Monthly Archives: February 2007

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Hangin’ at the Summit

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away… oh hang on .. wrong movie.


Once upon a time there was a guy who wasn’t an MVP but who blogged.  I’ll call him… say.. oh… we’ll call him Rory.  And I remember at that time that Microsoft in their usual way hadn’t quite communicated that the MVP summit wasn’t “just” a MVP summit but that they had invited some people like… Regional Directors and special people like… well “Rory” type people like… Rory.  In the typical MVP/blogosphere fashion this caused a “how come I wasn’t invited” blogging event and in hindsight, was a mountain out of a molehill.  This summit they’ve made sure that we all know that MVPs, Regional Developers and “Rory types” will be there which is a good thing.


So now, it’s funny that a year and a half later, Robert Scoble won’t be at the summit, Rory is a blue badge and can be at the summit.


And for the record Rory.. Grey, Grandaddy of the SBS MVPs pinged me today and said “You have the email address for that channel 9 video guy, Rory?  He should be at our party to video“.


Well I think he should also be at our family get together so I can give him a hug and apologize for being a bit rude during the last MVP summit since I too wasn’t too sure that non MVPs should have been there but in hindsight, I too made a mountain out of a molehill.


.. and if Rory’s not interested in the SBS get together… which is just our SBS friends and family group to make a Channel 9 video out of… there’s Supportspace who’s putting on a shindig along with Palermo.


Just rub it in guys how much I’ll be back here dealing with the DST fallout while you guys are in Seattle having a fun time….


So Grey…. emailing is sooooo old fashioned… these days we invite people via blog linking  :-)


P.S.  Congrats on homeownership.  The tax deductions are pretty kewl, huh!

Are you communicating about DST?

Dale Unroe sent this along to show what he’s been sending out to clients and friends about DST impact… so are you communicating to your USA based clients?


The purpose of this email is to raise your awareness of a serious issue that is coming in two weeks.  Over two years ago Congress passed legislation to extend the Daylight Saving Time period both in the Spring and in the Fall http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/faqs/qdaylite.htm .  This law is to go into effect in 2007 and so if you don’t like it please direct any complaints upwards in that direction.  In other words I am just the messenger please don’t “shoot” me.  J


In a couple of weeks on March 11’th we will be “springing forward” for Daylight Saving Time.  This is a change from the past by three weeks.  


Why is this important to you?  Well besides waking up on time that day and changing your clocks, this change has the potential to cause synchronization chaos with any time driven technology.  Not all software is kept updated by the underlying Operating System.  Also technology is found in other things besides the PC and these items often interact.  In addition, the people that you communicate and collaborate with may not have the same time you are keeping.  You say TomAto they say TomotO … so this has the potential for a lot of confusion.  For the short time after this DST day you should be aware and prepared to verify every time critical appointment, event, or scheduled task with anyone outside of the office that you deal with.


Remember the Y2K scare?   What seems like a simple technical issue often isn’t.  Apparently time isn’t so simple and as such I am having to do a lot of research to assure all of your technology will not be drastically impacted.  I promise to prepare the workplace for this emerging issue and you can expect further messages from me during the next couple of weeks and beyond.


Below is a copy of information from Microsoft for your interest.  It was given to help me help you and other customers. To access a nice tool that guides you to what actions you might need to take on your home PC, your mobile smart phone, PDA, …etc go here:  http://www.microsoft.com/dst2007


Regards,


Dale


 




Partner guidance for Daylight Saving Time changes


What is the issue for my customers?


What products are affected?


What is the issue for my customers?


The change in daylight saving time (DST) may impact many technology products that are currently used for scheduling, time calculating, transaction logging, and billing.


Making the necessary changes to accommodate the new DST legislation will frequently be a minor task. In other cases, significant efforts may be required: systems and applications may have to be updated directly. Software applications may merely inherit or “read” the date and time information from the underlying system that it resides on so the changes need to be made only to that underlying system. Given the broad range of technology being used today — and the integration of systems between customers, vendors, and partners — business and IT managers should determine what actions should be taken to lessen the effects of DST 2007 on their organizations.


Microsoft is dedicated to working with customers and partners to make this transition as seamless as possible for companies and organizations that are affected by these new time changes. Please check this page at least weekly to make sure that you have the latest information available.


Top of page


What products are affected?


Several Microsoft products are affected by the 2007 daylight saving time change. If you or your customers are running any of the products in the following list, you should review the guidance published on the Microsoft DST Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/dst2007 to determine the steps you should take.


