Create Your Own Xbox One Background

Last week Microsoft’s Major Nelson announced the availability of the XBox One November System Update for Preview Members. One of the #1 requested features by fans was the ability to create custom backgrounds for your Xbox One. This will be made possible with the November System Update, which will be release to the general public somewhere next month.

Custom Xbox One Background

The preview members call already create and configure custom backgrounds for their Xbox One. This is how:

  • Connect a USB to console / Connect a source through DLNA
  • Launch Media Player (either directly or through Settings>My Xbox > My background > Custom image)
  • Navigate to source of your choosing (USB/DLNA)
  • Navigate to folder/file of your choosing
  • Select the jpg/png image – see it full screen.
  • Once you are viewing the image full screen, hit the menu button.
  • Select “Set as background”
  • You will be sent back to the full screen view of the image. Hit nexus, see the image on Home.

To help select or create an image that will work best for the background, the Xbox Design Team created handy Photoshop template so you can see what parts of your pic will be blocked by the tiles.

Download the template here (http://mjr.mn/XBOBackgrounds), it requires Adobe Photoshop to open.

Source : Major Nelson

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.

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….

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!

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
    Click for a larger image
  • Step 3: Click on Refresh
    Click for a larger image
  • 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.

Windows 8 gestures won’t work with Microsoft Touch Mouse

Today Microsoft release version 2.0 of their Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. I upgraded the Mouse and Keyboard center from v1.1 to v2.0, but I ran into a strange issue. Because of the non-working Windows 8 gestures with version 1.1 of the software I decided to disabled the two and three finger gestures.

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After I upgraded the software to v2.0, the two and three finger gestures still didn’t work. Although the gestures were enabled.

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Switching between Disable this gesture and enabling it again didn’t quiet work, so I dediced to remote v2.0 of the software and reinstall v1.1 (I’m glad I still had the ‘old’ version available).

When I checked the settings in v1.1 the gestures were disabled, I enabled them and removed the software again.

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After I reinstalled v2.0 of the Mouse and Keyboard Center the Windows 8 gestures were completely working!

Conclusion
If you also have issues with the Windows 8 gestures when upgrading to v2.0? Reinstall v1.1 and check the settings, you probably disabled some of the gestures.

If you’re looking for the Microsoft Mouse & Keyboard Center v1.1, just click here for the 64-bit version, or here for the 32-bit version.

Deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 (non-VL) with MDT 2012 & Windows ADK

Just a few weeks ago Microsoft has released MDT 2012 Update 1, with full support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Microsoft did also release the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8, the replacement for the good old WAIK. With the RTM of Window Server 2012 I decided to upgrade my Deployment environment to the latest version. When I did some initial deployments of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 everything worked just fine, but when I tried to deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 (non-VL version) or Windows 7, I ran into a small problem.

The Issue
Just after the deployment I had to enter the Product Key.

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At first I thought I made a mistake during the built proces, but after I asked a question at the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Forum. Because the first responses suggested that there was something wrong with my Deployment Share. After some suggestions and a start from scratch (the first time I imported and upgraded the ‘old’ deployment shares), also not importing the ‘old’ deployment shares, the answer came from Michael Niehaus:

“MDT 2012 Update 1 switched from using SETUP.EXE to instead use ImageX to apply the image.  As a result, if you use retail or OEM media, you’ll get a prompt because the product.ini file isn’t being read any more (SETUP.EXE did that, ImageX doesn’t).

Fortunately the fix is pretty simple:  Look up the correct setup (generic) key in the product.ini file on your media and specify it in the unattend.xml (second location).  After you do that, it won’t prompt any more.

This won’t happen with volume license media.”

So that’s probably why the people who responded earlier didn’t have the same issue, they were (probably) using volume license media!

 

The Solution
So, to fix the issue had to specify the (generic) product key (from the product.ini in the Sources folder)

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Open the unattend.xml (in the correct Control  Task Sequence folder) and enter the product key at the second   start-tag.

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Now you can just restart the Task Sequence and you won’t be asked for a product key during the deployment!

Just a few weeks ago Microsoft has released MDT 2012 Update 1, with full support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Microsoft did also release the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8, the replacement for the good old WAIK. With the RTM of Window Server 2012 I decided to upgrade my Deployment environment to the latest version. When I did some initial deployments of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 everything worked just fine, but when I tried to deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 (non-VL version) or Windows 7, I ran into a small problem.

The Issue
Just after the deployment I had to enter the Product Key.

