App Install Issues
- Editor's Corner
From the Mailbag
App Install Issues
Tip of the Week
Recommended for Learning
Quotes of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Webinars & Seminars
- Creating & Managing a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 Jump Start
- SQL Server 2012 Launch Conference and Expo
- Microsoft Management Summit 2012
- Upcoming Microsoft Events and Webcasts
- Upcoming VMware Webcasts
- Upcoming O'Reilly Webcasts
- Upcoming Cisco Events
- Upcoming Oracle Events
- Tech Briefing
- What's new in file management for Windows 8
- Top 10 admin console improvements coming in SCCM 2012
- NIST issues guidance on cloud security
- Pros and cons of cyber insurance
- Windows Server News
- The value of cloud vs. server consolidation
- 5 situations where virtualization high availability is overkill
- Mobile virtualization is here, but limitation may hinder adoption
- Remote Management in Windows Server 8
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Free IP Address Tracker from SolarWinds Makes Tracking Easy
- Free IP Address Tracker from SolarWinds Makes Tracking Easy
From the Mailbag
Concerning my tip about Robocopy in the last issue Migrating Large Amounts of Storage, a very nice reader gently pointed out the following error on my part:
I enjoy reading your newsletter ? thanks for the efforts.
Just thought I would give feedback on an issue I found:
In the ?Tip of the Week? you suggest to use Robocopy with the /J switch, but there is no /J switch for Robocopy (Xcopy /J works though).
He's right of course. It's the Windows Server 2008 R2 version of xcopy that has the /J switch for copying files without buffering, and using this switch recommended when copying very large files with xcopy. And thank you again dear reader for not flaming me!
Several readers had their own tips to suggest or stories to share concerning copying large files in their own environment. For example, one cost-conscious reader reported:
We have almost finished virtualizing our small stack of servers. We are poor (and/or cheap) so we use Hyper-V on two host systems, one at either end of the campus, with a Server 2008R2 Data Center license on each. On top of Hyper-V we use a management system from VM6 Software named VMex. This software allows us to use (cheap) internal drives on each of the Host servers as a virtual SAN and then sets up the pair of virtual SANs in a mirror. Continuous data replication?
Normally, the server load is split between the two hosts but if something happens to either one, those servers are automatically restarted on the other host. (Yes, our server loads are so low that all 14 servers can run on either of our not-quite-matched hosts.) When one of the hosts has to go down for maintenance then comes back on-line, the vSAN on it is automatically resynchronized with the operating vSAN before we manually rebalance the server load.
How cheap? We bought both hosts, the Data Center Licenses, and VMex management software for less than the price of a single SAN from any of the major suppliers! Is it a perfect system, everything I ever wanted? Well, no, but my recovery time is now measured in minutes instead of days!
I like that even if my Boss doesn?t understand.
Another reader said:
For our nightly backups to an external hard drive we installed an eSATA card on the server as our ex-drive boxes come with an eSATA port and using this method has dramatically reduced backup times, which is essentially the same as file move times.
And a reader from down-under (Sydney, Australia) recommended the following solution:
You really need to look into Double-Take Software's migration tool DT Move, built on their existing High Availability product and real time replication engine. DT Move provides true x2x migrations with very little and in most cases no user down time. Most important is saves on operational costs with reduced engineers time spent migrating workloads (no weekend work!)
This video (Migrate Exchange 2010 to the Cloud - 9 min 28 sec) demonstrates how to migrate a live Exchange 2010 (or any other Windows Server) to "The Cloud" or from one data center to another, with near to zero downtime and zero loss of data:
There are also some migration videos on the Dell Tech Centre website using DT Move:
App Install Issues
This week I have a few thoughts to share with you about installing/uninstalling applications on Windows 7, and I thought I'd structure my comments in Q&A form for a change. Some of the things I point out might seem obvious to some of you, but other things might be new to you and could be helpful for you in certain scenarios.
But first, let's see what XKCD says about WHETHER THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT:
BTW just discovered if you select some text in Word 2010 and press SHIFT+F3 repeatedly you can toggle between lowercase text, Init Cap Text, and ALL CAPS. Consider that your free tip for the day.
Installing Per-User Apps
Q. Why does installing most apps require admin privileges?
A. So all users of the computer can use the app.
Q. How common are apps that don't require admin privileges to install?
A. You'll run into them from time to time but not too often. For example, last I checked Firefox gave you the choice of a per-user install that can succeed without elevation.
Q. My users are standard users (not admins) on their Windows 7 computers. How can I prevent them from installing such per-user apps?
A. The only supported way is to use AppLocker in enforcing white-list mode.
Q. How can I determine whether an app installer supports per-user install?
A. You can use the Windows Sysinternals utility Sigcheck to do this:
Run the command sigcheck -m against the MSI to see whether requestedExecutionLevel has any value other than requireAdministrator in the application manifest. For more info on application manifests, see this:
Q. What about installers that offer a choice of either "install just for me" or "install for everyone on the computer"?
A. Those generally require admin privileges to install. The choice you're offered only has to do with which user profiles the shortcuts to launch the app will be added to.
