Monday, April 29, 2013

Sitefinity v. 6.0 is Released!

Sitefinity v. 6.0 has just been officially released today!

One of the major updates in this release is OFFICIAL support for .NET Framework v. 4.5!

Here is the link to the release notes for v. 6.0:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Dangers of "Perpetually Pausing" VMs using VMWare Workstation

As a long-time user of VMWare Workstation, I am particularly fond of "pausing" my virtual machines and leaving them in a suspended state.

The major benefit of doing this, for me, is that the next time I resume my virtual machine, I can simply start up my virtual machine and pretty much resume working where I left off earlier.  This is because VMWare Workstation saves the "entire" state of the virtual machine for me.  This means that every application that I left open including browser windows, instances of Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio and any other miscellaneous apps will be in the exact same state as when I left it.

However, there is one big "danger" of perpetually pausing a virtual machine rather than occasionally shutting it down and re-starting it.

As I stated above, each time we pause a virtual machine, VMWare saves the entire state of the machine.  Assuming that you never fully shut down the virtual machine, the state of the machine will continue to grow and grow over time.  In addition, the memory consumption within the virtual machine (assuming is it some flavor of MS Windows) will eventually begin to grow as well.  Therefore, over time, the resources of this virtual machine will become heavily depleted and the time and resources required to resume the former state of this virtual machine will place a heavy load on the host machine.

For example, if you pause a virtual machine a handful of times, VMWare Workstation may only take a few seconds or a minute to resume the virtual machine.  However, if you end up pausing the virtual machine dozens upon dozens of times, eventually you will encounter a "freeze" or "deadlock" condition when attempting to resume the virtual machine.  On my Windows 8 Enterprise Laptop which has an Intel i7 Processor and 32 GB of RAM, resuming one such virtual machine on my system FROZE all applications from operating on my machine for nearly 10 minutes!!

Therefore, take my advice and periodically shut down and restart your virtual machines rather than constantly pausing them.  It will save you some time, energy and plenty of frustration....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Setting up Mapped Drives in Group Policy without a Logon Script

If you are pretty familiar with Active Directory, you already know that you can easily configure a Home Drive for a User by opening up the Properties for a User and clicking on the Profile tab:

However, what you may not know is that you can configure additional Mapped Drives for a User without using a Logon Script!

Here's how you do it:

  1. Publish all of your Shares/Shared Folders to Active Directory to their respective containers/OUs (
  2. Open up the Group Policy Management Console
  3. Go to the Domain/Group Policy that you want to edit (many organizations will simply alter the Default Domain Policy)
  4. Under the Settings tab, right click on Windows Settings and select the Edit menu
  5. This will open the Group Policy Management Editor
  6. Since you will be configuring this on a User basis, expand the User Configuration-->Preferences-->Windows Settings node
  7. Select the Drive Maps node
  8. Right click in the Drive Maps pane and select New-->Mapped Drive
  9. Once the New Drive Properties dialog displays, click on the button next to the Location textbox to browse for a Shared Folder
  10. Once you find your Published Shared Folder, right click on the name and choose the Select menu option
  11. Now that the drive has been selected, you can optionally add a Label to the Shared Folder
  12. You can then select a Drive Letter to be assigned for the newly Mapped Drive
  13. When you are done entering all of the options for the Mapped Drive, click on the OK button

If everything was configured correctly, the next time your users log on to the domain, they should be able to view these additional Mapped Drives in Windows Explorer!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Publishing Shared Folders to Active Directory

If you want to publish a Shared Folder to Active Directory, there are multiple ways to do it:

  1. Publish the Share directly from the Computer Management console under Shares
  2. Create a New Shared Folder in Active Directory Users and Computers
By far, the easiest method is to simply go to a server/computer that has the Share/Shared Folder and do the following:

  1. Open up the Computer Management Console (compmgmt.msc)
  2. Expand the Shared Folders-->Shares node
  3. Right click on the name of the Share
  4. Select Properties
  5. Select the Publish tab
  6. Select the checkbox for "Publish this share in Active Directory" 
  7. Enter the details for the Share including a Description and any Keywords that you may want to add (Click on the Edit button to add keywords).  
  8. Click on the OK button to publish the Share.

Of course, the other alternative is to publish the Share directly from within the Active Directory Users and Computers console:

  1. Open up the Active Directory Users and Computers console
  2. Right click on a node in the Domain or on an OU
  3. Select New-->Shared Folder
  4. Enter a name and Network Path for the Network Share
  5. Click on the OK button
  6. The Shared Folder should now appear within your Active Directory Users and Computers pane

Friday, April 5, 2013

Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 is now available!

You can download it from here:

To read more about the improvements made in Update 2, you can click here:

Also, just as you could do so with Visual Studio 2012 Update 1, you can also execute Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 with the /Layout switch in order to obtain an offline installation. (