Monday, November 21, 2011

Microsoft App-V Resources

I have been doing a lot of App-V Sequencing recently and thought I would post a list of App-V resources which I refer to on a regular basis.

App-V Sequencing Recipe Forum

Application Virtualization Whitepapers

Contains App-V Sequencing guide and common practices.

The Microsoft Application Virtualization Blog

Application sequencing SuperFlow
Must use interactive documentation on sequencing.

Sequencing articles on TechNet

InstEd IT - free MSI Editor

App-V 4.6 Sequencing Recipe - Template

Create an App-V Package Accelerator

Enable and Use the App-V Read-only Shared Cache for VDI and RDS

Advanced App-V Sequencing: Internet Explorer Add-Ins and VFS

App-V Sequencing: Built-in Diagnostics and Templates

Sequence an Application Plug-in for Dynamic Suite Composition

App-V Configuration Options

App-V with AppLocker Executable Rules

App-V with AppLocker Windows Installer RulesDeploying App-V with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

Deploying App-V with System Center Configuration Manager

Deprovision a Virtual ApplicationLaunch a Virtual Application and Review Client Configuration

Publish a Virtual Application Using Full Infrastructure Mode

Run Microsoft Office in an App-V Virtualized Environment

Setting Up the App-V Management Server

Update a Virtual Application Using App-V

Updating and Upgrading a Sequenced Application Using App-V

Use App-V Metering to Manage Application Licenses

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DPM 2010 Sql Instance Wont Start after failed SQL Service Pack Update

A customers DPM Server crashed today while in the middle of the installation of SQL2008 Service Pack 3. So when the server came back online the msdpm2010 sql instance would not start.

So when reviewing the event logs I could see the following.

event ,959 mssql$msdpm2010

The resource database version is 611 and this server supports version 662. Restore the correct version or reinstall SQL Server

The fix is quite simple. Take a copy of the DPM Databse which is located by default in C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\DPMDB

Then go to programs and features and select SQL 2008 , then uninstall/change and then repair. Point the repair wizard at the sql 2008 installation media and let it repair the SQL 2008 installation.Once complete , reboot the server and then will then be able to view your protection groups as before.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DPM Protection Group Design Decsions

Nearly every site I visit that wants to implement DPM is different. Wouldn't it be great if you could just create your protection groups and backup everything every night and have green ticks all the time.

But if you have lets say 8TB of data and your SAN or SAN's are standard gigabit iscsi then just calculate your average data transfer per gb per hour and see if you can get it all in one night!

My server of choice is the HP x1600 Storage Server.HP do great bundles on 6TB , 12TB or even 24TB models. They are very easy to setup and just work , never have any problems with them. Need a LTO5 drive to attach to it. No problem there is a sas adapter ready to go.

Here is a list of items that can influence your decisions on designing DPM Protection groups.

•Which Hypervisors are in use
• What type of SAN is in use iSCSI, SAS, Fiber Channel
• Are snapshots licensed on the SAN
• Does the SAN have capacity for snapshots
• What is LAN Connectivity speed between DPM and Protected Sources
• What is the WAN Speed
• Do you require DPM to DPM DR Replication.
• Is bandwidth throttling required
• Are there any compliance policies in place in terms of retention of data.
• Are there any tape drives currently in use.
• Some servers may require reboots when the DPM agent is deployed.Can this be done during business hours.
• Is there third party vendor support contracts in place for Applications. Can we liaise with these vendors about backing up their applications
• Is self service recovery recovery required for client users.
• Is there a set limit to acceptable downtime.
• Which data is mission critical.
• What is your companies projected data growth.
• What version of exchange, sql, windows server, active directory, sharepoint is in place.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to use Hardware VSS Writers with DPM 2010

Hardware VSS Snapshots are a really cool integration feature with Microsoft DPM and once up and running they work really well. They also provide the most efficient method for backing up Clustered Shared Volumes.

When a Hardware VSS Writer initiates a Snapshot – It is normally very quick , DPM then backs up the snapshot and not the live Clustered Shared Volume. When Cluster Shared Volumes are being backed up performance can decrease.

I have not seen any step by step guides or blogs on how to do this , So I thought I would post a step by step guide not only for my own records but too hopefully help someone trying to implement hardware vss writers
with DPM.

