Windows 7 Tool Troubleshoots Sleep Mode Problems

Windows only: Ever wonder why your laptop’s battery seems to die too quickly? The Windows Help blog points out a hidden command-line switch that generates a report with loads of helpful troubleshooting information.

The report lists all of the devices that are causing problems with sleep mode, explains the different power saving modes your computer supports, and even gives you detailed information on your battery—invaluable information when your system takes forever to go in and out of sleep mode. Generating the report is easy enough—just open up a command prompt in administrator mode using the context menu -> Run as Administrator option, and then type in the following:

powercfg -ENERGY

The utility will take a while to generate the report, sometimes more than the 60 seconds it quotes you—but when it finishes you can open up the generated file in your favorite web browser. Once you’ve examined the report, you can figure out if you need to do some tweaking or update a driver.

Enable virtual Wi-Fi

Windows 7 includes a little-known new feature called Virtual Wi-Fi, which effectively turns your PC or laptop into a software-based router. Any other Wi-Fi-enabled devices within range – a desktop, laptop, an iPod perhaps – will “see” you as a new network and, once logged on, immediately be able to share your internet connection.

This will only work if your wireless adapter driver supports it, though, and not all do. Check with your adapter manufacturer and make sure you’ve installed the very latest drivers to give you the best chance.

Once you have driver support then the easiest approach is to get a network tool that can set up virtual Wi-Fi for you. Virtual Router (below) is free, easy to use and should have you sharing your internet connection very quickly.

Virtual router

If you don’t mind working with the command line, though, maybe setting up some batch files or scripts, then it’s not that difficult to set this up manually. See Turn your Windows 7 laptop into a wireless hotspot for more.

Disk2vhd: New Utility to Create VHD Versions of Physical Disks

Disk2vhd” is a new utility released by Sysinternals team at Microsoft which allows you to create VHD versions of physical disks. If you are not aware of these technical terms, lets help you in understanding them.

VHD refers to “Virtual Hard Disk” which is a file format used in Microsoft virtual machines. So by using “Disk2vhd” you can create VHD versions of your HDD which can be used in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).

Disk2vhd supports Windows XP SP2 and higher including 64-bit editions.

You can download it using following link:

Download Link

Make Private Browsing More Private

Privacy features such as InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer 8 and similar features in Chrome and Firefox promise to protect your privacy by not keeping track of page history, temporary files and cookies. This may be enough to hide your tracks from a beginner computer user but there are still traces of what sites you visit within the local DNS cache. An advanced user can run the ipconfig /displaydns command to view the most recent sites visited.

For example, when you start InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer and visit

The DNS Cache shows where you have been.

The best way to improve the privacy of your InPrivate browsing sessions is to also clear the local DNS cache after closing the browser. Open up an administrative level command prompt and type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter.

How to Use TZUtil to Set or Display Time Zone

  1. Click on Start -> All Programs -> Accessories, and click on Command Prompt, or simply type Cmd in Start Search and hit Enter.
  2. Use the following TZUtil syntax to construct the command:TZUTIL <? | /g | /s TimeZoneID[_dstoff] | /l>

    Parameters available is /? (displays usage information), /g (displays the current time zone ID), /s (sets the current time zone using the specified time zone ID, with the _dstoff suffix disables Daylight Saving Time adjustments for the time zone), and /l (lists all valid time zone IDs and display names).

    For example:

    TZUTIL /g
    TZUTIL /s “Pacific Standard Time”
    TZUTIL /s “Pacific Standard Time_dstoff”
    TZUTIL /s “GMT Standard Time”

    The last command will set the PC time zone to Greenwich Meridian Standard Time (GMT or UTC).

    Tip: To get a list of available time zone IDs, type TZUTIL /l. – would have been nice in XP!

