All posts by Nick Couraud

Windows 8.1 Hyper-V in Review


[Reposted from]

Working with developers, I have a love of client-side virtual environments. They allow for snapshots, easy portability of the development environment, and simple and unobtrusive replacement if and when someone blows up their development workstation. When Microsoft announced they were adding client-side Hyper-V in Windows 8, I had high hopes. However, the Windows 8 RTM release of client-side Hyper-V left a lot to be desired from a client-facing solution. It was merely a port of the server-side experience to the client. While it works well for me (I tend to run everything over RDP anyways), for our developers, lack of basic functionality like copy-paste or dynamic window sizing made it DOA.

Thankfully, in the Windows 8.1 (Blue) release, many of these shortcomings have been rectified! The virtual machine connection windows have been redone using the remote desktop engine which means that all of the features you didn’t have before (sound, 3D graphics acceleration, copy-paste), are now available without any workarounds. The full list of features supported in this enhanced session mode are: Continue reading Windows 8.1 Hyper-V in Review

How to Find Your OfficeWriter License Keys

First Things First: What do we have, and where is it?

If you’ve ever gone through a licensing review or license audit, you know that sometimes the hardest part of the whole process is information gathering. What keys do you have? Where are they installed? What is still under support, and what is not? Are we overpaying or over-provisioned? These questions and more can drive a sysadmin to insanity, especially if your records are less than perfect.

While no method can substitute for proper record keeping, I’m here to show you how to find any OfficeWriter product keys that may be installed on your servers. Basically, what I am looking to do is get a list of license keys, versions, and where they are.


SoftArtisans stores all of its license keys in HKCR:\Licenses\Softartisans. We could manually open RegEdit on all our machines and find the keys, then copy them out into an Excel spreadsheet, but that would take WAY too long, even for my development environment.

Before we begin scripting, I first got a list of all the machines I wanted to check. Continue reading How to Find Your OfficeWriter License Keys