Using Hyper-V with Windows 10

Setting up a virtual machine allows you to create a miniature server inside Windows 10 so you can test out different software or do some coding that will not change anything on your current computer.  Sometimes, Hyper-V can be tricky to set up.

The following article is so good that I have reproduced it in its entirety in case the links change.  Thanks to Microsoft and its team for providing such excellent information.

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Step-By-Step: Enabling Hyper-V for use on Windows 10

– written by Anthony Bartolo on the Microsoft Website https://techcommunity.microsoft.com on October 8, 2018 (https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/ITOps-Talk-Blog/Step-By-Step-Enabling-Hyper-V-for-use-on-Windows-10/ba-p/267945?WT.mc_id=ITOpsTalk-email-abartolo&MC=CloudDev&MC=CloudPlat&MC=WinServer&MC=Windows&MC=Virtual)

Virtualization provides a plethora of solutions from making the most of an organization’s hardware investment to running specific applications in other OS offerings. Windows 8 was the first Windows client operating system to include hardware virtualization support natively. Using the same technology found in Windows Server 2012 R2, the embedded Hyper-V client allowed IT professionals to move VMs from server to client without the requirement to re-learn the use of Hyper-V features and tools. Further enhancements were introduced in Windows 8.1 such as Enhanced Session Mode, enabling high fidelity graphics for connections to VM’s using the RDP protocol, and USB redirection which is enabled from the host to VM’s. Windows 10 brings further enhancements to the native hypervisor offering. These include:
  • Hot add and remove for memory and network adapters – works with generation 2 virtual machines running both Windows and Linux
  • Windows PowerShell Direct – the ability to run commands inside a virtual machine from the host operating system
  • Linux secure boot – Ubuntu 14.04 and later, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 OS offerings running on generation 2 virtual machines are now able to boot with the secure boot option enabled
  • Hyper-V Manager Down-level management – Hyper-V manager can manage computers running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1

Step 1: Prerequisites The following prerequisites are required to successfully run Client Hyper-V on Windows 10:

Step 2: Setting Up Hyper-V

  1. Ensure that hardware virtualization support is turned on in the BIOS settings
  2. Save the BIOS settings and boot up the machine normally
  3. Click the search icon (magnified glass) on the taskbar
  4. Type turn windows features on or off and select that item Windows10_HyperV_001
  5. Select and enable Hyper-V
    Windows10_HyperV_1.pngWindows Features: Turn Windows features on or off
  6. If Hyper-V was not previously enabled, reboot the machine to apply the change. NOTE: As a best practice, configure networking for the Hyper-V environment to support external network connections. Also ensure that a virtual switch has been created and is functional.
  7. Click the search icon (magnified glass) on the taskbar, type Hyper-V Manager and select the item NOTE: Right click Hyper-V Manager to pin it to the task bar
  8. Open the Virtual Switch Manager, found on the Actions panel in the Hyper-V Manager, by typing Hyper-V at the Start Screen Windows10_HyperV_003
  9. Select Virtual Switch Manager in the Actions pane
  10. Ensure that External is highlighted, and then click on the Create Virtual Switch button
  11. If more than one NIC in is present, ensure that the proper NIC is selected for use on the VM external network connections
    Windows10_HyperV_2.png

Virtual Switch Manage

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How To Set A Browser as a Default in 3 Different Browsers

Over the last several weeks, I have been working with computer users at work as we start to change over to a new network system and upgrade some of our software.

I was surprised that many of them did not know how to choose a browser and set it as a default.  The three browsers of choice are Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

I know that most browsers prompt you to set them as your default browser (unless the setting is turned off). Here’s the Firefox callout.

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If your browser doesn’t notify you, you can open up settings or preferences in the browser to find the option to set it as your default.

In Firefox, click the menu button at the upper right of the browser window (the three horizontal lines), and then choose the “Options” command. You’ll see the default browser setting right at the top of the page, as below.

firefox-manual-default-set

For the Chrome browser, hit the menu button in the top right (the three vertical dots), and then choose the “Settings” command. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the “Default Browser” section.

chrome-default-manual-set

Edge is a Microsoft product. So you need to hit the menu button at the top right (the three horizontal dots), and then choose the “Settings” command. Right at the top, click the “Change My Default” button.

