhaps you need to consolidate your available storage and for that you need to readjust the existing vhd files to the correct size…

Check it out how to do it with ISO Linux distro that includes NTFSRESIZE and FDISK

In the future posts, I’ll show you different ways to do the same thing with different tools.

Office 2010 Beta available for download

Try the new Office 2010 you can get it at

Also available at TechNet and MSDN for subscribers

Hyper-V Cluster Error: An error occurred while creating the cluster. An error occurred creating cluster 'clustername'. The service has not been started.

Here’s an interesting one that I already run a couple of times. You try to create a cluster at Hyper-V, the cluster pass all validation tests, then, at the final phase of the cluster creation, the process fails with the following error:
An error occurred while creating the cluster. An error occurred creating cluster 'clustername'. The service has not been started.

After this, the cluster computer account is removed from Active Directory!!!

After a closest check, I notice that the problem is related with the “Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter” - “This device cannot start. (Code 10)”.

After a reboot I saw the following errors at the event log:
EventID 4872:
The failover cluster virtual adapter failed to generate a unique MAC address. Either it was unable to find a physical Ethernet adapter from which to generate a unique address or the generated address conflicts with another adapter on this machine. Please run the Validate a Configuration wizard to check your network configuration.
EventID 4871:
The cluster service failed to start. This was because the failover cluster virtual adapter failed to initialize the miniport adapter. The error code was '2147483674'. Verify that other network adapters are functioning properly and check the device manager for errors. If the configuration was changed, it may be necessary to reinstall the failover clustering feature on this computer.

Okay, something is wrong with the MAC Address creation for the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter. What can we do about that?

(Before proceeding, make sure that you backup of your registry)

- Open registry, and navigate to the following registry subkey:

- Under this subkey, find the subkey that holds a DriverDesc string value entry whose value is "Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter." (NOTE: 007 was the key designated were the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter was in my server, but this number may vary on different servers.)

- Under the subkey (in my scenario "007"), add the following string value registry entry:
Name: DatalinkAddress
Value data: 02-AA-BB-CC-DD-01
String Value (REG_SZ)

Restart the computer.


Repeat these steps for computers were you're having this problem. When you do this on other computers, replace the value data of the registry with different values in order to set a unique value for each node. For example, set the value on the second node to 02-AA-BB-CC-DD-02, and set value on the third node to 02-AA-BB-CC-DD-03. If you notice this behavior on distinct clusters, make sure that you use an address for each node that is unique across all clusters.

Recently, Microsoft has released the KB973838 that describes the same issue.

Have Fun!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010 available for Download

Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 allows employees to safely and productively use the Internet without worrying about malware and other threats. It provides multiple protection capabilities including URL filtering*, antimalware inspection*, intrusion prevention, application- and network-layer firewall, and HTTP/HTTPS inspection – that are integrated into a unified, easy to manage gateway, reducing the cost and complexity of Web security. Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 is available for download in both Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008

Minimum system requirements:
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • A computer with 2 core (1 CPU x dual core) 64-bit processor
  • 2 gigabytes (GB) or more of memory
  • 2.5 GB of available hard disk space. This is exclusive of hard disk space that you want to use for caching or for temporarily storing files during malware inspection
  • One local hard disk partition that is formatted with the NTFS file system
  • One network adapter that is compatible with the computer's operating system, for communication with the Internal network
  • An additional network adapter for each network connected to the Forefront TMG server
Recommended system requirements:
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • A computer with 4 core (2 CPU x dual core or 1 CPU x quad core) 64-bit processor
  • 4 gigabytes (GB) or more of memory
  • 2.5 GB of available hard disk space. This is exclusive of hard disk space that you want to use for caching or for temporarily storing files during malware inspection
  • Two disk for system and TMG logging, and one for caching and malware inspection
  • One network adapter that is compatible with the computer's operating system, for communication with the Internal network
  • An additional network adapter for each network connected to the Forefront TMG server
Additionally check the Forefront TMG RTM Overview Interview with David Cross

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Have Fun!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

SCVMM 2008 New KB Articles

How to troubleshoot the "Not Responding" host status in VMM 2008

The Virtual Machine Manager Service crashes when you add a virtual machine host that has more than 16 logical processors in VMM 2008 R2

Exchange Server 2010 available to TechNet subscribers

If you have a TechNet Plus subscriptions, you’ll notice that Exchange Server 2010 is already available to download.

