Thursday, December 11, 2008

Honey...I can't shrink my disk volume!

Well, I've been touting running Windows 2008 as a desktop for months. However, my latest work laptop came installed with Vista Business and I need to use it right out of the gate. Also, it's an hp and laptops are notorious for being "driver challenge" with a new OS.

Anyway, I finally completed the book and have a need to run Windows Server 2008 x64 and Hyper-V, so I decided to use Vistas built in disk shrink function since HP built the entire drive as c:.

Well, I cleared some junk of my laptop and had about 45GB free. I tried to shrink it and came up with bubkiss...nothing...nada. All I got was a lowly 300MB. Even with the HP recovery partition vaporized, not enough for W2kOcho.

After some searching and testing, I found the solution. You not only need to defrag the drive; you need to defrag the system files. What happens is that a simple defrag does not impact the MFT, or Master File Table records, on the drive. In my case, they were sitting on the last few sectors of the disk so a shrink was impossible.

Since Vista does not have built in defrag of systems files, I downloaded a trial of Perfectdisk 2008 from Raxco software ( This worked flawlessly except I had to run error-checking (chkdsk.exe) and fix any errors prior to it working. After running both, I was able to shrink my volume by up to 45GB.

Other hints:
-Turn of Volume Shadow Copies/Previous Versions
-Temporarily stop page file usage and delete pagefile.sys

Good Luck!


Friday, December 5, 2008

IE8...Beware of Chrome

IE 8 Sucks!!!! I'm running the beta and have way too many pages that don't render properly.

Anyway, so I ran across this interesting posting at gizmodo:

Basically, if you install chrome, google has a right to use any and all content created through the browser...Guess I should stop blogging through chrome! Not that this would ever hold up in court or anything. But it's just another example of google and problems with personal privacy.

Do No Evil...I'm calling Shenanigans!!!! They are just like everyone the capitalist dream!

Chrome at your own risk...


Picture courtesy of

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's all about the 7

Mike Nash has reported on the official Windows Vista Blog that the next version of Windows desktop will be called...

Windows 7...

I like it! Simple, to the point...Asta la vista, Vista!!!!

See the blog here

More on why 7 here

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Windows 7 on the Brain


All I can think about, besides the #$%#@$% foresaken book I'm writing, is Windows 7. Why am I so enamored by it??? Probably because I can't have it!!!

So here I sit...can't sleep because of the book...trying to crank out some pages...And what comes to mind....

Windows 7

I've even thought of how I can convince my employer to send me to PDC or WinHEC so I can get a copy (fat chance)...Guess I just wait for the beta...

Unless Santa stops by the Haus early...


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Drinking the Kool-Aid!!!

After finishing Ironman Wisconsin, I took a break.

Well...Break may not be the correct word, but anyway...

I've finally got back on the training train with the help of a great bunch of people at

If you are into triathlon, looking into triathlon, or just want to take yourself to the next level, check it out!

I'm doing the "Out-Season", or OS plan, starting December 1 (maybe november, it just depends on how October goes)...

As the winter goes along, I'll post my progress...

What are you doing??? Any tri-geeks in the House???

Back to Work...Mike

Fall already...

It seems like only yesterday...

Well, I am back in the saddle and ready to roll. As many of you know, the summer has been super crazy with the Book (still is till Oct 13th!!), but I'm finally get a handling on juggling everything.

Unfortunately, School, The Book, and home life has taken a toll on the blog. I'm hoping to rectify that in the coming weeks as I continue bloggin about cool things in technology and my new workout regime.

I'll probably need to change the title as some posts will be on technology and other's will be on triathlon/cycling training & racing.

As for technology, here are some ideas I have...
-Finish my blog series on learning Server 2008 in your own home
-Highlighting the newest and freshest tech toyz, sites and apps...
-How I'm building a Hot DR site for a SMB client using cheap & reliable Virtual Servers on the Web...Rockin Cloud Computing!

What I need from you? Keep me honest...If I'm not posting regularly, FLAME ME! Most of you know how to get a hold of me, so do it. Also, if you get into a cool beta or find a great new app/site, post it as a comment or drop me an email. I love BETA testing!!!

Talk to you Soon!

Friday, July 4, 2008

64-bit workaround

As many of you may know, I run Windows Server 2008 64-bit as my Desktop OS. The reasons are many and expansive. See my previous post on Workstation 2008 for more info.

