The Real (and Virtual) Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy

October 27, 2010  12:45 PM

Download Speed in the IE9 Download Manager

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Here is a short but sweet one, a lot of people have been asking me, “How to check the actual download speed of downloads using Internet Explorer 9”. I myself love watching download speeds, the more numbers flying around the better, kind of like instant gratification. Anyways onto the answer, just mouse over the percentage completed and your average download speed will be shown. The Microsoft forums are all a buzz over this, and I can assure you its a safe bet that we will have more information (download speed and time remaining, to name a couple)available to us in the future revisions of Internet Explorer 9.

If you havent downloaded IE9 yet, you really should, it functions quite well. Take it for a Test Drive!


October 26, 2010  12:01 PM

VMware and Defragmentation

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I am not just talking about defragmenting VMFS but the actual Virtual Machine virtual disks. Like real hard drives performance can suffer due to fragmentation. See the insert below from

Defragmenting Virtual Disks

Like physical disk drives, virtual disks can become fragmented. Defragmenting disks rearranges files, programs, and unused space on the virtual disk so that programs run faster and files open more quickly. Defragmenting does not reclaim unused space on a virtual disk; to reclaim unused space, shrink the disk.

For best disk performance, follow these steps:

1. Run a disk defragmentation utility inside the virtual machine.

2. Power off the virtual machine, then defragment its virtual disks from the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings). Select the virtual disk you want to defragment, then click Defragment.

Note: This capability works only with virtual disks, not physical or plain disks.

3. Run a disk defragmentation utility on the host computer

Defragmenting disks may take considerable time.

Note: The defragmentation process requires free working space on the host computer’s disk. If your virtual disk is contained in a single file, for example, you need free space equal to the size of the virtual disk file. Other virtual disk configurations require less free space.

So be kind to your VM’s and defrag their virtual disks. I recommend defraggler, I know it sounds silly but it does quite a good job. Download it here.


October 22, 2010  2:42 PM

View Client 4.5 and Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

It just doesn’t work… no matter what the settings, there is something in IE9 includes an updated networking library that causes View Client to fail. You may get an error message or you may get nothing but a stuck view client, in which you need to use task manager and end the process. The process name is wswc.exe.

Read the full article here. People with Windows 7 SP1 Beta will suffer the same issues.


October 21, 2010  5:29 PM

Image Resizer 2.1.1 Release

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Hey eveyone, there is a new release of Image Resizer, v2.1.1 If you guys do not know what this is, its a clone of the Windows XP Power Toy, right click on a picture and resize, its that easy.

Release Notes

This is a clone of the Image Resizer Powertoy for Windows XP — a PowerToy that allows you to right-click on one or more image files in Windows Explorer to resize them. It was created (by me) to extend support to non-XP and 64-bit versions of Windows (including 2000, Vista & 7).

Version 2.1.1 of the Image Resizer adds some community-contributed features to the tool. This will be the last release of version 2.x. I am currently performing a major overhaul of the tool (see Image Resizer 3).

Download it here.

October 13, 2010  2:38 AM

Can I cancel and Offline Defrag?

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

You can cancel this process. If you cancel you will need to manually delete the temp files that the compaction was creating. Your original database is completely intact and can be mounted again until you reach the point where the ESEUTIL is copying the completed DB over the original or in your case after you have renamed the original.

I have canceled compactions with no negative consequences.

So the answer is a Big YES! You can cancel an offline defrag without consequence.


October 13, 2010  2:36 AM

VMware Converter 4.3

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

VMware Converter was released Aug 20th 2010.

There are some new features and functions, yet there are some discontinued features. See below.

What’s New

The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 includes the following new functionality:
 •Support for VMware vSphere 4.1 as source and destination targets
 •Support for importing powered-off Microsoft Hyper-V R1 and Hyper-V R2 virtual machines
 •Public API and sample code for submitting and monitoring Converter jobs
 •Support for importing Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 sources
 •Ability to throttle the data transfer from source to destination based on network bandwidth or CPU
 •IPv6 support

 Discontinued Support
 •Support of the following operating systems is discontinued:
 ◦Windows 2000
 ◦Windows NT
 •Support for OVF format is discontinued
 •Support for VCB image sources is discontinued
 •Linux installation support is

With many people still running and wanting to convert Windows Server 2000/NT to a virtual environment, you’d best know how to convert the VM because VMware technical support will not assist you. This isn’t to say that they won’t help you for a nominal per incident fee!

Hint! When converting a Windows NT/2000/early 2003 Server, convert to a VMware Hardware v4 machine, then boot the server, install VMware tools, then upgrade the hardware, boot the server again and finalize the installation of new vHardware, reboot and you should be good to go. Also avoid LSI SAS for Windows Server 2003 and below, it just won’t work.

