Eric's Technical Outlet

Learning the hard way so you don't have to

Microsoft Storage Spaces vs. AMD SB950 RAID

This is a quick comparison of a parity Storage Space vs. RAID-5 on the same system.

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WiX: Add Browse for File Capability to Installer

Do you want to add the ability for a user to browse for a file to your WiX installer project? The problem is fairly straightforward, and according to my searches, a lot of people have solved it. Unfortunately, no one seems to want to publish it. Here’s how I solved it.

Also, if you’re looking for a way to have an external custom action update a text box, that’s here, too.

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PowerShell: Find Local Applications Blocked By a Remote Firewall

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You get an application that a vendor wrote and tested on a single, unfirewalled subnet. They sell it to you and you put it in your higher-security, multi-subnetted, firewalled environment, and it all falls down and goes boom. The vendor swears they’ve given you all the firewall information and then you go around-and-around for a few days, pulling network traces, etc.

So, I have thrown together a little script suite that should help you get to the bottom of it a little more quickly. Of course, a lot of times, you open one port only to discover that there is another port that will be needed that you couldn’t detect until the first one was open. Not much I can do about that in a PowerShell script, but watch the Altaro blog because I plan to demonstrate how to set up a test environment in Hyper-V to do this whole thing in a few minutes as opposed to the hours, or even weeks, it can sometimes take otherwise.

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Review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup v5

On January 26th, 2015, Altaro released version 5 of their flagship backup application for Hyper-V. I’ve had it running in my test lab for a while now and am pleased to report that this is a grand step forward. Read more of this post

New Book on Hyper-V Security

My second book is now available for purchase. Its name is Hyper-V Security. It’s a short-form book with only eight chapters. The first six are related to the host, the hypervisor, and the guests. The final two chapters were written by Andrew Syrewicze and cover security in System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

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PowerShell: Determine if an EXE is 32- or 64-bit, and Other Tricks

So, I needed to find out if a particular EXE was 32-bit or 64-bit. I found a lot of articles pointing to downloadable tools to do this, but I didn’t want another every-three-months-or-so tool to lose track of. Then I found a few confusing articles that sort of talked about how to do it programmatically that mostly managed to not really say how to do it programmatically. I found my way to Microsoft’s documentation on the executable standard and just rolled my own. In the process, I tossed in a few little tricks to go beyond just determining bitness.

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Video Course Giveaway: Enter for a chance to win a free copy of my Hyper-V cluster video series

For the contest we have 4 copies of Building and Managing a Virtual Environment with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 [Video] to be given away to 4 lucky winners.

How to enter:

To enter to win your copy of this video course, all you need to do is come up with a comment below highlighting the reason “why you would like to win this video course”.

Duration of the contest & selection of winners:

The contest is valid for 1 week from September 22nd, 2014 to September 29th, 2014, and is open to everyone. Winners will be selected on the basis of the contents of their posted comment.

About the video course:

Video Series Image

Building and Managing a Virtual Environment with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is a video series designed to present the complexities of Hyper-V and failover cluster configuration in easily digestible chunks. The segments feature demonstrations of the concepts explained in the video, being executed on an actual Hyper-V cluster.

You’ll begin with the basics of setting up your nodes, gathering them into the cluster, and working with your shared storage system. Then you’ll get an in-depth tour of managing your systems using the built-in graphical tools and PowerShell cmdlets. With that foundation, you’ll learn advanced concepts of virtual machine migration and cluster protection. You’ll also discover detailed maintenance steps, such as how Cluster-Aware Updating keeps your nodes patched without impacting virtual machines.

Building and Managing a Virtual Environment with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 will present you with the knowledge and examples you need to successfully design and deploy your own Hyper-V clusters.

Video Series on Hyper-V Clustering

I am happy to announce that I have authored and narrated a new screencast series on clustering Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. It’s named “Building and Managing a Virtual Environment with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 ” and is available directly from Packt Publishing.

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PowerShell: Use RACADM to Delete a Dell DRAC User by Index

Dell’s DRAC web interface allows you to create and modify DRAC users, but not remove them. The RACADM.EXE utility has the power to do this, but the syntax isn’t easy to remember. Rather than look it up each time, you can easily script this with PowerShell.

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Convert Visual Basic Form to PowerShell

Last Updated: v1.05, May 22, 2015

From time to time, I like to have my PowerShell scripts display a nice GUI. Often, I have a scheduled script with numerous configuration options, and I see no value in forcing any person who uses my scheduled script to have to decipher and retool the options when I can slap together a UI that builds the configuration file for them. That’s just one example of why you might want to have PowerShell generate a GUI. But, this post is not about the philosophy of using a GUI in PowerShell, or using PowerShell instead of a full application development environment. This is about the mechanics.

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