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Windows 10 Start menu search is not working

I had the annoying issue that my Windows 10 Search bar stops working for some reason. Trying to restart the services, restart Windows and kill the Cortana processes doesn’t work in my situation. After a lot of searching, I’ve found the solution in some forum.

The solution: Re-register Cortana with PowerShell.
Run PowerShell as administrator and past the following line:

 

 

Remove Hyper-v node from SCVMM Failed: Error(25333)

In some situations (hardware failures etc.) it’s not possible to remove the Hyper-v cluster node nicely out of SCVMM. When removing the Hyper-v node from VMM it will throw an Error (25333) in SCVMM. This is because the server is down and it’s not possible to remove the SCVMM Host agent.

To solve this you can use the following PowerShell command:

 

Enable safe mode Windows 8 or 10

Last week I was working on a young defect SSD powered computer running on Windows 10. Hitting the F8 key for enable the save mode while booting was almost impossible. Don’t know if the key is disabled or Microsoft reduced the time periods for pressing F8 near 0 seconds.

Enable safe mode Windows 8 or 10 with MSCONFIG

Go to your command prompt (CMD) or search for the executable called “run” and type MSCONFIG and hit enter. Switch to the boot tab and select the button “safe boot”, then reboot.

 

Enable F8 key Windows 8 or 10

To enable the F8 key. Run the command prompt (CMD) as administrator. Search for RUN or directly CMD -> right click -> Run as administrator.  And copy the following lines into the prompt and hit enter. Reboot needed:

Change back to the default settings:

 

Invoke-WebRequest : The response content cannot be parsed because the Internet Explorer engine is not available

Yesterday I was facing this error when running a SMA Runbook with the invoke-webrequest cmdlet. For troubleshooting I had to enable SMA script logging for this runbook so I was able to see wats going wrong. The error says you must run the “getting started setup” of internet explorer for the service account which is running the scripts.

 

This is not ideally when you run this script on multiple servers. Now there are 2 options available to ignore this stupid error:

1. Enable the Group policy object (GPO) for Prevent running first run wizard. This setting is in “Computer configuration -> Policies -> Administrative templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer”. Set the “Prevent running first run wizard” to enabled.

2. Run the Invoke-webrequest with the –UseBasicParsing CMDlet.

 

 

VEEAM Task failed Error: Exception of type ‘System.OutOfMemoryException’ was thrown

Last week I had the following error when starting a Veeam backup job. I thought my proxy servers where out of memory, so I rebooted them. Then I started the backup jobs again, with no result.

Solution:
To solve this issue you must logoff all the other RDP sessions, which have a disconnected session with the Veeam console open. Alternatively, give the Veeam backup server more resources so there is more memory available.

PowerShell: The specified string is not in the form required for a subject

During the creation of a PowerShell SMA Runbook I was getting the following error message. This error appear when sending an automatic mail message with the send-mailmessage cmdlet. It only happens when the subject is filled with a String parameter which contains invalid characters.

After two hours of troubleshooting I formatted the string with the following regex which worked in my case:

 

 

Disable insert key PowerShell

I hate the annoying insert key on my keyboard. Therefore, I found a way to disable the key within the Windows registry. It is very easy to insert this key with PowerShell so you can automate this when you are deploying a desktop for example.

Add this reg key to the registery, add to notepad and save as .reg file.

This PowerShell script disable the Insert key, tested with Windows 10:

 

SCOM 2016

With the release of SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) 2016 Microsoft released a new version of SCOM. The look and feel of SCOM is almost the same as the 2012 version. Of course Microsoft add a couple of new features which are very useful. Microsoft has listened to the feature requests of the SCOM Community. I will describe the new features.

New features SCOM 2016

Management pack updates and recommendations

SCOM Management packs can be obtained from the Microsoft website, or other third party websites which has developed their own Management packs for custom applications. In SCOM 2016 you be able to view the current status of the management pack. When a management pack is older than the one in the Microsoft catalog the status will be changed to “update available”. The new tab is placed in the management packs folder under the Administration tab.
When you look into the management packs folder it have some new buttons available, with this new buttons you can find some more information, download page, install guides or other recommendations.

Management pack tuning and alert data management

In SCOM 2012 it was a hard job to tune the alerts, rules and discoveries when there was something wrong. You must report these with the reporting feature and change them by hand.
SCOM 2016 facilitate alert tuning by default. This enabled you to avoid the flooding of non-essentials repeated alerts and give you the focus back. In the management pack tab there is a new window called “Tune Management packs”. With the Identify button you can set the time range to analyze the data, and set the minimum number of alerts for the management packs you want to display. In this view you see the alert count, priority, source and name. Alerts can be tuned for all objects of the target class, group, or a specific object of a class or for all objects of another class. Direct from the tune alerts tab.

Improvement of the Unix, Linux monitoring

SCOM 2016 make use of a new “Management Infrastructure MI” API. With this API you can monitor much more Linux agents. Supported configuration of 1000 Unix agents to one SCOM 2016 management server. The use of the new API is not enabled by default; to enable this you must create a new registry key in:

Name: UseMIAPI
Location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Operations Manager\3.0\Setup

Extensible network monitoring

SCOM 2016 comes with a new tool for creating custom management packs for network device monitoring. With the “NetMonMpGenerator.exe” tool located in the install directory on your SCOM management server you be able to create Management packs from .XML files with the well-known OIDs in it. This will spare you a lot of time.

