I decided to be brave and upgrade my Surface Pro to the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Upon successfully installing I immediately clicked on the windows button… only to notice the start screen/metro interface launched instead of the start menu, little confused.
It seems, well in my case you need to turn the start menu on.
Head to the Control Panel and open Taskbar and Navigation, click the Start Menu tab, tick Use Start menu instead of the Start screen.
Click ok, you will need to logoff and then log back in for the changes to take effect. Then BOOM clicking the windows button will now bring the start menu up. 🙂
I have been with the Open University now for a few years studying Computing & IT and Business and thought I would give my views on some good IT tips students can take advantage of to ensure their work is secure and backed up.
Spotify is a great way to listen to music when studying and on the go, allows you to listen on your iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Windows smart phone and Windows. Get yourself an NUS card for around £12 a year (as of posting) and save 50% of a yearly subscription on Spotify – saving of £60 (£48 if you include the NUS). If you already have a subscription paying the full price, I believe you can still get the offer, if not just cancel and re-sub.
Microsoft has made some changes to the MCSA for Server 2012 and SQL 2012 by introducing electives. This I feel is good idea as it allows you to pick an exam that may be more relative to your job role. So in my case I will be taken the following mandatory exams:
70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server
70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
and then I can decide to do 70-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.
I have been trying to learn PowerShell and this is my first attempt at a script that just works. This PowerShell script will put a XenDesktop VDI into maintenance mode, disable the object in Active Directory and shutdown the VM in vCentre as well as moving between containers (if required). This is handy if you have a lot of VDIs that need to decommissioned.
See below for the script, you will need to ensure a list of names are in a CSV called IMPORT_DecomissionVDI.csv. The reason for the ‘IMPORT’ is I find it easier to keep track of what a CSV does, so ‘EXPORT’ / ‘IMPORT’ etc. The same goes for the PowerShell script files ‘Set’ if it’s going to change something and ‘Get’ if it’s going to return information. Handy so you don’t run the wrong script!!
An example of what the CSV should look like:
Don’t forget to change the variables at the start.
# File: Set-DecommisionVDI.ps1
# Description: This script imports a list of VDIs to be disabled, sets the VDI in XenDesktop in maintenance mode, then disables the AD account
# and moves to an OU if required. Lastly the script moves the VDI in vCentre if required and shuts down the VDI.
# Date: 12/09/14 11.52 PM
# Author: Chris Stark
# Version 0.1
# Blog: ChrisStark.co
# Twitter: twitter.com/ChrisLStark
# Google+: http://google.com/+ChrisStark86
# LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=clstarks
# Link: http://chrisstark.co/2014/09/powershell-script-decommision-vdi-xendesktop-vcentre/
# Imports Citrix and VMware PowerShell snapins
# Variables for Citrix XenDesktop Server, vCentre, Domain and paths to move VDIs
$Domain = ' '
$XenDesktop = ' '
$VCentre = ' '
$CSVFile = 'IMPORT_DisableVDIs.csv'
$DisableADPath = 'OU=Disabled Computer Accounts,DC=DOAMIN,DC=co,DC=uk'
$VcentreFolder = "Disabled VDIs"
# Connects to the Citrix XenDesktop server
Get-BrokerSite -AdminAddress $XenDesktop
# Connects to VMware vCentre
# Imports the list of computers to disable
$CSV = import-csv $CSVFile
# Loops through the VDIs
foreach ($Item in $CSV)
# Sets the variable VDIName to the name of the VDI being disabled
$VDIName = $Domain+$Item.VDIName
# Sets the VDI to maintenance mode
Get-BrokerDesktop -MachineName $VDIName | Set-BrokerPrivateDesktop -InMaintenanceMode $true
# Disables the AD account of the VDI
Get-ADComputer $VDIName | Set-ADComputer -Enabled $false
# Moves the VDI to the disabled OU - remove line if not required
Get-ADComputer $VDIName | Move-ADObject -TargetPath $DisableADPath
# Moves the VM to the Disabled VDIs folder - remove line if not required
Move-VM -VM $VDIName -Destination $VcentreFolder
# Shuts down the VDI
Get-VM $VDIName | Shutdown-VMGuest -Confirm:$false
Came home to find the HP MicroServer was powered down last week and panicked! Turns out on further testing the power supply had decided to pack up. Not bad for 2 and a half years, running as a lab environment, 6 HDDs, PCI-E HD Graphics card and running as home entertainment system! As you can imagine, getting the PSU or ordering a replacement server was high priority. Though seeing as the HP MicroServer cashback offer has stopped led me to source a PSU.
Seeing as these MicroServer are popular as HTPC, storage, virtual environments for labbing etc, I gathered others may benefit from this post.
Now, finding a replacement wasn’t easy or looking to be cheap. The official HP part number 620827-001 was showing about £98.57 on the HP parts store – ouch!
So, after much research I come across the site LinITX which sell 1U PSUs and cheap. I first come across this when reading others were using a PicoPSU and a power brick – this seemed to pricey for me £50+ though does offer less noise.
I emailed the guys over at LinITX as I was worried about fitting etc and wanted to be reassured I could send back if any problems, yes I could’ve sent back under the distance selling regulation act but couldn’t be dealing with the hassle, much politer to just ask. Thumbs up to LinITX.
The PSU fitted without any issues and the 24 pin connector easily fits, the SATA parts can be a stretch if using additional hard-drives in the top bay, though if required you could extend these. Mine just about fit.
You will need to buy an adapter to convert the SATA power to Molex for the drive bay as the one molex provided isn’t enough, I went for for a molex 4-way splitter. I bought mine from Maplin as I wasn’t sure on cable length.
The PSU is nosier than the HP one, but if you want a cheap solution and don’t want to go down the PicoPSU route this will do fine.
Overall, a cheap good alternative! This should work for other models such as the N40L.
A pic of the PSU and adapter, excuse the poor quality – I had both replacement PSU and Nexus 7 (2013) turn up so was in a rush to play with the new toy!
This morning I took and passed the Cisco ICND2 on the second attempt. I felt it was a little harder than ICND1 and in some ways I was a little unprepared the first time due to changing jobs / Open University commitments. Having previously done the course via the Open University a few years ago and got a little complacent, despite the blog posts.
Any tips for taking the exam? read the question and re-read. I think i made this mistake on the first attempt, though I doubt that would’ve made much of a difference, however it could make the difference between a pass and a fail.