Vol. 21, #24 - June 13, 2016 - Issue #1084
Catching up on Windows 10
- Editor's Corner
- Ask Our Readers - Any good free server and infrastructure monitoring tools? (more suggestions)
- Ask Our Readers - Career advice on becoming a network admin (more advice)
- Ask Our Readers - Hard drive failures and VMWare ESXi (new question)
- From the Mailbag
- URGENT - Change your TeamViewer password immediately!
- Windows 10 "Upgradegate"
- Free upgrade deadline approaching
- Windows 10 tablets
- Updated documentation for Windows 10 v1511
- What if you stick with Win 7 or 8.1?
- Ask Our Readers - What are "Digital Media Devices" in Windows 10?
- Send us your feedback
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- This Week's Tips
- ConfigMgr - How to successfully uninstall and reinstall the client agent
- Active Directory - Automating Account Lockout Search with PowerShell
- SharePoint - Top Support Solutions for SharePoint Server 2013
- Events Calendar
- North America
- Add Your Event
- Tech Briefing
- Cloud computing
- Exchange Server
- System Center
- Windows 10
- Recommended TechGenix Articles
- Recommended articles from websites in TechGenix Network
- Other Articles of Interest
- The struggles of implementing OpenStack hybrid cloud
- The major implications of VMware's End of Availability announcement
- Linux container security on the uprise
- Mobile VDI access is changing: how can you keep up?
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Dave Allen Comedy Sketch - 'Cheating Death'
- Amphibious Water Scooter 1965
- Gael Brinet - Champion of Magic
- San Diego State University Women's Golf Team Trick Shots
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Deep Packet Inspection for Quality of Experience Monitoring
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
It's time once again that we caught up with Windows 10 and that's what this week's newsletter is all about. We try to do this every few months as the platform continues to evolve. We also have an alert concerning a popular remote control product plus the usual tips, tools and other stuff that matters to our family of IT pros around the world.
Wait, did I say family? Wouldn't it be more accurate to refer to our readers as our co-workers or even our community? After all, the word family has certain implications of safety and intimacy and fidelity and...well let's see what Scott Adams has to say about using the word "family" in a workplace setting:
Yes it's just like home, isn't it?
Ask Our Readers - Any good free server and infrastructure monitoring tools? (more suggestions)
Issue #1081 Ask Our Readers: Encryption for shared resources included the below request sent to us by Rodd, a Systems Administrator working for a regional government council in Australia:
Wondering whether you have any info on free server and infrastructure monitoring tools that you have published in previous articles, comparisons or reader feedback. There are some really good tools out there but only seem to do one aspect really well like snmp monitoring of switches and network infrastructure but fall a bit short on the Windows server monitoring. A combined article showcasing some of the free tools with pros and cons would be awesome.
The following week in Issue #1082 Catching up we published one response from a reader named Erik who recommended a combination of System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Operations Manager, and Spiceworks. We then asked if any other readers had products they'd like to recommend, and we received a bunch more responses. First off here's a recommendation from a reader named Shaun:
In response to Rodd looking for free server and network monitoring tools I'd like to suggest he takes a look at Zenoss Core:
Although it's focus is network monitoring, as a server admin I've primarily used it for Windows Server monitoring, alerting, analysis, and reporting, while mapping out key components of the network infrastructure. It certainly competes with some of the commercial systems monitoring tools. There are downloadable virtual appliances to get up and running quite quickly.
Next we have this recommendation from Mark, an Infrastructure Solution Specialist working for a large chain of fashion stores in the UK:If they are after a free one there's Nagios:
It's good for servers (Windows/Linux) but does fall short in other areas (we have 170 small NASes in remote locations and unless we get the paid for version it won't see them.
