Dec 04

SCAM ALERT – Microsoft Tech Support – WITH Audio Recording

So I got a call tonight from those scammers that try to get you to let them connect to your computer. I

Microsoft scammers webpage

Microsoft scammers webpage

recorded the call if you want to listen to what it sounds like. I’m not as dumb as I sound on the audio; it was an act to drag it out and build rapport to try to get more information. It’s about 30 minutes. Everything I say on the call is made up; I was trying to stretch it out but finally I had other things to do. When I told him there was someone at the door I actually made me some dinner. This is actually a fairly unsophisticated attack, entirely based on social engineering and not technical. Some tips to avoid this type of attack, based on this call (based on my 20 years in IT, some in Director roles);

1) It was a blocked number on caller ID. This alone is already illegal.
2) Who INITIATED the call?  If THEY initiated the call, you are at risk. If you have a problem with your computer, go fix it, don’t wait for someone legit to call you.
3) I it was pretty obvious it was a crowded, lots of background noise, and not very good English. A real Microsoft support person has a very professional demeanor.
4) Even without being technical, it was/should be a red flag when the Microsoft guy said they could also fix Apple.  One guy said they COULD fix Android, one said they could not.
5) The website they directed me to was a “free” hosted website company. I have already contacted them, and the site is being shut down.
6) Technically; they ask you to open Event Viewer, and look at the Critical Events, and you’re supposed to get panicked, but there are ALWAYS bad looking events in there.
7) Then, they directed me to a website, which had several remote control links on it, I’m sure the next step was to get me to install one of them. The tools listed on that site; Teamviewer, Goto Meeting, etc, are legit tools, just being used for a scam.
8) I started asking about a phone number, for my “friends” to call them. They hung up. Most of their website and phone activity can be faked, but a call back number would be a way to identify them, and they knew it.

From what I’ve read, if it works, they get you to go to a Western Union site and send them money to pay for their “help” fixing your computer.

Here are a couple of searches to see more about the scam;
Microsoft Support scam;

Dec 02

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 install and first boot

Here are two quick videos showing the install and first boot of Server 2016 Technical Release 4

Server 2016 Technical Review 4

Server 2016 Technical Review 4


number1This first video we install and boot to Core. Core is the default of the two options; Core or GUI. So, if you select all the defaults, you will have Core.



number2In this second video we install and boot to the GUI install.


Nov 27

VMware vCenter 6.0 VCSA – Where is the .OVA?

Um, Yeah, there is no OVA with vCenter Server Appliance 6.0

We take a quick look at setting up vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.0 since it’s a bit different with no .OVA option. In fact, there is a VMware KB article they created because so many people were asking where to find the .ova download. With 6.0, there is ONLY an .ISO.  That’s the only option to download. You should be able to download VCSA 6.0 or VCSA 6.0U1 here.

If you remember the old process, you could set up one host, connect to the host with vSphere Client, and then import the .OVA and you’d be up and running in mere minutes.

Fortunately, the new process is almost as simple, as long as you get a couple of pieces right up front. Please watch the video from our YouTube Channel and we walk through the process. Essentially, you 1) download the .iso, 2) install the Client Integration Plugin and 3) install / push / import the VCSA to a host.

Nov 24

4 videos to understand Windows Server Desired State Configuration (DSC) and FREE eBook

Desired State Configuration is a big part of most 2012 R2 certification tests; get an understanding from these 5 videos.

I have tried to arrange these in order; if you watch them in order, you should have a good basic understanding of DSC. It’s a very useful capability. The first two are approximately 1 hour each. DSC can do PUSH or PULL. Push would normally be ad hoc, test, or small needs. Most normal production use would be PULL.

