My Favorites Visual Studio Code Plugins

When i begon with scripting using PowerShell ISE for Coding.

PowerShell ISE and Visual Studio Code are free coding tools from Microsoft.

But when Visual Studio Code was released back in 2015 i was switching to that. Powershell ISE i still use on a daily base for some basic tasks.

But with de Extenions list for Visual Studio Code getting better and better scripting is much faster and without errors and easyer to read.

The list with favo extensions is getting bigger en bigger.
Which makes my live a little easyer and helpfull.

So the list of my Favorites:
Prettier – Code Formatter
TODO Highlight
Code Spell Checker
Dutch – Code Spell Checker
Code Snap
Error Lens
Hashicorp HCL
HashiCorp Terraform

Because AI is hot I ám currently testing the following plugins
GitHub CoPilot
GitHub CoPilot Chat

Using the ChatGPT/CoPilot plugins makes scripting even faster

Windows Server 2025 “Preview” deployment with Packer

As Windows Server 2025 Preview is officially released, I wanted to test a  automated build of the Windows Server 2025 Preview release. So that I can deploy this in my home lab and going to test the new features if I can find the time….

About Hashicorp Packer

Hashicorp Packer is a self-contained executable producing quick and easy operating system builds across multiple platforms. Using Packer and a couple of HCL2 files, you can quickly create fully automated template(s) with latest Windows Updates en VMware Tools. When you schedule a fresh builds after patch Tuesday  you have always an up-to-date and fully secured template.

When using VMware customization tools. You can spin up vm’s in minutes.

Automated Windows Server 2025 “Preview” Build

Files you need?
The files and versions I am using at the time of this writing are as follows:

Outside of downloading both Packer and Windows Server 2022 Preview build, you will need the following files:

  • – houses the variable values you want to define.
  • windows2025.json.pkr.hcl – the Packer build file
  • Answer file – Generated with Windows System Image Manager (SIM) you can download the file below
  • Custom script file(s) – optional

Other considerations and tasks you will need to complete:

  • Copy the Windows Server 2025 ISO file to a vSphere datastore

Windows Server 2025 unattend Answer file for the automated Packer Build

Like other automated approaches to installing Windows Server, the automated Windows Server 2025 Packer build requires an answer file to provide answers to the GUI automatically and other installation prompts that you normally see in a manual installation of Windows Server.

You will find the scripts here:

The only problem that I had was: Switching from Nic from Public to Private

# Set network connections profile to Private mode.

Write-Output ‘Setting the network connection profiles to Private…’

do {

    $connectionProfile = Get-NetConnectionProfile

    Start-Sleep -Seconds 10

} while ($connectionProfile.Name -eq ‘Identifying…’)

Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name $connectionProfile.Name -NetworkCategory Private

Deploy Windows Core Server 2022 with Server Core App Compatibility Feature on Demand with Packer

I while ago I started with parker to create simple templates for use in my homelab.

It take some time to find the rights scripts and learning en understanding the HCL2 coding

But in related to Security reasons I want to use a Windows Core Server the smaller footprint.

What is Server Core App Compatibility Feature on Demand:

Installing Features on Demand through Powerschell contains a bug. You may see “failure to download files”, “cannot download”, or errors like “0x800F0954” or file not found.

To Solve that I created I powerschell script to run the install twice: featuresondemand.ps1

You can find al the needed files on my Public Github Packer repository:

When running is showing like this:

A blue screen with white squares

Description automatically generated

It works for now, but there is one thing that would the hole thing a quiet nicer.
Passwords encrypted in a separate file.

Packer – Vmware Tools + Windows Server + VMTools service not installing correctly

I had a frustrating issue with Packer, specifically with VMware Tools installation.

During the Packer install, I load up a script and have VMware Tools 12.1.5 installed. It seems to install successfully, But I noticed that the VMTools service is not running. I have to re-run setup64.exe via the GUI and do a repair, then I see the service exist and runs, and Packer can discover the IP address of the VM to finish it.

The Solution

I used a older autounattend.xml which i never checked the time zone.
Setting the correcting time zone the trick:

<TimeZone>W. Europe Standard Time</TimeZone>

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