Mark, a sysadmin working for a company that manufactures electronic and telecommunications equipment in Virginia, USA, sent us a detailed description of the product he recommends:
I have used The Dude for a number of years:
Since Mikrotik has recently started working on it again and have ported it over to run on some of their routers along with being able to run it on a PC it is fun and easy to use. It will discover a network and attempt to identify the endpoints. You can specify network ranges and build a network diagram. Objects can be dragged into position to position them in a way that helps visualize the network. Then if devices have SNMP enabled, the dude will collect cpu, memory, hard disk, bandwidth, location, etc and display it with the object. It really is a fantastic tool and one that I keep on my laptop to help troubleshoot a network segment. There is too many features to list here but if someone is willing to set it up correctly it will monitor and display most of the pertinent information on a network. It will also collect log data from devices that have remote logging. If you have never used it, you should give it a try. When I thought Mikrotik was going to discontinue it I got worried and tried to replace it with something else and after investigating a dozen other products had decided that I would keep using it until it no longer worked with Windows. I recently purchased a Mikrotik router just to be able to run the dude as a separate monitoring device and have been pleased with some of the new features.
Did I mention that it is FREE! You would do well to play with it and I am convinced that after a short time would fine this to be an absolute must have on your network.
Finally Terry, a System and Network Administrator from Australia sent in this suggestion:
Just wanted to let you know of a monitoring tool I use (And have used at a previous company) called Alchemy Eye:
It is however a discontinued development product -- although it can still be purchased. Nothing I have come across even comes close to what this tool can do -- which is a real shame that it is no longer being updated (Would be nice if a new developer would pick it up.) We use it to monitor servers, services, pings, event logs, web sites, switches, routers, file changes, file existence, disk space, remote processes, file sizes, registry key changes… etc etc (And I'm still only 20% into what this tool is capable of). It can email alerts, and sms if required, and has an auto-start tool should the service stop. It is invaluable.
Ask Our Readers - Career advice on becoming a network admin (more advice)
Also in Issue #1082 Catching up we included the below request from a reader named Doug:
I've been a tech for 20 years now, and have always been interested in network administration. I've learned a lot from the net admins I've worked with, but not nearly enough to be able to do the job. So my question for your readers - at almost 40 years old, with 20 years as a tech, is it still an option to get into the network admin business or should I just leave that to the younger group? I don't want to be a tech for the rest of my career, but I also know that there's a lot I don't know.
We received so many excellent responses from readers concerning Doug's query that we devoted a whole issue to reader feedback (see Issue #1083 Ask Our Readers: Mid-life career change in the IT profession ). Reader feedback keeps pouring in on this topic however so we're including a few more reader suggestions here. First here's some advice from Mario, a Technology Support Administrator for an educational organization in Phoenix, Arizona USA:
I started in the IT field at age 47 when the company I had work for 12 years started a help desk. Within 1 year (age 48) I was promoted and began performing desktop support. 3 ½ years later (age 51) I was again promoted to Network/Systems administrator. 2 years later, I became the Telecom Administrator (age 53). At age 56 I decided I wanted to balance my work/home life and went back to desktop support, first as a supervisor and then as a TSA (due to a reduction in force). Change is constant with new technology appearing every day. In many cases, as a network tech you learn as a new project is assigned. I am now 60 and enjoy the 8 - 5 work schedule and no longer being on call.
We also have this comment from Vlade a reader in Krasnoyarsk, Russia:
Open my very first computer @ age 40+, by that time had virtually no ideas on what I was doing.
Later went trough Novell - NCE 3x, NCA 4x, MS - DOS/3x, Win2000, CISCO - CCNA 2x & 4x, CompTIA - A+, Network+ & Security+, and bunch of vendor's certs.
Worked as Computer/Network Tech, System/Network Admin, recently back to computer tech, however with big company with decent salary and good benefits.
In the past used mainly mail lists and word of mouth as a source of info.
After Yahoo then Google and other search engine comes to age using them as well as previous sources.
The youngest co-worker I've known was in late teens and the oldest was over 70 years old, but primary IT is for younger folks in general.
IMHO no matter which path in IT you are choose you have to be able to learn new thing constantly and be able to adjust to a newer technology in order to be successful.
