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Core Configurator

An acquaintance of mine (cheers Ray) found this after I asked him a few Server Core questions yesterday. The Core Configurator 2.0 is a graphical frontend to a collection of PowerShell scripts that will allow you to configure your Windows Server 2008 R2 Core VM very easily.

After downloading it locally, use the vSphere client to mount the ISO file on your VM. From within the command prompt on the guest OS, change drive to your CD / DVD drive (D: in my screenshot below) and just run the”Start_Coreconfig.wsf” file.

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This opens a GUI with a few options for configuring Server Core.

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I’m not going to go into too much detail about what can be done, try it yourself. But just as an example, compare the following window with the steps to configure networking using the command line.

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Fantastic tool. I’ll be adding it to my toolkit for sure.

SIDs in Windows VMs

Today sysinternals retired the NewSID tool from their suite of utilities. Mark Russinovich (one of the writers of NewSID – the other being Bryce Cogswell) explains in his blog how the decision to retire the utility came about and it’s probably a surprise to many.

It has been a long held belief by man in IT that all Windows Servers and Desktops must have a unique SID. Certainly I recall having SID duplication issues back in the heady days of Windows NT but it’s not something that I have encountered as an issue since. Like many I just assumed that Windows uses SIDs still and so they must be unique still. But, as Mark explains, the way that Windows operating systems use SIDs is not the way that most people think it is and it is ok to have machines with identical SIDs.

From a VM perspective this is good news as it means that cloning VMs just got a tad bit easier. Although deploying a Windows VM from a template will require customisation and the use of sysprep (there is more than just the SID changed by sysprep) the process will probably only get easier. I hope.

Read Mark’s full blog post here.