Windows Server

For the past few months I’ve been using an in house script to manage the rebooting of Virtual Machines on Hyper-V hosts following Windows Updates. These Virtual Machines also take part in Hyper-V Replica Replication to a DR host. On occasion I’ve spotted that when shutting down (as part of the reboot sequence) the Hyper-V Replica state will go into a Error ‘Critical’ state.

As it transpires this happens when the machine is shutting down and Hyper-V replica is attempting to create a reference point to send replica data over to the DR host.

The best fix I have at the moment for this issue is to suspend replication (you can use the Suspend-VMReplication PowerShell Cmdlet as documented here – to accomplish this) before shutting down the machine and then resuming replication (Resume-VMReplication and once shutdown is complete.

You will also note this issue noted under Hyper-V-VMMS in Event Viewer with Event IDs along the lines of 19060, 33680, 32546 and 32026.

One of the little niggles that you can get with Windows Server (2008 SP2 in my case) is a remote desktop connection will not let you use saved credentials to login remotely with the following error message.

Your credentials did not work
The server’s authentication policy does not allow connection requests using saved credentials. Please enter new credentials.

The fix to this can be found in local or group group policy settings by going to one of the two places

Server 2008 (and previous)
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Terminal Services > Terminal Server > Security.

Server 2008 R2 (and onwards)
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services Remote Desktop Session Host > Security.

Then set ‘Always prompt for password upon connection‘ to disabled. This will then allow you into your server using cached credentials.

If you are running System Centre Data Protection Manager (2010/2012) on Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 you may or may not know that when you are running a Bare Metal/System State Backup you are actually using the built in Windows Server Backup feature to keep your data safe.

One thing that baffled me is why on some servers the backups are so large right until I figured out it was backing up drives other than the C (Operating System) drive. As it turns out when you perform a bare metal backup Windows looks at not only the OS drive but any other drives that might be relevant in a disaster recovery scenario.

So how do we find out which drives are included in the backup? Simple method is to go to the command line and enter this command-

wbadmin.exe start backup -allcritical -backuptarget:C:\test

Don’t worry it won’t accualy perform the backup but it will give you a little list of which drives are included as you can see below.