Staying up-to-date with Windows Server updates for Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

Microsoft Remote Desktop Team get customer enquiries asking which RDS updates are available for a particular Windows Server platform; or when providing support we need to verify if certain hotfixes and servicing rollups are installed on the customers’ servers. To make it easier for customers and ourselves, we regularly revise KB articles that list all of the available updates specific to Remote Desktop services for each Windows Server release:

DNS Best Practise

I thing i see at many client’s where i come is. Enable Automatic scavenging of stale records is forget to enable. This is a best practise. See: https://technet.microsoft.com/nl-nl/library/ff807390(v=ws.10).aspx

DC01

Use the Microsoft Best Practice Analyzer Winking smile

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Set-DnsServerScavenging –ScavengingState $True –RefreshInterval  7:00:00:00 –NoRefreshInterval  7:00:00:00 –ScavengingInterval 7:00:00:00 –ApplyOnAllZones –Verbose

MS15-122 Security Update for Kerberos to Address Security Feature Bypass (Bitlocker)

This security update resolves a security feature bypass in Microsoft Windows. An attacker could bypass Kerberos authentication on a target machine and decrypt drives protected by BitLocker. The bypass can be exploited only if the target system has BitLocker enabled without a PIN or USB key, the computer is domain-joined, and the attacker has physical access to the computer.

This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Windows. For more information, see the Affected Software section.

The update addresses the bypass by adding an additional authentication check that will run prior to a password change. For more information about the vulnerability, see theVulnerability Information section.

For more information about this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3105256.

Update that enables Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 Key Management Service (KMS) hosts to activate a later version of Windows.

Windows 10 will be available on July 29th 2015. Microsoft has prepared for this by already making an Update(KB3058168) that enables Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 Key Management Service (KMS) hosts to activate a “later version of Windows”. This must means Windows 10. I do not know if this means that is even for Windows Server 2016. Windows 10 will be activated by a KMS server running this update but it might.

Select the version you need for the KMS server or servers you use and install them.

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Performance issues or delays when you connect to Exchange Server 2013 that is running in Windows Server

Microsoft released a new KB article about a performance issue with Exchange 2013

When you connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 server that is installed in Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008 in which Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 is included, you may experience delays to access email messages or disconnections to the Exchange server. When this issue occurs, the CPU or memory usage on the server is high for some services that include one or more of the W3wp.exe processes.

This issue occurs because too many objects are pinned on the .NET Framework 4.5 garbage collector heap. It causes heap fragmentation in addition to an increase in CPU and memory usage by the garbage collector.

Important Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

For Exchange Server 2013 that is installed in Windows Server 2012

Apply hotfix 2803755 that needs a restart, and then use one of the following methods to enable the hotfix:

  • Create the COMPLUS_DisableRetStructPinning environment variable, and set the value of the variable to 1.
  • Create a DWORDvalue of the DisableRetStructPinning entry at the following registry subkey, and set the DWORD value to 1:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework

Then, restart the computer.

For Exchange Server 2013 that is installed in Windows Server 2012 R2

Create a DWORDvalue of the DisableRetStructPinning entry at the following registry subkey, and set the DWORD value to1:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework

Then, restart the computer.

For Exchange Server 2013 that is installed in Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008

Apply hotfix 2803754 that needs a restart, and then use one of the following methods to enable the hotfix:

  • Create the COMPLUS_DisableRetStructPinning environment variable, and set the value of the variable to 1.
  • Create a DWORDvalue of the DisableRetStructPinning entry at the following registry subkey, and set the DWORD value to 1:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0

    Microsoft® Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the information technology (IT) pro or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V® hosts and Windows Azure™.
    MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell®, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell® command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.
    New Features in MVMC 2.0
    MVMC 2.0 release of MVMC includes the following new features:

    • Converts virtual disks that are attached to a VMware virtual machine to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Windows Azure.
    • Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows.
      Note The command-line interface (CLI) in MVMC 1.0 has been replaced by Windows PowerShell in MVMC 2.0.
    • Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts.
    • Supports conversion of offline virtual machines.
    • Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
    • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts Hyper-V virtual machines.
    • Supports Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows Server® 2012, and Windows® 8 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion.
    Standard MVMC Features
    In addition to the new features previously identified, MVMC provides the following functionality:

    • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on any of the following operating systems:
    • Windows Server® 2012 R2
    • Windows Server® 2012
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • Converts VMware virtual machines, virtual disks, and configurations for memory, virtual processor, and other virtual computing resources from the source to Hyper-V.
    • Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
    • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.0, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts to Hyper-V.
    • Has a wizard-driven GUI, which simplifies performing virtual machine conversions.
    • Uninstalls VMware Tools before online conversion (online only) to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
      Important MVMC takes a snapshot of the virtual machine that you are converting before you uninstall VMware Tools, and then shuts down the source machine to preserve state during conversion. The virtual machine is restored to its previous state after the source disks that are attached to the virtual machine are successfully copied to the machine where the conversion process is run. At that point, the source machine in VMware can be turned on, if required.
      Important MVMC does not uninstall VMware Tools in an offline conversion. Instead, it disables VMware services, drivers, and programs only for Windows Server guest operating systems. For file conversions with Linux guest operating systems, VMware Tools are not disabled or uninstalled. We highly recommend that you manually uninstall VMware Tools when you convert an offline virtual machine.
    • Supports Windows Server and Linux guest operating system conversion. For more details, see the section “Supported Configurations for Virtual Machine Conversion” in this guide.
    • Includes Windows PowerShell capability for offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V–based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).
      Note The offline disk conversion does not include driver fixes.

