Windows 10 Upgrade Experience 

So after ensuring I had a good backup, I decided to dive in and upgrade to Windows 10.

My computer?

  • HP Pavilion
  • Windows 8.1



After the install started it went into configuring upgrade for about 5 minutes. Once it reached 100% it rebooted and displayed this screen.


It rebooted a couple times. I went and got a glass of water, got distracted by something and came back just as it was finishing. I was presented with a brand new shiny interface.


This picture doesn’t do it justice but I particularly like the big Window. I think it’s a nice touch.


And upon logging in I can see I have the “Start” menu back. Yay! Now I can get rid of the 3rd party app I had installed a couple years ago.

I haven’t had much time to explore the new features but next I’ll definitely be reading this article on how to secure my privacy. I hear the upgrade count is up to 100 million and climbing!


Migrating Exchange 2007 to 2013 – Phase 1

We’ve been putting off migrating our Exchange 2007 server for quite some time. It’s been running great. I rarely have had to troubleshoot any problems (maybe twice a year). I took the training provided by Microsoft from one of our local training facilities. The class was titled Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. But you know that was two years ago! So my new found knowledge went unused and most of it has been filed away in the archives of my brain. Luckily the company decided they would pay for a consultant to come in and help. That brings a lot of relief to me. Yes I know Exchange, but I’m not an expert. Sometimes I consider myself a Jane of All Trades and this is one of those technologies that fits under that umbrella. But regardless, I’m excited!

Phase 1 – Prepare the environment

I’m using a Dell M610 blade server as the new Hyper-v Host for housing our new Exchange server. Yes, I use Hyper-V. When we jumped on the virtual bandwagon years ago we decided to go with Hyper-V because of its cost effectiveness. You may want to skip to Phase 2 if you’re not interested in how I configured the Hyper-V host.

Server has the following:

  1. 2 x Intel Xeon x5672 @ 3.2 GHz
  2. QLogic Fibre Channel mezzanine card.
  3. 32 GB Memory (4 x 4GB DIMMs)
  4. Installed Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.
  5. Configured a static IP address on one of the NICs, joined the domain and activated Windows.
  6. In Windows Firewall I made the following changes:
    • Allowed File and Printer sharing for the Domain profile only. This allows me to ping and gain remote access to the server.
    • We use a Dell Compllent for SAN storage so I created new Inbound rule on Windows Firewall called “Compellent Server Agent” to allow communication through ports 27355 and 8080. This allows the agent to run without turning off the firewall.
  7. Ran Windows Updates.
  8. Downloaded and ran the latest Dell Server Update Utility v15.04.00 to update drivers and firmware.
  9. Installed BgInfo, enabled Remote Desktop, and configured SNMP.
  10. Configured zones and alias on our Brocade SAN switches.
  11. In the Compellent System Manager, I created the server and mapped a new 500 GB volume.
  12. Installed MPIO​ and .NET 3.5 (which includes .NET 2.0) since it’s a requirement for the Compellent agent.
  13. Opened MPIO from Control Panel, added the Compellent controller to the Discovery tab and rebooted.
  14. Installed the Compellent Server agent and added the server to the Enterprise Manager.
  15. Rescanned disks in Disk Management, initialized the volume and added a new Simple Volume, labeled it G:
  16. Installed the Hyper-V role with the following settings during setup and then rebooted.
  17. I configured the virtual switch on the 2nd Ethernet adapter, Ethernet 2 (no ip address assignment necessary)image
  18. I set the default stores to the G: drive. image
  19. Installed our Barracuda Backup Agent and SCEP (system center endpoint protection) client.
  20. Added the new server to Virtual Machine manager and it required yet another reboot. Geez! image
  21. Rebooted AGAIN!! VMM stated that”Warning (26211) A restart is required to complete claiming of multi-path I/O devices on host Recommended Action
    Restart the machine.” Ha! Reboot.
  22. image
  23. Rebooted. Ran Windows updates again since it has a new role. Installed more updates and rebooted.
  24. Ok now I’m finally to the point where I can create the VM. So I used Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager since I already have VM templates configured.
  25. I configured the VM to have the below settings.
  26. Configured a static IP address, joined the domain and activated Windows.
  27. Ran Windows Updates.
  28. Copied the Exchange 2013 SP1 .ISO file to the new VM

VM Settings:

  • 24 GB Memory
  • 4 x virtual processors
  • Drives:
    • C: – 60 GB – operating system
    • M: – 250 GB – databases
    • L: – 100 GB – logs
  • no high availability since this Hyper-V host is not in a cluster.

Done! Ready for next week!

Migrated SQL Database for SharePoint

The server that hosts the SQL database for our SharePoint server is out of warranty so I needed to migrate the database to a new SQL server. I performed the following steps to migrate the database from SQL 2008 R2 to SQL 2012 R2.

  • Stopped all SharePoint and web services on our SharePoint server.
  • Performed a backup of all of the SharePoint databases on the old SQL server (I had 24 dbs total, ugh). I know there’s a way to script detaching (especially with the amount of dbs I have) but I figured it would take me just as long to figure out the script as it would to just right-click Detach each one of them.
  • Ensured that all of the accounts used on my old SQL Server were present in the Security > Logins on the new SQL.
  • Ensured that SharePoint admin and Farm account are in the local Administrators group on the server. Not all people may need these accounts present but in order to get certain things to work in my environment, I had those accounts on the old SQL server.
  • Detached all databases on the old SQL server.
  • Stopped SQL on the old server so no confusion of whether or not SP connected to new or old db.
  • Copied .mdf and .ldf files to the new SQL server and attached them using the Attach feature in SQL Mgmt Studio.
  • I received no errors when attaching. (yay!)
  • Created a SQL alias on the SharePoint server by running CLIConfg.exe using TCP/IP, server alias oldsqlserver and connection parameter server name newsqlserver with port 1433 defined.


  • Restarted the old SQL server for a clean startup of all SharePoint and web services.
  • After the SharePoint server was running smooth I launched Central Admin and also our SharePoint home page… received the following error “Cannot connect to the configuration database”.


  • I was happy that I at least saw that message and that it wasn’t the dreaded page cannot be displayed. Found quite a few web pages referencing this error. Used this one as guidance.
  • First thing I tried was turning off the Windows Firewall. I refreshed the page and voila! it worked. So then I re-enabled the firewall and added a new rule to allow TDCP port 1433 inbound. Refreshed the page again and it seemed to work great but just for good measure I did an iisreset, closed and reopened the browser to our SharePoint site and it still worked. Yay!

I hope your migration goes just as smooth!