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Rules to Better Presentation PC's - 10 Rules

  1. Do you know how to setup a Boot to VHD Image?

    Using Boot to VHD is very similar to dual-booting your machine, except that you do not have to partition your hard drive. It also has performance benefits over using a Hyper-V server for presentations.


    • The presentation computer running Windows
    • A SysPreped VHD image to be deployed onto the presentation computer
    • Copy a SysPreped VHD image to the laptop to be used for the presentation.
    • Open an Administrative command prompt.
    • Type:
    bcdedit /copy {default} /d “Demo-NameOfDemo”

    fig1 creatingentry
    Creating the entry using BCDEdit shows your GUID
    Figure - Creating the entry using BCDEdit shows your GUID 4. Type:

    bcdedit /set <GUID>  device vhd=[D:]\VM-DEV-SharePoint_2010_Public_Beta.vhd

    D:** is the drive the VHD is located and **VM-DEV-SharePoint2010Public_Beta.vhd is the location of your VHD file. Make sure you replace *<GUID>\* with the GUID you got in the previous step. 5. Type:

    bcdedit /set <GUID>  osdevice vhd=[D:]\VM-DEV-SharePoint_2010_Public_Beta.vhd

    D:** is the drive the VHD is located and **VM-DEV-SharePoint2010Public_Beta.vhd is the location of your VHD file. Make sure you replace *<GUID>\* with the GUID you got in the previous step. 6. Type:

    bcdedit /set <GUID> detecthal on

    fig2 addguids
    Each time you run a BCDEdit command it should return
    Figure - Each time you run a BCDEdit command it should return "The operation completed successfully" 7. Reboot the computer and now you will have the option to choose between Windows 7 and the new Boot to VHD image.

  2. Do you put the VHD image in a standard folder name with instructions?

    When you do a lot of presenting on your laptop it is good to have a standard location to keep your VHD and instructions.

    • Give the VHD the name of what the demo is for and a version number for the image. **Example: ** SharePoint2010_v2.vhd
    • Use “RC” or “Beta” on the filename if your software is an RC or Beta Version Example: SharePoint2010RC_v1.vhd
    • Store the VHD Image in a folder called DataVMs\VHDName\VHDName.vhd Example: D:\DataVMs\SharePoint2010v2 \SharePoint2010v2.vhd
    • Keep an instructions.txt in the same folder as the VHD with any instructions for the VHD and the username and password to log into the VHD. Example: D:\DataVMs\SharePoint2010_v2 \instructions.txt
  3. Do you know what features to install on a Windows Server VHD?

    When you setup a new Windows Server VHD it will be lacking a few components that need to be installed so it can function as a personal computer as well as a presentation computer.

    1. Open Server Manager
    2. Click on Add Features
    3. Install Desktop Experience and Wireless LAN Service

    If you want to enable themes:

    1. Open services.msc and Enable the Themes service
    2. Then go to the Start Menu and type Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows
    3. Put the radio button in Adjust for best performance
  4. Do you know that the VHD file will expand to the size of the partition inside the VHD when you boot into it?

    When preparing a Boot to VHD image it is important to know the size of the partition which is setup inside the VHD file – you should make a note of this when you create the VHD image. The reason for this is because the VHD file will expand to the size of the partition INSIDE the VHD.

    For Example:

    • A Windows installation called WindowsInVHD inside the VHD file has a partition size of 60GB.
    • It is copied to the D:\ drive of a laptop called Frog and only takes up 10GB of space (as it is a dynamic expanding VHD).
    • When you boot into WindowsInVHD (the VHD sitting on Frog’s D:\ drive), the VHD file expands to 60GB - the partition size of ** WindowsInVHD. **
    • This means you will need at least 60GB of free space on Frog’s D:\ drive free

    If you do not have free space equal to the size of the partition inside the VHD image, you will get a blue screen telling you that you are out of hard drive space.

  5. Do you know what standard software to install on VHD?

    When setting up a computer in a corporate environment – you would usually have a standard image with all the software everyone uses already installed. This isn’t the case for VHD’s. Install the following software:

    • SnagIt (Screen Capture)
    • O365 Apps
    • TeamViewer
  6. Do you install your Video Card Driver on your VHD?

    Windows will usually detect your video card driver during setup and will allow you to use the maximum resolution on your monitor. The problem is when you plug an external screen or projector – you will not be able to run 2 monitors at once, which isn’t very helpful when you are presenting.

    Look up your laptop model on the manufactures website and determine what type of video card is in your laptop (NVidia, ATI, Intel) – then go to their site and download the latest driver for your card.

  7. Do you test your presentation VHD on a projector beforehand?

    You don’t want to run the risk of discovering 5 minutes before a presentation that your VHD image is for some reason not working with a projector. Always test connecting your PC to a projector long before the presentation.

  8. Do you install SharePoint Designer when using a SharePoint VHD?

    SharePoint designer is a handy program to be able to show off when presenting SharePoint. Make sure you install the version of SharePoint designer which matches the version of SharePoint you are presenting.

    Bad Example: Installing SharePoint Designer 2007 on a SharePoint 2010 VHD.

    Good Example: Installing SharePoint Designer 2010 on a SharePoint 2010 VHD.

  9. Do you know how to setup your Outlook to send but not receive?

    When using your presentation computer you may want to still be able to send emails but not want to download your entire Exchange mailbox to your Boot2VHD image. This is especially relevant for people with large mailboxes.

    Here is how you do it:

    1. Open Outlook and create a new Exchange account:

    Figure - Tick manually configure server settings

    1. Enter your server name and username, but un-tick Use Cached Exchange Mode :

    Figure - Un-tick Use Cached Exchange Mode

    1. Finish the setup and then open Outlook
    2. Configure your Send / Receive Groups:

    Figure - Click Send / Receive | Click Send / Receive Groups | Click Define Send / Receive Groups

    1. Now we can choose the parts of our mailbox we want to synced to our PC. The following options are recommended:

      • Untick Receive Mail Items
      • Tick Download offline address book
      • Tick the Outbox folder
      • Tick the Contacts folder
      • Tick the Sent Items folder,
      • and select Download headers only

    Figure - Untick "Receive mail items" | Tick "Sent Items", "Contacts" and "Outbox" | Download only headers for "Sent Items"

    1. When back in the main Outlook window click Send / Receive All Folders and this will sync your sent items and contacts which will now be available offline

    Suggestion to the Microsoft Outlook Team:

    • Give us a "Sync last x weeks" for each folder
    • Give us a "Work in Minimal Mode" that does the above
  10. Do you know how to remove old Boot to VHD entries?

    When you have finished with the VHD for the presentation you will want to remove the boot entries that were created for the VHD.

    1. Open an administrative command prompt
    2. View all the boot entries by typing:

    fig6 listbootentries
    The list Boot entries after running bcdedit
    Figure - The list Boot entries after running bcdedit ** 3. Using the **identifier from the previous step you can now run the following command to delete the entry:

    bcdedit /delete  {identifier}

    fig7 deletingthebootentry
    The boot entry has now been deleted
    Figure - The boot entry has now been deleted

    You can now delete or move your VHD file and you will not get any errors when booting your laptop.

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