Monthly Archives: April 2007

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For those who have noticed that the blogs have been not chipper lately, my deepest apologies.  You see I’m a little pigheaded and stubborn about how the blogs are set up and for the most part they are funded out of my pocket and the generousity of the time and energy of a few other folks.  While I allow each blogger to decide if they want to make a little pocket change from google ads, I really don’t want advertising on the blogs, nor sponsorship.  I see them as sort of a public service/PBS.  No commercials.  The opinions and views unimpacted by paid advertising.  The site isn’t sponsored for funded by Microsoft either.  And for the most part the burden of administration falls on yours truly.  And this week has been extremely frustrating to me… because we’ve all been busy doing our real jobs, I couldn’t find anyone to help me.  And this was the week we had to do the long overdue maintenance on the blogs.  So if the blog service has been choppy lately, perhaps it’s just a reflection of the community… you get out of it what you put into it.  And the blog site, due to everyone being busy with real paying work, has been the reflection of that fact, that we’re busy in business, and when you think about it… that’s really a good thing.


Some of the reason for the choppiness was the overdue maintenance that I didn’t have time to do other than this time of the year.


1.  We needed to clean out the spam in the SQL server – and believe me there was a lot of it
2.  Since the blog was a CS 1.1 to 2.0 to 2.1 to now 2007 and .net 1.1 to .net 2.0, you can tell there’s a difference in how it handles the software than the sister site of www.msinfluentials.com that was .net 2.0 and CS 2.x from the get go.  It reinforces to me that inplace upgrades of anything leaves messiness behind.  MSinfluentials.com’s app pool is nice and solid.  Msmvps.com is having some spiking issues that we’re getting debugged on still. 


As a result over the last few months the performance on the blog site has been getting progressively worse.  Coinciding of course with the busy time at the office meant that in the last few weeks I’ve been doing the “what stupid admins do to keep web servers/servers up when an application is misbehaving” which is doing a lot of iisresets and rebooting of the server, knowing full well that that is only a bandaid and needed to get investigated.  The goal was throughout the early months of 2007 was to bandaid the blogs long enough to get them past my busy time so I could do things like I did the other day  where I was on the phone for several hours on a debugging call, setting up a dump, uploading it, bottom line trying to now get to the bottom of the issue now that I have time to get to the bottom of the issue.


But it’s pretty obvious, that I’m not a coder or a .NET expert, let alone a SQL person.  In fact I even customized the error message on the blogs to reflect that fact.  Running a site that is… for the most part done out of love and volunteer also means that when you try to get expert help, you get it on their schedule and timetables.  At one point in time I was so desperate to get assistance that I was examining resources that I would pay to get folks to look at the blog application because I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a .NET expert nor a SQL one by any means.  One day in fact I got so frustrated (and was in a mood) with my tweaking of the application pool that was ending up making the situation worse not better that I even shut down the main msmvps.com application pool in IIS for a few hours just because I didn’t want to deal with it anymore (not to mention everything I tried kept making things worse).   Yes that was the day I was channeling Vlad as he blogged on his site.


Nick finally had some time the other day to look at the site and the actions we’ve taken so far include…


1.  Deleted out 9 gigs (approx) of spam from the SQL tables.
2.  Dumped out unnecessary event logs.
3.  Upgraded to Community Server 2007.
4.  Set up a debugging session(s) to identify what the issue is.


Bottom line, we’re still in investigation mode here..and furthermore, bottom line, because it’s still pretty much a volunteer effort here, we’re not shooting for an uptime of 99.999999%.  This site will be what it is, a community site, with volunteer effort.  So it’s a reflection of that.  This week I knew was going to be a disruptive week.


We’ve got a couple more disruptions planned.


1.  The search is still broken and messed up, bear with me on that as we put the Enterprise search module back online. 
2.  I want to get it on an updated SQL (up to 2005)
3.  I want to install Windows 2003 sp2 (disabling Checksum and RSS just to be safe 🙂
4.  I ultimately plan to look for another server with a bit more room and more RAM and processor power. 

The title of this blog post is a favorite quote that I’ve saved from years ago… it was about a security researcher who said that putting up firewalls wasn’t the answer, demanding better security from our vendors, and better understanding of what we already had and working with that to make use secure… and he ended with the phrase to not take for granted sources of help and information.


