Forcing a Blue Screen via iLO

Sometimes one of the most useful resources at your disposal when troubleshooting a hang or other issues is the memory dump file Windows will write out during a blue screen. If a system is hung and you are not able to get to it locally, pressing Ctrl+ScrollLock, ScrollLock isn’t going to be a feasible solution. If the server is an HP server with an iLO card (Integrated Lights Out), and you’ve set a registry key in Windows ahead of time, you can force the system to bluescreen, write the memory dump, and restart. The key to doing this is generating … Continue reading Forcing a Blue Screen via iLO

Loading VMWare 6 Tools on 2008 Server Core

Normally in VMWare when you go “VM>Install VMWare Tools…” with a Windows guest, autorun kicks right in and the installer launches. On server core this isn’t the case. You need to launch the MSI by hand. To do this, swich to your CD drive (e.g. “D:”), and then launch the MSI manually: msiexec /i “VMware Tools.msi” The MSI will launch, but at least for me it appeared hung shortly into the install. There are a couple DLLs it tries to load which aren’t in the server core image. The errors about this are hidden behind the installer so if you … Continue reading Loading VMWare 6 Tools on 2008 Server Core

How to Sysprep in Windows 2008

I thought I’d document how to setup the new sysprep process equivalent on Windows 2008 since the old setupmgr file for making sysprep.inf’s doesn’t exist anymore (and neither does sysprep.inf). The first step is acquiring the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from somewhere. You can get it from Microsoft’s website, MSDN subscriber downloads, and probably the volume licensing downloads site too I’d guess (though I haven’t checked). The ISO is available at, and is about an 800MB install on my 2003 SP2 x86 box. You’ll also need to copy the install.wim from your 2008 DVD sources folder to the … Continue reading How to Sysprep in Windows 2008

Windows 2008 – Windows System Image Manager Error

I’m working on adding Windows 2008 to my lab and the first step of this for me anyway is making templates. The whole sysprep process in Vista and Windows 2008 has been completely re-engineered so I’m learning on the go here. Turns out you need to load the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) on a machine and then run the Windows System Image Manager to build the new XML based unattend files. Given this is an 800MB install (versus like 800K for the old setupmgr.exe) I decided to load it on my VMWare host machine which is Windows 2003 x64 … Continue reading Windows 2008 – Windows System Image Manager Error

At DEC This Week

I’m heading downtown in a bit for DEC 2008 and will be around all week. Please do say stop by and say hello and join in the conversations if you’re there! If you’re looking for suggestions on local things I can try and help since I’m from Chicago too. Share this post: email it! | digg it! | bookmark it! | live it!