Posts Tagged ‘2008’

RTM-Weekend! Win7, 2008 R2, Boot from VHD and more!

August 2nd, 2009

Yay! It’s RTM Weekend! Alright, not for everyone, because as we all are patiently waiting for August 6th as RTM hits TechNet and MSDN, but I needed to get the jump on things because I think I’m busy next weekend!

So, what does RTM weekend entail for me?  Testing was the first ground.   Testing installations on my hardware, and getting a feel for how I’ll architect my deployment model for Win7 and 2008R2!

First things first – Create bootable VHD Images to run my OS out of.    Yes, I planned to deploy my systems via Boot from VHD, so I needed to create bootable images! And for this little decision, I opted to take advantage of WIM2VHD! So, what exactly is WIM2VHD?  Well, that’s pretty simple to explain!

The Windows(R) Image to Virtual Hard Disk (WIM2VHD) command-line tool allows you to create sysprepped VHD images from any Windows 7 installation source. VHDs created by WIM2VHD will boot directly to the Out Of Box Experience, ready for your first-use customizations. You can also automate the OOBE by supplying your own unattend.xml file, making the possibilities limitless.
Fresh squeezed, organically grown, free-range VHDs – just like Mom used to make – that work with Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Windows 7’s new Native VHD-Boot functionality!

All you need in order to be successful with WIM2VHD is:

  • A computer running one of the following Windows operating systems:
    • Windows 7 Beta or RC (or RTM)
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta or RC (or RTM)
    • Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V RTM enabled (x64 only)
  • The Windows 7 RC Automated Installation Kit (AIK) or Windows OEM Pre-Installation Kit (OPK) installed.
  • A Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installation source, or another Windows image captured to a .WIM file.

Then, simply execute a command like I did below and you’re moving along!

Create a bootable VHD of Windows 7 Ultimate
cscript WIM2VHD.WSF /wim:D:\sources\install.wim /sku:ultimate /VHD:C:\vhd\win7ult.vhd

Create a bootable VHD of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
cscript WIM2VHD.WSF /wim:D:\sources\install.wim /sku:serverenterprise /VHD:C:\vhd\R2Ent.vhd

This frankly takes care of most of the work on your  behalf! (Sure did for me!)

FYI: The image defaults to 40gb, so if you want to change that, use this flag /size:<vhdSizeInMb>

After this point all you need to do is bcdedit and make the system bootable and you’re set!

bcdedit /copy {current} /d “New VHD Description”
    bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Windows 7 Ultimate”
bcdedit /set <guid> device vhd=[driveletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    bcdedit /set {GUID} device vhd=[c:]\vhd\win7ult.vhd
bcdedit /set <guid> osdevice vhd=[driverletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    bcdedit /set {GUID} osdevice vhd=[c:]\vhd\win7ult.vhd
bcdedit /set <guid> detecthal on
    bcdedit /set {GUID} detecthal on

And you can perform those same exact steps again for your 2008 R2 VHD as well.   It’s not only pretty straight forward, but it’s so simple anyone can do it! After performing those steps I was up and running on a system which had no data, nothing, notta!

Now, to apply some context and depth to how I chose to use my deployment model.  I’m running on my personal Lenovo T61p, which I have a Kingston 128GB SSD disk inside of.   Because I wanted to have ‘some’ kind of Native OS in order to help work on anything should something go wrong, I opted for a 2008 Server R2 Enterprise (Core) installation.  That gives me a minimal foot print, yet an OS I can feel comfortable and confident in being able to work on and with!  

What this enables is my NOS which runs on the “C:” drive, and has a VHD directory where my images live.  However, when I’m booted into either of my BootFromVHD OS’s on here, the native SSD becomes the “D:” drive whereby I can share files between the two systems!   However, if you forget to copy something to the shared volume and need to access it, feel free to use the mount VHD feature in the Disk Management tool (or Storage in 2008)

image image

I personally prefer to mount it read-only because… I don’t want to take any risks, especially when it comes to “Anti-Virus” or other things. (Unless that is my specific intention)

Now that you have a working and operational system you’re good to go! And if you stick with a NativeOS for Maintenance reasons, you can use it to take hard backups of your VHD’s for migration to other hardware or general recovery to other points in time! (note: You can backup the un-used OS from your active OS if you’d like as well :))

So, hope you have a good RTM weekend coming up, I look forward to being able to generate and use my license keys come August 6th!