  • What's New in Exchange 2010
  • Top Reasons to Try Microsoft Exchange Server 2010Reduced deployment cost
    • Exchange Server 2010 helps you reduce costs by addressing common infrastructure requirements such as backup, e-mail archiving, mobile e-mail access, and voice mail with no need for third-party tools.
    • Simplified high availability and disaster recovery
    • Exchange Server 2010 introduces a simplified approach to high availability and disaster recovery to help you achieve new levels of reliability and reduce the complexity of delivering business continuity.
    • Easier administration and decreased dependence on the help desk
    • Exchange Server 2010 provides new self-service capabilities to help users perform common tasks without calling the help desk.
    • Greater mobility and flexible access
    • Exchange Server 2010 offers an enhanced universal inbox experience, which provides your users with access to all of their business communications from a single location.
    • Decreased inbox overload and increased productivity
    • Exchange Server 2010 adds new productivity features which help your users organize and prioritize the communications in their inboxes efficiently.
    • Transformed voice mail
    • With Exchange Server 2010, users can receive their voice mail messages in their inbox with text preview.
    • Simplified compliance
    • Exchange Server 2010 delivers new integrated archiving functionality to help simplify compliance and discovery.
    • Safeguards for sensitive information
    • With centrally managed and enforced information protection and control capabilities, Exchange Server 2010 makes it easy to encrypt, control, and moderate your company's communications.
    • Reduced risk of malware and spam
    • Exchange Server 2010 actively helps protect your communications through built-in defenses against junk e-mail and support for an array of third party security products.
  • Watch Exchange 2010 demos from the Exchange Product Team
  • Exchange 2010 System Requirements

More information at:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MS release of Virtual Machine Migration Test Wizard

In Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V R2, when a running or a saved state virtual machine is migrated to another server, the destination server may have a processor with a different set of features. An operating system or application that attempts to execute CPU features discovered when the virtual machine was started on a "source" machine, but not present on the destination (called "destination") machine, will cause a virtual machine migration failure.

The Hyper-V R2 virtualization platform prevents the migration of a virtual machine that will fail in this way because the processors of the "source" and "destination" servers are not compatible. However, this check for compatibility only happens at the time of virtual machine migration, not when the server joins a cluster.

Windows Server 2008 R2 includes a capability called “Processor compatibility mode” so that you can avoid the situation where virtual machines cannot be migrated due to processor incompatibilities. However, if you do not want to turn this capability on for each of your virtual machines, you can use this wizard to identify which machines in your environment are compatible.


Guide for migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7

Do you need help with migrations from Windows XP to Windows 7?

Check Part 1 of 5 blogged by the Windows Team at:
Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 - Guidance for IT pros

Every day this week long-time Springboard technical contributor and Windows deployment insider, Jeremy Chapman, will post a blog about how to think about Windows 7 deployment projects. We debated on making this a whitepaper or a feature article, but to keep things less formal, we went with a multimedia blog series. This series won't just cover steps to publish images in your Windows Deployment Services environments, instead it goes much broader into the major steps of deployment all-up; from figuring out what applications and hardware you have to migrating files, managing applications, building images, incorporating drivers and automating stuff end-to-end. Jeremy has been a veteran member of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit team and while he won't be posting the classic "1500 pages" of how-to content, he will stay on his quest for the elusive and often escalated-for "one-page paper" to migrate enterprise customers from Windows XP to Windows 7. Let's see if he can do it!

Server Core Remote Management How to...

Sander Berkouwer announced a free eBook that was written by himself and Joachim Nässlander, this book will help you with some basics about possible configurations for remote management in Server Core.


Sysinternals retired NewSID

Check it out the reasons why the Sysinternals NewSID tool has been retired from sysinternals in Mark’s latest blog which debunks the myth that having duplicate machine SIDs causes problems.

Read more HERE.

Sysinternals Updated Disk2vhd Disk2vhd v1.1 to Disk2vhd v1.3

Back In October SysInternals gave us the Disk2vhd v1.1 (and I already used some times with excellent results) the announcement was made here at ENIACK, now SysInternals is back with the new version of the same tool “v1.3”.

The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).

Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008 R2

According with MS Exchange Team Blog, Exchange 2007 will be supported on Windows Server 2008 R2.

“We always talk about listening to customers and sometimes this is written off by many as 'marketing speak'. In fact, we do take feedback seriously and no input is more important to our engineering processes than your voice.”
“Earlier this year we made a decision in one direction, and due to the feedback we have received on this blog and elsewhere, we have reconsidered. In the coming calendar year we will issue an update for Exchange 2007 enabling full support of Windows Server 2008 R2. We heard from many customers that this was important for streamlining their operations and reducing administrative challenges, so we have changed course and will add R2 support. We are still working through the specifics and will let you know once we have more to share on the timing of this update.“

Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 eBook Free Download

TRUE, Microsoft Learning and MS Press folks have this eBOOK available for download here.

Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 will help you to understand the new R2's features, capabilities including the improvements in Hyper-V, RDS virtualization, IIS the Web application platform and other interesting stuff.


