Tired of watching the “calculating” dialog box in Windows when deleting a large file or a folder full of files? Try this instead:

    1. Open a command prompt
    2. Type following commands and hit Enter:
      DEL /F/Q/S file-or-folder-to-delete > NUL

No more “calculating” dialog box, files or folders will be deleted quickly. I wish this was the default behavior.

Group Policy Editor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that is used to configure and modify Group Policy settings within Group Policy Objects (GPOs). You can change many things about your Windows Installation using the Group Policy Editor. The Group Policy Editor provides administrators with a hierarchical tree structure for configuring Group Policy settings in GPOs. These GPOs can then be linked to sites, domains, and organizational units (OU) that contain computer or user objects.Unfortunately, Group Policy Editor does not work in Windows Home Editions. Luckily you can still enable Group Policy support if you are running Windows Home.

To enable the Group Policy Editor in Windows Home simply copy and paste the commands below into a batch file named EnableGroupPolicyEditor.bat (or something similar):

@echo off
>nul 2>&1 "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\cacls.exe" "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config\system"
if '%errorlevel%' NEQ '0' (
goto getAdmin
) else ( goto gotAdmin )
echo Set UAC = CreateObject^("Shell.Application"^) > "%temp%\getadmin.vbs"
set params = %*:"="
echo UAC.ShellExecute "cmd.exe", "/c %~s0 %params%", "", "runas", 1 >> "%temp%\getadmin.vbs"
del "%temp%\getadmin.vbs"
exit /b
pushd "%~dp0"
dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~3*.mum >List.txt
dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~3*.mum >>List.txt
for /f %%i in ('findstr /i . List.txt 2^>nul') do dism /online /norestart /add-package:"%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\%%i"

About the batch file:
This batch file checks if it’s running as Admin and if not, gets Admin rights and restarts the batch file.
After getting Admin rights the batch file downloads and installs the Windows components needed to use the Group Policy Editor.
After saving the batch file you can double-click on it (no need to run as Admin, the code will get Admin levels on its own).

Once the batch file has finished running you can hit Windows+R and type gpedit.msc
This will bring up the Group Policy Editor.

Be careful with the Group Policy Editor – with great power comes great responsibility!

Do you despise the web app versions of Office as much as me? Now you can share URLs that open your docs directly on the desktop (as it should be!)

  1. Open your doc in an Office app from Office 365, then go to File…Info…and get the path to the doc
    1. Append the appropriate prefix to the URL as follows:
      • WORD: ms-word:ofe|u|
      • EXCEL: ms-excel:ofe|u|
      • PPT : ms-powerpoint:ofe|u|
      • Others: see here
      • Your url should look something like this:
        • ms-word:ofe|u|https://your-site.sharepoint.com/your-path/Shared%20Documents/your-doc.docx?web=1
    2. Use your new URL to link directly to your Office doc and it will immediately open in the Desktop Office app for editing.
  • NOTE: Since appending the Office prefix will result in a non-standard URL, some tools will complain about the Office-specific URL and will prevent you from saving the link. Microsoft Teams is, surprisingly, one of many tools that will complain about this. I really wish the team would adopt a more standards-friendly approach (e.g. just use https://your-site.sharepoint.com/your-path/Shared%20Documents/your-doc.docx and let the browser invoke the associated application type).

Microsoft offers several tools and approaches for migrating SQL Server to Azure and it’s easy to get confused.

Technology Description
Azure Migrate This Azure service helps you discover and assess your SQL data estate at scale on VMware. It provides Azure SQL deployment recommendations, target sizing, and monthly estimates.
Data Migration Assistant (DMA) This desktop tool from Microsoft provides seamless assessments of SQL Server and single-database migrations to Azure SQL Database (both schema and data).

The tool can be installed on a server on-premises or on your local machine that has connectivity to your source databases. The migration process is a logical data movement between objects in the source and target databases.

Azure Database Migration Service (DMS) This Azure service can migrate SQL Server databases to Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance (SQL MI) through the Azure portal or automatically through PowerShell. Database Migration Service requires you to select a preferred Azure virtual network during provisioning to ensure connectivity to your source SQL Server databases. You can migrate single databases or at scale.
Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) SSMA is a tool designed to automate database migration to SQL Server from Microsoft Access, DB2, MySQL, Oracle, and SAP ASE.
Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA) DEA is an experimentation solution for exploring options for SQL Server upgrades. DEA can help you evaluate a targeted version of SQL Server for a specific workload.

The capabilities of some of these tools are very similar. I wish some of these tools could be refactored and combined to reduce the confusion for Microsoft’s customers. This seems to be another example of a company’s organizational structure being pushed onto their customer base instead of the internal organizations working together to simplify product offerings.

Capability Azure Migrate Data Migration Assistant (DMA) SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) Azure Database Migration Service (DMS) Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA)
Discover and assess SQL data estate At scale Yes No No No
Migrate SQL Server objects to SQL Database or SQL Managed Instance No Yes No Yes No
Lift and shift SQL Server to SQL Server on Azure VM Yes No No No No
Migrate (and/or upgrade) SQL Server to SQL Server on Azure VM No Yes No No No
Migrate non-SQL objects
(Oracle, Access, DB2, and so on)
No No Yes No No
Migrate open source databases
(MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and so on)
No No No Yes No
Compare workloads between source and target SQL Server No No No No Yes