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Windows 8.1 – Disable Internet Search Results

Windows 8.1 is an interesting thing. It’s kind of a love/hate relationship most days 🙂

One thing that was really bugging me was the internet search results when searching in the Metro interface.  Here’s how to disable that "feature".

Bring up the charms menu (Windows Key + C) or swipe in from the right.

Click on Settings  image

Click on Change PC Settings.


Select Search and Apps


Turn Use Bing to Search Online off.



Disable Reading Mode and Protected View in Word 2013

I know it’s there for a reason, but I can’t stand the Reading View and the Protected mode in Word 2013.  I don’t like the layout of Reading View, and I feel I’m smart enough to open documents I know are safe 🙂


To disable the Reading View. Go to File – Options – General.  Uncheck "Open E-Mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view"


To disable Protected Mode. Go to File – Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings.  Select Protected View, then clear all the checkboxes.


There, free and clear to open and edit documents without Word telling me what to do! 🙂


Running Mac OS X on Windows VMware Workstation

DISCLAIMER: This post doesn’t express any warranties. It is provided as-is and you are proceeding at your own risk taking into consideration all license and legal ramifications. This post is meant to show you what is possible to do, not whether or not it is legal or allowed to be done.

Sometimes you just need the ability to test an Operating System.  For these purposes this blog post will show you how to run Mac OS X 10.8 in VMware Workstation for the purpose of testing Mac management with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.  As a consultant,, I travel constantly, I can’t exactly carry around a Mac mini in my laptop bag, well I probably could but I have no desire to.  I already ditched my heavy laptop for an Ultrabook, rather than my previous Lenovo W520 that had a power supply I could crush most small rodents with.

There are numerous posts with various bits of information, but didn’t see one comprehensive guide. I’ve also seen pre-created VM’s that you can download and import into VMware Workstation, but I prefer to have my own clean VM that I built and don’t need to worry about where it came from. Call me crazy..

Files you will need:

Step 1: Install VMware Workstation on your machine.

Note that you cannot have Hyper-V and VMware Workstation installed on the same box 🙂

Step 2: Run VMware Unlocker 1.1.0.

1) Extract out VMware Unlocker.

2) Run the install.bat that is in the \windows folder. This will configure VMware Workstation to support Mac OS X.

3) You should now see Apple Mac OS X listed in the New Virtual Machine Wizard.


4) Create a new Virtual Machine for Mac OS X 10.8, Mac OS X will need a minimum of 2GB of RAM.

Step 3: Use 7Zip or a similar program to extract out the InstallESD.dmg from the Mac OS X 10.8 installation DVD.

Step 4: Using the dmg2img program, create a ISO of the Mac OS X install.

Example command line:

dmg2im -I "path\installesd.dmg" -o "path\macosxsetup.iso"


MacOSXSetup.iso successfully created.


Step 5: Extract out the to get the darwin.iso from under \payload.


Step 6: Mount the newly created MacOSXSetup.iso with the VMware Workstation VM.


Step 7: Start the VM and launch the Mac OS X Setup from the ISO we created.


1) Select the Disk Utility so we can format the drive before installing the OS


2) Select the disk and then select Erase, the format should be Mac OS Extended Journaled.


3) Select Erase on the prompt.


4) Close the Disk Utility and Select Reinstall OS X.


5) Select Continue.


6) Select Agree.


7) Select the disk and then Install.


8) Installation will start.


All installed!


9) You’ll have to continue through some additional setup and personalization and create your account.


Finally done and we can see our desktop!


Step 8: Install VMware tools.

1) Mount the darwin.iso to the VM, a restart might be required to get it to properly show up in the VM.

2) In order to see the icons on the desktop, go into Finder Preferences, and check the Hard Disks, External Disks, CD/DVD, and Connected Servers boxes.


3) You should now be able to see the VMWare tools DVD.


4) Double-click the VMware Tools DVD.  Double-Click Install VMware Tools.


5) Click Continue.


6) Click Continue.

7) Click Install.

8) Enter your password to install the software.


9) Select Continue Installation.

10) Restart upon completion.


After the reboot, you should see functional VMware tools. The window should resize etc. per standard VMware tools.

Step 9: Take a Snapshot!

It’s a good idea to have a clean slate to revert to if needed.

Step 10: Enjoy!


Windows 8 Shortcut Keys – Saving You From Losing Your Hair

I’m a huge shortcut key guy, use them all the time.