Active Directory Services KB Articles

Active Directory Services KB Articles

The memory usage of the Dns.exe process keeps increasing after you install hotfix 941672 on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 SP2 and that has the DNS server role installed
The Active Directory Application Mode index may become corrupted if you search the instance by using the LDAP virtual list view control
Numeric host names cannot be resolved on a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008
Error message when you run a command at the Command Prompt window in Windows Server 2008 Server Core: "The specified service does not exist as an installed Service"
Error code when an application uses the CredSSP if the authenticated user account is a member of many security groups on a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008: "0x80090329"
A DFSR propagation report logs the following error on a Windows Server 2008 domain controller: "Cannot open test file on the member The network path was not found."
The "Run only allowed Windows applications" Group Policy setting displays no entries on a computer that is running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or Windows 7
Description of the Windows Management Framework on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008
A LDAP simple bind action fails on a domain controller that is running Windows Server 2008 if the distinguished name of the user account exceeds 256 characters
Computers that are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 stop responding at a black screen if a screen saver is enabled
How to select time zone for countries or regions that are not listed in Windows time zone list

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mark Russinovich: Inside Windows 7 Redux

Check out Mark’s latest Channel 9 interview on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 kernel changes, released today to coincide with Windows 7’s general availability. He talks about memory management, process reflection and more, and shows a couple of demos on a 256-processor system.

"Windows 7 is here, available to all for purchase and ships today with new PCs! To celebrate this momentous occasion for Windows and Microsoft, Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich joins me in a discussion that extends the great conversation we had last year on Windows 7 internals. In his previous C9 interview, Mark told us about many of the new additions to the Windows kernel which enable Windows 7 (and Windows Server R2) to scale to large numbers of processors. Well, removing the kernel dispatcher lock is not all that the great Arun Kishan did. He also developed a new scheduling mechanism known as Distributed Fair Share Scheduling (DFSS). Mark describes what this is and how it works."

Check it here:
Mark Russinovich: Inside Windows 7 Redux

Friday, October 16, 2009

Remote Desktop Load Simulation Tools

After several customer requests, Microsoft has released the Remote Desktop Load Simulation tools to help you size your VDI deployments. Use Connect and give genuine feedback to the responsible teams.

The Remote Desktop Load Simulation toolset is used for server capacity planning and performance/scalability analysis.

In a server-based computing environment, all application execution and data processing occur on the server. Therefore it is extremely interesting to test the scalability and capacity of servers to determine how many client sessions a server can typically support under a variety of different scenarios. One of the most reliable ways to find out the number or users a server can support for a particular scenario is to log on a large number of users on the server simultaneously. The Remote Desktop Load Simulation tools provide the functionality which makes it possible to generate the required user load on the server.


Boot From VHD and run Hyper-V in your Windows 7 box

Keith Combs wrote an excellent article about the How to boot from vhd in windows 7 and run Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-v.

Keith wrote:
If you are running Windows 7 today, there’s no reason to tear down your machine, re-partition your drive, and reinstall your world. Instead, you can simply install Windows Server 2008 R2 into a .VHD file and make it bootable. After that is accomplished you can choose the OS you want when you power up your machine. The following steps are the simplest way (currently) to do this. It really doesn’t get any simpler.

Read more here.

Disc imaging can be a BAD THING in Windows World.

Why disc imaging can be a BAD THING in Windows World.

Many issues in Windows are caused by unsupported methods to Backup/Restore/Deploy procedures, Microsoft provides several methods to perform a correct deployment of the Windows operating system, but unfortunately some IT Professionals still don't understand why this is a BAD thing, to explain the details, MS has a KB that was updated today and that everyone should read before starting to deploy Imaging in their networks.

Remember, the use of a supported method is very important to make sure that the security of the systems that are running Windows is not compromised and that you don't run into issues that are caused by this technique.

Check KB162001


Open Source PowerShell Cmdlet and Help Designer

PowerShell Cmdlet and Help Designer now available for download at CODEPLEX.

The Cmdlet Designer makes it much easier for teams to concentrate on the design, naming, and consistency of their cmdlets, while also guaranteeing name registration and collision avoidance across a project.

To sweeten the deal, it offers:
-Integrated help authoring
-Efficient bulk operations (parameter and cmdlet cloning)
-Generation of cmdlet code
-Full scripting support
-Automatic code-spec comparison and testing
-Role-based security, history logging, and more.

Architecturally, the Cmdlet Designer offers a reference implementation to benefit developers as well:
UI on top of Cmdlets
UI extensibility through scripting
Cmdlet / Webservice interaction
Role-based security, with a trusted subsystem implementation


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Technet - Live Migration Networks

Confused about which network does what with live migration? Problems determining how many networks you need for cluster shared volumes? This screencasts discusses how networks are used when live migration is configured with cluster shared volumes and shows which parameters you can configure to control traffic.$0 You can find more details on Giovanni's blog.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Cluster Validation Error due duplicate GUID information

The ASK Core Team recently blogged about an error that may occur in clusters if you use imaging to deploy servers without using sysprep.

