Windows Server 2016 VPS at VultR

I was very surprised to see VultR offering Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. To my knowledge, it is the only VPS provider to do so. There is an additional monthly fee for the license, but the price is quie tolerable in my opinion.

You don’t have to buy the license yourself and the instance is almost instantly available. A great option especially when you only need the VPS for a limited amount of time. That being said, I would love to see an option to use your own license. But I guess this is a no-go, as Microsoft would need to open their internal systems to third parties and offer some kind of API to check for license validity.

If you are interested in VULTR and want to try it for yourself, I would like to ask you to use my referral code. Thank you very much!

Brick wall

One way to permanently get rid of the Windows Firewall is to disable the service in the Services Manager, or set the startup type to “Manual”.

Today I learned that it is not enough to disable the “Windows Firewall” service when you are on a Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 Server. You also have to disable the “Base Filtering Engine” if you do not want to hit a big red brick wall (also known as “Block mode”).

More on the topic in the Technet blog and this Technet article.

Windows 8 on a MacBook Pro Mid 2009

Unfortunately I need to work with Windows from time to time. I am depending on some tools that are only available for that OS and a Virtual Machine is not always handy. So when Microsoft made the Windows 8 Pro upgrade offer back in January, I decided to finally upgrade my Windows XP and use Boot Camp and bring Windows 8 to my mid-2009 Macbook Pro. It was not that easy…

First of all Apple decided that a 2009 Macbook Pro is not worthy to run Windows 8. Windows 7 x64 was the last supported os for this hardware. People who are used to Apple’s politics know that this is not a real hardware limitation, its purely software support or software maintenance related. So these are the steps I needed to take to install it on the machine:



It is possible that an USB install media is working for you, for me only the DVDs would work. The Boot Camp assistant will not accept a Windows 8 install media, so we need to fool it.

Put the Windows 7 DVD into your Superdrive, then run the Boot Camp Assistant. It will partition your hard drive and reboot the machine to start the Windows 7 installation. Once you are in the Windows 7 installer, quit the installer (the Macbook will reboot) and press ‘Option’ when you hear the Mac chime. Once you can choose the OS to boot, replace the Windows 7 DVD with your Windows 8 DVD. Wait a few moments and you should be able to boot the DVD and start the Windows 8 installation and install it like you normally would.

Use an Upgrade License for a clean install

If you were as clever as me, and used your Windows 8 Upgrade install media to do a clean install, I would suggest not to use any updates for now and also not to connect the Windows install to the Internet yet. Instead of that, execute regedit.exe, navigate to


and change the value MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0. After that, open a Command Line Window by running cmd.exe and run the command slmgr /rearm and reboot. After reboot you can connect your MacBook to the Internet and activate Windows online or by phone.

Driver installation

Apple will not let you install the drivers by running setup.exe from the root directory of the driver DVD. Instead you need to navigate to


and run BootCamp.msi with Administrator permissions. Then the drivers are cleanly installed and work like a charm (at least they do for me).

Permission problems

If you are having trouble with executing things as Administrator, and all options greyed out, you need to deactivate the Admin Approval Mode for local Administrators. Run gpedit.msc and go to

Computer Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options > User Account Control

Set the option Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode to Disabled. Reboot after this configuration change. This should solve all your permission problems. After that I installed all available Windows Updates and the tools I required. With the Apple Trackpad Windows 8 is still strange, and feels weird, but its better than with a mouse I supose.