Thursday, December 2, 2010

Error 0x80070003 when running SBS 2003 CEICW

A customers IIS in SBS2003 recently died and everything had to be re-installed as they used RWW all the time and were lost without it.So I went to add/remove programs and selected windows small business server and selected maintenance mode for server tools and then re-install , companyweb,networking & administration.

So when I ran the CEICW wizard it kept failing on firewall config and the error "0x80070003" was listed in the ceicw log.So upon some research on the web I was pointed in the direction of the companyweb identifier in iis.

TheHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\Intranet\companywebpath needs to match the number listed for the Companyweb Identifier in IIS.The default value is 4.And my reg key was correct.

So how do you find out what the identifier value is in IIS? You need to download and install IIS 6.0 Resource Kit and open up meta database explorer.

So within metadatabase explorer which is displayed in the image above expand w3svc and you should see a number of sites.In the problem i was having the companyweb identifier was not there! So I logged onto another SBS Server which was working fine and exported the 4 key. Then re-imported it into IIS.Once it is imported into IIS you need to edit id 1023 as per image to suit that of the current server.

Then do an IIS reset and re-run the CEICW wizard.
Once you have re-ran the wizard browse default website and expand the sites within default website. Right click onthe properties of remote. Then go to documents and add in "default.aspx"

Voila RWW is backup and running.

But what about OWA.

Strangely enough the Exchange and exchange mobile application pools were not present in IIS so as per my above mentioned method I exported these applicatin pools from a healthy server and then edited the exchange sites like OMA , Exchweb to use the correct application pools and all worked fine.

I have not seen anything on the web about how to fix a problem like this, So hopefully this will help people. Sean

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Case of the Unexplained, 2010: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich

The Case of the Unexplained, 2010: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich

I need to use the sysinternals suite of tools tomorrow and I thought I would refresh my knowledge on the suite by reviewing mark's video online in the excellent case of the unexplained 2010. Really interesting video and can give an administrator the edge in identifying exactly what the problem was.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Test your internet connection

Test your internet connection via google mlab. Its a cool site to keep in your favorites as it can tell you if isp's are throttling torrents etc..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MOSDAL (Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging) Support Toolkit

MOSDAL (Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging) Support Toolkit

Great tool for troubleshooting Microsoft Online Services a bit like OCS and Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer

How to remove Trend Micro Client/Server Security Agent without password

Simply change this key to 1

HKLM\SOFTWARE\TrendMicro\PC-cillinNTCorp\CurrentVersion\Misc.\Allow Uninstall = 0 original key

HKLM\SOFTWARE\TrendMicro\PC-cillinNTCorp\CurrentVersion\Misc.\Allow Uninstall = 1
new key

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Exchange 07/10 Connectiontimeout Interval

When email is being protected by an external cloud based solution the default connectiontimeout interval for exchange 07/10 is 10 minutes. And normally this is not enough for eg. Forefront Online , Postini, Messagelabs.

So here is some powershell commands to resolve the issue.

Firstly Get-ReceiveConnector | fl Id*,*connectiontime*

Change the ConnectionTimeOut value

Set-Receiveconnector -ConnectionTimeOut 00:20:00

Name of connector is specified by ServerName\receive connector name

Monday, October 25, 2010

Virtual Hard Disk – Test Drive Program

I noticed this blog update from Jeff Wettlaufer who is part of the Microsoft System Center team.

This is a page that has fully usable VHDS.

The VHD's which interest me the most are System Center Configuration Manager v.Next on Windows Server 2008 R2 & Exchange 2010 SP1

Since Aidan Finn spoke about Config Manager v.Next last year at a Windows User Group in Microsoft Dublin I have been dying to see v.Next and now I can simply download the vhd and boot it up!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cloudmore or Hosted Exchange migration to BPOS

I have just completed an 80 mailbox migration from Cloudmore to Micrososft's BPOS Standard suite.

I had only done a 5 user BPOS site prior to completing the 80 user site. And got stuck in over the weekend and began migrating.

Microsoft do provide a lot of excellent templates to obtain user names and to help plan and structure the migration which I didnt use but will do in future as I can see how beneficial these templates are.

A couple of points to note.

Dont forget to register your Microsoft Partner ID in the customer portal.

The AD Sync tool is no use if there is no exchange information in AD , Like email addresses etc..

