Stable Windows Builds or Yearly Releases

With Windows Servicing, Microsoft is forcing consumers and businesses to upgrade to a Windows 10 Build twice a year. Theoretically you could go for one build per year, but that forces you to upgrade to a new build within 6 months. Otherwise you will end up without support for the old build.

This introduces quite some issues within both SMBs and large organizations. Recently a friend asked me about a recent printer that stopped working. The printer was 2 months old and from a large vendor. I directly checked the build of the machine and yes, it was recently upgraded to the Fall Creators Update. The printer was identified as an “Unknown USB Device”. Updating the driver of the printer didn’t help. Luckily the Technical Support was responding quickly to help, but this means manual processing of orders for the next couple of weeks. Yes I can revert the machine back to the old build, but will that fix the issue or create more issues? And because it’s not a Windows 10 Enterprise machine, Microsoft will try to update the machine later on.

Continue reading

Latest naming for Windows/Office Servicing channels

Lost track of the service channel naming of Windows and Office Servicing? Is it “Current Branch” or “Semi-Annual Channel” now?! Or Standard Release?!

Windows 10:

Ready: Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)

Ready for Business: Semi-Annual Channel

Office 365:

Ready: Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) (Or Targeted Release)

Ready for Business: Semi-Annual Channel (Or Standard Release)

Last update: recently… 🙂

Every day is a new day to change these again, so stay tuned!

Azure – Windows Server Licensing Explained

This article describes the licensing options you have when you want to deploy Windows Server Virtual Machines in Azure. It’s getting complicated when you start using the Hybrid Use Benefit solution, so always contact Microsoft or your licensing supplier. Please note that I will not answer any licensing questions.

Built-in Licensing for Windows Server

This type of licensing is by-far the most easy to use but it can be an expensive solution. You deploy an Azure Virtual Machine from the Portal or PowerShell and the licensing costs are automatically included with the Virtual Machine costs. But what if you want to use your existing KMS licenses which you’ve bought with your Enterprise Agreement? Or you want to use Windows Server Standard licenses instead of Datacenter licenses?

Continue reading

NAT Switch now built into Hyper-V! – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

With the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft finally added a built-in NAT Switch into Hyper-V! This gives Hyper-V Virtual Machines access to the computer’s network. The new switch automatically assigns IP address to your Virtual Machines, so no need to run your own DHCP server anymore!

In older versions of Windows 10, it was still required to create the Virtual Switch yourself, but this required static IP address assignment in the OS or the installation of a DHCP server. Not the most elegant option.

The switch is named “Default Switch” and cannot be changed in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch Manager:

The Default Switch Virtual Network in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch Manager
The Default Switch Virtual Network in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch Manager

According to the info message: “The Default Network switch automatically gives virtual machines access to the computer’s network using NAT (network address translation).”

I’m happy that Microsoft finally introduced this as it was already available in other 3rd Party solutions and a good argument why some people didn’t want to migrate to Hyper-V. Now they can! I wasn’t able to find an official statement of Microsoft on this new feature, but I’m sure it will be published soon.

What do you think of this new feature? Are you going to migrate from VMware or other solutions to Hyper-V? Let me know in the comments section!

Cheers,

Jean-Paul

Install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on your GPO-enabled machine

So your Group Policy (GPO) settings do not allow you to upgrade to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and you have local administrative access on your machine? The registry fix from below will change this! Copy the registry fix from below and save it as fix.reg with Notepad. (Make sure you don’t save it as fix.reg.txt!) Right click on the file and click “Merge”. You should now have access to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Insider Program. Enroll your device in the program (with your Microsoft account!) and select “Just fixes, apps and drivers” from the dropdown – which will enroll you in the Release Preview Ring. Go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Updates and select “Check online for updates from Microsoft Update”. It will take some time before the Fall Creators Update pops up here.

When the Windows Insider Settings are greyed out again after several minutes, your GPO settings were re-applied and you need to rerun the fix.reg file. Run the fix.reg file every hour or so and check again for Windows Updates. After a couple of hours you should be able to enjoy the Fall Creators Update!

Registry Fix:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability]
"EnablePreviewBuilds"=dword:00000002
"IsBuildFlightingEnabled"=dword:00000001
"IsConfigExpFlightingEnabled"=dword:00000001
"IsConfigSettingsFlightingEnabled"=dword:00000001
"SuspensionStartTime"=-
"SuspensionEndTime"=-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\PreviewBuilds]
"AllowBuildPreview"=dword:00000001
"EnableConfigFlighting"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection]
"CommercialId"=-

Unknown Devices when installing Hyper-V on Windows 10

The following unknown device IDs will pop-up when you run the script or when you open Device Manager:

ROOT\VMBUS\0000
ROOT\VID\0000
ROOT\VPCIVSP\0000
ROOT\STORVSP\0000
ROOT\SYNTH3DVSP\0000

If you want to find all Unknown Devices, open PowerShell as an Administrator and run:

Get-WmiObject Win32_PNPEntity | Where-Object{$_.ConfigManagerErrorCode -ne 0} | Select DeviceID

On my work notebook, all drivers were correctly populated so it had to be something with my test laptop. It’s a fresh Windows 10 machine deployed by a Task Sequence – enabled with Device Guard and Credential Guard.

Solution:
During the installation I’ve installed the Microsoft-Hyper-V-Hypervisor feature on Windows 10. You also need to install the Microsoft-Hyper-V-Services if you want to have those drivers installed as well.

Lock screen image not showing – Windows 10 1703

Recently I was trying to apply a lock screen image with a GPO. I distributed the image to the C:/Windows/Web/Wallpaper directory and configured the Windows 10 GPO to that location. After running the Windows 10 Task Sequence successfully, the default lock screen image came up. I was using a large image from the client so that it still looks good on bigger screens. I’ve found out that after resizing the image back to 1080P, the image was applied successfully after locking the machine. Looks like a strange bug if you would ask me.

Cheers!