Rename and Modify Password for Local Administrator Account through GPO

Computer Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Local Users and Groups

Right click Local Users and Groups select New > Local User.

In the New Local Users Properties dialog box enter the following information:

User name: Administrator

Rename to: <new username>

Password: <password>

Confirm Password: <password>

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After setting the availability override (How to set Availability Override for a NIC) I want to know more about the performance counters of a NIC. Troubleshooting performance issues on servers sometimes requires more data than your collecting at that point. If your are suspecting the network load or a network issue you want to dive into the performance counter of your network interface card. Some data is already collected by default but for real troubleshooting you need more. By default only the “Network Adapter Bytes Received per Second” are showing in the performance section of the Microsoft Windows Server pane.

For this project i created a new management pack named: Network performance monitoring. Monitoring a lot of performance counters on all of your servers will increase database and network usage enormous so just monitor it for the servers you want to troubleshoot.

To create a performance view of all the by default collected performance data I’m gone create a new view in the the created management pack “Network Performance Monitoring” which is present in the monitoring pane. Right click the Network Performance Monitoring folder and select New => Performance view. In the properties give the view a name an navigate to the Show related data filed. Browse for Network Adapter and click OK two times. In this view all current collected rules are available for the network interfaces. Per server the collected rules are:

  • Network Adapter Bytes Send per Second
  • Network Adapter Bytes Received per Second
  • Network Adapter Bytes Total per Second

By selecting these counter for a specific server you have some information about this NIC. To extend the monitoring of a NIC I’m going to create a few new rules to get more information.

Creating Current bandwidth collection rule:

  1. Open Authoring pane
  2. Navigate to Management Pack Objects
  3. Select Scope in the menu bar
  4. Select Windows Server 2003 Network Adapter and click OK
  5. Open Rules
  6. Right click Rules
  7. Select Create a new rule
  8. Select the Network Performance Management pack
  9. Select Collection Rules
  10. Select Performance Based
  11. Select Windows Performance
  12. Click Next
  13. Rule name: Network Adapter Current Bandwidth
  14. Rule Category: PerformanceCollection
  15. Rule Target: Windows Server 2003 Network Adapter
  16. Click Next
  17. Object: Adapter Type
  18. Enable: Include all instances for this selected counter
  19. Click browse
  20. Object: Network Interface
  21. Select counter from list: Current Bandwidth
  22. Enable: All instances
  23. Click OK
  24. Change interval to 5 minutes
  25. Click Next
  26. Ignore the optimization settings
  27. Click Create.

Within the next few minutes the counter will showup in the created NIC performance view in the monitoring pane.

When you want to add more counters for troubleshooting or performance monitoring, just change the settings in step 20 to 23.

Available counters for network monitoring are found under:

  • ICMP
  • ICMPv6
  • IPv4
  • IPv6
  • NBT Connections
  • Network Interface
  • TCPv4
  • TCPv6
  • UDPv4
  • UDPv6

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RichCopy is another excellent free tool to replicate files and folders. Its similar to RoboCopy but with rich GUI and extra features.

The way to configure it after installing the App is to setup schedule tasks. In the example below the command line is set to replicate data from dataserver to dataserver2

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Rich Tools\RichCopy 4.0\RichCopy.exe” “\\dataserver\shared” “dataserver2\shared /P /V /PF”

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Fix Corrupt Group Policy Database File

You can easily restore the database file to its original state using the steps outlined below:
1.Open the %SystemRoot%\Security folder, create a new folder, and then name it “OldSecurity”.
2.Move all of the files ending in .log from the %SystemRoot%\Security folder to the OldSecurity folder.
3.Find the Secedit.sdb file in the %SystemRoot%\Security\Database folder, and then rename this file to “Secedit.old”.
4.Click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK.
5.Click Console, click Add/Remove Snap-in, and then add the Security and Configuration snap-in.
6.Right-click Security and Configuration and Analysis, and then click Open Database.
7.Browse to the %SystemRoot%\Security\Database folder, type Secedit.sdb in the File name box, and then click Open.
8.When you are prompted to import a template, click Setup Security.inf, and then click Open.