The Microsoft Migration Tool works really well but there is a lot of powershell for making custom changes.

I have put Google Apps in for a few customers in the past but BPOS wipes the floor with Google Apps. The functionality is amazing Sharepoint, OCS, Live Meeting, Outlook Anywhere, OWA, Seamless integration with smartphones, 25gb storage per user!!

Some of my friends working in IT services mentioned that we will all be out of a job with everything up in the cloud and Microsoft even have radio advertisements saying " Hassle free IT" But it can be quite tricky to set up and fairly tricky for customization.So I think our jobs are safe for now.

I also found submitting service requests via the BPOS Admin Center or contacting Microsoft Online Support to be very helpful.The Microsoft Support team was always very friendly and really quick at resolving issues.

Finally I deployed the OCS Client and BPOS Sign in Application via SCE2010 which is just so easy!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DPM 2007 - Large SQL 2000 Inconsistent replicas

We had a customer that had 3 large SQL Databases approx 30 - 40 gb each and could not get their DPM 2007 Protection group fully synced.The databases were on a Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition server with Service Pack2.

This is the error we were getting

DPM encountered an error while performing an operation for <\\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy1372\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Data\....mdb> (id 2033: insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service (0x800705aa))

So the insufficient system resources is the part I focused on and through some research on the web these are the steps I took to resolve the issue.

1. Changed the Virtual Ram on DPM Server from system managed to a custom size. The size I chose was double the physical amount of ram.

2. Installed hot fix from Article ID: 940349 This hot fix updates the vss writers on the windows 2003 server.

3. The apply method one from this Microsoft Article ID: 304101

4. Reboot the protected Server in this case the Windows 2003 Enterprise server and reboot the Dpm server. When both are backup. Start a consistency check and that's it.

Of the steps I have described above, I am not sure if all steps are required but I am sure it resolved the problem we were having.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adding 32bit XP Drivers to 2008R2 Print Server

This should be really easy and straight forward and it actually is if you do it the way I have described here. I was working on an install today and could not remember how to do it as I have not had to deploy printers to xp for a long time. If you search around the web you will see many posts asking "How to deploy 32bit xp drivers from a 2008r2 Server"

There is all sorts of articles out there like using startup scripts and pushprinterconnections.exe

From a Windows XP client:

Logon to a 32 bit XP client with an account that has Administrator rights on the server.
Browse to the server and double click on the Printers and Faxes share. Then Click File and then Server Properties.
Go to the Drivers tab. Click Add. The Add Printer Driver wizard should appear. Click Next on the welcome screen.
If the client already has a driver for the printer you can select the driver from the list otherwise you would Click Have Disk and browse to the directory containing the print drivers from the printer manufacturer. Once you select the printer you will be prompted to select the print environment. Check the box for Intel Windows 2000 or XP.
Click to Finish to complete the process and close the wizard.

Takes a few seconds instead of doing it the hard way! Sean

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I recently installed a Drobo pro to a customer's site. The install was so simple and I was able to click "quick connect" within Microsoft ISCSI initiator.

I think the DROBO pro or elite are excellent pieces of hardware. They are not practical for file servers but perfect for non critical data or even DPM backups.

One of the most common problems I face , Is DPM Servers running out of space. And each HP 1TB Sata Server disk is very expensive. So rather than spend big on a server spend it on a drobo , We could virtualise DPM and via ISCSI present a Drobo volume to DPM which can then be used for Dpm Backups.

When Drobo support SATA III , The gap will begin to close between SATA and SAS which could make it a very interesting product.

You can buy a Drobo pro with 16TB of storage for approx €2k!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Free ebook: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition)

Here it is! Mitch Tulloch has updated his free ebook of last year; it’s now updated for Windows Server 2008 R2. You can now download Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions, From the Desktop to the Datacenter in XPS format here and in PDF format here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

No internet Access when Connected via Sonicwall Global VPN Client

One of my customers does not want split tunnels enabled when their staff connect via Sonicwall Global VPN. But when they connect , they cannot access the internet , only outlook and network shares etc..

