Installing RSAT on Non-US Windows 8

I want to dedicate this post to Bartek Bielawski who has already blogged the solution to this problem. I used the en-GB build of Windows 8 to build my desktop and a few other machines and have been failing to get the RSAT for Windows 8 RTM to install. Bartek found the issue to be caused by the fact that you can only install the RSAT tools on machines whereby the en-US language pack is installed.

His post with how he found the answer is at http://becomelotr.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/rsat-on-windows-8-works-but-fails/.

To resolve the problem, I have downloaded the Windows 8 Multi Language x64 DVD, and installed the en-US language pack from it, which now begs the question, what is the difference and benefit of running the localized build if you have to install the en-US pack anyway?

 

Configuring VMware Data Protection Appliance (VDP)

Yesterday, I had the chance to stand up a VMware Data Protection (VDP) appliance virtual machine. This is the replacement for VDR in vSphere 5.0 and upwards and is based on the EMC Avamar product.

When configuring the VDP appliance for the first time using the https://hostname:9543/vdp-configure URL, you are asked for credentials to connect to vCenter. The interface tells you that this is used to register with vCenter, but what it doesn’t tell you is that this account is actually then used for on-going access to vCenter and creating and deleting the snapshots on the VMs it is backing up. Therefore, make sure you use a service account and not your own account.

There is also a requirement for this account to be directly permissioned in vCenter and not via a nested group membership, so make sure you do this before attempting the registration.

SQL Server Setup Failure Error Code 0x84B10001

Picture a scenario. You have a SQL Server failover cluster, with one or more nodes in the cluster, and the databases for your instances are presented via remote storage such as Fibre Channel or iSCSI.

When trying to install SQL 2008 R2 updates, including Cumulative Updates and Service Packs using the application .exe files downloaded from Microsoft (SQLServer2008R2SP1-KB528583-x64-ENU.exe  for example), the first thing that happens after launch is that the executable extracts the files required to drive, by default, with the largest percentage of free disk space.

Once the files have been extracted, the install wizard will start. After clicking Next, Next, Update through the wizard, the first thing the installer does is to take the SQL Server and the whole cluster resource group offline to allow it to be serviced. If the disk on which your SQL databases exist happens to be the drive with the most free space, the drive where the files where just extracted to, this drive will actually now be offline and will cause the installation to fail with the following error:

Cannot execute a program. The command being executed was “C:WINDOWSMicrosoft.NETFramework64v2.0.50727csc.exe” /noconfig /fullpaths @ “C:UsersUsernameAppDataLocalTemp6xb11xcu.cmdline”.

Error Code 0x84B10001.

The resolution to this problem is to bring the clustered disk resource online using the Failover Cluster Manager, and copy of the GUID folder which was generated by the extraction process to a local disk, or a remote storage disk which you are not servicing with the installer. I found that you need to copy the files to the local disk path before you click OK on the error message as once the update wizard terminates, it removes the temporary files.

Error 0x84B10001 can actually be initiated by other problems, however the knowledge base article at Microsoft Support advises that these other issues are resolved in a Pre-SP1 update for SQL Server 2008 R2.

KMS Activating Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8

In our environment, we have a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual guest serving as our KMS host. With the recent RTM releases of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, we wanted to be able to activate our hosts and guests using KMS. If you try to activate one of these new Windows editions using a Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS host, then you will likely encounter the following error:

Error: 0xC004F050 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid.

Luckily, Microsoft have released an update for the Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS host services to support the application of new KMS keys and to accept the KMS activation requests from these operating systems. You can download the update from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2691586/EN-US and register to receive the hotfix.

Something you should note which I ran into which is not explicitly defined in the article is that this update only applies to Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1. Trying to apply this update to the RTM release of Windows Server 2008 R2 produces an Windows Update error that this update is not applicable to this system.

After applying the SP1 update to the KMS host, I was able to install the update, and after a reboot, we were nearly ready to start activating. The final step is to update the KMS key, which is something not terribly well explained on the web either. You will have a KMS host key if you are a Microsoft Volume License customer, and you will have a Windows 8 or a Windows Server 2012 KMS key if you subscribe to Software Assurance for the products.

If you subscribe to Software Assurance for Windows 7 client operating systems, but not for Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2, then you will receive a Windows 8 KMS key via your Volume License Servicing Center, but not a Windows Server 2012 KMS key. If you subscribe to Software Assurance for Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 then you will receive a Windows Server 2012 KMS key via your Volume License Servicing Center. One thing you need to be aware of regarding KMS is how the down-level clients are licensed.

On a KMS host, you can only apply one license key. If you install a Windows 8 KMS key, then you will be able to activate Windows Vista, 7 and 8 clients, but will not be able to activate any edition of any server operating system. In you install a Windows Server 2012 KMS key, then you will be able to activate any combination of Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, 7 and 8.

In my scenario, our VLSC site showed a KMS key for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, so I used the Windows Server 2012 key. On the KMS host, first uninstall the old KMS key using the following command:

cscript slmgr.vbs -upk

You will receive a message that the key was successfully uninstalled, after which you can enter the new key.

cscript slmgr.vbs -ipk XYZXY-XYZXY-XYZXY-XYZXY-XYZXY

You should now receive a notification that the key was successfully installed onto the server. Lastly, you need to activate the key which requires going out to the Microsoft activation service, so if you use a proxy server for internet access, be sure that you allow this user and host combination to do that.

cscript slmgr.vbs -ato

Once all the above was complete, I entered the KMS client key for Windows 8 onto my Windows 8 Enterprise desktop and it successfully activated, as did a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter virtual machine which I deployed a couple of days ago. If you need the KMS client keys to get you back to a KMS state after you may have MAK activated your machines to get you up and running, you can get them from the TechNet page at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx.