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The source files could not be found.

I have several Windows 2012 VMs in a cloud environment and discovered I am unable to install certain roles / features. Attempting to do so fails with an "The source files could not be found." error. This somewhat misleading messages indicates Windows is looking for the OS install media. Most of the solutions on the Interwebz for working around this error describe how to set the server with an alternate path to the install media ...

Testing A WINS Server

On a CIFS/SMB domain the WINS service is critical for proper function [some things use WINS, some things use DNS, it is terribly confusing, but it is what it is]. DNS is relatively easy to test and you will likely know right away if it isn't working. But before adding those new DCs to your dhcpd.conf file -

option netbios-name-servers 192.168.1.78, 192.168.1.79, 192.168.1.65;

... it would be nice to be equally confident WINS is operating as expected.

Windows "Uptime"

Windows XP and its brethren lack an uptime command. Yeah, the reason the probably obvious, but sometimes it would be nice to know. A user says they restarted their workstation... but most user's [including recent college graduates] don't know the difference between logging out and restarting. So how to know how long a workstation has been running?

explorer.exe /separate

The runas tool in Microsoft Windows serves the same purpose as the sudo tool on Open [or at least "open"] platforms. With runas you can execute commands in alternative security contexts. Only some tools in Microsoft Windows aren't normal; that is if you attempt to run them via runas.... often times nothing at all happens. One very significant example of this behavior is the Control Panel (control.exe).

Discovering DLL Version With pefile

A Microsoft KB article claimed that if a specific DLL was at least a certain version that a bug reported by one of my users would be resolved. But the user was using their computer and I dislike interrupting people's work (I know how annoying it is when someone interrupts me). No problem; I can just grab the named DLL off their machine over the network and copy it to my home directory. But I'm not running Windows and all file tells me is that the DLL is a 32-bit PE file.

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