Adding Alternate Computer Names to Windows Servers

Let's say you're doing a file server migration from one server to another and users have a bunch of desktop shortcuts mapped by UNC path.  Perhaps this server holds files for a client application that has a bunch of UNC paths mapped within it. It's a real pain to hunt for each shortcut and edit … Continue reading Adding Alternate Computer Names to Windows Servers

Windows Activation Issue on Server 2016

I recently installed Server 2016 from volume license. Everything went normally on the install. However, when going to activate, I'd click on Change product key and nothing would happen. Nothing. However, launching the same activation GUI from the CMD line worked just fine. I can't find a lot of documentation on this issue, so it … Continue reading Windows Activation Issue on Server 2016

Resetting the password on your Windows EC2 instance via SSM

I came across and interesting approach recently for resetting a misplaced/undocumented Windows administrator passwords in a reddit post.  This technique is only valid for instances with SSM installed. "SSM Agent is installed by default on Windows Server 2016 instances and instances created from Windows Server 2003-2012 R2 AMIs published in November 2016 or later." As … Continue reading Resetting the password on your Windows EC2 instance via SSM

Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 2

In Part 1, we successfully initiated a snapshot with Powershell.  Here we'll continue building out the script.   Cleaning Up Old Snapshots Anyone who's ever worked with regularly scheduled snapshots knows you need regularly scheduled cleanup or your AWS invoices will slowly creep up over time. I'll be filtering by Description to determine which snapshots do … Continue reading Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 2

Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 1

As you likely already know, there's isn't an option to schedule EC2 instance snapshots within the AWS console. A popular way to address this would be to use Boto3, AWS' SDK for Python.  However, it is also possible to initiate EC2 snapshots with Powershell. Why would you want to do this with Powershell?   Let's say … Continue reading Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 1

Backing up files from a Windows Instance to S3.

Part of a backup strategy in AWS could involve file-level backups.  As S3 storage is cheaper than EBS volumes, it could make sense to store your files in S3. A possible way to go about this would be to use a utility like Duplicati to backup files to an S3 bucket. Another method is with … Continue reading Backing up files from a Windows Instance to S3.

Monitoring Memory Usage on a Windows EC2 Instance with CloudWatch

In a previous post, I discussed how to setup a Windows EC2 instance to monitor disk space usage with CloudWatch.  Another key attribute to monitor is memory usage. Memory usage, just like disk space, is a performance monitor in Windows. When examining the available performance counters available within Windows, the best counter for our objective … Continue reading Monitoring Memory Usage on a Windows EC2 Instance with CloudWatch