Some files are missing while trying to reset your Windows 8.1 machine

Since about a year I have owned a Surface Pro, but when the Surface Pro 3 was launched I really wanted the new 12” edition of this great device. So last week I decided I wanted to sell my ‘old’ Surface Pro. Off course the new owner of the Surface wants a nicely and clean installed machine, so I tried to reinstall Windows via the Update and Recovery in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The Surface Pro is by default installed with Windows 8.0 Pro, but since I use Direct Access it was reimaged with Windows 8.1 Enterprise.

Reset failed?
Since the machine was originally delivered with the Pro version of Windows, I did a clean installation of Windows 8.1 Pro. When I tried to reset to a clean Windows 8.1 installation, to test the Remove everything and reinstall Windows-Update and recovery feature, I ran into the following error “Insert Media – some files are missing. Your Windows installation or recovery media will provide these files.”.

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Ehh…that’s not what I want the new owner to see when he wants to give his new Surface Pro a fresh installation, so I did some research and discovered that, since I did a clean install of Windows 8 there was no recovery image file found on the hard drive. I’m glad to tell that the solution for this issue is relatively easy and I’m going to share it in a moment.

Surface Pro drivers
There was something else. Since I used a general Windows 8.1 Pro ISO for the installation of the Surface Pro, some of drivers where not installed. So the graphics went a bit slow, etc..etc..
So besides I had to fix the ‘some files are missing’ error, I also had to include the Surface Pro drivers to the recovery image. On the Microsoft download page you can find a Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 firmware and driver pack. With this driver pack you can include the drivers, by using dism, in the install.wim.

 

How this is done?
Before we can enable the recovery image on the Surface Pro, we have to inject the drivers. Extract the Surface Pro drivers to E:Update-ImageUpdates, where E: can be any drive letter of your choosing and copy the install.wim (which can be found in the Sources folder of your Windows 8.1 Pro ISO) to E:Update-Image.

Now use the following commands (open a command or PowerShell prompt) to mount the WIM, inject the drivers and close the WIM.

  • dism /mount-wim /wimfile:”E:Update-Imageinstall.wim” /mountdir:E:Update-Imagemount /index:1
  • Dism /Image:E:Update-Imagemount /Add-Driver /Driver:E:Update-Imageupdates /Recurse
  • dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:E:Update-Imagemount /commit

 

When this process is done, this can take a few minutes depending on the speed of your hardware, copy the install.wim to the C:WinRec folder on your Surface Pro. If the C:WinRec folder does not exist, you have to create it. To tell your Surface Pro it has a recovery image you have to enter the following command, again open a Administrative Command Prompt, and enter the following command :

  • reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:WinRec /target c:Windows /Index 1

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This command (reagentc.exe) is used to configure the Windows Recovery Environment and system reset. The setosimage parameter is used to set the location of the recovery image which is used by a system reset.

Reset your PC
When you now go to Remove everything and reinstall Windows at the Update and Recovery, and you press Get Started the wizard will show the Reset your PC screen and you can reset your pc by following the wizard.

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Conclusion
When you do a clean installation of your Surface Pro, the recovery image is not (always) available and the Reset option does not work without addition source files. But with a couple of simple steps you can add it, and you will be able to reset your tablet to it’s ‘factory defaults’ with a press of the button.

Download Windows 8.1 Power User Guide for Business

Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 Power User Guide, which can help business users navigate the Windows 8.1 Operating System.

“Learn from this Windows 8.1 Power User Guide about the advanced features of Windows 8.1, such as File Explorer, Task Manager, Internet Explorer 11, Mobility Center, Windows To Go, and SkyDrive Pro. With Windows 8.1, you can get the most out of your device efficiently”

Download the Windows 8.1 Power User Guide for Business.

Issues when connecting to remote network using Cisco AnyConnect

Last year I received a new business laptop. Too bad it was still deployed with Windows 7 Enterprise, since Windows 8 wasn’t available yet.

The situation
Because I’m a desktop guy I really wanted to run Windows 8 (when it arrived) on my laptop, so I decided to P2V my Windows 7 install. With Windows 8 I was able to run Hyper-V and run (whenever I needed to) my Windows 7 install from there.

A few weeks ago I upgraded my home lab to Windows Server 2012 R2 and installed Windows 8.1 Enterprise on my laptop. Because I also configured Direct Access on the environment and my (business) laptop is domain joined on my home lab, so I’m able to demonstrate all the nice new features, I decided to move my Windows 7 VHD to my home lab. I also upgraded the virtual machine to Windows 8.1, so far so good.

