Quite a common request for working with Windows machines is to report the software installed on them. If you don’t have a centralised system for reporting on client software (many places don’t) then you may turn to some form of scripted method to obtain this information. Most people tend to head to Add / Remove Programs when thinking about what software is installed in Windows. However, not all applications will always populate information in there, depending on how they have been installed.
Following on from the blog post Testing TCP Port Response from PowerShell which provided a means to check that servers had fully rebooted after a patching and reboot cycle, I needed to take this one step further and check that all of the Windows Services set to Automatic successfully started after the reboot. This should be pretty straightforward since we have a Get-Service cmdlet. Unfortunately however, this cmdlet does not return a StartMode parameter, i.
Whilst working with Microsoft Support on a performance case we needed to supply them with some Perfmon logs. To do so required creating a User Defined Data Collector Set containing a number of counters. You can obviously do this through the GUI, which is fine for one server, but we needed the logs from around 200 servers. So we created a Data Collector Set on one server and then saved it out to a template which stores the data in an XML file.
I previously blogged about Extending the System Disk in Windows Server 2008 where as a new feature over Windows Server 2003 it is possible to extend the system volume online and without needing to resort to third party tools which often required at least a reboot. I’ve now used this feature many times, but yesterday I had an issue when extending the volume of a Windows Server 2008 system drive where it returned the horrible looking error below ‘The parameter is incorrect’.
If you run Tivoli Monitoring 6.2 to monitor Windows Server systems and use other applications to query WMI, e.g. PowerShell and Get-WmiObject, then you may receive the error ‘Server buffers are full and data cannot be accepted’. Restarting the WMI service will temporaily clear it, but the issue is liable to come back again. This can occur because of a file handle leak in the ITM Windows OS agent when collecting “Processor Information” attribute group.
After installing the Windows Management Framework, a.k.a PowerShell 2.0, on my test Windows 2008 64 bit Server I fired up the new PowerShell ISE tool and was prompted with this error: I already knew that PowerShell ISE had a higher dependency on .NET than PowerShell itself which only requires .NET 2.0, however I was curious about the statement in the above message which states: “If you are running Windows Server 2008, you must use Server Manager to install or configure “.
As a system administrator it is often not the latest and greatest big new features of a new operating system which you end up finding the most useful, sometimes its the small improvements which really make your life easier. I’ve been spending a lot more time with Windows Server 2008 recently (OK, I know R2 is out, but it takes time for large organisations to move away from older OS’s and applications.