Download

Sysprep Windows Server 2012 (R2) Faster with /mode:vm Switch

Windows Server 2012’s System Preparation Tool (sysprep.exe) contains a new switch that allows system administrators to generalize the OS (remove any installation specific configuration) faster than previous versions of the tool that were designed for use on physical hardware.

What’s New in Sysprep for Windows Server 2012?

The new VM-mode method for generalizing a Windows 8 or Server 2012 installation only works from inside a virtual machine. Once sysprep has completed the generalization and shutdown the VM, you can copy the VM’s .vhd file and attach it to a new VM in any system that uses the same hypervisor technology.

Use Sysprep to Generalize Windows Server 2012 Running in a VM

You will need to use sysprep from the command line, as there is no option to enable VM mode in the GUI.

  • Install Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 (or later editions) in a virtual machine.
  • Customize the operating system as required.
  • Switch to the Start screen and type cmd. Make sure that Command Prompt is highlighted in the search results and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to launch the process with administrative privileges. Give consent or enter credentials if prompted.
  • Change the working directory to System32 by typing cd c:\windows\system32\sysprep and pressing Enter.
  • To run sysprep with the standard GUI options, but also the /mode:vm switch, type sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown /mode:vm and press Enter.

Update adds BPA rules for DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012

There is a update that adds new Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) rules. The rules are for DirectAccess on the servers that are running Windows Server 2012.
The following rules are added:

  • Checks whether the Domain Name System (DNS) address that is used for internal network resources is correct. If the internal interface of the DirectAccess server has only an IPv4 address, the DNS server that is configured in the Name Resolution Policy Table (NRPT) must be the DNS64 address.
  • Gives a warning if the option that enables DirectAccess for Windows 7 clients is not selected. 
  • Returns an error if the DirectAccess server is also a domain controller.
  • Returns an error if both force tunneling and Kerberos authorization are configured on the DirectAccess server.
  • Returns an error if the AcceptInterface parameter for DNS64 does not use the same IP address as the one that is used for DNS64.
  • If DirectAccess is configured by using the Remote Access Management user interface, checks whether DirectAccess policies are configured on the server.
  • Gives a warning if any certificate that can be used on the DirectAccess server has subject alternative names (SANs) but no subject name.
  • Provides information if the order of the Internal network interface is below the Internet network interface in Adapters and Bindings.
  • Gives a warning if the private key of the IP-HTTPS certificate does not exist on the server when the certificate is used.
  • Gives a warning if the DirectAccess client security group includes desktop computers.
  • Sends an HTTP request to test whether the certificate revocation list (CRL) field in the IP-HTTPS certificate that is configured on the DirectAccess server is valid. If the request fails, a warning is displayed. This test is only required when Windows 7 clients are configured for DirectAccess.
  • Sends an HTTP request to test whether the CRL field in the network location server certificate that is configured on the DirectAccess server is valid. If the request fails, a warning is displayed. This test is only required when Windows 7 clients are configured for DirectAccess, and when NLS is deployed on the DirectAccess server.
  • Checks whether an Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP) router or load balancing is configured on the network. If this is the case, checks the DNS records for ISATAP. The DNS server should have the records for the internal dynamic IP (DIP) of the server and for the internal virtual IP of the load balancer.
  • Checks whether the email address field is configured for Network Connectivity Assistant.
  • Checks whether the default gateway is configured on the Internet interface instead of on the Internal interface. If the check fails, a warning is displayed.
  • Gives a warning if NRPT exemptions are configured when force tunneling is deployed. 
  • Makes sure that probes other than Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) probes are configured in NCA.

Download the update here: HERE

Incompatibility between Windows 8 roaming user profiles and roaming profiles in other versions of Windows

Roaming user profiles on Windows 8-based or Windows Server 2012-based computers are incompatible with roaming user profiles in other versions of Windows.
Profiles are compatible only between the following client and server operating system pairs: 

  • Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 
  • Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 

Note In this article, when the client operating system is referenced, the same issue applies to its corollary server operating system.
For example, if you try to deploy Windows 8 in an environment that uses roaming, mandatory, super-mandatory, or domain default profiles in Windows 7, you experience the following:

  • After you use a user account that has an existing Windows 7 profile to log on to a Windows 8-based computer for the first time, the components from Windows 8 read and modify the profile state.
  • Certain Windows 8.1 features may not work as expected because the expected profile state is not present.
  • When you try to use the same user account to log on to a Windows 7-based computer, the user profile modification that was performed in Windows 8 may not work as expected in Windows 7.

The issues occur because the profile will contain values that are used differently between the versions of Windows. The user profile will be missing default profile configuration information that is expected by the operating system, and could contain unexpected values that are set by a different operating system version. Therefore, the operating system will not behave as expected. Additionally, profile corruption may occur.

 

Hotfix: Download