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Thu, Apr 23, 2015 9:30 pm

Enabling audio on a Windows Server 2012 system

By default, Windows Server 2012 doesn't have the audio service enabled, likely because it won't be needed on many servers, which may not even have speakers attached to them. You can enable the service by several different methods. You can run services.msc and start the Windows Audio service. You can also change the startup type from manual to automatic to have the service start automatically when the system boots. Another method for enabling the audio service is to right-click on the speaker icon in the notification area at the lower, right-hand corner of the screen and choose Playback devices. You will then see a message asking whether you wish to enable the audio service. If you choose "Yes", the service will be enabled and the startup type will be changed to automatic so the service will start whenever Windows loads.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Mon, Apr 20, 2015 10:53 pm

Disabling Automatic Restart for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

As with other verions of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, you may find Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and the Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition rebooting the system at inopportune times for updates. You can temporarily delay the shutdown by issuing the command net stop "windows update" at a command prompt. Note: you need to open an admin command prompt to do so, which you can do by moving the mouse pointer to the lower, left-hand corner of the screen, then right-clicking on the Start button when it appears and choosing Command Prompt (Admin). But that wil only postpone the reboot, because Windows will later restart the service on its own, even if you don't reboot. You can determine if it has restarted by reissuing the command. You will see a message "The Windows Update service is not started", if it isn't running.

You can pemanently disable the automatic restart by changing the group policy for the system by running gpedit.msc, which you can run by issuing the command gpedit at a command prompt or by right-clicking on the Start button, choosing Run and then typing gpedit.msc and hitting Enter. When the Local Group Policy Editor window opens, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. In the right pane of the window, you will see "No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations". Change the setting from "Not Configured" to "Enabled".

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Sat, Feb 21, 2015 9:54 pm

Monitoring an UPS with Windows Server 2012

After connecting a new APC 1300 VA model number BX1300G UPS to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials system, I found that I didn't need to install the UPS manufacturer's software for monitoring the battery state in the UPS. Windows automatically detected the UPS and provided information on the battery charge for the UPS. I had previously enabled hibernation mode on the server, so I configured the system to hibernate when the battery charge for the UPS becomes critically low.

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[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Tue, Feb 17, 2015 5:43 pm

Changing the Forwarders in the DNS Manager for Windows Server 2012

If a Windows Server 2012 system is functioning as a DNS server and you need to change the DNS servers it is using as forwarders, i.e., the ones to which it is forwarding DNS requests for external DNS names it can't resolve locally, take the following steps:
  1. Use Ctrl-Esc to get to the Start window where you can click on Administrative Tools.
  2. Double-click on DNS.
  3. In the right pane of the DNS Manager window, double-click on Forwarders.
  4. Click on the Edit button to edit the list of forwarders. You can then add, delete, or modify IP adresses for forwarders.
  5. Click on OK once you have made the needed changes, then click on OK again. You can then close the DNS Manager window.

A DNS server that is configured to use a forwarder functions as follows:

  1. When the DNS server receives a query, it will attempt to resolve the query by using the zones that it hosts and by using its cache.
  2. If it can't resolve the query using local data, the DNS server forwards the query to a DNS server that is designated as a forwarder.
  3. If no forwarders are available, the DNS server will attempt to use its root hints to resolve the query.

When a DNS server forwards a query to a forwarder, it sends a recursive query to a DNS server designated as a forwarder rather than an iterative query that a DNS server sends to another DNS server during standard name resolution (name resolution that does not involve a forwarder).

If you would like further information on forwarders and conditional forwarders, see Understanding Forwarders.

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Sun, Feb 08, 2015 11:10 pm

Enabling hibernation on a Windows Server 2012 Essentials system

The command shutdown /h can be used to hibernate a Microsoft Windows system. If you run the command on a Windows Server 2012 Essentials system which hasn't had hibernation mode enabled, you will see the following message:

PS C:\Users\User> shutdown /h
Hibernation is not enabled on this system. You must enable hibernation in order to use the -h option.