Here is a complete list of tested Hardware VSS Writers with DPM , Their setup would be very similar to setup I described below. Most Hardware VSS Writers require a license from the Manufacturer.

You can view the Document HERE

A special thanks to Mark Doyle from He helped me out with this one.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Office 365 Cutover Install

I completed an Office 365 install today and wanted to point out a few things which may help people along.

When using the office 365 mail migration program the server you are migrating from must have a trusted cert.The server I worked on today was an SBS2003 server with a self signed cert , So i just got a 30 day trial verisign cert and that did the trick.To ensure the migration tool will work you need to get all green ticks when running the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analayzer for auto discover.

Sometimes Lync wont connect even though the Office 365 Connector wizard has completed and stated the Lync setup was complete. You can manually enter the external lync server via options. The server I needed to connect to from Dublin was

There are also some updates for Lync Clients

Lync 2010 (32-bit) (7577.256) – Download – KB2496325
Lync 2010 (64-bit) (7577.256) – Download – KB2496325

Once the Office 365 Connector has completed it will display - Additional Manual Steps required to configure Outlook.So you need to create a CNAME called "autodiscover" and point it to ""
I opened up contol panel / mail / profiles then delete the existing profile and then press apply then create a new profile with exactly the same name and allow autodiscover to find your server the reason for recreating a profile with the same name is to preserve the user's NK2 File.

What is my Outlook Web App address. Lets say my domain name was then my Outlook Web App Address would be

What server do I connect to for smart phones??

You can go the Mobile Phone Setup Wizard

Finding My Server Name

To determine your server name, use the following steps:
Sign in to your account using Outlook Web App.
After you sign in, click the drop-down arrow next to the Help question mark, and then click About.
Find the server name listed under External POP setting or Internal POP setting. If your server name is in the format, then your Exchange ActiveSync server name is If your server name includes your organization’s name, for example,, then your server name is the same as your Outlook Web App server name, without the /owa. For example, if the address you use to access Outlook Web App is, your Exchange ActiveSync server name is

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quest Migration Assessment Tool

Quest Migration Assessment

This is cool software from Quest which is free!!! It helps you asses readiness for migration to cloud based email solutions

Sharepoint Online Storage

SharePoint Online allocates an initial 10 GB of storage plus 500 MB for each user. This storage is pooled and available for allocation across multiple site collections. For example, an organization of 1,000 users by default would have a base of 510,000 MB (510 GB) of storage.

In addition, users can purchase more SharePoint Online storage in GB increments charged monthly, currently $2.50USD/GB/month.

Site Storage Quotas
The SharePoint Online service administrator can set the storage limits for site collections and sites created by users. The minimum storage allocated to a new site collection is 24 megabytes (MB). The maximum storage available for any site collection is up to 100 gigabytes (GB).

The maximum SharePoint Online storage available to a single company’s tenancy is 5 terabytes (TB).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Force DPM Tapes to become free. Even with data within retention!

I was recently working on a DPM 2010 Install and needed to force tapes that had data on them that was within a retention policy period to be free as I needed to do an urgent backup onto these LTO 5 Tapes.

DPM doesn't allow you to mark tapes as infinitely over writable, even if you put in 0 days or weeks it will always default back to 1.

So here is a cool powershell script from Microsoft. So visit HERE paste the script into notepad and save as ForceFree.ps1 and copy it into the DPM Bin Folder. And run this command ForceFree.ps1 -DPMServerName -LibraryName -TapeLocation

The tape libary I was using was a "Hewlett Packard 1/8 G2 Autoloader (x64based)" So I entered this info into the command switch when running the force.ps1 powershell script but kept getting an error message saying " Cannot find tape libary Hewlett Packard 1/8 Autoloader (x64based).

So the fix for this is really simple ,

So as per image above on the right hand side , click on Rename Libary. In my case I renamed the libary to LTO5 and then re-ran my powershell script with the new tape libary and it worked fine and I was able to use the tapes to backup data.

Also don't forget to enable quick erase via regedit for tapes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DPM 2007 - DPM2010 Upgrade

Here is a great blog post on DPM2007 - 2010 Upgrade

However I would also use dpmbackup tool.

You can find this in C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\DPM\bin

So open a command prompt with elevated privlages and set your current directory to the bin folder in DPM then run dpmbackup -db

But where does the backup go?