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Posted in Azure, Baltimization, Blog, Hyper-V, Microsoft, SSD, Virtualization, Windows 7, Windows Server | Comments (3)

Lights out, Apparently Toyota isn’t home. (Prius HID lights fault)

November 19th, 2008


Hello there.  Are you one of the many thousands who have a Prius, or any Toyota vehicle with HID Lights which are supposed to last for 10x longer than standard bulbs, and had it last less than 1Yr’s time?

Then, you’ve come to the right place.

A few high level examples of information:

A typical Halogen headlamp has a service life of ~450-1000 Hrs.

A typical HID headlamp has a service life of ~2000 Hrs.


So, given that math.  I would have to drive my car every day for ~6hrs in order for my bulb to start to fail within a years time.  Sadly, I did not drive it that much.  However it still did enter to a point of failure.  Failure which was considerably unsafe resulting in both of my headlights turning off at a number of points while driving on dark roads, luckily no one was ever hurt.

Oh, did I mention this was my second set of HID bulbs to be replaced?  The first time, replaced “Under warranty” at no cost to me.  The second time, Toyota has advised they will replace “Parts+Tax” however, I will have to pickup the labor.   While that sure is nice of them.  I wish I weren’t the only of thousands experiencing this problem.  This problem blatantly ignored by Toyota who only responds on an AdHoc, Opt-In basis, requiring US the consumer to do something about it – To reach out and contact Toyota on it.

This is very clearly a safety issue.  An issue which forces the consumer to front money and services to pay for something which Toyota knows is wrong and is their mistake.   This safety issue should be addressed as a Parts Recall and replacement, not having us figure out to call Toyota (800) 331-4331 and open a case in order to “try” to get this resolved.   You most likely will be in contact with Heather, as a lot of us have.  

It should also be noted, that if you’re experiencing this issue – Even if you’ve gotten it resolved whether under warranty or out of warranty (As I’ve had it fixed in both cases) you should file a complaint with the Office of Defects, so this is on record and our voices heard.

Hopefully you will be able to get your problem fixed and resolved in a timely and safer fashion, without having to resort to the extortion of paying out of pocket $902.88 (or more) and wait 2-3 weeks for a reimbursement of Parts+Tax, having to shell out the $137.80 (more or less) for labor, while paying for these HID Bulbs which are being quoted at ~$350 a pop, even though you can get an equivalent replacement for $175 for a PAIR.  But I imagine my definition of extortion is completely off base.  It probably has less to do with being sold something with an expectation it will work and actually getting it to work and not get screwed around when it in fact does not work as advertised.

Good luck out there with all your 2006, 2007, 2008 and beyond Priuses and other Toyota vehicles with HID lights which also suffered from this bad apple.   Don’t wait to open a case, and don’t get screwed by your dealership either in or out of warranty about this.   Toyota knows about this, and it is up to you the educated consumer to act on your behalf because they certainly are doing everything in their power to make sure that you have to jump through as many hoops as possible.

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, General, Informational | Comments (15)

71-652 Hyper-V Beta Exam (FAQ of sorts) Promo Code of 652HV ?!

June 5th, 2008

So, for those interested in the Microsoft Hyper-V Virtualization Exam (71-652) which will eventually become (70-652). Here are some answers to some general questions I’ve been seeing.

Q: What do you mean I have to pay $125.00 for this exam?

A: So long as the voucher still has entries open, it is FREE!!! (For a period there, the voucher wasn’t working but it appears to be working again) – And that Promotional Code is 652HV

Q: How do I sign up for this exam?

A: If you do not have a Prometric account, you need to go to and sign up! Register, etc!

Q: How do I prepare or study for this exam? I don’t know anything about Hyper-V?!

A: This is one of the best questions out there. For those of you who have experience with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, that part of the exam is taken care of. For those of you with Storage experience, that part is also taken care of. But the key differentiator is actually working with and playing with Hyper-V and the interfaces, building Virtual machines, etc!
There are a number of options available to you.

Online Training (E-Learning for a price $39.99 it looks like)

Read blogs about Hyper-V and Virtualization

Virtual PC guy’s Blog
Microsoft Virtualization Team’s Blog
Virtual Varia
John Howard – Hyper-V Team Lead
Mike’s Virtual Blog!
This blog as I document some of the details and the crazy In’s and Out’s in my spare time

And anywhere else as applicable.

So, I encourage you to sign up, give it a try, get out there and test! You’ll definitely have a better angle on what the future holds if you see what the exam is like, and see if this is something you want to pursue!

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Posted in Baltimization, Hyper-V, Informational, Microsoft, Windows Server | Comments (1)

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