Remote Desktop Services Shortcut Keys

The following is a list of the Remote Desktop Services shortcut keys. These are most useful when using Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows Server 2012 server.

Shortcut key Description
ALT+PAGE UP Switches between programs from left to right.
ALT+PAGE DOWN Switches between programs for right to left.
ALT+INSERT Cycles through the programs in the order they were started.
ALT+HOME Displays the Start menu.
CTRL+ALT+BREAK Switches the client between full-screen mode and window mode.
CTRL+ALT+END Brings up the Windows Security dialog box.
ALT+DELETE Displays the Windows menu.
CTRL+ALT+MINUS SIGN (-) Places a snapshot of the active window, within the client, on the Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN on the local computer).
CTRL+ALT+PLUS SIGN (+) Places a snapshot of the entire client windows area on the RD Session Host server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing PRINT SCREEN on the local computer).


New Features in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012  or “Cloud OS” as Microsoft sometimes refers to it, and “W12” as I will call it for short – is the result of the deepest and broadest developer effort in the history of Microsoft server products: 10,000 engineers working for four years. Comments from testers and early adopters have included “jaw-dropping”, “game-changing” and “the competitors better watch out”.

In this article we will briefly review the New Features and Refreshed Features included in Microsoft’s next-generation operating system.

New Features

GUI for Recycle Bin Microsoft introduced the Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2008 R2, but it was limited by its Windows PowerShell-only exposure. This time it gets a GUI.

UI for Fine-Grained Password Policies Also gaining a GUI are fine-grained password policies.

Dynamic Access Control (DAC) Windows Server 2008 R2 brought the File Classification Infrastructure (FCI). This version’s DAC adds far greater functionality to the (optional) second layer of FCI resource authorization.

Windows PowerShell History Viewer You see the Windows PowerShell commands that correspond to actions you perform in the Active Directory Administrative Center UI.

Windows PowerShell Cmdlets for Active Directory Replication and Topology More cmdlets — enough said.

Active Directory-Based Activation (ADBA) The good: ADBA eliminates the need for a Key Management Service server. The bad: Only forthcoming Windows 8 computers can leverage ADBA. Seriously, Microsoft?

Flexible Authentication Secure Tunneling (FAST) The nickname for FAST is “Kerberos armoring,” if that tells you anything. It isn’t enabled by default and requires clients that support it. Think you’ll be using it anytime soon?

Refreshed Features

Virtual Snapshot and Cloning Support Active Directory and hypervisor snapshots didn’t mix before. Now they do, if your hypervisor supports VM Generation ID.

ADPREP Integrated into DC Promotion Can’t recall the proper steps to promote a member server to a DC? No worries, it’s in there. Continue reading “New Features in Windows Server 2012”

Dell OpenManage Command Line

Dell’s OpenManage product consists of a number of network management and systems management applications which are made available via a secure, web-based dashboard. The dashboard is usually located a

A number of technical senarios such as restrictive firewall configurations or server level scripts may raise the need for Dell Open Manage (DOM) commands to be initiated from the command line. This short articles serves to outline some of the commands available and their use.

There are five main command line modules available for Dell OpenManage:

Command Used For Component Of
omreport Read hardware settings and state information OpenManage Server Administrator
omconfig Set hardware options like BIOS settings OpenManage Server Administrator
racadm Read or set configuration of the Dell Remote Access Card OpenManage Deployment Toolkit
syscfg Read or set BIOS options OpenManage Deployment Toolkit
raidcfg Read or set options for the RAID controller OpenManage Deployment Toolkit

Each of these commands can be initialized from the bash shell (Linux) or command line (Windows) in the same way any other system application can be ran.

An example is outlined below:

[root@server ~]# omreport chassis temps
Temperature Probes Information

Main System Chassis Temperatures: Ok

Index                     : 0
Status                    : Ok
Probe Name                : PROC Temp
Reading                   : 48.0 C
Minimum Warning Threshold : 10.0 C
Maximum Warning Threshold : 120.0 C
Minimum Failure Threshold : 5.0 C
Maximum Failure Threshold : 125.0 C

Other command line examples are available at: and instructions on install Dell OpenManage for Linux are available in my blog here.

SFTP Server for Windows Server 2008 / Windows Server 2012

Those managing and supporting Windows based web servers from the Linux world will be familiar with using Secure FTP (SFTP) which provides file transfer support over an SSH tunnel, generally using port 22. Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 lack support for Secure FTP (SFTP) and only natively support FTP over SSL which is cumbersome to setup and lacks granular permission and log management.

A number of third party open source and commercial Secure FTP solutions are available for Windows servers including CYGWIN, FileZilla, FTP Shell and IPSwitch.

The fastest and easiest solution to setup is Core FTP Server which  supports SSL/TLS (FTPS), SFTP (SSH2), HTTPS, and clear FTP modes. Core FTP can be setup in a matter of minutes and provides full SFTP support including public/private key authentication.

For more information on Core FTP server click here.

Install Windows 8 from USB drive in UEFI mode

To install Windows 8 from a USB drive in UEFI mode you first need to prepare a USB thumb drive within the Windows 8 installation files formatted as a FAT32.

  1. Prepare your Windows 8 ISO file
  2. Attach USB flash drive to your computer
  3. Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool
  4. Run the tool:
    1. Step 1 of 4: Select Windows 8 ISO file
    2. Step 2 of 4: Click “USB device
    3. Step 3 of 4: Select your USB device from the list and click “Begin Copying
    4. Step 4 of 4: Wait till copying finishes
  5. Create a new folder on your computer disk, for example, C:\W8USB
  6. Copy all the files from your USB thumbdrive (the one you got prepared at 3rd step) to the newly created folder (created in the previous step)
  7. Right click on the USB drive icon in Computer window and select “Format…” from the context menu. Make sure you select “FAT32 (Default)” in “File system” drop down menu. Click “Start” and wait till the drive gets formatted
  8. Copy all the files from the folder you created earlier (C:\WIN8USB, for example) to the formatted drive
  9. Your Windows 8 installation USB drive is ready. Attach it to USB 2.0 port (some computers doesn’t support booting from USB 3.0 ports)  of the computer you want to get Windows installed
  10. Reboot computer and launch BIOS/UEFI config menu (on most computers it can be done pressing F1 after computer starts)
  11. Find settings related to UEFI. Make sure you have something similar to “UEFI Only” or “UEFI first, legacy second” selected. If you leave the setting as “Legacy first“, Windows will proceed with regular, non-UEFI installation
  12. Save settings and reboot the computer. It should boot with the USB drive
  13. Proceed with Windows installation normally