Using Powershell to locate your Geographical Location with the help of GeoLocation (IP-Address) is quite easy, cool and useful!
When we build Private and Hybrid Clouds across the globe in various countries and continents I want to make sure the Active Directory PDC Emulator is using a valid time source based on that location.
So with this small script (it’s using multiple WebServices to cycle through until it gets an answer) we can get a rough location for where we are and in my case it’s usually enough to know what country the datacenter is in.
That can then be used as you see fit. Though for me, I’m using it to update the Group Policy being applied to the PDC Emulator to point to the country specific NTP Pool with the generic pool as backup value.
It’s a Group Policy being applied to all Server Admins utilizing Group Policy Preferences to delete two files (one for Windows Server 2012R2 and one for Windows Server 2016). But it’s only doing it once to make sure that if a admin does any changes to the file it won’t be deleted again. The idea is that it will be deleted once to reset settings to the one in ServerManager.exe.config but not repeatedly after that if the administrator saves any other changes.
That file only contains new default WelcomeTileVisibility setting, hiding the Welcome tile for you when you launch Server Manager. And if you do any changes in Server Manager, the new settings will be saved to that file too.
But that’s a per user setting and it has to be copied to the profile after it’s been created etc etc. Making it all a bit more complicated.
Luckily there is a better and easier way to do it, where you also help your co-workers at the same time!
In your reference image, or in your Server deployment script or with PowerShell or with Group Policies or any other way you find worthy. Just use the same information as above, but save it in this path to be machine wide;
Notice that it’s still the exact same content of the file;
But it’s now stored together with the ServerManager.exe file in the system32 folder making it server wide. It’s a lot easier to copy it there just once so it’s applied to everyone rather than try to get the config file into each persons profile.
Notice: If you already have a user.config file in your Profile, it may override the settings from serverManager.exe.config so delete your user.config file to verify your new setup is working as expected.
In our environment, we are deploying the file in our Server Deployment solution, and also copying it to all server with a Group Policy Preference just in case someone installed a server manually for some unknown reason.
At times there is a driver or two that’s misbehaving and causing bluescreens. As the server automatically reboots after dumping memory to the memory.dmp file you might not get a report from your users that there has been a problem. And depending on your monitoring tool you might not get an alter there either. Operations Manager can easily alert you for things like that, but far from all customers use OpsMgr due to it’s complexity. Luckily, it’s just a 1 minute job to get alert in OMS if you have got a bluescreen! And as OMS can be run in Free mode, you may be able to monitor your servers for free (all depending on the amount of data you collect) and else, it’s really cheap so no big deal if you need to use a standard subscription. Anyway, lets get to the technical stuff!
First of all, enable OMS to collect Eventlog System and all Error messages.
Then create an Alert like this,
The Alert text to be used is:
That will only alert for Crashes. You can also enable an alert for Event ID 6008 which will alert you for an unexpected shutdown. The difference is that my alert will only send an alert if there was a BSOD while an unexpected alert could also alert if someone pulled the power. Or even combine both into one alert with an OR statement. In my case, I just want to get alerted about the BSOD’s so thats the only thing I look for right now.
Tell how often is should check. There is usually no need to check more than once or twice an hour. And finally define if it should send an email alert or use one of the other alert methods.
Easy as that! Next time you get a bluescreen on a server, you will get an alert by mail so you can debug the dump and find out what’s causing it.