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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Get your Windows 8 before 1/31, and some misc items....

It's been exactly one month since my last post. There were the holidays, and then a flurry of work and sick kids and all the stuff that prevents people from writing. So, here's a whole bunch of stuff in one post.

  • If you're not sure whether you'll get Windows 8, I would suggest you pick up a copy before the 31st of January. Until then, you can get it for $39.99. If you wait until after that, though, it will set you back $199.99! I might not install Windows 8 soon, but I'm not in the position to wager $160 that I won't ever upgrade, so I picked up my copy. You can get it here. Just run the upgrade advisor on your computer and afterwards you can buy a key and download the ISO file.

  • I finally conquered a performance irritation on one of my file servers! After I started monitoring my virtual servers with Veeam ONE monitoring, I was getting emails every Wednesday morning at random times between 2AM and 5AM that there was high CPU load. The CPU was maxed out, actually. I would set my phone's alarm to get up and log into the server, and the load would stop. There were no scheduled tasks, and it wasn't the backups. I was stumped. The culprit seemed to be svchost.exe, which is an all-encompassing process for your Windows services, which made things even tricker. I found a command that would let me peer into a svchost.exe process to see which services were attached to it: tasklist /svc /fi "imagename eq svchost.exe, but again every time I would log into the server it would calm down. Last week, we reorganized the server room and had to take the entire network down. It was an all-hands-on-deck outage. I was in at 12:30AM, and we wrapped things up at around 6. Sure enough, the process was going berserk again!!! It occurred to me that perhaps I could run commands from a remote powershell session, and I finally discovered the culprit: defrag!!!!! GRRRR!!!!

  • While I was doing patching this month, I thought it might be handy to have some way of reporting which patches were installed, and when. If something went awry, I would like a list of the patches that were installed as part of my "what changed" troubleshooting procedure. I came up with this script:
$HostChoice = (Read-Host -Prompt "Please Enter the computer name you'd like to query")
$DaysBackChoice = (Read-Host -Prompt "How many days would you like to go back?")

#Get the date from X Days ago
$DateXDaysAgo = ((get-date).adddays(-$DaysBackChoice).toshortdatestring())
$DateXDaysAgo = ($DateXDaysAgo + " 12:00:00 AM")

#Get the info from the remote computer and pass it to GridView
Get-WMIObject -ComputerName $HostChoice -Class Win32_QuickFixEngineering | where {$_.InstalledOn -ge $DateXDaysAgo} | sort InstalledOn | out-gridview