Ask Our Readers - Hard drive failures and VMWare ESXi (new question)
Alain, the Director of a company in South Africa that provides procurement and training support to the construction industry asked us to reach out to our readership on the following:
Hi Mitch, thanks again (as usual) for a very informative newsletter. I have just experienced a series of unfortunate hard drive failures, that have left a large dent in my confidence with various platforms. One issue that I have experienced relates to VMWare ESXi Server (barebones install) and a hard drive failure that left two virtual machines that ran off that hard drive not only dead, but completely irretrievable.
Disk Drive programmes abound for monitoring HDD status especially regarding SMART parameters. These all run on a desktop or server environment, but when running within a VM, there is no real hardware for them to monitor since these machines only have virtual hard drives without SMART monitoring.
Do you have any tips on how to monitor drives for potential failure when running VMWare ESXi?
If you've worked with ESXi in your own environment and have any suggestions for Alain please email us at [email protected]
Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]
From the Mailbag
Back in Issue #1080 Tools for diagnosing PC hardware problems we looked at some hardware and software tools that might be useful when troubleshooting issues with PCs. A couple of weeks later in the Mailbag section of Issue #1082 Catching up we included some feedback from readers who recommended other tools or had suggestions on how to use them properly. We've still be getting some reader feedback on this topic, for example Howard from Brazil offered the following suggestion:
Here's a very old one I paid for many years ago.
Note copyright starting 1996? Yup, the same program!
Ben who works for an architectural company also offered two more suggestions:
Thanks for the excellent newsletter. This may sound dumb but one of my favorite tools is my Black & Decker 20V Pivot Vacuum. It was cheap and it is AWESOME. I don't know about you but as a guy who works on end users computers, people's desks get disgusting with dust bunnies. It is almost as powerful as a full size vacuum and the battery last a long time:
I don't use this to clean any PC internals. That is a bad idea. At least with full size vacuums, the dust travelling up the hose creates static and will zap components.
For cleaning PC's, keyboards, etc., I use this AWESOME quiet air compressor and a blow gun:
And now let's check out what's happening with Windows 10. But first we've got something important to say to those of you who use TeamViewer:
URGENT - Change your TeamViewer password immediately!
A couple of years ago in Issue #964 Remote Login to Desktop PCs we looked at some different tools you can use for remotely accessing PCs over the Internet. Two weeks later in the Mailbag section of Issue #966 Getting Management Buy-In for Information Security we published a ton of reader feedback on the topic of remote login products with the a number of our readers saying they use TeamViewer and highly recommending that product. Well, if you are currently using TeamViewer for remotely supporting users, family or friends then be sure to read these two articles from Ars Technica:
TeamViewer users are being hacked in bulk, and we still don't know how
TeamViewer confirms number of abused user accounts is "significant":
Windows 10 "Upgradegate"
I don't know if it was Paul Thurrott who coined that moniker but if you haven't read his updated article on the subject it's definitely worth a few minutes of your time:http://www.wservernews.com/go/6vssotgm/
It's not just Paul who has been making a stink about Microsoft's behavior--take a look also at the following blog post by long-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Susan Bradley on her blog Small Business Susan:
Is Microsoft being a bully like Susan suggests? Even the Chinese now seem to think so as this BBC news article informs us:
What do our readers think about Upgradegate? Have any of you been "tricked" into upgrading to Windows 10 against your intentions? Email us at [email protected]
Free upgrade deadline approaching
Speaking of upgrades, the deadline for Microsoft's offer that lets you upgrade from Windows 7/8 to 10 for free is set to end on July 29:
I'm not a betting man, but I wonder what the odds are that Microsoft will decide to extend their offer by an additional 6 or 12 months and find new ways to try and "force" Win 7/8 users to upgrade their machines to Windows 10?
Windows 10 tablets
I current use an iPad for my tablet needs, and while I've been considering switching to a Windows 10 tablet, it's articles like this one in The Guardian that make me pause and rethink:
After reading this I've decided to stick with my iPad for the foreseeable future because when it comes to tablets I want something that "just works" but I'd be happy to hear from readers who have different thoughts concerning Windows 10 tablets--email me at [email protected]
Updated documentation for Windows 10 v1511
Microsoft has updated some of their Windows 10 documentation to reflect the new and changed capabilities introduced with the November 2015 (v1511) Windows 10 feature update. You can find out more on Michael Niehaus' Windows and Office deployment ramblings blog here:
What if you stick with Win 7 or 8.1?