Products Affected

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Exchange Server

·  Windows Server 2003

·  Windows Server 2003 SP1

·  Windows XP SP2

·  Windows XP

·  Windows 2000

·  Windows Mobile

·  Windows CE

·  Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2

·  Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1

·  Exchange Server 2000/Exchange Conferencing Server 2000

·  Exchange Server 2003 Lotus Notes Connector

·  Exchange versions out of mainstream support

·  Exchange Update tool

Microsoft Office

Windows SharePoint Services

·  Outlook 2003

·  Outlook 2002

·  Outlook 2000

·  SharePoint Services 2.0

SQL Server Notification Services

Microsoft BizTalk Server

·  SQL Server 2005 Notification Services

·  SQL Server 2000 Notification Services

·  BizTalk Server (all versions)

Office Live Meeting

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

·  Office Live Meeting

·  CRM 3.0

Visual SourceSafe

Entourage

·  Visual SourceSafe 2005

·  Visual SourceSafe 6.0d

·  Entourage 2004


 

WSUS 3.0 and Vista – revisited

Why do you ultimately want WSUS 3.0?  Because you won’t need workarounds to get your Vista boxes to patch.  You can have the server deploy the Vista patches rather than have all Vista machines go to Microsoft update individually.  Furthermore you will want WSUS 3.0 due to the prefered way is to have WSUS house the patches not reinstall them over and over again.  In locations where you pay per the downloads and what not, having all of your Vista machines point to Microsoft update and download the same bits is sort of dumb.  Thus having WSUS be the Vista patch repository is, in my opinion, the right way to patch Vista boxes and this will be how WSUS 3.0 does it.


In the meantime on WSUS 2.0, while one can adjust the registry and remember to block the group policy application because once you reboot the system that group policy will reapply (one thing that the “expert” in the managed newsgroups forgot to tell the poster the other day as they missed that step), the fact is this “let Vista grab patches from Microsoft Update during the WSUS 2.0 era” is indeed just that …a w-o-r-k  a-r-o-u-n-d for something that should work natively.  WSUS 2.0 has had the Vista Ultimate Extras as a category for months anyway. 


And for the record…regardless of what anyone thinks, I do approve all comments unless they are spam.  I don’t consider “workarounds” to be anything other than just that. A work – around for something that should work and doesn’t on WSUS 2.0 and will work as expected in WSUS 3.0.


No, the preferred way for the temporary “workaround” until WSUS 3.0 is released, which I will be blogging later is to get the group policy only point non Vista boxes to the WSUS patching point.  This can be done with a WMI filtered Group policy setting.  I’ll be blogging that with screen shots later.  This “so-called-amateur” doesn’t blog posts about “work arounds” before they are ready to give full instructions with screen shots and have tested it personally …. but that’s just me.

WSS 3.0 and how search really does work

Limitations


The following are known limitations in running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Windows SBS:


·      The integration of incoming e-mail with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 does not work because of a conflict with Exchange.


·      If you moved the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 databases from WMSDE to SQL Server 2000 or to SQL Server 2005, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Search does not function after you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.


http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/9/3/29342f48-7725-49c5-9c3e-fa74f4741e8e/SBSWSSv3.doc


In the “how to install Sharepoint 3.0 side by side Companyweb on a SBS box” there is this discussion of “limitations”… but the problem is everyone ASSumed this meant that search on WSS 3.0 was horked up completely on a SBS side by side install.  It’s totally NOT.  This ‘gotcha’ is only if you UPGRADE a WSS 2.0 site to WSS 3.0 which of course the upgrade of Companyweb is not supported.  As long as you do a new database/side by side search totally works.  So all this time we’ve been going… so what got broken.. it totally doesn’t on the supported method.


You install WSS 3.0 as a side by side install and search WON’T break…ergo why side by side is the fully supported method.


You install an inplace upgrade which is NOT supported and voila… your search will/may/probably break.  THAT’s what this gotcha is refering too… NOT how we keep thinking that the mere install of WSS 3.0 won’t be able to have a search box and break things.


So gang.. side by side that WSS… and your search will.. well.. keep on searching.


P.S. The email part will still not work… but honestly .. I can live with that.

Why we call Support (aka Vista is not getting it’s patches)

Subtitled… it takes a village, a couple of SBSers and ….well….I happen to know a bit of a back story on this blog post:


http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/02/27/some-sbs-2003-r2-servers-are-not-synching-vista-updates-in-wsus.aspx 


It’s called a bunch of SBSers having “crusty” SBS boxes and all going “hmmm I’m not getting patches, are you getting patches?”  “I’m not getting patches, are you getting patches?” “hmmm, let’s make sure someone knows that we’re not getting patches”.


Now if this was a typical support issue we would google first putting in “just enough” of the error to see what was up.  We’d do a targeted search on google groups to search on the advanced setting to only look at microsoft.public.windows.server.sbs (that’s the SBS newsgroup).  You’d check the blogs, (the MAIN one being http://blogs.technet.com/sbs and you’d do a search in the KBs on support.microsoft.com.  If it was an issue that had an event error you’d check out www.eventid.net.   If you were a partner, you’d post into the partner managed newsgroups.  You’d do your homework on a normal issue.  (You might even only handle the issue as a post to the managed newsgroups if the issue wasn’t a critical one to the business.


Since in this case it was something that wasn’t googling, we called Microsoft Product Support Services (now days Customer Support Services) at (usa) 1-800-936-4900. And we described the situation, that we were seeing this, that it wasn’t just a one off (more than one of us saw this so we knew it wasn’t “sunspots”) and got the issue investigated. 


