One thing that I've learned working with Windows Servers is that Microsoft likes to hide files that you need...a lot. Now there is rationale for this, the files I need are generally not the kind of files that you want the average person to have access to. Still it can be a pain when you need access to these paths daily and they seemingly don't exist. In order to see these files there are a couple of simple settings that can be changed:

In order to view hidden files, folders and drives, as well as hidden file types, first open up a Windows explorer window.

Next, click tools in the upper left hand corner of the window and select folder options. 

When the next window is displayed click on the view tab at the top. 

You will now be presented with a window with an "Advanced Settings" section. We are after three options here; "Show hidden files, folders and drives", "Hide empty drives in the Computer folder" and "Hide extensions for known file types". Make sure "Show hidden files, folders and drives" radial button is selected. Also, verify that the check boxes are not marked next to  Hide empty drives in the Computer folder" and "Hide extensions for known file types". Once this is complete click OK. 

These changes will allow you to see hidden folders such as AppData and several other temporary paths that you might need in your every day to day. This change will also allow you to relabel file types with a simple rename which can be very helpful for scripting (building a .txt script file and then modifying the name to a .bat). 

Prior to Windows Server 2012 I had used all manners of NIC teaming software in order to properly team my adapters. Each vendor seemed to have their own method and installer. I had seen options from broadcom, HP, Dell and all of them seemed to have their flaws. With the introduction of Windows Server 2012, however, Microsoft took it upon themselves to simplify the teaming process and I 100% approve of their decision:  

Being the type of person who constantly likes to install, uninstall and otherwise mess with my computers basic functionality I run across a ton of really awesome issues. One such issue occurred a few months ago when i lost my optical drive. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, most everything I own is in the cloud, but I was burning music from my last few remaining CDs and felt like this might be an issue for me. (NOTE: one of the reasons this probably occured was due to the installation and uninstallation of CD burner software - ed.). So I went digging and found a fix for my most recent of problems:

When working on a script this past week I came across a problem when trying to discover a servers domain when not being afforded access permissions. In my case my usual steps all came back with non-usable information.  All FQDN names were exactly the same for the computers on the our "test" domain as well as our "active" domain. All powershell scripts failed to run, due to my permissions, and without a major call to our service desk's API there seemed to be no other viable option for pulling this information. That's when I came across an older operation that fit the bill perfectly.

Nbtstat, according to Microsoft's technet library
is designed to help troubleshoot NetBIOS name resolution problems. When a network is functioning normally, NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) resolves NetBIOS names to IP addresses.
Long story short (this explanation doesn't seem short...I think you mean long story longer..I'm so clever -ed.) the TCP/IP stack doesn't understand "flat names" so Windows relies on an application called NetBIOS-Over-TCPIP (NBT) to handle them. When I refer to flat names I'm referring to the friendly names assigned to the computer aka Computer Name.

The NetBIOS-Over-TCPIP (NBT) "registers" the computers name upon Windows startup. This process makes sure that the computers name is unique and doesn't conflict with any other computers on the network. This registration process records this name in a WINS server on the network or by broadcasting the information out and waiting for other computers to complain that the name is being used. The NetBIOS-Over-TCPIP (NBT) also "resolves" other computers names to IP addresses to help with routing in the environment. For my needs it supplied me with the computers domain that I was searching for when running the command nbtstat -a [servername] (See Boxed content - ed.)

As with all things scripting you can easily find the entire list of variables for the command by running nbtstat -? 

This information can be used however you would like. For my purposes I used regular expressions and Powershell to pipe the information into a variable and used that to verified information for several different functions. 

I like to keep up to date with the latest Microsoft technologies and generally have a number of test environments running on my home computer. These test environments grant me the ability to create different "virtual" machines each with their own unique Operating Systems and programs without effecting my main computer. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit through a Window Server 2016 preview and thought I might like to get my hands on the new fledgling OS to see what I could glean from it. This is the first part of a multi part series running through the setup of a virtual environment on Windows 10 and the installation of Windows Server 2016 Essentials Tech Preview 3 on the newly established Hyper-V environment.

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