Testing a USB Windows Install disk with Hyper-V

Recently I was putting together a new Windows USB Install disk (if you are not familiar with the process for doing this – here is a good article: http://windowsitpro.com/windows-8/q-how-do-i-create-bootable-usb-stick-can-install-uefi-system).  I really wanted to use virtual machines to test the disk as I was putting together (I am using unattended installation files and various scripts) however you cannot boot a Hyper-V virtual machine off of a USB key.

So what could I do?

The answer is surprisingly simple.  If you setup a virtual hard disk in exactly the same way that you do a USB install disk – you can use it to install Windows.

The process that I followed was to:

  1. Create a 32GB dynamic VHDX file using Hyper-V
  2. Mount the VHDX file in the host operating system – and then use DISKPART to create a FAT32 partition on it (that is marked as active), as discussed in the article above
  3. Copy in the Windows install files (and my custom scripts and tweaks)
  4. Create a virtual machine with this 32GB VHDX as the first hard disk, and a blank VHDX as the second hard disk
  5. Boot the virtual machine and install the operating system

This allowed me to quickly and easily test my install scripts.  Once I had everything working the way I wanted – I just had to copy my files to a physical USB key and go.


NVIDIA MSI GTX 970 includes Witcher 3 game

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NVIDIA MSI GTX 970 includes The Witcher 3 game. If close I would prefer to deliver in person but if not sending is not a problem. In original packaging and unused, simply checked and tested to check its resale value in case there were any problems. No problems whatsoever. I had to take the PC back this week and I only got it this week, so brand new card.

Price and currency: £240

NVIDIA MSI GTX 970 includes Witcher 3 game

Amd Radeon 295X2

I am after a Radeon 295X2 if anyone has one for sale?

I’ve seen these go for around the £350 on various sites, so I’d be looking to pay that sort of figure. Ideally I’d be looking for one with a bit of warranty left.

If anyone is considering an upgrade and wants a quick sale please let me know!


Location: Bromley

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Amd Radeon 295X2

Media Centre reciever & Remote, WD Blue 750gb & Hitachi 500gb 2.5" HDD.

Hi Peeps,

I have a few odds and sods for sale after recent upgrades.

1st up is a Rii Mini ‘style’ Wireless compact keyboard/touchpad, good working order, comes with the dongle, im after £sold

Next is a Microsoft Media centre reciever, comes with a generic media remote (with green start button) im after £15 inc

Next is a WD Blue 750gb HDD, its a 2.5″ drive and was used to store my programs. Again in good working order. I’d like £30 inc postage.

Hitachi HGST 5K500 B-500 500GB (5400RPM)…

Media Centre reciever & Remote, WD Blue 750gb & Hitachi 500gb 2.5″ HDD.

Working Toward Universal Interoperability in IoT

Today’s Internet of Things landscape is a modern day Tower of Babel – a proliferation of communication protocols and data formats across the device ecosystem that make it difficult for devices to “speak the same language” and work together in harmony. This reality makes it difficult for us to realize the full potential of IoT.

Imagine how much less useful your mobile phone would be, for example, if it only worked with other phones from the same carrier. Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe once postulated that the value of any communication network is proportional to the square of the number of participants.

We’ll only realize the full value of IoT when all devices are able to participate in the same network, and our belief is that the best way to bring about this reality is through a community of industry stakeholders participating in an open, standards-based approach. No single company or consortium can deliver a complete solution and nobody wants to limit their choices to some particular walled-garden ecosystem. It’s imperative that companies and industry groups work together to deliver interoperable solutions that layer, connect, and complement one another.

Our participation in the AllSeen Alliance and AllJoyn support in Windows 10 was a significant step in this journey. AllJoyn is an open source software framework and set of services to enable interoperability among connected devices to create dynamic proximal networks. While AllJoyn addresses device discovery, interrogation, notification, and capabilities invocation in an open way, it doesn’t address interoperability at the network physical layer.

IoT devices need to be quick and easy to set up and then they just need to work; seamlessly connecting to your other devices and fading into the background of our daily lives, as they do their thing.  To achieve these goals, IoT devices need communications that are robust, reliable, and secure.  They need a communication infrastructure that has no single point of failure, one that is power efficient, and that doesn’t place an administrative burden on the network owner.  This is a vision shared by both Microsoft and the founders of the Thread Group, and that is why Microsoft has joined Thread alongside more than 100 other member organizations to advance interoperability and communication between IoT devices.

Thread is a communication layer that provides secure and efficient packet delivery using industry-standard protocols. Thread builds a resilient mesh network that can transport many different protocols and application standards. As such it will complement Microsoft’s existing implementation of the AllJoyn framework.  AllJoyn allows devices to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying communications protocols, which dovetails neatly with Thread, where Thread provides a robust and reliable mesh over which AllJoyn will be able to communicate using TCP or UDP.

Thread is designed to work over standard 802.15.4 radios and its native use of IPv6 means it can easily route messages to WiFi networks and the broader Internet. This simplifies how IoT devices in a Thread mesh network can interact with cloud services, such as the Microsoft Azure IoT services, to lower TCO and provide significantly greater value in commercial IoT deployments.

We look forward to working with Thread Group and its members to develop compelling technologies that deliver interoperable, secure and robust communications for the expanding world of IoT devices.


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Mountain Mods U2-UFO (OPTIMAX) Diamond Top meets the demand for users .
This case holds up to a whopping 10 – 5.25 devices and maintains superb airflow and adequate space for mods or water cooling. Two Power Supply ports allow for use of dual or redundant power supplies for the heaviest of loads. An acrylic plate covers the optional port. The U2-UFO is fabricated by skilled workers in the USA. It is made from thick aluminum making it lightweight,…