Recovering your Hyper V VM after a BIOS upgrade

Posted on June 30, 2015

I recently performed a BIOS upgrade on my Dell Latitude E5540 laptop. This had a couple of unanticipated consequences.

Firstly, Microsoft Bitlocker wouldn’t run – it recognised a hardware change and required the recovery key to be entered before it would proceed. Thankfully I had saved this into OneNote and could access this from my phone.

Secondly, my VM’s would boot in Hyper V. I was getting a message along the lines of : Hyper v failed to restore VM XXX using processor-specific features. The virtual machine ‘<VM Name>’ is using processor-specific features not supported on physical computer ‘<Hyper-V Host>’.

This one stumped me for a while. I googled various options and tried some solutions, including helpful (but unhelpful) ones suggesting that during the BIOS upgrade some BIOS options had been changed and I need to go and change them back. I spent an hour going through all of the options, but for the life of me could not identify any that had changed, and if they had I certainly had no idea.

In desperation I decided to create a new VM, and point it back to the existing virtual disks. This probably would have worked, but in the process of doing this I noticed that in Hyper-V manager if I right clicked on my existing VM there was an option to reset the state. This worked like a charm and the problem was solved, now the VM booted from scratch. Simple really when you know how.

Thought for the day : What makes you good at what you do ?

Posted on May 18, 2013

This morning I received a message from one of our Graduates In Training (GIT’s) : “Hi Justin, quick question. What would you say is the one thing that makes you good at what you do. The key ingredient?”

Now that isn’t quite as easy to answer as it first seems. The challenge is keeping it down to one, when there are a number of things that one is or one does that makes you who you are, but which of those makes you GOOD at what you do.

My first answer was “Willingness to learn” sent fairly quickly. To me we have to be learning things all the time, formal learning, reading, on the job, always sucking up new knowledge and building on the skill set we have. But that still doesn’t really quite get to the heart of it.

So I sent a second message “That + questioning all the time, if you don’t understand something ask, don’t just accept what people say, make them explain why, that way you learn or find out they are not right”.

That was much closer to the heart of it. Have that questioning, enquiring mind. Want to know why things are the way they are and don’t just accept them for the way they are.
The other extension to that is creating a learning culture and environment wherever you are. Not accepting things have to be the way they are and encouraging people around you to learn and to share. Knowledge is power, if shared and if used to support one another. Standing on the shoulders of giants comes to mind**. Some people sadly still see knowledge as power for themselves, so hold onto knowledge and don’t want to share. Those aren’t my kind of people and I certainly don’t want to work with them or surround myself with them.

There are many other things that make one good at what we do :

  • Quality
  • Persistence
  • Perseverance
  • Technical competence
  • Hard Work
  • Lead from the front
  • Surround yourself with good people, with diverse skills
  • Recognise the contribution of others and publicly & privately acknowledge it (the latter half of that I’m not particularly good at – don’t do it often enough).

Perhaps each of us is different enough that we will all have a different “one thing” that makes us good at what we do, and the challenge for each of us is to find that one thing for us that allows us to be the best we can be. If we can see someone similar to ourselves who resonates with us and we can learn from them, great.

Be delighted for you to share your thoughts on the matter.

Simphiwe, thanks for asking the question, and for your enthusiasm and infectious laughter every day, brings sunshine to our lives.

Other Comments from respected IT personalities : 

Great blog post, for me it’s passion, heart, attitude. All synonymous for how one feels towards something, one can be the best in one’s field or subject matter, but without these qualities you just not going to get people to rally behind you.  Yusuf Loonat (Head : Service Delivery : Enterprise Information Management Services : Transnet)

The key ingredients for me  is pride, passionate, commitment and ethics. All the others are important but these are the threads that hold it together and provide meaning and relevance. Kevin Govender (Head : Strategy and Architecture : Enterprise Information Management Services : Transnet)

to @jjza well written. A passion to make a difference would be my answer. One will find all the ingredients required to satisfy the passion.. Raghuvansh Swami (Partner : Ernst & Young)  (@swamira)


From twitter conversation with Darren Smith (@DazMSmith) :

to @DazMSmith Would appreciate your thoughts on this – Question raised by a graduate intern of mine

to @jjza A fascinating question. With no easy answer. But “attitude” separates the mediocre from the exceptional. They envisage 1st, then do.

to @DazMSmith True. I’m intrigued to see most of the answers relate to personal traits rather than knowledge, skill or experience.

to @jjza Absolutely agree! All the skill in the world will get you nowhere if you do nothing with your potential. Or knowledge. Or opportunity.


**  Wikipedia tells me to thank Bernard of Chartres not Sir Isaac Newton – interesting


Cheap (Legal) copies of Microsoft 2013 applications (for some)

Posted on February 16, 2013

Microsoft has a home use programme that allows employees of many organisations from around the world to get copies of their key products:

  • Office 2013 Professional
  • Project 2013 Professional
  • Visio 2013 Professional
  • Office 2011 for Mac OS X

for the really awesome price of R81 each. This is for the download copy, for R120 extra you can order a physical media copy of each (postage not included).