One of the difficulties you experience when you stick with an older operating system like Windows 7 is that if you need to deploy a new PC with that OS then afterwards you'll need to download and install many, many updates from Windows Update. With earlier operating systems like Windows XP, Microsoft issued service packs every year or so that were basically big rollups of all the updates released during that year. Unfortunately Windows 7 only has had only one service pack released, and Windows 8.1 has had none.
Fortunately, Microsoft has decided to release a "convenience update" for Windows 7 SP1 to help make it easier for businesses who may still need to deploy new Windows 7 computers in their environment. You can read more about this in the following post on the Windows for IT Pros blog on TechNet:
Microsoft has made a few other improvements in how updates will be released for Win 7/8.1 and you can read about these improvements in the above blog post.
Ask Our Readers - What are "Digital Media Devices" in Windows 10?
Finally, Tony from the UK noticed something strange in his list of device drivers in Device Manager on Windows 10 and we're redirecting his question to our readers in case one of you out there can suggest an answer:
Hi Mitch. Under Windows 10 in device drivers, there is a new category called "Digital Media Devices". On my home office network I have a Marantz M-CR611 digital streaming audio system. Now I thought I understood this -- it acts as a client and can play music from my PC, NAS, server, amongst all sorts of things. That part is fairly normal. But on Windows 10 - a new install onto an old laptop, but not on my Windows 8.1 PC, in device manager there is a new category "Digital Media devices" and under there it shows "Marantz M-CR611". Right click and get properties up and it shows location = http://192.168.0.86:8080/description.xml.
Now normally I would expect a device that shows up under device manager to be something that I can access from my PC. But it appears that what is potentially a client device is now showing up. However it shows up despite the fact that I have not enabled the PC for streaming. But also, none of the other devices that are enabled for streaming on my network show up under Digital Media Devices.
Now the driver for it is (according to the info) Microsoft driver date 21/06/2006 -- pretty old for a device driver for Windows 10. So, the best I can deduce is that there is a subtle change with previous versions of Windows and that this new category of devices is showing only certain types of networked digital media devices that are only clients to Windows 10, whether or not you have enabled streaming, so it is a sort of "digital media network map" of certain types of devices that could be clients to your PC if you enabled media streaming.
This goes against what I would expect a Digital Media device under Device Manager would be -- I would expect it to be something I could use as a source of media streaming, just like a DVD drive, TV card etc.
The only thing I can think of is that as there is an app for controlling it (from Android or IoS) it is presenting an interface to Windows 10 for a potential Windows app for remote control. Adding a device like this to a large network could be quite interesting as potentially lots of PCs would then add it as a device driver.
Can anybody shed any light on this apparently new type of device driver?
If you can answer Tony's question, email us at [email protected]
Send us your feedback
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
Want to learn how to deploy and manage Windows 10? Download the free Windows 10 Deployment and Management Lab Kit from Microsoft. This kit includes everything you need to review the new in-place upgrade option and explore traditional deployment methods and management tools.http://www.wservernews.com/go/xvu22vak/
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Defending Active Directory Against Cyberattacks
Whether they are on-premises or in the cloud, watch this course and learn how to secure your high-value assets and their dependencies. Explore key findings from the Microsoft Cybersecurity Services team, as you take a look at Active Directory from an enterprise risk perspective, find out about today's adversaries, and get the details on strategic prioritization.