One of the issues with running W2kOcho or a 64-bit Windows OS is driver support and legacy hardware/software support.

That's where VMware comes in. For a few years, I used a VM of Windows XP to house my Groupwise client. Yes...My employer still used Groupwise. It pains me everytime I check my email! This seperates the horrid GW install from mucking up my OS. Also, it provides portability for my app as I keep it on a USB drive.

So I ran into a problem. After I rebuilt my machines, I could not use the scanning software or drivers for my Brother MCF-240c. I tried the Vista drivers...did not work in this case. After thinking about it, I wondering if I could run the software in a VM using VMware since VMware supports USB.

Answer...Works without a hitch!

Next experiment...Try to run activesync and update my Motorola 9Qc to Mobile 6.1 through the VM.

Stay tuned

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some kewl stuff I've been geeking on...

Well, it has been a long time. Writing the "Great American Textbook" has been quite an adventure. Along with Tech-Ed 2008, a trip to DC, and losing my luggage, June was a bit of a bust for me.

Anyway, I wanted to get back in the swing of things with a short post.

Anybody on the CTP for Live Mesh from Microsoft. It's another foray from Microsoft into the cloud computing arena. I've been using foldershare and skydrive for a while, but this is way better. Mesh allows you to create a "desktop in the cloud" where you can store stuff. You can like folders on your local computer to Live Mesh, and it will sync the content. Also, gives you remote access to machines w/ the live mesh client.

Since tech-ed, I've been spending time (probably too much) on twitter and facebook. One of my followers on facebook, tecarmona has this SWEET website called It's a pretty kewl guide to different cities where people post "definitions" of local sites, happenings, and people. I found some pretty interesting definitions for Madison. Someone posted the traffic ring around West Town Mall as "The Circle of Death"...hilarious!

Hopefully, I can get caught up over the next week and get ahead on the book. I've got so much kewl stuff from Tech-Ed that I haven't had a chance to look at yet... I haven't even had a chance to update my phone to Windows Mobile 6.1. I've had the update for about a month. I just don't have a laptop runs a 32-bit OS (required for the install)...

Have a great holiday weekend!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Testing Blogger via Email.....

Figured I would test this from my phone...

michael bender

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Got the shirts, and they are awesome.

Here's pics of the front and Back for you...

I'll be around all day Sunday, Monday, etc. at the Embassy Suites and Krewe events. If you want your T-Shirt prior to Sunday/Monday Pre-Cons, drop me an email at michaelbender1 AT gmail DOT com.


Friday, June 6, 2008

The Mojito Adventure...

Like they say...

The best laid plans never work out!

I needed to get a ton of work done in hopes for being work-free at Tech Ed. Well, a busted washing machine hose and a broken air conditioner on top of two last-minute client issues...

Well, it's mojito time!

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make simple syrup (basically sugar disolved in water) so I had to use real sugar which has a tendency to not disolve in cold liquids. Anyway, It turned out so so, but it's wet and full of cuban rum. Yes...That is a genuine bottle of CUBAN Havana Club. Not sure how they let me bring it into the US...

I'll have time after TechEd to perfect the recipe!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tech Ed 2008 T-Shirt Options

Hear are the two options for Tech Ed T-shirts...

Email me at w/ size, quantity and design.

Cost is $10 and I'll arrange pickup time in Orlando.


Thanks to Brad at for hooking me up with the hot Tees!!!

What I'm bring to TechEd 2008?

Besides clothes and my drinking boots, here's my list of gadgetry that I consider an absolute must for Teched 2008:
1) Sprint Motorola 9Qc Smartphone loaded with software for tweety and blogging.
2) Plantronics headset w/ blue tooth adapter so I can use skype for my hotel room.
3) Creative Zen M for tunes and Videos
4) HP TX1000 tablet pc (purchased at last years Tech Ed)
5) Solio solar recharger for electronic devices (Go Green!)
6) Altoid USB charger (uses 2 AA batteries)
7) Darth Vader and Stormtrooper USB Drives
8) Palm Treo 700wx (Doesn't every Geek need two phones??)
9) Nintendo DS w/ Lego Star Wars game
10) (Not Pictured) Canon PowerShot SD750...won at MCT Summit
11) (Not Pictured) Olympus digital recorder for capturing cool sessions and secret conversations

What are you bringing???

