#2 Week 3 – Top 1000 Tech Bloggers

On January 23, 2018, I received an email from Rise Social Media with the weekly listing of social media influencers and their respective rankings among 1000 Tech bloggers. Typically, I quickly scan the email and delete it, but this time in the week 3 newsletter, something caught my eye and it was this message:

Well done to this week’s top three Antonio GrassoHarjit Dhaliwal, and Dave Winer ?

I did a double take and clicked on the week 3 link and confirmed that I had moved up to the number 2 spot from way down the list. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to share the news with my friends and followers on social media, which is the source of my influence. I remember being just as excited when I made it to the 14th spot on week 43 in 2017 (see image below).

I was first introduced to Rise Global by my friend Richard Hay, who is well respected in the technology industry where he covers valuable news, reviews, and many other tech related matters as a tech journalist. Rich has taught me how to use several useful tools, helped me with some automation techniques, as well as shared some insightful strategies which in turn has made me successful with my social media work. We also had the opportunity to work together as the official social media journalists for the IT/Dev Connections Conference held in San Francisco in October 2017. We are looking forward to do the same at IT/Dev Connection 2018 in Dallas.

And then we have my friends Christian Buckley and Vlad Catrinescu, who are great contributors in the tech community and powerhouse Microsoft MVPs. These guys make Rise Global status ranking fun and exciting to take part in. We have a running joke and a friendly competition between us, which often involves some fun teasing to keep things challenging. We are rooting for each other to get to the top spot, and then we can call it a collective success. It will happen sooner than later!

As an IT Professional, I enjoy social media quite a bit and have a knack for it. I have developed some strong skills in this respect which has allowed me to contribute to the community in various ways from helping IT Professionals with valuable information and resources to keeping commuters safe during their daily travels. My social media activities have provided many wonderful opportunities which include travel, representation at large conferences, member of various committees, access to privileged groups, speaking engagements, contributions to technical newsletters, reviewer for products, books, and software, and some consulting work to name a few. I am humbled and grateful for these opportunities and to everyone who has helped me and continue to support me. Thank you, Thank you!

Well, I’m not naive to know that my reign on Rise Global will not last for long but I did get my five minutes of fame for what it’s worth. If you have somehow come across this blog post, please feel free to follow my social media channels, subscribe to my blog, YouTube channels, and podcasts. You’ll enjoy the information I share. Thanks.

About Me: Harjit Dhaliwal
Blog: www.harjit.us
Twitter: @Hoorge
Twitter: @TechKonnect
Facebook: TechKonnect
LinkedIn: Me
YouTube: Harjit
YouTube: Harjit & Prayer Show
Podcast: PowerShell News
Instagram: Me
Microsoft: MVP
Microsoft Ignite: Speaker
Microsoft: TechCommunity

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How To Change GUID Partition Table to MBR

To change a GUID partition table disk into a master boot record disk using command line, follow the steps below.

1. Back up or move all volumes on the basic GUID partition table (GPT) disk you want to convert into a master boot record (MBR) disk.

2. Open an elevated command prompt (right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator) and type diskpart.
If the disk does not contain any partitions or volumes, skip to step 6.

3. At the DISKPART prompt, type list disk. Make note of the disk number you want to delete

4. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk <disknumber>

5. At the DISKPART prompt, type clean

6. At the DISKPART prompt, type convert mbr

And there you have it.

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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT 8450) Released

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) has been released and the most current build (8450) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. This update requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 version 1709 (10.1.16299.15) which is available for download on the Microsoft Hardware Dev Center.

Some of the significant changes in this update include:

  • Supported configuration updates
    • Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 1709
    • Windows 10, version 1709
    • Configuration Manager, version 1710
  • Quality updates
    • Win10 Sideloaded App dependencies and license not installed
    • CaptureOnly task sequence doesn’t allow capturing an image
    • Error received when starting an MDT task sequence: Invalid DeploymentType value “” specified. The deployment will not proceed
    • ZTIMoveStateStore looks for the state store folder in the wrong location causing it to fail to move it
    • xml contains a simple typo that caused undesirable behavior
    • Install Roles & Features doesn’t work for Windows Server 2016 IIS Management Console feature
    • Browsing for OS images in the upgrade task sequence does not work when using folders
    • MDT tool improperly provisions the TPM into a Reduced Functionality State (see KB 4018657 for more information)
    • Updates to ZTIGather chassis type detection logic
    • Upgrade OS step leaves behind SetupComplete.cmd, breaking future deployments
    • Windows 10 ADK 1607 and later UEFI boot issue on some hardware
    • Includes updated Configuration Manager task sequence binaries

The following post provides some information on How to get help with MDT, in case you need it.