Scheduled maintenance mode

With SCOM 2016 it is possible to schedule maintenance mode for specific objects. You can suspend the monitoring for a specific date / time. This is possible in the Maintenance mode scheduler wizard. Another nice feature is the client side maintenance mode enabler. This enables you to set the SCOM client in maintenance mode from the client side. So you don’t have to login to operations console for this action. This can be done with the following PowerShell command: Start-SCOMAgentMaintenanceMode cmdlet.

Monitor Nano server and workloads

SCOM 2016 has included Nano server support. The following features are available for Nano server:

  • Discover and deploy Nano server monitoring agents. Also available with PowerShell.
  • Monitor Nano server IIS and DNS roles.
  • ACS Audit event collection.
  • Support for Active Directory Integration.

Faster web console

SCOM 2016 has removed the Silverlight dependency for accessing the Web Console. Silverlight is only needed for opening Dashboard views, the rest is programmed in HTML which can be accessed from multiple browsers (chrome, firefox etc.)

Improved console performance

The SCOM 2016 console is way faster than the SCOM 2012 console. The load time of diagram and state views is reduced.

Partner program in administration console
There is a new tab available for third party Tools for creating management packs or downloading third party management packs.

New features SCOM 2016 Unix/Linux monitoring

  • New management packs for Apache HTTP server, MySQL and MariaDB.
  • New Linux monitoring agents which include OMI (Open management Infrastructure)
  • Multi-threaded agent which allows parallel execution.
  • Templates for Two-state, Three-state monitors, Agent tasks, Performance rules and Alert rules. You can now use shell, perl, phython, ruby or any other scripting language.
  • Default credentials for discover Unix and linux computers.
  • Filter logical disks or file systems by file name or type. Discovery rule overrides can now exclude file systems that you don’t want to monitor.

 

Exchange backup VEEAM

Veeam Backup and Replication gives the possibility to create a consistent backup from your Exchange farm. This can be a standalone Exchange system or an Exchange DAG cluster. It makes use of the Microsoft Exchange VSS writers inside the VM. The Veeam server creates a RPC connection to the Exchange servers, and place some backup scripts on the /ADMIN$ share. When the backup starts Veeam starts this script which talks to the Microsoft VSS Writers to create a consistent backup.

Enable application aware processing

To create an application aware backup in Veeam you must enable the “Application aware processing” option in the Veeam job properties. Then go to applications for application specific settings. In this tab you can configure VSS, Log and error settings. Configure settings which are suitable for your systems.

User rights Veeam Exchange backup

Select credentials which have full rights (read / write) to all files in the folder with the database.
For direct restore to your exchange farm the user must also have full access to the Mailbox. This user permissions can be set with the following command:

When you have a service account for restoring to all mailboxes you can use Exchange impersonation. This can be set with the following command:

 

Back-up Exchange DAG Cluster

When you create a backup of an Exchange DAG Cluster node, default all active and passive nodes are available for restore. So theoretically you only have one backup of 1 exchange node.

Tips for creating backup of your Exchange DAG Cluster:

  • Backup both of your exchange servers in one backup job, this gives you better dedup results.
  • Don’t backup your exchange nodes in separate jobs at the same time, this can cause a failover.
  • Veeam backup can cause load on your exchange server, the best situation is to create a new exchange cluster node server with only passive mailboxes.
  • When your exchange servers failover during a backup you can increase the failover time of your exchange cluster nodes. Commands for changing the cluster parameters:

 

 

 

Veeam Backup free

Veeam delivers powerful backup software for backup your virtual or psychical servers (veeam endpoint). The backup method for VMWare or Hyper-V virtual systems is agentless. There is no need to install something on the guest system. Veeam Connects to the Hypervisor layer, creates a snapshot, transports this snapshot to a backup repository and saves it. Veeam make use of the Hypervisor API to create a backup. When there is some application installed on the system there is a possibility to create a what they called application aware backup. The Veeam service connects with RPC to the virtual system and make use of the application VSS writers to create a consistent backup.

VEEAM Backup free features:

Veeam Free make use of the VeeamZIP to create ad hoc backups of the virtual machine for operational, portability or archival purposes.

Following features are enabled in the free edition:veeam_endpoint_backup

Backup & Restore: Full back up creation and restore.
VM File recovery: The possibility to restore VM files (vmdk, vmx for example).
Veeam Explorer: Restore AD, SQL, Exchange or Sharepoint objects.
Native tape support: copying files to tape drives.
Backup encryption: Allows you to encrypt the backup files.

Veeam Backup psychical server, client or desktop

Veeam endpoint protection allows you to make use of a stand-alone Windows service for backup of your physical client or server. It does not require a dedicated server or repository’s. You just install the software on each server you want to protect. The windows server makes use of a little local MS SQL DB. It is possible to integrate Veeam endpoint with Veeam Backup and Replication software. This allows you to save your endpoint backup on a Veeam repository.
Note: Veeam Endpoint does not support Application VSS writers yet. So the backup is not Application consistent. But for many situations is a crash consistent enough.

Features Veeam endpoint backup:

Backup & Recovery: Choose to back up your entire computer, volume or just a couple of maps.
Scheduler: When do you want that the backup task runs?
Backup target: Where do you want to place the created backup? When you choose a removable device (USB stick) you can choose to detach the device when ready. This protect the device from ransomware.
Bitlocker: Veeam endpoint supports bitlocker encrypted drives.
Create recovery media: In case of a full system crash you can use your created recovery boot USB stick.
Support: Veeam gives free support, because they want to be the best. Yes this is awesome 

Veeam download

Click here