Microsoft have just released this interesting KB article on large sector drive support in various versions of Windows.

Over the next few years, the data storage industry will be transitioning the physical format of hard disk drives from 512-byte sectors to 4096-byte sectors (also known as 4K sectors). This transition is driven by several factors, including increases in storage density and reliability.  

Specific requirements for Microsoft support by OS version

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008:

  • Install the hotfix from the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article:
    2470478  ( ) Applications that are built on ESENT and that run on a Windows Vista-based or Windows Server 2008-based computer may not work correctly after the reported physical sector size of the storage device changes
  • Make sure that the drivers and firmware for your storage controller and for your other hardware components are updated. Also make sure that they support large sector drives.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Install Service Pack 1 (SP1), or install the update from the following KB article:
    982018  ( ) An update that improves the compatibility of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with Advanced Format Disks is available
  • Make sure that the drivers and firmware for your storage controller and other hardware components are updated. Also make sure that they support large sector drives.
  • Use the updated Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) for SP1 that will be released as part of the updated pieces of the SP1 Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) and of the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). Or, embed update 982018 into Windows PE.

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP:

Any large sector disks, such as Advanced Format drives, are not supported by Microsoft for installation on systems that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, or Windows XP.

The full KB article is here.

Office 2010 has been available since April this year and Microsoft has made available a series of updates to improve the Office 2010 experience.

The updates whilst all grouped under “Office 2010 Cumulative Update for June 2010 KB 2259686“, they are in fact a series of invidual updates targeted at specific products that are part of the Office 2010 family.

Quick Links

Product Knowledge Base article number
FilterPack 2.0

Summary Detail

Product Knowledge Base article number Issue that this hotfix package fixes 
Project   When you use the Visual Reports feature in Project 2010, you receive an error message that states that you do not have access to the .mdb file.Some Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) methods such as FileOpen, FileOpenEx, and OutlineIndent, do not raise error messages when they should.

You copy formatted cells from an Excel workbook and then paste them into the Task Name column in Project 2010. When you click to select the Match Destination Formatting option from the Paste Options list, Project 2010 may crash.

Note If you use the option button directly, this issue does not occur.

You insert many tasks into a project that is connected to a server. When you save, close, and then reopen the project, all null (empty) tasks in the file are moved.

When you print or preview a project that has a dependency to a task and that task ends up as the last task on the page, the link line goes off the left side of the page

When you print or preview a project that has a dependency to a task and that task ends up as the last task on the page, the link line goes off the left side of the page toward infinity.

When you click Replace All, Project 2010 crashes. For example, Project 2010 crashes when you click Replace All to replace TaskName to TaskName2.

If a subproject task on the timeline is deleted from the subproject, the timeline data becomes corrupted, and tasks cannot be added to the Timeline view.

When you save a project as an XML file, the values that are in that XML file do not have a period as the XML decimal symbol. Instead, the values have a decimal symbol that is determined by the regional settings. For example, the values are the cost values. 

Access  Consider the following scenario in Microsoft Access 2010.You use a BeforeChange event or an AfterInsert event to update data. In a subform, you select a record and then create a new record in Connected mode. Then, you edit the form data. In this scenario, when you select the subform, the form data is committed and the event causes an update that displays the wrong subform data. 
FilterPack 2.0   Article is currently not posted
Publisher  Consider the following scenario:You create a merged publication in Microsoft Publisher 2010.
You close the merged publication.
You change the data source of the merged publication.
You reopen the merged publication.
You print or publish the merged publication.

In this scenario, Publisher 2010 crashes.

You use a non-English version of Publisher 2010. When you click Share in the Share with Template Community section, you are always directed to the English logon page.

Word  When you print from Word 2010 by using the scaling function of the print driver, you receive the following warning message:The margins of section 1 are set outside the printable area of the page. Do you want to continue?

After you click Yes, the scaling is incorrect and some text is cut when the document is printed. This problem occurs when the document size differs from the default paper size.

Excel Consider the following scenario:You have form controls in an Excel 2010 document.
You adjust the scale of the document.
You print the document.

In this scenario, the form controls are printed by using the actual size of the controls.

As per normal Microsoft Policy: Only apply hotfix packages to systems that are experiencing the specific problems documented.

Microsoft have released to the web ADMT 3.2.

ADMT v3.2 can be deployed to migrate users, groups, service accounts, and computers between Active Directory domains in different forests (inter-forest migration) or between Active Directory domains in the same forest (intra-forest migration). Unlike the previous version 3.1; ADMT 3.2 can run on Windows Server 2008 R2 server.

ADMT 3.2 cannot be used to migrate from Windows 2000 based Active Directory forests.

Download ADMT 3.2

What’s New in ADMT 3.2

The primary improvements in the Active Directory Migration Tool version 3.2 (ADMT v3.2) are compatibility between ADMT and current versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems. Specifically, you can install and run ADMT v3.2 on editions of the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, which does not support installation of earlier versions of ADMT. In addition, you can use ADMT v3.2 to migrate managed service accounts, which are a new feature in Windows Server 2008 R2.

