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TFS Build Failure Due to IIS Connection close

November 17th, 2011 by Patrick S

I stumbled across a quirky issue today which was causing scheduled TFSBuild jobs to fail with the following error: “Unable to read data from the transport connection: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host”. When executing the build definition manually I could not reproduce the issue; the build would run through without any errors.

After a bit of searching it turns out there is a small bug in IIS 7.5 (introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2) which prevents TFS downloading files larger than 2MB over a slow network connection; IIS will expire the idle connection time-out and disconnect mid-transfer.

Installing KB981898 from Microsoft Support will fix this bug and allow TFS builds to run-through without any issues.


Posted in Bugs, Visual Studio | Comments Off on TFS Build Failure Due to IIS Connection close

What? Windows 8 includes Hyper-V?

September 9th, 2011 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Today in the Windows 8 Blog, Microsoft talked about the integration of Hyper-V embedded into Windows 8. The company plans to offer Hyper-V with Windows 8 when it launches, allowing consumers to create virtual machines on their desktops or laptops without the need for third-party software, like VMware.

Hyper-V will likely be available only in the Professional or Ultimate edition of Windows 8, although edition information has not been released, and will require the machines they run on to have a 64-bit version of Windows 8. In order for machines to support and run Hyper-V correctly, the minimum requirement for RAM will be 4GB, but more will definitely be needed for better performance. Hyper-V will be able to support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of operating systems. Microsoft does state in their blog that users will be able to run 3 or 4 VMs with 4GB of RAM, but will require more RAM if users wish to run more VMs on the same machine.

The VM Console will be able to support a single monitor view with 1600×1200 resolution in 32-bit color. Windows 8 will also launch with native ISO and VHD support, allowing users to create virtual machines directly from an ISO file.

Windows 8’s feature list is really starting to come together and we can expect some further exciting announcements next week at the Microsoft BUILD conference in California. Neowin will be live from the event between September 13-16.

Microsoft included a video demonstration of Hyper-V support on their blog, which can be found here.


Seven Seas Saga

Posted in Microsoft, Products | Comments Off on What? Windows 8 includes Hyper-V?

Group Policy Search Service

June 27th, 2010 by Patrick S

Just a quick post tonight – Check out this nifty Group Policy reference launched recently by Microsoft over here at

This reference allows administrators to easily find existing group policies and implement them with relative ease.

All in all GroupPolicySearch is an extremely handy reference with the added coolness of being hosted in the cloud on the Azure platform 🙂 .

Posted in Windows Server System | 2 Comments »

How To create a bootable USB of Windows 7

November 1st, 2009 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Microsoft has released a free tool called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool which allows us to create a bootable USB of Windows 7 for installation on netbooks.

Using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Before you run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool, make sure that you have already purchased Windows 7 ISO download from Microsoft Store and have downloaded the Windows 7 ISO file to your hard drive. If you have purchased Windows 7 but have not yet downloaded the ISO file, you can download the file from your Microsoft Store Account. [Jabez: If you purchased the boxed set, just create an ISO from the CD by using ImgBurn, and follow the steps below.]

To make a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file:

  1. Click the Windows Start button, and click Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool in the All Programs list to open the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool.
  2. In the Source File box, type the name and path of your Windows 7 ISO file, or click Browse and select the file in the Open dialog box.
  3. Select USB to create a copy on a USB flash drive or DVD to create a copy on a DVD disk, then click Next.
  4. If you are copying the file to a USB flash drive, select your USB device in the dropdown list and click Begin copying. If you are copying the file up to a DVD, click Begin burning.

Source: Microsoft’s site.

Posted in Windows 7 | 2 Comments »

Free Windows 7 copy for testers.

August 4th, 2009 by Patrick S

Just like they did for Vista, Microsoft are giving away free copies of Windows 7 as a “thank you for testing”.

After the Vista beta was complete, testers got the opportunity to download a Vista image to use with the CD key they were given. While this is still the case, Microsoft are giving away a few boxed copies as well 😀 .

The survey is up on connect now – sooo… If you were a Windows Se7en Technical BETA tester jump at the opportunity to get yourself a copy on Microsoft.

