Friday, October 17, 2014

What is DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management)?

DISM is short for Deployment Image Servicing and Management. It can be used in new deployments as well as repairing the local image (the OS on the laptop or desktop). It is a very useful tool to know.

It works on many Windows platforms:
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 81
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
Also review this link for Windows 7 related information:

Good news is it is installed with Windows 8.1 and is found here typically:

If you search for it you may find it in several folders.
These are listed in my Windows 8.1 Professional (x64).

How do you use it?
It is a command line tool and you need to bring up command processor with administrative privileges
(Run As Administrator) also know as elevated mode. If you are unable to run cmd.exe in elevated mode like it happenned to me follow this link for the procedure to run in elevated mode.
Now type dism /? after the C:\ prompt. You get the help file as shown and you get to display the file
details and its usage.
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>dism /?
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.3.9600.17031

DISM.exe [dism_options] {Imaging_command} []
DISM.exe {/Image: | /Online} [dism_options]
         {servicing_command} []

  DISM enumerates, installs, uninstalls, configures, and updates features
  and packages in Windows images. The commands that are available depend
  on the image being serviced and whether the image is offline or running.

  /Get-MountedImageInfo   - Displays information about mounted WIM and VHD
  /Get-ImageInfo          - Displays information about images in a WIM or VHD
  /Commit-Image           - Saves changes to a mounted WIM or VHD image.
  /Unmount-Image          - Unmounts a mounted WIM or VHD image.
  /Mount-Image            - Mounts an image from a WIM or VHD file.
  /Remount-Image          - Recovers an orphaned image mount directory.
  /Cleanup-Mountpoints    - Deletes resources associated with corrupted
                            mounted images.

  /Capture-CustomImage    - Captures customizations into a delta WIM file on a
                            WIMBoot system. Captured directories include all
                            subfolders and data.
  /Get-WIMBootEntry       - Displays WIMBoot configuration entries for the speci
fied disk volume.
  /Update-WIMBootEntry    - Updates WIMBoot configuration entry for the specifie
d disk volume.
  /List-Image             - Displays a list of the files and folders in a
                            specified image.
  /Delete-Image           - Deletes the specified volume image from a WIM file
                            that has multiple volume images.
  /Split-Image            - Splits an existing .wim file into multiple
                            read-only split WIM (SWM) files.
  /Export-Image           - Exports a copy of the specified image to another
  /Append-Image           - Adds another image to a WIM file.
  /Capture-Image          - Captures an image of a drive into a new WIM file.
                            Captured directories include all subfolders and
  /Apply-Image            - Applies an image.
  /Get-MountedWimInfo     - Displays information about mounted WIM images.
  /Get-WimInfo            - Displays information about images in a WIM file.
  /Commit-Wim             - Saves changes to a mounted WIM image.
  /Unmount-Wim            - Unmounts a mounted WIM image.
  /Mount-Wim              - Mounts an image from a WIM file.
  /Remount-Wim            - Recovers an orphaned WIM mount directory.
  /Cleanup-Wim            - Deletes resources associated with mounted WIM
                            images that are corrupted.

  /Online                 - Targets the running operating system.
  /Image                  - Specifies the path to the root directory of an
                            offline Windows image.

  /English                - Displays command line output in English.
  /Format                 - Specifies the report output format.
  /WinDir                 - Specifies the path to the Windows directory.
  /SysDriveDir            - Specifies the path to the system-loader file named
  /LogPath                - Specifies the logfile path.
  /LogLevel               - Specifies the output level shown in the log (1-4).
  /NoRestart              - Suppresses automatic reboots and reboot prompts.
  /Quiet                  - Suppresses all output except for error messages.
  /ScratchDir             - Specifies the path to a scratch directory.

For more information about these DISM options and their arguments, specify an
option immediately before /?.

    DISM.exe /Mount-Wim /?
    DISM.exe /ScratchDir /?
    DISM.exe /Image:C:\test\offline /?
    DISM.exe /Online /?

You can get more information as shown in the examples above.

If some of your files are corrupted and causing problems you can use this tool to see which of them are corrupted and also heal them using uncorrupted versions.


How to run command processor in elevated mode?

Normally it should be very easy. Search for cmd in the search charm. In the drop-down menu right click 'Command Prompt' and from the drop-down menu click 'Run as administrator'.

If that does not start cmd.exe in elevated mode you may follow the next procedure. Due to some bugs the elevated mode does not start this way.
Click Cntrl+Alt+Del to bring up the Task Manager screen as shown:

Click File | Run new Task (by default the cmd is chosen)
The Create new task window is displayed with cmd as the task as shown.

Place check mark for 'Create this task with administrtive privileges'
The command processor in the elevated mode is displayed. Now you can carry out all thingss that need elevated mode.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How do you create a compressed file in Windows 8.1?

Normally (as in Windows 7 or Windows XP) it should be real easy requring just a right click on the file you want to save as a compressed file.

It is (sometimes) not that easy in Windows 8.1. The reason being the right click produces a dud if there is something wrong. Did I say a bug? or corrupted file? Nothing happens, as in my case. The CMD.exe cannot be run in adminstrative mode since the same thing happens as a with a right click.

