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Archive for Windows Server 2016

DSC and Nano Server

Posted by: | July 6, 2016 Comments Off on DSC and Nano Server |

Nano Server is the minimalist version of Windows that Server 2016 introduces. I needed a target for DSC this afternoon so decided that I’d spin up a Nano Server instance – because they are very, very quick to create.


Unfortunately, Nano Server doesn’t support DSC out of the box. The ROOT\Microsoft\Windows\DesiredStateConfiguration CIM namespace isn’t available for instance.

You need to add the DSC bits when you create your Nano server – use

-Packages Microsoft-NanoServer-DSC-Package


on New-NanoServerImage when you generate the Nano server virtual disk.


see https://msdn.microsoft.com/powershell/dsc/nanodsc


for current restrictions and limitations of DSC on Nano server

under: DSC, Nano Server, Windows Server 2016

PowerShell 2.0 Engine removed from Server 2016

Posted by: | July 5, 2016 Comments Off on PowerShell 2.0 Engine removed from Server 2016 |

I hadn’t realised that the PowerShell 2.0 engine had been removed from Windows Server 2016 TP5


PS C:\Windows\system32> Get-WindowsFeature  PowerShell-V2 | ft -a

Display Name                          Name          Install State
————                          —-          ————-
    [ ] Windows PowerShell 2.0 Engine PowerShell-V2       Removed


Probably about time it disappeared. Can’t think of a reason you’d need it on Server 2016

under: PowerShell v5, PowerShellV2, Windows Server 2016

Administering Windows Containers

Posted by: | July 3, 2016 Comments Off on Administering Windows Containers |

Containers have been available in the Linux world for some time. Server 2016 brings them to the Windows world.


The concept of containers is easy – they are a lightweight virtualisation option for application delivery. Think of them as an extremely light weight virtual ‘machine’. Machine is in quotes because they aren’t virtual machines. they do use Hyper-V’s virtualisation capabilities in certain scenarios.


Administering containers in Windows Server 2016 TP5 is an “interesting” challenge. You have a number of options:


First off there isn’t a GUI admin tool


Secondly, there’s a PowerShell module that installs with the Containers feature. This is marked as deprecated however.


Thirdly, you can download and install Docker for Windows but it isn’t complete. Docker for Windows and the original PowerShell module are incompatible in that they can’t work with containers created with the tool – they can’t even see them. The MSDN documentation seems to prefer Docker for administering containers.


Fourthly, there’s a new PowerShell module that is under development. It doesn’t have an ETA and if you want to trial it you have to compile the code yourself. This new PowerShell module uses the Docker REST API so you HAVE to install Docker.


Nano server is a very small footprint install option introduced in Server 2016. Running containers on Nano server is an ideal combination – assuming your applications will run on Nano server. In my opinion having to install Docker on my Nano server negates its premise.


In addition Docker is constantly evolving. Will Docker for Windows evolve at the same rate and will the new PowerShell module keep up.


Interesting questions that can’t be answered at present. Hopefully, the next iteration of Server 2016 might answer some of these questions. TP5 was released in April and hasn’t been as stable as TP4 in my experience. That plus the wireless connectivity issues that have only been partially resolved leave me hoping for a new version soon.  


Whatever happens I suspect you’ll have to learn Docker with its arcane command syntax whether you want to or not.

under: Windows Server 2016

PowerShell Direct

Posted by: | July 1, 2016 Comments Off on PowerShell Direct |

PowerShell Direct is a PowerShell 5.1 feature available in Windows 2016 TP5 and above and the later builds of Windows 10.

It adds 3 parameters:





To these cmdlets





but NOT New-Cimsession


The VMId & ID parameters access a GUID. VMname is probably easiest to use

VMName                : W16TP5SC01
VMId                  : 2fad20ad-5a34-4a55-a7ec-2ec208ec4f0c


The –VMGuid parameter presumably uses the Id property on the VM which matches the GUID in VMId


The great thing about it is that enables you to work remotely with virtual machines – across the VM bus. It therefore bypasses a lot of the problems for remoting to non-domain joined machines. As long as they’re VMs on Hyper-V you’re golden.


I’ve just started experimenting with it but if you’re not using DSC it saves a lot of effort with trusted hosts or certificates when setting up machines.

Once you have a remote session established you can also copy files across it.