Q. Can you create an MSI for an app that will allow choice of installing either per-user or per-machine?
A. Yes, beginning with Windows Installer 5.0 on Windows 7 and higher you can now create a dual mode MSI that can be installed as either per user or per machine. Here are some details:
UAC and Installing Apps
Q. Under what conditions will an app installer prompt for elevation?
A. There are three conditions under which an app installer will do this:
- The app developer requests this via the app manifest.
- IT has used ACT to add a shim for this to the shim database.
- Windows thinks the installer is a setup program.
Q. Can IT manage the third condition above?
A. Yes, you can disable setup detection with this Group Policy setting:
Q. We want to migrate our client computers from XP to Windows 7 before XP goes out of support, and we want to make our users standard users (non-admins) and leave UAC enabled when we migrate to Windows 7. Are there any tools out there that I can use to help me determine whether our existing applications are compatible with our migration plans?
A. Check out Standard User Analyzer:
This tool is freely available as part of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.6.
Q. Do you have any more advice about UAC and installing apps?
A. You should probably begin here:
Q. Any more tips on identifying and resolving application compatibility issues prior to a Windows 7 migration?
A. Check out "Windows 7 Compatibility Testing", a series of articles by Brien Posey on WindowsNetworking.com beginning at:
Installing apps to C:\
Q. Is it OK to install an app to the root of your C: drive?
A. Not recommended because the resulting permissions on the installation folder will be weaker than they should be and will allow standard users to modify or delete executable files.
Q. What if the app installer itself wants to install the app to C:\?
A. It must be a legacy app in that case. Ask the application vendor for an updated version of the app.
Q. Where should you install an app to?
A. Per-machine apps should always be installed to %ProgramFiles%.
Problems uninstalling apps
Q. The %Windir%\Installer folder on my machine has a ton of .msi files in it. Can I delete them so I can free up more space on my system drive?
A. Don't do this! This folder is the cached location for apps that have already been installed on your computer and if you delete an MSI from it you might not be able to uninstall the corresponding app from your computer unless you still have your original installation media for the app.
Q. Can't I use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (MSICUU2.EXE) to remove junk from the %Windir%\Installer folder?
A. Don't do that. MSICUU2.EXE has been deprecated by Microsoft, see my next answer below for its replacement.
Q. OK I haven't messed around with my %Windir%\Installer folder but I still can't uninstall an app that I previously installed on my computer. What should I do?
A. Try the new Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter from Microsoft Support:
Here's some more information about how the tool works:
Got thoughts on any of the above? Or some other app install/uninstall tips you'd like to share? Contact me at [email protected]
Tip of the Week
Some Aero features of Windows 7 can be annoying, like windows automatically maximizing themselves whenever you drag them near the top of your desktop. This feature is called Aero Snap, and while it can sometimes be useful it can also be annoying. Can you disable it? Yes, by doing the following:
- Type mouse in the Start menu search box and select Change How Your Mouse Works.
- Select the checkbox ?Prevent Windows From Being Automatically Arranged When Moved To The Edge Of The Screen?.
There are some additional consequences however of disabling Aero Snap. One consequences I?ve discovered is that doing this also disables Windows keyboard shortcuts like Windows+Shift+Arrow that let you move a window from one monitor to another in a multimonitor scenario. As a workaround for this, you can use Alt+Space, M instead, but it?s not as elegant.
Recommended for Learning
Two books on cloud computing to recommend for you this week:
To the Cloud: Cloud Powering an Enterprise from McGraw-Hill is written by three experts from Microsoft's IT Global Strategic Initiatives team. The target audiences are business and IT decision-makers and the book very concisely address the why, what and how of cloud computing for enterprise environments. It's only about 100 pages in length and makes a good afternoon read if you're thinking of migrating some or all of your information processing, storage or systems management to some form of cloud solution, either private, public or hybrid. The book includes case studies and lots of good questions you can reflect on in order to evaluate your organization's needs and the potential benefits and risks of cloud computing.
Distributed and Cloud Computing: From Parallel Processing to the Internet of Things from Morgan Kaufmann provides an overview of the technologies, trends, goals and issues associated with cloud computing in all of its various forms. The book is comprised as a series of research essays by different experts in the field and presented in format suitable for university courses or as background reading for network engineers. Each chapter ends with extensive bibliographic notes and references plus problems you can do to learn more about each topic presented. Unfortunately the timeliness of the content in various chapters varies greatly which reduces the value of the book for some audiences. For example, the book makes no reference to Hyper-V, and both Xen and VMware are covered only briefly. But if you want to learn about the Google App Engine or how Amazon cloud services work, then this is the book for you. Best to review the table of contents closely before you decide whether to buy this book.
