On that replacement Exec Laptop scenario with DJOIN

The Volume Licensing website allows Win8 Enterprise to be downloaded to the new laptop, which should go some way to fixing the Enterprise Edition client requirement.

It’s not quite slap-black-amex-down-and-join-domain, but then again that’s generally what you’d want!

If you just attended our AUTeched session, thanks for coming along! Except Chad.

Update: Couple of questions suggest I didn’t communicate this well enough, so to step back and simplify: DJOIN is used for offline Domain Join (since Windows 7), which gets a client thinking “I should contact a DC!” next time it can find one. The WS2012 feature is to combine this with a policy blob which can pre-provision specific Group Policies to that client even while disconnected. Our example was DirectAccess; it could be anything. Next time the client hops onto a corporate-connected network (or invokes DirectAccess), it’ll use regular Group Policy processing to do its magic.

DJOIN with a client TXT file failing with error 0x57 – Incorrect function or parameter is incorrect.

Incorrect function or parameter is incorrect.

Long story short:

DJOIN.EXE is finicky about its text formats. Don’t re-save a domain join blob text file with Notepad – if you can download the file as a file, you’ll be happier.

(Experimenting with Save formats in Notepad is left as an exercise for the reader)

Long again:

I downloaded my domain join blob for DirectAccess offline domain join from a web server I hadn’t configured with a content-disposition of attachment, and Notepad opened the text file as soon as it was clicked – no Save option.

I then re-saved the file from Notepad. Mistake!

Notepad prepended an invisible byte order marker to the file. Which DJOIN.EXE didn’t like at all.

This BOM isn’t visible from Notepad, and FC didn’t find a problem until it was run with the /B switch (binary comparison) over a working and nonworking client.

I grabbed the file using another method, and it worked noicely!

Windows Server 2012: Hyper-V hanging on boot

Breaking it

During the week, I tried a straight upgrade for my Hyper-V box from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012, and wandered off.

Noticing the Internet hadn’t come back a half hour later (TMG VM), I found my server hung at the new Windows logo. Hung hard: no capslock activity.

Rolled back; cued it up for today.

Long story short, one fresh install later I’d worked out it was only hanging when I added Hyper-V, and was trying to find a solution that didn’t involve buying a new motherboard after 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon!

Solving it

The solution was to: (drumroll please)

Disable USB 3.0 support in the BIOS for my Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 motherboard. THANK YOU Illho Ye for the post. Now I have my virtual machines and they’re, like, working!

I’d seen other forum mentions of other whizbang processor features (C3-C6 states) causing similar problems, but for me, the problem turned out to be something to do with the USB 3 controller (in Advanced BIOS Features or Integrated Peripherals, I forget which) causing the boot hang. Toggling it back on caused it to hang again, so it doesn’t appear to be just a first-run problem.

Bricking it (not really)

Amusing moment: I’d tried a BIOS update as part of my troubleshooting before finding the winning post, and had that “OHNOIBRICKEDIT!” feeling when the computer didn’t seem to be doing anything immediately afterwards… only it turns out the flash had just changed the Init Display order back to the PCI Express X16 board, rather than the onboard video.

That made me happy! And sheepish.

[Update 2016-11-13] Loads of things have probably changed since my original post (BIOS updates and OS updates…) Just re-enabled USB 3.0 on Windows Server 2016; whatever the initial cause, it’s no longer a problem, and Things Boot Now.