Administrators Admins

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Slow Logon Fix

Yesterday, I  finally decided to install the Windows 10 “Anniversary” update. It took a while but everything worked, of course I had a full back up prior to installation.

The next morning my logon screen was there and when I hit control alt delete, a the spinning circle began. It stayed that way for over an hour (Yes, I waited while I worked on my Laptop.), until I decided it was enough. I hit control alt delete again and it allowed me to enter my password and logged me in.

Everything post logon was normal. I rebooted and the same thing, this time about 10 minutes, a third time, again, another 10 minutes. I had enough! Tonight, I decided to look in to some forums to find a solution. Suggestions cropped up from basic OS troubleshooting to suggestion to reinstall! One forum mentioned video drives as a potential issue. I did a bit of research and sure enough there was an Anniversary update driver. I installed the driver, rebooted and like magic I was back to normal.

I lost the link to the forum post reboot, I should have saved it and added it to this post. My apologies to whom ever ran the site out there in the almost infinite internet!

I hope this helps someone.


Active Directory Administrators Admins Azure Exchange Online Microsoft Exchange Office 365

For Microsoft Partners Only

Information Technology departments across the globe have started are in the initial stages of moving any one part of their infrastructure services to the cloud. Microsoft has taken the world by storm with Office 365. I must admit at first, like many IT professionals, I was hesitant to move to Office 365.  After learning more about I decided to get O365 certified. This brought a set of challenges, I realized I do not have a test environment! At first it wasn’t much of an issue. I would test things out with trial accounts, not a bad idea 25 users, etc. Not a bad idea but it was getting old quickly!

The solution

My employer was a Microsoft Partner and as a partner there are benefits. One of these not so well known benefits is the Office 365 Demo Site! This site allows the creation of up to 6 tenants. It has changes over time, they use to allow the license category selections and the term for a tenant was 6 months before it was automatically removed. The new terms is 3 months for automatic deletion of tenants and one license scheme. Either way it is a great place to for testing.

Below is a quick guide on how to get started.

Step 1 – Sign In

Visit the Demo Site and sign in.

Microsoft Demos

Microsoft Demo

Step 2 – Create Tenant

Once signed in you will be taken to the dashboard, in Home and under My Demo Environments you will have the option to “Create a New Demo Environment”, click on the + sign.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Step 3 – Chose Tenant type and/or Industry

You will see the options for tenant creations, sometimes there are many options. I think it depends on what Microsoft is pushing for the year. Not long ago it they had all Enterprise Tiers even the E5.

When I took this screen shot I only had the one shown below.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Select the tenant type.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Under Industry you have more options.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Once you select one select finish at this prompt.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Step 4 Take note of you tenant name

After it completes you will be taken to the Dashboard were you will be provided with the tenant domain name, administrator account and password. The tenant domain name is where the green dot is located in the screen shot below.

Microsoft Partner Demo

That is all there is to it. Now you can test, demo, etc with a real live Office 365 Tenant without the need of 30 trials.

Administrators Admins Hyper-V VMware

Build Your Own IT Lab


One thing that sets apart an amateur from a professional is experience. What a better way to gain experience than by building a lab and testing. From the basic AD installations, Exchange installations to the more complex hybrid O365 environments, labs are quintessential. When in doubt use a lab, when the change in question will have broad business effects, test in the lab, you get where I am going. If you are starting out in the IT industry the lab is your friend and teacher. Where else are you going to be able gain skills without any risk?

When I tried to build my lab I used Hyper-V as my hypervisor and ran into issues with network connectivity. This doesn’t mean that it can’t work for you. That being said, I decided to use VMWare Workstation which is the free version. Once I changed hypervisors the network issue experienced with Hyper V was resolved.

Pitfalls experienced during the process:

  • VM boot times where slow this grew exponentially when booting multiple VMS.
  • Issue number two, when running multiple VMs they were sluggish.

