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Adi Oltean's Weblog - Flashbacks on technology, programming, and other interesting things

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  • Blog Post: Script recipe: How to increase the maximum number of quotas in the FSRM Quota Report (W2K3 R2)

    One of the customer requests we had on Windows Server 2003 R2 was the ability to increase the maximum number of quotas in the FSRM Quota report. The current limit is 1000 quotas maximum. How do I set this limit to 20,000 for example? Here is how - assuming that you have Powershell 1.0 installed, just...
  • Blog Post: Script of the week: how to expire files with Classification

    It is an eye opening experience to sit at our FCI booth and see customer after customer telling us their biggest problem with managing file servers today: lots of old data sitting on their file servers. When I tell them how that our classification feature solves this problem, it something that always...
  • Blog Post: A simple way to access Shadow Copies in Vista

    In the past, I presented various ways to browse these mysterious device objects called "shadow copies". Shadow copies are static images in time (snapshots) of your volume contents, at some point in the past. These shadow copies are volumes on their own, with a file system namespace accessible...
  • Blog Post: Demo: New virtualization technologies in Windows Server (Longhorn)

    A nice demo that shows you several things: - Windows Server virtualization (a separate partition running a striped-down version of Windows to manage all other virtual machines) - Running an 8-proc virtual machine - 64-bit and 32-bit machines running concurrently - Managing virtual machines with System...
  • Blog Post: WS-Management? Already here in Vista!

    WS-Management is a new web services-based management protocol. It's SOAP-based of course, and it is compatible with the rest of the specifications in the WS-* Web Service stack, like WS-Transfer, WS-Enumeration, WS-Addressing. WS-Management is enabled in Vista (and Longhorn Server) in several ways. On...
  • Blog Post: How to run Defrag on a scheduled basis

    On Windows XP, it's simple. Just run this command and you are done: schtasks /create /TN defrag /RU "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" /SC weekly /TR "defrag %systemdrive%"
  • Blog Post: More VSHADOW stuff: how to backup Exchange, SQL, NTFS

    While researching for the previous post, I just started a few searches for VSHADOW on the internet, and I found more interesting usages of it. One example: EqualLogic published a nice technical report of using VSHADOW to backup/restore Exchange, SQL and NTFS. Here is the link: http://www.equallogic...
  • Blog Post: Fast backup of Virtual Server images (using VSHADOW)

    Jeff Trumbull published a very nice script on how to backup a Virtual Server image wiht about one minute of downtime! The solution uses VSHADOW.EXE, a small command-line utility that can be used to create shadow copies. VSHADOW is part of the VSS SDK
  • Blog Post: Unix guy shares his experience in switching to Windows

    Simon Gerber wrote a slightly-negative article titled Switching to Windows: Not as easy as you think . Any Windows developer should read this article. Why? Beyond anything else, it is a perfect example of how a Unix/Linux-oriented people are sincerely viewing Windows, especially when they are forced...
  • Blog Post: How to do atomic writes in a file

    Let's assume that you want is to write some simple code that writes to a text file. A few assumptions: 1) You need avoid corruptions of any kind. 2) Either all of your writes have to make it to the disk, or none of them. 3) The file is updated serially - no concurrent updates from separate processes...
  • Blog Post: DOSDEV.EXE - a misterious tool

    Once in a while, you might encounter this tool in some Microsoft-provided SDKs, or Resource Kits, for example in the Windows Resource Kit, the Exchange Report Toolkit, and others. But this tool never came with any relevant documentation. It just displays the following cryptic help message: DOSDEV...
  • Blog Post: CMD programming - elements of style

    Everyone knows how to write CMD scripts. And this is the reason why we have so many messy CMD scripts around. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anywhere some guidelines on how to write clear, maintenable batch files. So here is my take: 1) Think about discovery and usability . Anyone should be able to...
  • Blog Post: Start.com Developer Center is launched! (or at least the web site is up)

