Windows Server 2019 Now Available

The ISO download for Windows Server 2019 has been released and is now available from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) portal. You’ll find the 64-bit ISO file with a download size of 4351 MB.


Here’s a short description of Windows Server as seen in the VLSC portal. To learn more about Windows Server 2019, such as features, deployment, management, system requirements, and more, read HERE!

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Windows 10 October 2018 Update (v1809) Available in VLSC

The ISO download for Windows 10 October 2018 Update edition (version 1809) has been released and is now available from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) portal. You’ll find the 64-bit ISO file with a download size of 4505 MB. The 32-bit version is also available for download (3278MB).

Here is a good article on “How to verify if you have downloaded or installed the latest version of Windows 10”. I would recommend that you check out Michael Niehaus’ blog post where he shares some important information regarding the changes with the volume license media and upgrade packages with Windows 10, starting with v1709. There is only one ISO with a single WIM (Windows Image) file that contains all the volume license images as listed below:

Here’s what’s new in Windows 10 October 2018 Update and Office. And here’s some additional information on how to get Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

You can check out the known issues HERE!

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Windows ADK 1809 For Windows 10 Now Available with Add-On

With the release of Windows 10 version 1809, the following tool to support this latest Windows 10 build, Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) version 1809 is now available.
You can download it from: Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

NOTE: There is a new change with this ADK which requires an add-on installation to include Windows PE.

Starting with Windows 10, version 1809, Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) is released separately from the Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). To add Windows PE to your ADK installation, download the Windows PE Addon and run the included installer after installing the ADK. This change enables post-RTM updates to tools in the ADK. After running the installer for the WinPE add-on, the WinPE files will be in the same location as they were in previous installs of the ADK.

See Download and install the Windows ADK and ADK tools to get the ADK and WinPE add-on.

Johan Arwidmark has written a nice PowerShell script to automate the installation of the Windows ADK and Windows PE Add-On. You can grab it from his script repository on GitHub. This is very useful.

The Windows ADK is also available to Windows Insiders. Join the Windows Insider Program to get the Windows ADK Insider Preview.

The latest version of the Windows ADK includes:

  • The Windows Assessment Toolkit and the Windows Performance Toolkit to assess the quality and performance of systems or components.
  • Deployment tools such as WinPE, Sysprep, DISM and other tools that you can use to customize and deploy Windows 10 images.

Learn more about Windows ADK v1809 for Windows 10.

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Microsoft Ignite Orlando 2018 – What To Pack!

Microsoft Ignite Conference 2018 is taking place in Orlando, Florida from September 24-28. This is one of the largest Microsoft conferences in the world but there is always the dilemma of what to pack. Here are some suggestions from a conference veteran like me to help you with that the task of packing. While the conference is a week long, it is not necessary to go overboard with the packing and even bring the kitchen sink!

What to Pack:

#1: Shoes – Make sure you have comfortable shoes to wear during the conference as you’ll be spending a lot of time in them everyday. The conference involves a lot of feet power and you’ll be glad you have some good shoes. Also, make sure you have broken in your new shoes prior to the conference.

#2: Tech – Start collecting all the cables and charges you’ll need to keep your devices up and running at the conference. I recommend that you pack a portable battery charger for your smartphone(s), especially helpful when you are on-the-go and the power outlets are not easily accessible. It’s also advisable to pack a small power strip as power outlets can be scarce and you’ll make friends by sharing an outlet with others. This is also handy to use in your hotel room where the power outlets could be inaccessible due to their location (behind the bed, behind the entertainment system, etc). As for the portable battery chargers, I’m a big fan of the Anker brand for their ruggedness, quality, capacity, and great customer service when I need them.

#3: Clothes – The setting for the conference including the social events is casual. Pack comfortable clothes, don’t pack too much as you’ll receive loads of tshirts at the conference to last you for years to come. So, travel light. You’ll definitely want to pack the essential items such as socks, underwear, a hoodie or sweatshirt for the cold conference rooms, some shorts, a pair of jeans or casual pants, a couple of shirts, and whatever else you think is essential. Don’t forget your toiletries too. Keep in mind that the weather in Orlando is hot and humid during the conference.
** If you’re a dude, please for God sake leave the “manpris” at home! **

#4: Bottle / Mug – A traveling coffee mug if you’re a coffee drinker. Makes it easier to fill up on coffee and to travel from session to session without spilling. Plus, you’re helping safe the planet without using the disposable cups. You could also bring a water bottle as you should rehydrate often, however you will receive one along with a backpack when you sign in for your Microsoft Ignite badge on-site.

#5: Cards – Bring along some business cards for networking purposes as well as to enter some cool contests organized by several vendors. I generally get my cards ordered in advance from Moo as I prefer the mini-card format and the high quality. You can also order some inexpensive business cards from VistaPrint but since it’s late in the game now to get some cards ordered in time for the conference, either make some at home with your personal printer or order some in-store at places like Staples.