This is applicable for a lot of people working in large corporates or at educational institutions. You will need the Home Use code, which you can get from your IT department. If you can’t find the code, then try the link below anyway, click the “don’t have code” option,  just pop in  your email address, and you may get lucky and be able to download it anyway.

Be aware the 2013 version of office is a download version running in some kind of virtualised environment which will ensure that it keeps up to date. When you download the installer it downloads a “download app” and then downloads and installs all in one, so you don’t get an ISO or installer per say, so you can install on just the one PC. Not really a big problem. On a site I was reading this morning (sorry, forget the name so no details) they did mention that the license key you get with the R81 version works with physical media, so once you have the key, if you can get the media elsewhere you can still use it.

As much as people bemoan the Microsoft Office suite, these are really great apps and at this price, nobody who is entitled to use the programme can complain they are too expensive.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Posted on December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas all. Hope you all had a great year and will have an even better one next year.


Thanks for supporting my blog and helping to get it the regular readership we have now.


We just hit 10 000 post views – woo hoo

Posted on July 20, 2011

In mid-May I installed the Jetpack add-on for WordPress. One of the facilities it provides is site statistics. Last night we just hit 10 000 post views. Thanks to all the readers out there for the ongoing support. Keep it coming :)  Next goal, to reach 50 000 in the next 3 months.

Have suggestions for improvements or things you would like to see, drop me a mail or post in the comments.

When the simple isn’t – Buying ebooks on Kalahari

Posted on June 17, 2011

For a while now I have been wanting to read Mandy Wiener’s “Killing Kebble”. Having just finished Lauren Beukes’ two books, Moxyland and Zoo City on my Kindle it was time.

Lauren’s books weren’t available on Amazon for Kindle, but she provided a useful hint in that the eBooks can be purchased from for £4.49 each, so around R100 for the pair. They come down in epub format and are quickly converted to work on the Kindle using the excellent Calibre (best friend of every Kindle owner).  Simple, quick and you can be reading in just a few minutes.


Killing Kebble is available from as an e-book in epub format. Yay. Or so I thought. I paid the R105, got the sms on my phone confirming they had the money, and waited. Scavenged, looked. Mmmm. No download link, found a link to my “Library Box” where I found my purchased. Happily flagged with a status of “new”. Yes, I just bought it so I guess it is new. Still no download link, I click the “show only products to download”, nothing shows up. Odd I thought. Clicked the “More information” action button to be instructed to download Kalahari’s (Beta) e-reader, create an account on and a whole lot of stuff.

Bugger. I just bought a DRM’ed book. What the heck. Ok, so I want to read the book, let’s see how this works. I downloaded the 20 Meg reader, installed it, had a failed Adobe Air install. Loaded the reader, Air installed again and worked. Created the account on (do I really need to give them ALL my personal details, so many people have been hacked recently I am more nervous to hand these out). Finally all installed and ready and …

Read the rest of this entry »

Am I registered to Vote on the 18th May

Posted on May 06, 2011

Update : The local elections are now tomorrow, time to go and make your choice count and stand up for what you believe in. A spoilt vote is no vote at all, it is better to vote for the best of a bad bunch than to make no vote at all. Even if you think you aren’t registered to vote, use one of the methods below to check. If you have ever voted you are likely to be on the voters’ roll and can cast your vote. Each of our votes count, use it.

Original post :

With the Elections almost upon us (just 12 days away) it is useful to confirm the registration status and where exactly that voting station is.

In a previous post I had mentioned an SMS number you could send your ID number to that would tell you your registration status. There are also other ways to do this.

There are three ways to do this :

Once you have those details you can use the interactive voting station finder to see where you need to go on the day. Don’t forget you need a valid green ID book to vote, if you don’t have one get to Home Affairs asap to see if something can be done to help you.

Thanks to the IEC for making it all so easy and for using the technology available.


voting station finder

Voter registration and simple time saving technology

Posted on February 05, 2011

I woke up this morning to see a whole lot of chatter on twitter around voter registration. With the work I am currently doing at the National Parliament and all the recent unrest in Egypt my sense of duty to my country has been heightened so I felt I really should be registering or checking that I am registered. Darn. Another thing to do in an already busy day.

Then I saw another tweet. Hoosen Essack to the rescue via Mandy Wiener.

” RT @Hoosen_Essack: @MandyWiener SmS 32810 with ID num works brilliantly.”

I sent my SMS off to 32810. A few seconds later the confirmation came back. I am registered. Great. Thanks guys and to whoever sets up and runs the service. Brilliant use of simple technology saving people lots of time.

Now to get my daughter to register. If she gets out of bed today :)

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

It’s a new beginning

Posted on April 24, 2010

It took a cold (well for Durban) miserable autumnish first day of the long weekend to finally get motivated to get this site back up and running again. After going through the process of changing ISPs a few times in short succession I finally have a new home (thanks and things are back up and running again.

The content from the old site is backed up on my old PC (which now won’t boot – duh) so it is time to start afresh. When I eventually get around to recovering the data from the old PC I will bring anything useful across.

The most accessed part of the old site was the Oracle default passwords list, linked from Pete Finnigan’s security site ( so I have uploaded it. You can grab it on  :   Oracle password list

Now to find a theme I like (that is usable from mobile devices and blackberry).

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