About Jeremy Pavlov

Jeremy is just a regular guy that likes to occasionally tell the world about stuff.
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Happy New Year…

2017-07-27T00:01:00+00:00 December 29th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a prosperous New Year to you!

I thought I’d take an alternate approach to this year-end post, and post some quotes that some of our Coretekers hold dear.  You see, each Friday morning, we start our company-wide call with a few questions from a team member and his or her favorite quote, and we capture them on our internal Yammer site.  I thought it’d be neat to grab a handful of them from the course of 2014 to share with the world. 

Enjoy, and see you in 2015….

Avi:
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Clint:
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

Igor:
“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” Abraham Lincoln

Matt K.:
“No regrets.” – Source unknown

Robert:
“Better than yesterday…” – Some dude at a Gym in Columbus

Sean:
“Always be who you are because the people who matter don’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter.” – Sean’s Mom

Rick:
“Believe you can and you’re half way there.” – Source Unknown

Hanna:
“Not all who wander are lost…” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Jeremy:
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

Karyn:
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis

Jennie:
“I live my life a quarter mile at a time.” From the movie, The Fast and the Furious

Jeff:
“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” – Source Unknown

Bill:
“If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.” – Jon Stewart

 

 

 

Server 2003 EOS, Part 1.

2017-07-27T00:01:00+00:00 December 16th, 2014|Uncategorized|

As you surely know, the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family is quickly approaching its End of Service (EOS) date. 

Side note: Coretek is absolutely ramped-up and ready to assist you in your migration to Server 2012 R2 (on-premises or Cloud-based), including the possibility of Microsoft funding for assessment and other exciting options.  But that’s not why I’m writing today….

Like the XP EOS frenzy early this year, these big-impact EOS timeframes end up causing some strange feelings for your friendly neighborhood server technician.  What I mean is, as a consultant, I spend a great deal of my time staying current on bleeding-edge technologies and building automations to eliminate manual installs and deployments, etc.

But today, I needed to test some odd behavior I discovered in preparation for an application migration, and I actually had to perform a manual install of Server 2003 — that’s right, manual — for the first time in what must be years.  And because of that, I’m suddenly awash in memories of where I was all those years ago.

But you’re wondering, why a manual installation?  Well just to clarify, I’ve long-since deleted all my VMM templates for Server 2003, or any VHDs that I might have had lying around to “hydrate” and test.  I searched, trust me.  So for this particular test-bed, on this particular evening, I figured it was just quicker to attach the the old CD-sized ISO to the virtual DVD drive, and on I went through that old blue initial setup screen. 

And then it hit me…  What was different about my life the last time I saw and walked through this setup screen? 

It must’ve been around mid-2008, I’m thinking, based on my memory of the day.  I think I recall the situation correctly — I had a different president, different employer, different car, different family arrangement, and on and on…  Basically a very different life.  I guess this setup screen is a bit like a time capsule of memories, like an old song that brings back a day long forgotten.  Or maybe I’m just melancholy as the holidays approach…

You know what else I had forgotten all about?  That “continue on CD #2” thing.  Remember that?  And Hyper-V issues like not having the mouse integrations, having to ctrl+alt+left-arrow all the time, and needing “integration Services” installed manually before it can communicate.  Ah, how quaint.

Will I ever walk through the blue setup screen again?  Surely; after all, I’ll probably be setting up some test beds for other folks like me who long-ago deleted deployment images and templates for Server 2003.  But I’ll tell you one thing, the next time I do the install, it will be for building a template in my VMM lab so I don’t have to do it again. 

Server 2003 might be antiquated and End of Service, but at least I can pull it forward into the future kicking and screaming just enough to help hasten its demise. 

😉

 

The Forgotten Harvest organization continues to impress…

2017-07-27T00:01:01+00:00 October 29th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Last week, a crew of 25 Coretekers headed over to the Forgotten Harvest office/warehouse to find out how we could help out.  We’ve been there 3 times now (see the related blog post about the first visit), and the folks there continue to impress; both in their personal touch and the practices of the overall organization.

This visit, we learned about one of the fairly recent developments in their ability to be a little more self-sufficient on the product side of things: The Forgotten Harvest Farms.  While the Forgotten Harvest organization had always been intent on rescuing perfectly good food to feed those who need it, they now are providing themselves with the ability to augment thos supplies and bring some desperately-needed produce into the mix. 

A cabbage's view of Coretekers and Forgotten Harvest

Along those lines, our volunteer work in the past had focused on the sorting and aggregation of donated foods from other organizations.  This time however, we were a part of the new farm experience by removing the undesirable outer leaves from some cabbage freshly picked from the farm that day.  And we really ripped into it!  We’re proud that we helped prepare 950 cabbages (over 2000 lbs) in our short time there, set for delivery later that week.