After combing the web and looking at countless benchmarks, I decided to purchase a Samsung 850 Pro. The new drive solved both problems. I took it a step further and decided to use it as my boot drive as well.

Below is the two step process to build a lab without the need of a dedicated server or desktop.

Step 1

Download and install VMware Workstation

Step 2

I like to download Microsoft Trial software from TechNet or Linux ISOs from DistroWatch.


One thing that you will encounter eventually is that you will want to open up a VM to the world. By default this is not possible because VMs are defaulted to use NAT behind the host’s NIC. This doesn’t allow a VM to see the rest of the LAN thus not allowing port forwarding or adding the VM to the DMZ. This can be resolved by making the changes below.

Provide LAN access

Navigate to the VMs settings shown below.

Network-Settings VMWare Workstation -1

Navigate to the Network Adapter option and choose Custom, choose a vnet. Don’t worry about the which vnet you use as long as you do not use the vnet labeled NAT.

Network-Settings VMWare Workstation.png

That is all I have on building a LAB.


Administrators Admins Microsoft Exchange PowerShell

Best PowerShell Exchange Health Report


There are many exchange tools on the web but this has been the most useful I have ever encountered. It provides a the bulk of what you need to know about an exchange organization. Every exchange admin should have this in their toolbox. Its called the Exchange Environment Report, it was developed by Steve Goodman Microsoft MVP.

This Report is like a Swiss Army Knife of reports.  It provides a comprehensive view on the exchange organization, from roles to database health, backup information, DAGS, mailbox counts, etc.. it includes this and more!

Enough bragging about it, you can get more information and a copy at Steve’s website or a direct download here. I would like to thank Steve for writing this awesome tool. Don’t forget to send him a message on Twitter!


Active Directory Administrators Admins Microsoft Patches PowerShell

Two step process to export a list of installed patches using PowerShell


Building on the previous post Easy Server Inventory!

Not all businesses can afford expensive patch management solutions. Some organizations may have WSUS but not know how to use it properly or its outdated. Some of you may think SCCM can produce reports. SCCM is great when you have staff that can take advantage of it; for some its not a viable solution, because no one on staff has the skill set, price tag or a combination of time and/or money it takes to send someone to train on SCCM.


The auditors, boss, corporate folks, etc. request a list or sample list of servers, they want to see  installed patches on each server with dates. A hefty proposition if you do not have one of these fancy applications that handle all of these things for you! No worries! Below is a quick way to keep things under control and provide the necessary information quickly and effectively.

Step 1

You can either gather a list of all servers in the domain via the AD Users and Computers, PowerShell or any other preferred method. You will use this to populate a txt file that will be used to feed the script.

Below is a script I like to use which can be useful for inventory, etc.

Export all servers to a friendly csv by running the following in PowerShell

Get-ADComputer -Filter {(OperatingSystem -Like "Windows *Server*")-and (Enabled -eq "True")} -Property * | Select Name,OperatingSystem,OperatingSystemServicePack,IPv4Address | export-csv Servers.csv -notypeinformation

*Added the (Enabled -eq "True") to filter only enabled Severs, thanks to the comment posted on Reddit by Master_apprentice .  -Thank you again

Step 2

Populate a file name servers.txt with the requested selection of servers.  Store this file in the same directory as the script below. The script below simply needs to be copied into either the PowerShell ISE or a notepad and saved as a ps1.

$ErrorActionPreference= 'silentlycontinue' # Allows the script to run in case of an error.

$servers = Get-Content -path Servers.txt  # Pulls the servers in question.

# The foreach below run the commands as the commands states for each server in the txt file.

# It then exports them to a useful csv.

foreach ($server in $servers)


(Get-Hotfix -ComputerName  $server | sort InstalledOn)| select CSName, Description, HotFixID, InstalledOn, RebootRequired | export-Csv -Path export.csv -append -notypeinformation


Once the report runs you will have a CSV with the information needed.