So please click on this LINK which is a great Article from Sonicwall on how to apply a NAT Policy that will allow internet access while connected to VPN without a split tunnel. It will also allow the connected user to use the head offices static ip address.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exchange 2010 SP1 - prereq hotfixes needed for Server 2008 R2

Updates needed for Server 2008 R2:

KB 977020 - .NET Framework 2.0 hotfix
KB 979099 - AD RMS hotfix
KB 979744 - .NET Framework 2.0 hotfix
KB 979917 - ASP.NET 2.0 hotfix
KB 982170 - UCMA hotfix - July 2010 - 3.5.6907.206
KB 982867 - .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 hotfix
KB 983440 - ASP.NET 2.0 hotfix rollup
Office 2010 Filter Pack

These updates are not made by the Exchange team, and cannot be included in the SP1 download binaries.

Exchange 2010 SP1 Available

The Microsoft Exchange team have released Service Pack 1 for Exchange 2010 which you can get here

A complete list of the new features are available here

I have been really looking forward to the ability to import pst's directly into exchange like we could with exmerge.

I would recommend taking a snapshot of your exchange 2010 vm if your exchange 2010 server is virtualised , just in case anything goes wrong!It took approximately 1 hour for me to upgrade a decent spec server to service pack 1.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) Technologies

Bookmark this LINK It is a technet directory of video tutorials of MDOP technologies. There are some really great tools here like DART which I have used many times but reviewing some videos on this site , I can easily see some amazing features I wasn't aware was available.

SCE 2010 Plus Suite

Microsoft have released System Center Essentials 2010 Plus Suite which includes DPM2010. This is an amazing bundle and offers real value for customers. I have just finished a network using both products and SCE 2010 is a super product as is DPM2010. They are both really easy to use powerful tools.

You can get info on the suite here

Sunday, August 22, 2010


975530 - Last Review: August 10, 2010 - Revision: 14.0
Stop error message on a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer that has the Hyper-V role installed and that uses one or more Intel CPUs that are code-named Nehalem: "0x00000101 - CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT"

I have a newly installed HP DL380G6 , completely up to date etc.. that has been randomly rebooting. I installed who crashed to review the memory dump and found that each time it happened this error code was generated CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT

So after some research on the web I found A Hot Fix available from Microsoft to fix the problem. You can get it HERE


To successfully back up a hyper-v host with windows server backup. The Hyper-v vss writer needs to be registers with windows server backup.

Here is an article on that shows you how to do this manually.

But why do it manually when you can go here to click on fix it from microsoft and they will do it for you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 is a super product. I had some trouble with SQL Server during the install but I got it installed by firstly installing SQL 2008R2 Express with advanced features. Advanced features is required for reporting services element of SCE 2010. You can download SQL 2008 R2 Express HERE

You can also install the SCE Management console on a client pc. A technet article is available HERE

I have not tested SCE's virtualization management but look forward to doing so.

Remove Inactive Objects in Active Directory

Today I upgraded an Active Directory Forest from a functional level of Windows 2000 to Windows 2008R2.

It was a fairly simple process and done with the help of snapshots in Hyper-V just incase I needed to roll back.

When I began to design my new group policies I noticed there were nearly 200 computer accounts with the majority of them being inactive.

I found a few powershell scripts that will list the inactive computer accounts within a timeframe that you specify in the script. But then I found a command even better.

DSQUERY This command can scan for inactive computer accounts within a specified timeframe and then delete them as well!!!

dsquery computer -inactive 8 -limit 0 | dsrm (8 is the number of weeks)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Microsoft Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Test

There is a remote connectivity analyzer for OCS! The same way there is one for exchange.

You can reach it here

Sunday, August 8, 2010

MCITP : Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

To get your MCITP in Virtualization you need the following exams

Exam 70-659 or Exam 70-652 and Exam 70-669 and Exam 70-693.

I plan to do 70-693 this week and I am very confident I will pass the exam. However I think Microsoft should also include the 70-403 System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuring as SCVMM is an essential part of any enterprise microsoft virtualization solution.

Blogging vs Wiki Server

I have been using my blog as my own notebook and quite often search my blog to remind me how to do things or to click on links for hot fixes etc..

A customer of mine wants me to setup an internal Wiki server which their programmers can access.

I also want to setup one for cdsoft for our service dept etc..

From my research it is a simple enough to setup but there are a lot of plugins that make it work really well. So when I get it finished I will post how it goes.

Disable UAC in Group Policy

Sometimes applications can be fussy about UAC and this is how to disable it via group policy. I have not had a chance to test app-v but i am sure app-v can overcome problems with uac etc..

