Tag: Windows Server 2012

PowerPlan, WMI, GUI and Windows Server 2012

Howdy !

If you try to configure the power plan settings of your servers using DSC, you might come into the below issue if you are using one of the following resource : xPowerPlan or cPowerPlan. They both call WMI classname.

The WMI class ‘Win32_PowerPlan‘ of the namespace ‘root/cimv2/power’ is only available when using a FULL GUI Windows Server 2012 (R2). If you switch to CORE flavor, the classname becomes inaccessible.

At the moment you are using a Core only OS, this classname doesn’t works anymore under Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 except for Windows 2016 Core.

You can quickly check the falvor of your OS with the following cmdlets :

$Computer = ‘yourMachine’
$sb = {
Get-ItemProperty ‘HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion’ -Name Productname | Select -expa ProductName
Get-Item ‘HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Server\ServerLevels’ | ft -AutoSize
}

icm -ScriptBlock $sb -ComputerName $Computer

Cheers,
MW

PowerPivot thumbnails requires Windows Server 2012 GUI

Hello,

We found out a small issue with PowerPivot 2012 and SharePoint 2013 this week.

You may be aware that the PowerPivot for SharePoint is able to create snapshots/thumbnail previews of your document which is then used to display a nice little image in the carrousel view.
This fancy little feature is generated under the hood by an executable located in the bin folder of the SharePoint installation folder (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\bin).

While it works well under common context, it will fail in a particular scenario. I won’t give you all the different ways to troubleshoot this as Internet already as a ton of article around it but here’s one that is very useful :
http://blogs.technet.com/b/excel_services__powerpivot_for_sharepoint_support_blog/archive/2012/12/06/invoking-and-analyzing-the-getsnapshot-exe.aspx

Our scenario is as follow :

  • The server hosting SharePoint and Powerpivot is running Windows 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 is configured using MSI (Minimal Server Interface)

In this particular case, the “GallerySnapshot.exe” will crashes when processing the document.

 

 

 

 

If you look in the “info” file generated, you quickly find out that there is nothing relevant to help you. Here’s the content of the log file :
“<SnapshotCaptureLog serverUrl=”http://<webapp name>” workbookUrl=”http://<site url>/SharePoint/PpowerPivot/Book1.xlsx” fileNameBase=”thumbnail” snapshotCount=”26″ timeout=”600″ />”. That’s it ! Nothing else.

In the “GallerySnapshot.exe has stopped working” error window details, we can see a small hint of what’s going on : “Problem Signature 04: System.Windows.Forms”.

I performed the same exercise on a different server with the same result. I then intalled the windows feature Server Graphical Shell (Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell) and restarted the server.

Once rebooted, running the GallerySnapshot.exe again with the same arguments went successfully.

To sum-up, if you require the file preview in a PowerPivot Gallery, you will necessarily have to configure your servers with at least the Graphical User Interface. Let’s hope Microsoft will remove this pre-requisite in a future cumulative update or service pack but until then, forget Windows Server 2012 MSI !

Sad, sad, sad.