Tag Archives: respond

Hyper-V Quick Tip: Safely Shutdown a Guest with Unresponsive Mouse

Q: A virtual machine running Windows under Hyper-V does not respond to mouse commands in VMConnect. How do I safely shut it down?

A: Use a combination of VMConnect’s key actions and native Windows key sequences to shut down.

Ordinarily, you would use one of Hyper-V’s various “Shut Down” commands to instruct a virtual machine to gracefully shut down the guest operating system. Otherwise, you can use the guest operating system’s native techniques for shutting down. In Windows guests running the full desktop experience, the mouse provides the easiest way. However, any failure of the guest operating system renders the mouse inoperable. The keyboard continues to work, of course.

Shutting Down a Windows Guest of Hyper-V Using the Keyboard

Your basic goal is to reach a place where you can issue the shutdown command.

Tip: Avoid using the mouse on the VMConnect window at all. It will bring up the prompt about the mouse each time unless you disable it. Clicking on VMConnect’s title bar will automatically set focus so that it will send most keypresses into the guest operating system. You cannot send system key combinations or anything involving the physical Windows key (otherwise, these directions would be a lot shorter).

  1. First, you need to log in. Windows 10/Windows Server 2016 and later no longer require any particular key sequence to bring up a login prompt — pressing any key while VMConnect has focus should show a login prompt. Windows 8.1/Windows Server 2012 R2 and earlier all require a CTRL+ALT+DEL sequence prior to making log in available. For those, click Action on VMConnect’s menu bar, then click Ctrl+Alt+Delete. If your VMConnect session is running locally, you can press the CTRL+ALT+END sequence on your physical keyboard instead. However, that won’t work within a remote desktop session.

    You can also press the related button on VMConnect’s button bar immediately below the text menu. It’s the button with three small boxes. In the screenshot above, look directly to the left of the highlighted text.
  2. Log in with valid credentials. Your virtual machine’s network likely does not work either, so you may need to use local credentials.
  3. Use the same sequences from step 1 to send a CTRL+ALT+DEL sequence to the guest.
  4. In the overlay that appears, use the physical down or up arrow key until Task Manager is selected, then press Enter. The screen will look different on versions prior to 10/2016 but will function the same.
  5. Task Manager should appear as the top-most window. If it does, proceed to step 6.
    If it does not, then you might be out of luck. If you can see enough of Task Manager to identify the window that obscures it, or if you’re just plain lucky, you can close the offending program. If you want, you can just proceed to step 6 and try to run these steps blindly.
    1. Press the TAB key. That will cause Task Manager to switch focus to its processes list.
    2. Press the up or down physical arrow keys to cycle through the running processes.
    3. Press Del to close a process.
  6. Press ALT+F to bring up Task Manager’s file menu. Press Enter or N for Run new task (wording is different on earlier versions of Windows).
  7. In the Create new task dialog, type 
    shutdown /s /t 0. If your display does not distinguish, that’s a zero at the end, not the letter O. Shutting down from within the console typically does not require administrative access, but if you’d like, you can press Tab to set focus to the Create this task with administrative privileges box and then press the Spacebar to check it. Press Enter to run the command (or Tab to the OK button and press Enter).

Once you’ve reached step 7, you have other options. You can enter cmd to bring up a command prompt or powershell for a PowerShell prompt. If you want to tinker with different options for the shutdown command, you can do that as well. If you would like to get into Device Manager to see if you can sort out whatever ails the integration services, run devmgmt.msc (use the administrative privileges checkbox for best results).

Be aware that this generally will not fix anything. Whatever prevented the integration services from running will likely continue. However, your guest won’t suffer any data loss. So, you could connect its VHDX file(s) to a healthy virtual machine for troubleshooting. Or, if the problem is environmental, you can safely relocate the virtual machine to another host.

More Hyper-V Quick Tips

How Many Cluster Networks Should I Use?

