Thursday, December 20, 2012

SQL Eval has Expired for SCVMM

I had an issue.  Someone installed the SQL as eval copy.  I tried to Start the Database but couldn’t.  It states as expired.

So there’s I’ve to work around.  Firstly I find the location of the Database.  e.g.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.SYSPREPSQL\MSSQL\DATA


Copy both the DB out to a location as backup.

From the services of the VMM check which account is used to start the System Center Virtual Machine Manager
In this scenario is pcloud\vmmsvc



Then I uninstall the entire SQL and then reboot the VMM server.  Install a fresh new SQL (full license) into the VMM server.


After the installation I copied both the files back into the new SQL path e.g.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL_10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA


I then launch the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.  Expand the Databases. 

Then <right-click>  on the Databases and select Attach …


Click Add …


Select the VirtualManagerDB.mdf from the location that I copied into earlier and click OK twice.


Expand the Security Logins<Right-click> on the Logins, and select New Login ….

Add in the user that was use to start up the VMM Services (information services that was gathered earlier).  In this example is pcloud\vmmsvc.


<Right-click> on the particular user and select Properties.


In the Login Properties select User Mapping.

In the Users mapped to this login select VirtualManagerDB

In the Database role membership for VirtualManagerDB, select db_owner & public then click OK.

Once it’s done, launch the Virtual Machine Manager Console


Then it’s ready to go for administrating through the VMM Console.

Also thank you to both my colleagues, Law WF & Edmund Lim. Hope the steps help. 

keywords : Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, scvmm, vmm, SQL evaluation, SQL eval, expire SQL, SQL 2012.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to move from Windows Full GUI–Minimum Server Interface–Server Core with Windows Server 2012 (Using GUI Interface) without installation again

I’ve just finished presenting with Raymond Chou on how you can convert from Server Core to Full Server GUI and vise versa today in SME CORP.

One of the GREATEST big achievement running Server 2012 is that it it can convert from Server Core to Full GUI and vise versa …. without reinstalling.


Server CL-VM-03 is a Windows 2012 Server Core.  The server is joined to the domain and needs to be Fully GUI.

The screen below shows the CL-VM-03, is a pure Server Core.


I’m using a second server, which is CL-VM-04 to manage the features remotely (which I don’t need to access locally in CL-VM-03 server) to add in the features to be fully server GUI.


From CL-VM-04, select Add roles and features.


Click Next.


In the Installation Type, select Role-based or feature-based installation, then click Next.


In the Server Selection, select the server (CL-VM-03, which I’m converting from Server Core to Server Full GUI), then click Next.


Since I’m not adding Roles, I click Next.


In the Features, select the Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure , Server Graphical Shell and click Next.

Note : If you need the server as Server Minimal Interface select only the Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure.


In the Confirmation, remember to check the “Restart the destination server automatically if required” , then click Install.


Can click close or wait for the installation to complete, then click Close.

Now back to CL-VM-03, you can see the reboot ha started and the features as added into it.


Wait for it to complete, then login.




Type Explorer or MMC from Command Prompt


There you go, now the server CL-VM-03 is now fully Server GUI.


To Convert Server Full GUI to Server Core.

To remove the features to convert the Server Full GUI to Server Core, just carry out the process by accessing the Server Manager (locally or remotely) by selecting the Manage, then select the Remove Roles and Features, then follow the instructions to uncheck the Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure , Server Graphical Shell in the Features.


Hope the above helps. Thank you.

keywords : Converting Server core to gui, fully gui, server minimal interface, server core to GUI, server 2012 windows server 2012, datacenter standard server

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Failed to Install DPM 2012 Update Rollup 3

The Service Control Manager is the one that states how long the service must have to start the service.  If the Service Control Manager did not receive a “Service Started” notice from the service within a time period, the Service Control Manager terminates the process that the service is hosted.

To adjust the time-out period follow the steps below :

  • In the Registry Editor, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control


  • Right-click on the right-pane, select New, then DWORD.


