Contains notes and lessons in working technology, especially .NET, Azure, DevOps, Agile, and Team Foundation Server.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Windows Server 2012 and Installation Media

On Windows Server 2012, the installation of the server does not include all of the usual components necessary to support activating some of the server features and roles, such as the Application Server role with the .NET 3.5 framework.  The server will give you a warning about missing components and ask for a location of the installation media.  If you have the ISO or disk for the installation, you will find these components under [drive]:\sources\sxs.

I have to say I am not a fan of this model.  Early versions of both client and server kept the components separate, requiring you to have the original media every time you wanted to add a Windows feature.  Recent versions have solved this by including them, but certainly increased the size on disk.  I’d prefer the components to be copied, to avoid the necessity of installation media, and this can be done by manually copying the above directory to a location on the disk.  Why did Microsoft change this from being automatic?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Windows InTune and User Management

The addresses for Windows InTune and the user management online applications are not similar or on the same domain root, but are important to know if you wish to create users that InTune will then assign to devices.  Unfortunately, these are not obvious or easy to find.  So, in order for me to remember where they are when I am looking for them again in a few months, here they are.

If you wish to log into Windows InTune administration, you need to go to

If you wish to log into Intune User Administration, you need to go to

If you wish to manage your profile, you need to go to

If you wish to view the company portal, you need to go to

Not confusing at all…

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Zip in .NET 4.5

I was trying to zip a file today in .NET 4.5 and after looking around on the internet for a bit, realized a lot of the code was for the beta of the 4.5 framework and not the final version.  There were some API changes between the two and so the process changed a bit.  Here is a sample of how to zip a file in .NET 4.5:
// create a zip file 
var zipFilePath = "c:\\");
using (var zipFile = new FileStream(zipFilePath, FileMode.CreateNew))
    using (var archive = new ZipArchive(zipFile, ZipArchiveMode.Create, false))
        var dbZip = archive.CreateEntry("log.txt", CompressionLevel.Optimal);
        using (var writer = new BinaryWriter(dbZip.Open()))
            writer.Write(File.ReadAllBytes("c:\\log.txt")); // here is where we read the file into the zip

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The backups, the backups, oh the… wait, I don’t have them… DOH!

I know I should backup everything regularly.  I work in software.  Really, I have no excuse.  I’ve read several of Scott Hanselman’s posts on setting up regular backups.  I have some (manual) backups that I do on occasion, but nothing regular and certainly not comprehensive.  A few weeks ago, the blog hosting service canceled my account, they did not keep any backups (why would they?) and I did not have any backups of my blog posts.  Shame on me!  And so I am here, attempting to recover some of the posts through Google’s cache and the internet archive, with limited success.  The images are gone, but at least the text content is available.

The main lesson I have learned through this is that backups must be automated if they are going to regularly happen.  A manual backup is nice, but I forget, I get busy, I tell myself I’ll do it tomorrow, or any number of excuses.  The tools exist today for automating most backups.  I have no excuse.  Neither do you.

I echo Scott’s recommendation of having at least three backup locations.  I’ve spent the last several days setting these up, with cloud storage being one, a local NAS (network attached storage) drive being the second, and an external hard drive being a third.  I’m still in the process of doing this.  I will also be setting up services that run daily/weekly that will backup my mail, blog posts, and any content that regularly changes.  By the end of this, I’ll likely be backup crazy, but next time, I won’t lose content!