Author: Mike F Robbins

Mike F Robbins is a Microsoft MVP on Windows PowerShell and a SAPIEN Technologies MVP. He is a co-author of Windows PowerShell TFM 4th Edition and is a contributing author of a chapter in the PowerShell Deep Dives book. Mike has written guest blog articles for the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog, PowerShell Magazine, and He is the winner of the advanced category in the 2013 PowerShell Scripting Games. Mike is also the leader and co-founder of the Mississippi PowerShell User Group. He blogs at and can be found on twitter @mikefrobbins.

Memory Upgrades Beyond Manufacturer’s Recommendations

We've probably all heard to check with your computer system or motherboard manufacturer to find out what the maximum installable amount of memory is for your computer. I'm guessing that's what most of the third party memory companies do also since who in their right mind would go against the manufacturer's recommendations? I suggest also checking with the motherboard chipset manufacturer. I own a Dell XPS 410 that's used as a test machine. The operating system is Windows Server 2008 R2 with Read more [...]

Increase the size of a volume on an EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN

You have a Windows 2008 R2 server that is nearly out of disk space on its ‘D’ drive. The ‘D’ drive is a volume on an EqualLogic PS4000XV Storage Area Network. This is a production server and the change needs to be done immediately in the middle of the day without service interruption. Whenever possible, I prefer to make changes like this outside of production hours or as scheduled downtime if you operate in a 24/7 environment since there is a chance that something could go wrong. When you Read more [...]

Updating the Firmware on an EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN

This blog will walk you through the steps of updating the firmware on an EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN (Storage Area Network) from version 4.3.0 to version 5.0.2. Plan the Update This process requires that the SAN be restarted so I recommend scheduling it outside of production hours or as scheduled downtime if you work in a 24/7 environment. I also recommend gracefully shutting down any servers that have data on the SAN since you would otherwise be ripping the drives out from underneath those servers. Login Read more [...]

SharePoint Saturday New Orleans 2011

Over the past year or so, I’ve attended several SharePoint Saturday technology events to include Birmingham in 2009, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Huntsville in 2010. These technology events are a great way to expand your knowledge on a particular aspect of SharePoint, network with other technology professionals who work with SharePoint on a daily basis, and as a nerd, a way to have a good time in general. Registration opened up this week for the 2011 SharePoint Saturday in New Orleans which will be Read more [...]

When was an Active Directory Group Created or Modified?

This week I needed to figure out when a group was created in one of the Active Directory environments that I provide support for. I looked at the group using “Active Directory Users and Computers” and didn’t see anything that would tell me when it was created. I did a quick Google search and found a way to accomplish this for a similar item (a user object) using VBScript. The example for a user object that I found was on a “Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog”. Here’s an example of how to find Read more [...]

Memory (RAM) Upgrade for your Personal Computer (PC)

While RAM (Random Access Memory) seems to be a simple subject, I can tell you from experience, if you want problems that are difficult to troubleshoot, buy cheap RAM or a cheap power supply and you will more than likely regret it. There are several reasons to upgrade the RAM in your computer such as to boost performance, increased requirements of a new software application, planning to run virtual machines, etc. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to check to make sure you have an empty memory slot Read more [...]

Startup Items with Unicode Filenames on Windows XP

Several end user personal computers that I've looked at recently have had some strange file names showing up in their startup routine. Here’s a look at what Msconfig showed: Attempting to disable these two entries via MSConfig generates an access denied error. The normal spyware programs that I run haven’t been able to detect these items either. The only way I’ve found to disable them is via the registry: µ Read more [...]

Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 (WSUS)

I typically work as a systems engineer in the SMB sector and WSUS is one of the products that in my opinion is a no brainer to implement. It’s free with Windows Server 2003 or 2008 (and Vista & Windows 7 I’m told, although I have not verified this). It can easily be implemented by your present IT staff and can reside on an existing IIS webserver server as long as there is enough local disk space to hold the updates. The updates cannot reside on a mapped drive or on a drive that’s specified Read more [...]

Empty Start Menu on Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server

Recently while assisting one of my customers who was transitioning from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 terminal servers we experienced a problem with start menu redirection where there was nothing at all on a user’s start menu. The start menu was (empty) or blank. This problem ended up being due to applying the same group policy to the 2008 terminal servers that was previously applied to the 2003 terminal servers. To resolve this issue the “Remove user’s folders from the Start Menu” setting Read more [...]

Enabling Remote Access to Device Manager on Server Core

You’ve added hardware to a Windows Server 2008 R2 Core installation machine and you want to check the status of it through the GUI by using Device Manager on a remote computer. The following process allows you to access Device Manager remotely in “Read Only” mode and it assumes that you've already configured remote management on your core server through option 4 of sconfig. You're already able to access the event logs and/or services using Computer Management on a remote computer. When you Read more [...]

Scheduling your Blog Posts

You may think I woke up early today which is Thanksgiving morning to write this blog post, but WordPress has a scheduling feature that allows you to write your blog posts days, weeks, or even months ahead of time and schedule when you’d like to have them published. This allows you to add a level of professionalism to your blog by publishing articles on a more consistent basis instead of posting ten in a day and then not posting anymore for months. You can still write those ten blog posts in one Read more [...]

Adobe Reader 9 update issues on Terminal Server

You’re using group policy to enforce the “Run only approved Windows applications” for a specific group of computers such as terminal servers. After updating Adobe Reader from version 9.0 to 9.2, users receive the message: “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” My first thought was "The name of the executable must have changed". A quick check disproved that. It is the same name with both versions: “AcroRd32.exe” Read more [...]

Dell Systems Build DVD Removes All Existing Partitions

So you've built a server and partitioned the RAID array into two logical partitions, one for the operating system and one for the data. For whatever reason, you need to reload the operating system on the server and you think you can format the OS partition and reload it without loosing the data that's on your data partition. If you were booting directly to an operating system CD or DVD, that would be true, however if you boot to the Dell Systems Build DVD and attempt to reload the operating system Read more [...]

Please wait for the System Event Notification Service…

One of my customers that I provide level 3 support for recently contacted me with an issue where their system would hang on the message "Please wait for the System Event Notification Service..." when they attempted to logout of their Windows 2008 terminal server: We determined that their terminal server had recently received an update to Windows Live Messenger via Windows Update that was causing this issue. Removing Windows Live Messenger from their terminal server resolved their logout issues. µ Read more [...]

How to Activate Windows Server 2008 Core Installation

To change the serial number on your Windows Server 2008 Core Installation, run "slmgr /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX" where X is your new serial number. Wait for the popup confirmation message that the serial number has been changed: Run "cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato" to activate the operating system: µ Read more [...]

Communication Issues between Exchange Servers

Recently while transitioning one of my customers from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010, I experienced issues trying to replicate public folders between the servers. This was due to a larger mail flow communications problem between the two servers where mail between them was queuing up and never being delivered. To determine if you are experiencing this particular issue or not, use the Queue Viewer which is located in the toolbox section of the “Exchange Management Console”. If email that should Read more [...]