When I received my Windows 7 upgrade media for a new HP laptop I wanted to perform a clean install of the OS. During the installation process, I was able to perform a clean install using the Custom (advanced) option when prompted for the 'type of installation' to proceed with.
Something I have frequently seen implemented incorrectly on Windows Server domains is time synchronization. Many admins think that by creating a GPO with a modified policy setting for 'Configure Windows NTP Client' (and using it to address an NTP source) all Servers and Clients will synchronize their time with that source. This isn't entirely true and there is actually a time hierarchy that should be considered when implementing time synchronization for each domain.
I was trying to deploy some software to a Windows XP SP3 client when I noticed that there seemed to be an issue with network connectivity. For some reason the client hadn't downloaded and installed any software hat had been pushed to it via SCCM. On the off chance, I happened to check the computer name in 'System Properties' (to see who the computer belonged to) and I noticed that the buttons for 'Network ID' and 'Change' were greyed out.
At work, people were using VPN to access their email out of the office, but I have always thought that logging into a corporate network via VPN for most users is an extra hassle that they could probably do without. I had considered setting up RPC over HTTPS for Exchange 2003 but during a meeting regarding disaster recovery it became evident it was actually now a necessity. So, after configuring the server for RPC-HTTPS I had the small problem of deploying the settings to Outlook clients en masse.
I had a problem the other day when I went to logon to a server using RDP and the text fields where you enter your username and password were black! I typed in my credentials anyway and found that I could still logon to the server. After this there seemed to be no other issues.
I have been using VMware ESX for quite a while now and while the technology is a brilliant concept every now and then I find a small problem or pitfall that always seems to bug me! I have a 3 node ESX cluster that I implemented in my work office and was working on configuring a 5 node cluster when I noticed an issue with VCenter (formally Virtual Center) that had occurred in both environments. It seemed that for no apparent reason when I rebooted the server running VCenter the 'VMware VirtualCenter Server' (or 'vpxd' windows service name) service failed to start. This was kind of annoying, more so knowing that the new 5 node setup was going to a datacenter where people would be less likely to spot that it hadn't started after the reboot of the server running VCenter!
Here is a registry key I run from a startup script to disable the option that allows users to invoke a "Log on using dial-up connection". Having had experience of working in a school I know how kids will use any excuse to distract them from logging onto a computer and starting the lesson!
Pre Microsoft office 2003 SP3, when creating a new MAPI email account in outlook 2003 the default setting was to "Use Cached Exchange Mode". I have noticed that after installing SP3 the default seems to now be disabled when creating an email account.
Here is a tip to uninstall Symantec Antivirus (I use the corporate edition) when the uninstall password has been forgotten (NOTE: the default password is symantec) OR you are using a Symantec Antivirus Server to manage clients and the server has been reinstalled or corrupted thus losing the server group root certificate (stored in the 'pki' folder located in C:\Program Files\Symantec AntiVirus, this should always be backed up!).