Installing Microsoft Azure AD Connect

Last week Microsoft anounced GA for Azure AD Connect. To get a better understanding of how this all works, I installed it in my Cloud based lab that is hosted in Azure. I was supposed to demonstrate this to a colleague at work this week, but simply couldn’t find time for it, so here’s a short description on how to get started for him and for anyone else. First I recommend to read through the Read More …

ConfigMgr–Failed to get following optional attributes warning in adsysdis.log

Should you ever get a warning message in your adsysdis.log that starts with WARN:  Failed to get following optional attributes then you have probably added an additional active directory object attribute to your Active Directory System Discovery but the value of that attribute of the discovered object is empty. Let’s look at this in more detail. Within the configuration manager console under Administration \ Hierarchy Configuration \ Discovery Methods \ Active Directory System Discovery the Read More …

How to avoid KMS becoming a challenge in your Windows 7 deployment project

I’ve been involved in Windows 7 deployments since the Beta came out in 2009 and before Windows 7 there was Vista, XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT and even Windows 3.11 and although over time the technology has changed the basic challenges of every migration remained the same. If today someone asks me what I consider as being one of the top 10 challenges I’ve seen in Windows 7 deployment projects I must mention KMS. Yes Read More …

ToolTip: Adding your AD stored picture to your profile picture with ADUserTile

Back in august 2011 I wrote about a utility called AD Photo Edit which allows you to upload your personal picture into Active Directory. Today I want to share with you another utility I came across called ADUserTile. ADUserTile checks if you have a picture stored within the Active Directory thumbnailPhoto attribute and sets that picture as your profile picture within Windows 7 so it becomes visible at the logon screen and the Windows Desktop. Read More …

Windows 8 Active Directory based volume activation

Windows Server 8 comes with a new role called Volume Activation Services. The Volume Activation Service allows IT administrators to enable volume activation for domain joined systems using a Key Management Service Host (KMS) or Active Directory based Activation. This means in theory that going forward there is no need anymore to install and manage a separate infrastructure for volume activation of Windows clients, servers and office, but according to the article “What’s new in Read More …

ToolTip: AD Photo Edit

Last night I came across this FREE utility called AD Photo Edit developed by Chris Wright  which allows you to upload your picture into Active Directory. The result of doing that is that people who use Outlook 2010 can see your profile picture in the mail you send them. Using AD Photo Edit is simple, just download and install the utility and launch it. Then enter your name and click the Search button. If AD Read More …

Get the latest version of the GPOTool.exe

The latest version of the GPOtool is the one that is included within the Microsoft Windows 2003 Resource kit. That’s what we all used to know. BUT hey I just figured out a few days ago that there is actually an official newer version around it’s included within the Microsoft Product Reports Utility. Here’s how to get it. When launching the mpsreports_x86.exe or mpsreports_x64.exe the utility extracts the files into the temp folder. when completed, Read More …

Have you checked your Group Policy Health lately?

Group Policies are an essential part of every Windows Client infrastructure and it’s therefore critical to regularly spend some effort to ensure that things are in a healthy state. I would define a healthy Group Policy infrastructure as following: All Group Policies are correctly synched across all domain controllers There are no unlinked Group Policies (unless it’s by purpose because we use them only ad-hoc for testing purposes) There are no Group Policies that are Read More …

ReadTip: Best Practice: Active Directory Structure Guidelines

Alan Burchill author of the Group Policy Center blog has posted 2 great articles on Best Practices for Active Directory Structures. Best Practice:Active Directory Structure Guidelines – Part 1 Best Practice: Group Policy Design Guidelines – Part 2

ToolTip: Microsoft Product Support Reports and Microsoft Product Support Reports Viewer

If you get tasked to do some system troubleshooting and you just want to get as many information possible from a client, then have a look at the Microsoft Product Support Report Tool and the Product Support Reports Viewer. The Microsoft Product Support Reports Viewer 2.0 can be downloaded from here and the Microsoft Product Support Reports from here First launch the Microsoft Product Support Tool, which is a self-extracting executable (no installation needed). Once Read More …