esSJae's Virtualization Blog

Virtualization and other IT topics

Setting up an All-In-One Windows AD Test Environment (VirtualBox Edition)

Posted by essjae on January 17, 2019

Build a basic all-in-one lab in VirtualBox. This how-to shows you how to build a virtual Windows Active Directory environment isolated from your home or work network.

Requirements:
16GB RAM minimum
SSD or multiple HDDs
Quad-core or better CPU with hardware virtualization enabled

 

  1. Download the necessary software. Download the ISOs for the OSes you’ll be installing. For this example, I’ll be using ipFire and MSDN versions of Windows Server 2012R2 and Windows 10 Pro.
    1. VirtualBox: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
    2. Windows OS Evaluation: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/
    3. ipFire: https://www.ipfire.org/download/ipfire-2.21-core124
  2. Create your ipFire router VM
    1. Click New, enter the name of your router, ie “ipFire”
    2. Change the OS to Linux, Ubuntu 64bit is fine as the version. Click Next.
    3. Enter 512MB for memory. Click Next.
    4. Click Create for a new virtual HDD and select VDI. Click Next.
    5. Select Dynamically allocated and click Next.
    6. Change the location here if necessary. The 10GB default is large enough, click Create.
    7. Once created, click Settings and then click Network. We need to modify the networking options.
      1. Adapter 1 should be set to NAT or Bridged.
      2. Adapter 2 needs to be enabled and set to Internal Network. **Make note of the MAC address for adapter 2. You can find it by expanding the Advanced tab.** 
      3. Click OK.

 

  1. Mount the ipFire ISO and install
    1. Click Settings on the IPFire VM. Click Storage.
    2. Click “Empty” next to the CD icon. Click the CD icon next to the far right to mount the ISO.
    3. Select “choose a virtual optical disk file” and browse to the ISO’s location.
    4. Select to mount. Click Ok to close the window.
    5. Power on the VM.
    6. Follow the IPFire prompts. Press enter to select, tab to move between selections, and the space bar to select check boxes.
    7. All defaults can be used.
  2. Configure IPFire
    1. Select the keyboard mapping. I’m using “us.” Press Enter to accept.
    2. Set your timezone. By pressing the first letter of your timezone, you can jump to that section. Select the correct timezone via the arrow keys and press Enter to accept.
    3. Enter a host name, the default is fine for our lab. Press Enter twice.
    4. The default domain is fine for our lab, press Enter twice to continue.
    5. Enter the root password and press Enter each time and once more to continue.
    6. Do the same for the admin password. Password can be the same for both for our lab purposes.–Network Configuration–
      1. Press Enter for “network configuration type”
      2. Select “Green + Red” and press Enter
      3. Arrow down to “drivers and card assignments.” and press Enter.
      4. Green: This is our internal network. Press Enter to select. Compare the MAC and select the correct interface. Press Enter to select the Interface.
      5. Red: This is our internet facing network, NAT or Bridged. Select RED, press Enter, and press Enter again to select the remaining interface.
      6. Tab over to done and press Enter.–Address Settings–
        Press Enter to select.
        GREEN:
        1. Select GREEN and press Enter.
        2. This is a new private, virtual network for our lab. Select a different IP subnet than your host network to avoid confusion.
        3. The IP warning can be ignored as we are not logged in remotely. In this example, the subnet is 192.168.211.1/24. Since this will be the gateway, we can use 192.168.211.1. The subnet mask does not need to change.
        4. Press Enter until you return to the GREEN/RED menu.RED:
        1. Select RED and press Enter.
        2. Select DHCP. This interface will get the IP from the VBox NAT or your physical network’s DHCP server. You can modify the hostname here if necessary.
        3. Tab to Done and press Enter.–DNS and Gateway settings–
        1. DNS and Gateway settings are only needed if using a static IP. Since we are using DHCP, there is nothing to change here. Tab to Done and press Enter.

