AD Manager Plus

Hardware requirements for Hosted BranchCache

Hosted BranchCache  consumes very less CPU and memory resources and it can co-exist with other server roles like file server etc. The only thing we need to consider is to have enough disk space to store the cached content. It is advisable to have a separate dedicated disk for BranchCache to avoid conflicts with other disk work loads.

Graphical PowerShell /PowerShell GUI for Windows

Graphical PowerShell !! Yes..new Version of PowerShell 2.0 have a graphical user interface along with many other enhancements .The Graphical PowerShell interface is known as “Windows PowerShell ISE” , where we can create, test and run PowerShell scripts and see the result with in the GUI Window.

PowerShell 2.0 comes inbuilt with Windows 7. To open the graphical PowerShell interface type “Power shell” in search box you will see this:
PowerShell GUINow click on “Windows PowerShell ISE” to open the GUI interface:
PowerShell ISE

Here are the links to the  some useful resources for PowerShell including some scripting tools as well:

1. Windows PowerShell for XP , Vista and Server 2003

2. Windows PowerShell 2.0 Software Development Kit: Windows PowerShell 2.0 SDK contains sample code and reference assemblies that allow you to build applications based on Windows PowerShell. Download

3. Scripting with Windows PowerShell Guide

4. ADSI Scriptomatic :The ADSI Scriptomatic is designed to help you write ADSI scripts; that is, scripts that can be used to manage Active Directory.

5.Windows PowerShell Scriptomatic :A new utility that writes Windows PowerShell scripts that harness the power of WMI (Windows Instrumentation Management) for use in system management and administration. This tool was created by Microsoft consultant and author Ed Wilson.

6.Scriptomatic : Utility that helps you write WMI scripts for system administration.

7.PowerShell Do-It-Yourself Script Center Kit :Sample scripts and documentation enabling you to create your own version of the TechNet Script Center.

8.WMI Code Creator :The WMI Code Creator tool allows you to generate VBScript, C#, and VB .NET code that uses WMI to complete a management task such as querying for management data, executing a method from a WMI class, or receiving event notifications using WMI.

9.The WMI Diagnosis Utility : A new utility to help system administrators diagnose and repair problems with the WMI service.

10.Windows PowerShell Graphical Help File :View the Windows PowerShell 1.0 help (including cmdlet help and the About topics) in a fully-searchable, graphical format (a standard Windows .chm file).

11. PowerGUI :A graphical user interface and script editor for Microsoft Windows PowerShell.

12.PowerGUI Sample Scripts Library

Windows update error 80200053

Error 80200053 comes when  am update related to some issue with .NET framework failed to install. Anti virus program installed in the system was causing the this issue. I was able to solve this problem by doing this:

1.  Disable the antivirus program
2. Restart Windows Update service ( from services.msc)
3. Now run Windows Update ( from control panel)
4. Install missing updates
5. Restart the computer and make sure your antivirus program is enabled.

I hope this helps…

Windows 7 service pack 1,Windows 7 SP1….released?

Windows 7 service Pack 1 RC is available now with different download options. Is is available is DVDISO format as well as a standalone installer (exe). The package is combined of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 service pack. Get started from here :
         http://technet.microsoft.com/hi-in/evalcenter/ff183870.aspx

Windows 7 SP1 includes previous security updates as well some feature performance enhancements that includes :

  • Additional support for communication with third-party federation services
  • Improved HDMI audio device performance
  • Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents
  • Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents

Remove speedbit search from IE and Firefox

I installed DAP on my computer to speed up my downloads and  now whenever I open a new tab in IE or try to search something in search box it was redirecting me to search.speedbit.com web page.

Same thing was happening with Firefox, I type a keyword in the location bar to search it ( default is Google ) but it was redirecting me to speedbit search page.
I removed DAP  and speedbit search from my computer, still the same thing was happening. Here is the solution I found with some google search:

To remove speedbit search from IE:
1.Open registry editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft   \Internet Explorer\AboutURLs2. Right click "Tabs" string value and select "Modify"4. Cnange the value to "res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm" which is the default value the Internet explorer.
5. Close Internet Explorer and open again

Remove Speedbit search from firefox:
1. Open firefox browser and type “about:config” in the address bar
2. Look for keyword.URL item in the list and right click on it select reset.

Note: Make sure you have already removed speedbit search from Add/remove programs.

How to disable the Autorun functionality in Windows

AutoPlay begins reading from a drive as soon as you insert media into the drive. Therefore, the Setup file of programs and the music on audio media start immediately. That behavior is very annoying as well as it imposes a security risk if there is any malware program stored in the device.

Microsoft has released a fix-it tool to disable or enable Autorun function. You can download the tool from here: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9741395
To enable it back run this tool :http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9743275

Use Group Policy to block USB and Removable Storage devices on Windows

We can use this procedure to block USB and mass storage devices on Widows XP.
Import this administrative template into Group Policy as a .adm file. See the link in the More Information section if you are unsure how to do this.

How to display folder size in Windows explorer

The other day I was trying to see the size of the all folders in Windows explorer but that option is not available in Windows XP and Windows 7, although that works for files only.

Then after some google search I came across Folder Size for Windows utility on www.Sourceforge.net  which is an excellent add-on to Windows explorer and work with Windows XP only.

Download for Folder Size for Windows XP : http://sourceforge.net/projects/foldersize/files/foldersize/2.5/FolderSize-2.5-x86.msi/download

Folder Size tool for Windows 7: This tool work differently than above one but still comes handy when you want to know the size of folder in a local or network folder .

