Hyper-V Switch from Internal to External While VMs Running… No Internets for you!

It’s not every day that you get taught new admin concepts using PowerShell by Jeffrey Snover¬† himself (the guy who invented PowerShell), but I had the privilege of taking part in the TechDays NL 2015 pre-conference workshop on OneGet PowerShell Package Manager and Desired State Configuration (DSC) that Jeff Wouters (PowerShell MVP) organized, and then led along with Mr. Snover. Both Jeffs patiently answered our (sometimes) silly questions and worked hard to make sure we got as much as possible out of the day.

However, no one was able to save me from myself when I learned that enabling External access for your Internal-only Hyper-V virtual switch while the VMs attached to it are running is apparently a bad idea – at least when your host OS is Windows 10 Technical Preview, Build 10122. This warning didn’t put me off:

Warning schmarning...

… and it appeared to work, but not really: it took out my Internet connection completely. Annoyingly enough, the WiFi claimed that it was connected, along with being bridged. Hyper-V added a nifty new generic Ethernet adapter that was supposed to act as a bridge between the virtual switch and my real WiFi. Note the missing vEthernet (External01) Hyper-V Virtual Ethernet Adapter.

A bridge too far...

Another hint was that Get-NetIPAddress only showed the loopback addresses for both IPv4 and IPv6, and nothing else.

There was no reverse – when I tried switching that virtual switch back to Internal, I got “Error applying Virtual Switch Properties changes”:

FixVirtSwitch11

Disabling and re-enabling the WiFi connection also did no good; the WiFi was always connected, but traffic was not being passed from applications. Deleting and reinstalling the WiFi adapter was also not an option.

Note the grey text for the

Note the grey text for the “Delete” option.

However, I was able to delete the generic Ethernet adapter.

FixVirtSwitch13

As soon as that finished, Get-NetIPAddress showed addresses for the WiFi adapter and the virtual switch I hadn’t meddled with. Voila, I had Internet again!

The virtual switch in question was left as a Private Network, and was easily switched back to being Internal. After that, IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) showed up for it, too, on Get-NetIPAddress.

FixVirtSwitch14

The goofy-looking font is a special feature of the 10122 build of Windows 10 for Arial font in various contexts, and can be remedied by some simple method I have completely forgotten.

Wish I’d thought of trying this during the workshop, because package management is kind of hard to work with when you don’t have any way to get to a repository, but here it is for you, dear reader. And for Mr. Snover and Mr. Wouters the next time they teach OneGet… er, PowerShell Package Manager.

Network Connections Config Issue in Windows 10 Tech Preview 10041 Build

UPDATE: Blog comments are awesome. Just to stop you from having to look any further, Darren Shetler explains in the comment section (and I’ve confirmed) that the way to fix this is to:

  1. Go into Device Manager
  2. Delete the network devices – do NOT uninstall their drivers when asked!!!
  3. Run “Scan For Hardware Changes” to add the network devices back to Windows

Afterwards, everything worked with an admin account, a regular account (prompts for admin credentials) and still worked after a reboot. If you want to be careful, do this to only one network interface, and confirm that it’s back working before you do the rest; that is, don’t get rid of your otherwise-functional WiFi and wired connections at the same time. Thanks for posting this, Darren!

Follow this Windows Insider Program forum thread for future developments: “Cannot open network connection properties after 10041 update


Aleksandar Nikolic (co-founder and editor of powershellmagazine.com) asked the community if anyone else on the 10041 build of Windows 10 Technical Preview (pushed mid-March 2015) was getting “An unexpected error occurred” when we tried checking or changing the properties of a network connection. I checked with both a regular account (which should have prompted me to enter an admin account’s password) and my admin account, and got the same thing both times:

An unexpected error occurred. Very helpful.

An unexpected error occurred. Very helpful.

However unenlightening that was, it was still better than the absolute nothing that happens when I tried disabling/enabling network devices or clicking “Diagnose this connection” – was it registering that I was clicking at all?

Fabien Didot joined in the thread to let us know that PowerShell cmdlets Get-NetAdapter and Get-NetIpAddress work, and I can confirm that they do from both a regular and an admin account. However, Disable-NetAdapter and Enable-NetAdapter fail from both with an access denied error – expected behavior from a regular account, but certainly not from an admin account. Helps if you start PowerShell using “Run as Administrator” ūüôā Totally works that way!

As far as other reports of this, I’ve turned up the Windows10 subreddit and a Guru3D thread.

If anyone else with the 10041 build could please try enabling or disabling a network interface with PowerShell, please let me know how you get on – is it just me, or are others experiencing this? Again, helps if you remember “Run as Administrator”!

Looks like it really is just the GUI.

IT News for Your Ears – Tech Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

A colleague on the management team in my department insists on taking a few hours as soon as the biweekly issue of c’t arrives. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a time-pressed administrator who, like me, doesn’t have that luxury. However, it is part of our jobs to keep up on the wider IT world.

