Author Archive

Book Club #6

Book Club, Show Stuff February 10th, 2011

The sixth installment of our Mind Of Root Book Club will be covering Chapter 7 in The Practice of Systems and Network Administration.We’ll review Chapter 7 on February 24th, so post your comments or send in your feedback!Chapter 7 covers Networking, in all it’s glory.  Some questions to focus our review are:

  1. Do you have a network diagram?  (physical and logical)
  2. What redundancy does your network design provide?
  3. How do you label your network cables and endpoints?
  4. Where do you do your routing? (Static routes on hosts, routers, layer 3 switches, etc..) And where do you do your access control lists (ACLs)?
  5. Do you segment your network with VLANs?
  6. How do you monitor your network?

Feel free to comment on any aspect of the chapter though.

No Live Stream Tonight

Podcast January 27th, 2011

Due to schedules and life, we won’t be able to do a live stream tonight.  We will be posting a show in the next couple of days to continue the book club reviews.Thanks for your patience.

Book Club #2

Book Club, Show Stuff November 18th, 2010

Our second Book Club segment will deal with Chapter 3 in The Practice of System and Network Administration

First off, a bit of scheduling, due to the Thanksgiving holiday (in the US), were going to push off the next book club segment to the December 9th show.

Back to the book – Chapter 3 deals with workstations.  Our focal questions for this chapter are?

  1. Do you know what state your workstations are in? (new, clean, configured, unknown, or off are the suggested state descriptions)
  2. Do you have a standard process for rolling out new workstations?
  3. How do you load a new workstation? (OS, applications, network configuration)
  4. How do you determine when you need to reload a machine?
  5. Does your installation process influence your thoughts on when a machine should be reloaded?

If you would like to share your thoughts and views on the chapter and topics, please post your answers as a comment to this blog post or send your thoughts to us at  We’ll share any feedback we receive during our discussion on the podcast.

Book Club #1

Book Club, Show Stuff November 1st, 2010

In our first Book Club segment, we start working through The Practice of System and Network Administration (one of my favorite "non-technical" technical books).  We will be starting with Chapter 2 on the podcast on November 11th.  In our book club segments, Keith, Rich, and I will be sharing our thoughts and experiences on the topics covered in the book, but we’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts as well.  We’ll be focusing our comments around several questions:

  1. How do you manage requests for service?
  2. If you are using a trouble ticketing system, which system do you use?  What do you like about it/dislike about it?
  3. Do you have policies about how people get help, what the scope of responsibility the systems administrators have, and what defines an emergency?
  4. How do you handle operating system loads/reloads (server or desktop)?

If you would like to share your thoughts and views on the chapter and topics, please post your answers as a comment to this blog post or send your thoughts to us at  We’ll share any feedback we receive during our discussion on the podcast.

No Live Stream Tonight

Podcast April 14th, 2010

Sorry folks.  Life is once again getting in the way of our live stream.  Last week’s show will be posted soon and we should be back on track next week.


MOR 135 – Rich and Steve, Together Again

Podcast April 7th, 2010

Recorded: March 24, 2010
Your Host: Steve Murawski and Rich Niemeier
Show Length: 53:05

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Don’t wait – register for your free copy of Jeffery’s book, and see why PowerShell and Quest Power GUI are the ultimate Windows management tools.


Read the full show notes here.

Website Picks

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No Podcast Tonight – Hardware Troubles

Podcast March 17th, 2010

Mea Culpa – We were getting ready to record and my desktop started acting funny.  I couldn’t get any application to not hang. 

Since that machine is how I’m set up to record and Keith was unavailable tonight, that left Rich as the sole voice in the wilderness.  Since none of us are any good on our own, we won’t be able to put on our usual great content, witty banter, and comic brilliance.

I’ll be rebuilding my desktop this weekend and stay tuned and be ready to rock and roll next week!


No Live Stream Tonight

Podcast January 6th, 2010

Life intervenes yet again, so we will not have a live stream tonight on Ustream.

In the meantime, pop over to Keith Combs blog and weigh in on where the TechNet forums should go.  I think the day of the forum has passed and sites like StackOverflow, ServerFault, Concentrated Tech, and other QA sites are the next iteration.  Should MS detour away from the forums and spend the time and money on other content?  Keith Combs is asking – give him your opinion.

 Talk with you next week!

Starting Performance Monitoring

Automation, Scripting, Servers December 30th, 2009

Previously, I’ve been in control of the environment that I have been monitoring, so I was able to integrate that performance monitoring into PolyMon.  Now that I have a slightly different scenario, I’ve had to modify my performance monitoring strategy.

I’ve mainly been concerned about general server performance, as well as IIS and SQL performance (Basic, IIS, SQL 2005, IIS and SQL 2005), so I’ve been using counter sets that mirror that.

Then I wrapped a couple of calls to logman.exe, which is the command line interface to PerfMon counters.

To create the counter, I used

logman create counter BlackBox -v mmddhhmm -cf Counters.txt -si 00:10 -f bincirc -o “c:\Perflogs\Blackbox_%computername%” -max 250

which creates a counter named “BlackBox” (like a flight recorder).

The command also:

  • reads in the counters from a text file (see my examples above). 
  • sets the sample interval to be every 10 minutes (“-si”).
  • sets the log file is a binary circular file (set by the ‘”-f”), which would be a maximum of 250 MB (set by “–max”)
  • sets the log file location and name (using the computer name environmental variable to append the computer name to the log file) and the “-v” option also adds the month, day, hour, and minute of the start of the log to the file name.

After creating the counter, I used

to start the capture of the counter information.

Finally, I have another command to stop the capture, so when there is an issue or after a specified period of monitoring, I can grab the log file and feed it to PAL or load it in PerfMon (on Server 2008 or greater – as PerfMon got some nice feature bumps with the more recent releases) and analyze it there or export it to a CSV file to slice into it with Excel.

Have Fun!


Runas Radio Shows –

Technet Article – Taking Your Server’s Pulse

PAL – Performance Analysis Of Logs

Sharing a Wireless Network Card in Hyper-V

Networking, Servers October 19th, 2009

I’m currently running Server 2008 R2 (from a VHD) as one of the OSes on my work laptop.  Thanks to the site, I was able to get my wireless card working.  

Problem – When I went to create a virtual network in Hyper-V, the wireless network interface was not an option.

Solution – I created a loopback adapter and bridged it to my wireless network card.  I was able to create a virtual network that included the bridged connection and my VMs were able to access my wireless network.