Windows

Windows Server 2016 Core Configuration, with SCONFIG

Windows Server 2016 Core has a built-in configuration tool named Sconfig.  This tool is used to configure and manage several aspects of Server Core installations. This simplifies tasks such as changing settings such as network, remote desktop, hostname and domain memberships, etc.

To use the Server Configuration Tool

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed

 

Note: You can use Server Configuration Tool in 2016 Server Core and 2016 Server with Desktop Experience installations.

Install VMware Tools Windows Server 2016 Core

I just completed my install of Windows Server 2016 Core as a guest in my VMware Lab. Now that this has been completed the next step is for me to install the VMware tools so that I can take advantage of various features; specifically, template deployment with customization options

About:VMware:Tools: VMware software tools enhance the performance of the guest operating system and improve the management of the virtual machine guests operating systems.

How to install:

  1. Select your VM from vCenter and select ‘Guest OS > Install VMware Tools
    This mounts the VMware CD Image containing the installation files
  2. Inside the guest machine type ‘powershell’
    This will drop you from the command shell to powershell prompt
  3. Next type the command Get-PSDrive
    This will return the drives attached to the system
  4. Change to the drive that the VMware tools are currently mounted
    In my case, this was drive letter “D”
  5. Issue the command .\setup64.exe to start the install process

    Note: issuing just setup.exe or setup64.exe will end in an error as Windows poweshell does not load commands such as this by default 
  6. Follow the steps of the VMware tools installer and restart when completed.

 

Ref: http://jermsmit.com/howto-install-vmware-tools-on-windows-server-2102-r2-server-core/

Hyper-V Virtualization: Turning Hyper-V On and Off

I recently started using Hyper-V on my Windows 10 workstation to task advantage of using technologies such as Docker that leverages Hyper-V to run its container images.  I also run VMware Player for running virtual machines.

The following commands make it a simpler task to toggle Hyper-V on and off again.

To Turn Hyper-V off, run the following command then restart your computer:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off

To turn Hyper-V back on, run the following command then restart your computer:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype on (or auto start)

 

Note:  Quick method to check the status of Hyper-V – Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName *hyper*

Microsoft: Meltdown and Spectre Check via PowerShell

Like many folks around the world, I was wondering if this Meltdown and Spectre flaw would impact my computers and virtual machines.  Microsoft has started to release emergency fixes for Windows 10 and its been said that Windows 8 and legacy 7 will also receive patches.

Microsoft has released a PowerShell script that lets users check whether they have protection in place.

Steps to take:

  1. Open PowerShell (I like to use PowerShell ISE)
  2. Run PowerShell as as Administrator.
  3. Type Install-Module SpeculationControl and press Enter.
  4. When the installation completes, type Import-Module SpeculationControl and press Enter.
  5. Type Get-SpeculationControlSettings and press Enter.

In the list of results that’s displayed, you’re looking to see that a series of protections are enabled — this will be listed as True.  Ref: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4073119/protect-against-speculative-execution-side-channel-vulnerabilities-in

Should reassemble 

Speculation control settings for CVE-2017-5715 [branch target injection]

  • Hardware support for branch target injection mitigation is present: True
  • Windows OS support for branch target injection mitigation is present: True
  • Windows OS support for branch target injection mitigation is enabled: True

Speculation control settings for CVE-2017-5754 [rogue data cache load]

  • Hardware requires kernel VA shadowing: True
  • Windows OS support for kernel VA shadow is present: True
  • Windows OS support for kernel VA shadow is enabled: True
  • Windows OS support for PCID optimization is enabled: True

 

 

 

Enabling Hyper-V for use on Windows 10

You all know when it comes to virtualization I am VMware all the way.  However, it has recently to my attention that the use of VMware Player on a company issued computer may be a violation of the EULA as this type of activity would be considered commercial use of the software.

So the option is to purchase a license or use the native Virtualization built into my Windows 10.

Ref: Workstation Player FAQs

  • Here are some capabilities of Windows 10 virtualization:
  • Hot add & remove for memory and network adapters: Windows and Linux Guests
  • Windows PowerShell Direct: Issue commands inside a virtual machine from the host
  • Linux secure boot:  – Ubuntu and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can use secure boot options
  • Hyper-V Manager: Hyper-V manager can manage computers running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1

 

Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are required to successfully run Hyper-V on Windows 10:

Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise 64 bit Operating System
64 bit processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
4GB system RAM at minimum
BIOS-level Hardware Virtualization support

 

Windows 10 Hyper-V Install Steps:

  1. Enable virtualization support in bios
  2. Access the Control Panel
  3. From Control Panel select Programs
  4. In Windows Features select Hyper-V
  5. After installation of Hyper-V has completed, restart computer

The installation of Hyper-V is now complete.  The next step is to setup the Virtual Switch Manager for networking and configure your first virtual machine. This is can be done by:

  1. Clicking the search icon on the task-bar and then typing Hyper-V Manager .
  2. Select Virtual Switch Manager in the Actions pane
  3. Choose External and then click on the Create Virtual Switch button
  4. Give the new Virtual Switch a name, and ensure the active NIC is selected