Hyper-V: Firmware – Load Failed

I was reinstalling one of my virtual clients, a lot. And from time to time I ran into problems. Well I want the machine to boot from ethernet, that is a easy change. Just open the properties of the virtual machine, and bump ‘Network’ on the Firmware tab.. Well.. Where is my firmware tab?
Hyper-V Settings Firmware Load Failed

I need my firmware tab. [Read more…]

Windows Colors: a Preview

So I read a blog post by The Scripting Guy that talked about Use PowerShell to Display Known Colors. I thought that’s nice.. But It would be even simpler if I could just see the colors for myself. So I made a small chart to put here. To simplify the next time I need to change background colors using registry hacks.


Color,WindowsCode,Sample
AliceBlue,FFF0F8FF,         
AntiqueWhite,FFFAEBD7,         
Aqua,FF00FFFF,         
Aquamarine,FF7FFFD4,         
Azure,FFF0FFFF,         
Beige,FFF5F5DC,         
Bisque,FFFFE4C4,          [Read more…]

Adding features to a Specops Deploy/OS Reference image

So as usual when it concerns Specops Deploy/OS it was a request from a customer that got me started. The customer wanted .NET 3 installed in their reference image. But that feature is no longer copied to the winsxs folder, but instead only lives on the DVD or on Windows Update. So how do we do this, DISM my world? MDT has a pretty way of doing this, we just needed to make sure we could use this in Deploy / OS. [Read more…]

Resetting the time configuration

I was wondering why one of my domain controllers was displaying the wrong time. I had previouly configured that just the PDC should go outside the domain. So I ran w32tm /monitor, the response was not really what I hoped

For the domain controller in question I got the following line RefID: (unspecified / unsynchronized) [0x00000000]. RefID should tell where the computer got it’s time from. In this case something was wrong, so I needed to reset the configuration. [Read more…]

The msi peeping tom tool ORCA

So I guess that most people working with any kind of deployment has needed to look into a msi file at some time. Microsoft has released a really basic and wonderful tool called ORCA. It will allow you to look into and edit msi files ad a really low level. So how do I download it. Well Microsoft has made it available in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 8. [Read more…]

USB booting Specops Deploy / OS (x86)

This is a basic x86 bootstick that should be able to boot both UEFI and bios computers. I also have a version of the blog for those that really don’t like to be one version behind, USB booting Specops Deploy / OS (x64 UEFI).
[Read more…]

USB booting Specops Deploy / OS (x64 UEFI)

Since I’m moving all my systems at home away from x86, simply creating a x86 usbstick was a bit to easy. I therefor thought it would be more fun to create a x64 UEFI boot. Im not really sure if this is required, but it will allow computers that cant read NTFS (from UEFI boot) to still boot the installation. I have also written a simple x86 instruction.
[Read more…]

Deploying Bitlocker protected Workstation using Specops Deploy / OS

For one of my customers I was looking up the correct way of activating BitLocker while using Specops Deploy / OS. So after a little searching on google I understood that I will be in uncharted territory. Well after looking around how my customer currently implemented BitLocker I was able to solve it. This solution is not dependent on any manual changes to the MDT, so its a clean Deploy / OS solution.

Changes to installation group policy

So lets open up our installation GPO, and go straight down to the Specops Deploy / OS parts. Now edit the installation policy and go to the Custom MDT Properties and add the following variables:

Variable Name Value Description
DoNotCreateExtraPartition NO Allows the installer to create required partitions on the drive.
BdeInstallSuppress NO Setting this to anything but YES will start the BDE installation

After doing that all required changes to the installation policy is done.

Save the numerical recovery password to the Active Directory.

Most customers want to be able to access the drive if/when the computer/TPM chip dies. So we need to store the numerical recovery password in another location. So the regular choices are:

  • Manual, risking to forget and getting into trouble.
  • Store in share, better but still more complex than required
  • Store in AD, safe secure and redundant.

So how do we make sure the clients store the recovery password in the AD. Well first of are you running an active directory schema of 2008 or later you are practically done. Otherwise you could extend the Schema to include the Bitlocker parts, or as I would suggest extend the schema with Windows 2012R2. See link below for more information if you dont want to extend schema to Windows 2008 or later. Windows will store the recovery password in an object called ms-FVE-RecoveryInformation that is located below the computer object. This helps in cleanup as when the computer is deleted so is all the keys.

So now we have extended the schema. We still need to instruct our workstations to save the password to the AD. Well here I would suggest going the Group Policy route mostly because I really likes GPOs.

So lets fire up our Group Policy Management Console (gpmc.msc).
Create a new GPO for the Bitlocker settings or select another GPO.
Edit the selected GPO

You are now facing two different places to edit depending on if you are deploying Vista or later.

Window Vista

  • Location: Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Bitlocker Drive Encryption
  • Setting: Store BitLocker recovery information in Active Directory Domain Services
  • Value: Enabled

Window 7 or later

  • Location: Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Bitlocker Drive Encryption\Operating System Drives
  • Setting: Choose how BitLocker-protected operating system drives can be recovered
  • Value: Enabled

Dont forget to check the box that says Do not enable BitLocker until recovery information is stored to AD DS for operating system drives.

Start the installation

So after being bored for a while looking at a screen doing nothing, the install is complete. We login to the client and open a cmd windows as administrator so we can check the progress. And what do you know, it is encrypting the drive as I am writing this.

Command line windows showing that encryption has started.

Sources:

Backing Up BitLocker and TPM Recovery Information to AD DS

 

 

Voice dialing setting lost in IOS 7.1 (iPhone 5)

*UPDATE*

As Jordi pointed out in the comments. If you enable Siri, then Voice dialing option will be available. For more information see the link that Jordi sent https://discussions.apple.com/message/25141341#25141341

*OLDER UPDATE*

iPhone 5s seems to be unaffected. Also according to a comment I received the problem may just be both ways, he cant turn it on. But still its a nuisance.

*Old article*

So I have always liked being on the cutting edge in software. It helps as when my customers ask me things I have already hit that myself. But this time it hit me harder than usual.

One thing I have hated with IOS is the voice dialing and that it gets turned back after each update. But I do the regular thing and disable it. But this time things had changed.. I could no longer find it. Nor the menu where it was, well Apple had made it more accessable, Passcode lock is now placed directly under General instead of General\Settings. But instead they have removed option to disable Voice Dial.

Screen by screen of IOS 7 and 7.1. Password lock screen missing Voice dial in 7.1.

Screen by screen of IOS 7 and 7.1. Password lock screen missing Voice dial in 7.1.

This might be the final thing that forces me to leave iPhone. I have had problems with pocket calling, but disabling voice dial solves it. Without it I feel forced to switch.

I have verified with an iPhone 5S that they can disable Voice Dial.

Useful WMI(C) commands

Sometimes you need to run WMI queries on older Windows machines or in Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) environments. So with powershell its really easy, Get-WMIObject -Class win32_WhatYouWant. So now you are stuck without Powershell, lets use the old WMIC command instead. WMIC has been available from Windows 2003. [Read more…]