PowerShell Hack – Finding VMs with missing VHDs

I am constantly creating virtual machines, fiddling with them for a bit and then forgetting about them. After a while I end up with a bunch of virtual machines listed in Hyper-V Manager where I have manually deleted or moved the files for half of them.

It can be a real pain to go through and clean this up. Luckily, PowerShell comes to the rescue here! With a simple PowerShell snippet I can list all the virtual machines on my system – and see which ones no longer have virtual hard disk files. I can then easily delete those virtual machines.

This snippet:

get-vm | Get-VMHardDiskDrive | %{write-host $_.VMName.PadRight(40) ":: VHD Exists :: "-NoNewline; Test-Path $_.Path}
  • Gets all virtual machines on the system
  • Gets the virtual hard disks on each virtual machine
  • Runs Test-Path on each virtual hard disk
  • Formats the results

The output on my computer is like this:

Cheers,
Ben

Making Meetings more Inviting

There are many things that I love about working at Microsoft.  We are always building amazing technology.  We are always looking to the future to try and figure out what directions and paths we should take.  But we are also always looking at ourselves and trying to figure out how we can make ourselves better as individuals, teams and as a company.

On my team we frequently discuss the team culture and try to identify 2 or 3 specific areas to focus on and improve.

Recently, my team has been looking at what we can do to create a team culture where meetings are more inviting.  If you have worked in the technical industry for any amount of time, you know that there is often the need to get groups of people together to solve technical problems.  You also know that sometimes these meetings can be great experiences – and sometimes they can be awful.

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Virtual Machines do not boot after moving from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2019

UPDATE: This issue is now resolved in the 2019-05-21 cumulative update (KB4497934)

In the last couple of weeks, we have been hearing reports from customers who are encountering problems after migrating virtual machines directly from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2019. People are seeing error messages like the following:

Critical 03/01/2019 16:13:49 Hyper-V-Worker 18604 None
‘Test VM 1’ has encountered a fatal error but a memory dump could not be generated. Error 0x2. If the problem persists, contact Product Support for the guest operating system. (Virtual machine ID 90B45891-E0EB-4842-8070-F30FF25C663A)

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Should you send that email right now?

An old fashion clockWhen I talk to people about making the right impact with their emails, people spend a lot of time making sure they choose the right words.  But they often fail to ask themselves an equally important question: Should you send that email right now?

It is easy to feel pressure to send emails as quickly as possible.

What if you take to long to reply and someone else jumps in on the conversation?  What if people question the importance of the topic to you, because you take too long to reply?  What if you just plain forget to send the email, because you are so busy and the idea is in your head right now?

Let’s spend some time pulling these issues apart.  I want to talk about some of the downsides of sending that email straight away, and provide some arguments for reasoned delay in sending emails.

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When you have to write an important email, understand your objective

Dartboard with dartsHave you ever needed to write an important email, but found yourself procrastinating on it?  I certainly have.  I can think of days where by 10am I knew that there was one really important email that I needed to write, but I did not end up writing the email until 11pm at night.  That is so frustrating!  I know that it is a common experience.

For this reason – I often tell team members that I am happy to review any difficult emails that they need to write.  I would much rather spend 10 minutes to review a team members email, and have them get on to more productive work, than to have them waste a day procrastinating.  The result of this is that in the average week I review half a dozen important, but difficult, emails for other people.

Every time I read the email completely first.  Then I ask the same starting question: “What is your objective with this email?”

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Making Ubuntu on Windows a bit more Authentic

I am a huge fan of the ability to run Ubuntu on Windows as part of the Windows Subsystem for Linux.  I was heavily involved in the business and technical discussions around bringing this solution to market.  My team is now responsible for the ongoing development and improvement of the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

However, there is one thing that has always bugged me when I am using Ubuntu on Windows.  And that is that the font is not quite right.  You see, the Windows Command Prompt uses the Consolas font by default – however Canonical uses the Ubuntu Monospace font for their consoles.

Updated – 1/2/2018 – 9:55pm – Added color information!

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