To enable hibernation, you can issue the command powercfg /hibernate on from a PowerShell prompt. However, you may see the message below when you enter the command:

PS C:\Users\User> powercfg /hibernate on
An unexpected error condition has occurred.  Unable to perform operation.  You may not have permission to perform this o

To enable hibernation, right-click on the PowerShell icon, which looks like a button with a ">_" in it, then choose "Run as Administrator" and then issue the powercfg command.

Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS C:\Windows\system32> powercfg /hibernate on
PS C:\Windows\system32>

Once you've done that, you can hibernate the system with shutdown /h.

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Sat, Jan 24, 2015 11:25 pm

Setting Up Windows Server 2012 Essentials server backup

One of the steps in setting up a Windows Server 2012 Essentials system is to configure the server for automatic backups of the system to another drive. You can configure the system to backup the operating system, server folders, and other items by selecting "Set up Server Backup" from the Dashboard. The drive, or drives, you select to be used for the automatic backups, may be reformatted, so don't select a drive that has files you wish to retain without copying them elsewhere first. You can configure the backups to run at multiple times during the day; Microsoft recommends you backup the server at least twice per day.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Mon, Jan 05, 2015 11:53 pm

Restore a computer from a Windows Server 2012 Essentials backup

In a Microsoft Windows domain where the domain controller is a Windows Server 2012 Essentials server, backups are normally done on a daily basis to the server. From the Dashboard, which is accessible from the Launchpad, on a client computer you can restore files and folders from backups on the server by these steps. You will have the option of selecting which of the daily backups you wish to use to restore the client computer.

The Launchpad on the client computer also provides the capability to initiate a backup from the client to the server and to check on the status of the last backup of the client to the server.

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Sat, Dec 27, 2014 3:20 pm

Windows Server 2012 - Folders located on the system hard drive

After I set up a Windows Server 2012 Essentials server, I noticed the dashboard indicated two alerts were pending. One of them was just to reboot the server since updates had been recently installed that required a reboot, but the other alert was "One or more server folders are located on the system hard drive". The folders referenced were as follows:

If you have a second internal drive or another partition on the primary drive you can move the folders with these steps.

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

Thu, Dec 25, 2014 9:29 pm

Windows Server 2012 Essentials Product Key

I needed to install Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Essentials on a system. Windows Server 2012 is the server version of Windows 8 and the successor to Windows Server 2008 R2. I had the product key for Windows Server 2012, but not the media. I downloaded an ISO file for Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials from Microsoft at Windows Server Evaluations. The evaluation version allows you to try the software for 180 days before purchase. I burned the .iso file to a DVD and started the installation of the software. When I got to the "Enter the product key to activate Windows" step, I put in the product key I had, but received the message "We couldn't verify the product key. Please check your installation media." After triple-checking the product key, I had to conclude it wasn't going to work with the latest version of the software I downloaded from Microsoft's site. Someone provided me with a link where I could download an ISO file to use with the legitimate product key, but I was concerned about the possibility of tampering with the contents of that ISO file. So I checked the MD5 and SHA-1 hashes for the ISO file with digestIT 2004, which gave me the following hashes for en_server_install_disc_windows_server_2012_essentials_x64_dvd_1022281.iso:
MD5: 5ee4c7ad57248b5e791dcfd39d9e54e3
SHA-1: 1f3fbf9cd23f864a2acc6b7a6a8e6a9eb94b5c52

I was then able to verify those hashes with postings from Server 2012 Essentials RTM (SHA-1 from October 11, 2012) and Server 2012 Essentials RTM Page 2 (MD5 and SHA-1 from December 8, 2012) postings at My Digital Life Forums , which gave me the confidence to use that .iso file for the installation of the server software, since the hashes matched ones posted for the 2012 version of the software distributed by Microsoft. Such hashes are commonly used to verify that a file is exactly the same as it was when provided by the original software developer and has not been modified.

When I installed Windows Server 2012 from the DVD I burned from that ISO file, I was able to use the product key I had.

[/os/windows/server2012] permanent link

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