You need to run this from the Hyper-V host and you also need the credentials for the remote machine


See – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualization/hyperv_on_windows/user_guide/vmsession

under: PowerShell v5, Windows 10, Windows Server 2016

Wireless on Windows 2016 TP5

Posted by: | June 30, 2016 Comments Off on Wireless on Windows 2016 TP5 |

Windows Server 2016 TP5 which appeared at the end of April has a major flaw. It doesn’t work with wireless cards!


I use a relatively high-spec laptop as my lab machine. Not being able to get the wireless card working means no Internet access and makes activation a lot more difficult.


The June Cumulative Update KB3163016 appears to fix the issue. https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3163016


Install Windows 2016 TP5. Then immediately install KB3163016. Install the Wireless LAN Service (needs a reboot) through Add Roles and features or

Add-WindowsFeature –Name Wireless-Networking


The Wireless LAN Service defaults to disabled so you’ll need to change the start type to automatic and start the service.


Then you can install whatever Windows features you need.


One thing I’ve noticed is that the wireless card doesn’t seem to keep its connection to the wireless network between reboots. Its an annoyance in a TP would be beyond aggravating in final version

under: Windows Server 2016

Windows Server eras

Posted by: | May 30, 2016 Comments Off on Windows Server eras |

This is worth a read



It discusses the evolution of Windows server and PowerShell. Read it in conjunction with the videos of Jeffrey Snover’s talks at WinOps and the European PowerShell conference this year.

under: Windows Server 2016

Windows server 2016 TP 5 activation

Posted by: | May 26, 2016 Comments Off on Windows server 2016 TP 5 activation |

Having finished the current round of conference speaking I needed to upgrade my system to Windows 2016 TP5. I’m using a 6 year old Lenovo W510 system.


First problem is that I couldn’t get the wireless adapter working – after a lot of searching I saw a post with a similar issue due to the Wireless LAN Service which you need doesn’t install correctly. Server Manager and Get-WindowsFeature both show it as installed but the wlansvc service isn’t available – doesn’t show in in the services GUI or through Get-Service.


Telephone activation is a pain but works BUT if an internet activation fails you don’t get the telephone option.


This post http://www.urtech.ca/2016/02/solved-how-to-activate-windows-10-server-2016-through-command-line/

saved the day.


Basically type SLUI 4 in the run dialog to open the manual activation  dialog.


Hope this is fixed for RTM otherwise I’ll need a new machine.

under: Windows Server 2016

Windows container providers

Posted by: | May 18, 2016 Comments Off on Windows container providers |

Containers are a new feature in Windows 2016. I was preparing for my talk at the WinOps conference next week – http://winops.org/ – and realised I needed the container OS image for nano server


I discovered that there are 2 container image providers available through the PowerShell gallery.


In TP4 I used the ContainerProvider provider. That still exists BUT only supplies the TP4 images

PS>  ContainerProvider\Find-ContainerImage | ft -a

Name              Version      Source Description
—-              ——-      —— ———–
NanoServer        10.0.10586.0        Container OS Image of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 : Nano Server Installation
WindowsServerCore 10.0.10586.0        Container OS Image of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview : Windows Server Core Installation


If you want the TP5 images you have to use the ContainerImage provider

PS>  ContainerImage\Find-ContainerImage | ft -a

Name              Version         Source                Summary
—-              ——-         ——                ——-
NanoServer        10.0.14300.1010 ContainerImageGallery Container OS Image of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 : Nano Server I…
WindowsServerCore 10.0.14300.1000 ContainerImageGallery Container OS Image of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 : Windows Serve…


This isn’t very satisfactory and will cause lots of confusion in the long term. I just hope we’re not getting a new provider with every new version of Windows 2016

under: Containers, Windows Server 2016

PowerShell and Nano server

Posted by: | May 5, 2016 Comments Off on PowerShell and Nano server |

Nano server is the new install option introduced with Windows 2016. It has a really tiny footprint compared to a server core machine.


Of course it has PowerShell but its not a complete port of the PowerShell you’re used to. The features that aren’t present are detailed here:



What you get is PowerShell re-written for .NET core


If you want to develop your own cmdlets try this article to get you started:


under: PowerShell, Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 TP5 Cumulative Update

Posted by: | April 28, 2016 Comments Off on Windows Server 2016 TP5 Cumulative Update |

An update – KB 3157663 – should be installed BEFORE installing any roles, features or applications into a TP5 system.


Finding the update isn’t easy – no links from the TP5 pages and doesn’t show in search on Bing or if search microsoft.com


You can find it here:



Lets hope RTM is a bit more organised

under: Windows Server 2016

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