The error:
Failover Cluster Validation Firewall Error in Windows Server 2008 R2
An error occurred while executing the test. There was an error verifying the firewall configuration. An item with the same key has already been added

Lesson learned, always use supported methods (Like Sysprep) to deploy the servers, especially when using imaging or disk rollback procedures

Read more Here

Windows 2008 R2 problems with HP Drivers

I decided to share with you some issues that I experienced with HP servers when upgrading to Windows 2008 R2. I discover that some settings that were working perfectly in Windows 2008 didn’t worked any more after I introduce the recent Windows 2008 R2, no matter if I did a upgrade or a clean install. These problems were common to Full and Core installations. The most common errors were:

Hyper-V servers (when adding new switches):
Error Applying New Virtual Network Changes

Setup switch failed.
Information is no longer available about this task because the object that monitors the process no longer exists. This may occur when many tasks are being processed.
After the process failure and consequent retry to get the vswitch on the correct NIC I got:
(Note:You also have some solutions in this POST to clear this error)
Error Applying New Virtual Network Changes

Binding to the external Ethernet
Cannot bind to the external Ethernet < NIC description> because it is already bound to another virtual network.

Hyper-V servers (when removing switches):
You might not have permissions to perform this task

Upgrading Servers (When running the NCU update):

The NCU setup sometimes fail to install/or upgrade and in some servers I had to stop some services in order to get the NCU installed (action that I would later regret).

Cluster Errors:
The operation has failed.

Error in Validation. (Note: Some possible issues are also described in this POST)

Clusters creation Errors:
In Clusters, although the validation process ended ok, the process to create the cluster fails with the error:
Validating installation of the Network FT Driver on node .
Unable to successfully cleanup.

When I started to debug these problems I notice that they all had one thing in common, they were all network related problems.


Ok, let’s start from the beginning, I checked the latest Firmware and Software (HP supported versions for Windows 2008 R2) and everything was fine, I was using the Smart Start 8.30 (18 Aug 2009) and I also did the upgrade for the latest Firmware version 8.60 (10 Aug 2009). Although everything seemed OK, the fact was that I still had those issues.

So, what to do next?

After several tests I come up with several conclusions to make this work, I’m not going to explain all of them nor am I going to explain in detail about the details of the processes. Instead I’m going to give you the easier way to implement and to get things done until HP solves this problem and hopefully give us an UPDATED version of some drivers and other software.
                 After several tests I concluded that these Network problems are ALL related with the drivers that are included in the Smart Start CD 8.30 (yep, the version that HP says that is supported to Windows 2008 R2). Most of these drivers and software have the date of August 2009, but it seems that they were not tested carefully enough to guarantee the minimum quality in order to function correctly in Windows 2008 R2. Yes I know, it’s October 2009 and things haven’t change.

That said, let’s start:
1- Before anything else, use the Firmware CD 8.60 or later and boot from the CD. In order to get HP support you need to update ALL existing hardware to the most recent firmware version.

2- After that, use the Smart Start CD 8.30 or later (hopefully when you read this HP already has an update version and you probably don’t need to follow this procedure) to start the server and installation process. After boot process the Smart Start CD stats a wizard and you’ll get a number of questions regarding to server name, organization, etc… when you get the option to choose the Installation mode, choose “CUSTOM”, this will allow you to choose what components you want to install at the end of Windows installation.

3- When the installation finishes a wizard is presented that will allow you to install the components available in the PSP, this will allow you to choose exactly what components you wish to install. In that Screen exclude the NCU (Network Configuration tool) from the driver/software installation process (you may also exclude the NICs if you want). If you don’t exclude the NCU at this step of the process you will probably have problems with network communications depending of the roles that you plan to install on that server.

4- The next step is to get the most recent version of the NICs drivers available online. DO NOT USE THE SMARTSTART CD 8.30 drivers or the DRIVERS that ARE ONLINE AT HP WEBSITE for the same version of the Smart Start CD 8.30; instead get the DRIVERS directly from the hardware provider (In my servers – Broadcom and Intel).
Note: I couldn’t get a version from Broadcom that specifically said that the driver was for Windows 2008 R2, instead I got the 12.26.02 version that has the date of 08/28/09 and according with Broadcom website this driver is for Windows 2008 x64. Intel already has drivers for Windows 2008 R2 for some NICs; you’ll need to check if your NIC is already on that list.

5- Be careful and take note of the date and driver version, I already had some servers that after the driver setup, the driver wasn’t properly updated as it should and I had to remove the driver, reboot the server and re-install it again. I also had scenarios (especially in server core) were I wasn’t able to perform the update because after driver removal, the NICs were lost and the only way to get them back (assuming Windows Full installs) was through the device manager. I had to use device manger to manually remove the NICs and them re-add them again using the option “Scan for hardware changes”, as you may know the device manger for server core installs can only be accessed remotely and is READ-ONLY, and the biggest problem in Server Core installs for this problem is that you don’t have a process that allows you to remove hardware in Cerver Core as you would in Full installs, so if that happens in you’re stuck, and you probably need to re-format the drive re-install the SO, the HP drivers and then perform the upgrade once again.

