Vigilant.IT rewarded yet another Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)!

Talk about ‘it’s been a while since I’ve last posted…’ just see my last post here on VITBlurb.

Vigilant.IT rewarded another Microsoft MVP – 2 in as many cycles!

Sheesh… Oct 2016! Pathetic!

I’m back again to announce (albeit several months after the fact) that we, Vigilant.IT have yet another, Microsoft MVP within our team.

Enter, Daniel Apps.

Unfortunately since the last post, we lost one of our Microsoft MVPs, to another company, a company some may have heard of within the IT community…

  • Microsoft!!

Although we dipped down to 2 for a short time, we have brought that count back to 3 with Daniel Apps joining this prestegious line up.

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So… who are our Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals?

Stephane Budo

Also known as ‘Steph’, ‘Budo’, ‘Our in house Dev!’, Steph holds his MVP award, 2 years in a row, within the ‘Microsoft Azure’ category.

Budo is one of the two directors here at Vigilant.IT. Someone who is very, very passionate about the IT dev space, Stephane leads the development /engineering team, continuously building Microsoft solutions for many of our new /existing enterprise clients.

Steph has developed an indepth timesheet solution that we use (internally) which integrates Microsoft’s System Center Service Manager to our custom time and billing application. Everyone knows how much of a pain timesheet is, however Steph’s solution has allowed us as technicians to focus on what we do best, solve technical problems and do very little admin work noting down the work we did. The granularity of information captured is an accountant or business owners dream (the finer details)!

Steph also started hosts an Azure Meetup here on Sydney’s lower north shore.

You can find Stephane Budo on the following platforms;

 

Steven Hosking

Also known as ‘Steveo’, ‘Hosko’, Steveo too is part of the development /engineering team here at Vigilant.IT. Steveo holds his MVP award within the ‘Enterprise Mobility’ category.

Steveo has just returned (at the time of writing) from a trip over to America, to present at the Midwest Management Summit 2018 in Minnesota. If he’s not working on a System Centre or Intune solution for a client, we generally find Steveo out at a conference on the other side of the world, presenting on all things Microsoft (well, System Centre, Intune and anything else that Microsoft need him for).

Steveo too has his own Meetup, being one of the founders of the Sydney System Centre and Infrastructure Group here in Sydney. A common theme you see with MVPs, and also one of their requirements – to help educate and empower the community on Microsoft soultions, products and services.

You can find Steven Hosking on the following platforms;

 

Daniel Apps

Also known as ‘Apps’, ‘Dan’, ‘The sh*t stirer in the office’, and the most recent to receive their Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award, within the ‘Cloud and Datacenter Management’ category, Dan is somewhat of a unique character, in a good way.

Borderline overzellous with anything other than IT, giving opinions on all things cricket or the general news, when it comes to the achievements and continous solutions he develops for all our new, existing clients, he is known to be humble and quiet about these sorts of things. As an example, his MVP announcement earlier this year. We had to see /hear it on Twitter before the team here knew!

Someone new to the social media /twitter scene, you can find Dan giving out good value to those who follow him and to see how good /quick wit he is with anything and everything (mostly Microsoft related topics).

Dan too (like the other two) continuously gives to the community via his blog as well as conferences he attends, both presenting or being part of the crowd.

You can find Daniel Apps on the following platforms;

 

So there you have it. A company that consists of 20 odd employees, and with only 3,500 Microsoft MVPs worldwide, we have within our ranks 3 recognised Microsoft Professionals. For a company our size, it is unheard of and I hope that this article just shows the technicial prowess we have /hold within our company.

This is something to be proud of, as a company but as a fellow colleague.

I’ll see you in 2020 (I really hope not!)

 

Vigilant.IT rewarded another Microsoft MVP – 2 in as many cycles!

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It has been a while since I have posted on this forum and what better way to kick it (and myself) back into gear than to announce a massive achievement for our company, Vigilant.IT.

