vExpert 2018 Announcement – I’m in for my second year


Earlier this month the team managing the VMware program announced the vExpert class of 2018. I’m proud and excited to share with all that I have become a vExpert once more, making this my second year. I thank those of whom nominated me and continued to view my contributions and myself as a valued member of the community.


What is a vExpert

VMware vExpert is an honorary title VMware grants to outstanding advocates and contributors in the community.

What is the vExpert Program

The VMware vExpert program is a collection of VMware advocates and provides them with invaluable resources to continue doing work supporting the growing community.  VMware recognizes vExperts with a certificate. The certificate and title give vExperts special privileges such as access to such private betas, free licenses, and exclusive events. Most importantly it brings experts closer together for collaboration and discussion.

The program is designed to put resources towards advocacy efforts. Promotion of articles, exposure at our global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap. The awards are for individuals, not companies, and last for one year.

Head to the official vExpert Directory for a full list of this years vExperts.

My Directory Link:

And that’s my high-level breakdown.




Share The Orange – Alzheimer’s Research

Like many of you around the world, I have seen the life of a loved one devastated by dementia. This person was my grandmother. As a kid, I too thought this was a part of someone getting believing that dementia is a part of aging and there is nothing that can be done.

That’s why I am asking you to help Alzheimer’s Research UK change this.

All you need to do is share the orange.

You see, it all starts and ends with the brain.

Everything we are, everything we were, everything we ever will be is held inside these precious cells. Your childhood, your friendships, your first love, your truest love, your most special day, your family, your hopes and dreams for them and when they have families of their own. All of your experiences, moment and precious memory’s you share together.

So if the brain is at risk, everything we are is at risk.

Dementia is caused by disease, most commonly altimeters. It physically destroys cells, breaking connections that shape our abilities, our relationships, ourselves.

In fact, the destruction of Alzheimer’s can leave a brain weighing 140 grams less than a healthy one. That is about the weight on an orange.

But this shows us that altimeters is a physical disease we can fight. Research has already made great breakthrough’s in other diseases like cancers and aids and with your support Alzheimer’s Research UK will breakthrough ageists dementia.

So please share this film, share the orange.


Find out more –

YouTube Links – Please watch and share


VMware, Windows 10 Customization Specification Not Completing

Here are details of my setup – in fact, I started over from scratch to document my steps.
This seems to be a new problem occurring with Windows 10, version 1709


Install of new VMware guest for the purpose of being a template

  1. Create new VM, named it windows_10_enterprise_version_1703
  2. Remove floppy drive
  3. Uncheck networking (for install)
  4. Mount ISO and enable, click OK to save settings

Install of OS on the guest virtual machine

  1. Boot newly created VM (windows_10_enterprise_version_1703)
  2. Step through the installation until completion
  3. Complete language settings to arrive at Windows desktop
  4. Enable the ‘Administrator’ account as its disabled by default
  5. Log out of installation user (the account I named ‘install’)
  6. Log into the ‘Administrator’ account
  7. Enter control panel, user and delete the ‘install’ user account.
  8. Install VMWare tools, Reboot once
  9. Shutdown


Prepare VM to be a template

  1. Edit the VM settings
  2. Connect networking
  3. Disconnect CD Drive
  4. Click OK
  5. Convert VM to a Template


Customization Specification Setup

  1. Create new specification, (I named mine Windows Desktop – DHCP)
  2. Applied registration information
  3. Computer Name – Use the virtual machine name
  4. Windows License – Left this blank (unchecked include server licensing information)
  5. Administrator Password – Set password, choose the option to automatically login as Administrator
  6. Time Zone – Set my desired time zone
  7. Run Once – Left this blank (blank for now, later intend on applying KMS details)
  8. Network – Use standard network setting (DHCP)
  9. Workgroup or Domain – For now just Workgroup and left workgroup name as ‘WORKGROUP’
  10. Operating System Options – Generate New Security ID (SID)
  11. Ready to complete – Clicked OK

Deploying template

  1. Right-click on the template – New VM from the template
  2. Gave a simple name – TEST01
  3. Selected Datacenter, Selected Cluster
  4. Selected Storage
  5. Selected Options (Customize VM) and (Power on the virtual machine after creation)
  6. Selected ‘Windows Desktop – DHCP’ from customized guest OS options
  7. Clicked Next, then Finish and wait …


Where things get stuck

  1. After the first boot, the guest gets an IP address from the network
  2. Customization starts in the background and system reboots
  3. When the system resumes I arrive at the following screen
  4. The system customization never completes, and I find my VM’s stuck at the “Let’s start with region …” screen

And, I’ll update this as soon as I find a solution, but for now…  I’m stuck

Log Shared via Pastebin:


Update: March 18, 2018

I’ve had others also test this using the latest ISO for Windows 10 – en_windows_10_enterprise_version_1703_updated_march_2017_x86_dvd, they too now encounter this same issue.  So the problem seems to be with the build of Windows 10 that was released.