#6: Social Media – Networking is one of the most important aspects of attending a conference such as Microsoft Ignite. By now you have connected with several attendees via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Slack, and the newly minted Microsoft Tech Community. If you haven’t, then it’s time you get on the social media band wagon to collaborate with others, make some new friends, help to enhance your career, don’t feel left out at the conference, and so on. One tip for helping with the process on location and to make the social media connections as smooth as possible is to print QR Codes of your favorite social media medium such as Twitter or Facebook. This way, you can easily whip out your QR Code when you meet someone that you’d like to connect and they can easily scan the code with their smartphone which will pull up your information with ease.

#7: Luggage – Apart from your main suitcase or bag that you will pack with your clothes and above items, it is advisable to pack an empty bag that can fold such as a duffel bag. You’ll Thank me later when you realize by the end of the week that you have collected way too much swag but luckily you have that extra bag to bring all those tshirts and “things” home. Keep in mind that you’ll have the spanky new conference backpack to pack as well in case you traveled to the conference with your own.

#8: Laptop / Tablet – I generally travel with two laptops, one in case I need to jump in to handle some work issues back at the office, and the other as a personal device for daily use. Another reason for traveling with more than one laptop is in case one of them crashes for whatever reason and I still have something to manage my personal and work life. As far as note taking goes at the conference, I tend to use my iPhone as my primary device along with the OneNote and Twitter apps. If you have been my follower on Twitter, you’ll know how much I use that medium for note taking, as I do that quite efficiently with unique hashtags for each session and other matters related to the conference. So, if you’re not following me, do so now. You’ll find me as @Hoorge on Twitter.

#9: Medical – If you take any prescription medication, make sure you bring those and preferably in their original packaging, and this is to avoid any issues with TSA at the airport. I travel with my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea, so I always make sure that I have the power cord, hose, mask, and other fun stuff that goes with the machine packed as a priority item the morning that I’m leaving for the airport. If your CPAP machine uses distilled water for humidity control, you can always pick that up from a local pharmacy such as Kinney’s or CVS near your hotel. If you use spectacles and have an extra pair, bring that with you incase you encounter an unfortunate accident and break your main “four eyes”.

#10: Smartphone – I think it goes without saying that you won’t be traveling to the conference without your smartphone. To make your life a little easier, make sure you have enough free space to capture photos and videos during the week. Also, if you haven’t already done so, install apps such as OneNote for note taking; Twitter and Facebook for social media; OneDrive or Dropbox for uploading photos and videos to free up space on your device and for backup purposes; Microsoft Office Lens for capturing whiteboards, slide decks, business cards, and more; WhatsApp, Messenger and Slack for communication; Waze or Google Maps for navigation; and last but not least Untappd if you’re a beer lover.

#11: Camera – There are always some wonderful opportunities for capturing some great photos of the conference and the city of Orlando, so bring a camera with you. I would avoid bringing a large professional DSLR type camera with lenses and speedlights such as the Nikon D700 camera and the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens which I often use for my freelance photojournalism work and event photography. It’s cumbersome to travel with type of gear and to juggle during the conference. I tend to rely on my nifty iPhone for all of my photography and videography captures, and this year I will bring my Sony a6500 camera to do some high quality photo and video captures since this camera is pretty light and smallish. Selfie sticks can be fun but I’ll leave that at your discretion.

#12: Fitness Trackers – No doubt there’s going to be some tremendous amount of walking during Microsoft Ignite, so don’t forget to pack your fitness tracker units like Fitbit, Microsoft Band, smart watches and their respective charging units to see if you break any step records. Find a few friends and do a step challenge for the week.

#13: Credit Cards / Cash – As far as cash is concerned, you won’t need to carry much with you as food and drinks are generally covered at all of the evening social events, plus breakfast and lunch is provided at the convention center for attendees. I would carry a small amount of cash for incidentals and tips or when you need to split a bill with others. Credit Cards is the way to go for everything else but beware and pay attention to your statements as fraudulent charges have been reported by attendees from past conferences sometimes even 6 months after the fact. If you want some peace of mind and avoid the hassle of compromised credit cards, get a couple of prepaid credit cards with limited amounts on them to use in restaurants, bars, and other establishments.

#14: Snacks – Each day at the conference can be long, tough, and super busy as you run from session to session and network with fellow attendees. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to spare some time for breakfast or lunch, so food items such as granola bars, health bars, nuts, and pop tarts can be extremely helpful. While you may not need to bring any from home, although you could pack some in your suitcase, you can pick them up quite easily at a convenience store near your hotel.

#15: Sriracha and Beer – It goes without saying, I travel with my favorite hot sauce to spice up my conference center meals. How so you ask? Well, I often travel with the Sriracha2Go keychain container or the Sriracha2Go packets and they are so handy to have if you like to spice up your food on the go. As for the beer, there’s always a beer share happening during the week and several attendees often meetup to share and try out craft beer from all over the country and even from abroad. Pack some of your local craft beer in your suitcase and enjoy them with some old and new friends. Don’t forget to double ziplock bag them and wrap them with your clothing to avoid breakage.

#16: Trinkets / Souvenirs – It’s never a bad idea to bring a few little trinkets from your local town / city / state / country such as keychains, stickers, fridge magnets, candy, etc to hand out or exchange with a few fellow attendees. They become conversational items and everyone loves a little gift.

Hope this list will help you with your packing for the conference and has provided some helpful suggestions for things you may not have thought about. Good luck and see you soon in Orlando!

Follow (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

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Microsoft MVP 2018-2019 Renewal

I’m so Thankful, honored, and excited to receive the above email from the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award team confirming my award renewal for the 2018-2019 year. This is my second consecutive award since receiving my first one on January 1, 2017. It has been a wonderful, exciting, fun, challenging, and rewarding experience with endless opportunities.

The MVP award has provided some great opportunities for me in terms of my career growth, skill development, and avenues to give back and help others in the IT Professional community. I have been invited to speak at conferences such as Microsoft Ignite (Orlando 2017), MVP Community Connections (Boston and New York City), TechMentor, IT/Dev Connections, MMSMOA, user groups, webinars, as well as opportunities to guest blog, expert panelist, review technical books, test and evaluate software, provide technical expertise, guest podcaster, community reporter at Ignite 2017, community engagement specialist at various events, and much more.

I am very grateful and appreciative for my MVP award and various opportunities provided to me over time. Thank you very much to each and every one of you for making me successful in my efforts as a MVP, IT Professional, and community contributor, and for providing me with the valuable resources and networking opportunities. Thank you!

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ADMX Template For Windows 10 April 2018 Update (1803) Now Available

On April 30, 2018, Microsoft released the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (1803) build to customers worldwide. The following tools to support this latest release has been made available, which includes Windows 10 Administrative Templates (.ADMX), Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), and the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Windows 10 Administrative Template (.ADMX)

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 (RSAT)

Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)

Microsoft Office 2016 Administrative Templates and Office Customization Tool is also available for download.

Follow @Hoorge on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter to stay current on technology related matters.

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Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) For Windows 10 v1803

The latest version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 April 2018 Update v1803 have been released. The download is available here. You will find the following download files available for version 1.0 corresponding to x86 or x64 Operating Systems:

  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS_1803-x64.msu (95.1MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS_1803-x86.msu (69.9MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS2016-x64.msu (92.3MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS2016-x86.msu (69.5MB)

See here if you would like to determine if a computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows OS.

Additional Information:

When to use WS_1803 RSAT Package: When managing Windows Server, version 1803 or Windows Server, version 1709
When to use WS2016 RSAT Package: When managing Windows Server 2016 or previous versions

Known Issues that may impact RSAT functionality:

Issue: DNS Tools missing
Impact: WS_1709 RSAT package users
Resolution: Use the WS_1803 or WS2016 RSAT package or apply this workaround

Issue: Cannot turn off individual RSAT components
Impact: WS_1803 and WS_1709 RSAT package users on Windows 10 1803/1709 (April 2018 Update/Fall Creators Update)
Resolution: Use the WS2016 RSAT package on Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Update)

Issue: Tabs missing from MMC Properties
Impact: Windows 10 clients before 1607 (Anniversary Update)
Resolution: Update to the latest version of Windows 10 client and reinstall RSAT

Issue: Shielding Data File Wizard cannot create shielding data files
Impact: WS_1709 RSAT package users on Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update)
Resolution: Use the WS_1803 RSAT package on Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update), or use the WS2016 RSAT package on Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Update) to create shielding data files for Windows shielded VMs, or the built-in RSAT tools in Windows Server, version 1709 to create shielding data files for both Windows and Linux shielded VMs.

Issue: Template disks created from the Template Disk Wizard do not boot
Impact: WS_1709 RSAT package users on Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update)
Resolution: Use the WS_1803 RSAT package on Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update), or use the WS2016 RSAT package on Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Update) to create template disks for Windows shielded VMs, or the built-in RSAT tools in Windows Server, version 1709 to create shielding data files for both Windows and Linux shielded VMs.

Follow me (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

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Windows ADK 1803 For Windows 10 Now Available

With the release of Windows 10 version 1803, the following tool to support this latest Windows 10 build, Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) version 1803 is now available.
You can download it from: Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

Note: You must use Windows 10 build 1803 with this version of the ADK.
The Windows ADK is also available to Windows Insiders. Join the Windows Insider Program to get the Windows ADK Insider Preview.