So make sure to check out the Forgotten Harvest website and maybe make a donation of some sort.  And maybe we’ll see you there next time…

 

 

PowerShell – Query AD for Group Email Addresses…

2014-09-10T22:11:03+00:00 September 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Somebody asked me today if there is an easy way to query AD or Exchange for the email addresses of groups.  There most certainly is!  Let’s walk through my train-of-thought here.  First, I started by querying all groups, piped to Format-List, like this…

Get-ADObject -LDAPFilter "(objectclass=group)" -Properties mail|fl

…but in doing so, you get this list of group objects that may or may not have email addresses:

PowerShell Group Email Query

Hmm, we can do better…  Do you want to query ALL groups, or just groups with email addresses?  Well, in our case, we’re really just after groups with email addresses, so I modify my ldap filter accordingly:

Get-ADObject -LDAPFilter "(&(objectclass=group)(mail=*))" -Properties mail|fl

And the results look the same as above, but only the groups we want are listed.  Okay, that’s better.  But of course, if you ONLY want the email addresses, let’s limit the properties in our list:

Get-ADObject -LDAPFilter "(&(objectclass=group)(mail=*))" -Properties mail|fl -Property mail

…and it looks like this:

PowerShell Group Email Query 2

And finally, if you just want the list of email addresses, no attributes; we use the PowerShell equivalent of AWK to split the line…

Get-ADObject -LDAPFilter "(&(objectclass=group)(mail=*))" -Properties mail|fl -Property mail|findstr /v "^$"| %{ $_.Split(' ')[2]; }

And here’s our pretty list:

PowerShell Group Email Query 3

 I hope that helps!

Coretek Services Summer Picnic 2014

2014-09-03T21:14:17+00:00 September 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|

Well, here we are; the end of summer nears, children are returning to school, football is on everyone’s mind, and soon the temperatures will be turning cooler.

But even with all that, there was still time for the annual Coretek Services Summer Picnic to bring us together and give us one of the last chances of Summer to have great family fun while catching up with some of our co-workers and families that we don’t always get to see.

Coretek 2014 Summer Picnic

There was plenty of great food, a raffle, paddle boats, bounce houses, games, food, and great conversation.  It was over too soon…

Thanks to everyone who attended…  And to everyone that made it happen!!

See you next year!

🙂

Azure PowerShell Errors Pt. 2…

2017-07-27T00:01:01+00:00 July 16th, 2014|Uncategorized|

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, I showed you how to re-install in order to eliminate the errors.  But at the end of that post, you surely noticed that while I fixed one problem, I seemigly created another.  Now it appears that I have red error text because it can’t load my profile script, and tons of scripts prompting me to execute.  It looked like this:

Unexpected Azure Errors...

This is strange… because I’m fairly certain my ExecutionPolicy is set to something lower, like RemoteSigned…  Hmm.  Let’s take a look at what my *combined* policy is set at, by issuing the Get-ExecutionPolicy -List command like this:

Get-ExecutionPolicy -List

That’s strange too.  But I see now that there’s a limiting policy on the *process*, so at least I know why this is happening (by the way, ignore that Unrestricted on LocalMachine 😉 ).  Clearly, I’m shooting myself in the foot with the cumulative permissions.  So, let’s try and figure out how that restriction is getting set on my system by chasing down the PowerShell link.  Right-click on the Windows Azure PowerShell icon and choose Open File Location:

Open File Location

Then, right-click on the Windows Azure PowerShell link and choose Properties.  And guess what we find:

Windows Azure PowerShell Properties

Yes, it appears that the shortcut/tile/link has hard-coded the ExecutionPolicy of AllSigned, which means it will permit only execution of — and request your validation of — certificate-signed scripts. 

Aside: This is where I tell you that normally, using AllSigned is probably a good thing; and although I’m not making an official recommendation of lowering that setting in production, I will tell you honestly that I typically use RemoteSigned on my laptop and feel it to be sufficient for my needs. 

So with that clarification out of the way, let’s change this setting and make our life a lot easier.  To do so, change:

C:WINDOWSSysWOW64WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe -NoExit -ExecutionPolicy AllSigned -File "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows AzurePowerShellAzureShortcutStartup.ps1"

…to (you will be prompted for Administrator-level permission):

C:WINDOWSSysWOW64WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe -NoExit -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -File "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows AzurePowerShellAzureShortcutStartup.ps1"

…and now things should be back to normal. 

Normal Azure Startup - Hooray!

Look!  Even my startup script runs now.  Ah…  Feel that?  It’s Azure Zen goodness…

 

 

Azure PowerShell Errors Pt. 1…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 July 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Following up my original post from last year, “How to manage Azure from PowerShell on your PC“…

If you haven’t updated your Azure PowerShell installation in the last few months, you very well may be seeing errors that say Requested value (something) not found, like this:

Requested Value (something) Was Not Found

The first thing you should do is to go to Control Panel -> Programs, and take a look at the version of the Windows Azure PowerShell listed there.  But, I suspect that if you’re reading this, you already know it’s older and out of date…  like mine was:

Azure PowerShell Old Version

How do you fix it?  Easy.  Just re-install on top of the existing.  In fact, if you go back to my original installation post and follow the install process, it will put in the newest, correct version.  After clicking the installation link, the Web Platform Installer launches, like this:

Web Platform Installer

If you click on “options”, you’ll see what it will be installing…

Web Platform Installer Details

Upon launch, you have to allow the startup scripts to run (Why is this?  More on this in Part 2!)…

Azure PowerShell Accept message...

