Exchange PowerShell: How to enumerate and modify Distribution Group properties

Exchange PowerShell

Here is another quick Exchange PowerShell post on distribution groups, in it we will look at how to check and modify a particular setting.

A client recently got in touch after a suspect email was sent to all staff in a particular distribution group. Usually only staff can send emails to distribution groups because you need to be authenticated, so I had a quick check of the distribution group’s settings to see what was going on.

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How to change the AutoPlay settings on Windows 8.1 when a memory card is inserted

Windows 8.1

I’m a keen photographer and for years have been using Breeze Downloader Pro to download photos from memory cards to my computer, before editing them in Adobe Lightroom.

Recently though I’ve been trying to simplify my workflow and found the built in import facility in Adobe Lightroom to be really good as you can add keyword metadata and automatically build previews when you import them which saves a lot of time.

So I needed to change the AutoPlay action when a memory card was inserted. Continue reading

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V released


Veeam have released a new free tool which looks pretty useful for small Hyper-V deployments, Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V.

On a Hyper-V machine we know that the host Task Manager only shows the performance of the parent partition, and you have to use PowerShell or Hyper-V Manager to view performance of the guest virtual machines.

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

Veeam have combined the two in their new Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V. It only shows you the CPU and Memory utilisation, but if you are troubleshooting performance and don’t have a big performance monitoring application in place I suspect it will be pretty useful.

Veeam official announcement: Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

Veeam Task Manager how-to article:

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V download.

Related Posts:

1. Veeam PowerShell: How to schedule an inventory of a drive and mark the media as free

2. How to change the vPower NFS path in Veeam 7

3. How to view historic backup logs in Veeam 7

4. Veeam file level restore error – No disks have been mounted

5. ESXi 5.1 – VMware Tools – [warning] [vmusr:vmusr] Error in the RPC receive loop: RpcIn: Unable to Send.

Veeam PowerShell: How to schedule an inventory of a drive and mark the media as free


Since version 7 of Veeam Backup and Recovery I’ve started to use the new capability of backup to tape from within Veeam for offsite storage, rather than continue using Symantec Backup Exec to backup to tape.

Typically I’ll have a backup to disk job that runs a reverse incremental backup, and then I will use a backup to tape job to backup the Veeam configuration and vbk and vbm files from the Veeam repository, so that on each tape we have a full backup.

The downside to this is that you have to mark the tape media as free so that we can fit a full backup onto the tape, if this doesn’t happen the the Veeam backup wil go onto more than one tape and it makes managing the backups a bit more complex, espcially when end users are responsible for swapping the tapes over.

Below is a script that I’ve put together to run an inventory of the tape drive, and then mark the tape as free so that its full capacity can be used for backups. This assumes that you use a manual tape rotation, typically a Grandfather, Father, Son scheme.

Write-host “Prepare Tape for Veeam backup”
Add-PSSnapin -Name VeeamPSSnapin
Get-VBRTapedrive | Start-VBRTapeInventory
Get-VBRTapeMedium -Online | Erase-VBRTapeMedium -confirm:$false

Save the scripts as a ps1 file, and then use Task Scheduler to run it prior to the tape job starting.


After further testing I’ve replace the last two lines of the original script:
$tape = Get-VBRTapeMedium -Online
Move-VBRTapeMedium -Medium $tape -MediaPool Free -Confirm:$false

Get-VBRTapeMedium -Online | Erase-VBRTapeMedium -confirm:$false

Although moving the tape to the Free Media Pool, should allow the data to be overwritten I was finding backup jobs needing two tapes as it wasn’t overwriting the tape. By changing the last line to Erase-VBRTapeMedium the job runs a quick erase and leaves the tape in the current Media Pool.

Useful Links:

1. Veeam PowerShell Guide

2. Veeam PowerShell Forum

Related Posts:

1. Veeam Backup and Replication 7 – Patch 4 released

2. How to change the vPower NFS path in Veeam 7

3. How to view historic backup logs in Veeam 7

4. Veeam file level restore error – No disks have been mounted

5. ESXi 5.1 – VMware Tools – [warning] [vmusr:vmusr] Error in the RPC receive loop: RpcIn: Unable to Send.

How to add a USB disk to a Windows 2012 Hyper-V VM

Windows Server 2012 R2

In this post I’ll show you how to mount a USB drive inside a Hyper-V virtual machine.

If you work in an environment where USB drives are allow to be used with servers this can be quite a handy way of getting access to external storage from within a vm. It’s a very useful way of seeding initial copies of backup data.

1. Attach the USB drive to the Hyper-V host server.

Disk Management2. Right click the USB disk (in our case Disk 1) and select Offline.

Disk Manager - Disk 1 - Offline

3. Disk 1 is now offline.

Disk Manager - Offline

4. Select the vm Settings of the vm that you want to Add the USB drive to and select the SCSI Controller, highlight Hard Drive and click Add.

VM Settings - SCSI - Add Hard Drive

5. Select Physical hard disk, using the pull down menu you should see the offiline disk on the host available to you, select it and click Apply, click OK.

VM Settings - SCSI - Add Hard Drive - Physical Hard Drive

6. Within the vm start Server Manager, select the Tools menu, and select Computer Management, expand Disk Management, and you should the USB disk is offline. Right click Disk 2, and select Online.

VM Disk Management - Online

7. You can now see the disk in File Explorer on the VM and can copy data to and from it.

USB disk mounted in VM on Hyper-V

To dismount the disk perform the following steps.

1. In the VM go to Disk Management, and select Disk 2 (in this example) and set to Offline.

2. In the Settings of the VM, expand SCSI Controller, and select the Hard Drive that you have used to mount the USB disk. Click Remove, Apply, OK.

3. Right Click the USB icon in the System Tray and select Eject.

Related Posts:

1. How to Inspect and Edit virtual disks in Hyper-V

2. How to create a Hyper-V VM template without VMM

3. Windows update fails on Hyper-V 2012 R2 generation 2 virtual machines

4. PowerShell: Get-ADComputer to retrieve computer last logon date – part 1


Free ebook: Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform

Microsoft System Center - Integrated Cloud Platform

Microsoft Press have released another free System Center ebook, Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform.

The ebook can be downloaded from here, or view the original Microsoft Press blog post here.

The book is targeted at IT executives and architects interested in Microsoft’s cloud strategy. The book is organised by cloud type and covers Hybrid, Private, Public and Service provider cloud scenarios.

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