Remote Web Workplace 404 Error

Trying to log into Remote Web Workplace via an SBS 2011. Running Internet Explorer 11 (or using patched or updated Windows 7/8/8.1)

Screenshot below:

File or directory not found SBS 2011 Remote Web Workplace

This is not related to your server as you may even find that it looks like it connects for a brief second and then this appears.

To fix this, you need to add your RWW site to your Internet Explorer Compatibility list:

1)    Open Internet Explorer, navigate to your Remote Web Workplace URL login page.
2)    Press the “Alt” button which brings up the internet explorer menus
3)    Drop down “Tools” and then go to “Compatibility View Settings”.
4)    Your internet domain should be in the “Add this website” box, just press the “Add” button, then hit Close.
5)    Close Internet Explorer- restart and login.

This is not a server issues it is simply the client unable to access the site utilising newer browsing technology. This does not occur utilising Server 2012 Essentials.

Fujitsu & Comms Group

If you require any new desktop PC’s, laptops, workstations or NAS devices, speak to me here at Comms Group.

You can contact me directly on 01604 596092

Our Fujitsu partnership means we are offered preferential pricing and can pass these on to you, so give me a call today and I will personally arrange a quote for you! for further information about Comms Group UK Ltd

Fujitsu Celvin NAS Q802

Fujitsu Celvin NAS Q802

Fujitsu Celsius W530

Fujitsu Celsius W530

Microsoft Partner Enablement – Cloud OS

Over the past few years we have seen a massive shift within business infrastructure with regards to I.T dictating the services, whereas now users are demanding more and more, from anywhere, on any device. This transition has caused many a headache, compatability, compliance, training, time, the list goes on. Microsoft have researched these trends have devised solutions around the 3 core infrastructure components –

Compute – Processing/Memory

Storage – SAN/NAS

Network – Switching/Routing

Surrounding these 3 key infrastructure areas, these components can be utilised in many different ways and because of this, providing services that allow self-service and on-demand generation is a key area for the design of the Cloud OS.

Cloud Computing – The ability to host, store and migrate services to and from the cloud.

New social and app patterns – Applications for business and social designed for all devices from anywhere.

Consumerisation of I.T – The demands of users for services from the I.T department (of which needs to ensure compliance with the Business)

Data Explosion – Ensuring data is properly stored for DR and backup, businesses are generating more and more and expanding beyond current onsite infrastructure requirements.

Microsoft’s Cloud OS takes all of these ingredients on board and provides solutions from the one platform;



Service Providers

The one platform approach is such a massive selling point from anyones point of view, simply having one login for all these services makes it an extremely valuable option. Having to ‘manage’ accounts isn’t the best job in IT and doesn’t innovate the I.T team (speaking from a managed services prospective) so the better Microsoft can make this all encompassing package, the better for most managed service providers. As an example, several accounts do not need to be maintained, you simply federate your domain with Microsoft and the cloud services will simply refer back to your onsite Active Directory infrastructure to complete the authentication.

The one platform approach goes down further into the hierarchy and as such covers the following;

Development – Developing from one platform for many differing devices is a huge incentive for any business.

Management – Ability to control aspects of devices and services provided to users (regardless of the device they access it from).

Data – Ensuring recoverable data stores and high availability to access at any point in time regardless of ‘outages’.

Identity – Having one login for all services enables a simple solution for users – “I need this…..” – “Then, please login here”

Virtualisation – Enabling a robust and highly available infrastructure to manage and maintain without downtime is key in today’s society.

Windows Server 2012 R2 SMB 3.0 Scale-Out File Server that uses Shared VHDX to create a simulated JBOD for clustered Storage Spaces

Courtesy of

Note: This is unsupported in Windows 2012 R2 and should only be used in a lab/test environment

Many thanks to Aidan Finn for sharing this with us at the Partner Practice Enablement Labs hosted by Microsoft

Follow Aidan on Twitter for more excellent Hyper-V information –

Changing your Windows Server 2012 from Server Core to GUI and back again! #windows

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

With the update to the Server Core functionality in Windows Server 2012 – it is now possible to switch from Server Core to the GUI and also from the GUI to Server Core. It does involve a restart but this is something that wasn’t possible in the first edition (Server 2008) without completely reinstalling Windows.

I like the Microsoft approach to this kind of new technology – release something – listen to the customers/technical implementers – improve the product

It’s a system that has worked well for Microsoft for years, yes there are some issues (Vista/ DRM on Xbox One) – but at least there isn’t a dictatorship like with some fruity products we know. Who in the technology industry wants to be told that a certain feature you like, isn’t in fact likeable, not because they have a solid reason, just simply because it interferes with the pretty colours of the GUI.