I listen to several podcasts each week during the drive to work – much safer than reading an IT magazine while on the road. These shows also help me put some much-needed miles on my bike ūüôā

I’ve included links to the show pages for each of my favorites, and for your convenience, an RSS link for copying into your player. If you’re looking for such an app,¬†Car Cast¬†is a nice, simple Android podcast player that is free, but once you’ve installed the free version, top it up with the paid version to get rid of the little ads and show your appreciation for this fine app.

Essential listening for Microsoft IT Pros

  • PowerScripting with Jonathan Walz and Hal Rottenberg: Love scripting or hate it, PowerShell has become a core skill for Active Directory, Exchange and SharePoint administrators, SQL Server DBAs and .NET developers. I started listening to PowerScripting shortly after I discovered PowerShell, and it really helped me along. These days, I mostly listen to it to find out about new applications for it, but still pick up tips and tricks from Jon, Hal and their guests. If you’re just getting started with PowerShell, download and listen to the first 30 episodes or so in order, along with the week’s latest one so you keep up with the community’s news. It was obvious those first few episodes that Jon, and later Hal, were new to podcasting, but now, it’s a very polished listening experience, so stick with it through those initial shows. [RSS link]
  • RunAs Radio with Richard Campbell: The main Microsoft IT Pro show, covering the wide range of MS enterprise technologies in an interview format. The older episodes are still good, but cover a lot of old news. I’d recommend downloading the most recent 10 or so for breadth, then searching the site for the specific technologies you deal with. [RSS link]
  • .NET Rocks! with Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell: Developer-centric parent show of Run-As Radio that comes out twice a week like clockwork. Good for getting a broader view of what’s going on in the Microsoft world. They also have occasional “Geek Out” episodes covering non-IT techologies for a technical, but not expert, audience. The back catalog is over 800 shows – they’re bound to have hit upon something you’re interested in. [RSS link]
  • HanselMinutes with Scott Hanselman: Scott works for Microsoft, but he covers a broad array of development-related topics, along with some non-IT ones, on his always thought-provoking show. Any random episodes will be worth listening to. [RSS link]
  • The UC Architects: An ensemble¬†of Lync and Exchange MVPs and other experts from around the world who keep us up to date on what is happening with the two¬†main constituents of¬†Microsoft Unified Communications platform, along with how it ties in to Office 365. Lync is becoming a very important secondary, even primary skill for Exchange admins, so if you are working with one platform, you need to at least be aware of what’s going on with the other. I’ve just started listening and am still catching up with previous episodes. Their website gives a very good synopsis of each episode, including when in the program each segment started so you can skip past the bits you’re not as interested in. [RSS link]

Other tech podcasts I like

  • NPR’s Technology Podcast: Highlights stitched together each week from the various technology segments on NPR, primarily covers general consumer tech and social/legal issues related to IT. [RSS link]
  • Engadget Podcast: mostly consumer tech, along with some enterprise IT. Fun.¬†[RSS link]
  • Your Website Engineer with Dustin Hartzler: good listening for anyone who does stuff with WordPress.¬†[RSS link]
  • SQLDownUnder¬†with Greg Low: episodes are sporadically released, but excellent listening for anyone who even occasionally has to deal with SQL Server, with bonus Aussie accent and detailed show transcripts for the bits . ¬†The one about SQL Server Reporting Services¬†with Jessica Moss helped me out a TON when I was getting started with reports.¬†[RSS link]
  • Quirks and Quarks: the CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) weekly science radio show, focusing on Canadians scientists and institutions, but reaching out for the week’s big stories. Bob McDonald, the longtime host, is possibly the best science interviewer in the business.¬†[RSS link]

Any podcasts I’m missing? Anyone ready to start that ActiveRoles Server podcast?

You should buy SnagIt, because I didn’t have to…

… ¬†TechSmith dug up my (VERY) old license key!

Ten years ago, I was working in a government basement in suburban Maryland, testing Java code and writing step-by-step user manuals for the Treasury’s intra-departmental payments program. There were five different user roles with several dozen actions, and the customer wanted detailed, step-by-step instructions. With pictures. Lots of pictures. Each of those things averaged 300 pages. At first, it was miserable. I knew how to do Print Screen, then crop in Word. Tedious.

Then kind soul informed me of the existence of SnagIt and swore the license cost was totally worth it. It was – the whole manuals business started flying by.

Fast forward to this week. Once I get my test environment set up (thank you Dell/Quest for the long-running sample license for ActiveRoles Server!), I wanted to make good screenshots for you guys. I vaguely remembered using SnagIt back in that basement, and dug through my email accounts for something from TechSmith. Nothing. I went to their website and plugged in all the email addresses I still had access to. Nothing.

I then followed their instructions, filing a service request with the billing addresses I could remember using during the years at that job, and not two hours later, received a friendly response that they found my purchase record, but since it was for a REALLY old version, they were offering me the license key for the oldest one they still support, along with the same half-price upgrade rights to the current version.

So thanks, TechSmith. If you need to do a lot of end-user documentation, SnagIt will save your sanity. You can try it for free for 30 days, at which point you’ll be hooked.