# User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode - Set its value to Elevate without prompting.
# User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation - Set its value to Disabled.
# User Account Control: Only elevate UIAccess applications that are installed in secure locations - Set its value to Disabled.
# User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode - Set its value to Disabled

Cloud Based Email - Google Apps or BPOS

I have setup both Google Apps & BPOS (Microsoft Hosted Exchange)

They are both really simple to setup and offer 25gb mailboxes which is incredible.But I have to say my preference would be with Microsoft's Hosted exchange for the amount of features you get with it.

Like OWA, Outlook Anywhere, Seamless Mobile Integration, Sharepoint Integration.

Although I would go with Google Apps for any site with 5 users or less as Microsoft BPOS requires a minimum of 5 users.

When I first joined CDSOFT I was a big fan of Google Apps & Google's hosted enterprise spam solution - Postini. But we are a dedicated Microsoft Gold Partner and will continue to push Microsoft Solutions.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sonicwall VPN Client for Apple Mac

This is a great free utility called ipsecuritas for creating vpn connections to sonicwalls on Apple Macs

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Xbox 360

I thought my xbox was broken as i could not download a required update to play mass effect 2. So I downloaded the update burnt it to disc and applied the update that way.The problem was firewall settings. If i was working in my every day job i would have checked for open ports straight away, just didnt think of it at home!!

Ports that need to be open are

* Port 88 (UDP and TCP)
* Port 3074 (UDP and TCP)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Outlook Anywhere & Autodiscover

Here is a great video article from Jaap Wesselius on describing exchange auto discover service.

I think outlook anywhere is excellent and customers love it. It is so easy to set up with exchange 2010.

Monday, July 19, 2010

OCS2007 R2

I have some spare time off this week as I am celebrating the birth of my second child a beautiful little girl whom we named Sophie. Anyway I have been studying for OCS2007R2 Exam 70-638 and the best source of training material I found was technet's labs for OCS which you can reach here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GFI aquires Sunbelt Software

GFI recently released their own Anti Virus software which didnt get great reviews.But that is all about to change as when I was working with Netforce we began using Sunbelt Vipre and it is my favorite AV program and it is maturing with release of version 4. It has to have the best GUI I have seen to date and when policies are updated you can see them updating in real time.

Also GFI will get their hands on Double Take which is not a bad piece of software.

I have used GFI's Languard, ISA Monitor, Mail Essentials, Fax Maker many times. So it will be interesting to see how the merge goes.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Removing HP Tools before or after P2V

Here’s a handy tool from CtxAdmTools to have around when virtualizing HP servers to a virtualization platform. It cleans up most if not all of the HP tools, agents and programs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sonicwall NSA 2400 High Availability

Here is a Sonicwall article on creating a High Availability array of Sonicwall NSA2400 firewalls which I will be implementing next week. I wont be using 5.6.2 firmware as it is a bit buggy on the load balancing and failover. I will be using 5.6.03 firmware.



I love powershell and have began using it more and more with 2008 r2 , hyper-v & exchange 2010. I have subscribed to Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog via rss feeds and i reguarly obtain priceless powershell scripts.

For example a script to convert all word.doc files to docx. Worth checking out!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sonicwall NSA2400

One of our customers recently updated firmware on their NSA2400 and the wan connection began to die as well as the actual firewall appliance becoming unresponsive.

So i thought the unit was faulty as I put a TZ210 in it's place with same config and there were no problems.

I couldnt troubleshoot this during working hours as the customer had a lot of vpns etc. that needed to be up to run their business.So I came in on Saturday and myself and the customer turned off auto negotiate on the wan port and set it to 100Mbps full duplex.

Problem solved!! It was connecting to a Cisco router and that was causing all the fuss. A really simple fix but one that could drive you crazy!

Manage a Hyper-V Host remotely on Windows 7

Here is a great video tutorial on how to manage a hyper-v host from a remote windows 7 pc/laptop.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Entourage EWS Attachment Limits

I had a customer that had problems sending emails over 10mb via Entourage EWS via an SBS2008 Server.

So here is how to fix it.

In addition to running the appropriate cmdlets to change message size limits in Exchange, you'll need to edit web.config found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\exchweb\ews. Open with Notepad (or your favorite text editor) and search for maxrequestlength. Change the value to reflect the size in kilobytes desired, then save the change.