The Count is On...

Unless my busy "networking" schedule gets in the way, I hope to post pics and recaps of each day at TechEd 2008.

It's been a frantic week. Chapter two went in last Wednesday, and I'm plugging away at chapter 3. It's tough because the topic is soooo boring. IPv4, RRAS, and networking... I became a Microsoft guy for a reason. I HATE SUBNETTING!!! I guess it's Karma...

Not to mention all the posting on TechEd Connect and Twitter about TechEd 2008. I just need to focus and move forward. I've even thought of disconnecting my internet, but I need it for research...Lame!

Anyway...Talk to you soon!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm Back...

After a much too long vacation, I've returned to my Blog...

For those faithful readers who have been diligently checking (but not posting:(...My apologies. It's been a pretty busy spring. My wife and I took a wonderful, and much needed, trip to Puerto Vallarta for a Wedding. Also, with school wrapping up, and my first book chapter due, it's been nutz!!!

Did I mention? I'm writing a textbook for the Microsoft 70-642 Exam. So far it's been pretty challenging. I just got the first chapter in this AM. About 8 hours late due to some issues w/ Microsoft Office 2007. Am I like the only one that doesn't know they removed Auto-Save from Word???? Anyway, I was using auto-recover. Too bad that doesn't help if you just close word w/o saving. You can recover it from the recovery file, but it's a jumble of Hex and characters. Also, if you used change tracking (I did), changes were just all jumbled together.

Speaking of the Book, I have an oppurtunity for a few of you. As I'm writing my book over the next few months (May-Sept/oct), I would like to get feedback on how the book is from a student standpoint. Here's the oppurtunity:
I will provide you a first-draft copy of each chapter when it is ready for delivery. This is a great oppurtunity if you want to get going on Server 2008. In return, I'll ask that you give me feedback on the content. I will provide a feedback form for you. Also, I'm on a time deadline so I would need your feedback in about 7 days to be helpful for me.

You might ask...HEY WHAT DO I GET OUT OF THIS??? Well, karma point for helping me out. A free education (sort does cost you time), and a copy of my book once it is released.

If you are interested, drop me an email at michaelbender1 AT gmail DOT com...

I should ramp up with the blog posting once school is out so check back!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Xobni Beta


Anyone heard of this? Well, I'm a bit late to the party, but Xobni is beta social-networking tool that integrates with Outlook.

I guess Bill Gates hyped it last fall.

Anyway, if I get two people to click on the link below and sign up, they put me on the top of the list:)
Xobni outlook add-in for your inbox

Thanks in Advance!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Workstation 2008"...the Hot Ticket!

OK...This Rocks!

Following a blog post from an MS Engineer, Installed Server 2008 standard x64 on my TabletPC adding in many of the vista features. It smokes my install of Vista Ultimate to pieces...

Performance tests have shown a 11-17% performance difference between a Server 2008 WS and Vista, SP1. This is the OS MS should have released to the desktop!

Here's a guide to add more stuff...

I'm working on a scripted install so I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's New...

Well, I've got a lot on my plate this week so we won't have a new post till spring break...and it will be a long one. I've got a ton of cool stuff to share with you. And hopefully, I'll start getting some feedback from my publisher on my book proposal!


While you are waiting...check out

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Reason #1 to keep moving forward...Don't be The Lone Server!

Check out this funny video from MS...

I love the Blue Screen cocktail...As an ex-bartender and IT geek, this is COOL!

And if you haven't seen Microsoft's latest children's book...Personally, I think it is funny, yet a lame marketing attempt.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Road to IT Pro

As promised, this is the first of many posts on the subject of working in IT and teaching yourself Windows or your operating system office choice using the techniques described. Before we get started, let's talk about IT. Unlike some fields out there, IT is great because it's always changing and you can constantly be challenged. On the flip side, IT can be tough because it's always changing and you can constantly be challenged. How you look at it is dependent much on whether you see the glass as "half full or half empty". Unfortunately, the hard skills you learn today (Building a Server 2003 domain, configuring Windows XP, Novell) may not be used tomorrow, but the soft skills and lessons in technology you experience with ease your path.

