BM-Bloggers

The blogs of Black Marble staff

My TFS session at Black Marble’s Tech Update is already out of date, there were announcements last night

At the ALM Summit yesterday Brian Harry made some major TFS and Visual Studio announcements

  • Git support for the hosted visualstudio.com, this allows you to choose if you want a centralised (existing TFS) source control repository or DVSC (using Git). There is also new tools with VS2012 to make using Git easier. Read more as to why Microsoft have made this addition to their offering in his blog. For those of you using on premises TFS you will have have to wait for the next major release of TFS, don’t expect to see this in a quarterly update.
  • Also he outline  what is to be in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2, loads of tool enhancements.

Have a look the posts to find out more

Renewing a Developer Licence on Windows 8/RT

Here's a quick tip if you have some side loaded apps on windows 8/RT and your developer licence has expired. When this happens the apps have a cross on them and are unable to open taking you to the store.

Problem

Error "Your developer license has expired. To continue to use this app, please renew your license"

Solution

Open PowerShell with admin privileges and execute the following command

Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistration

This will prompt you through the same dialog as when installing your first side loaded app. A developer Licence expires every month so a quick script to bring up this prompt could be handy.

Microsoft Surface File Size Limit with Explorer Fix

Today I ran into an issue on a win RT device when trying to download few folders from our SharePoint site using Explorer.

The Problem

This problem occurred when I used the ‘Open with Explorer’ interface in the Library Tools > Library pane to get the required folders, as I wanted to copy a few folders down from SharePoint onto my Surface.

One of the files failed to copy with the following error:

An unexpected error is keeping you from copying this folder. If you continue to receive this error, you can use the error code to search for help with this problem.

Error 0x800700DF: The file size exceeds the limit allowance and cannot be saved.

The file was only 90MB which seemed strange.

The Solution

Run REGEDIT as admin. One way of achieving this is to bring up the start menu type REGEDIT (type in full to make it appear in the apps search). Right click or pull down gesture to select it and click the run as admin option on the bottom app bar.

Then drill down into the following in REGEDIT

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters

Then just edit the FileSizeLimitInBytes parameter to the desired amount (it offers a decimal value) and restart your surface.

You should now be able to use Explorer with SharePoint to grab those files worth having!

Tom Testing His New Blog!

Hello, I’m currently setting up my first blog and this is a post to check its configured correctly. All being well this should go to my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts auto-magically .Flirt male

Hopefully I'll have some useful and interesting stuff coming soon around the MS Technologies and solutions to problems I come across in my role of Software Developer in Test, for now here's a picture (to make my post prettier) of the case I just bought for my gaming rig.

Fixing area permission issues when creating new teams in TFS 2012 after QU1 has been installed

[Updated 4 Fe 2013 See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2013/02/01/hotfixes-for-tfs-2012-update-1-tfs-2012-1.aspx for the latest on this ]

One of the side effects of the problems we had with TFS 2012 QU1 was that when we created a new team within a team project contributors had no rights to the teams default Area. The workaround was that we had to add these rights manually, remembering to add these as you would expect is something you forget all the time, so it would be nice to fix the default.

The solution it turns out is straight forward, any new team gets the area rights inherited from the default team/root of the team project.

  1. Open the TFS web based control panel 
  2. Select the Team Project Collection
  3. Select the Team Project
  4. Select the ‘Areas’
  5. Select the root node (has the same name as the Team Project)
  6. Using the drop down menu to the left of the checkbox, select security
  7. Add the Contributor TFS Group and grant it the following rights

image

These settings will be used as the template for any new teams created with the Team Project.

Looking forward to the Imagine Cup Hackathon

It’s a busy week this week and I’m really looking forward to being involved with the Imagine Cup Hackathon for the North East Region this Friday and Saturday (1st and 2nd February).

Black Marble have a long history of supporting the UK Imagine Cup teams and it’s great to be able to continue that support. We’ll be in The Life Science Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne in force this week. Steve Spencer, Richard Fennell, Robert Hogg and myself will be accompanied by Riccardo Viglianisi and Josh Whittle from Black Marble.

We’ll be proving help and support to teams from the North East alongside Andy Westgarth, MVP and founder of NEBytes, who has worked hard alongside Sunderland Software City and Steve Spencer to promote the Imagine Cup across north eastern schools, universities and colleges. We’ll also be joined by Black Marble event regular Gary Short and members of last year’s North Eastern Region winning teams.

That makes a total of five Microsoft MVP’s, hopefully five members of last years winning teams and other enthusiastic supporters (that would be me!). If you are already involved in the Imagine Cup in the North East we’ll see you there. If not, head over to the Imagine Cup site, or see if your university, college or school is already involved for more information on how to take part. You can register to attend the hackathon on its eventbrite page.