You can find it in \Program Files\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\Volumes\ShadowCopy\Database Backups and it will be named DPMDB.bak

So if the upgrade goes wrong at least you have your DPM Database backed up!

So an inplace upgrade really is quite simple.If you have not killed the DPMRA executable you will be prompted to do so during the upgrade.

Once the upgrade is complete , Reboot the server and then apply the March 2011 Dpm Rollup which you can download HERE

Upgrade all protected machine's agents and ensure communication is ok with all agents and thats it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Citrix Xenapp: You have started Windows Explorer in your remote session.

I recently rolled out a Citrix Xenapp 6 farm with a published application which was a desktop. When users started to logon they began getting the error in the above image.

I was using HPT5550 Thin Clients. So I flashed the thin clients with the latest firmware which was released in April 2011 and also updated the ICA Client to 11.02.I also noticed that some standard hot keys like alt-tab , ctrl c , ctrl v were not working.

So the simple fix is to untick "view in seamless windows" on the thin client ica connection.

Friday, May 13, 2011

DPM2007 Tape Libary Errors

I recently had a customer that had some problems with a HP 1/8 G2 Autoloader LTO 5 Drive.

We discovered some hardware problems and got the LTO 5 Drive replaced under warranty but they also began to run into some more problems with tape backup failures.

I had a support case with Microsoft and discovered a few things to help people in the future if they run into similar problems.

The easiest thing to do is to upgrade DPM2007 to 2010 which 9 times out of 10 will fix the problem and DPM 2012 will be with us soon! However its still always nice to fix tape problems when they occur and listed below are a few ways to help.

1.Open up the DPM Database which is normally servername\MS$DPM2007$
Then browse to a table tbl_MM_Drive and right click on it and click open then ensure that all items in the OperationOccuring field are set to 0 and the click save all.

2.Add a dword value "RSMCompatMode" in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\Agent with a decimal value of 27. As per Microsoft KB978901

All tape inventories were failing for me prior to adding this DWORD to the registry.

3.Run DPMLibraryTest.exe to validate mounting and moving of tapes.

4. Run dpmbackup -db to create a backup of your DPM DB which you will need to do if you are upgrading to 2010.

5. One of the weaknesses of DPM is the inability to back up Oracle DB's and Vmware. i365 have a plugin for DPM which can backup oracle & vmware. Yipee! You can read up on it HERE

6. Finally , Erasing tapes in DPM can sometimes take forever , so it would be nice to speed up that process and heres hows.

If your tape drive supports short erase, you can enable it on the DPM server by creating the DWORD UseShortErase under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\Agent.

Set the value of the DWORD to 00000000.

After this value is set, all erase operations on the DPM server will be short erases. To revert to long erases, remove this registry key

Friday, April 22, 2011

Citrix XenApp Clients

I recently tried to download the latest XenApp 6 client. When I go to downloads , I see offline plugin and online plugin.


It was so easy to use and I thought by installing both offline plugin and online plugin I would get access to an ICA Client but it only shows Citrix Online Plugin in start menu/all programs. So I had a look in C:\program files\citrix\ica client and clicked on the application exe's. Still no ICA Client.

So I did a bit of looking around on the web and i am not the only one confused.

There is a good article HERE on about the different Citrix Clients.

So I eventually found what I was looking for , I needed the Citrix Quick Launch Application which you can download HERE But even when you download it , it is not straight forward as you need to register TABCTL32.OCX They dont make it easy!!

All I wanted to do is test logins and roaming profiles.

If you dont want to go through all this hassle you could always just download mRemote which will let you connect to just about anything.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Xp32x Fax Clients connecting to Server 2008R2 Fax Server

When I think of electronic faxing I always think of Microsoft Small Business Server's built in faxing or Zeta Fax or GFI.

Zeta Fax & GFI Faxmaker work really well and integrate really well into Exchange but can cost a bit as user counts increase.So I had to setup Server2008R2 Fax Server recently which is FREE and heres how I did it.

1.Install the Fax Server Role.
2.Ensure Firewall Rules are correct.
3.Share Fax Printer out to relevant security group or domain\users
4.Add x86 driver to fax printer. Download driver HERE
5.Change the Fax Service "LOGON AS" from NETWORK SERVICE to LOCAL SYSTEM also tick "interact with desktop"

Now here is the bit that got me! When I logged on as an administrator xp x86 client I could connect to the fax server via the the fax console without any problems.But it kept saying connection errors when connecting with a standard user.So i tried adding permissions to the fax printer but that was not correct.

