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Copy Hyper-V Drive

I have a client that is using Server 2016 Standard and is using Hyper-V. The Hyper-V client is a Windows 2008 R2 server running RDP. The Hyper-V was slow for the remote people so I decided to copy the Hyper-V drive to a set of SSD drives to make things faster. Googling I see there is an option to move the drive but for me being paranoid I wanted to copy the drive. Then create a new Hyper-V with the same specs and then after creating the new Hyper-V attach the copied drive on the SSDs. I have tried this in the past and there is one step you need to do for this to work. There is a permissions issue with the drive. MS has setup a hidden permissions for each Hyper-V drive configuration that you create and you have to give permissions on the drive. When you create a new Hyper-V and have it create a new drive during the configuration then its fine. Its when you want to attach an existing drive to the Hyper-V that you need to give permissions.

So these are the 2 sites I found online that helped me do this. The first one has made a mistake so the second link help me figure out the issue and corrected it:

Link 1

Link 2

So these are the steps I used to make it work:

  1. Shutdown the existing Hyper-V
  2. Copy the .vhdx drive to the new location
  3. Create a new Hyper-V setup with the same specs as the original BUT select attach drive later
  4. On a Powershell command (Make sure you run as administrator or it won’t work) type the following:
  5. Get-VM ‘New Virtual Machine’ | Select-Object VMID      (Where New Virtual Machine is the name of the new Hyper-V that you created)
  6. It will display a long SID. You need to copy this SID (Easily in Powershell is highlight the SID and then click on the top bar and select Edit and then copy.
  7. Now this is where link 1 makes a mistake. For me I started a Command Prompt with administrator and went to the folder where the new copy of the .vhdx was. For example the .vhdx file is called server.vhdx. I then typed this command:
  8. icacls “c:\drive\server.vhdx” /grant “NT VIRTUAL MACHINE\{SID}”:(F) where {SID} is the pasted SID. Don’t include {}
  9. Now go into the new Hyper-V settings and attach the .vhdx. It should then start (first time takes a bit).
  10. Once it is loaded I then went in and changed the network IP to what it was on the original. Check Windows activation. It should be OK. If you have MS Office you might need to reactivate it but should not give you problems. For me I also had to duplicate the MAC address of the network card. Each time you create a new Hyper-V it creates a new MAC address (So they don’t conflict if you were running both Hyper-Vs at once). For me I shutdown the new Hyper-V. Go into the settings and expand the network adapter and select the Advanced features and then change the MAC address as the same as the original. For me the client has special TSPrint and TSScan software that check the drive and network device for activation. Changing the MAC address is easier then deactivating and reactivating the software.

I have done this twice on the same server and it has worked for me each time. If you make a backup copy of the .vhdx drive and have to restore likely you will need to run these same steps to get it working.

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Recover Windows 8 or 10 Key From Bios

From an elevated command prompt, run:

wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey


Should return a BIOS CD key (8.x & 10 only).  It will not return which version it is for.

Another option is to download a utility that will do this.

Follow this LINK to download

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Why RAID Is Important

All my servers I build have RAID. Mostly RAID 1. My main multimedia machine at home has 5 drives. 4 of them are set to RAID 1. Well one of these drives died recently. The 8 year old drive (almost to the day) on one of my RAID 1 sets is dead. I have 1000’s of videos,pictures and music that I don’t want to spend days or more to replace so this is why I implemented RAID. I took out the failed drive. Replaced it with a new drive and started the Intel Raid  software to rebuild. All up and running fine. For home and  small servers I implement the RAID option on the ASUS Motherboard. Its called BIOS RAID. If you search all the IT people say don’t use BIOS RAID. Well I have used BIOS RAID for over 12 years and NEVER had an issue!! Sure the RAID rebuild is slower compared to hardware RAID but the nice thing I like with BIOS RAID 1 is I can take one of the drives if say the MB died and can read from any PC. Lets see you do this with a RAID 5 controller set. NOT! I have had a client many years ago that had RAID 5 and this happened. If the controller dies you are SOL. Luckily they had a good backup. It took me 3 days to get everything going as before. This is why I will never implement RAID 5. I only do RAID 1 and RAID 10.

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Windows 10 1803 Problems

There seems to be some people having issues with the new Windows 10 1803. I have upgraded 4 of my PCs and my one Laptop is on insider and has had it for about a month before release. I have not had any issues that some people have had. I don’t use Chrome that often so won’t have that issue. Don’t use a microphone so can’t relate on that. Have not gotten any BSOD. Most of my PCs are running ASUS MBs. I have a used Dell PC and a Lenovo Laptop. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones or maybe its hardware related with drivers etc. Any how here is a link of issues that people have been having with Windows 1803.

Windows 10 1803 Issues


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M.2 Controller Comparison

So as I am starting to create pricing sheets for PCs I sell and starting to include 8th gen Intel CPUs and I started to look at the different options for the motherboards. One of the major options is the M.2 slots. Looking at the various ASUS MBs with M.2 there are a different versions of the controllers speeds. This is also compared to the M.2 SSD drive versions. I looked for a chart that compared this but have not found one. The drives all specify MB/s. The controller like to specify Gbps or just architecture. So for me and others I have created a chart that explains the differences.

In my chart I compare speed of the Gbps, M.2 controller, controller name, Max MB/s and example of ASUS MBs. The basis is to prevent you spend a large amount of money on a high end NVMe drive and install it in a low price MB that has a limited M.2 controller.

There are other controllers and different speeds (m.1, U.2 etc) but these are the most common now. I have included SATA drives and controllers to give a comparison of the old SATA vs SSD.