  • Name it as ServicePipeTimeOut


  • Right-click on the ServicePipeTimeOut that was created, select Modify …


  • Change the value to 300000 (means 300000 miliseconds, which is equivalent to 5 minutes), then click OK.
  • In order to have the new value activated, restart the computer.
  • Re-Install the DPM rollup-fix.  You should be able to succeed.

Hope the above steps help. Thank you.

keywords : DPM 2012 Update Rollup 3 failed or cannot install, DPM 2012, SCDPM 2012, System Center Data Protection Manager 2012, DPM, Error in DPM 2012 update or roll up installation.


Checking if VSS Writer is Stable

Sometimes we may face errors for DPM trying to backup the client.  DPM depends on the clients Volume Snapshot Service also known as VSS.

To check if the VSS is stable, in the designated protected computer, from the command prompt (if admin privilege), key in the command as shown :

C:\> vssadmin list writers

The listing shown below as example :


Restart the VSS services either from the Services or reboot the computer.

Thank you and hope this helps.

keywords : VSS services stop, VSS error, error in DPM with VSS, Volume Snapshot Services, Shadow copy service

Monday, November 26, 2012

Activating Windows 8 or Server 2012 License Key

The steps shown here is that in an environment that has no domain and/or no KMS server running. Activating the Windows 8 and Server 2012 License is different from it’s predecessors.  This needs to be done from the command prompt. To activate it, there must be a connection out to the internet.

Using the command prompt (“Run as Administrator”) key in as below follow by the license key.

C:\> slmgr.vbs /ipk <product key from MSDN (MAK)>

* Note : insert your license key in the PINK colour space then hit ENTER.

The above command will install the product key. Then next to key in the following command to activate

C:\> slmgr.vbs /ato

To check if it’s activated key in as below :

C:\> slmgr.vbs /dlv

Hope the above helps.  Thank you.

keynote : Windows 8 activation, Windows 2012 activation, key activation, license activation, license key activation.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hyper-V (Server Core)–How to Reassign Drive Letter

Here I have a situation after installation of Windows Server Core and I don’t have GUI to change the drive letter.  I need to assign a different drive letter for the DVD-ROM.

From the Server Core server, in the command prompt I type :

C:\> diskpart

Next it will display


Type List Volume

DISKPART > list volume

The listing will be like below

Volume ####
Volume 0 E DVD-ROM
Volume 1 C Partition

<Look for type DVD-CD to find drive letter>

Type the following to change the drive letter, in the example below, I’m changing it to Drive Z for my DVD-ROM

DISKPART > select volume 0
DISKPART > assign letter=z

Hope the steps helps.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cumulative Update 2 for System Center 2012

Microsoft had recently release the Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) for System Center 2012.   Part of  it, it fixes the issues for Data Protection Manager 2012 (DPM 2012), Orchestrator (SCO 2012), Operations Manager (SCOM 2012), AppContoller and Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM 2012).

Most of the fixes are for the SCDPM and the SCVMM.

The Descriptions of bug fixes are in this link.

But if you want to download the CU2 only for the SCDPM 2012 then go to this link directly.

Note : Remember to backup your DPM database before you perform this rollup update.

The issue of the VM Status of Unsupported VM Configuration (Error 644) is resolved with the patch for the SCVMM and SCDPM.

keywords : DPM 2012, KB2706783, VM status of unsupported VM configuration (Error 644), error 644, VMM,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

VMM - VM status of Unsupported VM Configuration (Error 644)

I had provisioned a Standard W2K8R2 VM with the System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012.  Once installation is done, I attached the DPM ISO (with Share image file instead of copying it – tick in the box) to install through the VMM.  Everything went successfully, till I wanna detach the ISO.  I tried to detach the ISO but in vain through the VMM.

Error Message (Error 644) :

The specified host drive \\domain.local\Library\ISOs\SCDPM2012.iso does not exist on the host machine.

After some "bing”, it seems that it’s a common problem.  Steps carried our is as below :

  • Launch the Hyper-V Manager in that particular server that is hosting the VM. 
  • Detach the ISO or DVD, in the Settings for that particular VM and click Apply and then OK.
  • Then go back to the VMM, refresh it and the error “Unsupported VM Configuration” is no longer there.