…and allow, and allow, and allow (again, more on this in Part 2)…

Azure PowerShell Accept and Accept...

And finally, you should be good to go.  Your Programs listing should now look more like this:

Azure PowerShell New Version

…and once again, your shell should look like it once was:

Azure PowerShell Working Again

Happy Azuring!

😎

 

Repair Broken Hyper-V Integration Services…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 June 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Recently, I ran a bunch of Windows patches and upgraded the Hyper-V Integration Services at the same time on a Hyper-V Windows 7 guest in my lab. 

Error 1083

After a reboot, a few of the Hyper-V Integration Services would not start correctly.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have even noticed initially if I weren’t regularly running a PowerShell shutdown script that calls my VMs with a “Stop-Vm”, that was suddenly unable to gracefully shut down this newly-patched VM.  I’m not sure if the simultaneous patching and updating directly caused my error symptoms, but I’m guessing the update was unable to write the registry at the same time as some patch that was installing. 

In trying to restart the service manually, I got the following error:

Error 1083: The executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service.

 

Service

It turns out that I actually had three serivices failing (vmicshutdown, vmicvss, vmictimesync).  I did some searching, and fortunately a user named “gzzhouch” at the Windows Server Forum was following up an old post (thanks!) with a similar issue…  And I was able to follow his recommendation and get everything back in order. 

Let’s step through the fix of the Hyper-V Time Syncronization Service in a little more detail, which was one of the few that failed for me.  First, open the Services MMC, look at the details of the failing service, and note the “Service name” and the item at the end of the “Path to executable”, as in my example in the image at right.

…in my example case, the Service Name is “vmictimesync”, and the path item is “LocalServiceNetworkRestricted”.  Next, open regedit (don’t do this if you are not comfortable editing the registry!), and browse to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSvchost

Edit the Registry

…and open the value that matches your path item (in my case “LocalServiceNetworkRestricted”), and add the service name (in my case “vmictimesync”) to the list, like this:

 

…and do this for each Integration Service for which you receive the error. 

I’ll warn you though, be very thorough; it can trick you since LocalServiceNetworkRestricted and LocalSystemNetworkRestricted look almost the same (ask me how I know). 

Then reboot, and that should do it!  At least it did for me.  Enjoy!

 

Coretek Community Project – 2014…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 May 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Coretek 2014 Summer Community Project

Coretek is a large family of generous and caring people.  I’m privileged to work with such a wonderful group of folks that donate their time and/or money, pouring themselves into sometimes very hard work in order to help those around us who could use a helping hand.

Every year, among our other charitable projects, we put together a “Summer Community Project” where we all jump in with our hearts and hands to spruce up the home of some folks who cannot do it themselves.  This year was no exception, and we were able to help out a deserving couple who was simply no longer physically able to take care of the overwhelming amount of day-to-day things that piled up over the years.  A group of us decended on the project house and brought it forward from quite a bit of neglect — to downright cute.

An especially big, heartfelt thanks goes to Hoskins Tree Service (248-477-7590).  They came in first like the Marines, cutting down trees/stumps and trimming trees in advance of our work.  They wanted to join in on our giving back to the community, and volunteered their time, their equipment, their crew (labor) 100%, and the wood chips for landscaping.  They will also donate their services and time in the winter by plowing drive way for the couple who can no longer manage it alone. 

What an amazing team.  Thanks to all involved for working together and making it a huge success!  And thanks for making life just a little bit better for some folks who really needed it…

 

TechEd 2014, Day 4…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 May 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Today’s schedule was interestingly filled with some of the biggest-drawing sessions that have grown a bit of “fame” in the nerd world; notably, Mark Russinovich’s “Case of the Unexplained” and “How Many Coffees Can You Drink While Your PC Starts” with Matt Reynolds.   I guess it’s smart to keep the biggest for last, but I had some great smaller sessions in there too.

Somehow, in the midst of that, I managed to spend a few moments putting together my wish-list (for my download script) of all the sessions I still need to see but was unable, bue to scheduling constraints.  It’s a looooong list!

TechEd Closing Party at MinuteMaid Field

There’re so many good sessions filled with new information, best-practices, and notes from the field, that I will have to make a real concerted effort to take it all in over the coming months.  But, I can’t not do it, with the wealth of material made available to me…

Perhaps expectedly, the few items I listed on my “Day 1” post still stand up as the biggest things (in my opinion) to come out of TechEd 2014.  Many of the sessions I attended did very well in making sure to incorporate these new technologies either by directly relating, or demonstrating their collective and integral value.  It really appears that RemoteApp and ExpressRoute are poised to shake things up and help provide a smoother path to change the way we compute.

Well, it’s all over but the clean-up.  The day was full, all the way up to the “Closing Party” at Minute Maid Field in Houston.  At least, for the first time in a week with 10,000 other people, I had some elbow room…  😉

The whole event was a massive effort.  Thanks to eveyone that worked so hard to make it a success!  I’m deeply grateful for having had the opportunity.

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