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UserVoice: Microsoft Product Feedback And Feature Request Resources

I recently came across a post by Jim Naroski on The Office 365 Guy TechNet blog site. He listed the links to the UserVoice portal for the various products or topics which Microsoft utilizes to gather feedback and feature requests. One important link is missing from the TechNet blog, which is for the System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) feedback site, and I have added that to the list below. Start using this valuable resource to help improve products and make your voice heard.

Products Links
Access https://access.uservoice.com
Bookings https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/314907-microsoft-bookings
Business Center https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600793-office-365-business-center
ConfigMgr https://configurationmanager.uservoice.com
Excel https://excel.uservoice.com
Flow https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Feedback/ct-p/Feedback
Forms https://microsoftforms.uservoice.com
Connections https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600610-microsoft-connections
Invoicing https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600781-microsoft-invoicing
Listings https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600778-microsoft-listings
Mix https://officemix.uservoice.com/
MyAnalytics https://myanalytics.uservoice.com/
Office 365 https://office365.uservoice.com
Office 365 Groups https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/286611-office-365-groups
OneDrive https://onedrive.uservoice.com
OneNote https://onenote.uservoice.com
Outlook https://outlook.uservoice.com
Planner https://planner.uservoice.com
Power BI https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas
PowerApps https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Product-Feedback/ct-p/PA-feedback
PowerPoint https://powerpoint.uservoice.com
Project https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com
SharePoint https://sharepoint.uservoice.com
StaffHub https://staffhub.uservoice.com
Skype for Business https://www.skypefeedback.com
Stream https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Stream-Ideas/idb-p/StreamIdeas
Sway https://sway.uservoice.com
Teams https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public
To-Do https://todo.uservoice.com/
Visio https://visio.uservoice.com
Word https://word.uservoice.com
Yammer https://yammer.uservoice.com

Uservoice provides an opportunity for customers or end users of products to provide feedback, request features and interact with others as well as with the product teams. If you discover a request or feedback that you agree with and would like to support, you can add a vote to that post. Each UserVoice member receives a limited number of votes to use and these votes are returned once the the particular feedback has been acknowledged and completed. See above screen capture.

Another useful feature of UserVoice is the ability to see the status of the posts such as Noted, Planned, Under Review, Started, and Completed. See examples below:

Source: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/o365guy/2018/01/02/submit-product-feedback-or-feature-requests-to-microsofts-virtual-suggestion-boxes/

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Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) For Windows 10 v1709

The latest version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 Falls Creators Update v1709 have been released. The download is available here. You will find the following download files available for version RS1-1.2, RS3-1.0 corresponding to x86 or x64 Operating Systems:

  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS_1709-x64.msu (94.5MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS_1709-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.

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Windows ADK 1709 For Windows 10 Now Available

With the release of Windows 10 version 1709, the following tool to support this latest Windows 10 build, Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) version 1709 is now available.
You can download it from: Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

Note: You must use Windows 10 build 1709 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.

Update: April 6, 2017
** Known Issues for ADK 1703 **
ADK Drivers don’t install on systems with secure boot enabled:
Drivers on the ADK Deployment tools will not install on systems with Secure Boot (SB) enabled.  To work around the issue, disable SB on these systems.This only impacts systems with Secure Boot enabled. More info here!

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Speaking Gig At Microsoft Ignite 2017

I was recently approached by the Microsoft Ignite team to submit some session topics for this year’s conference in Orlando taking place from September 25-29. As an MVP in the “Windows and Devices For IT” category, the team was interested in the Windows platform as I’m regarded as a subject matter expert in that arena, although I tend to work quite a bit with Systems Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr).

Well, today (August 18, 2017) I received confirmation from Microsoft Ignite that I have been accepted to speak at the conference covering two theater sessions. This couldn’t have come at a better time since I have plans to be in the area for some personal family activities, and it’s a great way to kill two birds or maybe three with one stone. My first session, “Hey Mom I’ll Fix Your Computer” (THR1073) will be on Monday, September 25 at 1:45PM at OCCC South, Expo Theater #7, and I will cover how you can solve computer issues and provide tech support remotely with a built-in tool in Windows 10.