6.Open up Fax Service Manager, Right Click on Fax , Properties, Security add in relevant users , security group.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hyper-v failed to open attachment C:\clusterstorage\volume

I recently installed a 2 node Hyper-V cluster soon to be a 3 node and all was working really well until I added a DPM 2010 Agent.When I was trying to do a live migration it would move 100% but fail to start. So if I shutdown the vm and move to another host and try and start it. It still wont start!!!!! :(

It was also affecting SCVMM , I could not push templates to my cluster.

I was starting to panic at this stage and was thinking I needed to rebuild my cluster, but the fix was really simple and required a few steps.

1) Start Registry Editor.
2) Visit the following registry key: “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\FsDepends”
3) Under the “FsDepends” key, change REG_DWORD value “Start” from “3” to “0”
4) Restart the computer

Another culprit was SOPHOS, I excluded cluster.exe , c:\clusterstorage and it still would fail. So I also excluded the volumes C:\Clusterstorage\volume1 , C:\Clusterstorage\volume2 etc.. and it all worked fine.

Also to remove any ISO images attached to any VM , Like exchange 2010SP1 iso, after the iso has been removed , go into cluster manager , right click on the virtual machine, click on more actions and refresh virtual machine configuration.

My live migration is working perfectly again.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New-MailboxImportRequest wont work on Exchange 2010SP1 Server

When running the new-mailboximportrequest I was getting the following error.

New-MailboxImportRequest is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file

So to resolve this do the following.

1) Launch Exchange powershell
2) Run “Add-pssnapin microsoft*”
3) Run “install-CannedRbacRoles”
4) Run “Install-CannedRbacRoleAssignments”
5) Close powershell
6) Open up EMS and rerun command and it will work fine.

Outlook 2003 connectivity to Exchange 2010

I recently completed a new Exchange 2010 installation and a lot of the clients were still running Outlook 2003.

To enable Outlook 2003 connectivity to Exchange 2010 we need to enable encryption between the client and server.

If there are a lot of clients we want to enable this via group policy , however the Office 2003 template does not contain the option to enable encryption.

Microsoft released a group policy template. Outlook_2003-Exchange_RPC_Encryption.adm

So once your group policy object is created do the following, user/computer configuration , expand policies , right click on Administrative Templates and then add/remove templates and then add the downloaded Outlook_2003-Exchange_RPC_Encryption.adm package

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cannot push DPM 2010 Agent to 2008R2 DC

I could not figure out why a DPM 2010 Agent would not push to a 2008R2 DC after trying a coule of things I became frustrated , I manually installed , ran the setdpmserver tool but to no avail and here is the really simple fix.

On the DC in the built in users group ensure the following are members of that group.

Domain users
Authenticated users

And here is the latest ROLL UP for DPM 2010

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Outlook 2007 view of Exchange 2010SP1 Archive Folder

I recently enabled Archiving for a some mailboxes for Outlook 2007 users and they could not view the arhive folder from within their Outlook client, however they could from Outlook Web App.

Here is a HOTFIX from Microsoft for Outlook 2007 Clients which will allow them to view their archive folder.

Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring

Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring

Heres a link to the MDOP Team Blog which has announced support for Bit Locker administration and monitoring which could work out very well. A beta will be available in March 2011.

To date I have been using Sophos Safe Guard. Sophos acquired German Encryption company Utimaco. Safe Guard Easy is simple to use and very quick however it has limited administration.

Safeguard Enterprise however does have the ability to also manage Bit Locker clients but the Safe Guard Enterprise 5.17 installer just doesn't work and requires a lot of additional work on IIS and SQL.It would be nice to be able to just install an Enterprise Encryption Solution which is easy to manage and I am sure Microsoft's solution will do just that however Im not ready to bin Safe Guard just yet.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Imagine Wimax

I just got my wimax modem from Imagine and that wimax song is stuck in my head!

I am very impressed with how easy it was to setup. The setup wizard was so simple , colorful and quick.

My only complaint is that the motorolla router supplied doesnt have Wireless N

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Microsoft Infrastructure Planning Guides

Download the complete Microsoft Infrastructure Planning Guides HERE

These guides are amazing as well as the Viso Diagrams that are included.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Script to Remove HP Proliant Support Pack in VM

My colleague Kevin Greene first alerted me about this script last year. I could not find it for a while on the web. So i decided to post the link here so I can easily retrieve this invaluable script when I need it.