        –DHCP Configuration–
        We will be using Windows DHCP instead of IPFIRE’s. Tab to OK and press enter without enabling DHCP. Press Enter to close setup.

  3. Create Windows Server 2012 R2 VM
    1. From the VBox main men, click New.
    2. Enter a name, ex: “WS2012R2”, select the appropriate type (Windows 2012) and version (64-bit). Click Next.
    3. Set RAM to 4096MB. If you have more than 16GB of RAM, you can increase to 6 or 8GB, if needed. Click Next.
    4. Create a new virtual hard disk, click Create.
    5. Select VDI and click Next.
    6. Select Dynamically allocated, and click Next.
    7. Enter 80GB and click Create.
    8. Click Settings, then click Network.
    9. Select Internal Network.
    10. Select Storage. Click the CD under storage devices, then click the CD icon to the left of Optical Drive.
    11. Select Choose virtual optical disk file. Browse and select your Windows Server ISO.
    12. Click OK.
  4. Install Windows Server 2012
    1. Install Windows as you normally would.
  5. Configure Windows Server and Domain
    1. Enter the IP information. The IP needs to be on the same subnet as configured for the GREEN network. EX: 192.168.211.200, GW: 192.168.211.1, DNS: 127.0.0.1 since we’ll be creating a domain controller with DNS and DHCP services.
    2. You should be able to ping an IP address, but not a DNS name.
    3. Change the name of your server and reboot.Start the Add Roles and Feature Wizard
      1. Add the following roles:
      –Active Directory Domain Services
      –DHCP Services
      –DNS Services
      2. Follow the wizard’s steps.
      3. Promote: Add a new forest.
      4. Enter your domain name and follow the wizard.  –you will get a warning about DNS, this will be resolved later.
  6. Configure DNS and DHCP

DNS.  We need to add a forwarder for our DNS settings.

1. From Administrative Tools, open DNS
2. Right-click on your server and click Properties.
3. Click the Forwarders tab
4. Click Edit, and add your external DNS servers like 4.2.2.1, 4.2.2.2, 8.8.8.8, and 8.8.4.4.

DHCP
1. Double-click DHCP from Administrative Tools
2. Expand IPv4 and right-click, click New Scope from the menu.
3. Enter an IP range, ex: 192.168.211.50 to 192.168.211.100
4. The remaining settings can be default for now.
5. When asked to configure scop options, verify “Yes” and click Next.
6. Router/Default gateway will be the IP we used to configure the GREEN NIC, ex: 192.168.211.1
7. Domain name and DNS should be pre-configured. You should see the server’s IP in IP address box, ex: 192.168.211.200
8. WINS does not need to be configured at this time.
9.When prompted to activate scope, verify “Yes” and click Next.
10. Click Finish to complete the wizard.

Right-click on the server’s name under DHCP, and click Authorize from the menu. Refresh and IPv4 should have a green circle with a white check mark.

9. Managing IPFire via web interface

You can access IPFIRE’s management console via a web browser.
Enter https://ipfire_ip-address:444, ex: https://192.168.211.1:444
Use “admin” and the password entered during step 4.

Note: You will get a certificate error when accessing the IPFIRE management page.

9. Adding Client VMs.

Nothing special here.  Install Windows/Linux as usual.  Make sure to select Internal Network for the VM’s network

10. Completion!

Here’s the money shot:
-VirtualBox
-IPFIRE VM
-WS2012R2 VM – domain controller for sw.net, DHCP and DNS roles
-Win10 VM – joined to sw.net, displaying IPFIRE’s web management page and network settings.

