BSOD on Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V and Quest Change Auditor

Recently one of our clustered Hyper-V Hosts (with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter installed) was throwing a BSOD in the moment we tried to delete an ISO file from a CSV Volume.

After investigation with Microsoft Support, we found out that Quest Change Auditor (like McAfee Antivirus) is installing a Filter Driver. This Filter Driver is being used in order to track File Access. 

This Filter Driver in combination with the CSVFS (csvfs.sys) is causing the BlueScreen.
After we uninstalled ChangeAuditor, the problem was solved.

Best Regards,
Jens

 

Upgrade to Windows 8.1 – Laptop and Tablet

Yesterday, directly after the new OS Version was available, I started the download.
Unfortunately it took some time, as Microsoft Servers seemed to be a little bit overloaded.

Anyway, after half a day I had the update on ready for install on my Laptop and my Tablet.
First I have to say, my Laptop is was running Windows 8 Enterprise, so the update procedure was a little different:

  1. Download the ISO image from the Volume Licensing Portal
  2. Suspend Bitlocker Drive Encryption for Partition C:\
  3. Start the installation within Windows (I used a USB-Stick*, as I was not sure if it would work in case I just mounted the ISO)
  4. I was going through the Wizard, which told me that all my Apps will be lost (ok, so my Laptop would be faster)
  5. After pressing the finish button, it took like 30min to install Windows 8.1
  6. My settings and files (Domain Account, Windows Account, Personal Files and even installed security certificates) have been preserved.
  7. Now that the upgrade was done, I reinstalled Office, Antivirus, etc. and resumed the Bitlocker Drive Encryption.
  8. Easy and smooth :-)

* The Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool is available for free and still working with Windows 8.1

With my Tablet (running the 32bit Version) the upgrade was a little easier:

  1. After opening the Store, I selected the Windows 8.1 update
  2. The installation started immediately after the download finished
  3. After 30min, I got the screens with the usual questions: Agree Terms of Service, Allow Location, etc.
  4. With this installation, all settings and files have been preserved (even Desktop Apps like iTunes)
  5. Did I say before easy and smooth? It was a lie… this installation was easy and smooth!

Enjoy upgrading folks!

Cross-Version Live Migration

… finally an easy way to migrate Virtual Machines accross different versions of Windows Server Hyper-V.

The first step towards this was done by Microsoft when giving us the possibility to do a Shared-Nothing Live Migration.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2, this feature can be used in order to migrate Virtual Machines from a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Host to a Host running Windows Server 2012 R2.

Of course this is not only possible for single Hosts, but also for migrations between Clusters.

Now you don’t have to worry about a maintenance window for migrating your Virtual Machines to a new system, you can do a Cross-Version Live Migration :-)

Note: It’s not supported to perform a migration from 2012 R2 to 2012.

Enhanced VM Interaction in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Think about the installation of a Virtual Machine in one of your Windows Server 2008 R2 / 2012 Hosts. The mouse is not being captured, you could only copy and paste text from the Host to the Virtual machine (via the drop down of the vmconnect window, not directly).

To come around things like that, one option was to use a Remote Desktop Connection. But this only works after finishing the initial installation of the VM and not with all Client Operating Systems.

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Hyper-V, Microsoft implemented something new:

Enhanced VM Interaction

Enhanced VM Interaction is based on the Remote Desktop Protocol and allows you to use a lot of features, even if the Client Operating System is not yet installed or if the Virtual Machine has no network connectivity:

  • Smart Card, Folder, Disk and USB redirection
  • Audio redirection
  • Copy and Paste of files and folders (in both directions [VM<=>Host])

Note that the redirection is session based. Therefore it can’t be used for licensing dongles, etc..

Enhanced VM Interaction can be enabled for each Hyper-V Host in the Hyper-V Manager. By default it is disabled in Windows Server 2012 R2 and enabled in Windows 8.1.

Windows 8 Client Hyper-V – VMs Off-Critical

I am running several virtual machines on my laptop using Client Hyper-V. I don’t use them so much, but a few weeks ago I had to recognize that after starting my computer they are always shown as “off-critical”.

My search in the web only gave me results regarding Virtual Machines located on USB-Storage, which was actually leading me to the solution of my problem:

If VMs are located on a USB-Drive which is not connected during computer start-up, they will be shown in Hyper-V Manager as “off-critical”, because the VM Config files cannot be loaded.
This can be resolved by simply connecting the USB and restarting the Virtual Machine Management Service.

My VMs are located on a local partition. Now you would maybe ask why I think that this is the same problem, I will tell you:

The partition with the Virtual Machines is BitLocker protected.

So if I start my computer, the C Drive is being unlocked after typing my PIN and the TPM verification. The D Drive instead, will only be unlocked after the system start-up.
Somewhere in between this, the Virtual Machine Management Service is starting and looking for the XML files. As the partition is still encrypted, it cannot access the VM Config Files.

How to resolve?

I changed the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management Service Start-Up Type to Automatic (Delayed Start).
With this setting my Virtual Machines are off (like supposed to), but not off-critical after I start my Laptop :-)

Virtual Machine Generations in Windows Server 2012 R2

It’s been a while since my last blog post, sorry for that. Finally I am back :-)

During the last weeks I read and learned a lot about Windows Server 2012 R2. One thing which was mentioned quite often was Generation 2 Virtual Machines. In this post I will shortly explain the differences in Virtual Machine Generations.

Generation 1: This type of Virtual Machine provides the same hardware and features as  in older versions of Hyper-V.

Generation 2: This type of Virtual Machine is being introduced with Windows Server 2012 R2. The hardware functionalities have slightly changed:

  • Secure Boot (is enabled by default)
  • UEFI Support
  • Boot from SCSI Virtual Hard Drive or DVD Drive
  • PXE boot from a standard network adapter
  • Support for Legacy Network Adapters and IDE Drives has been removed

Operating Systems (Host+Guest):

Generation 1:

  • Host OS: Windows Server 2008 (R2)* and Windows Server 2012 (R2)
  • Guest OS (Windows)¹: Server 2012, Server 2008 (R2)*, Server 2003 (R2)*, Small Business/MultiPoint/Home Server 2011, Windows 7*/8
  • Guest OS (other): CentOS (5.5/6), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.5/5.9), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (10/11)

Generation 2:

  • Host OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Guest OS: Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows 8 (.1)

¹ I did not mention Windows XP, Vista and Server 2000 here as either support is ending soon or nobody is using it.
* including the various Service Packs

Windows 2012 – Missing MPIO Device Support

During the last weeks I installed four HP Blades with Windows Server 2012 for use in a Hyper-V Cluster.
The disks subsystem being used is a HP EVA.

After installing MPIO, I presented LUNs to the Blades.
Unfortunately, on three of the Servers, each disk was shown for times. Looked like MPIO was not working.

mpio fail

Checking the MPIO GUI, it showed only HSV200 as supported device. No other Enterprise Storage was registered.

After some time of research, I found the command for registering other devices:
mpclaim.exe -r -i -a “”

This adds support for all devices that are enterprise storage devices.

After running this, I restarted my servers and each disk was only shown once and also the MPIO GUI looked a little different:

mpio ok

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