SQL Server database installation changes

Before you can install ADMT v3.2, you must have Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express with Service Pack 3 (SP3), SQL Server 2008 Express with Service Pack 1 (SP1), or SQL Server 2005 or later installed, and you must have configured a database instance for ADMT to use. If you plan to run the ADMT v3.2 console locally on the computer that hosts SQL Server, you can use SQL Server Express. We recommend that you also install the latest service packs for SQL Server.

Managed Service Account Migration

ADMT v3.2 provides the Managed Service Account Migration Wizard and the admt managedserviceaccount command to migrate managed service accounts. You can explicitly specify managed service accounts that need to be migrated, or you can specify computer accounts that ADMT can query for.

Deprecated features

The following features that were available in previous versions of ADMT are not available in ADMT v3.2:

  • Support for migration to or from domains that have domain controllers that run Windows 2000 Server. If you want to use ADMT v3.2, both the source domain and the target domain must have a domain functional level of at least Windows Server 2003.
  • The Exchange 5.5 Mailbox Migration Wizard
  • The admtdb import command that allowed the import of an existing ADMT v2 database into an empty database

Download ADMT 3.2

Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 helps IT enable users to collaborate across organizational boundaries and easily access applications on-premises and in the cloud, while maintaining application security. Through a claims-based infrastructure, IT can enable a single sign-on experience for end-users to applications without requiring a separate account or password, whether applications are located in partner organizations or hosted in the cloud.


More ADFS goodness to follow…..

If you are the an IT professional who is looking for information on how to plan, implement and maintain Microsoft Office 2010 installations then this publication will help. 

Microsoft have made available this download which provides how-to information on the recommended steps to execute specific deployment tasks, such as customising the installation; installing the Microsoft Office 2010 system on users’ computers; implementing the deployment in multiple languages and migrating to the new file format.


The Microsoft Enterprise Platform Support Directory Services Team blog is for me one of the most important sources of Directory Services (Microsoft flavoured) information on the internet; drawn from over 10 years of having to support Active Directory (AD-DS) in the real world and I had the pleasure honour of meeting the owner of the blog (Ned Pyle) a couple of years ago in Redmond.

Late last week I asked Ned a question and within what seemed like minutes he had answered,  I was going to post Ned’s response here, in a slightly different format, but @chrisbeams let me know I had made it to this week’s “Dear Ned” column; so why reinvent the wheel?

Here is my question and Ned’s response.



Stability and reliability update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Having just blogged about  a Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Application compatibility update , I discover additional updates for stability and reliability.  These updates do not appear to be accumulative.

This one is dated April 2010 and I assume these updates are the Windows Server and client equivalent of the Exchange Rollup updates.

Issues resolved:

  • Windows Explorer crashes and then restarts when you access a third-party Control Panel item.
  • You cannot connect to an instance of SQL Server Analysis Services from an application in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2 after you install Office Live Add-in 1.4 or Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant 6.5.
  • Windows Explorer may stop responding for 30 seconds when a file or a directory is created or renamed after certain applications are installed.
  • The Welcome screen may be displayed for 30 seconds when you try to log on to a computer if you set the desktop background to a solid color.
  • You are not warned when you delete more than 1000 files at the same time. Then, the files are deleted permanently and are not moved to the Recycle Bin.
  • This one is dated January 2010

    Issues resolved:

    • Keyboard function keys or keyboard shortcuts, such as mute or calculator, may not work correctly.

    • The notification icon for an application may be moved or lost when the executable application is updated.

    • On a computer that is running Windows 7, you configure the Screen Saver Settings to display the logon screen on resume. Additionally, you configure the computer to go to sleep. However, the computer may not go to sleep after the screen saver starts. Instead, a black screen is displayed. This problem causes the operating system to stop responding. You must restart the computer by holding down the power button.

    This one is dated October 2009

    Issues resolved:

    • When you view a PDF file that was created by using a 2007 Microsoft Office system document, the PDF file is displayed on the screen correctly. However, when the document is printed, some characters are missing. This problem occurs in fonts such as Calibri, Cambria, Courier New, or Gabriola in which character combinations such as “fi,” “ti,” “fl,” and other combinations are frequently presented as ligatures.

    • In certain scenarios, an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message does not automatically tune to the appropriate channel in Windows Media Center.

    • You connect a secondary monitor to a computer that is running Windows 7. When the computer resumes from hibernation, a black screen is displayed.

    • In certain scenarios, the Windows 7 Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) diagnostic information settings are configured incorrectly for Windows Explorer. Only those users who are enrolled in the Windows 7 CEIP will be affected by this part of the update. This update limits the diagnostic information that can be collected by the CEIP.
    • You put an x86-based computer that does not have Physical Address Extension (PAE) enabled into hibernation. However, the computer does not enter hibernation correctly. When you try to resume the computer from hibernation, a black screen is displayed. This issue does not affect x64-based or Itanium-based computers, or computers that have the Data Execution Prevention (DEP) feature enabled.

    • A problem in Windows 7 affects the playback of certain media files in Windows Media Player when Windows Media Player is started from Windows Internet Explorer. Only those users whose media associations were changed incorrectly will be affected by this part of the update.

    • On a computer that is running Windows 7, you use Internet Explorer to open the certificate enrollment Web page and to install an end entity certificate. However, the installation fails. This issue occurs if the certificate chain for the new certificate cannot be built, or if the root certification authority (CA) has not first been installed in the Trusted Roots on the computer.