Oh, And I am pretty sure its open to Anyone on the Beta – not only to those who submitted bugs like the Vista Beta 😀

Posted in Beta News, Windows 7 | 1 Comment »

Tech Ed 2009: Microsoft Announces Updated Windows 7 Ship Date

June 2nd, 2009 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

On 11th May, 2009, Microsoft launched TechEd 2009 in that morning in Los Angeles by announcing that Windows 7 would ship before the end of the year.

“Microsoft is committed to ensuring that IT professionals and developers continue to have the platform and technologies to drive maximum value and business results. Getting the most out of IT investments is even more important in today’s economy,” Microsoft senior vice president Bill Veghte said in a prepared statement. “It is these very skills that make them so valuable and why we constantly strive to empower them with an integrated suite of products and technologies that help them anticipate and respond quickly to changing business requirements. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.” Veghte also confirmed that Windows 7 would ship before the end of the year. “With early RC testing and extensive partner feedback we’ve recived, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability.”

Posted in Microsoft, Tech Ed, Windows 7 | Comments Off on Tech Ed 2009: Microsoft Announces Updated Windows 7 Ship Date

Windows Azure Services

October 31st, 2008 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Windows® Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft® data centers.

To build these applications and services, developers can use their existing Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008 expertise. In addition, Windows Azure supports popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST, and XML. Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments.

 What is the Azure Services Platform?

Posted in .NET Framework, MS SQL, Windows Live | Comments Off on Windows Azure Services

Data Dude + Team Dev are now one plus it’s now Visual Studio 2010

October 2nd, 2008 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Microsoft opened up the kimono today on Press Pass.

The next release of Visual Studio is Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0.

In addition, if you go down the page here, you find some juicy goodness:

Better Together – Visual Studio Team System Development Edition and Database Edition
In recognition of the increased need to integrate more of the lifecycle members together, we will provide a unified Development and Database product in Visual Studio Team System 2010. Beginning October 1, 2008 Development Edition and Database Edition MSDN subscribers will have access to both products.”

Great news!

Posted in .NET Framework, Beta News, MS News, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Data Dude + Team Dev are now one plus it’s now Visual Studio 2010

“Requested registry access is not allowed”

June 2nd, 2008 by Patrick S

Ok, now I am in my second year of University/College… Previously I had been studying Java in my Comp Sci classes (i didn’t like it much but that’s beside the point i guess). So recently I have been delving into a bit of C#/MS-SQL (and am loving it).

In class we do all developing in a virtual environment so we can have full root access to the system witout compromising security on the local machine itself. We use Windows XP & Visiual Studio2005 and everything works a charm!
But its a different story when i installed VS 08 on my Vista box at home. Some of code I had been working on in the labs on XP wont run on Vista-Particularly when editing the registry.

For example when coding up something to change the RDC port on a server based on OS (Based on the Major & Minor Windows Version Code numbers) i open the following reg entry:

const string TerminalServicesPortNumberRegistryKey = @"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp";

I get the resulting error in VS/.NET JIT event catcher: “Requested registry access is not allowed”

Basically it comes down to the fact that your account is not an admin account by default (like it was in XP), its not UAC’s fault this time-surprise surprise!
The problem is for some reason regisry permissions are given to the user msiserver. You can reset each entry manually, but that is a major pain. It’s much easier just to fix the entire registry by using the SubInACL utility. Basically, you can use the utility to add administrator permissions to every key in the registry.

We need to set administrator permissions to every reg key in the registry using the SubInACL utility.
-First-of all we need to create a new text file named fix_registry_permissions.cmd and add the following text to it and save it.

cd /d "%programfiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f

Run the file-It should take a couple of mins to execute, but once complete all registry keys will be accessible to the administrator and system.

This is all well and good to do on your own personal system but what if i want to write something that modifies reg entries for friends? *sigh*

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Posted in Programming, Rants, Visual Studio | 1 Comment »

URLrewrite module for IIS7

June 1st, 2008 by Patrick S

One of the most anticipated features for IIS is now available. Yesterday the first preview of the URL re-write module for IIS 7 was launched. It is free for all IIS7 users and available for download x86 and x64.

So what does it do exactly?
The URL Rewrite Module provides a rule-based rewriting mechanism for changing request URL’s before they get processed by IIS. The module supports regular expression based URL rewriting logic or a simpler wildcard-based URL rewriting logic. Rewriting decisions can be based on the URL, HTTP headers and server variables. While the primary purpose of the module is to rewrite URLs, it also has functionality to perform redirects, send custom responses and abort requests based on the logic expressed in the rewrite rules.

