Exchange Server 2007 will be supported on Windows Server 2008 R2

by Shijaz Abdulla on 06.11.2009 at 23:00

image image

Microsoft had initially planned not to have Exchange Server 2007 supported on Windows Server 2008 R2. However, in response to feedback from customers worldwide, things have taken an interesting change–

Exchange Server 2007 will soon be fully supported on Windows Server 2008 R2!

The Microsoft Exchange Team is working on an update for Exchange Server 2007 that will enable full support for Windows Server 2008 R2. Watch the Exchange Team Blog for latest information on this update.

This is an excellent example to prove that we do listen to customers. 🙂

Dual booting Windows Server 2008 R2 with Windows 7 using VHD booting

by Shijaz Abdulla on 05.11.2009 at 20:38

I wanted to run Windows Server 2008 R2 in a dual boot configuration on my Windows 7 RTM laptop – so that I can demonstrate Windows Server 2008 R2 features to partners when required.

This gave me an opportunity to use the new “Boot from VHD” feature on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Essentially, I would have Windows 7 on my laptop on one partition on the raw disk. The remaining space on the RAW disk (in my case 15 GB) will be allocated to a partition containing a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) file, that can be mounted to boot the computer off the VHD file. I will be installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on this VHD file.


Here’s how I went about doing it.

Since I did not have any unallocated space on my hard drive, I used the “shrink” option on drive C in Windows 7 (Computer Management) to get some free space – and got 15 GB unallocated as seen in the above screenshot.

Next, I popped in the Windows Server 2008 R2 DVD.


At the Welcome screen above, I press SHIFT+10 to launch the WinPE console.

Once you get the WinPE console, use DISKPART to prepare a partition for the Windows Server 2008 R2 VHD:

  1. Type ‘DISKPART’ to launch the utility
  2. Type ‘LIST DISK’ to see the list of physical disks in your machine.
  3. Type ‘SEL DISK 0’ assuming you have only 1 physical disk installed
  4. Type ‘CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY’ to create a primary partition out of the free space
  5. Type ‘FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK’ to quick-format the new partition on NTFS format
  6. Type ‘LIST VOL’ and look at what you’ve done :-). Notice the asterisk next to the new partition (in my case, it’s Volume 3).
  7. Type ‘ASSIGN’ to assign the next available drive letter to the selected partition.
  8. Type ‘LIST VOL’ again to see what drive letter was assigned (in my case, it’s E)
  9. Now for the magic: ‘CREATE VDISK FILE=E:FILENAME.VHD MAXIMUM=15000 TYPE=EXPANDABLE’ – this creates a dynamically expandable VHD file filename.vhd on the new volume with a maximum size of 15000 MB. Keep the maximum size lesser than the size of the partition.
    WinPE Screenshot
  10. Notice that once you finish this command, Windows 7 detects virtual hardware “Microsoft VHD HBA” and installs it. 
  11. Type ‘SELECT VDISK FILE=E:filename.vhd
  12. Type ‘ATTACH VDISK’ to attach the VHD disk.
  13. Type ‘CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY’ to create a primary partition inside the VHD.
  14. Quick format the partition on NTFS by issuing the ‘FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK’ command
  15. Assign a drive letter V: on this volume ‘ASSIGN LETTER=V:
  16. LIST VOL to see what you’ve achieved.
  • Volume 1 and 2 were pre-existing Windows 7 volumes
  • Volume 3 (E:) is the disk that we created to store the VHD file
  • Volume 4 (V:) is the virtual disk inside the virtual machine (uses space on E:)

WinPE screenshot

Type EXIT DISKPART to close the utility and close the WinPE session.

Next, continue with the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation from Windows 7. Do not choose the upgrade option, choose the New Installation option.

Choose to install Windows on the partition you just created.



When installation is complete, and you restart your computer, a boot loader menu appears, where you can choose to boot Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

ScreenCast: Encrypting USB flash drives in Windows 7

by Shijaz Abdulla on 03.11.2009 at 14:50

Windows 7 comes with a cool new feature called ‘BitLocker To Go’, which is a disk encryption mechanism to protect USB flash drives.

