Monthly Archives: May 2005

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Well that was fast!

Microsoft has received your order, and it is being processed.

Ordered From: Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP1
Order Number: 01112007580056
Order Date: May 23, 2005
 
Order Status: Shipped 
 

Sure enough… I have three cdroms in my possession

that are the official Premium SP1

TRUST ME … you WANT to order the cdroms. 

They are SOOOO much better than the manual download.

None of this update.exe or manual extraction stuff.

Not to mention the Smallbizserver.net page says

exactly what to expect.

Planning a beach vacation in Florida? How about adding a dash of swing to that?

 
The Gulf Coast SMB Partners Group will hold its second meeting on the
23rd of June at 7 PM at Univ of West Fla Bldg 71 Rm 133 with Jeff
Middleton (SBSMigration.com) presenting Swing Migration and bringing a
great door prize. You are cordially invited to attend. Details and
registration at  http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=103062   and
registration at Link is required. Please register early so we can get an
idea of attendance and seating is limited so insure your seat now!
Driving Directions link is on Registration site.

 


hmmm….wonder if the extension cord for the laptop will reach that far on the beach. 


Ya think?



Fellow SBS MVPer Frank McCallister is the leader of this group and brings a ton of varied and wide variety of experiences to the table.  Just reading about the stuff he’s done it the past is amazing.  Grab a beach chair, a bit of suntan lotion and say Hi to both Jeff and Frank for me, will ya?



Yeah Sean, I know… too many pictures….

Amazon…you are not coming through for me

Okay I’m bummed.  You see I have the opportunity to go to Redmond as part of my last official act as Chairman of the Technology Committee of Caliornia Society of CPAs and I just might have the opportunity to get the book “Protect Your Windows Network:  From Perimeter to Data” signed by the authors…. except for one teensy weensy problem.  Even though Amazon says it’s released [heck they even say they have used versions of a new book for sale], the book looks like it’s not going to make it in time for me to have it for an autograph. 


Rats.


Oh well, remember if you can’t be at TechEd to hear them in person, you can listen to them via a live webcast:


Steve Riley on Security policies, and Dr. Jesper Johansson on the Security Configuration Wizard.


Okay who wants to place a bet that someone is going to ask him during the presentation if you can run the SCW on SBS?


Remember that while it truly won’t ‘kill’ us, it really doesn’t do much [other than if you hit the settings to kill off Windows 98 machines, then you truly will indeed have an security impact], so don’t use this tool to harden the SBS box.  It’s pretty well tweaked for now.

But that will fix it right?

When something is broken, it’s wise to fix ‘that’ before doing a work around.  I had two examples come across my desktop today.  The first was a poster on the PatchManagement.org listserve who was having issues with Mapped drives being messed up after a security patch and the way he was fixing it was to reboot the server….at first weekly…now more like daily.


….that’s not exactly the greatest fix for a issue with a patch in my book, I’d be calling Microsoft Product Support Services [remember issues with a security patch are a free call] and properly diagnosing that issue with some netmon tracing and what not.


The second was a blog poster who asked me to blog about the manual way to set up the ntbackup because if he used the wizard the server would spontaneously reboot in the middle of the night.  If they ran it by hand, it wouldn’t.


Uh… that’s not exactly a topic that I plan to blog about and I’ll tell you why…. the wizard…and all wizards on a SBS box …should world.  Remember Yoda?  Do or do not, there is no try?  Well the same holds true with the wizards.  They work.  If they don’t work, fix the fact that they aren’t working…but they should be working.


Applying a service pack on top of a broken connect to internet wizard isn’t going to fix the broken wizard.  It might reregister a dll or two, but if there is some foundational setup part wrong, applying a service pack over something that is broken isn’t going to help too much.


If something doesn’t work…google the exact error or call Microsoft Product Support Services [it’s called CSS these days…but I’ll probably always call it PSS].  Get it resolved ‘before’ the service pack install…not afterwards.

Undelete and Volume Shadow Copy

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far…. oh wait…sorry …wrong story…


Once upon a time on my SBS 2000 box I used to have a Undelete product that would help me keep files that people stupidly deleted.  Well one day one of my drives dropped out on my server array and due to that undelete product … I ended up with a bit of a mess on my hands afterwards.  Needless to say, and especially with SBS 2003, I haven’t installed it back on the 2003 platform because it’s not needed anymore with the Volume Shadow Copy. 


Handy Andy put up a tip on how to better utilize Shadow Copies that came from the O’Reilly book Window Server Hacks.  I like the book series but honestly, wish they would change the titles…the “hack” part just doesn’t have the same meaning it once used to.  The old definition meant to do something really cool, the new one, well it doesn’t mean what it used to anymore.