Here is a quick feature overview:

  • Rules-based URL rewriting engine. Rules are used to compare/match the request URL with and what to do if comparison was successful.
    • Regular expression pattern matching. Rewrite rules can use ECMA-262 compatible regular expression syntax for pattern matching.
    • Wildcard pattern matching. Rewrite rules can use Wildcard syntax for pattern matching
  • Back-references to patterns and conditions. Back-references are used to capture parts of a matched URL so that it can be re-used later in a rule when constructing a substitution URL string. Back-references are available with regular expression and wildcards patterns.
  • Global and distributed rewrite rules. Global rules are used to define server-wide URL rewriting logic. Global rules cannot be overridden or disabled by lower configuration levels. Distributed rules are used to define URL rewriting logic specific to a particular configuration scope, e.g. an web application.
  • Access to server variables and http headers. Server variables and HTTP headers provide additional information about current HTTP request. This information can be used to make rewriting decisions or to compose the output URL.
  • Various rule actions. Instead of rewriting a URL, a rule may perform other actions, such as issue an HTTP redirect, abort the request, or send a custom status code to HTTP client.
  • Rewrite maps. Rewrite map is an arbitrary collection of name-value pairs that can be used within rewrite rules to generate the substitution URL during rewriting. Rewrite maps are particularly useful when you have a large set of rewrite rules, all of which use static strings (i.e. there is no pattern matching used). In those cases, instead of defining a large set of simple rewrite rules, you can put all the mappings between input URL and substitution URL as keys and values into the rewrite map, and then have one rewrite rule which references this rewrite map to look up substitution URL based on the input URL.
  • UI for managing rewrite rules. Rewrite rules can be added, removed and edited by using “URL Rewrite Module” feature in IIS Manager.
  • GUI tool for importing of mod_rewrite rules. URL rewrite module includes a GUI tool for converting rewrite rules from mod_rewrite format into IIS format.

Install the URL Rewrite Module today!

Microsoft URL Rewrite Module for IIS 7.0 CTP1 (x86)

Microsoft URL Rewrite Module for IIS 7.0 CTP1 (x64)

Sourced from : Bill & Thomas’s IIS blog’s 

Posted in Windows Server System | 2 Comments »

And so the SQL attacks continue…

May 15th, 2008 by Patrick S

Yep…It’s still going-and its worse than ever it seems. Hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting people are stillstumbling across perfectly legitimate websites that have been compromised by an SQL injection, and as a result are infected with a nastyTrojan.
These types of Trojans are known for changing an affected system’s local DNS and Internet browser settings, thus making the system vulnerable for even more potential threats. (Trend Micro have written a very good post explaining what happens once infected)

Therefore I thought I would take some time to mention a dew domains (courtesy of f-secure) admins should block to avoid any possible chance of infection:


This is a good time to again mention that this not a vulnerability in Microsoft IIS or Microsoft SQL that is used to make this happen. If you are an administrator of a website that is using ASP/ASP.NET, you should make sure that you sanitize all inputs before you allow it to access the database.

There are many articles on how to do this such as this one. You could also have a look at URLScanwhich provides an easy way to filter this particular attack based on the length of the QueryString.

Posted in MS SQL, Security, Windows Server System, Windows XP | Comments Off on And so the SQL attacks continue…

Windows-Live Messenger TV

May 13th, 2008 by Patrick S

With the availability of rich media such as online video becoming more and more important in day-to-day life the Windows Live team have come up with a pretty neat idea to share video with a friend through Windows Live Messenger.
Messenger TV is born: Launching in 20 countries (Surprisingly not the U.S) and in 12 languages, Microsoft hopes to lure a few more people away from youtube and onto the MSN powered service.

“Watching online video is no longer about one person in front of their computer, it’s now a social experience. Users can now share a selection of free content and watch it at the same time as their friends through Messenger TV.” 

To do this Microsoft have partnered with a number of popular content providers, such as MTV, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, National Geographic, and the U.K.’s Channel 4 to offer content that people will want to watch

To give it a whirl simply open up a convo with a friend, click activities and select Messenger TV. If you cant wait to try it with a buddy you could add the bot ( [click on the link to add]) and it will take care of the rest.