Read the release notes here.


October 12, 2010  1:49 PM

HP Lights-Out Online Configuration Utility for Windows

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I ran into this issue over the weekend… ILO3 failed to launch when I was logged in with a user other than the “Administrator”

I installed the iLO 3 configuration utility with a driver pack from HP onto my Windows 2008 R2 64-bit server.

After doing so, I can’t run the utility; after startup, it gives an “Unhandled exception” error saying “Acces to the path ‘C:\program files\HP\hpconfg\xmlOutput7_6_2010_8_31_45_AM599.txt’ is denied”.

One would think its a major error, and re-installation of the package does not work.

Turns out it is a permissions issue and can be resolved by right clicking on the shortcut of the HP Lights-Out Configuration Utility, properties, then the Compatibility tab, then clicking the  “Change setting for all users” button, finally clicking “Run this program as an Administrator”.  The Lights-Out Online Configuration Utility should now work!


October 9, 2010  4:02 AM

Windows Phone 7

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well I for one loved the Motorola Q with its Windows Mobile platform, mind you this was about 2 years before the first Blackberry Curve was released. Once I got my Curve though, things definitely changed, I don’t think I’d ever go back. But who knows, if I cannot get my hands on a Torch I might give Windows Mobile 7 a chance. A college of mine will be heading down to the states and will be picking up one of these devices for himself, ill check it out then. Here is an insert from CNET.

The launch of the new phones is critical for Microsoft, which is trying to play catch-up with Apple and Google. Despite having been in the phone business far longer than either of those two rivals, complacency, lack of focus, and bad bets have left Microsoft an afterthought in the cell phone business. It now has just a single-digit percentage market share among smartphone operating systems, trailing Symbian, RIM’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, and Google’s Android, according to Gartner. Windows Phone 7 is the big bet to reverse years of decline, assuming it’s not too late.

Check out their behind the scenes story on Windows Phone 7 here.

October 7, 2010  4:04 AM

More on the BlackBerry Playbook!

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

You got it, there is more on the new BlackBerry Playbook and I want to make sure you are all kept on your toes!

Crackberry is one of my favorite sites to keep up with, they always have the best Blackberry information…  here is an insert from the website.

Between the awesome specs and the new QNX operating system the BlackBerry PlayBook is shaping up to be quite a device and more so a user experience. With so many ways to create apps for the PlayBook, including Adobe Air and Flash, we should see a plethora of apps hit quick. Hopefully RIM will make the PlayBook SDK available early so we have loads of apps to play with at launch. I for one can’t wait to see what amazing stuff gets churned out for this new device and definitely can’t wait to get my hands on one! 

Check out their Playbook article here.

October 7, 2010  3:54 AM

Citrix Accelerates Virtual Desktop Revolution with XenDesktop 5

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well I got this in an email from a vendor rep and thought I would share it with anyone who isnt aware but Xen Desktop 5 has been officially announced, to be release Q4 of this year. Read on!


Market-leading Virtual Desktop Solution Adds Breakthrough Simplification, Brilliant User Experience and Support for a New Generation of Devices and Apps.

Today at Citrix Synergy™ in Berlin, the conference where virtualization, networking and cloud computing meet, Citrix Systems unveiled a major new release of Citrix XenDesktop®, the company’s market-leading solution for desktop virtualization. The new XenDesktop 5 brings unprecedented levels of simplicity and power to virtual desktops for both users and IT. It supports a wide range of new consumer devices, thousands of new third-party products and an entirely new generation of web and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps. XenDesktop 5 also extends the benefits of desktop virtualization to millions of laptop users for the first time ever, giving them virtual desktops “to go” with the new Citrix XenClient™ hypervisor. To support the new XenDesktop 5 release, Citrix also unveiled an extensive new initiative to help customers move from the “wow” of desktop virtualization to the “how” of successful implementation, leveraging the collective wisdom of thousands of customers who have already successfully transformed their enterprise desktop strategies by “going virtual”.

Key Facts and Highlights:

·         Faster, Simpler, More Powerful – XenDesktop 5 makes it easier than ever to get started with desktop virtualization. Customers can now achieve “10 minutes to Xen”(1), completing a new installation in just 10 minutes. Once up and running, managing virtual desktops with XenDesktop 5 also becomes faster and simpler than ever before with new role-based features. The new Desktop Studio™ console makes it easy for administrators to centrally design and manage virtual desktops, setting up new employees in seconds. XenDesktop 5 customers can also take advantage of the new Desktop Director™ console, giving helpdesk administrators a powerful way to monitor, troubleshoot and support virtual desktops for thousands of users across a large, distributed enterprise, with real-time information on usage, status and service levels. XenDesktop 5 also supports Microsoft System Center, making it easy for customers to manage applications on physical and virtual desktops with a familiar set of tools and processes. In addition, XenDesktop 5 introduces a comprehensive new SDK that enables customers and partners to integrate and automate the solution with third-party systems management tools.

