File Server Capacity Tool (FSCT) 1.0

New builds of Microsoft Windows are produced almost every day for internal development and testing. In order to detect performance regressions as soon as possible, those builds have to be evaluated and compared to their predecessors as well as previous public releases. A range of performance tests are used for these comparisons, including one called “FSCT” (which stands for File Server Capacity Tool). FSCT was developed by the Windows Server Performance team as a tool capable of simulating multiple concurrent users accessing a file server using CIFS/SMB/SMB2.

Enable HAL detection on a Windows Server 2008 R2 VHD virtual image
… And I (wrongly) thought we were over the whole HAL detection problem.

SCCM: Forcing a Task Sequence to Rerun

There are well known methods to force an advertisement to rerun – including several add-on tools available for the SMS or SCCM console.  To date, however, there are not equivalent methods to force a task sequence to rerun.  Part of this may be because task sequences are typically thought of as focused on Operating System Deployment (OSD) and rerunning these types of distributions are not as common as rerunning advertisements.

Group Policy Settings References for Windows and Windows Server

These spreadsheets list the policy settings for computer and user configurations included in the Administrative template files delivered with the Windows operating systems specified. You can configure these policy settings when you edit Group Policy objects (GPOs).

The Case of the Mysterious Black Box (SAN analysis for beginners)

I haven’t had any performance analysis challenges lately, but there is a lot of confusion as to how to measure SAN performance. To many, a SAN is a proverbial “mysterious black box” that seems to perplex all who try to measure it’s performance with any measure of certainty. This blog entry covers how I measure the performance of SANs and tries to unlock the mysteries of the black box.

William Stanek: Windows 7: Inside Track, Part 6 “Automating Migrations with USMT 4.0”

William here, continuing with my inside track discussions on Windows 7. Last time, I provided step by step options for using Windows Easy Transfer. Now let’s kick it up a notch and look at automating migrations using User State Migration Tool (USMT) Version 4.0.

How do CMW files in Office 2000-2003 work? How to maintenance MSP files work in Office 2007-2010?

Here is a quick walk through showing the keys that are used to control the CMW and custom MSP files to determine what settings will take effect and if they had been run for the current user or not. … For the purpose of this walkthrough I have created this maintenance MSP. To keep it simple I am going to apply the following two changes in this custom .msp.

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