6- If server is going to be a Hyper-V server, remember that NCU should be only installed AFTER Hyper-V role is activated
(Note: NCU will also give you headaches and weird behaviors when used with wrong drivers, including those that ship with Windows and those that come in the Smart Start CD, multiple NICs, inability to change or remove them, communications issues, Hyper-V virtual switch errors, crashes, etc… are just some of the problems that you may experience with NCU and the wrong drivers).

7- Now that you’ve the correct version of the drivers and if you’re going to use that server with Hyper-V, it’s time to install the Hyper-V role, reboot and test. Assuming that you’re able to create/delete vswitchs without errors and your VMs can communicate through the interfaces you should be ready for NCU installation.

8- Use the latest version of NCU (at the moment I have the Ver.9.70). Install the NCU, reboot the server, and you should be ready to configure your first Team for the NICs. After creating the first NIC Team, try to create a vswitch on top of that new Team vInterface, after that make sure that a new NIC was created to the vswitch, test communications and finally test the removal of that vswitch, after removal recheck if the NIC that was created for the vswitch was also removed, if these tests were all OK, then you should ready to rock.

9- At this moment your problem should already be correct (at least temporarily until get the new versions of HP drivers/software, they know what is happening and I was told that they’re working on it).

10- If your server is going to be a cluster, my advice for you is this: “DO NOT INSTALL NCU – WAIT FOR THE NEW VERSION of NCU and NIC drivers that work with that new NCU”, if you do, and you start to get weird messages or problems when mounting new nodes like those explained at the beginning of this post, then you can say "Thank you" to the NCU.
Note: Sometimes even if you uninstall NCU the problems will NOT GO AWAY, the only way to get things working is to do a clean install or perform a manual removal of the tool, which can be very useful especially in Core installations. I also tried other technics like disable RSS, TCP Chimney, etc... I can tell you, in some scenarios I was able to solve the problem, in others not so well (again, this will depend of the role that the ser performs).

11- To finish this blog entry I wanted to say that when you decide that is time to move to Windows 2008 R2, do NOT go through the UPGRADE PATH (this will save you a lot of headaches), instead, and if possible, do a clean installation and them move the apps, Roles, etc.. to that server, I’m warning you, if go to the upgrade path, you may SORRY again and again like I did. If clean install is not an option, you should perform the upgrade in lab using an IDENTICAL SERVER (forget virtual servers especially if you need to perform hardware tests, use IDENTICAL HARDWARE), and them when possible, plan the move to a Windows 2008 R2.

Hopefully this will help you to understand and to recover from these errors.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hyper-V Error: Error Applying New Virtual Network Changes - Cannot bind to because it is already bound to another virtual network.

Error Applying New Virtual Network Changes
Cannot bind to because it is already bound to another virtual network.

What is this error? What solutions do we have to solve this error in Windows 2008 R2 FULL installation and Core edition?

This error generally means that the “Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter” is selected/in use by the physical NIC that you’re trying to use to configure your new Hyper-V virtual switch (vswitch). There’re many different reasons why this protocol may be selected, the most common are:

  1. Because in fact you do have and vswitch assigned to that physical card, and before you use that NIC to add a new vswitch you need to unbound it from the existing vswitch to add the new one.

  2. You manually selected the “Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter” under your NIC properties (Note: do not try to select Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter as an attempt to bind that NIC to a existent vswitch or to create a new one, instead always use the hyper-v management console or the System Center Virtual Machine to create new vswitch, the same is true for existing vswitchs, DO NOT select this protocol on NICs that REPRESENT the VSwitch, remember only the physical NIC that HAS A VSWITCH bound should have this protocol selected).

  3. You installed software to manage your NICs or Teams and now you’re having weird errors (as described in another post for HP servers) and when you attempt to repeat the process you get this error.

These are the most common ones.

How to solve this problem:

Note: Before proceed I suggest that you do a full backup of the system that you’re trying to repair, some procedures explained here will change configurations and some registry settings that may break other functionalities. Before removing any vswitch, make sure that you don’t have virtual machines assigned to it, if so, you’ll need to reconfigure those VMs to a new vswitch before those VMS be able to get network communications again, also be careful when unbinding the “Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter” from a given physical NIC, if that physical NIC is associated with a vswitch and you remove the “Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter” from it, the vswitch will not be able to function properly.

That said, let’s begin.

Identify if an existing vswitch is bound to the NIC that you’re trying use, if you already have a vswitch assigned to that physical NIC you need to use a different physical NIC to configure the new vswitch or unbound the existing vswitch before configuring the new one.

1 - First let’s identify the NIC GUID that is having problems. Open command prompt and type:

WMIC NICCONFIG GET Description,SettingID
The result will be something similar to this

In my scenario the GUID for the NIC is {F9A4CE20-59D1-4C64-BA39-6487862361A4}.
Note: The GUID will differ in your server.

