Hyper-V Server virtual machine network connection failure – vm network issues

12 October, 2011 Leave a comment


This has been a problem that has haunted me for over 18 months now and finally I have a solution.

The Problem

I have been creating virtual machines and been getting inconsistent success with getting the virtual network card inside the Virtual machine to successfully connect to the network. It will start up with a yellow “Warning” icon showing and when you confirm the IP Addres settings it is an invalid 169.x.x.x address. I am attempting to use DHCP to assign the IP.

I this situtation I have tried the following:

  1. netsh int ip reset – followed by a reboot.
  2. stop the VM, remove the network card completely, start the VM and login, shutdown the VM, add the network card back, start the vm and login
  3. changed the MAC ADDRESS on the virtual card to ensure it is not conflicting on the network.

All of these have failed.

This has been really confusing as I have created 2 Virtual Machines at the same time, from the same sysprep’d .vhd image and one will succeed and one will fail!!!

The only thing that has worked is to assign a static IP address.


A friendly member of the infrastructure team where I am working fixed it in about 2 seconds.

Apparently due to the way the newtork as been configured we run a virtual Lan, its number so happens to be 100.

So in hyper-v server find this screen:

And change it to something like this:

This sovled my problem.

I don’t know why sometimes it was set correctly and other times not, but this definitely solved my problems.

Let me know if it works for you.

Categories: Servers

Setup App.Config during .msi install, msi re-installing

17 August, 2011 1 comment

The Issue

I wrote a windows form application that deployed  via an .msi installer.

The application has an App.Config file which contains a single configuration value. I wanted to prompt the user for this value during the installation wizard and write it to the application.exe.config file as part of the installation process.

I used the built in Setup project in Visual Studio 2010.

The solution

I could write it all here in my post but I have found one that was created earlier:


I essentially implemented the same solution but I wrote my .config file using a StringBuilder and deleted and re-wrote the.config file in the Post install custom action.

The other thing is that I created short cuts to the application by right-clicking on the primary output and chosing “Create Shortcut”, then I copied this to the desktop and users program menu locations.

The problem

I was installing this for “Everyone” and it would work fine for me, but when other people logged in and tried to launch the program the .msi would run and the application.exe.config file was being overwritten with the orginal version that was deployed with the .msi, which does not contain the users input.

The Fix

The problem is complicated and is related to the application short-cut.

It appears that by default the short-cuts created in the msi are “Advertised ShortCuts”.

According to microsoft when an advertised shortcut is activated “.. the installer verifies that all the components in the feature are installed before launching this file”.

This means that if you delete any of the files that were deployed to the installation location then the .msi will attempt to fix them and re-install the missing components, which in my case means that the application.exe.config is overwritten.

You can identify the “Advertised” short cut by looking at the “Properties” of a short-cut and the “Target” will be greyed out.

I found the post below that identifies an easy way to disable advertised shortcuts.

You need to set the “DISABLEADVTSHORTCUTS” property on the .msi. This can be done easily in the installer, I have my custom UI that is getting details from the user for the “Edit1Property” so in the Edit2Property I set these values and keep it invisible.

  • Edit2Value: 1
  • Edit2Visible: false

This updates the property table in the .msi and now all your short-cuts will be normal standard shortcuts.


Cheers 🙂

Final Tip: Setting the shortcut icon

Another tip is to set the icon based on the icon embeded in your .exe.

  • In the File System Editor, click on the ShortCut and view the properties
  • Click on the icon property
  • choose browse,
  • change from .ico to .exe
  • browse to the “Primary-Output for…” and choose OK.

It will show you the icons embeded in your .exe and this way you don’t need to deploy a seperate .ico file.

Categories: c#, Windows Forms

SQL Server 2008 R2 – Intellisense not working – Visual Studio 2010 SP 1

18 March, 2011 9 comments


Recently intellisense in the SQL Server management Studio stopped working.

It appears that it was caused by the installation of Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

The issue was raised here:

It was originally suggested that this could fixed by SQL Server 2008 R2 Cumulative Update #6, but this in turn lead to a crash in Visual Studio 2010 when ever you opened a .sql file in your database projects.

It suggested that this issue has been fixed and will be released in SQL Server 2008 R2 Cumulative Update #7, which was due out in Mid April.

You can install Cumulative Update #6 and in most cases this will get intellisense working in SSMS but it will break Intellisense (on database projects) in VS2010.

So if you are like me, you are between a rock and a hard place, your choice of which environment you prefer to have working.

Lets hope that CU #7 fixes it.

I will update this post with my results after I have applied CU #7.


Update as @ 19th April

Today Microsoft has released Cumulative Update package 7 for SQL Server 2008 R2

After downloading and installing, preliminary results are that the problem is solved.

Intellisense in SSMS seems to be working and I no longer get the crashes in Visual Studio 2010 and Intellisense in Visual Studio 2010 database projects also seem to be working correctly. So, so far so good.

