Top 10 Petri IT Knowledgebase Articles of 2013

Now that another year is drawing to a close, we all can look back and reminisce on what has transpired over the last 12 months. 2013 has been a big year for tech news, and a similarly big year for informational and how-to articles about IT technology. Helping IT professionals more effectively do their jobs has always been at the heart of what we do at the Petri IT Knowledgebase, and this year was no different.

So in the interest of highlighting our most popular articles published in 2013, I’d like to present the following list. This compilation is based primarily on web traffic, so we consider your votes — via page views and other web traffic data — as the deciding factor in what made the cut. You can also take a look at the most popular Windows Server articles of 2012 if you’re feeling nostalgic.

10. Disabling User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 8 (Jeff James)

One of the most annoying (and useful) features of Windows Vista was the introduction of User Account Control (UAC), a program feature that enhanced Windows security by prompting users to allow certain actions to happen. This helped minimize the impact of malware, but also drove users (and IT staff) crazy with incessant and eventually annoying error messages, as famously lampooned in this Mac vs PC TV spot. Microsoft has made vast changes to UAC in Windows 7 and Windows 8, but there are still reasons to turn UAC off. This article shows you how.

9. What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 (by Jeff James)

Windows Server 2012 R2 adds a ton of new features to the already feature-packed Windows Server 2012, so we felt it would be useful to summarize and compile some of the most popular features in this post. From massive improvements to Hyper-V, new networking features, and dozens of other enhancements, Windows Server 2012 R2 is arguably the most significant R2 edition Windows Server release ever.

8. How to Upgrade to Windows 8.1 without the Windows Store (by Russell Smith)

If you’re a consumer running Windows 8 on a desktop, laptop, or tablet, upgrading to Windows 8.1 is largely a painless process. But what if you have legitimate reasons not to use the Windows Store to upgrade your copies of Windows? Russell Smith shows you how to do that in this article. Be sure to check out Russell’s article on how to install Windows 8.1 using a Windows 8 product key, which narrowly missed inclusion on this list.

7. How to Optimize the Microsoft Surface RT (by Simon Bisson)

While Microsoft’s tablet failings have been well-documented, there’s no question that both the original Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets offer plenty of utility for the right use-cases. Simon Bisson offered up some handy tips and tricks for using the original Surface RT in this article, including how to sort out your email accounts, manage connected stand-by, and employ useful apps like OneNote to get the most out of Microsoft’s most affordable tablet.

6. Top 10 VMware vSphere Performance Tips (by David M. Davis)

As any VMware vSphere administrator will tell you, getting the most out of VMware’s vSphere product family can take lots of hands-on experience. VMware vExpert and Petri contributor David M. Davis imparts some of his vSphere wisdom in this article, which serves up some tips and tricks on how to squeeze the most performance out of VMware’s virtualization platform.

5. How to Install Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (by Phoummala Schmitt)

Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2013 recently hit the IT scene, and many administrators have a love/hate relationship with the latest update to Microsoft’s venerable mail server platform. IT expert Phoummala Schmitt has years of experience with Exchange, so she offered up some tips and tricks on how to make your upgrade to Exchange Server 2013 as painless as possible.

4. How to Create Failover Clusters Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (by Aidan Finn)

Storage and virtualization go together like peanut butter and chocolate, but getting the most out of both while they’re working together can sometimes be a challenge. Microsoft Hyper-V expert tackles that dilemma with this article on how to create failover clusters for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, which is a must-read for any admin who has opted to use Microsoft’s virtualization stack in their data center.

3. Microsoft Surface Pro Tips (by Simon Bisson)

If you purchased a Surface Pro in 2013, Simon Bisson has tips and advice for you. Much like he did for the Surface RT tablet, Simon penned an article that serves up all the tips, tricks, and secrets he learned while using the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. Some helpful bits of advice in this article include how to use the Surface Pro with a stylus, how to reclaim tons of on-tablet storage space, and how to tweak the screen DPI in order to make the tablet more usable.

2. How to Edit the Hosts File in Windows 8 (by Daniel Petri)

If you’re even involved with the development, testing, or the roll-out of web applications and services in your organization, you’re undoubtedly familiar with how important the Windows HOSTS file is to pointing users to the correct websites. This handy guide by Petri IT Knowledgebase founder Daniel Petri shows you how to find, edit, and save the HOSTS files to make the required edits you need to send users to the correct websites.

1. How to Enable the Administrator Account in Windows 8 (by Jeff James)

Getting admin privileges on a Windows 8 client machine isn’t always straightforward, so we put together a handy guide to show you how to turn on the administrator account on a Windows client running Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise Edition.