USB flash drives are becoming ever so common thanks to their small size, ease of use and low cost. Users often carry critical or sensitive data on USB drives and carry it outside the organization. A lost USB drive containing sensitive could mean unimaginable implications for the organization, and this is where BitLocker To Go can help.

In this screencast, I demonstrate how you can encrypt a USB Flash Drive using Windows 7. I recommend you watch it in High Definition (HD) mode.

Uploading Photos & Videos to Facebook from Windows

by Shijaz Abdulla on 02.11.2009 at 16:18

I came across the LiveUpload to Facebook tool on Codeplex today. This great tool helps you upload photos directly from Windows Live Photo Gallery or Windows Live Movie Maker.


Windows Live Photo Gallery


Windows live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker are two free tools that are part of the Windows Essentials download.

Which Microsoft applications can I virtualize?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.10.2009 at 20:29

For a list of Microsoft servers and products that are tested and supported in virtualized environments, see the Microsoft KB article 957006.

Be sure to bookmark this article, as the page is regularly revised as new products are supported. As of writing this post, the page is at Revision 10.0.

Video Blog: Windows 7 performance on older computers

by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.10.2009 at 20:18

A few weeks ago, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate Edition RTM on my brother’s Acer Aspire 5571 laptop, which is at least 3 years old and has an Intel 1.6 GHz processor, just 1 GB of RAM, and initially came preloaded with Windows XP.

Not only did the machine boot up amazingly fast, it also enabled the Windows Aero theme and the performance was great!

Check out the video:


click to enlarge

This is my first video blog. The video was composed on Windows Live Movie Maker using a Microsoft LifeCam VX 6000. Please post your feedback!

Windows 7 Launch

by Shijaz Abdulla on 23.10.2009 at 17:58

Windows 7 was launched worldwide yesterday. I had explained new features of Windows 7 in previous posts.

Microsoft Qatar is the platinum sponsor of this year’s Made in USA exhibition in Doha, Qatar (Oct 21-23 2009). We had a booth at the exhibition where we showcased Windows 7, Windows Phone, xbox 360 and some Microsoft Hardware.

My son Abdullah and I at the Microsoft booth.

RSAT tools for Windows 7

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.10.2009 at 12:23

A commenter asked me today about the Windows Server 2008 RSAT tools not working on Windows 7. The answer is simple – there is a different build of the RSAT tools for Windows 7 available as a free download here.



Feeling lucky?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.10.2009 at 05:30

Type “Im not feeling lucky” in Google and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.


Microsoft @GITEX 2009

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.10.2009 at 23:52


Join us at this year’s GITEX 2009 from October 18-22 at Hall 7, Stand B7-1, (Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre) for an exclusive preview of our latest technologies. This year’s Microsoft stand hosts 21 partner and Microsoft pods demonstrating latest products and solutions.


Day 1| Monday October 19th 2009| 10:00am – 11:30am   
SMB panel debates: Understanding risk and combating threats by David Maskell, Security Solution Specialist, Microsoft Gulf   

Day 2| Tuesday October 20th 2009| 12:00pm – 1:30pm   
Business meets IT: Knowing your customers and keeping them by Ahmad Salama, CRM Solution Specialist, Microsoft Gulf   

Day 3| Wednesday October 21st 2009| 10:00am – 11:30am   
SMB Panel debates: Integrating consumer technologies at work by Stuart Simms, Mobile Communication BG Lead, Microsoft MEA   

Day 4| Thursday October 22nd 2009| 12:00pm – 1:30pm  
Business meets IT: Government 2.0: IT in the public sector by Ahmad Salama, CRM Solution Specialist, Microsoft Gulf   

Day 5| Thursday October 22nd 2009| 1:00pm – 1:45pm   
Developer Day: Microsoft Technologies by Anton Delsink, Developer Tools Evangelist, Microsoft Gulf


Vendor Theaters

Visit Microsoft @ the Vendor theaters on Wednesday and Thursday October 21 & 22 respectively; located at the Consumer Electronics Hall at the Trade Center, running a series of sessions around Windows 7, Windows Phone, Windows Live and XBOX.


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