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Mounting Ntfs-3g

A quick Way to mount NTFS drives on ClearOS

cd /var/tmp
yum --nogpgcheck localinstall ntfs-3g-200944-el5i686.rpm
mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdf1 /mnt/guest

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Server 2003/2008 DHCP Role Migration

The DHCP database can be moved or migrated from a Windows Server 2003 server to a Windows Server 2008 server, or from one Windows Server 2008 server to another. The information below details the necessary steps:

Export the DHCP database from a server that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008

To move a DHCP database and configuration from a server that is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 to another server that is running Windows Server 2008:

1. Log on to the source DHCP server by using an account that is a member of the local Administrators group.

2. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.

3. Type netsh dhcp server export C:\dhcp.txt all , and then press ENTER.

Note: You must have local administrator permissions to export the data.

Configure the DHCP server service on the server that is running Windows Server 2008

1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, click Server Manager. If needed acknowledge User Account Control.

2. In Roles Summary click Add Roles, click Next, check DHCP server, and then click Next.

Import the DHCP database

1. Log on as a user who is an explicit member of the local Administrators group. A user account in a group that is a member of the local Administrators group will not work. If a local Administrators account does not exist for the domain controller, restart the computer in Directory Services Restore Mode, and use the administrator account to import the database as described later in this section.

2. Copy the exported DHCP database file to the local hard disk of the Windows Server 2008-based computer.

3. Verify that the DHCP service is started on the Windows Server 2008-based computer.

4. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.

5. At the command prompt, type netsh dhcp server import c:\dhcpdatabase.txt all , and then press ENTER, where c:\dhcpdatabase.txt is the full path and file name of the database file that you copied to the server.

Authorize the DHCP server

1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DHCP.

Note You must be logged on to the server by using an account that is a member of the Administrators group. In an Active Directory domain, you must be logged on to the server by using an account that is a member of the Enterprise Administrators group.

2. In the console tree of the DHCP snap-in, expand the new DHCP server. If there is a red arrow in the lower-right corner of the server object, the server has not yet been authorized.

3. Right-click the server object, and then click Authorize.

4. After several moments, right-click the server again, and then click Refresh. A green arrow indicates that the DHCP server is authorized.

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HyperV Remote Device manager

You’ve added hardware to a Windows Server 2008 R2 Core installation machine and you want to check the status of it through the GUI by using Device Manager on a remote computer.

The following process allows you to access Device Manager remotely in “Read Only” mode and it assumes that you’ve already configured remote management on your core server through option 4 of sconfig. You’re already able to access the event logs and/or services using Computer Management on a remote computer. When you attempt to access Device Manager remotely, you receive the following error: “Unable to access the computer Make sure that this computer is on the network, has remote administration enabled, and is running the “Plug and Play” and “Remote registry” services.

The error was: Access is denied.” By default, remote access to the plug and play interface is disabled and needs to be enabled with either a GPO or through the local security policy on the core server.

If you have multiple server core machines that you want to enable this on and they’re all in a domain, it’s a best practice to create an OU in your domain for the server core machines, create a GPO, and apply it to the OU.

In this example since I’m in a test environment or if your server core machines are not part of a domain, you’ll need to modify the local security policy. To remotely access the local security policy on your server core machine, launch an mmc console on a remote computer, add the “Group Policy Object Editor” mmc snap-in. Select browse: Enter the server name of you core machine: Go to the following location: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation Select the “Allow remote access to the Plug and Play interface”: Set it to Enabled: Run “gpupdate.exe” on the core server.

You should now be able to use computer management on a remote computer to access “Device Manager” on your server core machine. You will receive the following message stating it is in “Read-Only” mode:

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