Restoring deleted or messed up srv records in Windows Server 2012

There are occasions when you play with things you shouldn’t.  In those cases where you accidentally delete your SRV records it is very easy to get them back.

Go to an administrative command prompt an type nltest /dsregdns

Check the short 60 second video below.

Using Windows PowerShell to convert from a Windows Server 2012 Core installation to a Windows Server 2012 with a GUI installation

When you install Windows Server 2012, you can choose between Server Core Installation and Server with a GUI. The “Server with a GUI” option is the Windows Server 2012 equivalent of the Full installation option available in Windows Server 2008 R2. The “Server Core Installation” option reduces the space required on disk, the potential attack surface, and especially the servicing requirements. You can freely switch between these options at any time., one approach might be to initially install the Server with a GUI option, use the graphical tools to configure the you can freely switch between these options at any time later.

To add the Server with a GUI  to a Server Core from the  windows server core  command prompt  type

start powershell

In PowerShell type

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell -Restart

This will start the installation of the gui feature and restart the system when it completes.

Once the system restarts and you login you will be presented with the standard windows server 2012 with the GUI

Check the short video below for a demonstration.

Using Windows PowerShell to fix a broken Secure Channel and reset the computer account

When a computer joins a domain, a computer account is created in AD. The computer account gets its own password that will expire after 30 days (default). When the password expires, the computer itself will initiate a password change with a DC in its domain.

When the computer starts up, it uses this password to create a secure channel (SC) with a DC. The computer will request to sign all traffic that passes the SC. If a DC says “go ahead”, all traffic that is signed passes through this channel.

Traffic like NTLM pass through authentication is typically signed traffic.

So what happens if there is a mismatch between the computer account password? The computer tries to authenticate, but the DC says this is not the correct password.

The SC is down.

To reset the SC between a computer and a DC:

Open PowerShell on the local computer with the broken SC and run the cmdlet:

Test-ComputerSecureChannel -repair

*The cmdlet requires PowerShell 2.0  (which is pre-installed on Win7/2008R2) or greater

Restart Windows 8 or server 2012 in a remote desktop session

Restarting  Windows 8 or Server 2012 when in a remote desktop session

When you’re in a remote desktop connection in Windows 8 or Server 2012 the quickest way to restart the PC is to go to the desktop and  press ALT-F4.   Pressing Alt-F4  inside an application will close that application, so make sure you are on the desktop.

The below Shut Down Windows screen will appear. Choose Restart to restart the system.

Getting the New Windows 8 Remote Desktop client on your Windows 7 system

The Remote Desktop Client Connection Software that comes with Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 features a new menu called the Remote Commands menu. This menu allows you to send special commands, such as a start menu, accessing the Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Charms, switching apps, snapping apps and application specific app commands.

If you are in a windowed remote desktop session you can access the remote commands by selecting the remote desktop icon and then choosing remote commands Image If you are running remote desktop full screen click the down arrow on the connection bar to display the remote commands. ImageIf you can’t wait for Microsoft to publish a version of the new Remote Desktop client for windows 7, then all is not lost. There is a way for Admins still running windows 7 desktops to get the new version on their systems. You have to copy four files from a Windows 8 x64 or Server 2012 system to your windows 7 x64 system.  If using windows 7 x86 then copy the files from a windows 8 x86 system

  • mstsc.exe  (in c:\windows\system32)
  • mstscax.dll  (in c:\windows\system32)
  • mstsc.exe.mui  (in c:\windows\system32\en-US)
  • mstscax.dll.mui  (in c:\windows\system32\en-US)

Instead of overwriting the existing files on your windows 7 system (in case you ever want to revert back to the old version) create a new folder called Remote Desktop 8 anywhere on your system.  I put my folder on my desktop. Now copy mstsc.exe and mstscax.dll to that folder. Inside that folder create another folder called en-US and put the other two files into that. If you’re running a version that is not English then you will need to put the two mui files in the folder that corresponds to your language version.

Running mstsc.exe will now launch the new RDP client with the new remote commands on your Windows 7 system.

Or if you prefer you can download my installers that will automate the process for you.  Available for Windows 7 or Server 2008  in x86 and x64 versions.  English Only

Download Button6


The official Microsoft version has now been released. Check here for links and info or instead of downloading each file from the above link and running them individually get my MS Windows 8 RDP all-in-one combo updater package that automates the process into one installer.