Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Testing Windows 7 SP1 Beta

Looks like the SP1 beta for Windows 7 has been release and is downloadable at Unfortunatly, they require the download to occur via the akami download manager - which doesnt work in some environments.

Luckily, I was able to identify the URL of the download and get the binaries directly. Just download the following link:

Mapping to Microsoft SkyDrive in Windows 7

I recently started using Microsoft SkyDrive and thought it would be nice to be able to map the folders directly on my PC. I tried to map a network location by copy and paste of the URL, but that didnt work for me. I found the following link and came up with a working solution.

  1. First, open SkyDrive and notice in the URL looks like: https://cid-<unique id><folder name>
  2. Using notepad (or some other editor), change the URL to<unique id>/<folder name>
  3. In Windows Explorer, right-click and select Add a network location
  4. When prompted for the location or address, enter the modified URL
  5. If you are logged into, it should connect after a few seconds

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oracle Enterprise Linux public YUM server

I setup an OEL server the other day and needed to install some packages on it. That meant I would have to insert the DVD, find the RPM file and all of its dependencies, and hope that I had everything I needed. Coming from the Debian/Ubuntu world, this was a pain. I then began searching to see how I can configure it to use a public YUM repository (RedHat, Centos, RPMForge, etc...). I then stumbled across an article describing a public OEL repository at

I went to the web page and found the below instructions. A couple of commands and poof! All my packages installed.

Getting Started

  1. Download and Install Enterprise Linux
  2. Download and copy the appropriate yum configuration file in place, by running the following commands as root:

    Oracle Enterprise Linux 4, Update 6 or Newer

    # cd /etc/yum.repos.d
    # mv Oracle-Base.repo Oracle-Base.repo.disabled
    # wget

    Oracle Enterprise Linux 5

    # cd /etc/yum.repos.d
    # wget

    Oracle VM 2

    # cd /etc/yum.repos.d
    # wget
  3. Enable the appropriate repository by editing the yum configuration file
    • Open the yum configuration file in a text editor
    • Locate the section in the file for the repository you plan to update from, e.g. [el4_u6_base]
    • Change enabled=0 to enabled=1
  4. Begin using yum, for example:
    yum list
    yum install firefox

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Slipstream Office 2007 service packs and hotfixes


While Microsoft made big promises for Windows Vista slipstreaming (and then failed mightily), it really came through with Office 2007: All you need to do is extract the updates from the service pack and then copy them to the Updates folder in the Office install folder structure. (And then optionally burn it to disc, though I just keep it up on a network share.) And because Office service packs are cumulative, you only need the latest service pack.
Here's how you slipstream, or integrate, Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
1. Download the standalone installer (290 MB). The filename is office2007sp2-kb953195-fullfile-en-us.exe in the US.
2. Create two folders in the root of your C: drive (or wherever) called Extract (C:\Extract) and Updates (C:\Updates).
3. Move the Office 2007 SP2 installer to the Extract folder.
4. Open a command line window (CMD) and type the following:
CD C:\Extract
office2007sp2-kb953195-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:C:\Updates
5. Agree to the EULA and then close the Installer when completed.
6. Move the contents of the C:\Updates folder to the Updates folder in your Office 2007 install folder structure.
7. Optionally, burn it to disc.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

VMWare OVFtool to deploy templates from command line

I found reference to VMwares OVFTool at and was interested because of my testing with Avamar VMDK backups. The Avamar process uses a VM that is deployed as an OVA file to proxy the VMDK backups. If multiple backups/restores are needed, you can simply spin up more proxies.

Below is an example that I used to deploy images.

ovftool -nw="myNetwork" -n="NewVMName" -ds="DatastoreName" -vf="Folder/Folder/Folder" "d:\temp\AvamarVmImageProxy-linux-5.0.101-32.ova" "vi://username:password@VirtualCenter/Datacenter/host/ClusterName"

Friday, July 02, 2010

Client Virtualization Strategy

I have been thinking lately about how to virtualize our client base to make them more manageable and flexible while making them more reliable at the same time. I was looking at various VDI and application virtualization solutions but needed a big picture to present to our management to show a complete solution.

For licensing and simplicity reasons, I was leaning toward the Microsoft virtualization stack with Terminal Server, Virtual Desktop, and App-V. After a bit of looking, I found a great whitepaper at
This whitepaper provides a high-level overview of the various technologies needed, how they work together, and the benefits of the solution.

A few other links:
MS App-V Trial Guide:
Remote Desktop in 2008 R2 (including VDI):