Who are MVPs?

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs are driven by their passion, community spirit and their quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.

What is the MVP Award?

MVP Award is Microsoft’s way in saying “Thanks!” to the outstanding community leaders. The contributions MVPs make to the community, ranging from speaking engagements, to social media posts, to writing books, to helping others in online communities, have an incredible impact.

Essentially it’s the amount of value they have given the community and enabling companies with the latest Microsoft technologies.

They also have a very close relationship with the local Microsoft teams in their area, who are there to support and empower MVPs to address needs and opportunities in the local ecosystem.

So who in Vigilant.IT are Microsoft MVPs?

Back in July of this year, our in-house developer, guru, and overall legend of a person, Stephane Budo was rewarded with this accolade for his work within the Microsoft Azure space.

At the back end of last week, it was announced that Marc Kean was too rewarded with the Microsoft MVP status with his work within the Azure space.

Not only is Stephane and Marc very knowledgeable in their respective fields, but they are genuine, down to earth human beings who enjoy a good bit of humour amongst their peers. It just shows the versatility of the two, that they have a relatable side outside of the tech world.

These rewards are highly regarded within the IT industry and it is a privilege to be working closely with not only one, but two Microsoft MVPs within the one  company.

For more information on the MVPs and our company, checkout below links!

Stephane Budo MVP – Microsoft Azure

Marc Kean MVP – Microsoft Azure

Marc Kean – Blog

Vigilant.IT – Click to Find Out More

Error = 0x800703ee (Failed to Add Update Source for WUAgent) RESOLVED

Just recently, I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been prompted with any new Windows Updates from SCCM. I haven’t had too much time to look into this, but thought today is the day to get this sorted.

My colleagues on the other hand were ecstatic that they were receiving these updates. The ADR policy set for Windows 8.1 updates (critical and security updates ONLY) is to deploy 2 days after it’s release and wait a further 7 days until it is forced installed. We too have another ADR policy for Office 2013 updates. Same rule applies, 2 days deploy, 7 days install.

Having being well over that 7-9 day period, the boys are constantly prompted about a reboot (note – some of my colleagues reboot their PCs on an annually occurrence…….).

Identifying Problem

Firstly, when troubleshooting windows update issues on a PC this managed by SCCM, you will need to browse to the following directory;

C:\Windows\CCM\Logs\WUAHandler.log

This log file will more or less advise what the problem or at least, guide you in the right direction in terms of identifying update issues.

WSUS Error

Highlighted red, was the issue at hand – Failed to Add Update Source for WUAgent of type (2) and id {GUID string}. Error = 0x800703ee

After reviewing Matthew Hudson’s blog, even though the error message is different, the process that he advised worked for me.

Resolution

Browse to the following directory;

C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine\

You should see the Registry.pol file.

Rename It (i.e. Registry.pol.old).

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Once you’ve renamed said file, ensure you have the WUAHandler.log open.

Open up the Services (services.msc) window on the client PC and restart the SMSAgent service.

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Once reset, re-run the Software Update Scan Cycle under the Configuration Manager Actions Tab

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Once reset, you should see the WUAHandler.log file populate.

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Software Center should now display all missing updates.

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Hope this helps someone out there!

Good luck.

Windows 10 – Where’s the Start Up Folder

What has been bugging me recently is the fact that the applications that I had setup to start each time I boot my Window 10 MacBook Pro, does not come up any more.

I’m not sure if it was meant to come across during the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 or that I’ve missed some sort of setting during the upgrade; fairly certain there wasn’t one but it’s neither here or there any more.

With this, it appears that it is much easier to get to the Start Up Folder within Windows 10. (Note: after testing, this too is in Windows 8.1 so I’m well a head of the curve ball…NOT!).

To get to your specific User Start Up Folder;

Simply hit the Windows + E to bring up the Explorer and enter in the following commandlet

shell:startup

As you can see, it should take you to the following directory

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

SpecificUserStartUp

To get to the All Users Start Up Folder;

shell:common startup

As you can see, this commandlet should take you to the following directory

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

AllUsersStartUp

Either way, hope this assists someone out there!

Windows 10 – TH2 Release Professional Build 10532

Windows 10 TH2 Release Professional Build 10532.

Windows Insider subscribers may have received the second release to Threshold 2 Update as of Friday 28th August 2015 (Sydney Australia).

When it was release early Friday morning (for us here in Sydney, Australia), we noticed that for some reason, devices with Windows 10 TH2 Release Professional Build 10525, had immediately started pulling down the new update. No word of warning, it just started to download.

Unfortunately, this caused havoc on our link within our office that morning.

With this, several test devices that had Windows 10 (TH2 installed) started downloading and utilising all available bandwidth on our network. Even though we have a massive pipe to our office, we could see the strain on the network and the effects it was having on our business; we immediately took these devices offline which brought the network back up.

I had thought that BITs (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) would have control the throttling of bandwidth, however I was advised by one of my colleagues that BITs wouldn’t understand the parameters of the network and therefore just grab as much bandwidth it could.

Keep this in mind if you’re looking at installing the latest update, as it will no doubt smash your bandwidth if you’re careful.

On a personal note, the TH2 failed to install on my MacBook Pro (late 2011 model) with Windows 10 Professional. I find that it gets to the installing update after a reboot, where it then performs a roll back.

I will advise once I’ve managed to resolve this!

TH2 10532

Windows 10 – TH2 Release Professional Build 10525

Threshold 2 Update.

Windows Insider subscribers are available to download and install the new Threshold 2 Update. This will be available to Windows 10 users in October 2015.

From what I understand, and what my trusty colleague Steven Hosking has advised, it is classed as Windows 10.1.

Will post more once I’ve installed / reviewed and had a play!

SOLVED! – Bluetooth issue on MacBook Pro running Windows 10

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So I’ve finally gotten around to upgrading my Windows 8.1 OS to Windows 10 on my MacBook Pro (late 2011 model).

All appeared well after the initial setup, with everything responding with the basic checks made (i.e. is the keyboard, touchpad and other basic functions working).

My setup at work varies from the norm. I have my general day-to-day workstation with 3 monitors on my desk. I use my MacBook as a forth monitor. From here I use an application called ‘Mouse without Boarders’ which essentially allows me to work off the singular keyboard/mouse (using Microsoft’s Sculpt Ergonomic set which is great!) in the office.

Making the assumption (which I know should NEVER do!), I was under the impression that the installation of Windows 10 was a success. Little did I know though, several drivers weren’t installed correctly.

As soon as I got home, I connect my laptop to my external monitor + my keyboard/mouse using Bluetooth and attempted to start working away – nothing was happening, no input from my keyboard or mouse.

Reluctantly having to revert to the keyboard/touchpad  on the laptop, I went straight to device manager which I should have done immediately after upgrading to Windows 10 – Bluetooth Host Bus Controller had an exclamation mark against, all other drivers were installed successfully.

How to resolve this issue – see below;

SOLUTION –

Prerequisites – USB drive (larger than 2GB in size). USB drive too needs to be in a FAT format.

1. Boot into your Mac OSX partition

2. Open Disk Utility

3. Download Bootcamp drivers for Windows.

4. Boot back into Windows 10

5. Run the setup.exe file off the USB and let it re-run through the driver installation again.

6. Once completed, check to see if device manager to confirm all drivers are installed successfully.

7. Finally, test your Bluetooth devices, ensure that you’re able to use them.

Hopefully this helps someone else out there!

Good luck!

Can’t be bothered waiting any longer, I’m installing Windows 10!

So in my previous Windows 10 post, I had noted that I was going the patient approach, and that I would wait for Microsoft to push the Windows 10 update to me in due course; that was last night. I was expecting a pop up window on my laptop this morning asking me to update to the latest version of Windows – Windows 10… however all I got upon checking this morning was a big fat NOTHING!