My second session “Cool Microsoft Edge Tips and Tricks” (THR1072) will take place at 5:05PM at the same location and on Monday as well. In this session, I will show you how you can improve your browsing experience by leveraging some features in Microsoft Edge. If you are attending Microsoft Ignite in Orlando this year, feel free to sign up and check out my sessions. In case you haven’t heard of me, here’s my profile! 🙂

I am truly honored and grateful for this amazing opportunity to speak at the largest Microsoft conference in the world and I hope I meet everyone’s expectations and will do a great job. A big Thank you to Microsoft for this awesome opportunity, and to the MVP team and to my ever so appreciative IT Pro peers for your on-going support and encouragement always. Thank you Thank you Thanks you! Time to rock #MVPJit!

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Five Routine’s That Sums Up Desktop Management

IT departments play a major role in systems maintenance and it takes some effort for a system administrator to keep servers and end user workstations up and running for stability and productivity reasons. Lets take a look at system administrator’s daily routine and the importance of it.

1. Downloading and Deploying patches to user computers

System administrator has to identify required patches (3rd party) on systems, download them from the vendor websites and deploy them to end user computers. Managing these patches on a one of basis seems straightforward but it becomes cumbersome on a routine basis and especially when there are many systems to patch. Using a Patch Management solution, these routine tasks can be automated and scheduled to lessen the cumbersome workload on system administrators.

2. Installing software to user computers

Manually installing software on remote computers can be a daunting task and is challenging. A Software Management solution can resolve this complication by allowing a system administrator to deploy software from any location, handle tickets with ease and assist users demands in software installation with simplicity.

3.Troubleshooting remote computers

Troubleshooting servers and workstations for Operating System issues, software installations, security patches, system crashes can be remedied much easily with software management solutions, especially with remote capabilities and centralized management interface.

4. Managing IT assets in your network

Asset tracking for hardware and software in your organization is highly important and can be done with ease with the use of an asset management software. Apart from tracking the hardware and software in the organization, software license management, hardware warranty management, and identifying the usage of software particularly for licensing, restricting unwanted software in your network is important as well. An asset management solution provides a systems administrator the tools needed to effectively gather and manage this data.

5. Deploying configurations and managing mobile devices

Managing and configuring devices such as computers, tablets, phones, and peripherals in a growing organization with rapid demands for technology can be a challenging task for system administrators. MDM and desktop management solutions provide much flexibility and the tools needed to handle these technology challenges in the enterprise.

ManageEngine Desktop Central is one such ideal solution for desktop management, with its bundle of features and pricing compared to some known industry solutions. Desktop Central offers Patch management, Software management, Asset management, Remote support, Mobile device management, Failover Service, and Auditing capabilities. Desktop Central supports heterogeneous platform in 16 different languages. Finally, Desktop Central offers a fully functioning edition to manage 50 endpoints completely free with no hidden cost.

Download Desktop Central now and experience simplified IT management.

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ADMX Template For Windows 10 Creators Update (1703) Now Available

To coincide with the release of Windows 10 Creators Update (1703), the following tools to support this latest release has been made available, which includes Windows 10 Administrative Templates (.ADMX) and Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) as previously mentioned in this blog post. The previous Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) works just fine with Windows 10 Creators 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.

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Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award [MVP]

I am truly honored and humbled to receive my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional [MVP] award on January 1, 2017 in the Windows and Devices for IT category. It was a surreal moment when I received the email (see below) from Microsoft informing me that I was awarded this prestigious recognition. Wow!

My heartfelt Thank you to the MVP Award team, to my MVP Lead Betsy Weber, to my IT Pro peers who recognized my work and efforts in the IT Pro community with the abundance of nominations, and to everyone who has supported and encouraged me to be a valuable influencer and a technical evangelist. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Here’s an overview of the MVP program:

If you know of any IT Professionals who work with Microsoft technologies and should be recognized for their skills, influence, and valuable assistance to the IT Pro community, or if you want to nominate yourself, you can provide nominations on the MVP website.

The best Christmas / New Year / Birthday present!

Finally, here’s my vlog message for my 1st MVP award –

I also talk about the MVP Award on the Harjit & Prayer Show:

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