For good measure, edit web.config located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\owa.

Once both files have been edited open a command prompt and run the following commands:

cd \Windows\System32\inetsrv

appcmd set config "SBS Web Applications/ews" -section:requestFiltering -requestLimits.maxAllowedContentLength:51200

appcmd set config "SBS Web Applications/owa" -section:requestFiltering -requestLimits.maxAllowedContentLength:51200


51200 KB = 50mb

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MCITP in Virtualisation

I recently posted on the Hyper- V group requesting some help on training material for 70-669 & 70-693.

Peter Rus kindly emailed me a comprehensive list of training material for these exams which are listed below.

The App-V Blog :
Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 User Experience :
App-V with AppLocker Windows Installer Rules :
App-V with AppLocker Executable Rules :
App-V configuration Options :
Microsoft Showcase: App-V: Client Configuration :
The App-V Blog : App-V 4.5 Remote Console Configuration Guide :
How to Configure App-V using Group Policy Objects :
App-V Standalone Client Configuration :
Choosing the right App-V delivery model :
App-V Configuration Options :
App-V with AppLocker Executable Rules :
App-V with AppLocker Windows Installer Rules :
Creating an App-V Virtual Application – Using the Sequencer :
Deprovision a Virtual Application Using App-V :
Launching an App-V Virtual Application and Reviewing Client Configuration :
Using App-V Metering to Manage Application Licenses :
Publishing an App-V Virtual Application Using Full Infrastructure Mode :
Running Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 Virtualised :
Update a Virtual Application Using App-V :
Using Dynamic Suiting to Create a Plug-in Dependency in Word :

Managing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Environment
Configure user state virtualization
This objective may include but is not limited to: configuring roaming profiles, configuring folder redirection

How To Configure Folder Redirection :
Configuring Folder Redirection in Windows Server 2008 - iTechtalk :
Managing Roaming User Data Deployment Guide :

Manage virtual desktops remotely
This objective may include but is not limited to: working with Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal (SSP) to log in to, control, restart, or resume a desktop virtual machine, working with Remote Desktop Manager, working with Remote Desktop Licensing Manager, troubleshooting client Key Management Server (KMS) issues, configuring firewall exceptions on the client

Installing and Configuring SCVMM 2008 Self-Service Portal :
SCVMM Self-Service Portal with Laptop Part 1 of 4: Overview :
SCVMM Self-Service Portal with Laptop Part 2 of 4: Adding Host :
SCVMM Self-Service Portal with Laptop Part 3 of 4: Adding Library :
SCVMM Self-Service Portal with Laptop Part 4 of 4: Running Self Service :
Remote Desktop Licensing Manager :
Running Remote Desktop Licensing Manager :
Remote Desktop Services Manager :
How to troubleshoot the Key Management Service (KMS) :

How to troubleshoot Volume Activation error codes on Windows 7 :

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Upgrade WSS 3.0 to Shrepoint Foundation

As per my previous post I was considering attempting an upgrade to Sharepoint Foundation to hopefully fix my problem. But you cannot proceed with an upgrade until your WSS3.0 site is healthy.

But here is a great article from Andy Phelps.

This article is really simple and quick to follow and works a treat. Although I would imagine SBS2008R2 will include Exchnage 2007 SP3 & Sharepoint Foundation and a nice installer that does it all for us :) But we will have to wait and see.


Companyweb Broken on SBS2008 after WSS3.0 SP2

A customer of mine recently had a problem when their companyweb stopped working. So I started to look into application event logs, services running etc.. and I discovered that a windows update (Service Pack 2 for WSS3.0) did not install correctly. It didnt finish installing and was only part installed.

Now this one absolutely broke my heart and I am not alone on this from my research on the web. So throughout my searches on the web I cam across this article from the SBS Team Blog.And another one from technet . But the simple fix is to download WSS SP2 and manually extract the contents using this command "wssv3sp2-kb953338-x64-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:c:\extract" and then manually install each component. Now you will think the installation of each package is freezing as they are quite small in size the biggest component being 25mb but leave them alone to finish their installation, restart your server.

Make sure the bindings are correct in IIS Manager on the SBS Sharepoint site and voila your back up and running.

This took me a lot longer than I would have preferred to sort out but there you go. A Microsoft Update that breaks things if not installed correctly with no easy way to roll back.The update also changes Sharepoint authentication to kerbeos instead of NTLM.