2 - Using the Hyper-V Manager console (in core editions use the Hyper-V manager console to remotely connect to the physical host): Connect to the host that you’re trying to create the new vswitch, then in the right pane select the option “Virtual Network Manager”, after that a new window appears and will allow you to identify if the physical NIC is already in use by an existing vswitch.

3 - I don’t have any vswitch configured to use the physical NIC but I still get the error: In this scenario check if the “Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter” is selected in the NIC that you’re using to configure your new Hyper-V virtual switch, from cmd type “ncpa.cpl”, this will open the network connections folder, right click in the NIC and check if the “Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter” is selected, if it’s then unselect it and try again.

3.a - Unfortunately this is not an option in Core Installations, in Core installations you’ll need to use a tool called “nvspbind”. Download the tool to “c:\windows\system32” directory and from cmd type

nvspbind.exe -n

This will display NIC information, identify the NIC GUID (check step 1) and to remove the Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter from it type “nvspbind.exe –u {GUID}” in this case would be:

nvspbind.exe -u {F9A4CE20-59D1-4C64-BA39-6487862361A4}

Ok ENIAC, nice tips but I still have the problem, what to do next??!!!

In some scenarios things can get pretty ugly and the previous tips may not be enough to solve this error, if that is your case take a deep breath and let’s continue…

Let’s try some global cleanup process. (Did you read the Note that I wrote at the beginning of solution process in this post? NO!!!! Now is a good time to go there and read it, it talks about backups and other things that you may want to be aware of).

The first one is to use a tool called “nvspscrub.js”. Download nvspscrub.js then from cmd run: “cscript nvspscrub.js”, this will delete all vswitches, virtual NICs in the parent partition and will unbind the switch protocol from all physical NICs.

Run the tool, reboot the server and try again…

If the “nvspscrub.js” didn't work for you then you can try the last resource tool. The netcfg tool (use this procedure as last resource only). You can use this tool to install/uninstall Network Protocols, services and clients. From cmd type:

netcfg -u vms_pp

This will uninstall switch protocol and will remove it from all your NICs as well.
Reboot the server then from cmd type:

netcfg -l c:\windows\winsxs\amd64_wvms_pp.inf_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_beda85050b13680c\wvms_pp.inf -c p -i vms_pp

This will install the protocol again and make it available to use on the NICs but by default will disabled in all NICs.

Reboot the server and try again…

To end this blog entry, and especially because this can be useful in core installations, I will show you some registry entries that may help you to identify where the NICs are their configuration, vswitches and NICs associated, etc... I suggest that DO NOT use the registry to remove or change any configuration mentioned before, instead use the tools or the cmds provided in the previous steps.

The first one is the:

Under this path you can find all your existing NIC adapters, the Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Adapter (vms_mp), etc… Scrolling down to the numbers listed under this path you’ll find the interfaces that exist in your server and some properties associated with it. You can also find some configuration definitions, like bounded protocols, GUIDs, file driver path, etc (Note: these numbers will differ from server to server).

Under 007\ you can find some interesting information about the physical NIC that I repaired in previous steps. Here I can identify some useful information like DriverDescription, Version, InfoPath, GUID, etc…

 Under 007\Linkage, I can find what protocols are bound to this interface:

If the physical NIC had a vswitch associated with it, only “VMSP” would be listed like this.

The next registry path that you may want to know about it is the:

Here you’ll find information about listed physical NICs in use, Virtual Switches and some properties. For example, when you are using a given physical NIC with vswitch, the physical NIC GUID should be listed under:

Bind” & “Export” & “Route” as the picture shows, additionally that same NIC GUID will also appear in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\VMSMP\Parameters\NicList\/DEVICE/{GUID}

Also note the difference between how a physical NIC (starts with /DEVICE/{GUID}) is listed under NicList and how a vswitch (starts with GUID) is listed in the same path.

Hopefully this blog entry will help you to resolve the error “Cannot bind to because it is already bound to another virtual network.” and also help you to identify where some connections properties and vswitches definitions are stored using the registry which can useful when using windows core installations.

nvspbind can be found here
nvspscrub can be found here

Have Fun!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Exchange 2010 RTM!

The big news today is that Exchange 2010 is now code complete. The senior leadership team has signed off on the final code, and it has been sent to early adopters for a final look before its public release.

Read more here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sysinternals new Tool Disk2vhd v1.0

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).

Disk2vhd runs Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and higher, including x64 systems.
Check more here

Well done Mark :)

RedHat Support for Hyper-V

Microsoft announced that they have completed a mutual support program with RedHat.

Now we have support for both enterprise Linux platforms on Hyper-V; SUSE being the other one. And both can be monitored from hardware to service using Operations Manager 2007 R2.

- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 have passed cert tests when running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. See more at RedHat's certified hardware site.

- Windows Server 2003/ Windows Server 2008 / Windows Server 2008 R2 are validated to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, using their KVM-based hypervisor. See more at Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program site.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Windows 2008 R2 Cluster Error: The Argument is null or empty String

One of these days I got this error when configuring a Hyper-V Cluster (To create a cluster in Windows 2008 R2 check my previous post here).

The Argument is null or empty String.
Parameter name: Domain Name

What the Heck !!! The cluster validation went without problems, what could be the cause of this error??!!

Try the following:
1 - Make sure that your NIC DNS settings contain the correct IP for your domain DNS servers.
2 - Make sure that the option "Register this connection's address in DNS" is selected in ALL NODES of the CLUSTER. By default this option is selected.
3 - In more complex domain environments, depending of your Domain/and/DNS design you may need to select the option "Append these DNS suffixes (in order)" and then manually enter the FQDN of your domain name and if needed of other existing domains. You may start only with your FQDN and then you can latter add the other ones.
4 - If you have multiple NICs, disable all except the one, review DNS settings and try again, doing this will help you to isolate the root cause of the problem, and if success, review the configurations on these NICs (FW, IPAddress, Routes, etc...).
5 - Reboot the server and check if the server correctly register his DNS IP on your DNS servers.

Hum... Okay ENICKB, but and if I'm in a Windows 2008 R2 Core Edition?
If you're in a Core Edition you need to change the registry accordantly

Register this connection's addresses in DNS is located at:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{Interface GUID}\ RegistrationEnabled
and change the value from "0" to "1".

Note: Your {Interface GUID} will differ from those in the picture. Additionally you may need to configure this setting in one or more NICs.

Append these DNS suffixes (in order)":

Additional note, when using the cluster wizard to add nodes of the future cluster try adding them using the FQDN of the servers, but remember, even if you add the NetBIOS Name of these servers, when you press enter they should be changed from NetBIOS format to FQDN.
Hopefully this will help you with your cluster creation successfully.

Monday, September 28, 2009

SCVMM 2008 R2 KB 971677

KB 971677 discusses an issue when a Hyper-V differencing disk that you create in Windows Server 2008 R2 cannot be used in Windows Server 2008.

Note: you need to click in "request hotfix" on top of KB page to request the hotfix for this specific error.

A server error occurred while you try to import the virtual machine. Failed to import the virtual machine from import directory ''. Failed to add device 'Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk'. Cannot open attachment '\Filename.vhd'. Error: 'The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.'Cannot get information for attachment '\Filename.vhd'.

SCVMM 2008 R2 & Read Only Domain Controller

Although it is not a best practice, some people insist in having SCVMM hosted in RODCs. Have a look at some issues that you might encounter when doing this.

From SCVMM Team Blog
Using a Read Only Domain Controller as a Host in SCVMM 2008 and R2

A Read Only Domain Controller (RODC) can only be used as a Host if it was already a Host prior to being promoted. If a RODC needs to be used as a Host and was not previously managed by SCVMM, it will have to be demoted to a member server and made a managed Host prior to promotion back to RODC.
IMPORTANT: Although a Read Only Domain Controller can be used as Host in SCVMM, this is not the recommended usage of a Read Only Domain Controller.

KB975113 discusses an issue where a read only domain controller (RODC) can only be used as a Host if it was already a Host prior to being promoted. The link and title is below.

SCVMM 2008 R2 KB 974869

KB974869 discusses some issues that might occur if the SCVMM 2008 agents from the original version of Virtual Machine Manager 2008 remain after you upgrade to SCVMM 2008 R2.

Manually upgrade all remaining agents to Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.

Warning (2927)A Hardware Management error has occurred trying to contact server . (Unknown error (0x80338041))

Error 0x80338041: The SOAP XML in the message does not match the corresponding XML schema definition. Change the XML and retry.

Error (2927)A Hardware Management error has occurred trying to contact server . (Unknown error (0x80338001))

Error 0x80338001: The WS-Management service cannot process the request. The WS-Addressing action URI is invalid. Check the documentation for information on how to construct an action URI.

Read more at:
KB974869 - You receive a warning 2927 and an unknown error when you create a virtual machine from a VHD file after you upgrade to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

SCVMM 2008 R2 KB 975426

KB975426 - Virtual machines cannot migrate from a Windows Server 2008 stand-alone server to a Windows Server 2008 cluster after you upgrade to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

This new KB discusses an issue where SAN migration may fail with error 1600 after upgrading to to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.

Error (1600)
VMM is unable to process one or more of the provided cmdlet parameters.

Recommended Action
Type Get-Help NO_PARAM -full to view a list of defined parameters and complete descriptions. Then try the operation again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Windows 2008 R2 Blue Screen in HP Servers

Today I was told about a possible problem when enabling Hyper-V Role on some HP Server models with Windows 2008 R2 installed, appears that the problem is well known in HP internal documents.

