Help with Vista Deployment from Microsoft

I read Karen's Forster's Hey Microsoft! "Vista Deployment and Einstein's Wisdom" (June 2006, InstantDoc ID 50011), in which she interviewed Vista Deployment Program Manager Manu Namboodiri. My team is currently running test deployment scenarios using Business Desktop Deployment 2007. We are unable to image our Vista RC2 installation using ImageX. Here is information about the error we're receiving:

  1. We generalize the Vista installation and shut down Virtual PC by typing into the command prompt:
    C:\Windows \System32\
  2. We boot into Windows PE and type the following command to start the imaging procedure:
      fast/capture C:
      "WindowsVista RC2"/verify
  3. The process starts but fails after reaching a progress of 32%, and we receive a "file missing" error.
  4. We attempt to change the installation but fail, this time at 17% and with a different file missing.
  5. We attempt to image again but receive the same error with yet a different file missing.

—Tim Kremer

Tim, check the system event log first to discover any hardware-related errors. This kind of problem usually has to do with either file system corruption or hardware/driver-related problems. It looks like you're working in a virtual machine guest OS. Is the device you're trying to install within the guest OS a file on the host OS? If so, check for any event log errors on the host OS relating to the device you're installing within the guest OS. Also:

  1. Check Virtual PC support to discover any bug fixes or known issues related to guest I/O corruption.
  2. Create another file-backing store for the guest OS and install it onto the new drive to see whether you can reproduce the error.
  3. Run a file system-consistency check on the drive you're installing onto on the guest OS.

—Manu Namboodiri

What's Up with Virtuozzo?

I just read Michael Otey's Market Watch article "Virtualization Technologies" (October 2006, Instant-Doc ID 93137) and feel obliged to point out one correction. Michael mentions SWsoft's Virtuozzo a couple of times in the article; however, each time he refers to it as a server virtualization product. Actually, it falls into the virtual application category. I found this ironic because I believe Windows IT Pro led me to Virtuozzo a couple of months ago. I read that it specifically didn't create a virtual machine, which lead me to investigate how it worked.
—Rich Van Alstine

Although it's true that Virtuozzo offers different virtualization capabilities than Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or VMware's server products, Virtuozzo isn't an application virtualization product. Unlike Virtual Server or other traditional virtualization products that virtualize at the hardware level, Virtuozzo virtualizes at the OS level, making it a server product—just a different type of server product. Examples of true application virtualization products include Altiris's Software Virtualization Solution and Softricity's Soft-Grid. We'll review the next release of Virtuozzo in an upcoming issue.
—Michael Otey

Setting the Record Straight on dsmod and dsquery

Reader Gary MacDonald offered some terrific information about the command-line password change tools dsmod and dsquery in "Changing Passwords on the Command Line" (October 2006, InstantDoc ID 93439). Gary wrote to let us know that dsmod and dsquery are part of the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack. Gary and reader Charles Phillips also kindly pointed out that we made errors in printing the commands. Here are the correct dsmod and dsquery commands:

To reset a user's password, type

dsmod user "CN=John Doe,CN=Users,
  DC=microsoft,DC=com" -pwd
  Alb2C3d4 -mustchpwd yes

To reset multiple user passwords to a common password and force the users to change their password the next time they log on, type

dsmod user "CN=John Doe,
  -pwd A1b2C3d4 -mustchpwd yes

You can locate the distinguishedName property and pipe it into dsmod user with dsquery user by typing

dsquery user -name "John Doe" |
  dsmod user -pwd A1lb2C3d4
  -mustchpwd yes

—Dianne Russell