Friday, June 25, 2010

SBS2008 Quick Reboot

SBS2008 can take forever to reboot so here is a quick script to reboot very quickly.

So just copy this into notepad and save it as a batch file. When I was installing Exchange SP3 last night it was getting late so I ran a scheduled task to run this batch file and it works fine.

net stop msexchangeadtopology /y
net stop msftesql-exchange /y
net stop msexchangeis /y
net stop msexchangesa /y
net stop iisadmin /y
shutdown /r /c "Scheduled Restart" /f

Exchange 2007 SP3 Installation on SBS2008

I recently downloaded and installed Exchange SP3 on SBS2008 and this is how it went.

Firstly you need to disable Forefront Security for exchange.
Then when i proceeded to double click on setup, But I couldnt see the gui for the installer so I installed it by running an elevated command prompt , changing the current directory to my Exchange SP3 Folder and running this command /mode:upgrade

The installation takes a fair bit of time , so it needs to be left alone.

Once completed ,reboot the server and then re-run internet address wizard as sometimes RWW and OWA can loose their bindings.

Also it installs a self signed cert, so if you have a trusted cert you will need to re-enable it via exchange management shell.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2008R2 Hyper-V DPM2010 Protection Prerequisites

A hot fix is available at the link below which needs to be installed on a Microsoft Windows Server 2008R2 Server to allow protection from DPM 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Micrsoft Online Services & Iphone

First of all heres a video to setup iphone with Microsoft Online Services.

One thing which caught me out was the server name.The Emea OWA login URL is

But the actual server address for the iphone is

Then test your active sync credentials via

Once you have green ticks , all done.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

App-V 4.5 SP2 now available

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SBS2008 Setup Checklist

I bought the first SBS2008 book that was released which was SBS2008 Unleashed by Eriq Oliver Neale and it was ok. But then the SBS2008 Blueprint book was published from SMB Nation and I found this book much easier to read and follow.

There are 2 Authors Harry B and Philip Elder , Philip is a SBS MVP and has a great blog which he keeps updated reguraly and of special interest is his SBS2008 Setup Checklist. It is currently on version 1.5 and I cant think of a better way of installing and configuring SBS2008.

You can see the setup guide here

SBS2008 Rollup 4 Available

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oracle (Sun) Virtual Box

I recently used Microsoft Virtual PC on a site but ran into problems with bridged network cards amongst other small issues. I gave up on Virtual PC and thought my only other alternative was VM Ware Player which is free but I could'nt get VM Ware tools installed into my VMWare Virtual PC and VM Work Station is a bit expensive.

But then Virtual Box came to my rescue and has worked perfectly. And its free! I dont know how long it will remain free after Oracles aquisition of Sun.But hey its free now and a doddle to setup.

Shadowprotect images .spf and .spi files can boot up straight into virtual box as if they were a vhd or vmdk.

Here is a video tutorial on using Virtual Box from David Davis on

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Using Free NAS with Hyper-V

I ran into a situation where I needed to recover a lot of mailboxes via backup exec on an Exchange 2003 Server and needed to do it via a recovery storage group and exmerge.

But the problem was I did not have enough storage on the exchange server to recover with a RSG.And adding additional storage was not an option , next step for customer was a hardware upgrade for exch 2010.So luckily enough I had a Hyper-V Server with loads of storage so I did the following.

1. Created a new vm with a 500gb dynamic disk , added in a legacy adapter , 4gb ram , 4 virtual cpus.
2. Then started up the new vm and booted into the free nas os, selected the legacy adapter , set the legacy adapter to receive dhcp, took note of ip address.
3. Then logged into the free nas via the http://ip received from dhcp. User name: admin password:freenas
4.Configured freenas as per this article from Dave Lawlor
5. Then downloaded and installed latest microsoft iscsi initiator for Server 2003.
6. Connected to my freenas via iscsi and formatted my new volume.
7. Then moved my RSG to the new volume I created.

This was an interesting resolution to my problem as I couldnt locate the RSG on anything but a local drive and exchange thought my new volume was a local drive.

Now this problem was probably a once off but it is a really simple way for people to play around with iscsi and san technology and its free.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

System Center Config Manager Training

New training material released from Microsoft for training on Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Storagecraft Shadowprotect 4

Shadowprotect 4 has been released. I was beginning to loose faith in Shadow Protect in terms of their development cycle in comparison to Acronis. Both products are very similar.

