Microsoft provides several Insider programs which you can participate to get a preview of the latest features and updates, as well as provide feedback to Microsoft for bugs, issues, and request features.
In case you are trying to figure out what Insider programs are available and how you can sign up to participate, see below for the individual programs.
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 me with some great opportunities 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 & 2018), MVP Community Connections (Boston and New York City), TechMentor, IT/Dev Connections, MMSMOA, user groups, various webinars, as well as opportunities to guest blog, join technical expert panelist, review technical books, test and evaluate software, provide technical expertise, guest speak on podcasts, community reporter at Microsoft Ignite 2017, community engagement specialist at various events, and much more.
This is my 3rd MVP Award and I am very grateful and appreciative for it and for the 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!
Microsoft has acknowledged an issue with PXE boot affecting Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 systems caused by a Security-Only update (KB4493467) released on April 9, 2019.
After installing this update, there may be issues using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) to start a device from a Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server configured to use Variable Window Extension. This may cause the connection to the WDS server to terminate prematurely while downloading the image. This issue does not affect clients or devices that are not using Variable Window Extension.
To mitigate the issue, disable the Variable Window Extension on WDS server using one of the following options:
Option 1: Open an Administrator Command prompt and type the following:
Patch Management is an important role of a Sysadmin in the Enterprise, because securing endpoints with security updates to keep systems secure and functional, receive fixes that resolve issues, and patch security holes is highly important. However, with the frequency of security updates which are released these days, patch management tasks feels like a full-time job!
For the most part, monthly patches are straight forward, however in recent months, they have been problematic where they have caused system crashes, blue screens, application functionality issues, and introduced other bugs. Some faulty patches are quickly reversed or rectified by Microsoft, while others go unfixed for a longer duration causing further duress and downtime in many organizations. This has been a major pain point for Sysadmins in the field.
Well, we may have some reprieve from these buggy patches. Microsoft has announced that it will start uninstalling problematic patches automatically from Windows 10 systems when it detects a startup issue due to incompatibility or issues stemming from a recently installed patch. The following notification will be presented: “We removed some recently installed updates to recover your device from a startup failure.”
According to this KB4492307 posted by Microsoft, the problematic patch will not be reinstalled for 30 days to allow Microsoft and it’s partners to investigate and fix the issues. This process seems like a good proactive approach by Microsoft to get a handle of buggy patches, however more information is needed in terms of how this will work with detection, deployments, and compliance of these patches using ConfigMgr and WSUS as mechanisms for patch management in the enterprise. Time will tell, we hope!
I encountered an issue with my WordPress hosted site when I was attempting to install a plugin, in this case the WP Statistics plugin. I know I had previously installed this plugin but it did not show up in my installed plugin list in the WordPress Admin dashboard. The installation fails with an error: “Installation failed: Destination folder already exists.”
When you install a WordPress theme or plugin, WordPress will extract and copy the folder from a zip file into the wp-content/themes or wp-content/plugins directory. If the folder already exist, then WordPress is unable to copy the files and therefore generates the error. This can happen if the theme or plugin files that are already installed are missing or corrupted.
Here’s the fix for this issue:
Use a FTP client such as FileZilla, and connect to your WordPress site.
Drill down into the wp-content/plugins directory and delete the plugins folder which you are having issues with. In my case the WP Statistics plugin folder.
Once the folder is deleted, go back to your WordPress admin site and reinstall the plugin. You should see a successful installation and at which point, you can activate the plugin and configure the settings if necessary.
This post is not to emphasize or promote the use of the local administrator account or provide such level of access to your users. IT Professionals and security experts will tell you that providing local administrator account privileges for end users is risky as it can introduce lots of issues such as ransomware attacks, malware infections, risk of compromised systems, and Pass-the-Hash attacks to name a few.
The local administrator account on a Windows 10 system is disabled by default. If you need to enable it for troubleshooting purposes or for some management tasks, you can do so in 3 ways.
Option 1: Computer Management
Click Start > search for Computer Management
Expand Local Users and Groups
Right-click on Administrator account
Uncheck Account is disabled box > click Apply and OK
What is Cardinality Estimation or SQL CE Level? The Cardinality Estimator is a SQL Server Query Processor component that is responsible for predicting the number of rows that the query will return. Microsoft provides some great documentation about SQL CE which you can read more on Microsoft Docs.
This article provides steps to find one or more unused replicas in the datastore and to safely remove them.
If the parent virtual machine or snapshot is changed in the pool settings, a new replica virtual machine is created. The previous replica becomes unused and is deleted after the recompose completes. The View composer automatically deletes the replica from vCenter Server and the Composer database. Under certain conditions, the replica virtual machine information may exist in the Composer database and the vCenter Server Inventory after any linked clone associated with the replica is deleted. This results in an unused replica.
Finding and removing unused replicas
To find and remove unused replicas:
In vCenter Server or the server where the composer is installed, stop the VMware View Composer service.Note: When this service is down, no recompose, refresh, or provisioning operations occur. Use a convenient maintenance window.
Click Start, type Services, and Press Enter.
Click VMware View Composer Service.
Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK. The command prompt opens.
Note: In the Windows Server 2008 machines, the command prompt must be run as an Administrator.
To run the command prompt as an Administrator:
Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK. The command prompt opens.
Hold Ctrl + Shift, and press Enter.
Navigate to the View Composer install directory.
On a Windows 32-bit server, navigate to C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View Composer.
On a Windows 64-bit server, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware View Composer.
Run the sviconfig.exe command with the FindUnusedReplica operation:
User_name is the user name of composer database owner
Password is the password of composer database ownerFor example:SviConfig.exe -operation=FindUnusedReplica -DsnName=ComposerDB -Username=sa -Password=secretNotes:
If the DsnName contains spaces, use quotes around the value.
If there are two composer databases on the server due to an older database, and the command is run against the incorrect database, the currently used replicas is moved to the unused folder as the old database does not recognize them.
To determine the Composer DB DSN, user and password:
In the vCenter Server hosting the Composer service, Click Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC).
Click the System DSN tab.
Click the Composer database entry. This is the value you enter for DsnName in the sviconfig command.
The username is visible and should match the entry in the Composer configuration in the View Manager.
If the command finds any unused replicas, they are listed in a new file created in the current directory ( unused-replica-*.txt).
Unused replicas can be unprotected and moved to a unique folder with the parameter:-move=trueFor example:SviConfig.exe -operation=FindUnusedReplica -DsnName=ComposerDB -Username=sa -Password=secret -Move=trueNotes:
When using the move=true option, you receive warning pop-ups. These are safe to ignore.
Note the UnusedViewComposerReplicaFolder is created automatically if it does not exist, and unused replicas are moved to this folder.
Open a vSphere Client and connect to vCenter Server.
Click Inventory > VMs and Templates.
Remove the replicas located at the UnusedViewComposerReplicaFolder.
Start the VMware View Composer service.
Note: To view the help file for findUnusedReplicas:
Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK. The command prompt opens and navigate to the View Composer install directory.
Run this command:SviConfig.exe -operation=findUnusedReplica