Here is the link : http://foldersize.codeplex.com/releases/view/41473

Open source network simulators/emulators

Recently I came across two open source LAN/WAN simulators , which can very very useful in learning network administration and application testing.

1. GNS3 (http://www.gns3.net/)


GNS3 is a graphical network simulator that allows simulation of complex networks. GNS3 is an excellent complementary tool to real labs for network engineers, administrators and people wanting to pass certifications such as CCNA, CCNP, CCIP, CCIE, JNCIA, JNCIS, JNCIE.

It can also be used to experiment features of Cisco IOS, Juniper JunOS or to check configurations that need to be deployed later on real routers.

This project is an open source, free program that may be used on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS X.

Features overview
  • Design of high quality and complex network topologies.
  • Emulation of many Cisco IOS router platforms, IPS, PIX and ASA firewalls, JunOS.
  • Simulation of simple Ethernet, ATM and Frame Relay switches.
  • Connection of the simulated network to the real world!
  • Packet capture using Wireshark.

Download : http://sourceforge.net/projects/gns-3/ 

2.WANem :The Wide Area Network emulator
( http://wanem.sourceforge.net/ )

WANem is a Wide Area Network Emulator, meant to provide a real experience of a Wide Area Network/Internet, during application development / testing over a LAN environment.

Branch Cache how to guides and learning resources

1. BranchCache Executive Overview

2. Early Adopter’s Guide to Branch Cache

3. BranchCache Hosted Cache Mode Step by Step Guide

4 .BranchCache Distributed Cache Mode Step by Step Guide

5. BranchCache Security Guide

6. BranchCache Technical Overview

7.Installing a non-domain member BranchCache-capable file server (Video)

8. Install and Configure Hosted BranchCache for Web Services

8.Branch Cache in Windows 7 (Video)

9.Netsh Commands for BranchCache in Windows Server 2008 R2

10. Branch Cache Technical case study 1

11.Branch Cache Technical case study 2

how to configure branch cache for share point server

How to configure Branch Cache in Hosted mode for SharePoint Optimization on WAN links with WIndows Server 2008R2 and Windows7?
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 introduce a new feature (BranchCache) that can reduce wide area network (WAN) utilization and enhance Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies responsiveness when users access content in a central office from branch office locations. When you enable BranchCache, a copy of the content that is retrieved from the Web server is cached within the branch office. If another client in the branch requests the same content, the client can download it directly from the local branch network without needing to retrieve the content by using the Wide Area Network (WAN).


Configuring BranchCache with Microsoft SharePoint :

Configuring Web Servers
The configuration of Web Servers in preparation for BranchCache requires only installing the BranchCache role on the server machine through the Server Manager or optionally the Command Prompt.
  1. Open Server Management on each Web server by clicking Start | All Programs | Administrative Tools | Server Manager.
  2. On the Server Manager dialog select the Roles node.
  3. On the Server Manager dialog in the Roles window, select Add Role.
  4. On the <> dialog select BranchCache from the list of available options and click Next.

Configuring the Hosted Cache Server

Install the BranchCache Feature
  1. Open Server Manager on the Hosted Cache server by clicking Start | Administrative Tools | Server Manager.
  2. On the Server Manager dialog select the Features node.
  3. On the Server Manager dialog in the Features window, select Add Features.
  4. On the Add Features Wizard select BranchCache from the list of available Features and click Next.
  5. On the Confirm Installation Selections dialog click Install.
  6. On the Installation Results dialog click Close.
Enable Hosted Cache Server Mode
  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt on the Hosted Cache server by clicking Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt.
  2. Enter netsh branchcache set service mode=HOSTEDSERVER in the Command Prompt and press Enter.
Configure the Cache
  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt on the Hosted Cache server by clicking Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt.
  2. Enter netsh branchcache set localcache directory=<drive>:\<share>
  3. Enter netsh branchcache set cachesize size=<size in percent> percent=TRUE
Create a new Certificate
  1. On the Hosted Cache server open Microsoft Management Console by clicking Start | Run… and entering MMC in the Open… field.
  2. On the Microsoft Management Console click File | Add / remove snap-in.
  3. On the Add or Remove Snap-ins dialog select Certificates from the list of available snap-ins and click Add.
  4. On the Certificate snap-in dialog select Computer account from the list of available options and click Next.
  5. On the Select Computer dialog select Local computer (the computer this console is running on) and click Finish.
  6. On the Add or Remove Snap-ins dialog click OK.
  7. On the Console1 – [Console Root] dialog expand the Certificates (Local Computer) | Personal | nodes and then select Certificates.
  8. On the Console1 – [Console Root] dialog select Action | All Tasks | Import…
  9. On the Certificate Import Wizard* dialog click Next.
  10. On the Console1 – [Console Root] dialog double-click the certificate imported from the previous steps and select Details on the Certificate dialog.
  11. On the Certificate dialog select Thumbprint and copy the Thumbprint.
  12. Paste the copied Thumbprint into a text editor and remove any spaces.
  13. Open an elevated Command Prompt on the Hosted Cache server by clicking Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt.
  14. Enter netsh http add sslcert ipport:0.0.0.443 certhash=<paste from text editor> appid= and press Enter.
  15. Enter netsh branchcache show status all to confirm the configuration
* The Hosted Cache server requires a certificate with the Server Authentication EKU. Follow the steps on the Certificate Import Wizard to install your certificate. Once the certificate has been imported, follow the remaining steps in this section.
Configure Client Machines
Refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd637820(WS.10).aspx.
BranchCache can be used with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Other Resources: Learn more here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd755969(WS.10).aspx.

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