Free eBook from The DSC Book

number1VIDEO 1

Time = 1:09
Description; Targeted somewhat to developers; or with a dev mindset. Give a good overview of the design, deployment and possible uses. Lots of groundwork explanation. .MOF (Managed Object Format) file creation and use. This is a classroom recording, so there is some live Q & A.

number2VIDEO 2 – DSC is the ENDGAME for PowerShell

Time = 1:04

Published on May 19, 2014

Description; Windows PowerShell 4.0 introduces Desired State Configuration (DSC), and it’s time to put it to use. With DSC, you declaratively tell computers what you want them to look like, and how you want them to be configured, and let DSC make it happen and KEEP that configuration enforced. In this session, you not only see how DSC works, but you will be introduced to custom resource development, letting you start teaching; DSC how to configure internal applications, databases, and other infrastructure elements.

number3VIDEO 3 – More hands on and examples

Time = 1:17

Published on Nov 9, 2014

Description; Are you paying attention to DevOps? Adoption of DevOps practices can greatly improve your company’s deployment efficiency. PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) helps teams take the management of their Windows-based infrastructure into the DevOps space by capturing their infrastructure as code. The declarative PowerShell model enables autonomous, idempotent, and transparent configuration and deployment of Windows infrastructure and components. Capturing infrastructure as code is not only a means to manage what they have, at scale and speed, it is also a way to decouple the complexity of their existing environment in order to facilitate a migration to the cloud. Come see how DSC works and how you can use it to make configuration of internal applications, databases, and other infrastructure elements more efficient.


VIDEO 4 – Use Powershell DSC to install SQL Server

Time = :14

Published on Dec 18, 2014

Description; I briefly show how powershell DSC can be used to configure and deploy a brand new SQL Server installation.

Nov 16

Google Reviewers get 1TB of free Drive storage?

1TB of free Drive storage; This story is all over today;

Instead of playing games with this process, someone there should step back and look at how this works from the customer’s perspective.
Google reviews still apparently has NO WAY to use a QR code to point customers directly to a review page. I have received two different confirmations of this from Google Support. In the past, this HAS been possible with Google Places, or straight links to a url. Now, this has all been broken with recent Google Business updates, and the push to the MAPS app. This is an incredible failure to support the local businesses, making it impossible to offer your customers a QR link where they can easily go straight to a review URL. QR codes have been around for over 20 years now, and various competitors (Yelp) DO offer this functionality, and it’s clearly time for Google to make this work consistently and reliable without forcing user to use an APP.
This is probably the biggest hurdle to adoption of Google Reviews and Google seems unaware or clueless about it. Google it; local business owners are frustrated by this gap, and looking for a solution.
In case anybody who matters at Google reads this, here is the problem statement; “As a business owner, I need a simple, quick, easy way to create a QR code that goes DIRECTLY to the review page (no additional clicks or links) and allows the user to post stars, and a review, WITHOUT any app, and on any platform (windows or mac pc, Android or Apple phone) or browser (Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc.)”.

Link to this comment

Oct 29

How to tell if your information was affected by data breach hacked

Today the news came out that was hacked and 13,000,000 user’s information was released.  This isn’t even the biggest breach. In order of size the Adobe breach was still the largest at 152,000,000. The site is now in “maintenance” mode for all, causing a lot of alarm with the user community.

The background of the issue, and the site’s reluctance to face the issue is outlined in numerous articles

Has my account been compromised or hacked? Look it up here.

Has my account been compromised or hacked? Look it up here.

online so I won’t go over that.

What I do want to show you is a site or two that can tell you IF your data was included in any of the recent hacks. You can find out quickly here;



Others include;

Oct 11

Flashcard App sets for 70-410 PowerShell and ITIL

Flashcard Sets for ITIL and PowerShell for 70-410, 411, 412, 417

I have created two flashcard sets at, one for ITIL Foundations terms (remember, no acronym memorization is needed for Foundations test).

ITIL – 52 flashcards on the key terms and definitions.

70-410, 411, 412 and 417 PowerShell commands.

You can review these online, or you can download an APP to study them on your phone. The app is

Flashcard Machine ITIL and PowerShell sets

Flashcard Machine flashcards for ITIL and 70-410

called Flashcard Machine, and it’s FREE. To find my two flashcard sets search for these terms on;

ITIL – ITIL 2011 JL Key Service Management Terms (53 cards)

70-410 PowerShell – 70-410 JL PowerShell Commands (68 cards)

As you can see, I have “JL” in each title so you can make sure you’re getting my sets.

Oct 05

ITIL V3 2011 Study Resources

ITIL V3 2011 study resources

I passed my test with a 98% (one wrong).