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Posted in Computers, Networking, VirtualBox, Virtualization, VM OS Install, W2012, Windows 10, Windows 2012, Windows 2012 r2 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 6.0.2 Released

Posted by essjae on January 15, 2019

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • User interface: fixed creation of desktop shortcuts for starting virtual machines (bug #18207)
  • User interface: allow the first run window to selecting host drives (bug #18230)
  • User interface: fixed attaching empty host optical drives (bug #18223)
  • User interface: implemented a new virtual optical disk creation window
  • USB: modified Linux backends to reset USB devices (previously, most guest attempts to reset USB devices were ignored)
  • PCnet: fixed a regression which caused some PCnet PCI guest drivers to not detect the emulated hardware (bug #18286)
  • Linux hosts: fixed conflict between Debian and Oracle build desktop files (bug #18264)
  • Linux and MacOS hosts: VirtualBoxVM command not accessible (bug #18257)
  • Windows guests: multiple monitor fixes with VBoxSVGA graphics
  • Windows guests: black screen with VBoxSVGA graphics when 3D is disabled (bug #18205)
  • Linux guests: fixed building drivers on SLES 12.4 (bug #18213)
  • Linux guests: fixed building shared folder driver with older kernels (bug #18238)
  • OS/2 shared folders: fixed write regression introduced in 6.0.0 GA

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VirtualBox 6.0 Release

Posted by essjae on December 18, 2018

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

This is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Implemented support for exporting a virtual machine to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • User interface: greatly improved HiDPI and scaling support, including better detection and per-machine configuration
  • Major rework of user interface with simpler and more powerful application and virtual machine set-up
  • User interface: a new file manager enabling user to control the guest file system and copy files between host and guest.
  • Graphics: major update of 3D graphics support for Windows guests, and VMSVGA 3D graphics device emulation on Linux and Solaris guests
  • Added support for surround speaker setups (as used by Windows 10 Build 1809)
  • Added utility vboximg-mount on Apple hosts to access the content of guest disks on the host
  • Added support for using Hyper-V as the fallback execution core on Windows host, to avoid inability to run VMs at the price of reduced performance In addition, the following items were fixed and/or added:
  • Execution core: fixed single-stepping in certain circumstances (bug #17316)
  • User interface: video and audio recording can now be separately enabled
  • Audio/Video recording fixes and improvements
  • Audio: better support for attaching and detaching remote desktop connections
  • Serial port emulation fixes
  • Serial ports: allow changing the serial port attachment while a machine is running (bug #6115)
  • Networking: Added a workaround for older guests which do not enable bus mastering for the virtio PCI device
  • Networking: fixed wrong RCODE from DNS AAAA query with –natdnshostresolver1 (bug #18171)
  • iSCSI: In cases where there is no ambiguity, the LUN of an iSCSI target is automatically determined, for targets with non-zero LUNs
  • Transparently resize disk images when merging if possible
  • VBoxManage: support for DHCP options
  • Fixed VNC/RDP (bug #18153)
  • Guest Control: various new interfaces and features (see SDK documentation)
  • Linux hosts: support Linux 4.20 (thank you Larry Finger)
  • Solaris: installer fixes
  • Shared folders: performance improvements
  • Guest Additions: improved shared folder auto-mounting
  • Windows Guest Additions: fix incorrect tablet co-ordinate handling with recent Windows 10 builds
  • Linux Additions: fix for building vboxvideo on EL 7.6 standard kernel, contributed by Robert Conde (bug #18093)
  • Linux guests: support Linux 4.20 (thank you Larry Finger)
  • Linux guests: support VMSVGA in the Linux and X11 Additions
  • MacOS Guest Additions: initial support
  • OS/2 Guest Additions: initial shared folder support
  • BIOS fixes
  • ACPI: Up to four custom ACPI tables can now be configured for a VM

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CompatTelRunner.exe and 100% SSD utilization

Posted by essjae on August 7, 2017

This happened to me on Friday.  My system slowed way down and got very laggy.  Check Task Manager and Resource Monitor.  My C: SSD was at 100% utilization.

The culprit, compatTelRunner.exe.  This is apparently something that was used for Win7 compatibility checking for Win10.

I’ve got Win10 and this wasn’t an upgrade.

Anyway, you can disable this via task scheduler.