The service is determined by your Internet Language options…so if you have it set to English (U.S) then chances are it won’t work for you. Using something link English (U.K) or English (N.Z) should do the trick. 

Click for bigger view

Check out

Posted in MS News, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger | Comments Off on Windows-Live Messenger TV

Gates: Windows 7 will “take less memory, be more efficient”

May 13th, 2008 by Patrick S

Many know for a fact that the transition from Windows XP to Vista was a major step for most. The heightened system requirements to run all that eye candy were immense-even if Vista only just slightly out performs XP.
People therefore turned to Microsoft’s next planned operating system, Windows Seven as the answer to speedy computing with system requirements equal to Vista’s and (hopefully) not a whole lot higher.

Today the Now retired Bill Gates had this to say about Microsoft Windows Seven:

We’re hard at work, I would say, on the next version, which we call Windows 7. I’m very excited about the work being done there. The ability to be lower power, take less memory, be more efficient, and have lots more connections up to the mobile phone, so those scenarios connect up well to make it a great platform for the best gaming that can be done, to connect up to the thing being done out on the Internet, so that, for example, if you have two personal computers, that your files automatically are synchronized between them, and so you don’t have a lot of work to move that data back and forth.

Huzzah…The people rejoice?
…Not just yet-Its early days, and Gates touched on a lot more than just the system requirements of the next gen OS.
Seven is of course built on top of the existing Vista structure and so far not much has really changed dramatically-yet. Hardware will most likely change a lot by the time we see 7 on shelves. Watch this space


Seven has been planned to ship 3 Years after Vista RTM’ed but let’s face it, Microsoft are useless at sticking to deadlines. I believe Seven will bring with it a lot more hype and I for one am looking forward to seeing/testing 7 a lot more than I did Vista.

Posted in Beta News, Microsoft, MS News, Products, Windows 7 | Comments Off on Gates: Windows 7 will “take less memory, be more efficient”

Certified Hardware for Windows Server 2008 (x64)

April 30th, 2008 by Patrick S

Hi All,

For those of you looking for a list certified hardware for Windows Server 2008 (x64), here’s the current and growing list:

All Hardware Items:

For details:

Product category

Storage (371)
Networking (102)
Servers (102)
Other Hardware (26)
Printers (20)
Bus Controllers and Ports (13)
Cameras and Video (5)
Scanners (2)
Input Devices (1)
Sound (1)

If you would like per Vendors:


Intel Corporation (97)
Hewlett-Packard Company (82)
Dell Inc. (64)
NetApp (63)
HITACHI, Ltd. (30)
Fujitsu Siemens Computers (28)
QLogic Corporation (26)
EMC Corporation (21)
IBM (13)
Pioneer Corporation (13)


Sourced from Nick MacKechnie’s MSDN blog

Posted in Windows Server System | 2 Comments »

Questions about Web Server Attacks

April 28th, 2008 by Patrick S

Bill Sisk just wrote an article on the Microsoft Security Response Centre (MSRC) blog:

There have been conflicting public reports describing a recent rash of web server attacks. I want to bring some clarification about the reports and point you to the IIS blog for additional information.

To begin with, our investigation has shown that there are no new or unknown vulnerabilities being exploited. This wave is not a result of a vulnerability in Internet Information Services or Microsoft SQL Server. We have also determined that these attacks are in no way related to Microsoft Security Advisory (951306).

The attacks are facilitated by SQL injection exploits and are not issues related to IIS 6.0, ASP, ASP.Net or Microsoft SQL technologies. SQL injection attacks enable malicious users to execute commands in an application’s database. To protect against SQL injection attacks the developer of the Web site or application must use industry best practices outlined here. Our counterparts over on the IIS blog have written a post with a wealth of information for web developers and IT Professionals can take to minimize their exposure to these types of attacks by minimizing the attack surface area in their code and server configurations. Additional information can be found here:  

As outlined in other reports the security flaw seems to be in poor code on websites, hackers a merely taking advantage of it on a massive scale.
Installing updates and blocking any malicious websites is the best method to protect your IIS Server.


Posted in MS SQL, Online Safety, Windows Server System | 2 Comments »

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