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SOLVED: GPO blocks Windows Meltdown / Spectre Update KB4056892

Dell was very fast to release BIOS updates (version A21) just a few days after the Meltdown / Spectre disaster became public. So I installed them on all of our Dell 9020 PCs and M4800 notebooks and I thought that everything was fine as I had automatic Windows Updates enabled...

But then I noticed that the required Windows Meltdown / Spectre Update KB4056892 was not installed for some reason. So I decided to run the Meltdown / Spectre PowerShell test script released by Microsoft and the surprise was that everything showed up in red, i.e. nothing was patched, not even the BIOS!

Then I suspected Kaspersky that might be preventing the Windows update from installing because I read about some AV conflicts. But Kaspersky did really fine this time - it had set the registry key allowing the update to install correctly on all computers.

So what was the problem?

Microsoft is the problem as usual! I had set some GPO to prevent preview builds and feature updates from installing immediately. This i…
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Adding a SATA controller to Dell PowerEdge T30 server - more drives and UEFI

The Dell PowerEdge T30 is a very compact and affordable server with Intel Xeon CPU and 8 GB RAM. In contrast to Lenovo and some others, drive caddies and SATA cables are included here and there are no artificial limitations built in.

Now you can connect 4 disks to Dell's onboard SATA Intel controller. But if you want to use it as e.g. a high performance NAS and run Windows Server 2016 you will probably need more than 4 SATA ports!

In my situation I wanted to install a small Samsung SSD as a boot drive (there is space for it in the case), connect the internal DVD-ROM and also add 4 x 10 TB Seagate Enterprise Capacity (Exos) hard drives for NAS functionality - so a total of 6 drives. Using Windows storage spaces in mirror mode, maybe with ReFS 3.1 should replace a hardware RAID controller and make it even more reliable.

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Veeam Backup & Replication: "Failed to execute script in guest OS" (Linux Guest VM on Hyper-V)


Veeam Pre-Freeze / Post-Thaw .sh Scripts Fail on Linux Guest VMs (e.g. Ubuntu) with "Failed to execute script in guest OS" although the scripts run fine. I use Hyper-V but that should not matter.

Failing scripts are configured to "Require successful script execution" under "Application-Aware Processing Options" under "Guest Processing" in the Veeam backup job.

My Solution:

Some commands executed inside the scripts seem to return error output which is passed back to Veeam through the script and confuse Veeam so it reports that the script was not successful.
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Additional information:

Also make sure that Veeam scripts (*.sh) are located on the Veeam Backup & R…

SOLVED: Network connection problems (shares, domain) after Windows 8.x wakes up from standby (sleep)

The Windows 8.x Standby / Wakeup from Sleep Problem:
Some time ago I set up multiple Dell Optiplex 9020 mini towers with Windows 8.1. After testing standby / sleep mode I noticed a very strange and annoying problem: Whenever the PCs are waken up from sleep (standby) all connections to open network shares and open Office 2010 documents are lost. All shares are on a Windows 2012 R2 ESSENTIALS server + domain controller which runs as a Hyper-V VM. So after waking up a Dell 9020 from standby I get my Win 8.1 login prompt, log in, but for any open shares that were open when the PC went to sleep in explorer, now I randomly get either a domain authentication error message or a new authentication prompt that asks me for domain username and password. The connection to open Word 2010 docs is always lost and Word tells me that the computer came back from standby but a connection problem occured and the document is now read-only, i.e. it must be saved as a new document. Very annoyin…

Changing the Reserved IP Address in a Static DHCP Reservation in Windows Server

Static IPs preferred DHCP is a good thing if it works - set and forget. But what happens if the DHCP server is down for some reason? Exactly - the whole network stops working. Another problem of DHCP are those random IPs a client gets each time. This is very bad for printers that use DHCP. Therefore I prefer static IPs over dynamic.
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials: You cannot stop Windows LAN Configuration Service anymore
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Backup to USB disks: Do-it-yourself setup for USB drive rotation / swapping

I was looking for a simple but effective solution to use external USB disk drives attached to my server for backup with backup applications that do not directly support USB drive rotation / swapping.

Unfortunately, Windows does not seem to support assigning the same drive letter to different USB drives, e.g. you cannot assign the letter U: to two different USB drives. This would be nice to be able to rotate the drives but it does not work. So my idea was to use a network share name that automatically mounts different USB drives to the same share name, depending on which USB drives are connected, that creates some sort of priority as we will see. An additional advantage is that drive can be also accessed directly from other computers through the network share.

The first step is to assign different drive letters to each USB disk through Windows disk management, e.g. U: and V:. Then create the same directory to be shared on each drive, e.g. "USB_SHARE". Backups will be stored t…

SOLVED: Making Wake-on-Lan (WOL) work in Windows 10 / 8.x

THIS FIX ALSO APPLIES TO WINDOWS 10, IT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT,  BECAUSE WINDOWS 10 TURNS "FAST STARTUP" (read below) BACK ON AFTER UPDATES (yes, Microsoft does not stop creating nonsense features / bugs).
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power\HiberbootEnabled
and set its value to 0 !

I had very serious problems getting Wake-On-Lan (WOL) to work on my new Dell Optiplex 9020 MT (MiniTower) on Windows 8.1 Pro. I finally got this to work and would like to share my experience here.

Note: At the time of this writing the current Dell BIOS for Optiplex 9020 MT was A05.
UPDATE: The same behavior is also observed with DELL BIOS A07. Maybe Dell needs to comply with some power saving requirements and therefore enables Deep Sleep instead of Wake-On-LAN? Whatever the reason is, it is extremely annoying that this is the default and it is not clearly docu…