Tag Archives: Server 2012

Migrating Servers to Azure – Activating Windows

Recently I have migrated several servers from Vultr to Microsoft Azure.

As part of this migration, windows became un-activated – most likely because Vultr runs it’s own KMS service and it is no longer able to contact the server:

In order to resolve this, I changed the product key to Microsoft’s KMS key.

Then the KMS server was changed to Microsoft’s, and activation was forced: (run from administrative command prompt)

cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <product key>
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /skms kms.core.windows.net:1688
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

Azure AD Connect – Force Sync Via Command Line

Azure AD connect is a new tool which replaces DirSync for syncing Active Directory information to Azure from the local active directory.

Synchronisation automatically works in the background, but sometimes you want to push through a synchronisation for some reason or another (rather than waiting for the next time it runs). This can be done by running the following 2 commands from the C:Program FilesMicrosoft Azure AD Syncbin directory:

DirectorySyncClientCmd.exe initial
DirectorySyncClientCmd.exe delta
  • initial – this forces a full sync
  • delta – this forces a delta sync

Azure AD Connect Command Line

Status can be checked by running “Synchronisation Service” and checking the log. In the example below, 452 entries where unchanged and 1 was deleted as part of the forced sync.
Azure AD Connect Synronisation Service Log

Microsoft Virtual Academy – Free IT Training, Online Learning of Microsoft Technologies

Came across this website this evening while doing some research, wish I’d have found it earlier. Very useful in brushing up your skills in Microsoft products, including Server 2012, Azure, Office 365 etc. And best of all, it’s free…!

Looking for a simple, effective way to get training on Microsoft’s Cloud technologies? Microsoft Virtual Academy!

Source: Microsoft Virtual Academy – Free IT Training, Online Learning of Microsoft Technologies

FreeNas 9.3 Released

FreeNAS is a free, open source NAS operating system which has many features (beyond being a Network Attached Storage Device).

Based on the FreeBSD operating system, it’s a product which has been out for many years (since 2005 ish) I started using it in about 2008.

iXSystems (the supporters of FreeNAS) have recently released an update which includes quite a few changes, including:

  • Improved user interface, hiding advanced options which could confuse new users
  • Server 2012 Clustering and Offloaded data transfers
  • ZFS Boot device
  • WebDAV file sharing
  • Many More…

There’s a video demonstrating a load of these improvements on their website here. Or alternatively jump right in and Download FreeNAS

Server 2012 UNC Network Share One Way 0x80004005

Recently I’ve had a strange issue with Microsoft Azure. For some reason on some of the Virtual Machines could not access UNC network shares, throwing a 0x80004005 error. However strangely, worked the other way. The virtual machines run Server 2012 Datacentre edition.

For example:

From Machine A
Ping Machine B – Success
Access Network Share on Machine B – Success

From Machine B
Ping Machine A – Success
Access Network Share on Machine A – Fail

The following did not help with resolving the issue:

  • Removal and rejoin domain (rejoin failed)
  • Check Firewall Settings
  • Disable IP6
  • Delete network adapters

Following some work by Azure’s support team, it was identified that the issue is a bug in windows due to the way Azure handles the automatic scaling.

The automatic scaling feature in Microsoft Azure automatically boots and shuts down machines dependant on load on the cloud service. This allows cloud services and associated websites to benefit from extra processing power and memory when load is higher than expected.

Every time the virtual machine assigns the windows image to a new host machine, a new virtual network adapter is created, and various entries are added to the registry. SMB then picks up the details from the registry to resolve the UNC path on the network. Once a specific number is reached, SMB then fails to redirect the paths to the right address, causing this error.

Microsoft do not have a permanent fix, however the following script clears out the junk in the registry and leaves only the valid entries behind. Running this script fixed the issue after a reboot of the machine.