I’m working on setting up a brand spanking new HP ProLiant ML310 Gen8 V2 for a small local agency that I also support at my day job. Their old SBS2003 r2 server lost a drive in its RAID 5 array, and the hot spare also failed while trying to rebuild. So instead of trying to find some replacement drives for a 5 and a half year old server we decided to replace it. Luckily I was able to use disk2vhd and get a good copy of the old server and virtualize it temporarily on a nice core i7 laptop (only thing they had that was capable) that I installed Server 2012 r2 Standard (eval version) on a spare hard drive to get them back up and running quickly and hopefully keep them operating until the new server could be ordered and setup. So far it was worked great! I have it backing up to an external hard drive using the free version of Altaro Hyper-V Backup , which is excellent software I might add, and they can’t tell the difference in their day to day operations. So that brings us to setting up the new server. I was ready to install Server 2012 r2 Std. on the new server using HP’s Intelligent Provisioning but it was unable to see the install ISO on my flash drive, after several re-scans, and plugging flash drive into my desktop to make sure the iso was actually on the drive and readable. Then I got the idea that maybe the problem was the way the file was named, maybe it was too long, or perhaps it didn’t like the spaces. So I shortened the file name to just server2012r2, instead of the default crazy long name it has when you download it from the volume licensing center, plugged it back into the server, clicked re-scan and there it was, ready to go. So if you run into the same situation, try renaming the iso and see if it works for you.
I ran into this problem after creating a customized windows 7 pro install image that included Office 2010 sp1. I installed all the updates for both Office and Windows 7 before running sysprep, these updates included sp2 for office. It seems there is a problem with updating to sp2 before activation, that leaves you unable to activate in the normal way. Luckily there is an easy work around. First attempt to activate normally, when this fails, close out what ever office application you had open. Next open an elevated command prompt. Navigate to the folder :C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14 if you are running 32 bit windows, if running 64 windows with 32 bit office go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 Then simply enter: cscript ospp.vbs /act If everything works correctly you will see Product Activation Successful in the output of the script. There have been a couple times that I have gotten a failed activation using this method as well, but trying it again after a reboot has worked.
Since working to replace /upgrade all our old XP machines I’m running into more and more printer problems with Windows 7 pro 64bit mostly but also some with the 32 bit variety. Granted some of these are old Laserjet printers, but the latest, an HP LaserJetP1505n has gotten on my last nerve. I’m replacing it with a Brother workgroup laser printer instead of going with another HP. We are almost exclusively an HP shop but between fighting with printer driver problems and HP’s latest move concerning firmware updates (you can read about it here), I’m seriously looking and going a different direction. What direction that is, I’m not sure. But the last thing a one man IT dept. needs is another support subscription to keep up with when other vendors are giving it away for free.
If you are running a Hyper-V 2012 r2 host with guest VMs that are of earlier versions of windows you will notice a couple of unknown devices in the device manager, even after installing the hyper-v integration services on the guest. When I first noticed this I thought maybe some driver didn’t install correctly, but after doing a little digging i found a Microsoft Knowledge Base article dealing with this very subject kb2925727. The article states “On a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Hyper-V host, you may see 2 unknown device under Other Devices in device manager of any virtual machine running operating systems earlier than Windows Server 2012 R2. These Virtual Devices (VDev) are provided for Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) to communicate with the host. AVMA is only supported on virtual machines running Windows Server 2012 R2 or later versions of operating systems. The unknown devices are harmless and can be ignored. ” So there you go.