ConfigMgr Guidance For SQL CE Levels

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.

As for how SQL CE works and it’s importance with ConfigMgr, Umair Khan of Microsoft has shared a great blog post explaining the details, which you can read more here:
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/umairkhan/2019/01/28/configmgr-current-branch-1810-guidance-for-the-sql-ce-levels-with-various-sql-versions

PowerShell – Random Password Generator

ps-random-password

Generate random passwords using PowerShell.

Found this method from https://www.scriptjunkie.us/2013/09/secure-random-password-generation/ and modified by Sean Martin (myITforum.com PowerShell usergroup).

Finding and Removing Unused VMware Horizon View Replica Virtual Machines

vmware-vr-1

Purpose

This article provides steps to find one or more unused replicas in the datastore and to safely remove them.

Resolution

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:
  1. 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.
  2. Click Start, type Services, and Press Enter.
  3. Click VMware View Composer Service.
  4. Click Stop.
  5. 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:
  1. Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK. The command prompt opens.
  2. Hold Ctrl + Shift, and press Enter.
  3. 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.
  4. Run the sviconfig.exe command with the FindUnusedReplica operation:

    SviConfig.exe -operation=FindUnusedReplica -DsnName=DSN_Name -Username=User_Name -Password=Password

    Where:

    • DSN_Name is the name of the compose database DSN
    • 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:

    1. In the vCenter Server hosting the Composer service, Click Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC).
    2. Click the System DSN tab.
    3. Click the Composer database entry. This is the value you enter for DsnName in the sviconfig command.
    4. Click Edit.
    5. The username is visible and should match the entry in the Composer configuration in the View Manager.
  5. If the command finds any unused replicas, they are listed in a new file created in the current directory ( unused-replica-*.txt).
  6. 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.
  7. Open a vSphere Client and connect to vCenter Server.
  8. Click Inventory > VMs and Templates.
  9. Remove the replicas located at the UnusedViewComposerReplicaFolder.
  10. Start the VMware View Composer service.
Note: To view the help file for findUnusedReplicas:
  1. Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK. The command prompt opens and navigate to the View Composer install directory.
  2. Run this command:SviConfig.exe -operation=findUnusedReplica

Additional Information

See Also

PCoIP connections to VMware Horizon View 5.1.x / 6.1 Desktops With Multiple Network Adapters Fail

PCoIP connections to VMware Horizon View 5.1.x / 6.1 desktops with multiple network adapters fail (2062604)

Symptoms

  • Attempting to connect to Horizon View desktops with multiple network adapters fail.
  • You see errors similar to:
    • Unable to launch from Pool <pool> for user <domain/user>: There were no machines available that reported protocol [PCoIP] as ready
    • The Display Protocol For this Desktop is currently not available
    • The connection to the remote computer ended
Note: The issue can also be observed when connecting to View desktops having single network adapter.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, configure the subnet that the View Agent uses by setting the value for the subnet mask registry in Parent Virtual Machine.
Warning: This procedure modifies the Windows registry. Before making any registry modifications, ensure that you have a current and valid backup of the registry and the virtual machine. For more information, see Microsoft KB article 136393.
Note: The preceding link was correct as of June 17, 2015. If you find a link is broken, provide a feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.
To open the Windows Registry:
  1. Click Start > Run, type regedit, and click OK.
  2. Go to the registry key – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\vmware inc\vmware vdm\node manager\subnet.

    For View 6.1 – Go to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\vmware inc\vmware vdm \IpPrefix
  3. Set the value to n.n.n.n/m (REG_SZ). Note: where n.n.n.n is the TCP/IP subnet and m represents the number of bits in the subnet mask.
For more information:

Source: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2062604

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT 8456) Released

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) has been released and the most current build (8456) which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. This update requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 version 1809 (10.1.17763.1) which is available for download on the Microsoft Hardware Dev Center.

The official MDT release note are available here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/mdt/release-notes

Some of the significant changes in this update include:

  • Supported configuration updates
    • Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 1809
    • Windows 10, version 1809
    • Configuration Manager, version 1810
  • Major changes
    • Nested task sequence support for LTI scenario
    • Modern language pack supportNote 1
    • Support for Configuration Manager version 1810Note 2
    • IsVM evaluates to False on Parallels VMs
    • IsVM = False when VMware VM is configured with EFI boot firmware
    • Gather doesn’t recognize All-in-One chassis type
    • MDT doesn’t automatically install BitLocker on Windows Server 2016
    • BDEDisablePreProvisioning typo in ZTIGather.xml

Check out Johan Arwidmark’s “A Geeks Guide for upgrading to MDT 8456” blog post for steps to upgrade MDT as a standalone and in ConfigMgr.

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

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!

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!

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.

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.

Windows 7 Network Controller Issues – KB4338818 (July 2018)

The July 2018 Windows Updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 introduces a bug that could cause the network interface controller to stop working. The update referenced is KB4338818.

In case your systems run into this issue, the workaround from Microsoft is to do the following:

Please use your best judgement and evaluate the risks of applying this update to your Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems.

** Update **
According to an IT Pro who opened a support case with Microsoft, this is the information provided at this time:

“Regarding the known issue in the July monthly rollup about the network interface controller that will stop working. We are still looking at the data gathered from multiple customers and we do not have a list third party software that is causing the issue. What we do know until now, is that the issue is reproducing mainly on VM over VMware.”