The Change The Blog

In line with the changes to the design of the blog, I’m going to be making some other changes.

I’ve never used Categories properly. This is because I was using this WordPress installation as a MUI even though it was the standard installation.

As of today there will be a Category called Personal and anything by Nicky, myself relating to family or anyone else family oriented will go in the Family Category.

I will be creating a load of categories over the coming days and weeks to accommodate my posting habits and over time, re-organising my posts into them.

The net result will be a better and more effective experience using WordPress. This, coupled with the recent Permalink structure change on the blog giving it nicer URLs will also help.

Finally, I’m going to be changing the name of the blog.
As the only person to use it is me and as I mostly talk about technology related stuff these days, here’s the new name:

Baby-Green Blog :: The Mostly Technological Ramblings of Richard Green

It is a little bit of a mouthful, however it will better suit the topic of the site and will hopefully help improve the SEO of the blog.

UPDATE: Actually thinking about this, I’m going to stick with the categories, but instead use them for authoring, so whereas my posts are currently split into Richard for personal and Technology for my drivelling posts, everything for me will be under Richard now. This makes more sense based on how effectively I’m tagging my posts.

My Eye’s Hurt – The Blog

So to anyone trying to look at the blog at the moment, you may be thinking to yourself, oh dear god my eyes hurt.

Well yeah, I’m sorry about that one.

As I said in a previous entry a few days back, I’m in the midst of redesigning everything all spawned from the Baby-Green Wedding mini-site, and due to it’s fair simplicity compared to the forum and the main site, the blog was the next victim.

Over the coming days, I will be chopping and changing between my development theme and layout and the current theme and layout to compare and trial my work in progress theme to make sure it makes the other sites perfectly.

On the bright side, Baby-Green will be better soon.

Domain Problems in Windows 7 RC1

So it seems there are some problems with Domain Membership in Windows 7.

I formatted, installed and joined a Windows 7 RC1 x86 machine at home to the domain at home over the weekend, and me being me, I have quite a lot of GPO’s that apply.

After joining the clients to the domain, if you enter the username and password to logon, once the logon process begins, an error is shown that explorer.exe cannot start. There is a thread running on the TechNet forums for this issue.

Some of the posts on the TechNet forums seem to suggest the Restricted Groups component is at fault here, when trying to control the Administrators groups members on the client, however I don’t believe this is the issue.

For the client in question, I added a new OU called WindowsSeven and moved the client to this OU after setting the Block Policy Inheritance setting. After doing this the client logged in ok. After this I wanted to get the AV software deployed to the client, so I linked my software deployment GPO’s to the new OU, and at reboot the explorer.exe error returned.

I’ve since moved the client back down to Vista, but I will be building a Windows 7 VM to play with which policies may be causing the issues – Keeping you posted as always.

Update on Windows SideShow in Windows 7 RC

So as I said earlier today, I emailed the Windows SideShow team for information about what’s going on in Windows 7, and here’s the response I got:

Richard,

Post-beta, we made a change to help reduce clutter in Control Panel and improve the user experience by only showing items that were relevant to the user’s current configuration.  Because Windows SideShow is a hardware dependent feature, we felt it was best to only show it when appropriate hardware was installed on the PC (other Control Panels behave similarly).  If you went to the SideShow control panel in the beta build, you’ll notice there’s really not much you can actually do there without a device installed.

Rest assured, Windows SideShow is still there!  As soon as you connect up a SideShow-compatible device (such as our latest Device Simulator) the control panel will go back to where it belongs.

I was sceptical at first because my device (HTC Touch HD) was paired with the PC running 7, however it was showing no Windows SideShow service available in the Bluetooth properties.

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Windows 7 Release Candidate

So I upgraded last night to the RC of Windows 7.

I took longer than the previous builds to upgrade but that’s possibly because I had the files from ISO on the HDD I was upgrading. It wasn’t my fault I needed to change the MinBuild string to let me upgrade from 7068 though.