And above all else, don’t abuse or take for granted sources of help and
information.  Without them, you might find yourself lost or
inconvenienced.”
~Rain Forest Puppy


So if the blog site performance isn’t what it should be or what you think it should be, sorry.  It just is what it is.  But it’s going to stay without sponsors, and not turn into a member only forum.  It will stay the open site it is now, bombarded by spam posts and what not, just like it is today.  That might mean that you’ll see .NET freakout a time or two. 


You are just going to have to take that for granted.  We’re not running a business here.  This is a community. 


For further updates on the blog site and debugging, keep an eye on Yoda’s blog.  He’s detailing what we’re doing to his tummy.

WSUS Product Team Blog : Update on svchost/msi performance issue and 3.0 Client distribution plan:
http://blogs.technet.com/wsus/archive/2007/04/28/update-on.aspx



Update on svchost/msi performance issue and 3.0 Client distribution plan


Hi Folks In addition to the next week’s  WSUS 3.0 release, we are making the new client portion available via the following plan to our customers who continue to experience performance issues like UI hang and long scan times.  The new WUA client addresses these issues with deep architectural performance optimizations.  Combining the installation of the new client, with the latest MSI fix available in KB927891 available on Microsoft Download Center, will completely address the what we have fondly called the svchost/msi issue.  It’s important to keep in mind that the new client is only a partial solution and clients must have both KB927891 and the new 3.0 client installed for a full solution. On May 1st,  a standalone version of the client will also be made available to those of you who need to address this performance issue now.  Although this will be immediately available, it  will have to be independently distribute.   Instructions on how to get this standalone new 3.0 client version are available at – http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa387285.aspx On  May 22nd. The following WSUS 3.0 full and client only updates will be available to WSUS:Keep in mind that the new client is only a partial solution for the svchost/msi issue and clients must have both KB927891 and the new 3.0 client installed for a full solution. 
 ·         A critical update for WSUS 2.0 SP1 which contains the WSUS 3.0 client self update tree.  This critical update, applicable to WSUS 2.0 SP1 Server, if approved will install a new client self update versioned tree on the server.  When mapped clients check in with this updated WSUS 2.0 SP1 server, their clients will check their version against that installed on the server, see that they no longer have the latest version, and immediately self update to 3.0 versions.   The server will remain a 2.0 version with the capability to support the 3.0 clients.


  •  For SBS R2 WSUS 2.0 servers, another  critical update will be made available which will when approved, upgrade the R2 servers to WSUS 3.0.  Subsequent  to upgrade, the former 2.0 clients will self update to version 3.0. 


  • For all other servers running WSUS 2.0 (including SBS servers OTHER than R2) we will also be offering a WSUS 3.0 recommended update.   This update, when approved on servers running WSUS 2.0 will upgrade to 3.0, and as with the critical update, cause mapped clients at first check-in with the newly updated server, to self update to 3.0.

  •  For SBS non R2 customers, both of these updates will be available for your approval depending on the update scenario, and or client update path you wish to pursue. 
 We appreciate your patience while we pushed to make these architectural improvements to the client, and find a way to make them available in a variety of ways to suit your upgrade plans as well as your immediate needs.

Thank you the WSUS v3 team

So if you outsource…and if it’s to a country outside of your location… do you disclose this to your clients?


Spotted a document on the download site on Microsoft about their privacy guidelines…. and it reminded me that in my industry I am bound to disclose when I use outside services…..


So do you when you use help desks from other locations?  Should you?


 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c48cf80f-6e87-48f5-83ec-a18d1ad2fc1f&displaylang=en&tmThis document is a set of privacy guidelines for developing software products and services that are based on our internal guidelines and our experience incorporating privacy into the development process.

The California State Board of Accountancy (CBA) has revised Section 54.1 of Title 16, which goes into effect January 1, 2005, that clarifies client disclosure requirements for confidential client information. The CBA now requires written disclosure and written client permission when outsourcing confidential client information outside the United States. Additional information can be found at www.dca.ca.gov/cba

 

Interesting… want your classic menu back? 


For immediate release
Press Contact:
Jie Lin
Addintools
Founder/CEO
support@addintools.com


Bring Classic UI Look Back to Microsoft Office 2007


Hai Nan, CHINA – April 27, 2007: Addintools has announced the release of Classic Menu for Office 2007 v.2.18, a user interface enhancement add-on for Microsoft Office 2007.


The Microsoft Office team has done a wonderful job designing the new Office Fluent interface that has replaced the system of layered menus, toolbars, and task panes with the so-called Ribbon. For all its great looks, there are still many users who find the new interface difficult to get used to it, wishing it could look the same as in earlier versions of Microsoft Office.


