Administering Team Foundation Service (on the web, not on-premise)

If you are using Team Foundation Service (i.e. in the cloud, not our on-premise Team Foundation Server), finding the administration pages from the web site can be a bit tricky if you don’t know where to look.

Log into your TFS account.  If you don’t have one, you can sign up at  In the upper-right corner of the page is a gear icon:

Once you click this icon, you will be able to create new projects, manage security, etc.

Thanks to Frank La Vigne for inspiring this post.


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Measuring How Long Commands Take in Windows

I was considering installing the timeit.exe command on my new laptop, but read that it may not work on the latest versions of Windows.  So, I found an article on StackOverflow that recommended using the Measure-Command command in PowerShell.  You use it as follows, where Get-ChildItem is just listing the current directory as an example command to time:

If you just want to see one of these results, you can specify the field, such as milliseconds, as follows:

Note that Measure-Command does not show you the output of the command that you have executed for PowerShell commands, just the time it took to execute the command.  If you want to see the command’s output, pipe it to Out-Default, as follows:

If you want to use it to execute cmd.exe commands vs. PowerShell commands, prefix the command with “cmd /c” as follows:

Thanks to Casey K and TechGibbon for the useful information.


Consolidating Hyper-V Differencing Disks into One

I deleted two snapshots from a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM) this morning.  This left the base .vhd file and two .avhd differencing disks.  I decided I wanted to merge them into a single file and learned that the diskpart tool will let you do this.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt (i.e. run as administrator).
  2. Run diskpart.
  3. Enter: select vdisk file=”<full path to the latest differencing disk>”
    1. A differencing disk ends in either .avhd or .avhdx.
  4. Enter: merge vdisk depth=n
    1. n will be the number of parent files you want to merge.  Since I had two parents, one .vhd and one .avhd for this .avhd file, I used depth=2.

Happy merging!


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Deploying Files for VS2012 Unit Tests

Are you wondering how to best deploy files for your Visual Studio 2012 Unit Tests because the technique changed from the way you did so in Visual Studio 2010?  Check out this MSDN article for all the details:


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Query Your BitLocker ID and Password

I could not boot my laptop today because I was prompted for my BitLocker Recovery Key and did not have the associated .txt or .bek files.  So, fortunately, I was able to call our help desk and have them provide me with the password.  I could then boot my system,  Whew!

Once I was back in Windows, I wanted to display the BitLocker ID and password for my boot drive.  To do so, I launched an elevated command prompt and issued the following command:

This then displayed “All Key Protectors”, including the ID (which is just a GUID) and the password necessary to unlock the drive in the future.  Note that the password is the same value that the help desk gave me.

I am posting this to remind myself of how to get this information in the future.  I hope it helps someone else, too.


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