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A nice to have tool – Disk2vhd October 29, 2009

Posted by Björn Axéll in Tool, Virtualization.
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In the past there have been some free and easy to use tools for converting a physical machines to Vmware vmdk disks but I haven’t found any if you want to create a vhd. Of course you can use System Center Virtual Machine Manager but that is not always what you have i mind. Some weeks ago Microsoft released a small tool that do just this.

  1. Download the Disk2vhd from Microsoft (you can even run it directly from from Live.Sysinternals.com)
  2. Start the machine you want to convert (Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and higher, including x64 systems)
  3. Copy the tool to the machine and follow the wizard

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How to manage drivers for your HP machines February 17, 2009

Posted by Björn Axéll in Deployment, How-To, Tool.
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If you ever been working with OS deployment, you know that one of the biggest hassle is to download drivers and keep your driver “repository” up-to-date. Since some companies now need to download drivers for both Windows XP, Windows Vista and soon Windows 7 for both x86 and x64 architectures it gets even harder and more time consuming. The good new is that HP has a nice small tool that help you a lot. Below you can se some print screens of the tools.

  1. First you need to do some basic configuration. Here you can specify how/where you want the downloaded files. You also specify in what language and for what OS type/architecture.
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  2. Then you select what type of machine and for what OS
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  3. Click the “Find Available Softpaqs” icon on the left top of the application and it will now show you a list of all types of Softpaqs that are available
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  4. Select the Softpaqs you want to download (there is quick selections if you click on the “Select Softpaq” drop-down-icon")
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  5. Select “Download and unpack” (this is very useful if you need to import the drivers in some other tool that require the standard drivers instead of an exe file”), then click the “Download” icon to start the download
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  6. The files will now be downloaded to your computer and also be unpacked. During the download you have Progress information in the lower left of the application. If you open the file explorer you will see the files and folders.
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Download HP SoftPaq Download Manager from HP

 

If you have any other tool(s) that helps you manage drivers for other computer brands, send the info to me by adding a comment to this post

Update to Microsoft Deployment is available March 24, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in Deployment, Tool.
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This week Microsoft released the first update to Microsoft Deployment (the replacement for Business Desktop Deployment 2007). At the same time, they decided to change the name to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 (MDT). The update includes both fixes and new features:

 

  • Support for Vista Service Pack 1
  • Full support for Windows Server 2008
  • Additional Actions including Configure DHCP, Authorize DHCP, Configure DNS, and Configure ADDS during server deployment 
  • New scripts that will automate the installation of Mass Storage Drivers for Windows XP and Windows 2003 Systems
  • Ability to use a WSUS server for the Windows Update script
  • Improved performance for the PXE Filter for System Center Configuration Manager unknown computer support
  • Improved documentation including a new Quick Start Guide for System Center Configuration Manager and a guide for implementing the Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager

PS! From what I can see, the new automatic installation of mass storage drivers for XP and Windows Server 2003 is only during the unattended installation (when you create the master image). I was really hoping they would add this function so you don’t need to rebuild the master image every time you get a new storage controller:-(

Download Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008

Do you have problems organizing our inbox – have a look at xobni March 14, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in Outlook, Tool.
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Found information about xobni today and it looks extremely cool, hope I can get a test version soon. Click on the icon to read more about it.

Xobni outlook add-in for your inbox

Have you ever wanted to verify your Small Business Configuration – Now you can October 16, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SBS, Tool.
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Microsoft has now released a new “Best Practices Analyzer” tool, this time for Small Business Server 2003 (you can run it on all 2003 versions). When running the tools, it will check the following components:

  • Exchange Server 2003
  • Update Service
  • Network configuration
  • Windows SharePoint Services
  • SQL Server when it is present

Note that the tool will only inform you, not do any changed for you.

 

Download  Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer from Microsoft