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13Dec/1625

Windows Update, Windows Server 2016 and proxy

The dumbest thing… you are installing your brand new Windows Server 2016 machines and then you realize that Windows Update doesn’t work. It just gets stuck on Checking for updates/Downloading updates… for days.

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Of course, you have some sort of proxy on your network, and you start troubleshooting this issue by testing on a proxy-free network… and without proxy, Windows Update works just as it should!

So, the next logical next step is to blame “those networking guys”, because updating your machine works fine, when not behind their “fancy proxy thing”.

But no.

You will soon realize that you have some “old” Windows Server 2012 R2 (or even Windows 10) machines, which are updating just fine… even through the “fancy proxy thing”.

And then you start asking yourself why.

You are checking the configuration of older machines by opening up Internet Explorer and double-checking proxy settings… and then you make sure that your new machines are having the same configuration – they have. Then you are just confused. It’s not networking, it’s not proxy settings… what could it be???

Still a bit confused, you have a great idea to check system proxy settings by running netsh winhttp show proxy – on older machines you’ll probably see something like this (which is probably OK, because you’ve just seen the Proxy Settings in IE, which are set to correct values):

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So, you’re (naturally) configuring new machines accordingly. Still doesn’t work.

What next?

You can do further reading & testing, but the thing that helped in our case was setting the system (winhttp) proxy with netsh command, so that it actually imports IE proxy settings.

Basically, you need to run netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie (after you’ve set the right proxy settings through IE dialog, of course) or set your system proxy by using the netsh winhttp set proxy proxy.mydomain.com:8080 command.

After that, Windows Update starts working again!

So, remember – when using Windows Server 2016, set your system proxy settings by using the netsh command and everything will work just fine! Smile

Cheers!

P.S. Of course, if you have another trick to make it work, please comment. Smile

21Oct/160

Show disk performance in Task Manager

One of the things that bothered me in the past was the fact that Task Manager showed all the required performance graphs, except the disk-related ones. Why is that, I don’t know. OK, you can see the disks through Resource Monitor console or PerfMon, but… I really like using Task Manager, with such nice colors and simple graphs, for a quick overall check.

So, when you’ve opened your Task Manager, you were shown something like this:

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No disks. Too bad. Sad smile

But… fear not, my friend! There is a solution for this “glitch”. Even a simple one. Smile

All you need to do is run the following command in your administrative Command Prompt:

Like this:

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And now, when you reopen your Task Manager, you will see following:

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Cheers!

10Oct/160

Reinstalling your Hyper-V hosts

Have you ever reinstalled your Hyper-V hosts?

I know, there is not much need for it (as everything usually works just fine), but still… there is a “Windows Server 2016 re-installation wave” coming and maybe you’ll find the the next pieces interesting and useful.

One of the “messy” tasks with Windows reinstallation is networking… and by “messy” I mean “you have more than one network cable in your Hyper-V hosts” and you need to know which networks are connected where. Smile

What happens is that Windows somehow always forgets your network device order, all the pretty names you’ve applied and you get stuck with names like “Ethernet”, “Ethernet 2”, etc.

There is a way to fix this (there are many, actually) – we can ask our younger colleague to go to the server room and unplug the cables one by one and then plug them back in, following the rename on our (Windows) side. This way we are certain that all the corporate, DMZ, storage, live migration, etc. cables don’t get “confused” when added to their respective teams and if we labeled cables properly, everything will work with fresh Windows installation also.

But… there is another way. We can use what we already have – our documentation. Here I mean “our current setup” – we have our network adapters and teams already configured in our current Windows installation, why don’t we just export this info and use it after the reinstallation?

We can do this easily by using PowerShell!

The idea is to export network adapter names and MAC addresses of our physical network adapters (excluding the virtual and team adapters), in a CSV file, so that we can use it later, to rename our adapters after the reinstallation:

After reinstallation, we can use the following command to rename our adapters, as per our saved CSV file:

And voilà – our networks are named nicely again (and our colleague didn’t need to go to the cold server room… this time). Smile

Cheers!

18Jun/150

Open Cloud BBQ – Nano Server

There was a barbecue today… on the roof… of the Microsoft office! How cool is that??? Smiješak

I’ve had an honor to join my colleagues and friends, and contribute to this great event with a presentation called “Nano Server – budućnost je tu!”, which was actually inspired by Jeffrey Snover’s Ignite speech about Nano Server – the new installation option in Windows Server 2016.

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The whole Nano Server idea is very simple – let’s remove all the “unnecessary” roles and features (especially the famous GUI), and leave only the parts that we really need for whatever purpose (i.e. we’re getting the “purpose built servers”). All the purposes/roles that are supported in this preview version are Hyper-V, File Server and Failover Clustering, and they are working great on this “nano-sized” server operating system (even in this early preview).

I’m really excited about Nano Server, and I’m so glad that I’ve had a chance to talk about it at such great event. Because there were so many questions about it during the day/evening, I’ve noticed that Nano Server is a very cool subject for attendees also. Nice!

The presentation is available on SlideShare – check it, install the Nano Server and start rocking your datacenters! Smiješak

Cheers!

14Apr/151

Continue using Windows Server vNext Technical Preview

If you have Windows Server vNext Technical Preview installations that are expiring in a day or so, you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft yesterday addressed this issue and released a patch (as promised). Patch will extend the evaluation period of those installations until the October, 2015.

With the next build just around the corner, maybe you won’t need this patch to last for that long, but… it’s fixed.

You can find the patch on Microsoft Download Center, and find the official announcement here. Just remember to read the install instructions coming with it.

Some of us in the MVP community noticed (and finally resolved it, with support from Microsoft people) that the installation of this update on some machines (Hyper-V hosts, in my case) requires that you also (re)activate your Windows installation. If you don’t do it, it may seem that the patch wasn’t applied. Also, remember that this patch needs a reboot or two to be actually “installed”.

My colleague Nirmal also blogged about, and even recorded the installation process, so check it out.

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Voilà… enjoy your “renewed” Technical Preview (1) machines! Smile

Cheers!

14Nov/140

Advanced Technology Days (ATD) 10 – recap

Another great conference is behind us – Advanced Technology Days 10 (or just ATD 10). Two-day conference, Wednesday and Thursday, about the latest and greatest from Microsoft, just in time for some of the important announcements, and with more than a glimpse into the future of technology – pretty cool. Smile

I’ve had two sessions – on Wednesday, I’ve had a session called Što nam donosi Windows Server vNext (Technical Preview)? (or “What’s new in Windows Server vNext (Technical Preview)?”), where I’ve outlined the major news in this prerelease version of the next Windows Server. There really is a lot to talk about, as Windows Server vNext brings so many news, even in this, somewhat early, stage in development cycle.

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The session that I’ve had on Thursday was called Što nam donosi System Center vNext (Technical Preview)? (or “What’s new in System Center vNext (Technical Preview)?”), and there I’ve shown what is there in Technical Preview today with the preview of the new Microsoft Azure Operational Insights, which also entered the “public preview” phase during the conference. You can sign up and try it at https://opinsights.azure.com/.

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Overall experience was great – once again located in a movie theatre, with lots of great people, networking, combined with a flawless demo experience (plug ’n’ play) and great timing... actually, I can’t wait for Advanced Technology Days vNext! Smile

I’m so happy that I was invited to speak (big thanks to all involved!), and got the opportunity to participate with my view on all the great stuff included in those releases of very important products.

More info is available at http://atd.mscommunity.hr/ and https://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftATD.

Cheers!