How to determine the version of PowerShell that is installed?

You can see the version of the PowerShell Engine by using the $PSVersionTable.PSVersion table. If you run Get-Help about_Automatic_Variables and read the contents of the $PSVersionTable you will get the following information:

$PsVersionTable
Contains a read-only hash table that displays details about the version of Windows PowerShell that is running in the current session. The table includes the following items:
CLRVersion: The version of the common language runtime (CLR)
BuildVersion: The build number of the current version
PSVersion: The Windows PowerShell version number
WSManStackVersion: The version number of the WS-Management stack
PSCompatibleVersions: Versions of Windows PowerShell that are compatible with the current version
SerializationVersion: The version of the serialization method
PSRemotingProtocolVersion: The version of the Windows PowerShell remote management protocol

In-place upgrade Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard to Enterprise without Media

If you need to upgrade a server running Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard to either the Enterprise, or Datacenter editions you can use the installation image and choose the Upgrade option or the new command-line utility, introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2, DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management). With DSIM it is possible to perform the upgrade online, without the need to reinstall Windows or have the installation image. 

 To perform the upgrade in-place online, without the media image, first open an elevated command prompt (run as administrator) on the server to be upgraded. 

Type the command DISM /Online /Get-CurrentEdition. This will display the current Windows version. 
   

Type the command DISM /Online /Get-TargetEditions to list the Windows editions to which this server can be upgraded. 
 

Type the command DISM /Online /Set-Edition: <TargetEdition> (replace <TargetEdition> with the syntax for the desired edition returned by Get-TargetEditions). 

If you receive a message (Error 87) indicating that you need to specify a product key you can include it with the /ProductKey: parameter 

If you receive a message (Error 50) indicating that Setting an Edition is not supported then the machine may be a Domain Controller (DC) and it must be demoted before performing an online upgrade. You do not need to demote it if you are using the installation image. 
  

As always, be certain that you back up all of your settings and data prior to performing the upgrade.

Installing Windows 2012 Server in Hyper V

In order to become familiar with Windows Server 2012 and ensure application compatibility I decided to install Windows Server 2012 within a Hyper V machine. Virtual Machines are wonderful. The ability to create, snapshot, and restore “machines” without having to having all this hardware is wonderful.

I downloaded the Windows Server 2012 ISO from MSDN and attached it to DVD Drive media of a newly created virtual machine. I booted the machine and started down the road of a Windows Server installation.

Windows Server 2012 Installation Screen

The process started ok, however once I started the installation I received a driver error:

"A media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB, or Hard disk driver. If you have a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with the driver on it, please insert it now."

Windows Server 2012 Installation Error

I reviewed all of the settings, hardware configurations and even verified that Windows Server 2012 runs within Hyper V. Everything checked out and I started the install again and received the same error. Needless to say it was a bit frustrating. The physical server is only 5 months old and I have installed several other test servers, from ISO files, running in Hyper V without an issue. I was pretty comfortable with the hardware configurations and even verified the ISO file was valid.

After several failed attempts to load the server from the ISO file I decided to burn the ISO to a DVD. I then loaded the DVD into the server and attached the physical DVD drive media to the virtual machine. This time the installation process started and finished without an issue.

It seems that the installation was not able to process/cache the full tree of files and using a physical disk did the trick.

SSRS: Slow Report over a Stored Procedure

While working on a report based on the results of a complex stored procedure I  encountered what I considered to be a strange behavior.  I noticed that when the stored procedure was executed directly the results were returned in seconds and they were returned in several minutes when executed from the report.

 

After further looking into the execution I realized that the parameters in the report were “prefetched” and analyzed where they were used in the procedure. which took some time.  I made a few small changes to the procedure and had favorable results.  I declared local variables, assigned them the values that were passed to the procedure and used the local variables within the procedure for filtering the data.  The report results were returned in the same interval as executing the stored procedure directly.

Where are the macros in Excel 2010?

If you have used the default installation of Microsoft Excel 2010 you might have noticed that the macros commands do not appear to be readily accessible.  To access Macro options from the Ribbon you must customize the ribbon to display the Developer tab.

From the menu choose: File Options Customize Ribbon and place a check adjacent to the Developer option.

Reading Stuff

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