Category: Windows Server OS

PVS write cache filling up? handy filter in Procmon to give a clue as to what’s causing it

So of course with write cache filling up issues no simple way to tell what’s going on. Needless to say like most quirks that happen in Windows the sysinternals tools can come to you rescue.

Recently started work on a windows 10 PVS image and after about 10 minutes the write cache would fill up.

So using Procmon ( was able to determine what was going on.

In order though to filter out the extraneous stuff found the following 2 filters gave me info on the offenders.

To do click Filter and filter out everything except write activity by making two filters as follows:

Operation begins with WriteFile Include
Operation begins with WriteConfig Include

and you’ll be on our way.



W2k16 clustering – transient failure monitoring improvements

Recently came across a good MS blog article that covers some of the improvements made in VM monitoring at a cluster level in Windows Server 2016:

Virtual Machine Compute Resiliency in Windows Server 2016

Good to see MS taking note of these “softer” type failure scenarios that occur more often in the VM space.


Nifty new MS cluster feature (2016 Server tech) – configure your own witness in the cloud

An interesting feature within W2k16 within the clustering framework is the cloud witness. Quorum maintenance being one of the most important parts of any cluster design. With DR can be a design challenge as MS recommend that the quorum is located in a 3rd data center. As a lot of companies operate using 2 data centers this can pose a problem.

With the tech preview edition of 2016 it introduces a new feature called the cloud witness that looks to address this problem.

Creating one is simple and via the usual means to create a quorum using the Cluster Quorum wizard. The pre-requisites are straightforward enough too. Need:

i) An active Azure subscription

ii) Storage account

To launch the wizard:

i) Right-click the server in the Failover Cluster Manager

ii) Point to More Actions

iii) Select Configure Cluster Quorum Settings

iv) Select the Quorum Witness option

v) Select the Configure a Cloud Witness option

vi) On the next page provide the name of your Azure storage account, copy the key from the Azure Portal to the clipboard and type the Azure service endpoint

When the wizard is completed you’ll see the cloud witness displayed in the Cluster Core Resources pane in the Failover Configuration Manager snap-in.


IE11 issue: cannot type in any dialog boxes eg google,yahoo etc?

Had this one recently and was driving me crazy. Basically was looking to optimize logon performance in our xenapp environment and as part of it was slicing and dicing our existing v.large GPO into smaller more logical components. As a result of the slicing and dicing all looked good apart from this strange issue with IE.

If i went into IE and hit google i could type in the search bar and all was ok, only problem was when i went to other sites i couldnt type in the dialog boxes, yahoo,gmail you name it, went back to google and be the same.

This one took me a long time to uncover and in the end the culprit was activex filtering. Unticking

it from Tools | Safety | ActiveX filtering resolved the issue


To set via group policy



Ever used WS2012 r2 feature Work folders? here’s how to setup in 2 easy steps

Work folders is a feature new to windows server variants 2012 r2 or later. Allows users to have their work data synchronized across all of their machines whether its tablets,laptops,desktops etc. Very much akin to Skydrive Pro but what is useful about work folders is that it can help integrate your existing file servers into the mix

To setup from Powershell

Step 1

Install-WindowsFeature FS-SyncShareService

Step 2

PS C:6\>New-SyncShare ITSyncShare –path E:\ITSyncShare –User “ACME\IT Admins” -RequireEncryption $true -RequirePasswordAutoLock $true

More information on Work folders