Also when you are RDP’d into a VMware VM, good luck using your mouse, so I was pulling my hair out trying to get the “Charms” menu to pop up, finally found a shortcut for it.  Windows Key + C, that’s one thing I’ll give Hyper-V, the mouse works MUCH better remotely.

Windows Key + I – Brings up “Settings” directly

Windows Key + X – Pops up the Admin Menu

Windows Key + C – Charms menu

Some of my personal favorites that still work in Windows 8:

Windows Key + E – Brings up Explorer

Windows Key + D – Shows the Desktop

Windows Key + Right Arrow – Snap to right side of screen

Windows Key + Left Arrow – Snap to left side of screen

Windows Key + Shift + Right Arrow – Switch to right monitor

Windows Key + Shift + Left Arrow – Switch to left monitor

Windows Key + Up Arrow – Full Screen

Windows Key + Down Arrow – Minimize

Windows Key + L – Locks the computer


Windows 8 Show Desktop At Logon

I recently had a need at a client site to always show the desktop upon logging into a Windows 8 machine. 

A very simple solution that worked for me is to simply add a Registry key to run Explorer.exe at logon.

Simply add the following key: (snippet from a script I used)

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Explorer", "C:\Windows\Explorer.exe", "REG_SZ"

After adding this, every time you log into the machine, Explorer will launch and the Windows 8 desktop will be shown.  Nothing fancy about this solution, but it works.


Known Issue and Workaround: Duplicate Records When You Use Unknown Computer Support with Active Directory Delta-Discovery

Really great post over on the System Center Configuration Manager Team Blog.

Read the full post here.

This post describes how and when you might see duplicate records when you use unknown computer support with Active Directory Delta-Discovery in Configuration Manager 2007 R3, what problems you might see, and some suggested workarounds.

Unknown computer support is an operating system deployment feature that was introduced in Configuration Manager 2007 R2.  It allows you to find unmanaged computers so that you can install an operating system on them, and optionally, install the Configuration Manager client: Active Directory Delta Discovery is a new feature in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 that enhances the discovery capabilities of the product by discovering only new or changed resources in Active Directory Domain Services instead of performing a full discovery cycle:

If you use these two features at the same time, you might see duplicate records for the unknown computer in Configuration Manager database.  In this scenario, you will see two records in the Configuration Manager console that have the same name of the computer that installed an operating system by using unknown computer support: One record shows that it is a client and assigned; the other record shows that it is not a client and not assigned.


Useful ConfigMgr Resources (Updated)

Great post with a nice list of ConfigMgr resources. Thanks to Rob York and Saud Al-Mishari.

Read the original post here.


ConfigMgr Resources/Information:

ConfigMgr Design Resources

OS Deployment

Out of Band Management


Scripting Dell TouchPad configurations

Nick Moseley put a post about dealing with Dell TouchPad configurations. 

Read his post here.

We recently received the new Dell E6320 and E6420 laptops.  After deployment of our standard image, which does not contain drivers, we package the full driver installers as provided by the manufacturer.  We found that for these new laptops, scrolling was not automatically enabled for the TouchPad’s.  I would say scrolling is a defacto usability standard.



Trace64 finally here to stay – But it is hidden

Johan Arwidmark put up a nice how-to for getting ahold of Trace64, the 64-bit version of Trace32, our favorite log file viewer.  We can’t all be like Wally and use Notepad Smile 

Read the full post here.

Trace64 is very useful to parse MDT and ConfigMgr log files… And until ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2 was released the core 64-bit version of Trace32 has only been available internally at Microsoft (officially).

So Microsoft indeed did release Trace64 with ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2, but where is it? If you search you only find trace32.exe… Well it’s hidden in the Trace32.exe and is extracted when you start Trace32.exe on a x64 machine. What’s the problem with that? Well, you can’t start it from a x64 WinPE which is missing WOW64.

The solution, get a copy of the extracted x64 binary. This is the trace32.exe process viewed in Process Explorer. Note the TRA184B.tmp file (may be named different on your system)


Deployment Blogs and Twitter

Ben Hunter over on The Deployment Guys has put together a nice blog post with a list of various community Deployment experts and MVP’s.  He’s got a nice list of the blogs to follow and twitter alias’s.

When I started blogging five years ago there were not many great blogs out there and twitter was just emerging from its egg. It was hard to find good information on deployment. However things have changed, there is a vibrant community of deployment experts out there who are only too willing to share their expertise. The key channels that they use are blogs, twitter and the deployment forums. With this in mind I thought I would create an index of the resources that I use out there, it is certainly not an exhaustive list but hopefully you find it useful.

Read the full post here.