Category Archives: Featured

How to fool Windows 8 into using your SD-card in the media applications

Running Windows 8? Want to use the SD-card slot with the Music or Movies-applications in Windows 8? Windows Media Player won’t include stuff in the library that’s stored on removable storage so here’s how to fool it!

Create a VHD on an SD-card (or USB, but that’ll stick out of your Slate (which I’m running)).

To create a VHD using diskpart follow these steps:

  1. Insert your SD-card or USB and note the driveletter it receives. Substitute “C:” below with that letter.
  2. Run CMD, start diskpart
  3. create vdisk file=”C:vdisksmediadisk.vhd” maximum=16000 (Creates a VHD on C: with maximum size 16000 MBs)
  4. attach vdisk (attaches it to your computer)
  5. create partition primary (creates a primary partition)
  6. assign letter=z (assigns the letter z to it)
  7. format fs=ntfs quick (quick formats the VHD with NTFS)

Start Notepad and copy and paste the script below, save this script into “mount.bat” or something similar.

set dpscript="%TEMP%dpscript.txt"
echo select vdisk file="w:mediadisk.vhd" > %DiskPartScript%
echo attach vdisk >> %dpscript%
DiskPart /s %dpscript%

To make sure your computer mounts your VHD automatically we’ll add the script to the startup scripts in the Local Group Policy Editor:

  1. Start it by pressing Windows+R and typing gpedit.msc into the box.
  2. Browse to Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Scripts (Startup/Shutdown)
  3. Doubleclick Startup
  4. Browse to where you saved your script
  5. Ok all the way out to the MMC
  6. Reboot
  7. If it worked your VHD shall now be mounted with a driveletter









To get some content into your applications you’ll need to create some folders in your VHD. I’ve named mine “Movies” and “Music”. Into these I’ve copied, you guessed it, movies and music.

These folders then need to be added into the libraries in Windows 8.

  1. Do this by starting Explorer, browse to your directories, right click and choose “Include in library”.
  2. Select the appropriate library.
  3. To speed things up you can after this go into Windows Media Player to verify or rescan that your files are added.

Once they are, they’ll be included in the Movies and Music apps in Windows 8 too.

System Center 2012

Once you check out and take some time off, lots of stuff goes down. Like the release of the System Center 2012 suite of software. This is, to quote Microsoft, a game changer. A unified installer, and new versions of the different management components gives you a whole new level of control.

The whole suite is now better prepared to cooperate and you can automate lots of steps thanks to Orchestrator. This makes it easier for IT to deliver their services to the business in an automated and efficient way, previously only possible by using third party products and addons.







Get the 180 day trial of Microsoft System Center or read more here!

Hyper-V update list

Are you running Hyper-V in your environment? You might want to check out this list of updates, which not only contains download links but also mentions why the update might be needed. So if you have any specific problems (or want to avoid them) be sure to check it out!

It’s over at

Also available through RSS:

Destroying the internet

Very interesting article on how to destroy the internet from gizmodo:

“Remember when Anonymous threatened to destroy the entire internet? We laughed, and ultimately their words were just hacker hubris. But it got us thinking—could someone actually destroy the Internet?

We did some digging, and guess what: With enough effort, the entire thing can be shattered. Physically. Completely. Here’s how to kill the net.”

Full article over at gizmodo!

Self managing lab environment using Hyper-V and SCVMM 2012

In january when I started my new job at Transcendent Group there were developers that needed a test / lab environment for testing Team Foundation Server and other products. Since we’re only ~40 employees we don’t have the manpower to manage stuff like this manually. What better way to solve this problem than building a private cloud with Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012?!

I started off with installing Windows Server 2008 R2 complete with all patches and drivers. After activating Hyper-V I attached an iSCSI-disk to the server for storage of virtual machines. This is also for future possibility to build a cluster, easily converting that storage to a CSV.

The first thing I did was to create a new VM and installed SCVMM 2012 in that one. With that in place I could start configuring both my Hyper-V environment and the SCVMM solution to enable our users to create, use and destroy their own lab environments. I’m actually running my VMM-instance in a virtual machine which makes it easier, and since I’m connecting my data disk through iSCSI it won’t matter if I move the VM to another machine.


I decided to have five different clouds. Three for general use and two “private” since we are two internal users that needed our own environments. I created five internal networks, LabNet01 – 05 and one external that connects to our production network.

In Hyper-V it looks like this:

In each cloud there is one Smoothwall which is a Linux-based firewall with a very small footprint. These are used just for routing but could easily be used to publish services from each cloud. I chose this setup so we could separate services like DHCP and other “disturbing” services from our production network.

There’s also one domain controller in each cloud, with different domain names. The domains are named lab01.local – lab05.local. This gives the users the ability to join their lab computers to a domain, without having to clutter our production AD.

The Clouds

The naming conventions are planned so every user that uses each environment easily knows which lab user has access to which cloud. In the SCVMM self service portal there are five user accounts that are tied to our production Active Directory. These are named labuser01 – labuser05 with a common password known to everyone, the labs are open for everyone and booked as rooms through Outlook.

Cloud Account Firewall DC Subnet
LabNet01 LabUser01 SmoothWall01 LabDC01
LabNet02 LabUser02 SmoothWall02 LabDC02
LabNet03 LabUser03 SmoothWall03 LabDC03
LabNet04 LabUser04 SmoothWall04 LabDC04
LabNet05 LabUser05 SmoothWall05 LabDC05

Using the clouds

Using the system is a matter of booking a cloud in Outlook, and then logging into the self service portal.

Logged on as LabUser02, which gives access to Cloud02.

Logged on as LabUser03, which gives access to Cloud03.

When the user wants to create a new machine, the wizard for new machine in the portal is used. Since each user only has access to one cloud there won’t be any users creating VM’s in each others environments.

Access to the lab environment

Reaching the VM’s on the internal networks is either done through the portal, or for the users not wanting to use a browser, through an RDS Gateway. The gateway is connected to each of the internal networks witch makes it possible to connect to any computer on the inside once it has an IP address.

In this case we’re not using the same credentials for the remote computer as we’re doing for the gateway. This is because the gateway belongs to our production domain, but the remote server belongs to the lab domain. The RDS gateway settings can be found under the Advanced tab in the RDP-client.

With that we’ve constructed an enviroment which lets the users logon, create, use and destroy their own lab. In the next post we’ll take a look at more specific settings and group policies which makes life easier for both administrators and users of this environment.

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