How to Choose a Live Migration Performance Solution

How to Enable Nested Virtualization

Have you run into this issue yourself? Were you able to navigate around it? What was your solution? Let us know in the comments section below!

Teaming up on a hack to help girls – Microsoft Life

It’s human nature: we respond to stories, not generalizations.

Devika Mittal, a corporate strategy manager at Microsoft who grew up in New Delhi and now lives in Washington, DC, knew that child trafficking and violence against women in rural areas in India was a growing human-rights crisis. But for a long time, the fate of at-risk Indian girls far away from her, while distressing, was something she felt helpless to change.

“You know that these problems exist, and you want to help,” she said. “But you also feel lost and like you can’t truly engage or help drive real impact when you’re living far away in DC.”

That all changed when Mittal flew to Microsoft’s Hyderabad office to meet Franz Gastler, the founder of Yuwa, a nonprofit soccer and school academy for girls in Jharkhand, India, whose students face the terrifying reality every day.

Gastler told Mittal the story of a student who had come to his soccer program every day for weeks. She appeared to be blossoming in the supportive environment that emphasized self-worth and self-determination. But then one day, she didn’t show up to the academy. She was gone the next day, and the next; she never came back. He had no idea what happened to her; it wasn’t until later that program leaders discovered that the girl had died, allegedly at the hands of an abusive family member.

Mittal was stunned. “Learning about this girl’s story in a real context motivated me to contribute whatever skills I could to help Yuwa’s mission. The work they’re doing is incredible, and I wanted to be a part of the tangible impact they’re making on young girls’ lives in India.”

She got that opportunity to make a difference when Yuwa partnered this year with Microsoft’s annual Hackathon, a three-day, global event for employees. Microsoft Hackathon teams have fun mad-sciencing new projects and ideas, using Microsoft technology to help solve some of the world’s greatest societal challenges.

To help nonprofit organizations such as Yuwa act on their own missions and find solutions, Microsoft invites them to hack alongside Microsoft employees. That’s how Mittal and 15 other employees from five countries came together to work with Gastler to build a tracking and predictive app that would help Gastler in his quest to keep girls progressing through Yuwa’s program and focused on their futures.

Yuwa’s central mission is to empower girls to break the cycle of poverty and abuse they inherited and instead help them discover their worth, through education and team sports, in rural India where more than half the women and girls are illiterate. Gastler had successfully started the organization but now needed more-sophisticated digital tools to help it and girls succeed.

“Jharkhand is a dangerous place to be a girl,” said Gastler. “If you don’t know your self-worth, you’ve got no defense against all the things that might come at you. But when girls know their worth, they’re limitless.”

The statistics do not bode well for girls and young women in the region. Fifty percent of Jharkhand’s girls become child brides, and thousands are trafficked each year as laborers or sex workers.

Two young girls playing soccer in a dirt field in rural India

“When girls know their worth, they’re limitless.”

Madhura Phadke, Mittal’s Hackathon teammate who works at Microsoft in Redmond and grew up in India, said that girls are stripped of their very right to have a dream. In Jharkhand, where poverty is high and education is low, girls often lack the opportunity to further their schooling, and some are at risk for child marriage. These factors make many girls easy targets for criminals.

Through soccer and school, Yuwa helps girls find their purpose and provides a place where they are expected to be every day, somewhere that their absence will be noticed. They learn to read and write and understand their fundamental rights. Yuwa has connected some girls to other programs that have helped them travel outside of their villages to continue their education. But the success of Yuwa depends heavily on the girls’ consistent attendance.

The quicker Yuwa can respond to an absence, the more likely program managers are to bring a girl back if she’s at risk. Before the Hackathon project, Yuwa staff members were recording attendance onto 25 spreadsheets. The time it took to identify who was missing was time that an absent child likely didn’t have to waste. Yuwa staff members also wanted a way to better organize and track other needs, such as soccer shoe sizes, learning materials, and necessities for the school.