The latest version of the Windows ADK includes:

  • The Windows Assessment Toolkit and the Windows Performance Toolkit to assess the quality and performance of systems or components.
  • Deployment tools such as WinPE, Sysprep, DISM and other tools that you can use to customize and deploy Windows 10 images.

Learn more about Windows ADK v1803 for Windows 10.

 

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Windows 10 April 2018 Update (v1803) Available in VLSC

The ISO download for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update edition (version 1709) has been released and is now available from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center(VLSC) portal. You’ll find both 32-bit and 64-bit ISO files with a download size of 3164 MB and 4382 MB respectively.

Here is a good article on “How to verify if you have downloaded or installed the latest version of Windows 10”. I would recommend that you check out Michael Niehaus’ blog post where he shares some important information regarding the changes with the volume license media and upgrade packages with Windows 10, starting with v1709. There is only one ISO with a single WIM (Windows Image) file that contains all the volume license images as listed below:

Here’s what’s new in Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

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ConfigMgr Technical Preview 1801 Released

The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) team has kicked off 2018 with a brand new release of the ConfigMgr Technical Preview branch with version 1801. As always, new features and improvements to the product derive from the feedback they receive from the community on the ConfigMgr UserVoice forum. Now, you can also provide feedback directly from within Windows 10 by using the Feedback Hub App. See additional documentation to provide ConfigMgr feedback.

This update has a number of new features (as listed in the Enterprise Mobility & Security blogpost) which include:

  • Run Scripts – You can now import and run signed scripts and monitor the script results.
  • Moving Distribution Points between sites – You can now move an eligible distribution point from one primary site to another primary site or from under a secondary site to a primary site . For information about requirements for moving a distribution point see “Reassign Distribution Point”.
  • Improvements to client settings for Software Center – Client settings for Software Center now has a customize button where you can preview your customizations before deploying them to machines. You can also hide unapproved applications in Software Center.
  • New settings for Windows Defender Application Guard – For Windows 10 version 1709 and later devices, there are two new host interaction settings for Windows Defender Application Guard. Websites can be given access to the host’s virtual graphics processor and files downloaded inside the container can be persisted on the host.
  • Co-management reporting – You can now view a dashboard with information about co-management in your environment.
  • Phased Deployments – You can use phased deployments to automate a coordinated, sequenced rollout of software without creating multiple deployments.
  • Support for hardware inventory strings greater than 255 characters in length – For newly added classes, you can specify string lengths greater than 255 characters for hardware inventory properties that are not keys.
  • Improvements to Automatic Deployment Rule evaluation schedule – You can now schedule Automatic Deployment Rule evaluation to be offset from a base day.

You can update to the 1801 Tech Preview release via the ConfigMgr console under the Updates & Servicing node. The baseline version of the Technical Preview branch is now at version 1711 and available on the TechNet Evaluation Center.

The following document provides further details on the capabilities in Technical Preview 1801 for System Center Configuration Manager.

Here’s my video tutorial which I did for version 1701. The steps are the same for 1801.

Here are the step-by-step upgrade guide (if you prefer not to watch the video) to get your current ConfigMgr Technical Preview site to version 1801:

You will find the 1801 update available in the ConfigMgr console under Administration > Updates and Servicing. If you don’t see it, click on Check for Updates in the menu ribbon.

Right-click on Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1801 and click on Install Update Pack. If you prefer, you can also use the Install Update Pack option from the ribbon menu. I recommend that you run the prerequisite check first to make sure there are no issues reported with your site server. Otherwise, you will need to address the issues before proceeding with the update.

Click Next and select the checkbox if you want to ignore the prerequisite check warning.

Select the features desired for install in the update pack. You can choose to do this later under the Updates and Servicing node.

Pick your option to validate or not to validate the upgrade against a collection. For my production Current Branch site, I generally select Validate in pre-production collection and choose one of my test collections for the first phase of the upgrade. However, since this is the Technical Preview site and only used in a test environment, you can continue with the option, Upgrade without validating.

Select the license terms and click Next.

Click Next to confirm the settings.

Click Close.

You can now monitor the status of the upgrade under Monitoring > Updates and Servicing Status. Then select the update package name and click on Show Status in the ribbon menu.

The window below will show the stages of the upgrade process where you can monitor it’s progress. If there are any issues, you will see it listed here with a warning and the details provided in the description box in the bottom of the window.

Upon successful completion of the hotfix installation, you will be presented with the pop-up window as seen below to indicate a console upgrade from version 5.0.0.8595.1000 to 5.1802.1050.1000 is available.

You can verify the console upgrade in the About System Center Configuration Manager drop down menu from the console.
Version 1801 for Technical Preview
Console version: 5.1802.1050.1000
Site version: 5.0.8611.1000

And you now have ConfigMgr Technical Preview 1801 running in your test environment.

 

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