    It looks like it is possible to create your own start.com site, develop "gadgets" for it, etc. Go directly here: http://start.com/developer/ Here is also some documentation on the new Atlas runtime: http://start.com/developer/atlasruntime.aspx While you are there, check out the infrastructure for...
  • Blog Post: Tricks with Mark of the Web: Behaviors, XML files

    A new feature of Internet Explorer is the Local Machine lockdown that blocks by default the execution of scripting in HTML pages. It is implemented in Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 (and future versions of Windows/IE). If you just load in IE a local HTM file with scripts in it, you will see an...
  • Blog Post: Script recipe: how to query a HTTP/HTTPS web page

    It is sometimes hard to diagnose browser problems. For example if you have problems loading a certain page, you don't know whether this is a browser problem or an web server problem. Maybe you have the wrong browser settings (for example bad certificates for a HTTPS site). Or probably the web server...
  • Blog Post: When CoCreateInstance returns 0x80080005 (CO_E_SERVER_EXEC_FAILURE)

    A sneaky error The following post summarizes my personal experience with a subtle COM error. CO_E_SERVER_EXEC_FAILURE (0x80080005) is an error which can be randomly returned by CoCreateInstance() if you are using an out-of-process COM server. As far as I know, there are many COM clients are not aware...
  • Blog Post: Playing with transportable snapshots

    Transportable shadow copies are another practical consequence of a new paradigm - the data is stored in the (SAN) cloud. The data availability is not anymore tied to your machine. This simple fact has far reaching consequences. One consequence is the ability to control the lifetime of your data without...
  • Blog Post: Script recipe: How to enumerate dependencies for all resources in a cluster

    A few days ago I wanted to gather more data from a cluster on a customer site. I hoped that the uber-management tool for MSCS called CLUSTER.EXE can be used to enumerate the dependencies for all resources in the system, since it can enumerate the dependencies for a certain resource, for example, and...
  • Blog Post: Implementing a COM component in... VBScript

    Normally, a VBS scripts is used to invoke COM components (written in C++ or even C#). But did you know that it can be the other way around? That is, invoking VBScript code from, say, C#. Here is a simple exercise: 1) Write a text file with the WSC extension (say, test.wsc) and with the content below...
  • Blog Post: Script recipe of the week: multitasking and syncronization in batch files

    Multitasking is an easy call. All you have to do is to start a separate process using the start command. Unless you specify the /WAIT option (which would cause a syncrhonous execution) the START command will simply start the other process, and return immediately to you. Here is an example: start dir...
  • Blog Post: Tricks around the "copy" command...

    The copy command can be very useful for quick operations. However, there are a number of tricks that are not widely known. 1) Copying the contents of a source directory into the current directory: just specify the source directory! y:\privates>copy C:\WINDOWS\system32\clients\twclient\x86 C:\WINDOWS...
  • Blog Post: Script Recipe: How to evaluate numerical expressions in the command line

    Here is a little known feature of our beloved CMD.EXE. It is extremely easy to evaluate an arithmetic expression! All it takes is a five characters. Just type set /a followed by your expression . Here is an example: E:\>set /a 1+1 2 Or, if you want, you can convert hex numbers to decimal: E:\>set...
  • Blog Post: NTFS curiosities (Part I): Short file names

    Aaron Stebner noted that it is possible to configure Windows to always use short file names. This is a legacy feature left over from the Windows 95 land. Sometimes, you just have to run some old MS-DOS applications. These apps will get confused about the new Windows long file names (for example, old...
  • Blog Post: Script puzzle: Solving Hanoi ... in shell

    If you like CMD programming, here is a challenge for you: write a CMD batch file that solves the Hanoi problem. You start with these folders: and you must end up with this state: You probably know the rules of the Hanoi problem. Mapped in the command shell terminology these rules are as follows: 1) You...
  • Blog Post: Attack of the clones: how to assign a drive letter or directory to a shadow copy

    In one of my previous posts I mentioned a simple script to copy a file from a shadow copy. This allows you to access files that are opened exclusively by some application. You won't have enough drive letters... Here I present a similar script (let's call it CreateShadow.cmd), which creates a persistent...
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