Posts
Windows Server Status Monitor v1.7
· ☕ 5 min read
I wanted to create a lightweight and easy to setup server status monitor. It needed to highlight any metrics that were outside of a customisable threshold visually and be able to e-mail the report or run continuously. Based on a script from Bhavik Solanki (on TechNet) and with some help from my good friend, and software developer Dan Price, we created WinServ-Status, now known as Windows Server Status Monitor. This utility is available to download from the Microsoft TechNet Gallery, PowerShell Gallery and GitHub.

Upgrading to Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 8 min read
If you’re looking to deploy the latest version of Windows 10 1703 (better known as the Creators Update) as a fresh install, please check out this post. This post is designed to walk through installing and configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and to create a Task Sequence to upgrade to Windows 10 1703 from a previous version of Windows. The Windows upgrade process has come along way in recent years, so in certain circumstances it may be worth while running an upgrade, rather than a wipe-and-load.

Building a Windows Server 2016 Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 7 min read
In a previous post I walked through how to install MDT, it’s dependencies, and how to create a reference image to deploy. In this post I’ll be doing the same thing but centred around building a Windows Server 2016 image using a Hyper-V virtual machine. Installing & Configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Dependencies. We’ll be using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) version 8443, which (at the time of writing: 24/07/2017) is the most recent release and fully supports Windows Server 2016.

E-mail Anywhere In Your PowerShell Scripts
· ☕ 4 min read
In my previous scripts I’ve included a function to send log files to an on-premises Exchange server. I’ve now put together an example script to improve this function to send emails to external e-mail providers, for example: Office 365, Outlook.com or GMail.com. This new code is designed to support many different requirements: No logging at all. Logging but with no e-mail. Logging with e-mail. E-mail with username & password authentication, with SSL.

Upgrading PowerShell and Windows Remote Management
· ☕ 1 min read
At the time of writing (2017-07-18) the latest PowerShell available is PowerShell 5.1 which is a part of Windows 10 1607 and Windows Server 2016. To find which version of PowerShell you have, type this command into PowerShell: 1 $PSVersionTable.PSVersion To upgrade PowerShell, you’ll need the latest Windows Remote Management for your version of Windows. You might also need to upgrade WinRM to remotely manage servers using the Server Manager tool, which comes with Windows Server and is a part of RSAT for Windows 10 version 1607 and later.

Building a Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 9 min read
Following on from a previous post which covers some queries and issues I had when first deploying Windows 10 1703 (better known as the Creators Update) this post is designed to walk through installing and configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to build a reference image of Windows 10 1703 using a Hyper-V Virtual Machine. Installing & Configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Dependencies We’ll be using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) version 8443, which at the time of writing is the most recent release and fully supports Windows 10 1703.

3D Maze Remix v1.0
· ☕ 2 min read
Download for Windows, Mac and Linux Important note: 3D Maze Remix was updated to v1.1, adding many new features, and is now also available from the Microsoft Store. Please check out this page for all the details. For the last few months I’ve been learning Unity and C#, and this is the first real thing I’ve made: 3D Maze Remix. It’s a playable, interactive version of the 3D Maze screensaver that first shipped in Windows 95.

Auto Create Exchange Mailboxes v1.8
· ☕ 4 min read
I needed to write a PowerShell utility to create Exchange mailboxes for new users in Active Directory. The utility needed to create the mailboxes, use different databases, retention policies, and take users from several Organisational Units along with users in child OUs. This utility is available to download from the Microsoft TechNet Gallery, PowerShell Gallery and GitHub. If you’d like to contact me, please leave a comment, send me a tweet or DM, or you can join my Discord server.

Delving Into Disabling OneDrive
· ☕ 3 min read
UPDATE 2017-11-07 After testing the method below on Windows 10 1703, I found that it wasn’t working as it did with 1607. To disable One Drive and remove the One Drive folder from the Navigation Pane of Windows Explorer, enable the group policy item: Computer Configuration/Policies/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/OneDrive/Prevent Usage of OneDrive for file storage and also set the following registry key from 1 to 0: 1 2 HKEY\_CLASSES\_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6} "System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000000 Please note that the registry key must be set on a per user basis.

PXE Booting with WDS for UEFI and BIOS Devices
· ☕ 5 min read
UPDATE 2018-04-28: I’ve added the information in this post to a new one completely re-written for Windows Server 2016 here In a previous post (PXE Booting for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit) I mentioned that I would talk about how to set up PXE to deal with VLANs. To be honest I forgot all about it until someone on twitter reminded me - many thanks for the reminder! A lot of what I’m going to go through in this post I learned from this YouTube video from BranchCache Bob, here’s the video.

Some Notes On Building a Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 5 min read
With the release of Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) ISO on the Volume Licensing Service Center, I’ve recently been looking into using the “final” code with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to build reference images and discover what issues are present. This post is a round up of differences and issues I’ve found with building and deploying Windows 10 1703 thus far, and some resolutions. For a full walk through on installing MDT and creating a Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) reference image, check out this post.

WSUS Configuration Tweaks For Improving Performance
· ☕ 5 min read
Update 2018-04-20: I’ve rolled the information in this post and updated it, into a new post about setting up a WSUS server from scratch on Windows Server 2016 Core. The post is also suitable for a regular Windows Server 2016 server with a GUI. You can read it here. I’ve been dealing with some issues with a WSUS server recently. It services around 1000 devices, mostly Windows 10 with some Windows 7, Windows Server 2016/2012 R2/2012 and 2008 R2.

Removing Included Microsoft Store Apps from Windows 10 & Windows 11
· ☕ 6 min read
Page History Update 2021-11-22: Added information relating to Windows 10 21H2. Update 2021-09-03: Added information relating to Windows 11 21H2. Update 2021-05-12: Added information relating to Windows 10 21H1 May 2021 Update. Update 2020-11-02: Added information relating to Windows 10 20H2 October 2020 Update. Update 2020-06-12: Added information relating to Windows 10 2004 May 2020 Update (20H1). Update 2020-01-27: Removed information for old unsupported versions of Win 10 and added a table to show which app maps to the display names in PowerShell.