Categories: SQL Server

Bootstrap Manifest Generator (2008) – How To Guide v2

3 March, 2011 6 comments

I wrote the original Boostrap Manifest Generator (BMG) blog post a few years ago.

It is one of the most heavily visited pages on my site so I thought I should revisit it, and given that the BMG is so buggy it could be useful to have some screen shots.

I will provide 2 concrete examples of how to use the BMG to create a bootstrapper pre-requisite check.

All this is being done on a Windows 7 32-bit (Virtual) machine, with visual studio 2010 installed.

I have also downloaded and installed the BMG2008 which can be downloaded from here

The application that I am going to bootstrap is a small test application called “GuidGenerator”, can you guess what it does?

I will be using a standard setup deployment project to create the installer.

Here goes..

Setup BMG 2008

  1. Download the BMG2008 from here
  2. Install the application and note the path that it is installed to as it does not create a short cut, (C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Bootstrapper Manifest Generator for VS2008), and create your own desktop shortcut
  3. Run the BMG
  4. Click “Tools :: Edit Machine Paths”
  5. You may get a message about the SDK not being installed etc etc. Get past the error message and you will need to set the path to your boot strap directory. Do a search on your file system for “bootstrapper” and you will find a folder somewhere like this (note the SDK path)
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bootstrapper
    Enter that into the path and choose OK.

    You are now ready to create a bootstrapper

    Note: This bootstrapper folder is important – read the tips and tricks at the end.

Example 1 – .Net Framework 4.0 Pre-requisite Check

  1. Download the DotNet framework full install from Microsoft here, and save to a location that you can find, mine is @ c:\Downloads\dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64.exe
  2. Run the BMG
  3. Click “File New”
  4. Choose “Package Manifest”, choose OK
  5. Choose “Add Install File”, (button in the top left)

  6. Browse to the .Net Framework that you downloaded earlier and click OK
  7. Display Name: enter a name for the bootstrapper, this is the name of the pre-requisite check that will show up in visual studio. I will call mine “My .net Framework 4.0 Check”
  8. Click back on the “Package” option which is the root of the tree menu on the left and set the Product Name to DotNet4Check – this becomes the name of the folder that the package is created in.
    Note: You have to do it in this order as if you set the package name before adding a file it crashes the BMG.
  9. Click into the product code field and it will default with the “Product Name” just set, (otherwise this can throw a warning if left blank).
  10. System Checks
      You want to setup a system check that fails if the condition is not met, or alternatively by-pass the install if a condition is met.
      If it fails the check then it will prompt the user that they need to install the pre-requisite.

      For the .Net Framework I have chosen to do a simple registry check for the .Net Framework version.

    • Switch to the system checks tab
    • Click on the registry check (2nd icon in the list)
    • Property for Result: DotNet4RegCheck (note: this is the name of the check that is used later in the “Install Conditions” tab
    • Enter the following registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full
    • Registry Value: Version
  11. Install Conditions
    • Switch to the install conditions tab. This is where we define when our installer should be run.
    • Type: ByPassIf
    • Property: DotNet4RegCheck – (This is the name entered in the “Property for Result” field in the system check
    • Comparison: Ver >=
    • Value: 4.0.30319
  12. Exit Codes
    Set the following: (Note: I am cheating as I am reverse engineering the .Net bootstrapper that comes with VS2010 to get these exit codes

      0 – Success
      3010 – Success with reboot

    Leave all the other options with their defaults

  13. Build: Now we can build the package, (button top right)
  14. Results, note that in my case it succeeded with no errors, and the path contains the folder name that I entered in the product name field.

  15. Copy: Go to the output directory and copy the “DotNet4Check” folder to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bootstrapper\Packages”
  16. Setup Project
    1. My project looks like this:

    2. Right Cick on the Setup Project and choose properites
    3. On the properties window Click the “Pre-Requisites” button.
    4. Deselect anything that is selected that you do not require and choose your check.

    5. In this case I am going to say – “Download prerequisites from the same location as my application”
    6. Build the setup solution in release mode.
    7. Copy the release directory somewhere to a machine missing the pre-requisites. The release directory should look something like this, because we chose to set the download from the same location.

    8. Run the installer and you will see this…

Example 2 – .Net Framework 4.0 Pre-requisite Check – web download

In this example we want to supply a web download version of the installer so you don’t have to distribute the requisite files with your installer.

This will be identical to the previous example with these changes:

  1. After adding the file you get the Properties tab. Enter the URL from the tips below in the “HomeSite URL” setting.
    I used – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=182805 for the .Net 4.0 Framework. (remember you must right-click and choose paste).

  2. When setting up the package pre-requisites choose to “Download Pre-requisites from the package vendors website”.

Repeat all the other steps and when you choose “install” from the bootstrap prompt you should get a message that it is downloading.