The issue
Too bad our internal IT department doesn’t have Direct Access in place (yet?), I have to setup a VPN connection to access company network resources from within the Windows 8.1 VHD. No problem you should say, but the current Cisco AnyConnect configuration doesn’t like being started from within an RDP session. I received the following error:

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Since I’m connecting to this virtual machine from my business laptop (running Windows 8.1, domain joined to my home lab and connected through Direct Access), I could also use the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection to connect to the VM. Too bad this didn’t work….at first.

When you are running Windows 8.1 (or Server 2012 R2) on Hyper-V 3.1 and are using the Virtual Machine Connection to connect to the VM, by default Enhanced session is enabled. On the back ground you’re still making a RDP connection to that VM.

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The Solution
When I disabled the Enhanced session and using a ‘real’ console connection to the VM, setting up a connection with Cisco AnyConnect worked like it should.

So when you’re running Windows 8.1 at Hyper-V 3.1 and receive the error mentioned above, just disable Enhanced session when trying to connect to a remote network using Cisco AnyConnect (or any other VPN software?), or just configure Direct Access….

Windows 8.1 is available in the Store

Around 13:00 CET Microsoft has made the Windows 8.1 update available in the Store. I have the Windows 8.0 with Media Center installed, and I can upgrade it to Windows 8.1 with Media Center with just a few clicks.

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After you clicked the Update Windows tile, you only have to click Download to start the upgrade process.

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Since the download is about 3.4 GB in size and everybody is downloading it around now, it probably will take a while…

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And after a while….

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The computer needs to restart…

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The upgrade process will continue after the reboot…

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…and after a while you can accept the new license agreement and the upgrade has finished.

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It’s really annoying that, even though this is an update, I have to go through the configuration again…

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And off course I use two-factor authentication.

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Don’t you just love SkyDrive…. Glimlach

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Installing the Windows Store Apps…

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And we’re done….

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Windows 8.1 is almost there…some Apps already arrived!

Just hours before Microsoft has made the Windows 8.1 update available, the official Facebook App appeared in the Store! If you don’t see the Facebook App, just change your location to United States and click the link again.

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Curious as I am, I checked for App updates and almost all the ‘default installed’ Apps (and the Netflix, Hulu and Adobe Reader Apps) received an update and are now supporting the new Snap formats.

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Around 13:00 CET Microsoft will make the Windows 8.1 update available through the Windows Store, I really can’t wait to update my last devices to Windows 8.1! What about you?

Enable Data deduplication in Windows 8.1

Note : The procedure below is not officially supported on Windows 8.1, it can break your Windows installation!

On of the new features that came out with Windows Server 2012 last year was data deduplication, a feature which can save GB’s of space on your servers. After a couple of weeks there was also a way to ‘enable’ the data deduplication feature on your Windows 8 client. This Friday (Oct. 18th) Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 will be generally available. And the procedure to enable data deduplication on Windows 8.0 also works with Windows 8.1!

Follow the steps below to install and enable the feature and save a lot of (SSD) space on your laptop!

  1. Download the installation files and unzip them.
  2. Open an admin command prompt and browse to the folder where you unzipped the files.
  3. Run the included install.cmd to add the feature to your Windows 8.1 client.
  4. Go to the Windows 8.1 Start Screen and type Turn Windows Features. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
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    You can see that Data Deduplication is already enabled. Click OK.
  5. Open a PowerShell cmd and type the following command to enable data deduplication on the drive / partition:
    Enable-DedupVolume –Volume D:   (where D: is the volume for which you want to enable data deduplication)
  6. To start the deduplication process use the following command:
    Start-DedupJob -Volume D: -Type Optimization (where D: is the volume for which you want to enable data deduplication)
  7. Repeat step 5 and 6 for every volume you want to deduplicate.
  8. To check the status of the deduplication process use the following command:
    Get-DedupStatus
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    In the example above you can see that data deduplication saved 68 GB on both of my volumes!

Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 available via TechNet and MSDN!

Update: The Enterprise version of Windows 8.1 is also available on TechNet and MSDN.

Today Brandon LeBlanc announced the RTM availability of Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows Server 2012 R2 on TechNet and MSDN. Windows 8.1 Enterprise version will follow somewhere in the upcoming weeks.

I’ve already started the upgrade process of my home lab with the upgrade of both my domain controllers to Windows Server 2012 R2. What about you?

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How-to get your Surface RT ready for Windows RT 8.1How-to get your Surface RT ready for Windows RT 8.1

Earlier today Microsoft has released the Preview of Windows 8.1 for x86, x64 and ARM. Since I own a Surface RT, I immediately went down to http://Preview.Windows.com to download the update to enable the Windows RT 8.1 Preview Store download.
Too bad the update wasn’t able to run on my Surface RT device. After some dinging on Google I found a solution for the (temporary) problem. Just follow these steps to ‘enable’ your RT device for the Windows RT 8.1 Preview download from the Store.

