Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Corporate settings - custom default background

One of my customer recently asked me how to preset the default backgrounds to more corporate like backgrounds. After some investigation I found how to change this.

Checkout here the Reg Key and Folders:
The first of the five pictures is the CURRENT background which is stored in another folder as the HISTORICAL ones.

You need to modify the pictures in these folders:

C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows -> This is the current img0.jpg (the blue Windows logo)
C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Theme1 -> here you find the history of last used pictures. This will change during usage. 

The responsible Registry key is: 

Keep in mind that this CURRENT USER registry key need to be either modified due to the default profile.

But I would recommend to keep the registry key as it is and simply replace the corresponding files img0.jpg in the Wallpaper\Windows folder and the files img1.jpg, img2.jpg, img3.jpg img4.jpg in Wallpaper\Theme1 folder. Please keep in mind the Theme1 folder is hidden!

Windows 10 Passwort Selfservice solution - nearby - builtin

Recently a customer asked me how to add a browser window to the lockscreen before login so they can add their "old" Password selfservice solution add again to the user experience.

Microsoft added the Password self service solution to Azure AD Premium also for local clients without the need for a website. You can reset your password directly on the logon screen. By clicking on "Problems Logging In?"

Sorry the picture shows it on Windows 8 but for Windows 10 I did not find a picture. Microsoft either. But it looks nearly the same in the UI experience. 

To verify your self you will receive a phone call on a pre registered phone. It may also include additional security questions when you add them during the verification process.

You need therefore either Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) or Azure Active Directory Premium which includes the onpremise license for the full MIM for server and client. Thats why I state "nearby" builtin. You need a "little extra MS".

If you have Enterprise Mobility & Security then you have it already :-)

Here you find more info and screenshots about it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Windows cummulative updates cause WSUS to fail

Recently Microsoft released an interesting article about failing WSUS to deliver updates to Windows Clients. Currently affected are Versions before 1703 but due to the nature of the updates and the issue this will be soon the case also for the current Version.

Short Story:
High CPU and Memory consumption on the WSUS process (w3wp.exe IIS worker threat) due to the high volume of meta data caused by later and therefore larger cummulative updates for Windows 10.
The symptoms include:
  • High CPU on your WSUS server – 70-100% CPU in w3wp.exe hosting WsusPool
  • High memory in the w3wp.exe process hosting the WsusPool – customers have reported memory usage approach 24GB
  • Constant recycling of the W3wp.exe hosting the WsusPool (identifiable by the PID changing)
  • Clients failing to scan with 8024401c (timeout) errors in the WindowsUpdate.log
  • Mostly 500 errors for the /ClientWebService/Client.asmx requests in the IIS logs
The solution is:
  • Configure IIS to stop recycling the IIS pool
  • Limit the number of inbound connections to IIS
  • Increase the timeout
  • Monitor the processes
Long Story with solution details:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Updated Office 365 release cycle and new deployment method

Microsoft just released new informations regarding the new Office 365 release cycle and improved update Management.

Good news first:
  • it is alligned with Windows 10
  • it will be managed like Windows 10 with SCCM (at least SCCM 1610)

Checkout this 9 minute video:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to get to the cool Windows Icons in your text and PowerPoint presentations

Did you ever tried to pimp your Powerpoints with some of the cool builtin Icons of Windows?

Initally you have two ways.

Way No 1 (Office 365):

If you are happy and you have Office 365 then make use of "ICONS" in PowerPoint or in Word. Go to "Insert" tab first.
This will open this simple to use UI:
Simply select the category and Icon and click on Insert in the lower right corner.

Way No 2 (Older Office versions AND Office 365):

In case you do not have Office365 and still stuck with older versions of Office you may still have the "Symbol" you find in the same ribbon but more to the right! The symbol icon is greyed out as long as you have no cursor in a text box. Keep in mind its in this case a character. In the first case it is a real graphic.

This will open this UI and there you need to select the font "Segoe MDL2 Assets"
If you have both its worth to check both places as the Icons may differ from each other.

Best hidden secret: free snaphot and screen recorder in Windows 10

Recently I had to create a video for a project in my company. I did some research on my possibilities on Windows 10. Reviewing store apps and did some testing with Skype for Business recording.

(UPDATED 08/17/2017)

I have some fast acting animations in my video and it turns out that even Skype screen recording is not fast enough in sampling the frames.

Finally I found the best builtin and free screen recorder available ever
for Windows 10.

Initially to get it running I had to make sure to get the X-Box app back that initially my company removed from my machine. (Thanks to store you can install it back on again on your machine).

How does it work?

1. Open the application you want to record on the window you want to record.
2. open the Game bar by pressing WIN+G

3. After clicking "Yes, this is a game" (Assuming it is a game :-))

4. You will see now the recording panel
There you have the ability to:
- Start the recording with the "Red Button"
- Start a screenshot with the "Camera Button"
- Start a background recording with the "Arrow backward recording"

5. After pressing recording UI changed to this:
And let you stop the recording there as well. You will not see the box in your game and you could even minimize it. ALT+G brings it back if hidden.

6. If clicking on the gear you get the builtin settings but there is even more!
These are the level 1 settings you can set. But there is even more when clicking on "Edit more preferences in Windows Settings"

7. In the settings app you can configure the the Keyboard shortcuts etc.
8. Dont miss the "Game DVR" settings where you can setup the  real stuff like storing location FPS sampling, Video quality, Audio settings etc.

UPDATE 08/17/2017

Sorry but I just missed also to mention the great video cutting capabilities of the XBOX app. You can open in the XBOX app your created video and simply cutting the start and the end you need.

Therfore open the Video in XBOX Game DVR and select "Trim"