Quotes of the Week
"Reality isn't the way you wish things to be, nor the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are. You either acknowledge reality and use it to your benefit or it will automatically work against you." --Robert Ringer
"Learn to eat the meat and throw out the bones." --John Wimber
"But since the day I picked up the alto again I've realized that if you don't play yourself you're nothing. And since that day I've been playing what I felt, what I felt, regardless of what those around me were playing or how they thought I should sound." --Jazz saxophonist Art Pepper in his autobiography Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper:
Be sure to forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague who might find the tips and tools in it helpful for performing their job. And if you have feedback concerning anything in this newsletter, feel free to send it to my mailbag at [email protected]
Cheers, Mitch Tulloch
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
rDirectory?s free Community Edition web-based directory deploys in minutes and immediately allows users to search Active Directory data anywhere, anytime, from any computer.
Accident or Malicious? Learn whether suspicious activity on Windows Servers is a result of unintentional actions?or malicious insider. View Demo:
Validate system files and installer packages with Sigcheck from Windows Sysinternals:
Troubleshoot problems installing and uninstalling programs with the Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter:
Test applications to detect potential UAC compatibility issues with Standard User Analyzer included in ACT 5.6:
Webinars & Seminars
Creating & Managing a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 Jump Start
Learn how to deploy, manage and maintain Microsoft?s private cloud solution using System Center 2012 in this free public two-day virtual event on February 21-22, 2012.
SQL Server 2012 Launch Conference and Expo
Learn about Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Launch Conference and Expo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from March 26 - 29:
Microsoft Management Summit 2012
MMS is where skilled IT professionals can meet to increase their technical expertise through hands-on training, breakout sessions and interacting with industry leaders in desktop and device management, datacenter, and cloud technologies. MMS 2012 will be in Las Vegas from April 16-20, 2012.
Upcoming Microsoft Events and Webcasts
- February 07, 2012 - MSDN Webcast: Cloud Computing Soup to Nuts (Part 1): Get Started with Cloud Computing and Windows Azure (Level 100)
- February 08, 2012 - TechNet Webcast: Becoming the Next Private Cloud Expert Now (Level 300)
- February 16, 2012 - TechNet Webcast: You've Got a Cloud: Familiar Tools to Manage It (Level 300)
Sign up for these and other Microsoft events and webcasts at:
Upcoming VMware Webcasts
- February 7, 2012 - VMware View 5 QuickStart Series Part 1: Install and Configure
- February 9, 2012 - Automating Infrastructure and Operations Management with VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite
- February 14, 2012 - VMware View 5 QuickStart Series Part 2: Managing Desktops
Sign up these and other VMware webcasts at:
Upcoming O'Reilly Webcasts
- February 14, 2012 - Running Lean - How to vet new product ideas and save yourself time, money, and effort
- February 15, 2012 - Demystifying FAST Search for SharePoint
- March 1, 2012 - Building a Bomb-Proof Backup Strategy
Sign up for these and other O'Reilly webcasts at:
Upcoming Cisco Events
Browse the Cisco Corporate Events Calendar to find Cisco at events, trade shows and conferences around the world:
Upcoming Oracle Events
Browse the Oracle Events page to find in-person events and live webcasts for your location:
What's new in file management for Windows 8
Microsoft responds to over 2000 reader comments posted to their Windows 8 blog:
Top 10 admin console improvements coming in SCCM 2012
And it's not just the ribbon!
NIST issues guidance on cloud security
InformationWeek discusses the draft Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud Computing from the National Institute of Standards and Technology:
Pros and cons of cyber insurance
ComputerWorld explains the potential benefits and pitfalls of the cyber protection policies more and more insurance companies are now offering:
Windows Server News
The value of cloud vs. server consolidation
Server consolidation virtualizes a central ?farm? of servers that replace a large community of disorderly, distributed servers. Cloud computing offers a similar value: replacing underused and hard-to-support local computing with a hosted service. Companies can eliminate many application-specific servers using either consolidation or cloudsourcing, so it?s essential to pick the best strategy. Discover which approach is the best fit for your organization in this featured tip.
5 situations where virtualization high availability is overkill
High availability technologies often seem to be an integral part of your virtual infrastructure, but in this expert tip you?ll discover five instances where virtualization high availability is unnecessary and not worth the price.
Mobile virtualization is here, but limitation may hinder adoption
Mobile virtualization has been one of the next big things in IT as far back as 2008. Yet virtualizing phones to separate work and personal profiles on one device hasn't caught on the way industry watchers expected. Find out what other limitations are holding back IT pros from adopting mobile virtualization in the popular article.
Remote Management in Windows Server 8
Windows Server 8 is set to improve on a solid remote management foundation, but there are changes, like the move to GUI-less deployments, to consider. Gain insight into the benefits, as well as challenges of this approach.
WServerNews FAVE Links
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
British comedian Michael McIntyre talking about Google Earth:
Rail bridge replacement in Reading, England, filmed by 3 time lapse cameras:
In 1963, Jim Henson created this informational film for Bell System (AT&T), introducing this new thing called "data communication":
Incredible footage from an R/C plane with camera flying over the Rhine valley and other scenic parts of Germany:
WServerNews - Product of the Week
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 from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-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 Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.