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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Tips for IT admins In Windows 10 Get Started App

get-started-app

In Windows 10, version 1607 aka the Anniversary Update, Microsoft added a new section to the Get Started app targeting enterprise IT professionals called “Tips for IT Administrators.” This is only available with the Enterprise edition of Windows 10 version 1607 or later.

This tool enables a Windows admin to quickly access step-by-step instructions on common enterprise IT tasks, for example:

  1. Change the default browser
  2. Create a private store
  3. Work with Windows Update for Business
  4. Links to deployment and management tools, including Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK)

To access Tips for IT Administrators:

  1. Press the Windows logo key, search for Get Started, then press Enter
  2. Go to Browse topics and select Tips for IT administrators

If you would like to see additional topics added to the Tips for IT Administrators section and have ideas or feedback for the Get Started app, send an email to: winpro@microsoft.com.

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Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) Version 1.2 For Windows 10

rsat

The latest version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 have been released. The download is available here. You will find the following two download files available for version 1.2 corresponding to x86 or x64 Operating Systems:

  • 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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Updated – Microsoft Update Catalog Site

new-ms-update-catalog

The Microsoft Windows team mentioned on August 15, 2016 that they were working on releasing an updated version of the Microsoft Update Catalog which would eliminate the need for ActiveX requirements in order for the site to work in any browser.

The Microsoft Update Catalog website is being updated to remove the ActiveX requirement so it can work with any browser. Currently, Microsoft Update Catalog still requires that you use Internet Explorer. We are working to remove the ActiveX control requirement, and expect to launch the updated site soon.

Good news! As of yesterday, the site has been updated and you can now access the Microsoft Update Catalog site using any browser including Edge, Google Chrome, and others with the following URL: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com. Here’s the blog post by Michael Niehaus with the announcement.

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PowerShell 5.0 RTM Now Available

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PowerShell 5.0 has finally RTM-ed, just in time for Christmas as announced on the PowerShell team blog. Windows Management Framework (WMF) 5.0 RTM replaces WMF 5.0 Production Preview and it’s supported on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 SP1.

WMF 5.0 adds new management functionality which includes Just Enough Admin (JEA), PowerShell Classes, PackageManagement, PowerShellGet, and improvement to existing technologies such as Desired State Configuration (DSC), PowerShell Script Debugging, Software Inventory Logging and etc.

Download WMF 5.0 from the Microsoft Download Center. WMF 5.0 requires .NET Framework 4.5 or higher which you can also obtain from the Download Center.

**IMPORTANT**
Systems that are running the following server applications should not run Windows Management Framework 5.0 at this time:

    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP3
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    • System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager

Servers running System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (ConfigMgr) can install and run WMF 5.0.

If you would like to provide any feedback to the PowerShell team, you can do so by using the UserVoice site.

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The following is a post by Neema Saeedi on MSDN which I’ve added for additional details:

Download the correct package for your operating system and architecture:

Operating System Architecture Package Name
Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu
Windows Server 2012 x64 W2K12-KB3094175-x64.msu
Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu
Windows 8.1 x64 W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu
Windows 8.1 x86 Win8.1-KB3094174-x86.msu
Windows 7 SP1 x64 W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu
Windows 7 SP1 x86 Win7-KB3094176-x86.msu

To install WMF 5.0 from Windows Explorer (or File Explorer in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1):

  1. Navigate to the folder into which you downloaded the MSU file.
  2. Double-click the MSU to run it.

To install WMF 5.0 from Command Prompt:

  1. After downloading the correct package for your computer’s architecture, open a Command Prompt window with elevated user rights (Run as Administrator). On the Server Core installation options of Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Command Prompt opens with elevated user rights by default.
  2. Change directories to the folder into which you have downloaded or copied the WMF 5.0 installation package.
  3. Run one of the following commands:
    • On computers that are running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 x64, run W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows Server 2012, run W2K12-KB3094175-x64.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows 7 SP1 x64, run W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows 8.1 x86, run Win8.1-KB3094174-x86.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows 7 SP1 x86, run Win7-KB3094176-x86.msu /quiet.

Additional Installation Notes for Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7:

Ensure following prerequisites have been met:

  • Latest service pack is installed.
  • WMF 4.0 is installed

WinRM Dependency: Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) depends on WinRM. WinRM is not enabled by default on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. To enable WinRM, in a Windows PowerShell elevated session, run Set-WSManQuickConfig.

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ADMX, ADK, RSAT Released For Windows 10 (Version 1511)

Computer_update_comic

With the release of Windows 10 version 1511, 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), Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), as well as the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

Windows 10 Administrative Template (.ADMX)

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 (RSAT)

Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)

Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

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

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PowerShell & ConfigMgr Blogs

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My good friend Deepak Dhami (aka Dexter), who is an expert in PowerShell and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) is a frequent contributor for great information and resource in these fields. He conducts various user groups and workshops in India to help ConfigMgr admins improve their skills. Dexter has provided the links below on his blog and has generously allowed me to share them on mine in order to further share the goodness.

Feel free to follow and reach out to him. He is always happy to help.
PowerShell MVP profile
Blog
Twitter

Links:

Cmdlet ReferenceDavid O Brien’s Blog
PowerShell Script Repo by ConfigMgr MVP Kaido
Kaido’s personal blog
Coretech Blog by MVP kaido
Ronnie Jakobsen’s blog
Kent Agerlund’s blog
Johan Arwidmark’s blog
Henrik Hoe’s blog
PFE Heath’s Blog
Adam Meltzer’s Blog
Steve Rachui’s Blog
Nickolaj Andersen’s blog
Rob Looman’s Blog
Sean Lillis (Author of PS App deployment Toolkit)
Alex Verboon’s Blog
Laurie Rhodes’s Blog
Adam Bertram’s Blog
Stephane’s Blog

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Beep Beep Beep …. Tag You’re It!

Photo Mar 23, 9 28 27 AM
And, so it begins……….

As of 8:00AM EST today, Monday, March 23, 2015, I am now on the on-call pager rotation shared between a team of three Windows SysAdmins, which we will rotate every Monday morning, or whenever a scheduling conflict arises.  I guess this is a life and responsibility of a Senior Systems Administrator.  However, with a busy personal life outside of work which entails lots of travel for family matters and other responsibilities, we’ll see how this works out.  In any case, I’m on-call.

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