I am going to download another build from MSDN and see if there is a change.


Update: March 19, 2018

I was able to get this working by way of reinstalling Windows 10 using the following ISO build: en_windows_10_multi-edition_vl_version_1709_updated_sept_2017_x64_dvd

Was even able to apply Windows updates and redeploy without error.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), General Definitions

Personal Data: Broadly defined as any data element(s) that can directly or indirectly identify an individual. Examples include: name, e-mail address, government identifiers (such as a passport or Social Security Number/Social Insurance Number), credit card information, and biometric data (such as fingerprints). It can also include any records associated with or linked to such personal information, such as medical diagnoses, purchase histories, browser cookies, etc. Please note: we are also concerned with data that falls into a more “sensitive” subcategory which requires a higher standard of protection and legal justification to process. These sensitive data elements, which are defined in some laws, include: religious beliefs, political opinions, race, ethnicity, union membership, sexual life, any health-related information including biometric or genetic data, information about criminal/civil offenses, financial information (such as credit card numbers), geo-location information, and any other data which would present a potential risk to security or personal safety if that information was misused.

Third Party: Third party, in relation to Personal Data, means any person other than the individual described by the data (the “Data Subject”), or the Company. For purposes of this survey, Third Parties will usually include vendors, service providers, or any other entity involved in gathering, processing, or storing the data in question, affiliates, and any entity not under your Company’s legal structure. When in doubt, please provide the name of any other entity involved and we can confirm with the legal department the precise status of the business/organizational relationship.

Anonymization/Pseudonymization: Process by which Personal Data is irreversibly altered in such a way that it cannot longer be identified directly or indirectly, or assigned an identifier that is disconnected from the data subject’s identity (such as a random code number)

Biometric Data: A category of Personal Data resulting from specific technical processing relating to the physical, physiological or behavioral characteristics of a natural person, which allow or confirm the unique identification of that natural person, such as facial images or fingerprint data

Health Data: A category of Personal Data related to the physical or mental health of a natural person, including the provision of health care services, which reveal information about his or her health status

Genetic Data: A category of Personal Data relating to the inherited or acquired genetic characteristics of a natural person which give unique information about the physiology or the health of that natural person and which result, in particular, from an analysis of a biological sample from the natural person in question, e.g., DNA reports

Processing: For purposes of this survey, “processing” of data includes any operation or set of operations which is performed on any Personal Data, whether or not by automated means; this can include collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction

Profiling: Any form of automated processing in which Personal Data may be used to evaluate certain personal attributes or behavioral aspects relating to a natural person, in particular to analyze or predict aspects concerning that natural person’s performance at work, economic situation (including creditworthiness), health or lifestyle choices, personal preferences, interests, assessments of personal character or reliability, behavior, location or movements

Hyper-V, and Automatic Virtual Machine Activation in Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced a feature called “Automatic Virtual Machine Activation” (AVMA), and now in Windows Server 2016, this feature has been carried forward. This feature was primarily designed for Web Hosters but found usefulness in internal Hyper-V server for testing lab machines.

What is Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA)?

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation is a feature that handles the activation process for an instance of Windows Server inside a Hyper-V virtual machine so it does not need to directly contact any other system to activate the Windows Server instance.

AVMA is engineered to digitally facilitate the guest virtualization rights allowance of the Windows Server Datacenter license. If the physical host is properly licensed to run Windows Server Datacenter, then any number of virtual instances running the same or a lower edition and the same or earlier version of Windows Server is included.

Requirements for Automatic Virtual Machine Activation?

You must have a Datacenter Edition of Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 2016 installed as the management operating system with the Hyper-V role enabled. AVMA is a feature of the operating system, not Hyper-V itself.

How to Configure a Virtual Machine for AVMA?

When prompted for a license key, you simply give it the key that matches the operating system of the virtual machine.

Guest Operating System’s and Keys

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Windows Server 2016 Essentials

Windows Server 2016 Standard

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter

These keys will be accepted by any operating system but if AVMA is not detected they will move into an unlicensed mode.