Don't like the IT path you are on?? Change it! Do some research (we'll talk about this), find something you like in the field, and learn it... If you are lucky, you might pick the hot new thing and be a wanted commodity. If you are not so lucky, you'll learn a new skill set, expand your "Tech Toolbox" (we'll talk about this), and make yourself more marketable.

Does someone you know have a IT position you find interesting? Do an informational interview w/ them and see how they got there. While some people "fall" into cool positions, many prepared themselves to take on new positions by learning new skills and keeping up to date.

So how do you get started? Well, you can attend classes at a local college. But I prefer to delve into self-taught learning here. With the power of the Internet and all the information available, you can create your own training classes w/ some creativity. While self taught learning does not have the "certification" of having taken a class or course, I would hire anyone whose "honed their craft" in their spare time as it shows initiative and drive to learn.

First things First...You need to create a training facility for yourself. Just like training for a marathon, a bike race, or just to get in shape, you need a plan, the tools to work, and the desire. Here are the basics you need to follow the plans I'm going to lay out

  • A recent model computer. Dual-Core would be optimal but Pentium 4 is good. Make sure you have at least 1GB of RAM and lots of HD space. Laptops are my choice due to portability and ease of accessing free Wi-Fi if you are on a budget.

  • Access operating systems and programs you wish to learn. As we'll focus on the Microsoft world, I'd recommend getting a subscription to TechNet Plus. If you are attending a college w/ an MSDNAA account, you can get it for $99. Talk to the head of your program...

  • Broadband or access to free Wi-Fi (and I don't mean "borrowing" your neighbors unsecured connection). When you are self learning, you'll spend a lot of time on the web, so the faster, the better.

  • A plan for studying. Set aside a few times a week, just like workouts or attending class, for your studies. Create a timeline and assign objectives for your sessions.

  • Optional: I like books! Fortunately, I receive free books on many topics as a college instructor. Scour EBay, used book stores, or talk to your friends. If you know others who are "in the same boat", start a book club where everyone buys a book and passes it along when they are done. And if you ask nicely, people with lots of books may lend you one...

Note on this: You are going into should have the proper "tools of the trade". Do you know any mechanics that don't have tools to work on cars? If you do, tell me their name so I don't take my car to them. You should have a decent computer and peripherals.Cost per my calculations to create a self-study lab:

Dell Laptop Inspirion 1525 $599+shipping/handling/tax

Technet Subscription $249 (With this code...Thanks to Keith Coombs)

Broadband Access @ Home $250+/year

Sum Total................................$1200 should get you started. And that's about one semester of school or half of a class at a professional training center.

Biggest thing to remember...Free is Good! Large companies like Microsoft and VMware hold tons of free events to get you interested in their products. Many times they give you free stuff...take the MS launch events. Normally, you get a copy of all of the products being launched. Often full of marketing stuff, you can often pick up some hidden gems about products from the pros. Get on mailing lists, Betas, and anything else free. I'd recommend creating a free email account for all of this as you will get pummelled w/ email.

That's it for now...

Next time, we'll talk about setting up a home-based lab environment, and begin "geeking"...


Sunday, March 2, 2008

So you want to work in IT????

As promised, this is the first of many posts on the subject of working in IT and teaching yourself Windows or your operating system office choice using the techniques described.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More Stuff you need to know...

Extending Server 2008 eval to 240 days...

Check out the latest issue of PCMagazine for 157 FREE pieces of software. I've got a whole slew written down. I just haven't had time to play with them. Also, WIRED has a great article on how FREE is the business model of the future. And get it Free if you are the first of 10,000.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tools you need to use

Everyone knows I'm a "Windows" guy so it is of no surprise that I'm hyping on some tools out of the Windows Live suite of products. Live is Microsoft's answer to many of the tools other companies such as Google have created for the web.

First is Foldershare. Still in Beta, Foldershare allows you to create libraries of folders/documents and have them synced between multiple computers. It requires the installation of a very small agent to run on each machine. One of the nice side effects of installing folder share is that you not only have access to your libraries from other computers; you can access your entire file structure from your foldershare web site.

Next is Skydrive. Just out of Beta, Skydrive is a good solution for storing data "in the cloud". Since post-beta release, the storage capacity is now 5GB. However, a 50MB limit on file size and the inability to upload folders hamper the ability to "wholesale" backup your current storage devices. Kevin Remde speaks to Skydrive in his blog.

