Failed BIOS Lock, Windows Server 2012 R2 (ROK) HP Proliant ML 10 Gen9

Having problems trying to install Windows server 2012 R2 OEM Reseller Option Kit (ROK) on your HP Proliant ML 10 Gen 9 server? Me too! Brand new server, new install using the ROK software supplied, boot from the DVD then a few screens later I would get the following “Failed BIOS Lock” error message.

Luckily I found the following article on the HP enterprise support site that confirmed it was an issue with the installation media not the server.

If your installation media matches one of the many listed then the solution is to fill out some forms and they’ll send you some new DVD’s. 

How to boot in to Safe Mode on Windows Server 2012 R2

If you have worked on Windows 8 or newer, you will know that Microsoft has removed the F8 boot functionality. They did this to decrease boot times. What is odd is that they applied this logic to servers. Regardless the F8 Safe Mode functionality is not truly removed, it is just turned off.

To turn F8 boot on in Server 2012 you need to get to an elevated CMD prompt.

If your server is functional that is easy. If your server won’t boot (hence the need for F8) then you can boot off of a Windows Server install DVD and select REPAIR YOUR COMPUTER option, the Troubleshooting, then Command Prompt.

Once you have a Command Prompt (as an administrator) open enter the following commands which are self explanatory:

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} timeout 10

Reboot your machine and enjoy pressing F8 and getting back into SAFE MODE or LAST KNOWN GOOD to work out your problem.

This will also work on Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Original article can be found here

Secure your IIS web server! SSL best practices.

If you are setting up a windows server that’s going to be dishing out websites using IIS on the web then you really need to make a few changes to default settings when it comes to SSL security and settings.

IIS Crypto is a free tool that gives administrators the ability to enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016. It also lets you reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites offered by IIS, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website.


For further information and to download the tool visit

Once you’ve tweaked your configuration (you can’t really go wrong with the “Best Practices” button) you should go and test your sites using something like to see how they fare.

If you’d like to find out more information on SSL and how it works then Bill over at PixelPrivacy has put together an incredibly in-depth guide on how SSL works and what it means to the average user.

How to save Windows 10 lock screen images

If you’ve ever wondered how to get hold of the beautiful background wallpapers that the lock screen of Windows 10 has then there are a couple of methods.

The newest and easiest method is to download “Spotbright” from the Windows store.

The older method involved a bit of tinkering and can be found in the following article


Site Launch: Experts in management and strategy consulting recruitment in the UK

Looking for management and strategy consulting recruitment experts in the UK? If so then it might be worth checking out the following company that I recently helped out with their new website.

New Sourcing International work in a number of areas including:-

  • Digital Consulting
  • HR
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare Consultation
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Supply Chain / Logistics
  • Government Consulting

Management and Strategy Consulting Recruitment

How to Edit Hosts file in Mac OS X El Capitan

The hosts file is used by your computer to map hostnames to IP addresses.

By adding or removing lines to your hosts file you can change where certain domains will point when you access them in a browser or using other software. You can block certain hosts names, like ad-serving/malicious hosts, or used for web development purposes, i.e. to redirect domains to local addresses.

This is an important file and one that is under the computer administrator’s control, so you’ll need an account with full privileges to make any changes.

Making a backup of the hosts file can be a good idea if you plan on making significant changes or just want to play around with modifications and see what happens.

Step 1: Launch Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ or launched through Spotlight

Step 2: Type the following command at the prompt to backup hosts file to documents folder:

sudo cp /private/etc/hosts ~/Documents/hosts-backup

Step 3: Type the following command at the prompt to open hosts file:

 sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Step 4: Enter the administrator password when requested, you will not see it typed on screen as usual with the command line

Step 5: Once the hosts file is loaded within nano, use the arrow keys to navigate to the bottom of the hosts file to make your modifications

Step 6: When finished, hit Control+O followed by ENTER/RETURN to save changes to /private/etc/hosts, then hit Control+X to exit out of nano

Step 7: Verify your hosts modifications. You may need to clear DNS cache first.

If you want to restore the modified hosts to the backup of the original file use this command:

sudo cp ~/Documents/hosts-backup /private/etc/hosts

All credit goes to for this article.

Macbook Pro Retina (Late 2013) won’t shut down, just restarts! OS X Yosemite

I’ve recently been messing around with our Macbook Pro Retina (late 2013) as it won’t shut down anymore! If you choose to shut it down it closes down then just reboots. The battery life in standby also sucks, it can be fully charged at 100%, shut the lid, come back in 12 hours and it’ll be at 84%. I can’t remember if the problem was around before I upgraded from OS X Mavericks to Yosemite. I spent time on the phone with Apple tech support and they couldn’t sort the problem so booked me in at the local Apple Store. I had tried things like resetting the PRAM, verify the disk, repair disk permissions, reset the system management controller (SMC), wiped the drive and performed a fresh install and none of it solved the problem. Totally sounds like a software problem to me. By the way I have bootcamp installed with a windows partition. Windows can shutdown and power off the machine fine.

Took it to the Apple store for a ‘Genius’ to take a look. A few hours later I returned and they told me the Macbook looked like it had a little water damage, it’ll cost about £900 to change the motherboard, is it insured?!

I told them i’ve never spilt anything on it (which I haven’t) and that if it was a motherboard problem then why will windows shut the machine down correctly, sounds like a software problem to me?

They agreed and went back into their workshop to do a wipe and reinstall (which I had already done). 20 mins later, out they came, said it was shutting down correctly but was very slow at booting up for some reason, this could be down to the ‘water damage’ and sent me on my way!

I have since gone back to OSX Mavericks 10.9.5 and the machine shuts down correctly, battery standby life looks like it is acceptable but it’s still very slow at booting up and coming out of sleep mode.

I have 1 day left on the AppleCare warranty and a machine i’m not happy with. Thanks apple.

UPDATE 19/08/2015: I’m currently using OS X 10.11 Beta of El Capitan and it runs like a dream! Close the lid, come back a few days later and it will still be at 100%! It shuts down correctly, boots up quickly, everything works fine, no problems. Moral of the story… Yosemite sucks!