Remapping the temporary drive on an Azure VM

There might be explicit requirements from an application standpoint which requires the D: drive to be available. While re-mapping your application to use another drive may be a very simplistic suggestion, it might not be viable in a certain scenarios. If you have used an Azure Virtual Machine, it is made clear in various articles that the temporary drive i.e. the D: drive should not be used. In this blog post, I shall show you how to re-claim that the letter D from your Azure Virtual Machine and assign that to another drive that might be craving for this particular letter of the English alphabet.

Azure VM Disk Management The first thing that you will need to do is assign a new data disk or an existing data disk to your Azure VM if you do not have a spare disk. This can be accomplished easily from following the steps mentioned here.

Once you have initialized the disks, your disk management view should be something similar to what you see in Screenshot 1. The temporary disk shows that it hosts the Page File. Remapping this first requires you to move the page file to a new disk or some other data disk that was already present on the server. You will have to reboot the machine for the  changes to take effect.

Once the machine is back up, change the drive letter mapping from Disk Management.

Change the page file settings to use the temporary storage but this time the drive letter would be a different one. Once you reconfigure the page file settings, you will need to reboot the virtual machine again.

When the virtual machine is finally online again, you will have your desired drive letter mapping. As you can see in Screenshot 2, the page file and my temporary storage is now the Z: drive where as the D: drive is assigned to a data drive.

Azure VM Page File Changed

Say CHEESE Azure Win 8.1 VM

In my last few posts on Azure, I had talked about creating a virtual machine on the Microsoft Azure platform. I configured a Virtual Machine with Windows Enterprise 8.1. Then I configured the VM to use my Microsoft Account. Once my configurations were done, I decided to use this as a base image for my future trysts with Azure. This post is about how I created the image for the Windows 8.1 Enterprise machine that I had setup earlier.

An image is a .vhd file that you can use as a template to create a new virtual machine. An image is a template because it doesn’t have specific settings like a configured virtual machine, such as the computer name and user account settings.

You have two options before you create the image of the Windows 8.1 Enterprise VM.

1. Sysprep the machine using the steps mentioned here

2. Follow the steps mentioned below without performing the sysprep

The “Capture the virtual machine” dialog is available under Virtual Machines –> Instances tab in the Azure Management portal. What you will get is a straightforward looking window with three options to be filled in.

image

Check the box “I have run Sysprep on the virtual machine” only if you have done Step #1 mentioned above. If not, leave it unchecked. Since I had already run a sysprep on the machine, I will use this option.

Clicking on OK registers the image. If the image is created successfully, the virtual machine will be deleted. The image is now ready to be used as a template to create a virtual machine running Windows 8.1. To do this, you’ll create a custom virtual machine by using the From Gallery method and select the image you just created.

In the “Choose an Image” page, you will chose “My Images”. Select the Image which was registered (see Screenshot 2). The image name will be same as the image name provided when you created the image (see Screenshot 1).

image

The rest of the configuration steps are the same as explained in my previous blog post.

Keep in mind that when you create a VM using the wizard with a pre-configured custom image, the VHD gets created with a random alphanumeric name. In my case, I had a VHD named “btquhzrp.xkg201406071118490885”!

References:

Manage Disks and Images

Capturing an Image

Microsoft Virtualization Support Policy

We do work on a lot of environments which have VMWare Virtualization. The first thing that needs to be done is to find the version of the ESX in use in the environment.

VMware ESX Update

Build Number

ESX 3.5.0 Update 1

64607

ESX 3.5.0 Update 2

110268

ESX 3.5.0 Update 3

123630

ESX 3i (3.5.0) Update 3

123629

If you trying to seek Microsoft CSS support for a non-Microsoft virtualized environment, then you need to be aware of the Virtualization Support Policy:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615

Also if you want to find out if your virtualized environment is supported, then you can use the Support Policy Wizard.

Here is link for a step-by-step guide to find out the ESX versions and builds:

http://www.techhead.co.uk/how-to-determine-the-vmware-esx-or-esxi-build-version

Reference articles:

Determining detailed build number information for VMware ESX 4.0.x hosts

Determining detailed build number information for VMware ESX 3.0.x and 3.5.x hosts