And, there you have it!  Three browsers that are each able to be set up as the default browser.  Remember that Default means that it is the first browser of choice.  You can still choose a different browser on your computer to look up information, if you think one browser is faster than another.

Browse away!

Free Up Space – A Tool in Windows 10

I have used CCleaner for years, but recently, I have found that it is getting very annoying with pop up reminders.  Some of the messages make it seem un-trustworthy.  I was looking for a new cleaning tool.

Then I read an article on “How To Geek” about Free Up Space, a tool in Windows 10.  Here are some highlights.

  • Windows has a built-in Disk Cleanup
  • Microsoft has been improving it
  • Works even better in the latest versions of Windows 10
  • Removes temporary files, previous Windows installations, log files, old Windows updates, thumbnails, and various other cache files

To access the Free Up Space tool on Windows 10, head to Settings > System > Storage and click “Free Up Space Now” under Storage Sense. Windows will automatically scan for files you can delete. Check the files you want to delete and click “Remove files” to get rid of them.  See the partial screen shot below of Free Up Space.

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If you check “Recycle Bin,” Windows will also empty your Recycle Bin. Be sure you don’t want to recover any deleted files from your Recycle Bin before checking this option.

How To – .XML Files

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Increasingly, I need to work with .xml files that are produced from cloud based software.  The .xml files frustrate people from time to time because they don’t produce what we expect, especially when we try to use them with Excel.

Here is an excellent write up on using XML files by Brady Gavin.  https://www.howtogeek.com/357092/what-is-an-xml-file-and-how-do-i-open-one/.


Create a SQL Server Utility Control Point

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Figure 1 – SQL Server Utility Configuration Steps that show up on the Utility Setup

You may have read my previous post – Solving – WMI Provider Error, and how the issue was solved by creating the Utility Control Point (UCP). 

The Utility Tool has some excellent features that track the health of SQL Server.  So, what do you need to know about it?

Benefits of the SQL Server Utility

The SQL Server Utility models an organization’s SQL Server-related entities in a unified view. Utility Explorer and SQL Server Utility viewpoints in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provide administrators a holistic view of SQL Server resource health through an instance of SQL Server that serves as a utility control point (UCP). The combination of summary and detailed data presented in the UCP for both underutilization and overutilization policies, and for a variety of key parameters, enables resource consolidation opportunities and resource overutilization to be identified with ease. Health policies are configurable, and can be adjusted to change either upper or lower resource utilization thresholds. You can change global monitoring policies, or configure individual monitoring policies for each entity managed in the SQL Server Utility. – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/sql-server-utility-features-and-tasks

The information below describes that an organization can have many SQL Server Utilities. 

An enterprise can have multiple SQL Server Utilities, and each SQL Server Utility can manage many instances of SQL Server and data-tier applications. Every SQL Server Utility has one and only one utility control point (UCP). You must create a new UCP for each SQL Server Utility. Each managed instance of SQL Server and every data-tier application is a member of one and only one SQL Server Utility, and is managed by a single UCP.+

The UCP collects configuration and performance information from managed instances of SQL Server every 15 minutes. This information is stored in the utility management data warehouse (UMDW) on the UCP; the UMDW file name is sysutility_mdw. SQL Server performance data is compared to policies to help identify resource use bottlenecks and consolidation opportunities.  – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/create-a-sql-server-utility-control-point-sql-server-utility 

The listing of requirements and recommendations is list at the same hyperlink noted above.

Solving – WMI Provider Error Invalid Namespace in SQL Reporting Services Setup

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Figure 1 – SSRS error during setup of SQL Reporting

You’ve installed SQL.  Everything went well and you have all the different tasks showing as being successful.  Then you go to install SSRS Reporting Services, and you get the message….

I keep getting ‘Cannot connect to SERVERNAME’, ‘Report Server WMI Provider Error: Invalid namespace

The answer to fixing this error, at least the answer that worked for me, is:

To install/reinstall/repair SSRS, run the SQL Server setup utility and choose the advanced or custom option which will allow you to choose only the components you wish to install.

Big question – what does the Utility Control Point do?

The SQL Server Utility is managed through a utility control point using Utility Explorer in SSMS. The UCP is configured on an instance of SQL Server. It provides the central reasoningpoint for the SQL Server Utility using SSMS to organize and monitor SQL Server resource health.