The reason I love Shadowprotect is because it has never let me down in the past and it's simple GUI and speed of recovery.

Anyway there are a lot of really cool features in version 4 in particular head start restore and you can take a look at Storagecraft's Webinar on Shadowprotect.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Which Version of MS 2008R2 to use for Hyper-V

Apart from server consolidation some of the other areas where you can use HYPER-V are,

* Test and Development
* Server Consolidation
* Branch Office Consolidation
* Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI)

Microsoft free HYPER Visor is good option for testing and R&D. If you are planning to consolidate more than 4 servers in one physical server then moving to Data center version will do huge cost saving to you.

Setting a Domain Controller to Sync with External NTP Server

1. Modify Registry settings on the PDC Emulator for the forest root domain:
In this key:
• Change the Type REG_SZ value from NT5DS to NTP.
This determines from which peers W32Time will accept synchronization. When the REG_SZ value is changed from NT5DS to NTP, the PDC Emulator synchronizes from the list of
reliable time servers specified in the NtpServer registry key.
• Change the NtpServer value from,0x1 to,0x1

This entry specifies a space-delimited list of stratum 1 timeservers from which the local computer can obtain reliable time stamps. The list can use either fully-qualified domain
names or IP addresses. (If DNS names are used, you must append ,0x1 to the end of each DNS name.) In this key:
• Change AnnounceFlags REG_DWORD from 10 to 5. This entry controls whether the local computer is marked as a reliable time server (which is only possible if the previous registry entry is set to NTP as described above). Change the REG_DWORD value from 10 to 5 here.
2. Stop and restart the time service:
net stop w32time
net start w32time
3. Manually force an update:
w32tm /resync /rediscover
(Microsoft KB article # 816042 provides detailed instructions for this process.) Apart from that you can refer to this link as well.

As a thumb rule test this before applying for the production network. This is recommend if your organization preparing to move to 100% virtualization environment. If not at all cost try to have one DC in a physical server :)

Update: I found out Microsoft has already released an article about running Domain controller in HYPER-V. You can download the document from here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Microsoft on What's Next for Managing Datacenters and the Cloud

View this video on Microsoft's vision for the future of Managing Datacenters and the Cloud.

Friday, April 16, 2010

V 2 P Conversion

I recently had to convert a Server 2008 R2 Virtual Primary Domain Controller to a Physical Server.

I scratched my head for a while and wondered how best to do it. I was thinking of using storagecraft, then thinking of installing a new server , running dcpromo and then transferring AD Roles.

But I used Windows 2008 Server Backup and backed up my Virtual Primary Domain Controller to a Bufallo Linkstation Pro. The Virtual DC was installed on a dynamic disk. I then restored it via bootup repair options from a Server 2008R2 USB Drive.

It took 15 mins!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualisation

I recently completed a network where my customer connected to a multi national companies corporate network via Juniper End Point Protection.

The company I installed the network for uses this multi national companies infrastructure to perform computer programming on their equipment and connects to multiple servers within the infrastructure via a customised Citrix ICA Connection.

The multi national refused Windows 7 & Refused Sophos Anti Virus as they said it was incompatible with their end point protection policies. But the endpoint protection was very happy with Windows 7 and Sophos as were the users.

But there was one massive problem!!!! Once the endpoint protection established a connection there was no split tunnel so the users could not access their local drives outlook client, VOIP Softphones etc...

So the customer purchased HP Pro Book laptops with Intel i3 Processors which have Intel VT on the chip.So you have probably been wondering where does MED-V come into all this. I installed MED-V SP1 onto a Virtualised Windows Server 2008R2 Server, Prepared my virtual pc 2007 sp1 image and deployed it to the laptops.The programmers all have docking stations as well as 24" Wide Screen flat panel monitors. So they use their laptop screen for communication to their own lan and Virtual PC on the big screen for their LOB work on a multi nationals corporate network and the virtual pc communicates directly to the Intel i3 processor via Intel VT Technology.

Once in a blue moon you would come across a situation like this but when you do. This is a really cool solution!

Download the administration videos here


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Print Spooler Failures

We have been having trouble with print spooler failures with a Terminal Server Farm recently and I recently discovered a cool feature of the 2008R2 Printer Manager.

