Thursday, 22 March 2018

Install and use Microsoft Edge Browser on Windows Server 2016

When trying to download Google Chrome on Windows Server 2016 today I got the following message

Microsoft Edge is the faster, safer browser on Windows 10 and it is already installed on your PC.

Which I'm not sure how Microsoft is allowed to guzzump my search by demanding I use their product especially as they've mis-recognised their own operating system.

To be clear you cannot use Microsoft Edge on Windows Server 2016.

If you need to know the reason see the requirements for Edge.

The Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) versions of Windows, including Windows Server 2016, don't include Microsoft Edge or many other Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. These apps and their services are frequently updated with new functionality, and can't be supported on systems running the LTSB operating systems. For customers who require the LTSB for specialized devices, we recommend using Internet Explorer 11.

This is quite annoying, more so if you run an RDP Session Host or Citrix Farm.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

VMware vCenter Appliance reports 503 Service Unavailable (Failed to connect to endpoint)

When using the VMware vCenter Appliance if you find that it reports the following error

503 Service Unavailable (Failed to connect to endpoint: [N7Vmacore4Http20NamedPipeServiceSpecE:0x00005583dec71890] _serverNamespace = / action = Allow _pipeName =/var/run/vmware/vpxd-webserver-pipe)

This can be due to trying to access the web interface before the services have started, even though the application virtual machine has started and the login screen displayed.

It's a real shame that VMware doesn't show a proper startup window on the console of the vCenter server so you can see the services starting rather than having to guess what is going on.

VMware vCenter server appliance shows as "Photon-Machine" and you cannot logon

When you setup VMware vCenter server application (which runs on a virtual machine) on VMware workstation deployed from the OVF file you may be presented firstly with the login prompt

And shortly afterwards the "final" login screen which prompts you to login to http://photon-machine.

The problem is when you deploy using the OVF file the system is still processing the configuration information, you cannot however see any progress.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

"The WS-Management service cannot process the request. The service is configured to not accept any remote shell requests."

When trying to use PowerShell remoting you may come across the following error

"The WS-Management service cannot process the request. The service is configured to not accept any remote shell requests."

Many people may be confused by this as they have run the Enable-PSRemoting command.

Unfortunately there is another setting called "Allow Remote Shell Access" which can be configured in group policy which prevents you from connecting to a remote machine.

You can see the effective setting by running the following PowerShell command locally
Get-Item WSMan:\localhost\Shell\AllowRemoteShellAccess

The setting can be located in the following group policy path
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Remote Shell > Allow Remote Shell Access

I think that this causes some confusion because people believe that Microsoft recommend disabling this setting (and therefore disabling PowerShell remoting) which isn't accurate. 

The recommendation is to review the setting, and if you don't need PowerShell remoting to disable it.

However the CIS recommendation is to just disable the setting, which I disagree with given the modern nature of PowerShell remoting I would rather have this enabled as the primary management method and firewall off older protocols such as WMI but you probably rely on WMI too much to do that.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

How do I determine what versions of .NET Framework are installed?

If you are trying to determine what versions of .NET Framework are installed you can use the updated version of XIA Configuration Server.

This can now detect installed versions of the .NET Framework and display them simply grouped by the .NET runtime version without needing to use PowerShell scripting, though you can access this information using our PowerShell API.

You can also use our reporting functionality to view the installed versions across multiple machines from a single report.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Windows 10 reboots instead of shutting down

Following a Windows update recently my laptop running Windows 10 kept rebooting when I selected to shutdown.

Shutdown the computer from the command line
shutdown /f /s /t 0

- or -

Run regedit and modify the following value to disable fast start
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power\HiberbootEnabled

Set to zero

Thursday, 18 January 2018

P/invoke CreateProcessWithLogonW causes Error 1058: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

If you're running the CreateProcessWithLogonW Win32 API command with P/invoke you may receive the following error

Error 1058: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.
This can occur if the "Secondary Logon" (seclogon) service is disabled in the services control panel.