What do you do now?

As any sane person would do, trash your laptop/desktop/tablet/phone/xxx or Microsoft. I am kidding.

The solution I found is the following:
You need to read the next two posts to prepare yourself:

Having read the above open you folder which contains the file or folder you want to compress as shown:
Now you can see you can create a zip file. Click on New Item to create a zip file.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How do you open File Explorer in Windows 8.1?

In Windows 8.1 (Professional in this case but should be the same in other versions) what used to be Start in Windows 7 has been replaced by the Windows logo which takes you to the Metro mode of Windows 8.1.

If you right click the logo you bring up a pop-up menu as shown.

If you click the File Explorer (no matter click, right click or left click), nothing happens, the desktop display is refreshed.

How do you open the File Explorer?

Open the Search charm and type in File Explorer. The File Explorer appears in the Search as shown.

Right click the File Explorer click Pin to Taskbar in the pop-menu shown here.

Now a folder icon is added to the Taskbar as shown.

Now right click the folder icon (File Explorer) to display the pop-up menu from which you can access the folders.

A related question is in the following link:


What is SQL Server PowerShell provider and how do you use it?

SQL Server PowerShell provider enables you easily and interactively look at all objects much like you look at all the objects in a folder/file system.  You can use the command line to traverse paths in a SQL Server.

The server objects available as folders when you use Windows Power Shell are:
SQL Policy
SQL Registration
Data Collection
SQL Server Integration Services
SQL Server Analysis Services

In order to acces objects on SQL Server you need to run SQLPS.exe which you find in the following directory:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\PowerShell\Modules>dir
 Volume in drive C is TI10672700E
 Volume Serial Number is 16FB-D230

 Directory of C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\PowerShell\M

07/06/2014  06:33 PM              .
07/06/2014  06:33 PM              ..
07/06/2014  06:37 PM              SQLASCMDLETS
07/06/2014  06:40 PM              SQLPS
               0 File(s)              0 bytes
               4 Dir(s)  880,764,026,880 bytes free

When you run SQLPS by double-clicking the file you spawn a new scripting shell 

Microsoft SQL Server PowerShell
Version 11.0.2100.60
Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved.

which you can use with SQL Server as shown:
In this shell you can access the previously mentioned SQL Objects much like you would acces folders/files using you DOS commands as shown here.
PS SQLSERVER:\> cd SQLRegistration
PS SQLSERVER:\SQLRegistration> cd..
PS SQLSERVER:\> cd Utility

How do we access the Server databases?
In order to do this you have to know the SQL Server Instance(s) and then the objects can be accessed as shown here:
Get the instance name:


PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\LocalHost> dir
Instance Name
Let us say we want all the objects on the AdventureWorks 2012 database on this instance.
You can find them as shown here:
PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\LocalHost\RegencyPark\Databases\AdventureWorks2012>

That's all for now.


Accessing PowerShell in SSMS go here:

How do you access folder / file properties in Windows 8.1?

In earlier versions of Windows you would right click a file or a folder to access the properties via the drop-down menu.

But in Windows 8.1 (in my case Windows 8.1 Professional 64bit), a right click would just refresh the Windows Desktop and nothing happens). I believe this is not how it should be and here is a way to look at the folder / file properties.

In Windows 8.1 open the File Explorer as shown.

Click open the folder for which you want to review the properties. In this case Desktop for example.
The Window for Desktop opens with its own ribbon as shown.

Choose the folder or file (mysorian in this case) and access its properties via the Properties toolbar item.

It was so easy in earlier versions. I wish the earlier way of access is restored.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Does iPad Air support multi-user logins?

Having mulit-users for a tablet/iPad type devices is a good feature to have. Of course you can sell more iPads if only one user is targetted, but is it prudent? Not if you want your minor to have his own. It is best if he/she can share with an adult who can oversee if some mischief is going to take place.

Also there is the question of economics? single earner families with more than one child for example.

iPad Air does not allow you to share the iPad with another user. Another user can use but the identity will be that of yours. This has caused some embarassments in sending out wrong information when the iPad was used by two with the profile of a single user.

Only Android and Windows OS has the capability of mainatining multiple users and their profiles. Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (using Android OS); Nokia and Toshiba tablets that use Windows OS support multiple users.

There are some apps for iPad that can create multiple users. But this is only for certain mail applications etc. It cannot be truly called Multiple-user support.

Also read here:
More scenarios for multi-users from here,
"When you're talking about a tablet, that strict single-user assumption breaks down (Apple's unspoken message appears to be that everyone should have their own iOS device). Many families share one (or more) tablet(s) among some, if not all, family members. In education settings, multiple students may share a tablet during a single class or the same tablets may be used by different students in each class session. In business, teams may share a pool of tablets
that each user can check one out as needed for meetings or presentations - a technique that can be used in a wide range of professions such as as sales, marketing, healthcare, teaching or training, law enforcement and field support. Even when tablets aren't explicitly shared, students or workers may need to let someone else use a tablet to add content, review work or browse information."