Windows: Check Time Synchronization

If you are not sure if the time of your Windows Server or Client is synchronized properly or if you would like to know which is the time source, you can use the following command lines (Start cmd with Administrator privileges): net start w32time w32tm /resync w32tm /query /status You should see something like this: C:\Users\Administrator>w32tm /query /status Leap Indicator: 0(no warning) Stratum: 2 (secondary reference - syncd by (S)NTP) Precision: -6 (15.625ms per tick) Root Read more [...]

HP ILO: Update System ROM (BIOS) via ILO

You can use HP ILO to upgrade its own firmware, by uploading the firmware file (e.g. ilo4_255.bin) via ILO web console. This is straight forward and clear. But the ILO can do much more (but this is really a bit hidden in the web interface). From the help notes: The following firmware types can be updated from the Firmware Update page: iLO firmware System ROM (BIOS) Chassis firmware (SL and XL servers) Power Management Controller System Programmable Read more [...]

Windows Server 2016: How to force a certain Lock and Logon Screen

To avoid the picture on the Win Server 2016 Lock and Logon Screen, use the following procedure: Start the Group Policy Editor: gpedit.msc Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization Open Force a spcific default lock screen and logon image Enable it and set the path to the lock screen image to: C:\Windows\Web\Screen\img105.jpg Tick Turn off fun facts Click on OK to save the changes Read more [...]

Windows 10: Create a Desktop Shortcut to "Windows Update"

Since Windows 10 is not using Control Panel anymore for Windows Updates, it is not that simple to create a shortcut anymore. To create a shortcut to Windows Update, use the following procedure: Right-click on the Desktop and choose New > Shortcut In the "Location of the item" field, type ms-settings:windowsupdate Click Next In the "Name of the shortcut" field, type Windows Update Click on Finish Read more [...]

Regex: The simple approach

Regular Expressions (RegEx) can be quite complex to understand. For a simple start, I have made a "Regex for Dummies" guide, which you will find below: Simplifications In order to make it an easy start, I made 2 assumptions: As an input string, we just look at one line. Multi-line strings are excluded from this tutorial. A result can only be "True" or "False". "True" means the Regex matches the input string at least once. "False" means the Regex does not match the input string at all. Overview In Read more [...]

Windows 10: How to remove items from the Start Menu

The Windows 10 Start Menu is not as customizable as it used to be in Windows 7. While the part on the right (the tiles) can be easily removed and added by right-clicking them, the traditional part on the left (folders and shortcuts) is not customizable any more. In Windows 7, you could right-click on a shortcut and then delete or rename it. Not any more in Windows 10. There are tricks to modify the Windows 10 Start Menu shortcuts anyway. Find the instructions to do so below: Traditional Applications The Read more [...]

Windows 10: How to disable System Apps

Some Windows 10 apps cannot be uninstalled, even not with Power Shell commands. One example is the Edge browser. But you can disable those apps by renaming the folder that they are stored in. The system apps can be found in C:\Windows\SystemApps Find below the list of folders that I have renamed without any problem: ContactSupport_cw5n1h2txyewy = Get Help CortanaListenUIApp_cw5n1h2txyewy DesktopLearning_cw5n1h2txyewy DesktopView_cw5n1h2txyewy EnvironmentsApp_cw5n1h2txyewy holocamera_cw5n1h2txyewy holoitemplayerapp_cw5n1h2txyewy InsiderHub_cw5n1h2txyewy Microsoft.AAD.BrokerPlugin_cw5n1h2txyewy Microsoft.AccountsControl_cw5n1h2txyewy Read more [...]

Windows Server: Sample uses of SETSPN

SPN means "Service Principal Name". In Active Directory you can set an SPN with the command line tool SETSPN. Find below some usage examples which I use often: setspn -Q http/www.mywebsite.com ==> Check if the SPN "http/www.mywebsite.com" exists setspn -L MyServer ==> Show all SPNs for MyServer setspn -X ==> Search for duplicate SPNs in the current domain setspn -S http/www.mywebsite-com MyServer ==> Set the SPN for a specific Server object in AD. This also checks for duplicate Read more [...]

ESXi 6.0: Upgrade vCenter from version 6.0 U2 to U3

If your vCenter has no Internet access, use the following procedure to upgrade it: Go to https://my.vmware.com/en/group/vmware/patch#search Download the VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.0.0.30000-5112509-patch-FP.iso Copy the .iso to the ESX datastore Connect the .iso file as CD ROM to the vCenter VM Login to the vCenter Appliance via Web Browser https://vcenter:5480/index.html#/update?locale=en Choose "Check updates" > "Check CD ROM" Then choose "Install updates" Once Read more [...]

Microsoft SQL Server: How to compare 2 databases

I recently had the problem that a software upgrade that also involved a database upgrade did not work correctly and the database was "half" upgraded. So I wanted to find out what data has changed in this half upgraded database. If you search the Internet, you will find many people recommending some third-party database comparison tools that cost money. But I was looking to find a legal free alternative. Actually, there is one from Microsoft itself: Go and download: SQL Server Data Tools https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/ssdt/download-sql-server-data-tools-ssdt I Read more [...]

My experience with servers, networks and gadgets.