How To Remove Superfish Adware from Lenovo Laptops

I started seeing reports of adware/malware being installed on Lenovo laptops yesterday.  The story is picking up steam today (Wired covered it here), and that's a good thing because this little bit of adware poses some significant risks.  The program causing the problem, Visual Discovery, was pre-installed by Lenovo on some laptop models since August 2014.  Visual Discovery causes pop-up ads and inserts ads in web pages that directs traffic to suspicious or even harmful 3rd party websites.  The ads it serves are craftily injected into Google search results and other pages that you expect to be … [Read more...]

Is Spanning VMDKs Using Windows Dynamic Disks a Good Idea?

I've had several folks ask me recently about how to support very large NTFS volumes on vSphere virtualized Windows servers.  The current limitation for a VMDK in vSphere 5.1 is 2TB minus 512B.  FWIW, a Hyper-V virtual disk in Windows Server 2012 can be up to 64TB.  Those asking the question want to support NTFS volumes greater than 2TB for a variety of purposes - Exchange databases, SQL databases, and file shares.  Windows (depending on the version and edition) can theoretically support NTFS volumes up to 256TB (depending on cluster size and assuming GPT), with files up to 256TB in size (see … [Read more...]

Blank QuickLaunch Icons on View Desktop

I've been doing a several VMware View installs for customers this month.  During one of the engagements I ran into a strange issue where the Quick Launch icons on the Windows Taskbar of provisioned Linked Clones were blank.  Here's what it looked like: Clicking on the icons resulted in a warning: "Can't open this item.  It might have been moved, renamed, or deleted.  Do you want to remove this item?"  No, Windows; I don't want you to remove it, I just want you to fix it, thank you very much. I did a bit of digging and found another user on the VMware Communities forum had the … [Read more...]

Storage Basics – Part IX: Alternate IOPS Formula

It's been a long time since I published an article in my Storage Basics series - the series has been some of the top content on my site to date.  I sat for a beta version of the VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Desktop Design (VCAP-DTD) test today and was reminded by the test of a post I had in waiting about an alternate way to calculate IOPS (hint hint - memorize these formulas).  I have several more articles sitting in draft form, but a new job, crazy kids, home improvement projects, and a wife with chronic cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leaks (it sounds bad - and it is - but look on … [Read more...]

Conflicting Guidance on No GUI Boot and Base Video settings for VMware View Desktops

I've been working on writing up a complete guide for optimizing VMware View desktops.  In my research I've come across some conflicting information on using the 'No GUI Boot' and 'Base Video' boot optimizations found in the Microsoft System Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe). Why You Might Use 'No GUI Boot' and 'Base Video' Tweaks No GUI Boot The 'No GUI Boot' option disables visual elements in the Windows boot sequence (the Starting Windows screen with the swirling colored dots that turn into the Windows logo).  The idea with this optimization is that CPU cycles are needed to render, … [Read more...]

Cleanup Archived Event Logs with PowerShell

I ran into an environment today where a group policy object (GPO) was configured at the domain level that set security logs to be archived to the C: drive when full.  The need for the policy abated, then the policy was removed.  But, the setting to archive event logs on each server and workstation in the domain persisted.  Hard drives - physical and virtual - began to fill up, taking down critical services.  The fix was easy, but I thought I would share for others who might run into the same issue. First, I set a group policy to configure appropriately sized logs and retention policies on … [Read more...]

Optimize Microsoft Office and Outlook in VDI Environments

I've been working on a VMware View Optimization and Best Practices whitepaper for Clearpath.  The document isn't quite ready for publication yet, but I wanted to share a section that I've been working on as I've had several people ask me about this topic recently.  This section is dealing with deploying Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Outlook in particular in VMware View VDI environments.  Stay tuned for the full document.  In the meantime, I hope this bit is helpful to you. Microsoft Office in View Desktops Microsoft Office, including Outlook, can be deployed as a ThinApp to View … [Read more...]

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VMware View Persona on DFS – Replication Considerations and Issue

I'm presenting this week at the Boston VMware User Group (VMUG) conference on 'What You Didn't Know That You Needed To Know Before Implementing VMware View'.  If you are in the Boston area I hope to see you there! My session abstract is as follows: Don’t be caught unprepared when you make the move to virtual desktops!  This session will provide attendees with an overview of how VMware View integrates with your existing infrastructure, Windows images, applications, and processes.  Building on Clearpath’s experience in implementing VMware View for customers of many sizes in a variety of … [Read more...]