Saturday, May 30, 2015

The report server installation is not initialized

I was recently restoring and setting up a TFS 2013 environment when I received the following error message in the Reporting section"

"The report server installation is not initialized"

Well, as it turns out, I had not restored the Reporting Services Encryption Key as well as the fact that the Url I was using to access Reporting Services was not considered a valid Url either in Reporting Services or in DNS.

Therefore, once I restored the Reporting Services Encryption Key and updated the Url to match what was configured in SQL Server Reporting Services, the error message went away!!

Deficiency in Windows Azure Team Foundation Server Virtual Machine Template

I was recently attempting to set up a test Team Foundation Server 2013 environment in Windows Azure and after I had completed restoring a set of databases and installing the Application Tier Only on my Azure VM, I received the following error message:

Of course, I looked everywhere on the virtual machine expecting to find a script or some sort of package installation file that would allow me to install the SQL Server Client Tools on that machine.  Unfortunately, nothing could be found on the machine.

Therefore, I was left on my own to install the SQL Server Client Tools.  :-(

So, just because you choose the Team Foundation Server 2013 virtual machine template in Windows Azure, does not mean that it is all set and ready for you to use as a full-blown Team Foundation Server instance!!

New version of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager

If you have been using Remote Desktop Connection Manager for a very long time, you are probably familiar with v. 2.2 which is severely outdated:

Fortunately, Microsoft has finally released an update to Remote Desktop Connection Manager with a v. 2.7 release!!

Remote Desktop Connection Manager 2.2 frequently encountered problems with dropping connections to RDP sessions and being unable to establish connections to some RDP servers at all!

Well, many of these issues have been fixed with the v. 2.7 release as well as numerous enhancements.  You can read about the issues fixed in this version of RDCMan here:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Capturing a reference image for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

If you want to create a base Windows OS reference image to be used with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, you will want to follow these steps:

  1. Install the base Windows OS as well as all of the software required for the base Windows image
  2. From Windows Explorer, connect to the DeploymentShare path for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
  3. Browse to the Scripts directory so that you can run the LiteTouch.vbs script
  4. Once you run the LiteTouch.vbs script, you can go through the Wizard prompts to perform a "Sysprep and Capture"
  5. This will then provide several other prompts which will Sysprep your target computer and then reboot to begin capturing the Windows image as a .WIM file and storing it in the Captures directory on your MDT DeploymentShare
  6. Once the .WIM file has been captured, you can import the .WIM file in MDT to use it as part of your MDT OS deployments!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pretty Print XML option in Visual Studio

I frequently work with XML Document especially in the form of Web.config and App.config files, so I was really shocked to discover that there is no "Format Selection" or "Format Document" option available with XML files as exists with HTML Documents.

Of course, as you can probably guess, even if you run the Format Document and Format Selection commands from the Visual Studio menu items, they do not actually work!!

Other XML editors such as Altova XMLSpy have long had a "Pretty Print XML" option and therefore Visual Studio should also offer such an option.

Therefore, if you are like me and want Microsoft to add a "Pretty Print XML" option into Visual Studio, then you should vote for this UserVoice item here:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Creating a file share using PowerShell

I am always looking for easier ways to automate operations that I perform routinely and one of the things that I always have to do when I am setting it up servers is to create file shares.

Well, in the past, I have always used the net share command, but since this does not always work reliably, I was hoping for a better way to accomplish this using PowerShell.

Fortunately, I found this article which describes just that!!

Of course, I wanted to modify this script to suit my needs, so I modified it in the following manner based on the following TechNet article:

$FileSharePath = "C:\MyShare"
$FileShareName = "MyShare"
$UserGroups = "Administrators"
$ComputerName = $env:COMPUTERNAME
$ShareAccess = ".\$UserGroups"
New-SmbShare -Name $FileShareName -Path $FileSharePath -FullAccess $ShareAccess -Confirm:$false

SQL Server 2014 SP1 has been released!

SQL Server 2014 SP1 has been released!  You can download SP1 from here:

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2014 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2014 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Express

In addition, slipstreamed/integrated SQL Server 2014 media is available for download from MSDN.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Preparing for the SharePoint 2013 70-331 Exam

I recently began studying for the SharePoint 2013 70-331 Exam and I quickly realized that I needed to remember how various screens looked like in Central Administration as well as Site Settings.  Not only did I have to remember what the screens were supposed to look like, but I also had to remember what they actually did!!

Well, for all those also studying for the 70-331 Exam, I decided to include screenshots to help you along with your studying:

By and large, most of the questions are going to be about Central Administration, so I will start there:

When you go into Manage Web Applications, you have to be very familiar with the various Ribbon menu items there:

User Policy

Anonymous Policy

Permission Policy

Authentication Providers

User Permissions

Blocked File Types

Managed Paths

You will also have to know several other areas of Central Administration such as Alternate Access Mappings:

 Then there is the User Profile Service Application:

Of course, don't forget about Managing Service Applications:

For the Managed Metadata Service, these are important to remember:





Of course, the Monitoring areas are very important for any SharePoint implementation:

Configure diagnostic logging

Configure diagnostic logging

Configure diagnostic logging

Configure diagnostic logging

Configure usage and health data collection
Configure usage and health data collection

View health reports

Review rule definitions

 Of course, we cannot forget about the all important Search Service:

When you go into Site Settings, there are several important screens to remember as well:

HTML Field Security
Site Permissions

Finally, we still have the Site Contents area!!