Tips and Tricks

  • The “Bootstrapper” directory is your friend (on my machine “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bootstrapper”).
    If you have access to a VS2010 installed machine and go to the bootstrap directory and into the Packages folder and you will find bootstrappers for 19 different things, including .Net 3.5/4.0 and Client installation versions.
    I suspect if you took a copy of the packages folder back to your older VS2005/2008 environment you would get the pre-requisites.
  • If you don’t intend to setup exit conditions don’t switch to the “Exit Conditions tab”. if you do it will put an empty condition in that throws a warning at build time. The only way to get rid of it is to enter 0 / Success.
  • I suspect for things like .Net you want the user to be able to download the .exe directly. Here are the URL’s provided by the .Net bootstrappers installed with VS2010.

    These are the small web installer based versions

  • My web install failed because on my Install I happened to click into the “Value” field and it put the following “N/A for ValueExists and ValueNotExists”. This created an “unexpected error” on install.
    I went into the product.xml file and set value=”” and it worked.
Categories: c#, Code

Reconnect all SQL logins after DB restore

2 March, 2011 Leave a comment


Below is a script that I use to reconnect sql logins after a database restore.

It reconnects all users to all databases.


Use Master

Set NoCount On

if exists(select * from tempdb..sysobjects where id = object_id('tempdb..#tblDatabases'))
	Drop Table #tblDatabases

if exists(select * from tempdb..sysobjects where id = object_id('tempdb..#tblUsers'))
	Drop Table #tblUsers

Declare @db nvarchar(max)
Declare @usr nvarchar(max)
Declare @sql nvarchar(Max)
Declare @msg nvarchar(200)

Create Table #tblDatabases
	DBName nvarchar(4000)

Create Table #tblUsers
	UserName nvarchar(4000)

Insert Into #tblDatabases
select name from master.dbo.sysdatabases where dbid > 4 
Order By name

Select Top 1 @db = DBname from #tblDatabases

While @db is not null
	set @msg = Char(13) + 'Processing ' + @db
	set @sql = N'
	Use [' + @db + ']
	Declare @usr nvarchar(max)
	set @usr = null

	Truncate Table #tblUsers;
	Insert Into #tblUsers SELECT name from sysusers where altuid is null 
                 and name not in (''dbo'', ''guest'', ''sys'', ''INFORMATION_SCHEMA'');
	Select Top 1 @usr = userName from #tblUsers;
	While @usr is not null
		print ''fixing user '' + @usr
		exec sp_change_users_login ''auto_fix'', @usr
		Delete from #tblUsers where username = @usr
		Set @usr = null
		Select Top 1 @usr = userName from #tblUsers	
	--print @sql
	-- main loop
	Delete from #tblDatabases where DBName = @db;
	Set @db = null
	Select Top 1 @db = DBname from #tblDatabases

Drop Table #tblDatabases
Drop Table #tblUsers

Set NoCount Off

Categories: SQL Server

Restore SQL Server Database – disconnect all users

18 January, 2011 Leave a comment


Often when you try to restore a database there will be connections to the DB, which will stop the restore from succeeding.

What I do is use the wizard to configure the restore, and then click the script button, to script the restore to the clipboard, so that I can run it as a TSQL statement.

The trick is you want to disconnect all sessions, so you send the Database into single user mode which will disconnect all sessions. After the restore you then set the database back to normal.

The code would look like

Alter Database YOURDB Set SINGLE_USER with Rollback Immediate


Alter Database YOURDB Set MULTI_USER 

The important bits are the Alter Database statements either side of the restore database script.

Categories: SQL Server

SQL Server SHRINKFILE not working

5 January, 2011 Leave a comment

As microsoft put in in SQL Server Books online, “A shrink operation is most effective after an operation that creates lots of unused space, such as a truncate table or a drop table operation” (Note: all quotes are from SQL Server BOL)

The other day I blew away over 100GB of tables and issued the shrinkfile on both the Data and Log files and nothing happened.

Here is the reason…

If you use the SQL management tool and choose to shrink the data file releasing unused space you will get the following command executed:


When you read about “Truncate Only” it says

Releases all free space at the end of the file to the operating system but does not perform any page movement inside the file. The data file is shrunk only to the last allocated extent.

So depending on how the tables are allocated on disk inside the .mdf file it cannot release anything. Kind of like trying to partition a hard disk, you have to defrag the disk to move all the data to the front of the disk so you can make a big “contiguous” block at the end to repartition.

so really we want to essentially defrag our database file first, and then truncate, enter the “NOTRUNCATE” statement


Again SQL Server BOL says:

Moves allocated pages from the end of a data file to unallocated pages in the front of the file with or without specifying target_percent. The free space at the end of the file is not returned to the operating system, and the physical size of the file does not change.

Note: This is only applicable to the datafile, it does nothing on the log file
So what you really want to do is:


This will essentially defrag your .mdf file and then truncateonly will shrink down to the last allocated extent.

I may be wrong but I think that is what the ShrinkDatabase attempts to do and hence why it appears to take so long.


My recommendation:

  1. Try to shrink the file first and see what gets released.
  2. If its not good enough then try ShrinkDatabase.

Note: Shrinking my database file of 100GB took 41minutes on a 16 CPU box with 32GB of memory

Categories: SQL Server