  1. Click Start, then type task scheduler and press Enter.
  2. On the Task Scheduler window, go to Task Scheduler Library\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience
  3. In Application Experience, find Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser.
  4. Right-click Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser and select Disable.
  5. Kill any comptelrunner.exe tasks running and your system should become usable again.
    1. Alternatively, just restart your computer

Posted in Computers, Win7, Windows, Windows 10 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Dell Broadcom USH Drivers

Posted by essjae on July 13, 2017

This always happens to be when I do a fresh install of Windows on a Dell notebook…

Dell’s got a page now with drivers for most of their recent computers:

Download herehttps://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln129590/download-the-broadcom-ush-drivers-and-resolve-unknown-device-issues?lang=en

These are the ones I use the most.  Windows 10 x64 drivers for the Latitude e6540, e7240, e7440, and Precision M4800, Latitude e7270

Posted in Computers, Dell, Win7, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 | Leave a Comment »

Windows middle-button scroll icon!

Posted by essjae on April 21, 2017

I was trying to find an icon for this to put in a document, but couldn’t find one with the circle and all 4 arrows, so I made my own.

In case anyone else needs one, here you go.

It’s not perfect, but good enough for internal tech docs.

Posted in General, Win7, Windows, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 5.1.16 Maintenance Release

Posted by essjae on March 8, 2017

Download here: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

This is a maintenance release.

The following items were fixed and/or added: Changelog https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog

  • VMM: don’t access the MSR_IA32_SMM_MONITOR_CTL MSR if dual-monitor treatment is not available (KVM workaround, bug #14965)
  • VMM: another fix for handling certain MSRs on ancient CPUs without VT-x support for MSR bitmaps
  • VMM: fixed VERR_SSM_LOAD_CPUID_MISMATCH errors when restoring a saved state with SMP guests on hosts without the CPUID/HTT bit set (bug #16428)
  • VMM: fixed a bug in call gate emulation
  • VMM: FWAIT instruction fix
  • VMM: fixed a sporadic guest hang under certain conditions
  • GUI: hide the mini-toolbar from the taskbar and the pager on certain X11 hosts
  • GUI: better error handling on the global settings / network / host-only / DHCP server settings
  • GUI: fixes for full-screen with multiple screens
  • Host-only Network: fixed host-only adapter creation issue preventing VirtualBox installation on Windows 10 hosts (bug #16379)
  • NAT network: fixed two potential crashes in the DHCP server
  • ICH9: fixed incorrect initialization of the primary bus for PCI bridges (5.1.14 regression)
  • Storage: LsiLogic fix for Windows 10
  • USB: fixed not being able to attach certain USB devices having invalid characters in the device strings (5.0.18 regression; bug #15956)
  • USB: several fixes for the USB/IP support (bug #16462)
  • VBoxSVC: fixed another crash during shutdown under rare circumstances
  • VBoxSVC: fixed a stack overflow on (Windows debug builds only; bug #16409)
  • OVF: when importing an appliance handle more than 10 network adapters if the OVA was created by VirtualBox (bug #16401)
  • OVF: fixes for exporting and importing appliances with many disks (bug #16402)
  • VBoxManage: fixed regression with modifyhd –resize (bug #16311)
  • rdesktop-vrdp: source code tarball fixes
  • Linux Installers: do not rebuild kernel modules unnecessarily (bug #16408)
  • Linux hosts: added an action for opening the VM manager window to the .desktop file
  • Linux hosts / guests: Linux 4.11 compile fixes (bug #16506)
  • Linux Additions: added vboxsf FS modules alias (bug #16404)
  • Linux Additions: fix for the shared folders kernel module to compile on Linux 4.10
  • Linux Additions: properly install the Linux kernel module override rule on distributions without /etc/depmod.d
  • Windows Additions: fixed a crash with recent Windows 10 builds if 3D is disabled (bug #15973)

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Hyper-V VMGuest.iso for older Windows OSes in Win10/2016

Posted by essjae on March 2, 2017

If you’re playing around with older OSes in the latest versions of Hyper-V, you’re missing one thing, the Integration Components (IC).