Quote of the Week
"Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men -- the other 999 follow women." --Groucho Marx
Until next week,
GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Get your free NFR key for Veeam Availability Suite v9 (1 year, 2 sockets) to all VMware vExperts, MVPs, VTEC members, Trainers and other certified IT Pros. The license works for both VMware and Hyper-V environments.Get:
Monitis lets you monitor your websites, servers, applications and more, anytime from anywhere:
BatToExe is a no frills Windows Forms application capable of converting Windows batch files (*.bat) to executable files (*.exe):http://www.wservernews.com/go/su8t3szm/
This online tool can be used to show vulnerable services for the DROWN vulnerability and probe to see if they've been fixed:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
ConfigMgr - How to successfully uninstall and reinstall the client agent
Christian Presley in his blog The Secure Infrastructure Guy describes a Configuration Manager Hardware Inventory problem he was experienced and how he devised a method for successfully uninstalling and reinstalling the client agent in order to resolve the issue:
Active Directory - Automating Account Lockout Search with PowerShell
Ashley McGlone in his blog GoateePFE explains how you can use PowerShell to perform deep XML filtering of event logs across multiple servers in parallel and use this to automate searching for locked out accounts in large Active Directory environments:http://www.wservernews.com/go/ahd1ydxs/
SharePoint - Top Support Solutions for SharePoint Server 2013
The Top Solutions from Microsoft Support blog has a summary that is updated quarterly and lists the top Microsoft Support solutions for the most common issues experienced when using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013:http://www.wservernews.com/go/l8hvna9l/
2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 10-14, 2016 in Toronto Canada
Ignite on September 26-30, 2016 in Atlanta USA
Add Your Event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Cloud-Based Security Solutions Encourage Faster Deployment: Report (TheWhir)http://www.wservernews.com/go/ej2je8fi/
Docker and Containers (Part 3) - Containers and Windows Server (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Product Review: Stellar Exchange Toolkit v 7.0 (MSExchange.org)
Load balancing Exchange Server 2016 (Part 2) (MSExchange.org)
Workflows in SharePoint (SharePoint Pro)
Introduction to PowerApps (SharePoint Pro)http://www.wservernews.com/go/cedndfx8/
ConfigMgr Upgrade Assessment Tool Gets an Update for Windows 10 Support (myITforum)
Troubleshooting Disk Space Reports (myITforum)
Windows 10 Images in SCCM: Size Matters (myITforum)
IT department finds BYOD policy pits it in eternal war with Windows 10 (Windows ITPro)
Email Security with Digital Certificates (Part 1)
Taking Control of VM Sprawl (Part 17)
Building a PowerShell GUI (Part 7)
Introduction to Microsoft Azure Security Center
The struggles of implementing OpenStack hybrid cloud
Migrating to OpenStack hybrid cloud requires getting over a number of hurdles as the interfaces and tools available to build it aren't as complete as many IT pros would like. And while integration certainly isn't easy, our editors are here to help -- access this tip to explore key considerations and best practices for using the platform alongside any of the major public cloud providers.
The major implications of VMware's End of Availability announcement
In February, VMware announced the End of Availability (EoA) of vSphere Enterprise and vSOM, which has larger implications than IT pros originally thought. In short, there are major licensing changes and prices have sharply risen. Find out more.
Linux container security on the uprise
Although containers still have their drawbacks, the Linux container security benefits far outweigh the risks and their rapid evolution promises hope for the future of server virtualization. Find out more about how Linux Container security is on an evolutionary fast track.
Mobile VDI access is changing: how can you keep up?
The mobile device market is a lot more diverse than it was just a few years ago; iPads and iPhones aren't the only game in town anymore. The constantly evolving landscape is altering how IT shops deliver virtual desktops and apps to on-the-go employees. So how can you keep up with the time? Find out more:
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Dave Allen Comedy Sketch - 'Cheating Death'
A funny sketch by Irish comedian Dave Allen - from the BBC comedy and sketch show 'Dave Allen At Large.'
Amphibious Water Scooter 1965
Another fabulous and somewhat glamourous invention from the 1960's. To bypass city traffic, this motor-scooter not only goes on land, but also on water:
Gael Brinet - Champion of Magic
Magician Gael Brinet dazzles the audience at the Championship of Magic France 2013:http://www.wservernews.com/go/pvxnlaw8/
San Diego State University Women's Golf Team Trick Shots
The San Diego State University women's golf team show us their amazing trick shot skills:
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.