Error 0x8007007B While Activating Windows 8 Enterprise

While activating Windows 8 Enterprise downloaded from Microsoft TechNet, I encountered the following error: “Windows can’t activate right now. Error 0x8007007B  The File name, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

To resolve this error and correctly activate Windows 8 Enterprise, I did the following:

  1. Launch Task Manager.
  2. Click on File -> Run new task.
  3. In the Create new task window,
    1. Type cmd.
    2. Click the Create this task with administrative privileges button.
    3. Click Ok.
  4. From the administrative command prompt, run the following two commands to unistall the product key and then, install the new product key by replacing the XXXXdesignation below.
    1. slmgr -upk
    2. slmgr -ipk XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

Slmgr is a Windows script that can be used to change product keys, activate a system, and determine a system’s license type. Slmgr options can be found on technet.microsoft.com.

Now Available: Dell Customized Bits for VMware vSphere 5.1

UPDATE: I am no longer with Dell. Please refer all questions to DellTechCenter.com or @DellTechCenter on Twitter. Thanks.

Dell Customized bits for VMware vSphere 5.1(ESXi 5.1) is now available:

Compatible Dell PowerEdge Servers Include:

PowerEdge 1950

PowerEdge 2900

PowerEdge 2950

PowerEdge 2970

PowerEdge M420

PowerEdge M520

PowerEdge M610

PowerEdge M610x

PowerEdge M620

PowerEdge M710

PowerEdge M710HD

PowerEdge M805

PowerEdge M820

PowerEdge M905

PowerEdge M910

PowerEdge M915

PowerEdge R320

PowerEdge R420

PowerEdge R510

PowerEdge R520

PowerEdge R610

PowerEdge R620

PowerEdge R710

PowerEdge R715

PowerEdge R720

PowerEdge R720xd

PowerEdge R805

PowerEdge R810

PowerEdge R815

PowerEdge R820

PowerEdge R900

PowerEdge R905

PowerEdge R910

PowerEdge T320

PowerEdge T420

PowerEdge T605

PowerEdge T610

PowerEdge T620

PowerEdge T710

Important Release Notes:

You should use VirtualCenter 5.1 (latest build) with this release. The Dell Customized ESXi Factory image does not include Dell OpenManage Server Administrator. For detailed instructions to install and use Dell OpenManage Server Administrator, see the Dell OpenManage documentation at support.dell.com/manuals. Select Software, then Systems Management.

This image is customized by Dell which includes updated Driver/Provider versions. Dell also modifies the below files as part of customization.

– etc/vmware/oem.xml

– etc/vmware/support

The drivers included in this ESXi image by Dell as part of customization are:

Broadcom Network Adapter Drivers & its Versions(Available at vmware.com) ================================================================ tg3 – 3.123b.v50.1

bnx2 – 2.2.1l.v50.1
bnx2x – 1.72.54.v50.2
cnic – 1.72.50.v50.1
bnx2fc – 1.72.51.v50.1
bnx2i – 2.72.10.v50.2
misc-cnic-register – 1.72.1.v50.1
Storage Controller Driver & its Version(Available at vmware.com) =====================================================
mpt2sas – 14.00.00.00.1vmw
Brocade CNA Drivers & its Versions(Available at vmware.com) ====================================================
bfa – 3.1.0.0 bfa – 3.1.0.0
Intel Network Adapter Drivers & its Versions(Available at vmware.com) ===========================================================
igb – 3.4.7.3
Qlogic HBA Drivers & its versions(Available at vmware.com) ==================================================
qla2xxx – 911.k1.1-26vmw
qla4xxx – 624.01.43-1vmw
ima-qla4xxx – 500.2.01.31-1vmw
qlcnic – 5.0.746
qlge – 2.0.0.54
Emulex HBA Drivers & its versions (Available at vmware.com) ===================================================
be2iscsi – 4.1.334.3
ima-be2iscsi – 4.1.334.3
NOTE: The list of files appended/modified/customized by Dell may change during a later release.

