Microsoft have provided a Visio 2010 Add-In to enable Disk Space Monitoring, it provides a graphical view of free space available on selected computers.  To populate the Visio diagram it can either be populated from an Excel spreadsheet or System Center Operations Manager.  Once all the desired computers have been contacted, the information is presented in a format similar to this.


May the Gig’s be with you.

Client\X64 – Visio Add-In for Disk Space Monitoring Download
Client\X86-Visio Add-In for Disk Space Monitoring Download
Server\Visio Services Data Provider for Disk Space Monitoring add-in Download
User Guide for Visio Add-In for Disk Space Monitoring Download
Visio Services Data Provider for Disk Space Monitoring add-in user guide Download

Microsoft have released version 1.4 of the Sysinternals tool “Active Directory Explorer “.  AD Explorer is an advanced Active Directory (AD) viewer and editor. You can use AD Explorer to easily navigate an AD database, define favorite locations, view object properties and attributes without having to open dialog boxes, edit permissions, view an object’s schema, and execute sophisticated searches that you can save and re-execute.

I am one of those people that loves technology and I always like to keep my knowledge up to date. One way I “used” to stay informed, was with Microsoft’s Podcasts on iTunes; but this content was getting a little stale and did not appear to be updated very often.


One day when I was not looking for anything in particular, I stumbled across the TechNet Radio Website (UK Version) and the first thing I noticed was the content and the fact that some of it was dated a few days previous; but why was the content not in iTunes as part of TechNet Radio?  I soon stopped asking that question, because I was presented with another.

On the page I noticed TechNet Radio Feeds with RSS, iPod and Zune links.


Clicking on the iPod link I was presented with an what looked like an RSS Feed, but what do I do with this? I assumed something in iTunes.


Opening iTunes, I started to look through the menus until I saw “Subscribe to Podcast” on the advanced menu.


Opening “Subscribe to Podcast”,  I cut and paste the URL from the “TechNet Radio iPod feed” into the dialogue box and clicked OK.


The podcast directory in iTunes now had this listing:


So I now had iTunes, syncing with Microsoft for the latest podcasts, but was I missing any other “channels”?

After a little “bing fu” I found the Microsoft Podcast Page and added other ones relevant to me to (note if  “Subscribe to Podcast” already has a URL listed, replacing it with a new one, will not remove the feed already in iTunes).


I am now once again keeping up with Microsoft technology… on my iPod.

The Security Compliance Manager is a free Solution Accelerator from Microsoft which has been designed to enable organisations  to take advantage of the experience of Microsoft security professionals and reduce the time and cost required to harden Windows infrastructure.

The Security Compliance Manager provides access to the complete database of Microsoft recommended security settings; using this information you can configure and customise security baselines; these can then be exported to multiple formats,  including Excel, Group Policy objects (GPOs), Desired Configuration Management (DCM) packs or the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), for analysis or implementation.

Download the Security Compliance Manager

Learn more about the Security Compliance Manager

Solution Accelerator’s are tools and guidance that help you solve your deployment, planning and operational IT problems. Solution Accelerator’s are free and fully supported.  Want to learn more about Microsoft Solution Accelerator’s, Click Here.

If you are looking connect with fellow Active Directory administrators, architects or perhaps the people that design the product, then I would strongly urge you to check out Tony Murray’s mailing list.

The list which started back in January 2001 provides a  forum for discussing various aspects of Microsoft’s Active Directory technology.  

Tony Murray has provided a little more insight into the excellent

Tony writes:

“I had the idea to launch based on the mailing-list discussion forums I was participating in; for example, there were some great Exchange mailing lists where the contributions from Microsoft employees, MVPs and other gurus were invaluable.  At the time (January 2001), Windows 2000 was getting into its stride but there didn’t appear to be a good mailing list forum for Active Directory.  Seeing a gap in the market, as it were, I launched the site purely as a vehicle for the mailing list.   Exchange MVP Martin Tuip provided a lot of early help and publicity.  Some time later a friend and work colleague (Matty Holland) helped me rebuild the site using DotNetNuke. 

Matty and I now run the site together. The idea behind the move to DotNetNuke was to allow subscribers to write AD-related articles for the community and to post them on the site. The article idea has been slow in attracting support – largely due I think to the recent explosion in personal blogging.  The mailing list remains the focus of and the membership is now nearing the 2000 mark. 

The list has been successful largely due to the low signal-to-noise ratio (a problem for many list-based forums).  I’d like to say that this is because of the unique and skilful way in which I manage the list (ha ha) – but really it’s down the solid core of regulars who set the tone.”

The ActiveDir list features some of the foremost experts in the Active Directory arena; including Joe Richards, Laura Hunter, Brian Desmond and of course Tony himself.  There are lots of silent members on the list too and don’t be surprised to get a reply from the product group or even Don Hacherl (Don was Lead Development Manager at Microsoft for Active Directory). 

The list is free and if you can’t find the answer to your Active Directory issues via the list, then you probably have issues that can only be resolved with devine intervention.

Registration Information

A point to note is, the list does not like hotmail or live addresses at the moment, due to some issues on Microsoft’s part.

The Windows Sysinternals team have updated the excellent Active Directory Explorer tool to version 1.3

AD Explorer can be used to navigate the AD database; view object properties and attributes; modify permissions; view an object’s schema properties and create sophisticated searches that can be saved for regular use.

AD Explorer has the ability to save snapshots of an AD database for off-line viewing and comparison and for me the most useful snapshot feature is the ability to mount two snapshots of an Active Directory database and using AD Explorer’s comparison functionality compare the two snapshots to see what objects, attributes and security permissions differ.


Microsoft over the past few years has regularly published component posters – these posters provide a visual reference that assist in understanding how key technologies interface with each other.

 Windows Server 2008 R2 Feature Components

Windows Server 2008 Feature and Active Directory Components

Windows Server 2008 R2: Hyper-V Component Architecture

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture (with Service Pack 1)

Windows Server 2008 R2: Remote Desktop Services Component Architecture Poster

Windows Server 2003 Feature Components

Exchange 2007 Feature Components

Exchange 2010 Feature Components

OCS 2007 R2 Feature Components

Volume Activation 2.0

Whilst they might not easily print out on a sheet of A3 – your friendly printshop may be able to help.