I recently did a physical to virtual conversion using SCVMM and when complete there is no need for the HP Proliant Support Pack to be installed on the VM, so I ran this script and it quickly removes all the unnecessary files etc..

HP Proliant Support Pack Cleaner v1.2

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Microsoft Online Services You Tube Channel

Microsoft Online Services You Tube Channel

A lot of the BPOS customers I have worked with have their own IT department and administrators. A lot of the time these administrators can ask me questions on how to do certain things. There is nearly always a video posted on the MS Online Services youtube channel. So its a great site to bookmark and even subscribe to.

There are currently 66 videos available.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Remote Control Software

I have been using join me recently.It is so quick , simple and has a friendly interface.

Check it out

System Center Technet Virtual Labs

It's simple: no complex setup or installation is required to try out System Center running in the full-featured TechNet Virtual Lab. You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module. You can sign up for additional 90-minute blocks any time

Friday, January 14, 2011

Office 365 Single Sign on through Active Directory Federation Sharing

With Office 365 , Users will be able to use their Windows Active Directory accounts to sign in to their Microsoft Online Services like Exchange online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online.

I am currently testing this sign on method and I much prefer it to the BPOS SSO Tool.

I am not a fan of the current BPOS SSO method as it is not seemless where as Office 365 method is.

Exchange On Premise - Exchange Online Migration

As Ireland's broadband is not great, It is normally impossible to migrate a 20 user and upwards site over a weekend.

As the Irish Market is mostly SMB the majority of businesses have standard ADSL Connections with a 512kbps upload speed. Most businesses do not need a large upload speed but the upload speed is critical when migrating to Exchange online.

A 2gb mailbox took 5 hours to migrate over a 512kbps connection.

The reason I am posting this is to help people plan a migration properly.

Each time I have done a 40 user and upwards exchange on premise to exchange online migration I have had the benefit of having a minimum of 20Mbps Fiber Synchronous connection , which makes a hugh difference.But not every one will have a synchronous 20Mbps Fiber connection and may have to do with a standard dsl connection.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spam protection for BPOS - Forefront online for Exchange

Spam protection is a standard built in feature of BPOS and normally it is forgotten about, its just there in the background.

But how do you administer your organisation's anti-spam policies etc...?

Simply go to this url , This brings you to Forefront Online for Exchange.

Log in with your admin user name for your BPOS Subscription and query Microsoft for your password.

And here are some videos to teach you how to administer Forefront Online for Exchange

Forefront Online Protection for Exchange: Administration Center 101
Forefront Online Protection for Exchange: Administration Center 102
Forefront Online Protection for Exchange: Administration Center 103
Forefront Online Protection for Exchange: Administration Center 104

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sonicwall Firmware

Sonicwall Firmware was released on 31st December and has some interesting new features , Primarily - real time application control.


The application filtering feature has also been incorporated into the content filtering service. So policies can be defined by application as well as content and applied to groups, and use schedules eg. relax rules for lunch.

Here is a PDF GUIDE for using the Sonicwall Content Filtering Service for version 5.8 firmware and upwards.

Finally here is a link which will allow you to browse the gui of a demo sonicwall appliance with the latest firmware.

Hyper-V Broken VHD - AVHD Chain

I first posted about broken vhd - avhd chains in December 2009, And since then I have helped many people throughout the world in recovering their data and made some friends along the way.

I have recovered data for people in france, germany , uk, australia, usa, brazil

A guy called Dave Loughner from Innovative Solutions in New York pointed out a great utility for recovering data from avhd & vhds.

It is Disk Digger and only cost $14.99, Best money you will ever spend if your really stuck. Dave tried about 30 recovery products before coming across Disk Digger.

As of writing this is down but you can download it here

Also a point to note. The disk digger solution is absolutely the last resort as nothing is as good as merging all avhds and having a healthy server at the end.Using disk digger will get you back up to 50% of your data but not all.

System Center Road Map - 2012

Microsoft System Center Road Map -2011

Managing VMware ESX with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

Here is a great article from Janique Carbone on on managing VMware ESX with SCVMM.

However there is much better support in SCVMM vNext and also in Opalis.