Server 2012 R2 Tiered Storage on USB Drives

If you are like me you have a test lab or something similar where you would like to test out how tiered storage works in 2012R2. My lab setups are two laptops with SSD drives with attached 3TB USB 3.0 HDD. In my grand plan I would create a new storage pool attach the remaining space from the SSD (used 40GB for OS) and the USB HDD and I would have tiered storage. My first sign of trouble was the following in my physical disk view of my new storage pool.


Unknown media type? Undeterred I proceeded create a new virtual disk and setup tiering. Unfortunatley my little magic check box is grayed out with a warning that says I need a HDD and SSD. Huh, now what?


I figure that all things get fixed with PowerShell in this brave new world so I start digging. I found the Set-PhysicalDisk command. Before you run this command you must do two thing. First, create your storage pool, if you don’t do this the command will give you an error. Second you need to get the name of the physical disk, Get-PhysicalDisk comes in handy here. Set-PhysicalDisk [NAMEOFPHYSICALDISK] –MediaType HDD and….


Keep in mind you need to restart the wizard to get the media type refreshed and be able to create the tier.

Good Luck!

Update on Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

If you read my last post about the challenges I have had with my Garmin Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) strap you know I elected to buy a Polar strap to try to resolve my issues. As I noted in my previous post I bought an XS here at Amazon. I got it and quickly realized the sizing was way off. I went back and ordered the M-XXL. However when I got the strap it was not the “Wearlink” version but rather the “Soft Strap” version here. I emailed the seller through Amazon and they proceeded to tell me that Polar no longer makes the “Wearlink” version and the Soft Strap version works on all Polar products. I cannot vouch for whether or not Polar is making the “Wearlink” version any longer but I can tell you it works flawlessly with my Garmin pod. No more crazy 230+ BPM or dropped data. Good luck!

Garmin Heart Rate Monitors–what a pain

Today marks a rebirth of my blog to focus more on triathlon. In the past I have spent the majority of my time here on technology and my desire to write in that area has waned dramatically.

So first things first I have something I need to get off my chest, literally. I have been using Garmin GPS sports watches for about four years. For many years I uses a Polar and I never had any HRM issues. For the first three years with Garmin I used the “Hard” Heart Rate Monitor with my 305. Near the end of the three years I used the “Hard” strap it started to behave erratically especially on the bike. It would register very high 230+ BPM or not at all. I would come and go erratically with spikes and dips. Usually though once I got warm it would usually work. This spring I replaced it with a 910XT which came with the Premium Soft Heart Rate Monitor. The Premium monitor doesn’t work at all for me. It constantly measures erratically. Even worse after 30 minutes no matter what it doesn’t measure at all. Before you ask yes I have replaced the battery several times. I did some reading and DC Rainmaker put together a great series of articles on solving these problems; Annual HRM Troubleshooting. If you are having these issues I would encourage you to read through these. For me I have tried the gel and I have gone to buying the Polar strap which DC Rainmaker documents. I ordered the XS size here at Amazon as my chest is on the top side of the size 21”-38”.  Well, there is no way this thing will fit someone with anything over a 30” chest! Now I got it on but I couldn’t breathe! So word of warning the XS size should probably read 21-30.

I will update everyone once I get the new strap as to whether it solves the problems.

Now to Garmin – fix this! Because of this I can almost guarantee that I will take a close look at the Polar watches again now that they have built in GPS.

Marriott Rewards or Hilton HHonors? A Comparison.

I am currently a “Hilton Guy” but I have been debating switching over to Marriott. I did some research about the rewards for each in the table below. I didn’t see a way to easily compare rewards redemption so I left that out. This page is an accumulation of the information I found during my research. I didn’t include my own opinion so you can come to your own conclusion. I also included references to the websites I used for your own reference and more details. There are also some comparisons that cannot be easily made. The most significant for me is the overall quality of a Fairfield vs. a Hampton. I have stayed at many Hampton’s and they are functional and clean. I have never had a “bad” Hampton. I don’t have this same level of experience to be able to say this about Fairfield. However I have “heard” people say they generally prefer Hampton over Fairfield or have found “bad” Fairfield’s. This is a terrible comparison but one that is necessary if you travel to less common destinations in the US. The second comparison is the location and numbers of properties available. Hilton claims to have 3700 properties and Marriott 3200. It seems that there are Hilton properties in more rural locations and but again this is very subjective. It also seems that there are Marriott’s in more convenient locations for the business traveler, also very subjective. I hope that you find the information helpful. The information was collected in September 2011.


  Marriott Platinum Marriott Gold Marriott Silver Hilton Diamond Hilton Gold Hilton Silver
Nights Required 75 50 10 60 Nights
28 Stays
36 Nights
16 Stays
10 Nights
Guaranteed Availability 48 hrs.     48 hrs..    
Arrival Gift (Water, Food or Points) x     x x  
Dedicated Reservation Line x          
Guaranteed Room Type x x        
Room Upgrade x x   x x  
Lounge Access x x   x x  
Free Breakfast x x   x x  
Free Internet x x   x x  
Free Local Phone / Fax x x        
Free Fitness Center       x x x
Points Bonus 50% 25% 20% 50% 25% 15%
Priority Late Check Out x x x x x x
Weekend Discount x x x      
Gift Shop Discount x x x      


Marriott References:

Hilton References:





MMS 2011 Bible Study

Thanks Jarvis and Rod for setting up a great Bible study on Romans this year. For those of you that are interested we are meeting in Reef D at 7:15 for the rest of the week. Watch Jarvis’s blog for details about next year.DSC00150

System Center Service Manager Installation Notes

I recently set off to install SCSM 2010 SP1 into a production environment for the first time. I thought I would share a few things I found out that I wished I had known before my install. This is not to say that if I would have read through the planning and preparation guides on TechNet which are relatively short that I wouldn’t have know this stuff, but who reads that before they install? So here we go:

That is all I have for now, if I discover more I will let you know!

Free Microsoft e-Learning

I stumbled upon some e-learning today that you might find useful. It is called Snack Box and it provides small learning snacks and allows the community to also post “snacks”. It is available here. What do you think of it?