Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Downloading Windows ISO Disc Images for Free

It is never been easier to get hold of Microsoft software than it is now.

Previously getting access to ISO Disc Images was either part of the TechNet or MSDN subscription. But now anyone can get them for free.

Microsoft Evaluation Center

For the latest of Microsoft software, I highly recommend the Microsoft Evaluation Center. Here you can download all the latest Microsoft Software for Free. All you need is a Microsoft Account.

All software downloaded can be run with no restrictions for a few months. After which you're expected to either activate with a license or turn off.

Software includes:

  • Windows 10
  • Microsoft Server
  • Office 365
  • Microsoft Office
  • and other products

Windows 10

Since the release of Windows 10, people are able to download a ISO file using the Media Creation Tool. This will allow you to download the latest release of Windows 10 to USB, ISO Image file or directly upgrade the computer to are running it from.

Download Here

Windows 8

Most people were not a fan of Windows 8(.1), it was a good operating system that was a stepping stone to was Windows 10 is today.

License Key is required to download.

Download Here

Windows 7

Windows 7 has been as popular as Windows XP was in the day. While it is support to 2020, it is still widely used.

License Key is required to download.

Download Here

Windows Server 2008 R2

An Evaluation of Windows Server 2008 R2 can be downloaded from here for free with no Product Key required.

Download Here

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Manjaro 18 in VMware Workstation 15 Review

Manjaro Linux is a surprisingly older Linux distribution based on the popular distro, Arch. However recently is has shut up in popularity with more recent attention an updates according to DistroWatch.com.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to setup a virtual machine in VMware Workstation 15 and get it up and running.

For this demo, I have downloaded a copy of the GNOME 3 version, however they provide ISO version for other Desktop Environments like KDE and XFCE.

Get Manjaro Here

Creating the Virtual Machine

In VMware Workstation, start by creating a new virtual machine. Select Typical and click Next.

Select Installer Disc Image File (iso).
VMware won't be able to recognise the Linux Distro on the image and error will display. This is ok.
Click Next.

Select Linux from the Guest Operating System type.
Then from the drop down for Version, select "Other Linux 4.x or later Kernel 64-bit"
Click Next

Give the Virtual Machine a name and a location to store the virtual machine files.

By default, VMware will set the Virtual Hard Disk capacity to 8GB.
I recommend setting it to at least 20GB. This will give enough space to install the OS, and some extra applications and packages.

Also by default, VMware will set the RAM and CPU configuration to a very low specifications.
I recommend increasing it to at least 4GB of RAM and 2 vCPUs for testing. More if you are working with more production applications.

Once you click Finsih, you can then start the virtual machine.

If everything is working you will be presented with the boot loader.
Scroll down using the arrow keys and select Boot.
This will boot the OS from the ISO Disc Image. You can then use the Live Boot OS, or being the install.

To begin installing the Manjaro Linux OS, click on the Launch Installer from the Hello screen.
Follow the wizard to complete the install.

The wizard will step you through the basics like Time Zone, User Accounts, Install Hard Drive etc and the install was surprisingly quick for me.

VMware Tools Preinstalled

Manjaro has been kind enough to preinstall the VMware Tools utitlity for Linux. So there is no need to install these after the install. All VMware drivers will be working along with most features.

For more information, please check out the Manjaro Wiki.


On the surface, Manjaro appears to be a clean looking and fast Linux OS. This may differ depending on which Desktop Environment build you choose.

I was surprised to find that along side the normal packages you come to expect on Linux distros, such as Mozilla FireFox and LibreOffice, some Microsoft references can also be found preloaded.

Microsoft Office Online, Skype Online can be found in the Applications Menu. I was expecting it to just open in a Firefox window, however they opened in their own isolated windows. Annoying though, I needed to sign in to my Microsoft Account for each window.

Steam for Linux is also preloaded. For some the Microsoft options might be enough to switch to Linux and still get work done, while still using open source OS.

The Application Manager was something familiar for a lot of Linux Distro. Big list of apps ready to download and install from the internet. But unlike Ubuntu, it was fast. I didn't experience any delay switch between categories or application details. I was easily able to select apps for install and removal very easily.

I have used Ubuntu on and off for some time (mostly in virtual machines, but also on desktops) and I would have to say that if any distro was going to get me to switch to Linux, it would be this one.

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Sorry, we failed you. Try refreshing!" when browsing Reddit on Google Chrome

For so long I was getting the following error when trying to view Reddit on Chrome on my laptop.

"Sorry, we failed you. Try refreshing!" 

This (for me):

  • Only occurred on my laptop
  • Only happened in Google Chrome
It bugged me for ages but often didn't have a moment to sit down and work out the problem but tonight had the chance.

I tested and confirmed that it worked fine in Edge, removed AdBlocker and with no signs of a fix.

So I did the most Level 1 Help Desk resolution... cleared the browser cache.


I figured there must have been something in the cache or cookies that was trying to load older versions or authentication of the site that were causing conflicts, resulting in the above error.

Surprisingly, there weren't that many articles about this issue, nor advising of simple things like clearing the cache. I even saw one guy to advise to just change their entire browser preference. A bit extreme I thought.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Deleting Office 365 Tenant

For a long time now, I have been using trials to test new technologies at home that I can use for my work like every good tech does. With the introduction of Office 365, more and more I need to be able to test the clouds services for different scenarios. However, I like to completely remove any services that I am finished with an no longer need as a end-of-the-day clean up task.

So how do you do this with Office 365?

By default, once the trial subscription expires the tenant will remain active allowing you a chance to purchase a new subscription and assign to your tenant. In this case I know I will never need the tenant again.

So this is what I have found to decommission a Office 365 trial tenant using Azure Active Directory.


Please triple check that you are doing this on the correct tenant. This deletion is unrecoverable. You do this at your own risk.


Before you can start this process you need to make sure:

  • All subscriptions are deprovisioned
    This can be viewed in the Office 365 Subscriptions portal
  • All users have been deleted
    The primary admin account needs to be remaining with no licenses assigned


  1. Logon to https://portal.azure.com/
  2. Go to All Services 
  3. Search for "Directory" and Select Azure Active Directory 
  4. Select Delete Directory
  5. A check will be done to make sure all services have been decommissioned 
    1. All user accounts, App registrations, enterprise applications need to be deleted 
    2. Subscriptions should be Deprovisioned 
    3. Have full access to the Azure AD directory
    4. If you don't, it will provide a link to fix this. 
    5. No MFA enabled 
  6. If all the above is cleared, you will be allowed to delete the directory. 

Once deleted, you will need to log out. After a moment, you won't be able to sign into the account, confirming the deletion of the tenant.