Achieved Microsoft MCSA: Windows 10 certification

Today I passed Pass Exam 697: Configuring Windows Devices which completes my MCSA: Windows 10 certification. I had already passed Pass Exam 698: Installing and Configuring Windows 10 through béta examination which is also a requirement for this cert.

Earners of the MCSA: Windows 10 certification have demonstrated the skills required to configure, manage, and maintain a Windows 10 enterprise system. They are qualified for a position as computer support specialist.

MCSA Windows 10-01

Block Windows XP using selective Ciphers on Citrix NetScaler

As you probably know Windows XP is no longer being supported by Microsoft. No (security) updates will be made available for Windows XP making it possibly vulnerable for future exploits.

As an organization you will have to decide what you are going to do about these (probably unmanaged) Windows XP workplaces. There will still be a lot of home workers that use Windows XP and see no reason to upgrade since ’’it works fine’’, from an organization perspective these work places could potentially form a threat to the business. Especially when al sorts of direct connections are being made such as SSL/VPN, but let’s not forget the still very popular Citrix client drive mappings.

From a technical stand point of view we can easily block incoming Windows XP connection to our Citrix NetScaler Gateway virtual server or AAA virtual server (or any other SSL publication) using a selective group of Ciphers.

Quoted from Wikipedia: “a cipher (or cypher) is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption—a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure”.

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“Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” (Installing Windows Server 2012 on VMware ESXi 5.0)

Preparing somewhat for the upcoming Microsoft Beta Exams (071-413, 071-414, 071-415 and 071-416) thinking I would go ahead and install Microsoft Windows Server 2012 into my testing environment which is VMWare ESXi (at the moment). I created a custom VM, removed the Floppy drive (because that seemed to be the issue not getting Windows 8 working within VMware Workstation 8). I did do some other standard stuff like selecting Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) instead of Windows Server 2008 R2 (That seemed part of the solution on Workstation). All this to no avail on VMWare ESXi 5.0.

The resolution for me was to patch the VMware ESXi 5.0 server to Build 768111 which is up to 5.0.0 Patch 7.

I like the new fun error message though … Hope it will last beyond RC level, Microsoft should do more fun stuff like this, and I don’t mean more error messages Winking smile.

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OWA 2010 freezes in Citrix Access Gateway portal page

Within Citrix Access Gateway you can configure the E-mail tab to point to your Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web Access page so that your users can go to their webbased mail from within the Citrix Access Gateway portal page.

Officially Citrix does not support the integration of OWA 2010 within the Citrix portal page, and if I’m not mistaken OWA 2007 isn’t officialy supported either. Although you can get OWA 2007 to work within the Access Gateway portal page without much effort.

OWA 2010 is a little bit different, Microsoft changed the OWA backend to a heavier interface (Premium) in which there are more possibilities. OWA 2010 also still has the Light version (formerly known as Basic) for the older Web browsers like Internet Explorer 6.

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ESC remains enabled for users after turning it off in Server Manager

Today I ran into a little problem that Microsoft Internet Explorer Security Configuration remained enabled for users while it was explicitly turned off in Server Manager in a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services environment.

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I created the following registry key in Microsoft Group Policy Preferences which solved my problem.

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Show / Hide Desktop Items Windows 2008 R2 / Windows 7 by means of registry and Microsoft Group Policy Preferences

Update: Corrected the typos, images, registry keys.

Creating a new Citrix XenApp 6 / Windows Server 2008 R2 environment for a customer, stumbled on the problem that I still need to perform some registry tweaks to get the desktop icons to be shown or not. Seems that it is very hard for Microsoft to get this done in Group Policies. I usually save this kind of information in my archive, I thought it might be of use for a broader audience.

Here are the registry locations for hiding the Microsoft Windows Desktop Items:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
HideDesktopIcons\ClassicStartMenu]

“{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}”=dword:00000000      (<= Computer)
“{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}”=dword:00000000            (<= User Files)
“{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}”=dword:00000000   (<= Control Panel)
”{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}”=dword:00000000     (<= Network)
“{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}”=dword:00000001         (<= Recycle Bin)

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]

“{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}”=dword:00000000      (<= Computer)
“{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}”=dword:00000000            (<= User Files)
“{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}”=dword:00000000   (<= Control Panel)
”{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}”=dword:00000000     (<= Network)
“{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}”=dword:00000001         (<= Recycle Bin)

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Free eBook: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition)

For all you eReaders out there!

