Tag: Tool

Windows File Recovery Tool WinFR

Recover Files on Windows using the Windows File Recovery Tool

Did you accidentally delete an important file, wiping a hard drive or partition, or need to restore corrupted files and data? We all have been there, with the newly released Microsoft Windows File Recovery tool you can recover and restore files on Windows. In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can recover and restore files on Windows using the Windows File Recovery tool. You can also use this tool to recover files from external drives and SD cards.

Accidentally deleted an important file? Wiped clean your hard drive? Unsure of what to do with corrupted data? Windows File Recovery can help recover your personal data.

For photos, documents, videos and more, Windows File Recovery supports many file types to help ensure that your data is not permanently lost.

Recovering from a camera or SD card? Try Signature mode, which expands beyond NTFS recovery and caters to your storage device needs. Let this app be your first choice for helping to find what you need from your hard drive, SSD (*limited by TRIM), USB drive, or memory cards.

I also want to make clear that this is no replacement for a backup, like Windows File History, Azure Backup, or products from third-party vendors. This tool is more of an emergency utility, you can restore files that were not backed up.

Requirements

To use the Windows File Recovery Tool, you have a couple of requirements.

  • You will need to run Windows 10, version 2004 (Build 19041), or later.
  • You can download the Windows File Recovery Tool from the Microsoft Store.
  • The source and destination drives must be different. If you don’t have a second drive on your computer, you can use a USB drive as a target for the restore. If you are storing form an SD card or external drive, you can use the internal system drive (often the C: drive) as a target.
  • The tool supports different file systems such as NTFS, ReFS, FAT, and exFAT. If you are restoring files from a non-NTFS file system, you will need to run the commands in signature mode using the /x parameter.


HCSDiag.exe - Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool

HCSDiag.exe – Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool

As you know, Hyper-V is not just a server virtualization software anymore. Today, you can find Hyper-V technology across different operating systems, products, and services, like Windows Defender Application Guard, Windows Sandbox, Hyper-V Containers, or many more. Thanks to Ben Armstrong from the Hyper-V team, I found out that there is a tool in Windows to troubleshoot these Hyper-V containers called hcsdiag.exe or Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool. The Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool (HCSDiag.exe) is available in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 if you have the Hyper-V roles or virtualization features enabled, and can be helpful to troubleshoot Hyper-V containers, virtual machines (VMs), Windows Sandbox, Windows Defender Application Guard, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and more.

HCSDiag.exe - Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool

HCSDiag.exe – Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool

Let’s have a look at the HCSDiag.exe, which you can find in C:\Windows\System32. It provides you with a couple of different commands and options. However, keep in mind that not all features work with every type of container. Some features are limited to scenarios where the VM is being used under the same user context as the host, where it is all about protecting the host from the guest and not the guest from the host like in the server version of Hyper-V.

To install Hyper-V, check out the following posts:

HCSDiag.exe

hcsdiag <command> [options…]

  • list
    Lists running containers and VMs.
  • exec [-uvm] <id> <command line>
    Executes a process inside the container.
  • console [-uvm] <id> [command line]
    Launches an interactive console inside the container.
  • read [-uvm] <id> <container file> [host file]
    Reads a file from the container and outputs it to standard output or a file.
  • write [-uvm] <id> [host file] <container file>
    Writes from standard input or a host file to a file in the container.
  • kill <id>
    Terminates a running container.
  • share [-uvm] [-readonly] [-asuser] [-port <portnumber>] <id> <host folder> <container folder>
    Shares a host folder into the container.
  • vhd [-uvm] <id> <host vhdx file> <container folder>
    Shares a virtual hard disk file into the container.
  • crash <id>
    Forces a crash of the virtual machine hosting the container (only works for containers hosted in a virtual machine).

I will give you some examples of how you can use hcsdiag.exe to interact with some of the Hyper-V containers. Now again, this focuses mostly on technologies like Windows Sandbox, Docker Hyper-V Containers, WSL 2, and similar features.

You can find more documentation on Hyper-V on Windows Server or Hyper-V on Windows 10 on Microsoft Docs.