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Anyway thanks to this link, I was able to skip the line and proceed with upgrading my Windows 8.1 edition to Windows 10.

Just to reiterate the article’s first step, it is very important to BACK UP your data prior performing ANY upgrade.

Once I backed up my data, I had went to Microsoft’ Download Windows 10 link and clicked on ‘Download Tool Now (64-bit version)‘ and hit run once prompted.

Obviously check and download the appropriate version applicable to your PC.

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Once initiated, I selected Upgrade this PC now

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Once it runs through the initial checks of the PC, updates, it will then prompt advising the applications that will NOT be brought across to Windows 10.

Hit Confirm and then Continue

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Select what you would like to keep (i.e. Keep personal files and apps, keep personal files only or keep nothing at all) with a clean install – hit continue.

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It will run through with the initial installation process. As you can see, once the initial setup is completed, the below image will appear;

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Once competed, it should provide you with how you would like to login (using your existing login profile, or to create a new one). Once confirmed (using my previous Microsoft ID account) I had logged in successfully and found Windows 10 had finally installed.

After the initial setup and configuration, I’m happy to say that I’m a Windows 10 user.

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It’s probably safe to say I’m well behinf the 8 ball when it comes to using Windows 10 however I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out the ins/outs of it along with the pros and cons. I’ll do a bit of a review in the next couple of weeks.

Good luck with your installs out there!

Windows 10 sneaks its way onto your PC!

Windows 10 as we are aware will release to selected Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices from Wednesday evening (here in Australia) or Wednesday morning in the States (and everywhere else that is behind us!).

Normally for me, I’d already have Windows 10 installed on my MacBook when first released to the public (beta edition) but I thought, for this particular release, I’ll wait, be patient and get it like everyone when Microsoft officially release it.

What you’re mostly unaware of (including myself) is that the Windows 10 installation files could already be sitting on your PC quietly tucked away in the following directory;

C:\$Windows.~BT

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As my colleagues and I were eagerly anticipating the notification that Windows 10 is ready to run on my MacBook (yes, running bootcamp), we were continuously spamming the ‘Check your upgrade status’ option at the bottom of the task bar (right click Windows icon and select Check your upgrade status);

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Unfortunately, we were greeted with the following message every time we checked;

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Knowing that Windows 10 isn’t officially available and as well having known that the installation files already exist on my PC, I was always going to give that setup executable a try!

This is how I went;

Looks promising… I hit Install Now button

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After a few seconds, I then receive the following message;

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I then do a quick search within that directory.. nothing! Obviously the boot.wim file (along with whatever else they’ve decided NOT to download as well) was deliberate, done on purpose to stop people (like myself!) initiating the installation/upgrade of their PCs (prior to the official release date).

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There are reports that even though you’ve ‘reserved’ your copy of Windows 10, it could be weeks where you will see the ‘upgrade now’ window appear.

Hopefully for me it won’t be too long and that it will download overnight (at the time of publishing it is 9.30pm on Wednesday 29th of July 2015) – it’s as if it is Christmas Eve and that I’m eagerly anticipating Christmas Day to open my presents (in this case, Windows 10 release).

We’ll see how it goes when I get up tomorrow morning!

Wish me luck!

Enabling PowerShell ISE on Windows Server 2008 R2

So I needed to run a PowerShell script on Windows Server 2008 R2, and needed PowerShell ISE.

I realised the server I was on did not have it installed.

As you can see here when doing a quick search, there is no PowerShell ISE option available.

PSISE_Enable

Here is how you install PowerShell ISE;

Open Server Manager > Select Features > Add Features

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Once selected, scroll down and find PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)

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Once selected, select Next and hit Install

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Once installed do a quick browse for PowerShell ISE, you should see it in the list now (below)

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Hope this helps!