I digress –

Here is a little run through of how to get from Server core to the GUI and back again (by Bilbo Baggins 😉

Run the following command in Powershell (requires a restart)

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra, Server-GUI-Shell -Restart


To convert from Server Core mode to a GUI mode, follow these steps when the server is initially  configured for Server Core mode;

  1. Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath path to wim\install.wim
  2. Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-GUI-Shell -restart – Source wim: path to WIM\install.wim: (Index # from step 1)
  3. For Windows Update as the source use – Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell -Restart

After this point you can switch he server back to Server Core mode whenever it is convenient

Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server0Gui-Mgmt-Infra -restart (Restart required)


Hope this helps for your practicing with Server Core 🙂

VMware 4.x and Server 2012/Windows 8 HAL_Initialisation_Error

One of our engineers found an issue with VMware 4.x and Server 2012 today, basically it gives you a HAL_Initialisation_Error when attempting to install.

From the Microsoft Support Page regarding this –


When installing Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, or booting using Windows PE 4.0 on a VMware 4.x virtual machine running a Windows operating system you may encounter the following error:

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart.  We’re just colleting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you. (0% complete)

If you would like to know more, you can search online later for this error:  HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

Note: If you attempt to boot the x86 version of Windows PE 4.0 the system will hang.

The cause is as below;

VMware 4.x does not support Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 as guest operating system. VMware 4.x also does not support an Offline P2V of a virtual machine running a windows operating system when using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 because this version of SCVMM uses WinPE 4.0 when executing the Offline P2V process.

The resolution is to update your VMware environment to 5.1 or above.

Cloud Computing Interview with Microsoft MVP – @AndyMalone #office365 #microsoft

Firstly, I’d like to thank Andy for taking the time to write a little something for the Guru365 blog. Andy is a very busy man and every second he has donated to this post can’t be thanked enough.

Andy’s background –

Andy Malone (UK) Microsoft MVP, MCT MCITP, MCSE, CTT+andymalone

Andy Malone is the CEO of Quality Training Ltd and founder of both the Dive Deeper Technology and Cybercrime Security events. Based in Scotland, Andy is a popular international event speaker and Technology evangelist with over 15 years’ experience. Andy was also the 2006 winner of the Microsoft TechEd Speaker Idol contest.

Andy has delivered technical and security content to thousands of delegates worldwide at various technical conferences, such as Microsoft TechEd, Connections and Tech-days. His passionate style of delivery, combined with a sense of fun has become his trademark.

Although his primary focus is always for security. Andy loves to talk about the Windows platform, Exchange and Office technologies. And with knowledge dating back to the MS-DOS 2 and Windows 2.0 era there is often an interesting story to be told. But technology never sleeps and Andy continues to work with the Microsoft product teams to create and deliver ground breaking material on Windows 8 and beyond. Recent projects have included security training & consulting in Kuwait, Dubai and the US for Government, Military and civilian clients. And more recently worldwide partner training for Microsoft’s new Office 365 cloud based platform.

Follow Andy on Twitter: @AndyMalone


Hi Andy, and many thanks for taking the time to talk to us about cloud computing, your experiences as an international event speaker and my personal favourite, Office365.


  • You have been involved with Office 365 with regards to training courses from the early days, how have you found the product and what do you see as the major benefits of using a cloud product, such as Office365?

Andy Malone – Since its conception, Office 365 has come on a long way. Moving to the cloud was often seen as a complex procedure. But Office 365 has allayed those fears in many ways. In terms of migrating to the cloud there are a large number of tools and partners that provide simple web based services to assist in moving your data to the cloud. In terms of the other benefits I would have to say having your data constantly backed up and deing able to access your data 24/7 and on any device is definitely a win win. Of course another benefit is the cost. You don’t need to invest in a complex and expensive infrastructure. O365 uses a simple subscription method so you don’t need to worry about costly licencing agreements and replacing expensive hardware.


  • Wave15 has been the latest offering for Office365, have you noted any major improvements to Wave14 and any exciting features that you particularly like?

Andy Malone – Wave 15 brings some major changes. Firstly the Office 2013 Professional Plus software that is included in the subscription is now delivered by App-V technologies. In other words it’s streamed and cached rather than permanently installed. This “service” rather than a fixed licence means that you will always have access to the latest versions of MS Office. Next Security! This is something that has really come on a long way. Firstly all email is secured with Bitlocker drive encryption at the data centre. This includes all the databases and log files. But also transport encryption with EAP/TLS cryptography. Compliance is a big word these days and Office 365 has made a lot of improvements. Data Loss Prevention, tracking, auditing and retention policies are just some of the new features that are integrated throughout Exchange & SharePoint.


  • Having thoroughly enjoyed your course for Office365 earlier in the year, have you enjoyed teaching technical personnel the content for the Office365 course?

Andy Malone – Absolutely it’s been a blast 🙂


  • Are there any particular areas that have been difficult or demanding with regards to teaching the product?