List all containers and Hyper-V VMs

With the hcsdiag list command, you can create a list of containers and Hyper-V virtual machines running on the host. Including Windows Sandbox, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, and Application Guard.

hcsdiag.exe list

hcsdiag.exe list

Connect Console to Hyper-V containers and Windows Sandbox

You can also directly connect to the console of containers or the Windows Sandbox. Remember that it only works for Hyper-V containers where the guest is not protected from the host. Not for containers like Hyper-V VMs, where the guest is also protected from the host. If you need to remote into want console access or run commands against a Hyper-V VM from the host, check out PowerShell Direct for Windows VMs and hvc.exe for Linux VMs.

hcsdiag console connect

hcsdiag console connect

Here is an example where I am connected to a Windows Sandbox container using hcsdiag.exe.

hcsdiag Windows Sandbox

hcsdiag Windows Sandbox

But that also works with Dockers container (Hyper-V containers) running Windows and Linux.

hcsdiag Linux Container

hcsdiag Linux Container

HCSDiag console provides you with an interactive connection to interact with the container.

Additional HCSDiag.exe features and commands

The HCSDiag.exe also provides you with a couple of additional commands you can use. For example, the read command to read a file from the container and output it to the host or as a file to the host.

hcsdiag read

hcsdiag read

You can use the “share” command to share a host folder into the container or use “vhd” to mount a virtual disk file (VHD) file to a container. The hcsdiag kill command terminates a running container.

Conclusion

HCSDiag.exe – Hyper-V Host Compute Service Diagnostics Tool is excellent if you need to troubleshoot these Hyper-V containers, virtual machines (VMs), Windows Sandbox, Windows Defender Application Guard, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and more. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Nano Server Image Builder

Create a Nano Server using the Nano Server Image Builder

Last week Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 to the public and at the weekend Microsoft released the Nano Server Image Builder. I already wrote a few blog posts how you can create new Nano Server Images using PowerShell. The Nano Server Image Builder is a UI based wizard to create new Nano Server Images. The Nano Server Image Builder helps you create a custom Nano Server image and bootable USB media with a graphical interface. Based on the inputs you provide, it generates images for deployment and it also creates reusable PowerShell scripts that allow you to create installations of Nano Server.

The Nano Server Image Builder can help you with the following tasks:

  • Graphical UI to create Nano Server Images
  • Adding drivers
  • Choose Windows Server Edition
  • Adding roles and features
  • Adding drivers
  • Adding updates
  • Configuration of Network Settings
  • Configuration of Domain settings
  • Set Remoting Options
  • Create an ISO file to boot from DVD or BMC (remote connection like HP ILO)

First download and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) and the Nano Server Image Builder.

I will not go trough all the options but here is just quickly how you can use it.

First create a new Nano Server Image (this can be a VHD, VHDX or WIM file. If you want to use it on a USB drive or ISO save it as a WIM file)

Nano Server Image Builder

Make sure you have prepared everything like the Windows Server 2016 files and drivers etc

Prepapre Nano Server Files

Select the Windows Server 2016 source

Nano Server Sources

Set more options, choose packages (roles and feature), drivers and more.

Nano Server Packages and Drivers

You can also configure some advanced options

Nano Server Image Builder Advanced Configuration

You can now create the Nano Server Image. The Nano Server Image Builder will also show you the PowerShell command to create more Nano Servers.

Nano Server Image Builder PowerShell Creation

You can also use this tool to create a bootable USB drive or ISO using an existing Nano Server Image.

Select the Nano Server Image you have already created

Nano Server Image Builder WIM file

As an option you can also create a ISO file

Nano Server Image ISO

 

You can now boot from USB drive or ISO and you can get the following WinPE Image to boot and this copies the Nano Server Image to the server

Nano Server WinPe

If you want to know more, check out the blog post from Scott Johnson (Microsoft): Introducing the Nano Server Image Builder



Enable RSAT on Windows Server 2008 R2 for Hyper-V

Hyper-V R2 SP1

With the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) you can administrate the Server with remote consoles. Now you can download the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7, but if you are on Windows Server 2008 R2 you can just enable the tools per ServerManagerCmd.exe.

 
ServerManagerCmd -install RSAT-Hyper-V
ServerManagerCmd -install RSAT-Clustering

 



How to check MD5 File Checksum with Windows

File Checksum Integrity Verifier

This describes how you can check the MD5 hash of a file under Windows.

  1. First Download the File Checksum Integrity Verifier
  2. Now use the fciv.exe to get the hash:
     fciv.exe -add filename.exe

If you need more information you can get them here.

In newer versions of Windows you can also use PowerShell to get the file hash.

 
Get-FileHash