·         Taking User Experience to a New Level – XenDesktop users have always enjoyed the best, high-definition user experience with their virtual desktops and apps thanks to Citrix HDX™ technology. XenDesktop 5 adds powerful new HDX enhancements that dramatically improve performance for resource intensive tasks like audio and video collaboration and large-file printing, even over low bandwidth connections. XenDesktop 5 also features a lush and captivating new end user experience. From new welcome screens inviting first-time users to their new virtual desktop, to an entirely redesigned virtual desktop viewer, every detail of the XenDesktop 5 user interface is designed to make each user’s workspace feel familiar and inviting.

·         Stunning Touch-Enabled Support for New Consumer Devices – By leveraging the Citrix Receiver™ universal software client, XenDesktop 5 makes it easy to deliver business desktops and apps to the rapidly growing number of new devices flooding the workforce, including PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. XenDesktop 5 adds support for a long list of new devices, along with extensive user experience enhancements such as the ability to instantly “touch-enable” existing enterprise apps that were never designed to run on new touch-screen tablets such as the Apple iPad or BlackBerry PlayBook. (See today’s related announcement.)

·         Connecting Virtual Desktops to a New Generation of Apps – XenDesktop 4 changed the game last year by fully integrating the capabilities of Citrix XenApp™, giving customers one product to deliver both Windows desktops and apps as an on-demand service. By leveraging the new Citrix Receiver, XenDesktop 5 changes the game again, making it easy to deliver one-click, single sign-on access to an entirely new generation of applications, including externally-hosted web, cloud and SaaS apps. This integration makes it easy for IT to deliver a rich array of Windows, web and SaaS apps to each user with a simple, unified experience, regardless of what type of app it is, or where it is actually running. (See today’s related announcement.)

·         Beyond VDI with Virtual Desktops “To Go” – Last year, XenDesktop 4 introduced a breakthrough new technology called FlexCast™ that gave customers the flexibility to deliver a range of virtual desktop technologies from a single product – from personalized VDI-based desktops ideal for office workers, to shared desktops optimized for task workers. XenDesktop 5 takes the FlexCast technology one step further, enabling IT to deliver virtual desktops “to go” that run directly on each user’s PC or laptop. This approach, which leverages the new XenClient hypervisor, is ideal for millions of corporate laptop users, providing IT with all the central management and security benefits of hosted virtual desktops, while giving mobile workers the flexibility to work connected or disconnected.

·         Secure BYOC with Citrix XenVault – An increasing number of users are bringing their own devices to work as outside contractors or via employee bring your own computer (BYOC) programs. In these scenarios, IT needs to provide access to corporate applications and secure any confidential data, but does not want the hassles of installing applications or managing personal laptops. XenDesktop 5 addresses this scenario in the simplest way possible by delivering corporate apps as an on-demand service, then automatically encrypting any documents created by those apps and saving them transparently in an encrypted folder on the user’s laptop. This is made possible through an innovative new data security technology called XenVault™. In addition to ensuring corporate data is secure at all times on non-corporate owned devices, XenVault also enables IT to securely wipe any corporate data remotely when a contract is over, an employee terminates, or the laptop is lost or stolen.

·         Support for 15,000 Verified Third-Party Products – Through the Citrix Ready® verification program, XenDesktop has now been verified to work with more than 15,000 third-party products, ranging from servers, hypervisors and storage systems, to client devices, printers, webcams and USB peripherals. With new verified products being added every day, customers can be assured that they can move to virtual desktops at their own pace, leveraging their existing IT investments, and choosing whatever partners they like for new investments. Customers can view a full list of supported third-party products on the Citrix Ready Open Desktop Virtualization program page.

·         Taking Virtual Desktops from “Wow to How” – Citrix, along with key partners and global systems integrators, also announced a new program to help organizations move from the “wow” of desktop virtualization, to the “how” of implementation success. The new Desktop Transformation Model makes it easy to assess each customer’s unique business priorities and translate them to a practical, step-by-step, customized roadmap for adopting and scaling desktop virtualization initiatives. The program makes it easy for customers new to desktop virtualization to take advantage of tips and best practices learned by thousands of customers who have already successfully deployed millions of virtual desktops and applications. (See today’s related announcement.)

·         Availability – XenDesktop 5 will be generally available in Q4 2010. Suggested pricing starts at $95 per user or device for the VDI-only edition. Comprehensive desktop and application virtualization is available in the Enterprise or Platinum editions, priced at $225 and $350. 

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