Source from TechNet

Hope the above steps helps.

keywords :

Virtual machine configured to use an ISO has a status of Unsupported VM Configuration in System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager, VMM 2012,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DPM–DPM Agent “Unavailable”

I would like to share with all that I had experienced the  DPM Agent is “Unavailable” many times.  Even though after uninstall and reinstall it, the next few hours later the Agent Status displays in the DPM Console as Unavailable.

After lots of troubleshooting, at last found that the Domain Controllers (DC) TIME was not in sync.  Therefore, after working with the AD team to sync all their DCs, the DPM Agent is all normal and status is OK.

Lesson learn from the project is to have the AD team to check on all their DCs time is in sync and the protected servers time are in sync with the DCs.

Keywords : DPM Agent unavailable, agent not available, DPM agent change to unavailable after few hours or next day

Monday, July 2, 2012

DPM–How To Enable End User Recovery

The End User Recovery (EUR) is a great feature in DPM.  However you should consider if you need this feature.  It will have an impact to your Active Directory Schema, which is some company has their schema fine tune and edited to their company needs.  So before proceeding, do discuss first with the Schema Administrator, the Active Directory Administrator, the global IT before the change is taken.
Another thing to consider before enable the EUR is the following:
  • If enable the EUR, you can’t control on what file servers EUR should be functioning.
  • You can’t control which security groups or domain users that should be able to perform the action or not
So at some point of time, some management prefer the backup administrators to do the restore rather than to let the users to do the restore.  But anyway, if you have the confident that the end users knows what they are doing, then can proceed with the EUR.
The pre-requisite is that the clients in the domain must be running Windows 7 or Vista with XP1, which the Shadow Copy Client software is already installed in the operating system.  EUR also supports the Windows XP with SP2, but the Shadow Copy Client software must be install or deploy to it before the users can do the recovery.
Firstly log into your DPM console.  You’ll realise that the End-User recovery is dimmed.
There are 2 methods to extend the Schema to enable the End-user recovery (choose only 1 method).  Both methods requires the user with  the permission to extend the Active Directory Schema.
Part 1
  • Method 1 – Through the DPM Console
  • Method 2 – Through the Active Directory domain controller.
Part 2
  • Activating the End-User Recovery

Part 1

Method 1 – Extend Schema through the DPM Console


Step 1.1 Click on the Configure Active Directory …


Step 1.2 Enter the user credential that has permission to extend the schema in the Active Directory and click OK

Step 1.3 Click Yes to confirm.


Step 1.4 Click OK to confirm.

Step 1.5 Once the schema is extended, click OK on the confirmation.

Method 2 – Extend Schema through Active Directory domain controller

Step 2.1 Log in to the Domain Controller of the domain.


Step 2.2 Copy the file DPMADSchemaExtension from the DPM server (copy the file to your DPM desktop).  It should be located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\End User Recovery folder (unless it’s installed in another location but find for the End User Recovery directory). 

Step 2.3 Right-click on the DPMADSchemaExtension and Run as administrator (which also has the authority to extend the Schema).


Step 2.4 Click Yes to acknowledge to continue to extend the Schema as shown above.

Step 2.5 Key in your DPM servername e.g. SC-DPM and click OK.


Step 2.6 Key in the FQDN domain name e.g. and click OK


Step 2.7 Click OK since the DPM server and the Protected server is in the same domain.

DC01-12 DC01-13
Step 2.8 Click OK to update. 
Step 2.9 Once it’s completed click OK to confirm.

Part 2

Activating the End-User Recovery

Step 3.1 Once the Schema is extended, then switch to the DPM console again.  Now you’ll be able to check the Enable End-User Recovery box.


Step 3.2 Once check and click OK, then a pop-up box will appear


Step 3.3 Click OK.
Step 3.4 Do a Synchronization to your file server and your EUR is ready for operations.