First, a word about versions. The most current version is “V3, 2011”.  Version 3 was enacted in 2007. Then, in 2011 there was a minor update commonly called “2011”.  So, if you’re studying a straight “V3” resource, it might not be the most current, although there isn’t a HUGE difference. One of the .PDF below is V3 and one is 2011.

For the Foundations class, you do NOT have to know any acronyms. This is useful to know because there are about a thousand in the book, so don’t waste your time memorizing acronyms. The test spells out all terms, and does’t require you to know acronyms.

Terms; there are a lot of terms to know. I have gathered the basics intoITILV32011FlashCardApp a flashcard set at If you log on online, or use the free app, you can download the set I created just search for “ITIL 2011 JL” as shown in the screenshot; my set is currently 53 cards. These are the core terms you should know.

Now, some online resources;

  1. There is a veritable BOATLOAD of free online training on ITIL from Microsoft Virtual Academy. This is online and FREE. Here is the link to ITIL on MVA.
  2. YouTube has some great training. The one that seems to mirror our training at work is this one.
  3. For some printable resources start with this partial .pdf; they want you to buy a complete guide, but this sample provides a lot of info. ThoughtRock sample ITIL 2011. (pdf)
  4. This one is V3, but NOT 2011, so very similar, terms would be the same.
  5. Free online sample test;
  6. Free online sample test from Axelow (The official ITIL outfit);
  7. Lastly, I thought the “7 Common Mistakes” was worthwhile.
  8. And, another good compilation page to check out;

Good luck! Feel free to share this post with anyone else.

Sep 13

Garage Freezer Rebuild Complete

Freezer rebuild project is complete. By doing this I saved $1,497.21 by not having to buy a Gladiator garage freezer for Ginger . This cost me about $52.69.

First photos from this summer from cleaning, fixing the interior fan, and adding new cover board on back.

Then painted it HD orange. Tread plate on the front. Painted gaskets black. (Black is the new Black). Force rusted metal bars (before photos included). Attached rusted bars. Rubber tread plate detail on the handle. Latches on the door so it can’t pop open and ruin 1k worth of beef vegetables.

Sep 12

Server 2012 R2 Core, Minimal GUI, GUI

SO, what are all the options with core?  What is “minimal  GUI”?  How do you move from one to the other?

I wanted to post to outline these options as this understanding will probably be included on several questions in the 70-412 or 70-417 tests.

There are THREE options for the interface on Server 2012.

From the most basic, to the most features, they look like this;

  1. Server Core – always installed and enabled; the baseline feature for all Windows Servers. This includes the fundamental capabilities that cannot be removed and are core to the OS.
    1. What you get; ONLY command prompt (Powershell)
  2. Minimal Server Interface; Server Graphical Management Tools & Infrastructure – functionality for Minimal Server Interface;
    1. What you get; Server Manager and command prompt, and MMC
  3. Server Graphical Shell – equivalent to Server with a GUI
    1. What you get; this is the full GUI interface that most Administrators work with

Link to overview and diagram shown below.

Server 2012 GUI Layers

Server 2012 GUI Layers


We are going to demonstrate scenarios with VIDEO

  1. Starting with Server Graphical Shell (normal full blown GUI)
    1. We remove the Graphical Shell, which takes us to MINIMAL SERVER INTERFACE.  Then we return to the Server Graphical Shell.
      1. Link to video going from Server Graphical Shell to Minimal Server Interface, and back. Also looking at the tools in Minimal Server Interface, and how you restart your tools if you close them all and are looking at a black, blank desktop in Minimal Server Interface.
    2. We remove Graphical Shell and minimal interface and go directly to CORE, then we return to Graphical Shell
      1. This command gets you from CORE to Minimal Server Interface; Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra
      2. Add this command as well, and you go back to full Server Graphical Shell; Install-WindowsFeatureServer-Gui-Shell 
      3. So, to go from Core back to Server Graphical Shell in one step, this is your command; Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra, Server-Gui-Shell
      4. Link to video going from Server Graphical Shell to Core, and back. Also looking at the tools in Core, and how you restart your tools if you close them all and are looking at a black, blank desktop in Core.