The solution:
So far sounds that disabling the disabling Intel Core C3 State option in the BIOS solves the problem.

After little Google search I found this in Minasi Forum

If you’ve this problem, please let me know if that solves your problem.

I already upgrade most of my environment to R2 version of Hyper-V including SCVMM 2008 R2. I waited for the supported version of HP firmware “ver. 8.60”/software/Drivers “ver.8.30” for HP DL380G5 servers, you can find them here, after applying the new firmware and drivers everything worked fine.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Terminals Open Source Connection Manager

Directly from CODEPLEX this free tool is a secure, multi tab terminal services/remote desktop client that uses Terminal Services ActiveX Client (mstscax.dll).
CODEPLEX started this project from the need of controlling multiple connections simultaneously. It is a complete replacement for the Windows mstsc.exe (Terminal Services) client.

Terminals allows storing multiple remote connections of varying types (RDP, VNC, VMRC, Telnet, SSH1, SSH2, ICA Citrix, RAS and HTTP) you also have the possibility of arranging them by tags or in groups. Using Active Directory or scanning a range of IP addresses allows you to create new connections.

Terminals allow you to import RDP, vRD or MuRD files.

But there's more, check it out the System Requirements and the Download file at CODEPLEX, additionally check the Terminals 1.7 - Vista + 2008 Support.

Have Fun!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

SCVMM 2008 R2 available for download at TechNet subscribers

Finally here!
Since this announcement that I’ve been waiting to have System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 at TechNet...
For all of you that were waiting for that day the good news arrived... we don’t need to wait anymore, the bits are available at TechNet subscriber download area. Assuming a medium/fast internet access you should have no “Time” problems to download the 3,395.68 (MB) of the ISO for the x64 Bit version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, if your internet access is slow or if you’re at some place were internet access is not very reliable, remember that you always have the download manager from TechNet that allows you to pause and resume the download whenever necessary.

SCVMM 2008 R2 new features available in my previous post here

If you don’t have a TechNet subscription you still have the evaluation download at Download Center site

But WAIT!!!! There’s more...
Don´t forget to check the new features, upgrade tips, etc.. Check my previous post at:
Useful Virtualization Documentation for MS R2 Products

Last week Microsoft released KB KB974869. According with them after upgrading to Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, when you try to create a new virtual machine from a VHD file that is stored in either a CSV file or in available storage you may receive Warning 2927 or error 0x80338041:
KB974869 - You receive a warning 2927 and an unknown error when you create a virtual machine from a VHD file after you upgrade to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.

Have Fun!!!

Getting started with vSphere Videos/Demos

vSphere Videos/Demos:
Check Mike Laverick’s extremely valuable free vSphere videos. If you wish to learn more about vSphere these resources will help you with that. From basic steps to more complex scenarios, Mike does a pretty good job on his demonstrations. So there you go, for free you can get excellent content that you normally would have to pay for.

The book:
The main reason I put these videos together is as free supplement to my soon-to-be-released book on vSphere4, and to give people who by the book - a live on screen demo of the configuration - although you don’t have to buy the book to watch these videos. I find it’s often its easier to quickly show something than it is to do a 100 screen grabs and loads of text - but in the same instance videos don’t allow for long and details discussions of best practises and possible configurations. So if you want detail, get the book - but if you want quick high-level views of things - the videos slot into that…

Check it out here

Have fun!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PowerShell V2 new features

Here it's an interesting video to learn how to start using some of the new features of PS 2.0

Have Fun!!!

Microsoft has released the MDT 2010

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 is the newest version of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, a Solution Accelerator for operating system and application deployment. MDT 2010 supports deployment of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in addition to deployment of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP.

Deploy Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with the newly released Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010. MDT is the recommended process and toolset for automating desktop and server deployment. MDT provides you with the following benefits:

- Unified tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment in a common deployment console and collection of guidance.
- Reduced deployment time and standardized desktop and server images, along with improved security and ongoing configuration management.
- Fully automated Zero Touch Installation deployments by leveraging System Center - Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 Release Candidate and Windows deployment tools. For those without a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure, MDT leverages Windows deployment tools for Lite Touch Installation deployments.

What’s New in MDT 2010
Improvements to the newest version of MDT allow you to:
-Access deployment shares from anywhere on the network and replicate files and settings across organizational boundaries or sites.

-Organize and manage drivers, operating systems, applications, packages, and task sequences with an improved UI.
-Automate UI functionality using the Windows PowerShell command line interface.

The MDT 2010 solution accelerator is a free download You can download it here

Microsoft continues to support the previous version of MDT—Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 Update 1. Customers still using MDT 2008 Update 1 can download the files from here.

If you're searching for script to automate the update process of MDT 2010 boot images in WDS have a look at the latest Michael Niehaus Post

You may also check Michael Niehaus other related posts to