1. To create the SQL Server Utility begin with opening the SQL Server Management Studio.  I am using SQL 2014.

2. Then click on VIEW, and find UTILITY EXPLORER, as below.

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3. Click on UTILITY EXPLORER to open up the next window, and click on CREATE UTILITY CONTROL POINT.

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4. This opens up the window below which gives you very clear steps to follow to create the Utility Control Point.  

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The process of creating and validating the SQL Server instance cleared up the issues that I had with WMI not distinguishing instance names, and solved my problem.  I was able to install Reporting Services, and to configure SSRS reporting to suit my requirements.

How I Use OneNote

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Figure 1 – My Technology notebook showing multiple sections

Thank you to the folks that have emailed me and asked me how I use OneNote in my daily work. 

I am happy to answer that question.  OneNote has a tiered organizational system that begins with notebooks, and divides the notebook into sections, and then lets you record notes in each section by page.

I have several notebooks.  However, the one that I use the most is my TECHNOLOGY notebook.  You can see how I break down the sections in Figure 1 above.

Below, in Figure 2, is a sample of the section – Dynamics GP – and an illustration of the different pages that I have in that section.

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Figure 2 – Sample of pages from my section on Dynamics GP in OneNote

Everyone will arrange their information differently.  This is the arrangement that works for me.  Why I like OneNote so much is that it is online, and I can pull it up from any of my devices, or from a browser at a client site.  While it is easy to say that one should remember all the things that you have done on a software, I have learned that if you only do something once a year, sometimes you need to go back and look at the steps and rules.  I am often changing my pages because process and steps get updated during the passing of the year, either because the software was updated or because of third party add-ons that change the process.

Why I love working with OneNote

1) With OneNote Clipper, I can take articles or information from the internet and store it until I am ready to clean it up and add it to my notebook.

2)  If I am working on a research project, I can create a notebook for the research, copy it in, and then categorize it, and then wipe it out when I am done.

3) I don’t use them often, but the drawing tools are pretty good and let me create quick work flows or mind maps.

4) I love the fast SEARCH function.

5) The VIEW toolbar lets me pin my OneNote info so it is easy to get at.  See Figure 3.

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Figure 3 – The VIEW Toolbar in OneNote, highlighting the DOCK to DESKTOP feature

As with starting anything new, using OneNote does require some practice and you may not get it right the first time.  I didn’t. The trick is to wipe it out and to start over until you get it right for the way that you work.

More on OneNote

Note: use CTRL+Click to go to sites

OneNote for Beginners
Insert online videos into OneNote 2016 for Windows
New Features Added to OneNote
How To Move from Evernote to OneNote
New Features in OneNote At January 2016

Microsoft Press Sale Until July 31 2017

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If you are looking at writing any Microsoft exams over the next several months, then you will want to look at all of the Exam Reference guides that are on sale until July 31, 2017.  Click on this link to see all of the volumes that are available.

https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/promotions/cert-sale-save-up-to-55-on-exam-prep-books-ebooks-141071

There are two good reference on Office 365.

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Sandbox Applications for Window 10

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Figure 1 – Visual image of what a Sandbox environment looks like when a Sandbox is installed on a PC (Image from Comodo.com)

I have some testing that I want to do on my laptop, and I was looking for the safest way to create an environment for completing this testing.  I know that I can use the Hyper-V on my Windows 10.  However, I am finding that it is not so user friendly.  I wanted something really easy.

I found a great article on www.maketecheasier.com called “5 of the Best Sandbox Applications for Windows 10” https://www.maketecheasier.com/best-sandbox-applications-windows10/.

If you are wanting to create a Sandbox environment to test out software, take a look at the article.

Let me know which sandbox app that you choose with some feedback on how it works for you.

Creating Reports for Power BI Phone Apps

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Figure 1 – Visual of Sales Dashboard created in Power BI – from Maggie Sparkman’s article “Create reports optimized for the Power BI phone apps”

Maggie Sparkman published a great article on creating desktop reports in Power BI that will translate to the mobile apps on the phones.

Her article appears at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-create-phone-report/?mobileclient=ios.

In her article, she provides clear, step-by-step instructions on creating the visual.  The article is well worth the read if you are into Power BI.