Installing the Desktop Experience feature in Windows Server 2012

Today I was installing OneNote 2013 on my Windows Server 2012 R2 test lab and during the installation the setup prompted me to enable the Desktop Experience feature in Windows Server 2012 for the OneNote 2013 to work.

So I opened the Windows Server Server Manager and opened the Add roles and Features wizard, when the wizard reached the features page for my surprise I could not find the desktop experience feature. After searching for a couple of minutes found out that its under the User Interface and Infrastructure feature

Server Manager

Windows Server 2012 & Windows Server 2012 R2 TechNet Library Documentation

To all the Microsoft IT Pro techies out there, Microsoft made the Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 TechNet Library Documentation offline to be downloaded as a PDF. This (approximately) 7500 page document contains in depth technical content authored by the product experts. Happy reading Smile 

It can be downloaded from 

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 8 Beta

After installing Windows server 8 in my lab environment, I wanted to check on whether there are any changes to the Active Directory implementation comparatively to its previous versions.

I tried running DCPROMO and boom got the following message


It says the ADDS installation wizard is relocated in the server manager.

After I got the above message I opened up the server manager, The loading of the server manager was different and it looked nice


There you go, a look at the new server manager in Windows Server 8


After clicking the Add roles and features, the before you begin screen prompted, click next


Since I do not have a group of servers and only one server, I went with option 1 and clicked next


Next was to select the server and click next


Select the role of ADDS and click next


Click next


Introduction to ADDS, click next


View the confirmation and click on install


Installation begins


Installation completed, but configuration required by clicking on the hyperlink or


click the notification


Since this is my test lab and the first domain of a new forest I selected “Add a new forest” option and typed the domain name, click next


Select the forest and domain functional role (note the default role selected), give the DSRM password, select the DNS option and since this is my first DC it automatically becomes a GC


An error, because the authoritative DNS for my domain cannot be found, but this can be fixed after the DNS is installed for my domain which will be done during this installation


NetBIOS name is being resolved


The default installation paths


Review your selection (note that you have an option to view the powershell script)


The prerequisite check is being done and successful


Installation begins and proceeds


Installation is done and server restarts


Windows restarts and logs on to the domain


Active Directory users and Computers snap in


The DNS management console


BOOTMGR Missing error

Today, I was deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 using an image which I captured from another server using Sysprep and ImageX utilities.

After I deployed the image to my server using the same ImageX utility, and as soon as I started the server BOOM, got a startup error “BOOTMGR MISSING”

To fix this issue, I started my server using a WinPE CD to the Windows Pre Installation Environment, and typed the following command

BCDBOOT C:\Windows 

Restart the server

That fixed the issue

PowerShell “cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system” error

Recently after a Windows Server 2008R2 implementation I had to use the new Microsoft Command Shell  the so called “Windows PowerShell” to run a script. After installing the server I opened up notepad and wrote a simple script and as you’ll know I had to save the file with a PS1 extension so that PowerShell can execute the script. and I did save the file with the PS1 extension.

As soon as Opened PowerShell and typed the path to the PS1 file and press enter, I got an error as shown below


Which says “File <filepath> cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system. Please see "get- help about_signing" for more details.”

If you get this error, don’t panicSmile by default PowerShell is designed like this for security reasons, The Execution Policy which is in Windows PowerShell is set to Restricted which means none of the scripts will run (even if you write with your user credentials).

In Windows PowerShell type Get-ExecutionPolicy to verify


In order to be able to run scripts using Windows PowerShell type Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned


This would enable to run script using PowerShell on your computer

Fatal Error C000003A Applying Update–While installing Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

Recently I was installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on my server and while installing the service pack 1, I came across an issue. The server downloads the service pack and starts the installation and restarts, once it restarts it goes to a black screen mode where it displays on applying update, after a while the server comes to a halt and freezes. Restarting the server also does not help.

After some research I found the solution by following KB 975484

AppLocker Step by Step

Windows 7 works better with Windows Server 2008 R2, one of the features that was introduced under this was AppLocker through which the Administrator will be able to control his environment and standardize his corporate network by allowing only authorized applications and programs to be run and executed by the users.

A detailed technet document and step by step guides can be found here about this feature

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 DirectAccess

DirectAccess is a new feature in Windows 7 along with Windows Server 2008 R2. This particular feature gives users an environment and experience working remotely as they would be working in the office. Due to the amount of globalization and employees traveling all around the global village, it is necessary that they connect to the corporate network where ever they are to perform their certain tasks.

Yes, we had Virtual Private Network (VPN) as a solution for this all these days. But still we needed something better than VPN due to certain challenges like,

  • Connecting to a VPN connection is tedious, it takes numerous steps a user has to perform. This can be really troublesome for a newbie sales personal Smile
  • VPN requires a thorough end user training on how to connect and basic troubleshooting steps if a user couldn’t connect.
  • Establishing a VPN connection is not instant and it takes some time, this can be really annoying when you are at the airport and wanted to send that one last mail before you board the aircraft
  • In some instances VPN traffic might be blocked

These are some of the issues which required a new technology and Microsoft as always came up with it.

When a user connects a notebook or a mobile computer which has DirectAccess configured to the internet, it automatically establishes a bi-directional connectivity between the notebook and the users organization (Corporate network). This enable a user to be connected to hi corporate from a coffee shop using a WiFi, or an Air Port.

DirectAccess uses IPv6 and IPSec to generate this connection where IPSec will be used for authentication and Encryption technologies such as AES and DES will be used for Encryption of the data to make it secure. In the backend when the client establishes a connection it creates an IPSec tunnel to the Windows Server 2008 R2 DirectAccess Server to flow the IPv6 data.  

For administrator with Network Access Protection (NAP) feature can make sure that all the clients are up to date and meet the Organization Health policies even if the users are roaming as they will be connected to the corporate network as soon as they are connected to the internet.

DirectAccess is an Enterprise Feature and require Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate and it is not available on any other editions and the DirectAccess Server should be a Windows Server 2008 R2 or later.

For a complete list of requirements please click  here

For the DirectAccess Technical Overview Document click here

How do you kill Multiple Tasks at once?

With the introduction of Tab Based browsing on my favorite web browser Internet Explorer, I seem to forget to close all the unnecessary pages that I have opened, hence at times it crashes/freezes. This is the status of most of the browsers that are their in the market today. I faced a similar situation today and found that I have quite a lot of tabs opened and out of which some are causing the entire IE to hang. I opened my task manager and to see I can only end one task at a time and the “end process tree” does not kill all the process at once.

I order to close multiple tasks at once,

  • Open CMD
  • Type tasklist to display all running process on your computer
  • To kill a specific process group
  • Type taskkill /F /IM iexplore.exe (Explanation: taskkill /F {force} /IM {Image Name} {process name})


for more information on how to use taskkill, open cmd and type taskkill /?


Windows 7 and Windows server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

It is stale news to the IT pro world that Microsoft has released the Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 recently. The service packs can be downloaded here.

There were no notable new features being added through to Windows 7 Operating System by its Service Pack rather there were some enhancements to certain existing features were done. On the other hand the Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack has some new features being introduced, to name a few

1) Dynamic memory

2) Remote FX

3) Enhancements on the Direct Access feature

The service packs are a major update released by Microsoft and it is recommended that it to be tested before being deployed. If you or your organization would like to temporarily prevent installation of Service Pack updates through Windows Update you can use the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit provided by Microsoft (which can be found here) in order to prevent it.

To find out more on the Service Packs it is advisable to read the Notable Changes document & Release Notes documents which can be found here along with the deployment guides.