In addition to wanting to more easily track students, Gastler thought that the data being captured on their spreadsheets—limited to whether girls were present or absent on any given day—wasn’t as useful as it could be. Maybe, for instance, data could reveal patterns about how the girls’ levels of risk for child marriage and human trafficking might correlate to their attendance. Armed with those kinds of big answers, Gastler couldn’t imagine the impact that Yuwa could make.

Gastler and his Yuwa team knew that any technology they implemented would need to be adaptable for many kinds of devices, as well as take into account that internet connection and electricity in rural India can be sparse and unreliable.

While Gastler had been sitting on the idea to build an app for tracking students for four years, and even had a rendering, he had never found anyone with enough expertise to build it out.

Until he partnered with Microsoft employees at the Hackathon.

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In June 2017, Gastler, a Minnesota native who worked in the corporate world before moving to Jharkhand to teach English, flew from the small village of Jharkhand to Microsoft offices in Hyderabad. For the next three days, he worked alongside Mittal and others to make the app.

Many of the Hackathon members felt a special pull to the Yuwa project because they are from India themselves. “I just knew I wanted to also add my skills to bolster the project, to see if there was anything I could do to help,” said Mittal.

Working via Skype and spanning three time zones, the team produced a prototype to send home with Gastler. The app helped Yuwa staff quickly see how many students were present or missing and could drill down to identify the individual girls and take action if needed that same day.

The Hackathon was just the beginning. Months later, the team is still extremely engaged, said Mittal. It is building out phase two of the app, which has more complex functionality, such as using machine learning to collect and interpret data.

Mobile phone showing how the new app filters information

“With layering Power BI and other analytical capabilities, it could function as a prototype for other organizations.”

And Mittal said the team believes the project could be applicable for other organizations and nonprofits and could scale, especially in rural areas. “With layering Power BI and other analytical capabilities, it could function as a prototype for other organizations.”

Working on the project has changed Mittal. She’s always been passionate about education for women, especially in India, but the issue now hits home in a new way.

“Now that I have seen what a lack of education does to girls in the country and have seen an organization that is making a tangible difference for girls who never thought they would get outside their villages, I am personally connected to it,” she said.

“I’m thankful that I have that opportunity working here at Microsoft.”

Visit yuwa-india.org for more information about how to be a part of Yuwa’s mission.

New Dynamics 365 integrations across Adobe Experience Cloud advance sales and marketing capabilities

We know that your business success is directly tied to how well you are equipped to respond to your customers in a digital environment. That’s why we’re pleased to continue delivering progress on our strategic partnership with Adobe. Our joint efforts are helping enterprises transform their customer experiences, and drive more efficient business processes.

Together with Adobe, we are announcing today that Dynamics 365 is now integrated with Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe’s industry leading content management solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud. Now available to our joint customers, this integration will help organizations optimize enterprise sales and lead management.

The value of this integration really extends from the data that underpins both solutions. Enterprise organizations can now design and connect rich marketing content with CRM data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 to transform how their sales and marketing organizations can collaborate and ultimately personalize brand experiences for their customers.

By connecting our solutions, we are helping companies to solve complex challenges and ultimately grow efficiently. Examples of improvement areas include:

  • Audience: Helping organizations move from disparate view of customers and poor segmentation, to a more holistic view with intelligent segmentation.
  • Workflow: Shifting from teams using multiple systems and processes for customer engagement, to integrated systems and a unified view that empowers actions, collaboration and productivity.
  • Personalization: Transitioning from manual process for defining and delivering customer experiences to data driven and automated content personalization.

Ultimately, customer experiences are the heart of succeeding in business today. Together with Adobe, we’re looking forward to partnering with organizations to help them better understand customer intent, and even predict where those intentions will move, providing intelligent personalization for customers and offering seamless integration for business users.

More details on today’s announcement are available here, and for more information about our partnership with Adobe and the range of joint solutions we offer, please visit our new Dynamics 365 solutions page.