With Win10/Server2016 they no longer include this ISO as the current “supported” OSes all get their IC viaWindows Update.

You can get the IC from Hyper-V 2012/2012R2 Server, a free download, here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-hyper-v-server-2012-r2 ( to extract, you’ll need to mount the ISO, open the x:\sources\install.wim file with something like 7zip, browse to Windows\system32, and extract the vmguest.iso or install Hyper-V Server in a VM to get the vmguest.iso)

Or, if you’ve got a Windows 8/8.1/2012/2012R2 VM/system available with Hyper-V installed you’ll find it in the C:\windows\system32\ folder.

I’ve got a copy from Hyper-V 2012 R2 here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnbqFQxI6C6pidtRrLfIRLDSHKeYmw

Hyper-V 2008 R2 here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnbqFQxI6C6pio4TpkS4Yi9Pl0_Ejg 

Hyper-V 2008 here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnbqFQxI6C6pio4UYt3Jn_VLbrQs4w

No guarantees how long MS will allow it will stay up here, though it’s freely distributed with Hyper-V Server.

After installing the IC on OSes older than Windows Server 2012R2,  you will still see 2 unknown devices.  Per Microsoft, this is expected: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2925727/unknown-device-vmbus-in-device-manager-in-virtual-machine-for-avma

If you view the properties of these devices and check driver details, Hardware IDs or Compatible IDs, they will show the following:

  • vmbus\{4487b255-b88c-403f-bb51-d1f69cf17f87}
  • vmbus\{3375baf4-9e15-4b30-b765-67acb10d607b}
  • vmbus\{99221fa0-24ad-11e2-be98-001aa01bbf6e}
  • vmbus\{f8e65716-3cb3-4a06-9a60-1889c5cccab5}

These Virtual Devices (VDev) are provided for Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) to communicate with the host. AVMA is only supported on virtual machines running Windows Server 2012 R2 or later versions of operating systems.

Windows XP Pro running in Hyper-V. Device Manager shows the 2 unknown devices after the IC have been installed.

Update:  The Integration Components won’t install in the Home and Starter versions of Windows.

Posted in Hyper-V, Virtualization, W2012, Windows 10, Windows 2012, Windows 2012 r2, Windows 2016, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

No More Ransom Compiles List of Free Anti-ransomware Tools

Posted by essjae on December 16, 2016

“The No More Ransom project, a coalition of law enforcement and security companies, has expanded with 30 new members and added 32 new decryption tools for various ransomware variants,” Computerworld reports.

First launched earlier this year, the No More Ransom project is headed by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the National Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police force, Kaspersky Labs, and Intel Security. As of today, No More Ransom has announced that Bitdefender, Check Point, Emsisoft, and Trend Micro have joined as associate members. “Other companies, computer emergency response teams, information sharing and analysis centers, and industry associations have joined the project as supporting partners,” Computerworld says. “The organizations have contributed an additional 32 new decryption tools to the existing eight, which have so far been used by over 6,000 victims to successfully recover their ransomware-encrypted files.”

References:

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1949761-snap-no-more-ransom-launches-new-free-tools-california-adopts-pc-energy-rules

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3150817/security/ransomware-fighting-coalition-adds-members-and-decryption-tools.html#tk.rss_all

https://www.nomoreransom.org/decryption-tools.html

Posted in Computers, security | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Easy (lazy) way to get your serial number for your Dell, or other OEM system?

Posted by essjae on November 15, 2016

Need your serial number?  Laptop’s docked, or workstation not easily accessible?

Here’s an easy way to get your vendor serial number:

  1. Start a command prompt, click start, type “cmd”, hit enter
  2. type “wmic bios get serialnumber”

This will return your Dell, Lenovo, etc serial number.

Note: If you have a custom or home built system, you’re not likely to get an serial number, you’ll probably see something like  “system serial number” or “to be filled in by o.e.m”

wmic

Posted in Computers, Windows | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »