21 April 2008

CoreConfigurator - Graphic Management Tool for Windows Server 2008 Core

The default management for Windows Server 2008 Core is the command line. Yes, the main powerful of Windows Server Core becomes available when using such an approach, but sometimes it's not so user friendly. This is why I've been asking so many times if exist anything more graphic :). Yes, one of the first recommendations to work and manage Windows 2008 Server Core is to use MMC from a remote machine, but MMC cannot do everything. Of course to allow work with remote tools this tool should be allowed passage through the firewall packages Server Core. In addition, this is for many more difficult than editing the registry. :) Therefore, I would like to have a simple graphical tool for configuring local system. The task of developing such an interface is complicated by that the Server Core has a limited set of graphics API, this is a reason why so beautiful MMC doesn't work on it.

So, if Microsoft has not established such utilities anybody else did this. Look at the utility CoreConfigurator developed by Guy Teverovsky, MVP from Israel.

This is what it can:
  • Product Activation Product Activation
  • Configuration of display resolution Configuration of display resolution
  • Clock and time zone configuration Clock and time zone configuration
  • Remote Desktop configuration Remote Desktop configuration
  • Management of local user accounts (creation, deletion, group membership, passwords) Management of local user accounts (creation, deletion, group membership, passwords)
  • Firewall configuration Firewall configuration
  • WinRM configuration WinRM configuration
  • IP configuration IP configuration
  • Computer name and domain/workgroup membership Computer name and domain / workgroup membership
  • Installation of Server Core features/roles Installation of Server Core features / roles
To setup this utility use MSI package and then run the CoreConfigurator. exe file. The following interface will appear.

Just in case, it's not necessary to install CoreConfigurator, we can simply copy its files into the system. The result will be the same. The video settings look like this:

Setting "Show window content while dragging" may very markedly improve display window objects, if you work with the server via terminal connection. Please note that the setting affects only the current user. According to the picture, to change the time zone, the developer did not reinvent the wheel, and just call to standard timedate.cpl

Remote Desktop Options look like this:

All would be good, but in this version you still have to allow RDP connections in the firewall manually using netsh. Hopefully, in the next version this will be fixed. Management of local users and groups is done through the following windows.

Installation of Roles and Features became a more visual :

Instantly, functionality of firewall management is very limited, but at least he had already to incorporate all necessary rules for the remote control.

Configuring your network interfaces habitually looks fairly.

To set the activation key and Activate the OS is also very simple and all this done via GUI :)

In addition, let me show winrm interface, interface to rename computer and join it to domain:

It is understandable that CoreConfigurator is not officially supported by Microsoft. Many IT professionals probably have any doubts, whether to trust manufacturer of the software. As usual choice, set its server utility or not is up to you. :)

09 April 2008

How to Create File for a Desired File Size

Time to time I get the need to have some temp files of varying sizes. In Linux environment it's not a problem to do. And, in Windows environment it's not a problem anymore :).
I've used a "dd for windows". "dd for windows" could be downloded from official web site. I've created a very simple script, mkef.bat. Here is a syntax for using mkef.bat:


And now the content of mkef.bat:

@echo off
if {%1}=={} @Echo Please use the following syntax: mkef.bat filename size &goto :EOF
if {%2}=={} @Echo Please use the following syntax: mkef.bat filename size &goto :EOF
dd if=/dev/zero of=%1 bs=1024 count=%2