Backup a server with Windows Server Backup on 2008 R2

Backup a server with Windows Server Backup on 2008 R2

Windows Server Backup is actually a good backup. Not very smart of course but still good. Here is what you get:

– Backup to Hard Disk ( external or not ) and to a network location. Have in mind that if you go for a network location it can only store 1 backup copy and every next backup will always overwrite it. No Tapes support.

– Imaging type of backup. That means that you can restore your whole server very fast and like it has never been off.

– Schedule appears not to be very flexible but it gets better if you play around with Task Scheduler. Windows Server Backup uses a task in the Task Scheduler to run the backup.

– You can force it go create incremental backups. Reporting for the backup result is quite poor. If you use this backup on an SBS it’s a whole different story but on a simple 2008 or R2, just forget it.

– It can actually restore only your SQL or Exchange databases. This is a very good guide on how to do it.

Here is a video of how to backup your server with Windows Server Backup. It’s fairly easy and in the video you can see how to backup on a network location which first comes as unavailable. ( Firewall )

Going through Exchange 2013 Admin Center

Going through Exchange 2013 Admin Center

Exchange 2013 Admin Center – Whether you like it or not, Exchange 2013 has ditched the all beautiful Management Console and has gone to a web based ( in a browser ) management called Exchange Admin Center. Still buggy for me in IE 10. Here is a video of going through the different menus without going deep in to the details.

exchange 2013 admin center

Official MS Library article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj150562.aspx

Here is the video. Enjoy:

Installing Windows 8

Installing Windows 8 Enterprise

Installing Windows 8

If you want to run Windows 8 on your PC, here’s what it takes:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM drive

This is a video of a simple and clean Windows 8 Enterprise installation. It will go through all the steps as you would expect on your own workstation.

Enjoy

Installing Windows Small Business Server 2008 ( SBS 2008 )

Installing Windows Small Business Server 2008

installing small business server 2008

What is SBS ?

Small Business Server is an all-in-one solution where on a single server you have a standard Windows Server with a number of other Microsoft technologies like Active Directory Domain Services, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Sharepoint Services, WSUS 3.0 and other SBS-only functionalities.

Before installing SBS 2008 you should know the system requirements and try to follow them because SBS without sufficient hardware is slow and painful. You will need to take into consideration these 2 properties:

Hardware requirements

Physical memory

Minimum: 4 GB

Recommended: 6 to 8 GB

32 GB maximum

Disk space

60 GB

The rest is not really something you should consider if you are only testing and playing with SBS 2008. In case you need the full system requirements – Find them here.

Here is the video of the Installation:

Installing Windows Server 2008 R2

Installing Windows Server 2008 R2

Installing Windows Server 2008 R2

System Requirements:


The following are estimated system requirements for Windows Server 2008 R2. If your computer has less than the “minimum” requirements, you will not be able to install this product correctly. Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you install. Remember R2 is ONLY 64-bit.

Processor


Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of processor cores and the size of the processor cache. The following are the processor requirements for this product:

  • Minimum: 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor

RAM


The following are the estimated RAM requirements for this product:

  • Minimum: 512 MB
  • Maximum: 32 GB (for Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard) or 2 TB (for Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems).

Disk space Requirements


The following are the estimated minimum disk space requirements for the system partition.

  • Minimum: 32 GB

 

 

This is a video of a simple Windows 2008 R2 installation.

Mount a VHD file in Windows 2008 or SBS 2008

Mount a VHD file in Windows 2008 or SBS 2008

Note: This can also be used on Windows Server 2003 and SBS 2003

Finding yourself in a situation where you need to browse a vhd file, whether because you need to restore files from a backup and Windows Server Backup console doesn’t help you or you just need to get some files off a vhd file, the sad truth is that attaching/mounting a VHD file in Windows 2008 and SBS 2008 is a bit more complicated compared to the easiness that this happens in the newer versions 2008 R2 and SBS 2011( 2008 R2 article here ). Here we don’t have Attach VHD in Disk Management nor we have a smart Diskpart that can mount it for us. It comes to the help of another Microsoft product called Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 which is FREE. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2994

You don’t need to install or use the whole software, you just need one of it’s features called VHD Mount and you can install only this component if you chose a Custom installation. It is a command line utility so after you are done with the Virtual Server installation you will have to open CMD and navigate to the installation path, usually C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\vhdmount.

So here is how it goes to mount and unmount an image.

vhdmount /m “C:\blabla\blabla.vhd”

Then it mounts the image and it will appear in Computer as an additional partition

Do what you want to do with the image and once you are done you should unmount it. There are two ways to do it.

– If you have done any changes to the vhd file you can unmount it and save the changes:

vhdmount /u “C:\blabla\blabla.vhd” /c

– Or if you want to discard any changes:

vhdmount /u “C:\blabla\blabla.vhd” /d

A software engineer wrote a regkey script that should enable you to right-click a .vhd file and have the option of Mount and Dismount. Personally it didn’t work for me and command line is far too easy to use so it doesn’t really matter that much, but for those that want to give it a try here is the file.

These are the vhdmount switches you might be using. Chose the appropriate combo. Best advise if to use /m with F

/p – Plugs in the specified VHD as a virtual disk device without mounting the volume.