More UK TechDays on System Center 2012 and Windows 8

Our good friends in the UK TechDays team have announced another raft of events in their fantastic IT Camps series. I’m hoping to be there for at least on of them and if you’re at all interested in Windows 8 or System Center 2012 I cant recommend them highly enough.

No slides, no marketing – just technical content, demo driven with as much audience participation as they can manage. Everyone I’ve spoken to at previous camps has enjoyed them and learned a great deal.

I’ll be helping with the server camp in York on the 5th of March and you might see me at other camps too.

Enough of the gushing plug, here are the dates and venues, with links so you can register:

Date Event Location
12th February 2013 Windows 8 Glasgow
13th February 2013 Windows Server 2012 - Virtualising Servers Glasgow
14th February 2013 Windows 8 Camp Glasgow
19th February 2013 System Center 2012 Manchester
21st February 2013 System Center 2012 Birmingham
5th March 2013 Windows Server 2012 – Virtualising Servers York
6th March 2013 System Center 2012 York
17th April 2013 Windows 8 Southampton

 

If you want to know more about forthcoming Techdays keep an eye on the main events page.

My session today at Modern Jago

Thanks  to everyone who came along to the Microsoft event today at Modern Jago. I hope you all found it useful. I got feedback from a few people that my tip on not trusting company WIFI when trying to do remote debugging of Windows RT devices was useful (or any other type of device for that matter).

I have seen too many corporate level Wifi implementation, and a surprising number of home ASDL/Wifi routers, doing isolation between WiFi clients. So each client can see the internet fine, but not any another Wifi devices. My usual solution is as I did today, use a MiFi or phone as a basic Wifi hub, they are both too dumb to try anything as complex as client isolation. Or look on your Wifi hub to check if you can disable client isolation.

More on HDD2 boot problems with my Crucial M4-mSATA

I have been battling my Crucial M4-mSATA 256Gb SDD for a while now. The drive seems OK most of the time, but if for any reason my PC crashes (i.e. a blue screen, which I have found is luckily rare on Windows8) the PC will not start-up giving a ‘HDD2 cannot be found’ error during POST.

I had not had this problem for a few months, so though it was fixed, then BANG yesterday Windows crashed out the blue (I was writing a document in Word whilst listening to music, not exactly a huge load for Core i7) and I hit the start-up problem. Of course I had been working on the document all afternoon and was relying on auto-save, not doing a real Ctrl S save to a remote network drive, so I expected to have lost everything.

A few attempts at a reboot, using tricks that worked in the past got me nowhere. After a bit more digging in forums I found this new process suggested as a ‘fix’ from Crucial

  1. Plug the system into the mains, then start the system you will get the disk not found error, go into the BIOS settings
  2. Leave the PC running, but doing nothing for 20 minutes. As you are in BIOS there will be no activity for the SDD, this gives it a chance to do a self test and sort itself out.
  3. Switch off the system, unplug from the mains and pull the battery out for 30 seconds
  4. Plug the system back in and it hopefully it will restart without error
  5. If not repeat step 1 – 4 until you have had enough.

Well this process got me going, and it does sort of fit with the procedures I had tried before, they all gave the SDD time to self test after a crash. However, I really needed a better fix, this is my main PC it needs to be reliable. So I checked to see if there was any new firmware releases from Crucial, and it seems there is. I had 04MF and now there is 04MH. Version 04MH includes the following changes:

  • Improved robustness in the event of an unexpected power loss. Significantly reduces the incidence of long reboot times after an unexpected power loss.
  • Corrected minor status reporting error during SMART Drive Self Test execution (does not affect SMART attribute data).
  • Streamlined firmware update command for smoother operation in Windows 8.
  • Improved wear leveling algorithms to improve data throughput when foreground wear leveling is required.

So well worth a try it would seem. Only issue is my SSD is bitlockered, was this going to be a problem? It takes ages to remove it and reapply it.

Well I thought I would risk the update without changing bitblocker (as I had now got the important data off the SDD). So I

  1. Downloaded the Windows 8 firmware tool and current release from Crucial.
  2. Ran it, it warned about backups, and BIOS encryption (which had me a bit worried, but what the hell!)
  3. Accepted the license
  4. Selected my SDD and told it to upgrade
  5. And waited……..
  6. And waited…….., the issue is the tool does not really give you much indication you actually hit the update button, and disk activity is also very patchy. Basically the PC looks to have hung.
  7. However, after about 5 minutes the application came back, tried to run again as I had pressed update twice and promptly crashed. However, it had done the upgrade.
  8. I re-ran the tool and it told me the drive was now at 04MH

I rebooted the PC and all seemed OK, but only time will tell.