Upgrading to VMware Fusion 6.x from 5.x – Windows 8 UI font/size change strangeness

This is a very quick post today, but relates to an issue I had after upgrading my VMware Fusion install from 5.x to 6.0.2.

I am running a Windows 8 SP1 guest VM for development purposes on my mac, and right after upgrading and booting my Windows VM noticed this. The issue is that all the Windows UI elements – icons, text, etc look humongous on my 1920×1200 LCD monitor. The macbook’s LCD itself looked OK though. You can’t really see it that well in the screenshot below, but trust me, the section below with a few icons was about a quarter of my screen.


I knew this was a new setting that had somehow been toggled in Fusion since the upgrade, so I had a quick look around and found it. To disable this feature, go to your Virtual Machine Settings -> Display, and untick “Automatically adjust user interface size in Windows”.


Fusion will prompt you to logout of your current user session in the Windows VM. After logging back in again, things should be back to normal.

Hope that saves someone 15 minutes of looking for the cause in the future!

Allow ICMP / ping response on a Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 machine

A very quick blog post today, seeing as though I have run this command on about 4 or 5 new servers I have deployed today. To allow a server to respond to incoming ICMP traffic (ping) you can issue the following command in the command prompt. Do this as an administrator of course!
netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8

Your machine should now respond to pings. You can also do this via the Windows firewall GUI but I find the command to be the quickest and easiest way of achieving this.

How to officially deactivate a Windows 2008 R2 RDS licensing server and remove RDS CALs

This post will explain how to remove Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses.

I just got off the phone with Microsoft after wanting to remove some RDS CALs (Formerly known as TS CALs) from a Windows 2008 R2 Terminal Server (Now called Remote Desktop Server). After initially  looking this up, a Technet article mentioned needing to use the Remote Desktop Services Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) provider. However clicking the link popped up a page stating that the document they refer you to was not available yet. (Not very helpful Technet). The other option in the Technet article mentioned deactivating the licensing server as another option. However when I tried this, followed by a reactivation of the licensing server, the old RDS CALs were still there.

So to get this done here is the process we followed:

1. Open the RD Licensing Manager.

2. Select the Server name, right-click it and then choose Properties. Switch connection method to Telephone and choose your Country. Note – if you want you could also use Internet as connection manager. I did Telephone as I had a guy from the Clearing House / Licensing department on the line already. Click OK to confirm.

3a. Right-click the server name again, go to Advanced, then choose “Deactivate Server”. Run through the wizard. With telephone selected I had to read out a deactivation number. The consultant then read out a confirming code that I entered into the wizard. After this I finished the Wizard which deactivated the Licensing.

b. Next, re-activate the License server – right-click the server name, select Activate, read out the codes in the wizard and enter the key they give back to you. (Or just use the Internet activate method). I needed to close the RD Licensing console at this stage.

4. So next up I launched the Services console (Start -> Run, type services.msc and click OK). Go down to Remote Desktop Licensing, right-click it and choose “Stop” to stop the service.

5. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\lserver and look for the “TLSLic.edb” file. Delete this file. (I would make a backup just in case you wanted it back for some reason).

6. Start the Remote Desktop Licensing service again. (Right-click service and choose “Start”).

7. The Service should start correctly.

8. Launch the RD Licensing console again (you should have closed it at the end of step 3). Your previous licenses should be gone now.

9. Right-click the server and choose “Install Licenses”. Go through the wizard to get the correct RDS CALs installed. You won’t be violating any Microsoft licensing agreements because you deleted your previous RDS CALs. Once everything is working again, delete your backup of your old RDS CALs (the .EDB file that you backed up).

That is it. You should now have removed your old RDS CALs and installed new RDS CALs. Note that no users will be able to login to this RDSH server whilst there are no CALs in place, so do this as planned down time.

How to view thumbnails for files in Windows 2008 Server

By default, Windows 2008 Server does not show you thumbnails for files when viewing them in Medium, Large or Extra Large Icon modes. To be able to view the thumbnails of images for example, you will need to do the following :

– Open up explorer, or Computer
– Click on Tools, then Folder Options (Or click the Organise drop down, and select folder options)
– Click on the View tab
– Now you can deselect the check box for “Always show icons, never thumbnails”
– Click Apply, then OK.

You should now be able to view your thumbnails. See below for the Folder Options dialog box.


How to add a user as a local administrator using Windows Server 2008

The computer management console for Server 2008 has changed slightly between now and Windows Server 2003. I was trying to ensure a particular user was setup as a local administrator on a Windows 2008 Small Business Server today, and couldn’t find the option to do this via the GUI. Anyway, for those wondering how this is done using the command prompt, here is the solution.

First you need to run command prompt as an Administrator. Open Computer, go to your C: drive, and navigate to your Windows\System32 directory. Find “cmd.exe” right click on it, and select the run as Administrator option. Once at the command prompt, type the following :

net localgroup Administrators /add (domain)\(username)

(Obviously replace (domain)\(username) with your domainname\username that you want to be the local admin) – That is without the brackets.

You should get a message saying the command completed successfully. If you get an access denied error, you more than likely have not run cmd.exe as an administrator.

Be sure to run cmd.exe as administrator.