/m – Plugs in the specified VHD as a virtual disk device and mounts the volume.

/f – Performs the specified operation without creating an Undo Disk. This parameter is applicable for /p and /m. All changes to the mounted disk are directly written to the specified VHD.

/u – Unplugs the virtual disk device for the specified VHDFileName.

/c – Updates the original VHD with all changes that were stored in the Undo Disk anddeletes the Undo Disk after unplugging the disk. This parameter is only applicable if the VHD was mounted without using /f.

/d – Discards all changes to the mounted disk and deletes the Undo Disk after unplugging the disk. This parameter is only applicable if the VHD was mounted without using /f.

/q – Displays the disk name of the mounted virtual disk device for the specified VHDFileName.

VHDFileName – VHD name including full path.

DriveLetter – Optional parameter for /m option. If drive letter is specified the volumes are mounted starting at the specified drive letter. If drive letter is not specifiedit is automatically assigned.

All – Applies the operation on all mounted virtual disk devices. This parameter is applicable for /u and /q.

By default, VHDMount creates an Undo Disk in current user’s temporary folder. All changes to the mounted disk are written to this Undo Disk. Use /c to commit or /d to discard these changes at the time of unplugging the disk device. Use /f option to mount a VHD without an Undo Disk.

Examples:
VHDMOUNT /p [/f] VHDFileName
VHDMOUNT /m [/f] VHDFileName [DriveLetter]
VHDMOUNT /u [/c | /d] VHDFileName | All
VHDMOUNT /q VHDFileName | All

 

 

Mount a VHD file in Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7 and SBS 2011

Mount a VHD file in Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7 and SBS 2011

Here is a link to the article for mounting a VHD on 2008 ( not R2 ) and SBS 2008

What is VHD file? VHD file is a Virtual Hard Disk file. Windows Server Backup produces vhd files and also numerous virtualization software also uses VHD files. Implications are big and we are not going to discuss them. But if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to browse vhd files for info or you have a malfunctioning Windows Server Backup and you can’t properly use it to restore data backed up with the same software, hail Windows7 and 2008 R2 ( and SBS 2011 ) as things have become easy ! You can mount/dismount or attach/detach vhd files to your system as partitions and browse the vhd file contents as it is a partition on your own hard drive ! Instead of the torture you have to go through to open a vhd file in Windows 2008, SBS 2008 or Vista, article here, you can simple go to your Disk Management and click Attach VHD, and detach it whenever you need to.

Windows 7 – Start – Computer Management ( or Right-click Computer and go to Manage ) – Disk Management

Attach VHD file to Windows 7

And here is how you do it in 2008 R2 and SBS 2011

Server Manager – Storage – Disk Management

Attach VHD file to 2008 R2

There is alternative way too, for the command line lovers. DISKPART is now being upgraded and posses the ability of interacting with VHDs. Here is how :

Open CMD – > type diskpart. Here is how it looks like to attach the vhd:

Using Diskpart to attach vhd to windows 7

Enjoy!

Remote Web Workplace – Remote Desktop Disconnected “The Client could not connect to the remote computer”

The client could not connect to the remote computer by using Remote Web Workplace in Windows Small Business Server 2003

If you have ever received this error when trying to connect to a computer via RWW 2003 –

“The client could not connect to the remote computer.  Remote connections might not be enabled or the computer might be too busy to accept new connections.  It is also possible that network problems are preventing your connection.  Please try connecting again later.  If the problem continues to occur, contact your administrator.”

Remote Web Workplace - Remote Desktop Disconnected

 

There are two possible issues related to it.

1) You have not port forwarded port 4125 ( RWW ) on your router/firewall to the SBS Server.

2) If you have already done that and you still experience the issue, it means that something else might be listening on that same port internally on your server. As Microsoft suggests it might be the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant Service. To find out, use the the netstat command – netstat -aon | find “:4125”. This will show you what is listening on that port. If the command does not print anything, you better check if your router/firewall is really forwarding 4125 and to the right place.

Installing Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012

Installing Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012

Installing Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 is new and interesting theme among the IT world nowadays and that’s why I tried installing it without reading what’s new and if anything else is required. I wanted to make a video of it and upload it unedited so it can show how a pure installation goes on without preparations and with any problems coming on the way. Installation is done on a virtual test machine with 8 GB of RAM. With a minimum requirements of 8 GB of RAM it was clearly not very optimal for running 2012 + Exchange 2013. Maybe a few more GB will make it run smooth. This time there are packages that need installing.

2010 Filter packhttp://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17062

installing exchange 2013 on windows server 2012

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office Filter Pack 2010 (KB2460041) 64-bit Edition –

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=26604

Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime –

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34992

 

And here is the video. I repeat, it’s unedited so feel free to jump on long reboots or installations.

 

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2012

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2012

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2012

This video will show how to install a brand new Active Directory Domain Services on a fresh Windows Server 2012 installation. Personally i like the new AD installation much more than the previous versions. It installs the DNS role along with the AD installation.

Here is a link of the TechNet Video Library on the subject.

Machine is virtual VMWare and has 8 GB of RAM. Here is the video. Enjoy