Hope and Competition in the Stack Wars

Recent announcements in the cloud and virtualization industry have provided hope and competition in the Stack Wars. Similarly, my Seattle Seahawks have provided their 12th Man with hope as they have embraced Coach Carroll’s ‘Win forever’ and ‘Compete, compete, compete’ attitude.

Confessions of a Conference JBOB

Events and conferences are great for meeting face to face with customers, industry colleagues and community members. It’s also great to meet new folks interested in the IT themes and trends of the event or conference. Everyone has such unique experiences and stories to share. The congregation of influencers, thought leaders, innovators and customers make the events. For those of us, who deliver the experience, there’s a slightly different perspective than as an attendee.

Event work begins many months earlier. In some cases, a full year before the event. Meetings start showing up on the calendar and the cadence gets more pronounced as the event draws near. More meetings and more people to create the execution plans that cover deliverables, KPIs, and responsibilities. For all that work, there is nothing locked into place until the event actually takes place. Everything is fair game until payment is made. And even then, flexibility is key as schedules get shuffled and moved. The norm is usually a double shift at event to get work done and deliver world-class customer engagements. All in the life of a conference JBOB – just a bunch of bacon 🙂

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The Aftermath of VMworld 2012

I’ve been catching up on expense reports, emails and daily ops. The following video provides some glimpses into the points of emphasis at VMworld 2012. It will be an interesting second half of the year as work flows & processes turn into execution of end-to-end solution stacks. The Stack Wars are in full swing.

VMworld 2012: Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)

VMworld 2011 provided the blues clues to where VMware was taking its next steps in innovation. 2012 continued that trend with key acquisitions and product launches most notably Nicira. I mentioned Nicira in one of my So Say SMEs in Virtualization and Cloud as a software defined networking (SDN) company with IP that would make noise in 2012. I just didn’t know that VMware would be the one to eventually gobble them up as part of their P2V of the data center.

All of these moves pave the way towards a software defined data center (SDDC), where work flows are orchestrated, provisioned & self-served across highly available networks of pooled resources. The hardware resources become abstracted in the sense that the Cloud provides as-needed resources to meet quality of service (QoS) requirements. The question becomes which features are the must-have ones and how much is one willing to pay for those features.

Internet Redundancy and Enabling Mobile WiFi

In this post, I’d like to share my current Internet backup system. My primary Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Time Warner Business Class. And although the on-site customer service is outstanding, the service itself leaves plenty of room for improvement with respect to availability and consistent quality of service (QoS). With this in mind, I sought out a secondary ISP to fill in the gaps. I considered ATT U-Verse, Cricket and Clear; but ended up disappointed in the customer service of all three providers.

Just when I thought that I would have to re-visit ATT, I found a slick deal on T-Mobile’s Rocket 3 USB Laptop Stick (pictured below). It came with no contract and a pre-paid card that allowed me to test its speed. Using Speakeasy’s Speed Test, my laptop pulled 1.1Mbps down. Not good; but at least, it provided connectivity. The other downside to the USB Stick was that only one device could be connected at a time.

Enter CradlePoint’s CTR35 Wireless, which is compatible with T-Mobile’s Rocket 3 and provides Wireless N WiFi and supports up to 16 simultaneous WiFi connections. This immediately elevated this combination to my backup ISP.

But being an techie, I needed this to be mobile as well because why pay for another data plan when I can leverage an unlimited, no contract and prepaid solution. So I paired the Rocket 3 and CradlePoint CTR35 with my Anker Power Bank that has a 8400 mAH capacity and provides two outputs (one of which is 5V/2A). To complete the setup, I picked up a USB to Type M Barrel 5V DC power cable from StarTech. Note that that the output  power for the CTR35 is rated at 12V/1.5A but the Anker Power Bank with output at 5V/2A was able to power it and the Rocket 3 without issues. In terms of performance, with the Rocket 3 attached to the CradlePoint CTR35 and using Speakeasy’s Speed Test, I was getting 6.6Mbps down.

So there you have it – all the components that I use to provide ISP redundancy at home while providing mobile WiFi flexibility.