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!

Excel 2010 x64 Compile Error While Opening XLS Which Uses 32-bits LIb

Just opened a Excel Sheet (Created with Excel 2003) in my 64-bit version of Excel 2010 (beta) and received the following error : Compile Error : The code in this project must be updated for use on 64-bit systems. Please review and update Declare statements and then mark them with the Ptrsafe attribute.
I never received such an error (maybe because Excel 2010 is the first 64-bit Excel?), so I started to feed Google a part of the error message. The first hit brought me the solution.

So I added the PtrSafe attribute to the Declare function which changed the lines in this : Declare PtrSafe Function….. After I saved the sheet, closed it and reopened it again..the error just disappeared!

Having Troubles Activating Office 2010 Beta?

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I’ve been a user of Office 2010 since I received the invitation for the Technical Preview. So when I heard that I could download the Beta version of Office Professional Plus 2010, I checked TechNet right away and downloaded the 64-bits version (I was also using the 64-bit Technical Preview version).

Because I had Outlook configured with Exchange, etc I tried to ‘upgrade’ my Technical Preview version, but that one failed. A message appeared telling me that I had to uninstall all the previous versions of Office 2010 before I could install the beta version. So I did…

Office 2010 Beta was installed in a few minutes, but when I launched Outlook I ran into some issues (probably because of the Technical Preview key that was still in place?) with the product key. The following message appeared :

When I pressed the Change Product Key button to enter the Beta key I received from TechNet nothing happened! I found out that when I start Excel (or maybe any other Office app) and clicked the Change Product Key a change product key screen appeared (see image below) and I was able to activate Office 2010!

 
Now I could enter the key and click Continue to apply the changed product key. Strange enough Office 2010 didn’t go online and activate immediately, but when I restarted Outlook the activation wizard appeared and when I tried to activate Office 2010 it just activated fine!

How-To Pin The Windows 7 Recycle Bin To The Taskbar

Recycle Bin Leeg 

Ever since I’m using Windows 7 with the new taskbar (or the so called Superbar) I was wondering why it isn’t possible to simply pin your Recycle Bin to the taskbar. If you try to pin it to the taskbar it is just added to the existing Libraries/Explorer pinned application (see image below).

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It is possible to pin the Computer icon to the Windows 7 taskbar, so I imagined that it it probably should also be possible to pin the Recycle Bin to the taskbar the same way. I did some research and….it is possible!

Just follow the steps below to pin the Recycle Bin to your Windows 7 Taskbar.

  1. Right click on the desktop and select New –> Shortcut
  2. Enter the following info in the Type the location of the item: field : %SystemRootexplorer.exe /E,::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}image 
  3. Click Next
  4. Enter a name for the shortcut (Recycle Bin for example :-))
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  5. Click Finish. By default the new created Recycle Bin icon isn’t the correct one. We’ll change it in the next few steps.
  6. Right-click on the just created icon and select Properties
  7. Click Change Icon
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  8. Enter the following location in the Look for icons in this file : %SystemRoot%system32SHELL32.dll
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  9. You can just select any icon you like, but the original Recycle Bin icon is also available. Select an icon and click OK
  10.   Click OK
  11.   Now just drag the just created shortcut to the taskbar to pin it there.
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  12.   Done!

How-to install Windows 7 from an USB stick

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Why install from an USB stick?
You can easily install Windows 7 the default-way (from a bootable dvd), but why choose for the easy way if you can install it from an USB stick. If you want to install Windows 7 on a netbook probably the only way to install it is via an USB stick. I really prefer install Windows 7 from a DVD, because you don’t have to burn another dvd when a new build arrives :-). Another thing to choose for an USB installation : You can easily add additional files (or installations) to your usb stick, as long there’s space enough!

What do I need?
There are just three things you need:

  • PC with USB boot-support (just a modern pc that is)
  • Windows 7 installation files
  • USB stick with at least 4 GB free space

What steps do I need to follow?
Just follow the steps below to create your own bootable Windows 7 USB stick.