  • Open http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/download-preview from your RT device and download the update to your Downloads folder.
  • Open a administrative command prompt and browse to the folder where you just downloaded the MSU file.
  • Now run the following commands to apply the update :
    • Expand –F:* C:Users[username]Downloadspreview.msu C:Users[Username]Downloads
    • DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:C:Users[username]DownloadsWindows8-RT-KB2849636-arm.cabScreenshot (2)
      Note: [Username] = the name of your user folder!
  • When the installation of the update has finished, you have to restart your Surface.

When the restart has finished, you can download the Windows RT 8.1 Preview update from the Store.

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At the moment (1:00am), the Windows RT 8.1 Preview isn’t available (see the screenshot below).

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Let’s hope the update will be available when the third day of TechEd Europe starts!

Earlier today Microsoft has released the Preview of Windows 8.1 for x86, x64 and ARM. Since I own a Surface RT, I immediately went down to http://Preview.Windows.com to download the update to enable the Windows 8.1 Preview Store download.
Too bad the update wasn’t able to run on my Surface RT device. After some dinging on Google I found a solution for the (temporary) problem. Just follow these steps to ‘enable’ your RT device for the Windows 8 Preview download from the Store.

  • Open http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/download-preview from your RT device and download the update to your Downloads folder.
  • Open a administrative command prompt and browse to the folder where you just downloaded the MSU file.
  • Now run the following commands to apply the update :
    • Expand –F:* C:Users[username]Downloadspreview.msu C:Users[Username]Downloads
    • DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:C:Users[username]DownloadsWindows8-RT-KB2849636-arm.cabScreenshot (2)
      Note: [Username] = the name of your user folder!
  • When the installation of the update has finished, you have to restart your Surface.

 

When the restart has finished, you can download the Windows 8.1 Preview update from the Store.

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At the moment (1:00am), the Windows RT 8.1 Preview isn’t available (see the screenshot below).

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Let’s hope the update will be available when the third day of TechEd Europe starts!

What do the Dutch experts think of Windows 8?

On November 7th 2012 Microsoft Netherlands had invited 8 Dutch experts to share their experiences with Windows 8. In the presentation below (sorry, it is in Dutch) you can see what they had to say. I would like to say thanks to Microsoft Netherlands to invite us and have a discussion with us about the pro’s and con’s of Windows 8.


Source : SlideShare Microsoft NL

So, what do you think of Windows 8?

How-to Refresh your Windows 8 PC

Windows 8 doesn’t only bring the Windows 8 Interface (formerly known as Metro), but also a couple of nice new features. One of the new features is called  “Refresh your pc”.

When you refresh your pc, the following happens:

  • Your files and and personal settings stay unchanged
  • The computer settings will be reset to their defaults
  • Apps which were installed from the Windows Store won’t be removed
  • Installed Desktop applications (which were installed manually) will be removed
  • A list of removed applications will be saved on the desktop.

It can be quiet a job to reinstall all applications after a Refresh action. With the command RecIMG an new base image can be created very easily. If you choose to refresh your pc again, all applications which were installed before the new base image is created will not be removed.

Just follow the next few steps to create a new base image:

  • Step 1: Install your pc with all applications which should be available in the base image
  • Step 2: start an administrative command prompt and create a folder where the image can be saved.
    (C:RefreshImage in the example below)
    Click for a larger image
  • Step 3: Create a new base image: ‘RecImg /CreateImage C:RefreshImage’
    The image will be created, this can take a while.
    RecImg /CreateImage C:RefreshImage
  • Step 4: Check if the image created is also the active base image : ‘RecImg /showcurrent’
    RecImg /showcurrent

The base image is ready and can be used.

Use the Base Image
To refresh your pc, just follow the next steps:

  • Step 1: Press the Windows-key and enter ‘Refresh’. Select ‘Refresh your PC’
    Click to view a larger imageNote :  Only Administrators can refresh the pc!
  • Step 2: Click Next in the wizard Refresh your PC
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  • Step 3: Click on Refresh
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  • Step 4 : The PC will be restarted to be refreshed, this process can take several minutes. After a few minutes the PC will be refreshed and all applications which were available when creating the base image are still available.
    Click for a larger image
  • Step 5: If necessary the task bar (or desktop) icons have to be recreated.
    Click for a larger image

Conclusion
To recovery your pc, it’s not necessary to create a backup or reinstall your entire pc. Just create a refresh image and save a lot of time!

Please leave a comment if you have questions.