Mitch Tulloch has updated his free eBook of last year; it’s now updated for Windows Server 2008 R2. You can now download Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions, From the Desktop to the Datacenter (Second Edition).

Link!

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Citrix Receiver for Windows Mobile 11.0

Citrix released a Citrix client for the Windows Mobile Based devices. Supported Windows Mobiles versions are 6.0, 6.1 and 6.5.

Apparently Citrix starts off with version 11, guess they had like 10 internal versions before they released this one. 🙂 I am an Apple iPhone user myself and I like the Citrix Receiver for iPhone since it’s (full) support for (all) Citrix Access Gateway Editions.

http://www.citrix.com/English/ss/downloads/details.asp?downloadId=1858162&productId=186&c1=sot2755

Henny Louwers

Application Virtualization Dynamic Suite Composition Tool (Dutch)

Microsoft heeft een tool uitgebracht om 2 of meerdere gevirtualiseerde Microsoft App-V 4.5 applicaties samen te laten praten namelijk de Application Virtualization Dynamic Suite Composition Tool. Dit was voorheen behoorlijk wat handwerk met de nodige trial en error om dit aan de praat te krijgen.

De daadwerkelijke tool bestaat uit een enkele executable (sftdynsuite.exe), er hoeft dus niks geinstalleerd te worden. Wanneer deze tool gestart wordt moet er een Package Root aangegeven worden, vervolgens selecteert men de primary package en een secondary package en geeft men aan of de package(s) dependent/mandatory van elkaar zijn. Hiermee wordt aangegeven dat de applicatie de andere applicatie nodig heeft om te kunnen functioneren.

Wanneer op ‘Save’ gedrukt wordt, zal de OSD file van de primary package worden overschreven. Van de bestaande OSD wordt een Backup gemaakt (.BAK). Na een save actie is het mogelijk terug te gaan naar de vorige configuratie door op ‘Restore’ te drukken.

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Zo is het ook mogelijk om bestaande dependencies uit elkaar te halen. Wanneer de applicatie (.OSD) opgehaald wordt zal deze tool meteen weergeven welke dependencies er binnen de OSD file staan.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=DAA898DF-455F-438A-AA2A-421F05894098&displaylang=en

Henny Louwers

Citrix releases Portable Profiles (User Profile Manager v2)

Citrix heeft een nieuw produkt uitgebracht genaamd Portable Profiles. Dit produkt had in de betafase de naam Citrix User Profile Manager (UPM). User Profile Manager / Portable Profile is door Citrix overgenomen van Sepago om een gat binnen Citrix te vullen mbt het sneller laden/afmelden van Windows gebruikersprofielen. Citrix heeft krijgt vaak min of meer de ‘schuld’ gekregen voor het traag laden van gebruikersprofielen, echter is dit meer de schijn doordat Citrix de Windows logon schermen vervangt voor de Citrix logon schermen. Nu zijn er al  meer produkten op de markt welke deze problemen aanspreken, denk aan de Flex Profiling Kit, RES PowerFuse User Preferences, etc.

Binnen Citrix Portable Profiles is het niet noodzakelijk om gebruik te maken van een Mandatory Profile doordat Portable Profiles een profiel ‘inleest’ waarna deze niet meer is aan te passen. Dit versnelt het logon proces aanzienlijk gezien het feit deze de instellingen niet meer hoeft samen te voegen. Citrix noemt dit profiel een template profile. Sterker nog, Citrix Portable Profiles negeert Mandatory Profiles (ntuser.MAN).

Een ander voordeel van Citrix Portable Profiles is dat het mogelijk is om mappen te synchroniseren welke niet binnen de User Profile staan zoals C:\ProgramDir, laat het duidelijk zijn dat dit wel de nodige problemen kan veroorzaken.

Nu was lange tijd de vraag over hoe dit produkt gelicentieerd zal gaan worden. Het antwoord daarop is dat deze tool gratis te gebruiken is bij de aanschaf van Citrix XenApp Enterprise/Platinum en XenDesktop Advanced/Enterprise en Platinum editions. Hieruit blijkt weer dat Citrix erg graag de hogere versies aan de man brengt.

Meer info:
http://www.citrix.com/site/jumpPage.asp?pageID=1453077

Henny Louwers