2012 R2 servers hanging on welcome screen

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You find that your windows 2012 servers are hanging on the welcome screen for up to 5 minutes before finally logging on

1) Start with disabling the Smart Card Device Enumeration Service and reboot server. If all your 2012 servers are experiencing the issue, the cause will most likely be on the Domain Controller they contact for authentication so disable the Smart Card Device Enumeration Service on the DC.

2) If you wish to investigate whether this issue is due to one of your domain controller’s. Logon to a 2012 server and click start and click run, type %logonserver% and click ok to determine which DC the server authenticates against. Check other affected servers. A simple reboot of the DC which the affected servers are authenticating against may be the solution. It’s possible the issue may reoccur a few days after the reboot.

3) If the issue still exists after following the above, continue below:

If you have installed updates recently, this may be the cause so it’s worth uninstalling updates from one non-critical server. It’s also worth checking your event logs and check that no DNS issues are appearing. But if all servers are experiencing the issue and they authenticate to the same server, it’s most likely one of your Domain Controllers.

Another option is to build a new server on the same domain without the updates you installed recently and test.

4) An interesting article by Microsoft which includes a possible fix.


5) If you’re receiving the below error within your event log, locate the PID number within processes by visiting task manager. Expand and check what services are attached to the PID. You may find that Smart Card Device Enumeration Service is causing the issue. Disabling the service and rebooting may resolve your issue. If the service is stuck on starting, you will not be able to stop the process until you have rebooted.

Event ID: 623 Source: esent
svchost (5643) The version store for this instance (0) has reached its maximum size of 2Mb. It is likely that a long-running transaction is preventing cleanup of the version store and causing it to build up in size. Updates will be rejected until the long-running transaction has been completely committed or rolled back.

If you have come across a different fix, please share by commenting below.

Thank you

How to add Avaya 242 option into DHCP Server

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You’re migrating/building a new DHCP 2012 server and find that 242 option does not exist within scope options.

Here is how to add:

1) Launch DHCP
2) Expand DHCP and right click IPV4
3) Click ‘Set Predefined Options’
4) Click Add

5) Type in details

Name: 242 Avaya
Data Type: String
Code: 242
Description: Avaya Phones

6) Click ok

7) In the string value, type your AVAYA string, for  for example: MCIPADD=,MCPORT=1719,HTTPSERVER=

8) Click OK

9) Revisit your Scope Options, scroll to the bottom and add

If you are running a DHCP HA (Failover), the scope will need to be added to the partner server, the settings will not replicate.


Migrate FSMO roles from 2008 to 2012 Server

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Take a system state backup of the DC’s which hold your FSMO roles, just incase. Always good practice to take a backup.

In this example, we are migrating FSMO roles from 2008 DC to 2012 DC

1) Locate where your FSMO roles are located. Logon to a DC, open command prompt and type, netdom query fmso
Depending on the size of your environment your FSMO roles may be split as show below:

The roles are:

Split 1
RID pool manager
Infrastructure Master

Split 2:
Domain Naming Master
Schema Master

Transfer: PDC, RID pool manager, Infrastructure Master

1) Logon to the DC2012 as domain administrator and ensure the account has schema admin rights, else when you get to the schema master migration, the button will be greyed out.
2) Launch Active Directory Users and Computers
3) Right click on yourdomain.local and click Operations Masters
4) Click on the PDC tab, click the change button to change the role to 2012DC
5) Click Yes to confirm when prompted
6) Confirm the text box now shows DC2012 as new owner of PDC role
7) Repeat the same steps above for RID and Infrastructure Roles

Transfer: Domain Naming Master

1) Logon to 2012DC as domain administrator. If you’re placing all roles on the same server you will already be logged onto this server. If you are separating Domain Naming Master and Schema Master role, logon to
2) Launch Active Directory Domains and Trusts
3) Right click on Active Directory Domains and Trusts and click Operations Masters
4) Click change and select new 2012 DC, click Yes to confirm.
5) Confirm the role has changed

Transfer: Schema Master

1) Logon to your 2012 DC as domain administrator
2) click run and type: regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll
3) Click ok and you should be prompted with ‘DllRegisterServer in schmmgmt.dll succeeded’
4) Click ok
5) Launch mmc from run (Click start, run, and type mmc, click ok)
6) Click Add/Remove Snap-In from file menu
7) Select to highlight Active Directory Schema and click the add button
8) Click OK
9) Right click Active Directory Schema and click Change Active Directory Domain Controller
10) Select New 2012 DC and click OK
11) An information box will appear including a message ‘Active Directory Schema snap-in is not connected to the schema operations master…..) Click OK to this message
12) Right click Active Directory Schema and click Operations Master
13) Click change and select new 2012 DC
14) Click Yes to confirm go ahead
15) Confirm schema server now showing as new 2012 DC

Run command netdom query fmso to confirm location of FSMO roles

It will take time for data to copy around so do not decom old DC straightaway.

2012 Server – Black desktop with a command prompt window

Reading Time: < 1 minute

You are experiencing the aboove issue because you selected the core install and not the one with GUI

In Windows Server 2012 you can convert Core installation to Full installation, and back.

Use the following in your command prompt:

1) Type Powershell and press enter
2) Type Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell, Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra (Press enter)
3) Collecting Data will appear, allow this to complete and reboot when done