  1. Plug in your USB
  2. Open Command Prompt with admin rights (Start –> enter cmd –> press CTRL-SHIFT+ENTER and just click Yes at the UAC prompt
  3. Run Diskpart by typing diskpart and press enter image
  4. Now type List disk (and press enter). My USB stick is Disk 9 in the screenshot below. Just enter the next commands (from step 5) where I assume that your usb stick is also Disk 9. If your USB stick is Disk 2, just use Disk 2 instead of my Disk 9! image
  5. Enter the following commands just one by one, each followed by Enter:
    • Select Disk 9
    • Clean
    • Create Partition Primary
    • Select Partition 1
    • Active
    • Format FS=FAT32 (depending on the size of your USB stick this can take a moment)
    • Assign
    • Exit
  6. Now copy the entire content of your Windows 7 DVD (or Windows 7 source folder, if you extracted the ISO) to the root of your USB stick. At the end you should see the following content on your USB stick.
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  7. Now we still have to make the USB stick bootable.
    Note: If you are currently running a 64-bit OS and the source (on the USB stick) is 32-bit, you can’t run the following command. Just be sure the source (on the USB stick) and the currently running OS are of the same type!
  8. In the Command Prompt (which you didn’t close, I hope) type P: (followed by Enter)
    Where P: is the drive letter of your USB stick!
  9. Type CDBoot followed by Enter
  10. To create a bootsector on the USB stick now enter Bootsect /NT60 P: followed by Enter.
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    When you receive a message which looks like mine (in the screenshot above) then you can boot from your USB stick.
  11. Reboot your pc and change the boot order (in the BIOS) if needed, so the USB stick is first in the boot order.

Make your MCP Profile Public (updated)

Microsoft MCP Advanced Search

Since last friday there are some new MCP Member features online. One of my favorites is the MCP Search option. Through this search engine you can find MCPs around the world. The only problem is that you have to make your profile partly public before you can be found.

And when you even want to search by Country (for example you want to know how many MCPs there are in The Netherlands) you even have to make your address public (if it’s your private address I should change it to your business address). If there isn’t a MCP in your country with the address set to public your the country even isn’t visible in the Country/region pulldown menu. image

The How-To is available in Dutch and English. Just click the appropriate file below!

Download How-To Make My MCP Profile Public (Dutch version / Nederlandse Versie)
Download How-To Make My MCP Profile Public (English version / Engelse Versie)

HOW-TO: Install Windows Vista SP1 Beta

Some people don’t install Windows Vista before SP1 is available, but (too bad) SP1 isn’t available to the public yet). Today there was a patch posted with you can install SP1 through Windows Update!

Just follow the next steps to install SP1 :

Download Service Pack 1 through Windows Update :

  1. Download Windows Vista Service Pack and unpack it on your machine.
  2. Run SP1Beta_Hack.cmd with adminpriveleges, after you run the cmd you should see update KB935509 at Windows Update.
  3. install the update (KB935509) and restart your machine after you installed the update succesful.
  4. Run Windows Update again. You should see update KB937287 in the list.
  5. Install this update (KB937287) and restart your machine again.
  6. Run Windows Update for the 3rd time. Now you should see update KB938371.
  7. Install this update (KB938371) and restart your pc (again).
  8. Finally you should run Windows Update again and you should see Service Pack 1 Beta for Microsoft Windows Vista (screenshot below).
  9. Install SP1 and restart your pc for the last time.

Windows Vista SP1 Beta Windows Update #2

Verwijder het Evaluation Copy bericht:

  1. Run watermark_fix.reg.
  2. Rename user32.dll.mui to user32.dll.mui.old (you can find the file at c:WindowsSystem32en-US).
  3. Copy user32.dll.mui from the zipfile to the location mentioned above.
  4. Restart Windows Vista

Just for the record : I don’t take any responsabillity for the correct installation of SP1. SP1 is only available on the English, German or Japanese version of Windows Vista. If SP1 finds another language (and you can’t uninstall it) you’re unable to install SP1.