Check it out and enjoy!

Talking owner to owner

Got a potential customer who is on the ‘edge’ of buying SBS?


This just might shove him or her over……

Microsoft Canada is happy to host the first SBS webcast directed at
end-customers. Les Connor will be presenting the SBS benefits valued by
most customers. From Owner to Owner. I urge you all to invite those
customers who are currently considering their first server purchase.

Increase Your Productivity with Windows Small Business Server 2003
Webcast – June 14, 2005 or June 16, 2005
<http://www.microsoft.ca/increaseproductivitywebcast>

Learn the real facts about Small Business Server 2003 as shared from one
small business owner to another.
Register Now: www.microsoft.ca/increaseproductivitywebcast
<http://www.microsoft.ca/increaseproductivitywebcast>

When the download button ‘isn’t’ the download button

One of the very confusing things about this service pack is when you go to download it and you blondely click the download button it blondely only downloads the last patch of the series and does not direct you to install the five parts.  And of course if you don’t read..which of course none of us geeks do, when you go to install this … it says you need Windows 2003 sp1 first.


No wonder everyone is getting confused about this….


Order the cdroms…trust me.. you life will be a lot easier.  Then follow the how to on the Smallbizserver.net site.

I don’t think it’s “that” complicated

Found a blog that said that Exchange was too complicated and while I would argue that setting up Exchange with a MX mail record just might be a little …well… sometimes frustrating depending on your ISP…the wizard of SBS to set up email…it’s not that bad.  Not like Tim makes it sound.


The dirty little secret of the SBS world is that while many of the consultants turn their noses at using POP…it’s the most comfortable transition from a firm who’s used to peer to peer and based on my unofficial view, probably used way more than we think.  Yeah, yeah you still have the 15 minute issue, but do you honestly truly need Spam that much faster?


I just think we need to recognize that Pop is probably used a heck of a lot more than we’d like to admit around here.


Just remember run the Connect to Internet Wizard.

That thingy that is now in the corner of the server after you apply SP1


Someone in the newsgroup asked about that ‘thingy’ in the corner that is now in the system tray after the application of the Service pack.  Well for one, if you are just NOW noticing it because you never had it before…you kinda missed a critical patch along the way as this is caused by an update that came down on Windows Update ages ago.  KB 829358 is the one that brings down that \\ thingy.  But not to worry you can either just get used to it down there or delete it off.


I guess I’m a lazy bone because I’ve just ignored it. It’s only a cosmetic issue and you easily remove it from the start tray…but Windows did that one to us a long time ago… so if you’ve never had that before now… you might want to remember that second Tuesday of the month is Patch Tuesday and put in place a Patch Management process to ensure that you are getting patches on that Second Tuesday of each month.


Struck up a conversation in the plane back from Texas as a matter of fact with the lady who sat next to me who was in charge of application updates for her firm and she didn’t know that second Tuesday was patch Tuesday.  Guess I should warn people when they sit next to me on airplanes that you might get geek speak for the plane ride.


 

Setting expectations and better communication

If there’s one thing we newsgroupers don’t do sometimes is properly communicate.  One of the misunderstandings around the SBS 2003 sp1 install is that we in the newsgroup went out and said “oh you don’t need Windows 2003 sp1” and then now we are saying you do as step one of the SBS 2003 install.  Also the next expectation that was set was that a service pack for SBS would just as easy as adding water and stirring. 


So let’s take the miscommunication… first off what we should have said was that “Don’t install the Windows 2003 sp1 service pack ‘just yet’.  I knew we needed it as part of our SBS installation and just said “don’t install it“ but we should have been clearer that we meant that you didn’t need to do it just yet.


As far as applying service packs, I’ve been patching SBS servers since SBS 4.0 days and because we have a lot of components, the service pack part is always done in a modular setup.  For those that haven’t worked with the SBS platform before, I’d strongly recommend that you order the cdrom media as the fabulous M&M’s have put together an exact how to with the cdrom install.  The cdrom install in my opinion is way easier.


I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, I don’t like service packs in SBSland.  Give me a security patch, give me a non regression tested hotfix, but security patches have always been icky in SBSland.  I still remember how I found the newsgroups in the first place, I was running SBS 4.0 and doing either the patch to 4.0a or 4.5 and discovered the newsgroups around that time that let me know that there was a window you had to close to find the box you had to click to  say “Yes continue” or something like that.  So I guess I”m a bit jaded in that I think Service packs are just plain icky, period.