I'd like to see integration between the two. My Vision is that I could SEAMLESSLY add documents to folder share, sync them between my devices. Then, once a day, my foldershare libraries are backed up to skydrive.
Extending Server 2008 eval to 240 days...
Using the slmgr.vbs /rearm you can extend the 60 day grace period 3 times. Slmgr.vbs works in vista as well.

Check out the latest issue of PCMagazine for 157 FREE pieces of software. I've got a whole slew written down. I just haven't had time to play with them. Also, WIRED has a great article on how FREE is the business model of the future. And get it Free if you are the first of 10,000.

More to come...


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Back in the Emerald City

Back in Seattle again...

This time for business. Monday through Wednesday, I'm attending the MCT Summit in Redmond. I'm pretty stoked as I've never attended the Summit before and they are rolling out lots of training for the new products: Server 2kOcho (2008), SQL 2008, and Visual Studio 2008. I'm hoping to get some good insight into Server along with more info about Unified Message w/ Exchange 2007. Plus, hob-nobbing with Blue-badgers and other MCT's will be fun as well.

The trip out went well. I flew out of Chicago instead of Madison, both for price and logistic reasons. Good thing as the Madison United flight got delayed 2 1/2 hrs. I splurged and used some miles to fly First Class. WOW...It really made the long flight quite enjoyable. And I don't think I would ever say this, but I ate too much on the plane.
On the way out, I listened to about 2 1/2 hours of The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss Very exciting and interesting book on becoming part of the NR, or New Rich, and making your life more effective. I'm hoping to weave some of the concepts like a low information diet into my daily life. I'm intrigued by the concept of outsourcing tasks so I will see if I can find some tasks that I don't like to do which can be outsourced at an economical rate.

Once I got to town, I got my vehicle and proceed to a kitschy-cool coffee shop called Fuel coffee. Being as I'm 'going green', I purchased a Fuel Coffee travel mug as I'd forgotten mine at home. I got a free Americano....AWESOME espresso coffee they have!

I met Peter and Leslie for Sushi at Chiso. AMAZING...probably, the best sushi and fresh fish I've ever had. We had some amazing Oysters on the half shell, Tuna Belly, and Line-caught salmon, just to name a few. Sean, the amazing sushi chef at chiso, made us a speciality roll that was out of this world and all I can remember is that it had seared scallops on top! I will got there again. Being from the midwest, its very difficult to get really fresh sushi. Talking with PK and Leslie, it sounds like Chiso may get some of its catches straight from Japan. Yummmy....

Well, I had brought my GPS, but that did not help in keeping my 30 minute drive to my friend's house in Bothell from taking 1 hr+. If you've ever driven in Seattle, you know the straights cross every which way, and they are very narrow. More than once, I ran into a street that was no longer a street...Oh well.

It's 7:30am PST, but I've been up since about 4:30 PST due to still being on CST.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Morning

Check out this sick system:
Quad Core Laptop w/ all the trimmings...I don't think this will make it in the "Year of living frugally"! I customized mine and it came out to $4400...What do you get?

Installing Server 2008 and Exchange 2007 on VMware Workstation 6.0...

Being a guy who doesn't like to read the manual, I tried this the old fashin way, and I spent a half a day working on this including one complete infrastructure build. It did finally work with no issues.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Glorious Day

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

My GMAIL inbox is EMPTY!!!!!!

Thanks to some hot tips, I was quickly and easily able to archive my entire mailbox. How did I do it...

  1. Choose ALL to select all of the message on your first inbox page.

  2. You should receive an option to select all messages available in your inbox...choose it.

  3. Select your action on all the messages. I choose Mark as Read.

  4. Then I repeated 1 & 2, and applied an Archive Label to all the messages.

  5. Then I archived them all.

In case I need an email, I can search for it, but I don't have to look at all of the unread emails or inbox message count.

How Wonderous!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back from Winter Break

Well, I took some time off from Blogging over winter break as I took about 10 days away from anything job related.

What did I do...
Partially drywalled my basement wall
Partially painted my basement
Built some cool StarWars Lego sets:)

I hope to get back to weekly blog entries as the school year ramps up. I should have some kewl topics especially with the launch of Server 2008.

Another big development to follow will the social experiment of the year. My wife and I are trading our cars in and getting a signal Toyota prius! I'll keep you posted.