You can select a driver and set it to isolate which means the driver will have it's own isolated virtual print spooler , This means it wont share the common print spooler and in the event of a buggy driver it wont pull the whole print spooler down , only the printer using that particular driver.

Remote Desktop Easy Print and a HP Universal Print Driver can act in similar ways and therefore can clash, witch would make sense to isolate each driver.

Its a really cool feature that not many people know about and can really help troubleshoot print spooler problems.

If your having trouble with a driver which is isolated , it will then have its own process and you can use Process Explorer from sysinternals to analyse that process.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Exchange 2010 Quick Setup Guide

Exchange 2010 Quick Setup Guide R1

1. If installing on Hyper-V R2 , Have the following config
C:\40gb Fixed Disk, D:\100gb Fixed Disk Database, E:\20gb,2008R2 Enterprise , 4 processors , As much ram as possible, Patch OS prior to install.

2. Run this command from command prompt

ServerManagerCmd -i RSAT-ADDS Web-Server Web-Metabase Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console Web-ISAPI-Ext NET-HTTP-Activation Web-Basic-Auth Web-Digest-Auth Web-Windows-Auth Web-Dyn-Compression RPC-over-HTTP-proxy Web-Net-Ext -Restart

3. Install Feature “Desktop Expierience” if you wish to install the unified messaging role.

4. Install Exchange 2010, It will sysprep active directory for you.

5. During install it will ask you for external name for owa . I chose mail.domainname eg.

6. When setup is complete re-boot server and then install Exchange 2010 Rollup2 Update kb9796711 and reboot.

7. Move Database and log files to relevant drives.

8. Add in accepted external domain, add to default email policy. (I normally like to define firstname.secondname

9. Create an internet send connector via Organisation/Hubtransport/new send connector wizard.

10. Edit the default receive connector permission group to allow anonymous users

11. Edit Organisation/Hub Transport/Global Settings/Transport Settings and change max send & receive size to 30720

12. Run this command in exchange system shell

13. Set-OWAVirtualDirectory -Identity "owa (default web site)" -LogonFormat username -DefaultDomain INTERNALDOMAINNAME (eg.cdsoft.local)

14. Buy a trusted cert for exchange

15. Add users via new mailbox wizard and create new user this way and select AD OU that the user belongs to.

16. Disable Windows Firewall and Allow Main Firewall to allow external ports 25 & 443 access to server.

17. Implement correct backup procedure.

Monday, March 29, 2010

After installing Hyper-V Integration Services on the next reboot the VM displays BSOD 0x0000007B

A big thanks to kev greene in cdsoft for this article which has proved to be priceless.

Recently, I had some customers with VMs they just P2V'ed, or even had them running already on Virtual Server or Hyper-V. Now, they installed the latest Integration Components that came with the R2 Release.

After the required reboot, the VM shows a Bluescreen 0x0000007B INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

During Debugging I found that the Storage Driver of the ICs require the Windows Driver Framework (WDF), which was not loaded in this case. So the Storage Driver fails to load.
Looking into the Registry of the VM, shows that the WDF Driver was already installed previously, but had the wrong Group relationship, so it is initialized too late.

So here’s how to fix this issue:

1. Boot the VM into LastKnownGood. Press F8 during boot.
2. Open the Registry and drill down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Wdf01000
3. There is a Group Value that should have the Value WdfLoadGroup. In my cases it was wrongly set to base. Change this to WdfLoadGroup
4. Then remove the Integration Components from Control Panel/Software.
5. Reboot the VM (now without ICs)
6. Install the ICs once again

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rapid transition guide from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

Google Docs Storage

My laptop's hard drive is starting to make a clicking sound. I have been meaning to replace it for some time but just have not got around to it. So prior to it dying I am uploading all the pics of my little boy Jayden to Google Docs storage. Each user gets a standard 1GB storage but I purchased an additional 20GB storage for $5.00 a year!!!

I always use for sending files i need for work like hot fixes and patches. Mostly any email package or service will put restrictions on sending .exe files , but the free version only allows sending a maximum of 100MB. With my google docs storage I can easily share a folder and send the link to somebody and they have the required file, files.

Its really simple to use and I feel safer having my files in the cloud. I will however have to make my password stronger!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Free Remote Control / Support Tool

Why use Logmein Rescue when you can use this free remote control support tool