Friday, March 29, 2013

Installing an OEM branded Windows OS in VMware

If you try to install an OEM branded Windows operating system you will likely have issues activating or installing because it cannot check the BIOS/hardware make. This is pretty common with HP, Dell, or IBM branded media. To resolve this issue you will need to add "smbios.reflecthost="TRUE"." to your .vmx config file. I've heard a number of people saying adding it to the .vmx file did not work. Often it's because it was added incorrectly so here is a way to do it via the vSphere client.

1)      Edit your VM and go to the Options tab

2)      Click General under Advanced, and then click Configuration Parameters

3)      Add a row, and paste smbios.reflecthost as the name, and true as the value.

4)      Reboot your VM and install your operating system

Certainly volume licensing is easier, but sometimes you can get OEM for pretty cheap. If you're hosting VMs for a company and being provided the media, or maybe being forced to spend as little possible and ended up with an OEM installation disk this will allow you to virtualize it. Keep in mind however if its HP branded, it must reside on an HP server. Same for Dell, IBM, etc. If that isn’t possible then you either have to get a server of that type or new media.

Monday, March 18, 2013

vExclamation now vTechie

In efforts to make all things easier and simplify my "brand" I have changed my domain. vExclamation now vTechie. I also will be re-vamping my blog to make it easier to navigate, and more mobile friendly. I've had a lot of suggestions about making the Cisco portion of my website easier to read on smaller screens.

In the short term, referring links or old tweets may reflect the below error from Google until DNS replicates, and I can fix the various links scattered around the web.

Friday, March 1, 2013

RDP 8.0 and Microsoft RD Gateway logon prompt loop

If you are having problems logging on to computers or servers through a Microsoft Remote Desktop Gateway Server you may want to check if you have KB2592687 installed. This update upgrades Remote Desktop Connection from 7.1 to 8.0. If it is installed it will appear as if you are connecting but you will be prompted over and over again indefinitely for your logon credentials. Remove the update and the problem goes away permanently.

If you are troubleshooting you can confirm the issue by checking the Security log. For every login which doesn't authenticate the user trying to connect you will NOT see a failed logon attempt. If the credentials weren't really accepted there will be a failed logon attempt recorded.

Optimizing Windows virtual machines for VMware View

Recently I found myself looking back to a VMware View environment I setup to roll out another. I felt it would be helpful to take some of the general steps or considerations I used as a baseline to help others create View Environments. My recommendations are easy and helpful, but may not be ready for production use in all environments. Also what I constitute as a basic office computer, power user computer, or high performance computer may not match your needs. You should use my recommendations and baseline for creating a VM to see the end result and make changes incrementally to get exactly what you are looking for.

If you are deploying View in a high security environment or an environment where special considerations for a LOB app need to be delivered via Citrix or ThinApp, now VMware Horizon View, this article will not go that far in depth. I will cover virtual machine hardware configurations, optimizations for Windows, Group Policy settings, and VMware View tuning. The recommendations and VMware scripts provided to optimize Windows are great, but are a good starting point. 

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have additional configurations or suggestions you would use as a baseline for a View environment I'm interested to hear what they are.