Like most SharePoint nerds I’ve spent the last week furiously building new VMs with the SharePoint 2013 RTM bits. What a wonderful time to be alive! To keep on the cutting edge I’ve been building everything on Windows Server 2012. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are a touch different than their predecessors. This has lead to some frustrating moments as I struggle to figure out how to do in Windows Server 2012 things I’ve been doing forever. I persevere though, because in order to be fully certified in SharePoint 2013 I’m going to have to be certified in Windows Server 2012. That motivation helps me keep fighting the good fight.
Anyway, enough story part, on to the fun tech stuff. I’m currently building a shiny new SharePoint 2013 VM and I want the much beloved MSDN ULS Log Viewer on the Start Screen for all users. It is a must have utility for all SharePoint servers in the world. With the Start Menu out, and the Start Screen in, that is a little more complicated than it used to be. Another niggling issue I had been having is the issue of User Access Control (UAC). In SharePoint 2010 (on Windows 2008 and 2008 R2) I always pinned the SharePoint Management Console to the Start Menu and changed its shortcut so it always “ran as administrator” with UAC. It’s not much good without that. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to bake that into the Start Screen shortcut. You can rightclick and choose “run as Administrator” but like putting the seat down on the toilet, I always forget. I found both solutions in one fell swoop today. Monday’s aren’t so bad after all.
The phrase that pays is “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” That’s the location for the common Start Screen. By default not all users can create shortcuts there. You can tell if that’s the case by right-clicking in the folder and clicking New in the flyout menu. If the only option is “Folder” then you don’t have permission. You’ll have to go up one level and give yourself write permission and try again. If you try to drag a program in with Explorer to create a shortcut you might also get a message about how shortcuts can’t be created there, and asking you if you’d like to create it on the Desktop instead. Don’t fall for its lies, give yourself permission to the folder and you’ll be fine.
While you’re in there creating your shortcut you can open up its properties and click the “Run as Administrator” box. For the ULS Log Viewer that is a must.
I hope this helps some folks out there. Windows Server 2012 is pretty cool, but sometimes it’s a little high maintenance. Don’t worry though, we’re all in it together.