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At first I thought I made a mistake during the built proces, but after I asked a question at the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Forum. Because the first responses suggested that there was something wrong with my Deployment Share. After some suggestions and a start from scratch (the first time I imported and upgraded the ‘old’ deployment shares), also not importing the ‘old’ deployment shares, the answer came from Michael Niehaus:

“MDT 2012 Update 1 switched from using SETUP.EXE to instead use ImageX to apply the image.  As a result, if you use retail or OEM media, you’ll get a prompt because the product.ini file isn’t being read any more (SETUP.EXE did that, ImageX doesn’t).

Fortunately the fix is pretty simple:  Look up the correct setup (generic) key in the product.ini file on your media and specify it in the unattend.xml (second location).  After you do that, it won’t prompt any more.

This won’t happen with volume license media.”

So that’s probably also the people who responded earlier didn’t have the same issue, they were using volume license media!

 

The Solution
So, to fix the issue had to specify the (generic) product key (from the product.ini in the Sources folder)

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Open the unattend.xml (in the correct Control  Task Sequence folder) and enter the product key at the second   start-tag.

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Now you can just restart the Task Sequence and you won’t be asked for a product key during the deployment!

How-to Migrate my @Hotmail to @Outlook.com

After I published my earlier blogpost about Upgrade your Hotmail account to the new Outlook.com I received a question via Twitter if I could tell what happened with @NaomideBoer her upgrade to Outlook.com. She didn’t only wanted her inbox to be upgraded to the new Outlook.com look, but she also wanted to change her e-mail address to something new.

I also tried the ‘Rename your e-mail address’ procedure and it worked just fine. This easily can occur when there have ben some hick ups in the renaming proces, or we just used a slightly different method…

In the following steps I will explain how you can migrate your e-mail from yourname@hotmail.com to yourname@outlook.com, be honest a @outlook.com e-mail address looks much more professional…. Smile

After I published my earlier blogpost about Upgrade your Hotmail account to the new Outlook.com I received a question via Twitter if I could tell what happened with @NaomideBoer her upgrade to Outlook.com. She didn’t only wanted her inbox to be upgraded to the new Outlook.com look, but she also wanted to change her e-mail address to something new.

I also tried the ‘Rename your e-mail address’ procedure and it worked just fine. This easily can occur when there have ben some hick ups in the renaming proces, or we just used a slightly different method…

In the following steps I will explain how you can migrate your e-mail from yourname@hotmail.com to yourname@outlook.com, be honest a @outlook.com e-mail address looks much more professional…. Smile

Continue reading “How-to Migrate my @Hotmail to @Outlook.com” »

Upgrade Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 RC to MDT 2012 RTM

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It’s quite simple to upgrade your Release Candidate version of MDT 2012 to the RTM version…. just follow the following steps.

  1. Shutdown the (current version of the) Deployment Workbench
  2. Start MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit2012_x64.msi (or the x86 version)
  3. Click Next
  4. Accept the License Agreement and click Next
  5. Keep the default installation path and click Next
  6. Click Install
  7. Wait for the installation to finish succesfully and click Finish.
  8. Open the Deployment Workbench
  9. Right click your Deployment share and select Upgrade Deployment Share
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  10. Click Next
  11. MDT will now update the Deployment Share
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  12. Click Finish to complete the upgrade!

That’s all…have fun deploying!

What about the quotes when publishing shortcuts with GPP

For a customer I’m building a custom Start Menu in Windows 7 which will be populated through Group Policy Preferences.

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I know, some of you probably prefer RES Workspace Manager to manage the settings on the desktop, but Group Policy Preferences is a great alternative if the customer doesn’t want to spend a lot of money Smile. When I was doing some tests with the Start Menu, some of the created shortcuts didn’t appear in the Start Menu.

Why use quotes?
I had to copy-paste the target path for some of the applications, because they weren’t installed on the machine where I created the GPP’s and therefore I couldn’t browse for the path. When using a path of created shortcut, the path is often started and ended with a quote.

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And in the old days, you would have to use quotes when using a path with spaces in it or the entire path won’t be recognized. But when I used quotes in the target path with the GPP shortcut, the shortcut wouldn’t appear on the client….how strange is that!?

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Only the shortcuts without the quoted target were published to the client, and the shortcut with quotes is skipped.

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Skip the quotes!
At first I didn’t even thought of the fact that loosing the quotes would solve this issue, in the end I even thought that there was something wrong with the GPO’s itself…but thanks go to Wilbrand, who was doing a cup of tea and mentioned…that the only difference were the quotes. He was right, so when I did loose the quotes and did a gpupdate on the client, the shortcut was appearing on the client! Problem solved!

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Conclusion
So when you are populating your Start Menu by using Group Policy Preferences, loose the quotes on the target path when using a already existing shortcut for an example. There is also another need to know when it comes to item level targeting when using the Security Group item, but more about that issue in the next blog post!