So first impressions? Not really any difference from the 7068 build with the exception of the changed desktop version printout. SideShow still seems to be missing, and I’ve emailed the SideShow team to ask them about this, so hopefully I get a positive response back like it will be back in the RTM build.

Deploying 64-bit with WDS

So as you probably guessed by my last couple of blogs, I’ve been hacking around with WDS, and there is something weird I’ve noticed.

I have a VMware ESXi virtual machine which is running on a 64-bit box with the VM configuration set to Vista 64-bit, however when I boot the VM into network boot mode, I only see the 32-bit images? How so?

I checked my WDS server and sure enough I have my 32-bit and 64-bit images all their ready to rock, but nothing.

I did a bit of a search and discovered this one. By default it seems that WDS does not allow the client to determine it’s processor architecture and will always dish out a 32-bit image.

Running the following command however will allow the client to determine the architecture and hence offer up the 64-bit images. I haven’t tested this yet but will do soon enough.

wdsutil /set-server /architecturediscovery:yes

New Version of Windows AIK Available

There is a new version of the Windows AIK available for Windows system integrations and deployments.

The new version supports Windows Vista (RTM, SP1 and SP2), Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 and also Windows 7 Beta.

I’m sure there will be an update for this once Windows 7 goes RTM, but for now its good, because the previous version of WAIK does not work with Vista SP2 WIM files.

For the download, just click

Slipstream Integration for Windows Vista DVD

So I know that Windows 7 is Release Candidate now, but that doesn’t mean people don’t still want to install Windows Vista, and what a better time to rebuild your Vista box if you don’t fancy the step to 7 than now?

I spent a few hours last night working on my Vista image on my WDS (Windows Deployment Server) and I’m really happy with it. I’ve never really meddled with the Vista DVD much in the past because I got confused by the Windows Image format and how to service it initially but once you get your head round it, it’s really easy.

I’ve now got a Vista DVD with the following integrated:

  • Service Pack 2 RTM
  • Internet Explorer 8 RTM
  • Remote Server Administration Tools

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Hyper-V Loves Windows 7 Release Candidate

So today I built a Windows 7 Build 71000 (RC) Hyper-V virtual machine for a lab environment at work.

Once the install finished, I was surprised to see that the NIC in the VM was already up and had stolen an IP address from DHCP (I wanted to make it static, but never mind).

The reason I was surprised was that in Server 2008 (R1) and Windows Vista the NIC doesn’t appear – You need to install the Host Integration Services (Microsoft’s version of VMWare Tools) to make the drivers get in there.

I went into the Services Manager to check that I hadn’t already installed it and somehow had a brain fit, but the services where listed. I checked the Event Logs for Windows Installer messages thinking I surely could not have forgotten that already and sure all hell, there was nothing.

So there you have it….Windows 7 RC includes the files for the Hyper-V Host Integration Services and Windows 7 RC loves to be virtualized.

Roll on the Release Candidates

Well Microsoft have certainly been busy little bee’s with Windows 7 as a lot of my recent blogs show, but today is the next milestone and not just for Windows 7.

Microsoft today released Windows 7 RC, Windows Server 2008 R2 RC and also the Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista.

Vista users using RTM with the blocker tool will be disappointed to note that this tool has now been removed and will have to upgrade to SP1, however I personally think you should just go all the way to SP2.

Going along with the whole RC & SP release, last week also saw the release of Office 2007 Service Pack 2 which has a lot of stability and performance improvements, which for some will be welcome although I never really see any problems except perhaps in Outlook opening a huge attachment.

Windows 7 RC is available in x86 and x64 builds and is available currently to all TechNet and MSDN subscribers, as is Server 2008 R2 RC, however Windows 7 RC will be making it’s way to the public in the next few days.

Office 2007 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 are both available from the the Microsoft Download Center at www.microsoft.com/downloads.

Have a great weekend.