Some examples to trigger SMS/SCCM Client Actions from command line

Disable Software-Distribution:
WMIC /namespace:\rootccmpolicymachinerequestedconfig path ccm_SoftwareDistributionClientConfig CREATE ComponentName=”Disable SWDist”,Enabled=”false”,LockSettings=”TRUE”,PolicySource=”local”,PolicyVersion=”1.0″ ,SiteSettingsKey=”1″ /NOINTERACTIVE

Re-Activate Software-Distribution:
WMIC /namespace:\rootccmpolicymachinerequestedconfig path ccm_SoftwareDistributionClientConfig WHERE ComponentName=”Disable SWDist” delete /NOINTERACTIVE

Trigger Hardware Inventory:
WMIC /namespace:\rootccm path sms_client CALL TriggerSchedule “{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}” /NOINTERACTIVE

Trigger Software Inventory:
WMIC /namespace:\rootccm path sms_client CALL TriggerSchedule “{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000002}” /NOINTERACTIVE

Trigger DataDiscoverRecord (DDR) update:
WMIC /namespace:\rootccm path sms_client CALL TriggerSchedule “{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000003}” /NOINTERACTIVE

Force a FULL HW Inventory on next HW-Inv Schedule:
WMIC /namespace:\rootccminvagt path inventoryActionStatus where InventoryActionID=”{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}” DELETE /NOINTERACTIVE

Repair SMS/SCCM Agent on a remote client:
WMIC /node:%MACHINE% /namespace:\rootccm path sms_client CALL RepairClient

Repair a list (all clients listed in clients.txt) of remote SMS/SCCM Agents:
WMIC /node:@clients.txt /namespace:\rootccm path sms_client CALL RepairClient

Setup BPOS Active Directory synchronization

To synchronize your AD Domain with your BPOS environment, follow the steps below.

  • Log in on your Microsoft Online Services Administration Center, Click the [Migration] tab and then click the [Configure] button in the “Directory Synchronization” Section.
    BPOS Directory Synchronization
  • Read the  “Plan for Directory Synchronization” and check the checkbox, confirming that you read it.
  • Press the [Enable] button in step 2, to enable BPOS for the synchronization.
  • Press the button in step 3. This will open a where you can download the synchronization tool.
  • Now you should install the synchronization tool, but mind the following restrictions:
    – Supported OS: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2; Windows Server 2008
    – Can’t be installed on a domain controller
    – Can’t be installed on x64
    Powershell v1.0 has to be installed
  • Execute the file you downloaded in the previous step (dirsync.exe).
    – do not interrupt the installer
  • The installation is a Next, Next, Finish installation. You will be staring at a progress bar for quite a long timeinstallatie_ADSyncTool
  • After the initial install you can start the Configuration Wizard.
    Before you proceed be sure, you have the following things:
    – An user account who is an BPOS Administrator (probably the one you used to login with in step 1)
    – An Enterprise Administrator Account
    If you have these then the configuration is again almost, Next, Next, Finish.
  • At the end of the configuration, choose “”Synchronize directories now”
    – do not create any user object in your BPOS environment during this sync.
  • Within a few minutes, you can then view your imported users in your BPOS environment, they are all imported under the “Disabled User“ view (Tab [Users] > [User List], under view select “Disabled Users”).

From here you can now enable the users. A bit annoying is the fact that the list doesn’t use paging, you can only go 1 step through the list or to the end (or is that because I only had 2 pages?)

So now some things that are interesting to know:

  • The tool creates a service account named MSOL_AD_Sync. This will be a domain account with directory replication permissions on your AD.
  • A service will be installed on your ”sync station”.
  • The time needed for a synchronization depends on how many objects you have.
    500 objects will take about 5 min. to sync the first time, after the about 30 sec.
    1000 objects will take 10 min, after that 1 min.
    500o objects will take 45 min, after that 5 min.
    15000 objects will take 2.5h, after that 10 min.
    All depending on your bandwidth of course, for more than 20.000 objects contact Microsoft.
  • An uninstall of the tool, will not delete the MSOL_AS_Sync account, you have to do this manually.
  • The tool will sync every user in your complete forest, so whenever you must delete a domain in your forest this will impact your BPOS environment. To delete the domain, you must complete some “in-between” steps.
  • Every 3 hours there will be a scheduled sync.

This error will appear “049: LDAP injection characters were found in the user alias” if you have used invalid characters like & and !