Gbps Max MB/s Drive Example Drive Max Speed Controller Name ASUS Ex MB Models
3 Gbps 375 MB/s WD Blue 500GB SATA 108 MB/s SATA II 3 All
6 Gbps 750 MB/s WD Black 4TB SATA 175 MB/s SATA III 6 All new
10 Gbps 1250 MB/s WD Blue M.2 560 MB/s M.2 PCIe x2 (socket 2) H310M-C
20 Gbps 2500 MB/s WD Black PCIe M.2 2050 MB/s M.2 PCIe x4 (socket 3) B250M-C
32 Gbps 4000 MB/s WD Black NVMe M.2 3400 MB/s M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 H370M-PLUS


I included Western Digital Drives because they are common with all different configurations. There are also Samsung drives and others that would be similar. Some have faster speeds than the WD but it gives you an idea with max MB/s options. If you look the SATA 3 and 6 are rated at faster speeds than the drives but the limit of spinning drives vs SSDs you can see why the future will be all SSDs. Once the price is better. It takes time. I remember the first SSD was like $1000 for say 20GB now you can get 128GB for under $100. Also you can  see that SATA III can handle SSDs speeds. Thats some of the lower SSDs say M.2 SATA. Also why all the SATA SSDs have a max of 5XX MB/s even though theoretically its 750MB/s with all the overhead etc it won’t get there.

I feel this is just an intermediate. The norm will be M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 and the next faster SSDs will be beyond these. We will see what the future holds.

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Computer Electronics

When I went to College my major was Computer Electronics Engineering. The last year was geared to my TR. This is a project you build that is computer related. My TR (which won the TR of the year) was a remote control device over the phone to control devices. This was 1991. There were no Arduino, Raspberry pi etc. It was created with a limited CPU, RAM, EEprom, analog to digital device, telephone chip that can interpreted. I had at the time a new device that I could record my voice digitally and could just send a command to the device to play the recording depending on the address. I think this part made me win the award. There were other students that were building similar devices but no other had the voice part. The voice part helped the person on the call to control the device to hear “Press 1 to turn on device 1” etc. The others basically had to guess what the state of the device or had a high or low beep to tell the person what the state of the device. The biggest learning part at the time is this is how computers were built at the time. The programming of the device was all assembly. The issue back then was you do the program, send to an eeprom. Put the eeprom in the socket and hope for the best. This was the back bone of how computers were made.

Now you can do this with different hardware and software over the Internet in a very short time. I know because I built an Arduino with a wired shield to connect to the Internet. Connect a light to the Arduino and with a little website I could remote in from anywhere to connect to the Internet and control the Internet. I did not have the voice but did not need this since I had a website that told me the state of the device. It took me maybe 2 hours to create the program and get the website and Arduino going. It took me 4 months to get the TR project going in 1991. This is the differences of how computer tech has gotten better over the years!!

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Change IDE To AHCI Mode For Windows 10

Found this at the following post.

Basically follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Windows Start Menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type this command and press ENTER: bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal
  3. Restart the computer and enter BIOS Setup (the key to press varies between systems).
  4. Change the SATA Operation mode to AHCI from either IDE or RAID (again, the language varies).
  5. Save changes and exit Setup and Windows will automatically boot to Safe Mode.
  6. Right-click the Windows Start Menu once more. Choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  7. Type this command and press ENTER: bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot
  8. Reboot once more and Windows will automatically start with AHCI drivers enabled.
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Command To Disable Automatic Repair On Windows 10

Client PC will start the Automatic Repair on boot, fails and then restarts and does it again.

From this link describes how to stop the automatic repair. Basically you need to a elevated command prompt and type the following:

bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No

Reboot and then it might give you a blue screen of death but with info that might narrow it down to what the cause of it is. In my case after running ADWCleaner it started the auto repair. Stopped the auto repair and the screen pointed to a corrupt or missing AVG file.

Found out how to remove it and started up OK.

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Firefox better than Chrome

I have used Firefox since version 1. Was not a big fan of Internet Explorer. When I had major issues of IE in XP and 7 and could not fix but Firefox was fine I really switch. What I really like of Firefox is its customize and its great add-ons. When IE was the dominating browser I still used FF. When Chrome is now the dominating browser I still use FF. I have used IE,FF,Chrome,Edge,Opera and Safari. I have not truly ran each for a long time other than IE and FF BUT what I feel and like and rely on in FF. Chrome may be the dominating browser but there is something with it I don’t like. One of the major issues with Chrome is the memory hog with many tabs. Chrome tries to make it more stable with separate memory tabs but for a PC with limited memory will not work. It may be more reliability with if one page crashes it does not affect the others BUT over the several years of being on the Internet I have rarely had pages crash. Sure in the early years they were more prevalent but lately they are fine. I don’t go to bad sites and I use ESET for Any AV and usually blocks bad sites.

There are many sites that debate what is the best browser. Here is one that prefer FF over Chrome from Lifehacker


Again I still FF over any browser.  I have used Edge (better security over IE but crappy in compatibility). Chrome I just hate the interface. Maybe I have not reviewed it more but the how  the favorites,add in, etc sucks  compared to FF. I use to complain how Chrome was a memory hog but lately I see FF taking close to a gig of mem on start. Sorry I use 16GB PCs for most of my sites so I don’t care and NEVER had an issue with FF taking lots of memory.


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Chkdsk Uses All Available Memory

For Windows 7 and 2008R2 (Have not checked on Windows 10). When you run chkdsk /r on a drive it will use all the available memory. Thats fine if you are running Windows 7 and thats the only app you need running but on a Windows 2008R2 server and you need to run a chkdsk while others are accessing the server this can be a pain. I found on the web that if you have 8GB or more memory then running the 32bit version of chkdsk will limit its use to less than 4GB. The 32-Bit version of chkdsk is found in the following location:


Run this and it will help the memory hog!

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