Thank you and hope this helps you.
keywords : End-User recovery, EUR, how to get End-User Recovery activated or started

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Booting up from VHD–Windows 2012 RC

As of today’s technology using Microsoft Windows 7 (Professional, Business or Ultimate), you can have wonders booting up from VHD (which means a single file) without meddling with your current working Operating Windows 7 System.

As of today I have here is a Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as the Operating System.   I’m going to share with you how I did it, to have the Windows Server 2012 RC boot up as VHD.

I referred to a couple of blogs and one of the blogs that I find it wonderful and informative is from Raymond Chow.

Here are the download list that needs to be downloaded before installation :

Windows 2012 RC 
Ultra ISO (if you don’t have utility to read ISO, then only you download and install)
Install – WindowsImage Powershell Script

If you downloaded the ISO format, then it gives you the flexibility to prepare how much of Hard Disk space you would like to allocate for your Windows Server 2012 RC.  Of course there’s some preparation needs to be done before the VHD is build. 

However, if you decide to download the VHD ready format, then needs to jump to third part of this blog.

Part 1 – Preparation of Directory for PowerShell Script and VHD

Part 2 – Preparation of the ISO and getting VHD ready

Part 3 – Attaching the Windows Server 2012 VHD


Part 1 – Preparation of Directory for PowerShell Script and VHD

Step 1.1 Create a Directory to put in the PowerShell Script and also where your VHD (for the Windows Server 2012 RC) will reside in my example is D:\Windows8\VHD

Step 1.2 Using the Ultra ISO, abstract the install.wim to the D:\WINDOWS8\VHD directory


 Step 1.3 Copy the Install-WindowsImage PowerShell script  into the same directory.  The end result is :


Step 1.4 From the Server Manager, expand to the Disk Management, create the VHD.


Step 1.5 Create the VHD with Dynamic Expansion with 60GB


Step 1.6 Initialize the Disk, then have it as a New Simple Volume.

Step 1.7 Next I assign it a drive letter. In my case I assign it as “W” drive.


Step 1.8  End result should be like below :




Part 2 – Preparation of ISO and Getting Windows Install into VHD

Next is we would like to have fresh Installation of the Windows 2012 RC into the VHD assign.

Step 2.1 Launch the Command Prompt and Run as Administrator

Step 2.2 Change the directory to where the location of the VHD and script is located.  E.g. D:\Windows8\VHD.

Step 2.3 Type powershell and then hit [Enter]


Step 2.4 Execute the command as below :

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted




Step 2.5 Take note of the Index of the various versions that is available.


Step 2.6 In my scenario, I’ve choosen the Windows Server 2012 RC Datacenter (Server with a GUI), therefore the Index is 4.  The command for the PowerShell would be :

.\Install-WindowsImage.ps1 –WIM D:\Windows\VHD\install.wim –Apply –Index 4 –Destination W:

Only those that is in pink in colour are the ones that is needed to change accordingly.  In my case, the WIM is in D:\Windows\VHD directory. Then next is Index 4, cause I chose for Datacenter with GUI and the Drive letter that is assigned for this VHD is W.

Step 2.7 The result should be


Step 2.8 Open up the Windows Explorer, should be able to see the following in W Drive.  It should be populated.



Part 3 – Attaching the VHD

Step 3.1 Exit from the PowerShell

Step 3.2 Key in the command below to add into your boot menu when starting up.  Change would be in the pink colour depending on where you install.  In my example my Windows 2012 RC is installed into the W Drive.

bcdboot w:\windows

Step 3.3 To view the entry, key in as the following

bcdedit /v

The result should be


Step 3.4 Dismount the drive that was use for the Windows Server 2012 RC installation (in my case is W Drive), then reboot the computer. 

Step 3.5 When computer is boot up, you’ll be presented with the Windows Server 2012 RC as a selection.

Happy trying and hope the steps is detail enough for you to begin to explore the Windows Server 2012 RC as VHD boot.  If there’s any errors please post it in this blog …. and if it’s successful ….. do post it too <grin>.

keywords : Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 Beta, Boot from VHD, Virtual Hard Disk boot, Windows Server 2012 RC