Server

Tech Short: Configure WDS Server

You have installed your WDS Server Role and now its time to configure.  I hope my steps below help you.

Requirements

  • Installed WDS Role
  • Administrative Rights
  • Installation Media

 

WDS Server Configuration:

  1. On the Server Manager tool, click Tools and then click Windows Deployment Services.
  2. On the Windows Deployment Services console, expand Servers.
  3. Right-click your WDS server name and select Configure Server.
  4. Navigate to the Install Options page, choosing Integrated with Active Directory or Standalone server button is selected and then click Next.
  5. On the Remote Installation Folder Location page, select a folder or click Next to accept the default value. This folder will hold the WDS images.
  6. On the PXE Server Initial Settings page exists there options: Select the Respond to all client computers (known and unknown) then click Next.
  7. On the Operation Complete page, you have the option to Add images to the server now by selecting the check box and click Finish.  This will guide you through the initial image setup.

 

Video:

Done!

 

Install Windows Server 2016 Step by Step

There may come a time that you may need to install Windows Server 2016.
Here I will provide a high-level step by step on this installation process.

Requirements:

Windows Server 2016 Installation media (DVD, USB flash, WDS, etc.)
Installation Target (Computer, Server, Virtual Machine)
Keyboard (Mouse is optional)

Video Example of Installation:

Installation Steps:

Power on Installation Target (Computer, Server, Virtual Machine), specify the language, time zone and keyboard or input method then, click Next.

Click Install now on the Windows Setup screen.

Enter your license key or click “I don’t have a product key”.
This option is normally chosen when you have a local KMS host used to activate the Windows Installation

Select the desired Windows Server edition, Click Next.

Accept the license terms by placing a check in the box, then click Next

On the next screen choose “Custom” install. This is for clean installs of the Windows OS

Select the disk, you want to install the widows on, click Next

The installation will copy files and install the base features and updates. When complete the computer will reboot. After your restart, you will be asked to compose a secure password. Once completed you will be able to log into your Windows 2016 Server.

Job well done.

How to demote a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller

In this short write up I will go over steps to demote a Server 2012 domain controller.

If you have worked in Active Directory and Windows Domain Administration over the years you may recall that in previous version of Windows Server that you would use the command line tool of ‘DCPROMO’ to promote or demote a server. Since Server 2012, the use of DCPROMO has been deprecated. In fact, if you attempt to use it you will be inform of this via the Active Directory Domain Service Installed.

In Server 2012 and later versions the use of Server Manager or PowerShell is required to promote / demote a server to/from a Domain Controller (DC). Below I provide steps on how to demote a server with some illustration along the way. Also, here is a quick YouTube video on the process: https://youtu.be/sBK2_APaDdg

Log into the domain controller you intend on demoting and Launch the Server Manager, select the Manage drop down menu, select Remove roles and features.

On the server selection page, select the desired server from the pool.

On the Remove Roles and Features Wizard, un-tick the Active Directory Domain Services box

The Remove Roles and Features dialog box will open. Click Remove features

On the Remove Roles and Features Wizard dialog box Validation Results box will appear. The domain controller must be demoted before continuing. Click on Demote this domain controller.

On the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard enter the required credentials to demote this server, click Next.

You will have several removal options. From the forced remove of failed domain member, to removing of the last domain in your forest. Make the selections which is appropriate for your remove task and click Next

Finally you will arrive on the New Administrator Password, enter and confirm the new local administrator account password, click Next.

On the Review Options verify the information is correct and click Demote.

After the server has restarted it will no longer be a domain controller

And that is it.

Remaining Rated Write Endurance 0%

My Dell PowerEdge R630 users have reported slowdowns. Investigating did not show any issues. After a support request with Dell it was mentioned that the SSD drives I’m using are known to exhibit issues of slowdowns due to timing problems.

This has been addressed with a firmware upgrade. The drives being used are configured in a RAID10 under the PERC H730 Mini Controller

Details about the disks:

Media Type: SSD
Product ID: LITEON IT ECE-400NAS
Firmware: LPCF11XC

 

I will soon update to * Firmware Version 11XU *

Fixes and Enhancements
======================
Updated SMART attribute reportiing
Improved Interface command robustness

DST Long command handling
Improved DC cycle management

Info Found: http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=TTRG8

Release Notes: http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER03086171M/1/Release_Notes.txt

Download:  http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER03086139M/2/Nautilus_efi_A15_ZPE.exe

The links to the notes and download may not be valid as Dell often changes the links.  Hopefully the main page for this firmware sticks around

 

Remove Dead Exchange Servers from Active Directory

Working with  my Exchange 2012 Hybrid configuration I into the following error:

ERROR : Subtask NeedsConfiguration execution failed: Configure MRS Proxy Settings

Execution of the Get-WebServicesVirtualDirectory cmdlet has thrown an exception. This may indicate invalid parameters in your hybrid configuration settings.

The task wasn’t able to connect to IIS on the server ‘exchange’. Make sure that the server exists and can be reached from this computer: The RPC server is unavailable.

This is because I did not properly remove the retired exchange servers form Active Directory during past migrations to Exchange 2013.

To remove these objects to continue with your Hybrid configuration task do the following:

  1. Launch the run dialog (Windows Key + R)
  2. Type in the command “adsiedit.msc” and press OK
  3. In the drop down menu select “Configuration”
  4. Expand “CN=Configuration [domain]\CN=Services\CN=Microsoft Exchange\CN=[organization]\CN=Administrative Groups\CN=Servers”
  5. Right click on the dead server and “Delete”
  6. Navigate to ”CN=Configuration [domain]\CN=Services\CN=Microsoft Exchange\CN=[organization]\CN=Administrative Groups\CN=Databases”
  7. Right click on each dead database and “Delete”

Step 1-5 will get you past the Hybrid error, but you might as well cleanup while your here.