The moral of this story is as follows:


  1. Know how many patches you should be getting on WSUS.  While WSUS 3.0 will make this easier, this KB http://support.microsoft.com/KB/894199 gives you the info you need to confirm what you should be getting in that WSUS console and whether you have R2 or not, that normal WSUS console is back there for you to scan and check.
  2. Check with others to ensure that what you are seeing is ‘repeatable’.  If something is just on your server, it may be just you. If something is being seen on more than one server, there could be a pattern.  Thus ALWAYS come into the newsgroups asking “Have you seen this?” because you never know when a bunch of you go “Oh yeah, now that you mention it, I have seen that!”.
  3. Call Customer Support.  There would have been NO WAY for me or us to debug this issue.  Thus everytime I tell people with a nasty issue to “call PSS” and they say “What’s PSS?” I know that they aren’t using the resources at hand.  TechNet Plus now has two support incidents.  As a Microsoft Partner you have “Server down” coverage.  CALL.  Post in the Partner Managed Newsgroup.  But do not beat your head against the wall.

Now in fairness, I know that some of you will say “But Susan, calling the Motherships can be painful at times”.  Yes, I know, but doing your homework first by insuring that you have the facts at hand, the issue summarized, and the right attititude can help.  In my case I was put on hold for a smidge back and forth as the person checked with the settings I had and then we grabbed a WSUS reporting tool to see what the issue was.


But bottom line, there would have been no way to determine this in a “community” newsgroup setting.  We had done all that we could do “community” wise to define the issue, we needed the experts.  Calling support was the key.


(and for those of you keeping score, no this issue where Vista machines aren’t pulling all of their patches doesn’t impact normal WSUS installs just R2 ones….yeah yeah… I know.. rub it in…. but in fairness Vista behind WSUS 2.0 isn’t the most optimal set up anyway so WSUS 3.0 when it releases is your better bet anyway)


Edit — added a few more comments about the recommended “research before you call” steps.

SBS KBs of interest Feb 22, 2007

Error message after you install the Windows Small Business Server 2003 Transition Pack: “This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can continue”:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932442
Error message when you run the Setup program to install Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2: “Setup has encountered an error and cannot continue”: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932441

KBs of interest for Feb 27

Memory usage increases in the Iexplore.exe process when you refresh a Web page that contains XML content in Internet Explorer 7:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=929861
In Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Internet Explorer 6 may stop responding when you use Outlook Web Access to reply to an e-mail or to forward an e-mail:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=924156
How to configure Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 to block Windows Live Messenger traffic:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932486
How to block MSN Messenger traffic and Windows Live Messenger traffic by using ISA Server:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925120/
An outdated network router may not function correctly when you use it together with new networking features in Windows Vista:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932134
Error message when you use a wireless network connection to copy a large file from one Windows Vista-based computer to another Windows Vista-based computer: “The connection has been lost”:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932045
The user name and password are not transferred when you try to use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer files and settings from a Windows-based computer to a Windows Vista-based computer:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=929821
A mapped network drive appears to be disconnected after you install or upgrade to Symantec AntiVirus 10.0 or to Symantec Client Security 3.0 on a Windows Server 2003-based computer or on a Windows XP-based computer:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932463
An access violation may occur when you close a pop-up window in Internet Explorer 7 on a computer that is running Windows XP with Service Pack 2:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=931678
When you copy large files to or from earlier operating systems, the copy operation may be slower than expected on some Windows Vista-based computers:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932170

Got Vista? You are gonna want WSUS 3.0

When you have a vista box behind a WSUS 2.0 machine you will notice that you have no button to get to Microsoft update…



So when you start deploying Vista… You’ll want to make sure that you soon after it’s released gone “Gold” and RTM’d out.  Right now WSUS 3.0 is in release candidate status.  Behind WSUS 3.0 you’ll be able to also go directly to Microsoft update as shown below:



As you can see here… behind WSUS 2.0 you end up in an endless loop where going to the Microsoft Update web site and it directs you back to the control panel where you have no way to get manual updates.


WSUS 3.0 will fix this issue…but for now.. understand that when you WSUS on Vista using 2.0… you can’t get to MU


(and yeah I need to patch that Vista box… I know… but it’s a test to see how these patches are working…)

Where are DST patches in WSUS?

The DST patches you will see on WSUS are in the “update rollup” section.


Operating system patches are under Update Rollups so if you aren’t running an R2 box and instead have customized the patches you sync you won’t see them… so adjust your WSUS categories to sync update rollups.



I got this view by going into the master WSUS console, updates section and doing a search for text of “daylight”. 

Amy points to the next version of ISA

ISA in SBS – yes, it’s secure: ISA 2008 Needs Your Help:
http://isainsbs.blogspot.com/2007/02/isa-2008-needs-your-help.html


Interested in the next version of ISA?  That has some SMB overtones?


Check out Amy’s post.