Andy Malone – There are many companies offering 365 training, but they use eLearning type labs. Now whilst this fine, there is no substitute for hands on experience. That’s why my labs are the real thing. Live IP Addresses, certificates etc. There is no experience like real experience!


  • Do you think there is enough content available for people to be learning the product from an administration point of view?

Andy Malone – This is difficult. I know many people who want to write courseware, but the problem is that it goes out of date very quickly as the service constantly changes. (Notice I said service and not product! That’s an important distinction here). So to answer your question it is coming but it has been slow purely because of what’s involved.


  • With regards to content for learning, do you have any links or videos that you would be willing to share with us that may make the process of certification and troubleshooting easier?

Andy Malone – Gosh there are so many. But a good place to start is the community pages on the Office 365 website. Also follow the product group blogs, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint etc.


  • What are the major topics you teach in your Office365 course and after completing the course what kind of certifications are available to administrators?

Andy Malone – Topics covered include deployment, Identity Management, ADFS, Dirsync and Exchange & SharePoint. In terms of certification. You can go for the MCITP Certification in Office 365. 70-321 & 70-323


  • Cloud Computing has had a massive impact over the past 12 months, how do you think this will change the way businesses in the UK work for the future?

Andy Malone – It’s like that movie Gun fight at the OK Corral. You can run but you can’t hide. Sooner or later I believe the cloud will be the norm.


  • As an MVP you speak at many major Microsoft events, for the general administrator what are the benefits of attending events such as TechEd?

Andy Malone – This is an easy one. Knowledge. As well the ability to meet your peers, attend great sessions and be one step ahead of the game.


  • I’m sure as a speaker you have thoroughly enjoyed these speaking events, do you have any particular highlights from years gone by?

Andy Malone – My first TechEd I remember feeling so intimated by these amazing speakers, Minasi, Riley, Russinovich and now over the years they are my friends. So that’s got to be a good thing right?


  • As a worldwide consultant and trainer you’ve had the opportunity to travel the world, do you have a favourite location and why?

Andy Malone – Iceland, definitely my number 1. You can experience true peace there. Other favourites include Dubai, Kuwait, Norway, Durban in South Africa and Bulgaria, they were really nice people.


  • How have mobile devices and cloud services/computing assisted you in your job travelling around the world?

Andy Malone – Communication is key, especially in today’s modern world. My phone and iPad go everywhere (as does my Windows 8 Laptop of course :))


  • I very much appreciate your time, for our readers do you have any social media identities that our users can follow you on in the future? (Twitter/Facebook Pages/Websites/Blogs etc)

Andy Malone – Twitter @AndyMalone Pretty much everything is there. Also my new Cybercrime website.


Andy is a keen Tweeter, so well worth following his tweets on Twitter!

Again, many thanks Andy for taking the time to answer questions on Cloud Computing and Office365.

Server 2012 – “Your current security settings do not allow this file to be downloaded”

Hi all,

As usual when installing a new 2012 server the security settings for IE are extremely high. On occasion you may find that you are unable to download files, below is the procedure for allowing downloads.

a.    Open Internet Explorer.
b.    Click Tools and then options.
c.    Click on the security tab.
d.    Select the Internet Zone.
e.    Click on the Custom Level Button and then scroll down to Download.
f.     Make sure to enable File download.
g.    Click Apply and Ok
h.    Restart Internet Explorer and check if that helps
This should resolve the issue, any further problems please comment and I’ll see what I can do for you 🙂
Kind Regards

Server 2012 Migration scenarios #migration

Cloud computing comes to NERSC

Cloud computing comes to NERSC (Photo credit: Berkeley Lab)

Migration projects involving servers can be categorized in a number of ways, depending on whether you are deploying a new infrastructure, upgrading or consolidating an existing infrastructure, or implementing a new infrastructure such as moving to the cloud. Other variables also include whether you are fully upgrading your entire infrastructure or only some of the server(s). There are also other scenarios such as managed or unmanaged environments, and whether the infrastructure is small or large.

You will find there is no single process for migrating a server but by utilising one or some of the follow migration best practices you will find your upgrade will be successful.


Windows Server 2012 has many possible migration scenarios, below I have briefly covered the main ways to move to Server 2012;

  • GreenField – Scenario where there is no current infrastructure, for example a new start up company.


English: Main components of a Service within a...
English: Main components of a Service within a Service Oriented Infrastructure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Forest Upgrade – Schema upgrade on current infrastructure using ADprep.exe command-line utility.


  • Mixed Environment – New hardware with 2012 and upgrade functional level within a legacy OS environment.


  • Server Consolidation – Using virtualisation to consolidate multiple physical servers to virtual hosts.


  • Private Cloud – Software as a Service (SaaS) / Platform as a Service (PaaS) / Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Utilising AD and System Center 2012.


  • Public Cloud – Hosting provider maintains a shared pool of resources – all customer data is fully isolated from others. Services such as Office 365 and Windows Azure offer this public cloud technology.


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