Windows 8 Tip of the Day, Storage Spaces Explained

From Robert Mitchell!

Storage Spaces is functionality built into Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 that allows you to pool together physical disks into a logical grouping and then carve out virtual disks (aka storage spaces or just spaces).  These spaces can utilize different RAID levels and even thin provisioning.

Today’s tip explains what happens in Disk Management and Device Manager when you step through the process.

So first we have some disks.  I added 4 small disks just so I could get the screen shots…

If you were to look in Device Manager, you could see the disks there as well.  They are listed here as Virtual HDs because I did this in a virtual environment.  You wouldn’t do that normally.

When the pool is created all 4 disks will disappear from Disk Manager, but will still be visible in Device Manager.  Then when you carve out a storage space, that space will appear both in Disk Management (shown here as Disk 8) and in Device Manager (shown here as ‘Microsoft Storage Space Device).

Then you can format it with whatever file system is supported by the your Windows installation and use it as a regular disk.  But it is a bit disconcerting that your disks in Disk Management will appear to skip some numbers.  In my case, they show up as disk 0, 1, 2, 3, 8….since disks 4 -7 are now masked away from me.

Windows 8 Tip of the Day–Sysinternals Updates!

Today’s Tip…

From Robert Mitchell!

A number of SysInternals tools were recently updated.  For those of you that use these tools on a regular basis, you might want to grab these updates and add them to your respective collections.

AccessChk v5.11: AccessChk, a command line utility for
dumping the effective permissions and security descriptors for files, registry
keys, processes, tokens, object manager objects, now prefixes Windows 8
application container SIDs with the word “Package”, and includes several minor
bug fixes.

Procdump v6.0: Procdump is an advanced utility for
capturing process memory dumps based on a variety of triggers including CPU
usage, memory usage, performance counter values, and exceptions. Version 6.0 is
a major upgrade that adds the ability to specify multiple filters, attach to a
process by service name, and display/filter on the message text of a CLR or
JScript exception.

RAMMap v1.22: RAMMap is a graphic utility that shows
the breakdown of physical memory usage across different dimensions. This
release fixes a bug that could cause a crash when accessing the cached files
page when a cached file’s name exceeded a certain length.

Strings v2.51: This update to Strings, a command-line
utility that prints a file’s embedded Unicode and ASCII strings, fixes a signed
file offset printing bug.

How to redirect Serial Ports in Windows Server 2012 RDS/VDI

This tip came to me from a question someone posed internally that we had to find an answer for by hunting someone down Smile.


This property isn’t exposed in Server Managers’ UI, so you can set it by calling this powershell command:


Set-RDVirtualDesktopCollectionConfiguration –CollectionName <farm> –CustomRdpProperty “redirectcomports:i:1”

Now the Remote Desktop Client will redirect its COM1 port to the Server.  Why is this needed?  Think Serially connected devices such as say, Smart Card readers, for instance.

Hope this helps!

The Dude