Following the requests from many users, Addintools has introduced Classic Menu for Office 2007 v.2.18, an innovative application that will bring back the classic look to new Microsoft Office, allowing users to work in their usual manner without changing their habits. It lets users retrieve and show the main menu bar, standard toolbar, and formatting toolbar that are hidden or moved away from the direct view. The program works with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. All new Office 2007 features remain accessible in the classic menu and toolbars.


Classic Menu for Office 2007 also lets users add the menus and toolbars to Quick Access Toolbar, so that it becomes possible to minimize the Ribbon and finish all operations without having to open it again. The program has been optimized for complete compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007 and supports all major languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, and Chinese.


The new Office look doesn’t sit well with you? Download Classic Menu from Addintools!


Pricing and Availability

Classic Menu for Office 2007 v.2.18 runs under Microsoft Windows XP/2003/Vista and costs $29.95 (USD) for a single-user license. Licensed customers are entitled to free updates and technical support for 2 years after the date of purchase. Additional information on the product, as well as its free evaluation copy is available from www.addintools.com.

About Addintools

Founded in March 18, 2001, Addintools specializes in UI enhancement software and software consulting. The company is the author of many programs, including Classic Menu for Office 2007, Classic Menu for Word 2007, Classic Menu for Excel 2007, Classic Menu for PowerPoint 2007, Addintools Create for Excel, Addintools Assist for Excel and Addintools Windows Mechanic. For more information, please visit
www.addintools.com.

###


NOTE TO EDITORS: Please, let us know if you have questions or would like any additional information on Classic Menu for Office 2007. Contact Jie Lin at support@addintools.com.


Product page link: http://www.addintools.com/english/menuoffice


Direct download link: http://www.addintools.com/english/menuoffice/Setup_OfficeMenu.exe (2.5 Mb) Company website: http://www.addintools.com


E-mail: support@addintools.com


Postal address: B207, Nanxigongyu, No.9, Yanzaoyiheng Road, Haikou, Hainan, China, 570125


(update fixed links)

It’s all Peter’s fault that I’m vaklempt that there’s new debugging tools on the Debugger site today… 


Daniel Pearson [MSFT] : Debugging Tools for Windows Updated:
http://blogs.msdn.com/danpear/archive/2007/04/27/2291614.aspx 


Debugging Tools for Windows Updated

It’s been a while since our last update but the latest version, 6.7.5.0, of the Debugging Tools for Windows is now available for download <http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx> from microsoft.com. There’s a ton of new features and improvements so get clicking!

   * New Features
         o Add %Y{l} format specifier to take a ULONG64 argument and
           display a source line.
         o Add $ntdll[w|n]sym built-in aliases.
   * New command-line options
         o Windbg: -lsrcpath to set local source path.
         o All: -log[a|o]u to generate Unicode log files.
   * Changes to default configuration
         o When loading modules from a user-mode minidump provide
           available misc and CV record info from dump. This can allow
           symbols to be loaded in some cases when PE image file is not
           available.
         o .reload with specific module name now defers loading.
           Force-loading can be done with /f as usual.
         o SDK content is now installed by default.
         o Samples now explicitly default to not building Vista-only.
         o .remote pipe names may no longer start with ‘/’.
         o Change symbol lookup order: root\file, root\extension\file,
           root\symbols\file. Note that you cannot depend on lookup
           order remaining unchanged.
   * !analyze enhancements
   * New and updated commands: .trap, lmDv, .allow_exec_cmds, .pcmd,
     .dml_file, gu, .fnent, .pagein, dt, bs, bsc, bm
   * New options for commands: .foreach, .reload, .dump, .dumpcab, x,
     uf, ln, .call, .open
   * New and updated extensions: !chksym, !cpuid, !dml_proc, !address,
     !chkimage, !vm, !error
   * Source Server
         o CVS sample scripts.
         o Updated documentation.
   * Additional Symbol Server support
         o Allow SymSrvNoProxy to apply to WinInet functionality.
         o New option to force WinInet or WinHttp regardless of whether
           Symbol Server is running as a service.
   * ExtCpp extension improvements
         o Allow empty strings as default values.
         o Add Unicode output methods.
   * Better Debugging
         o Improved handling of IA64 trap frames.
         o Improved handling of DML content.
         o Minidump generation improvements.
         o Improved handling of CABs.
         o Improved handling of out-of-memory conditions.
         o Increased symbol functionality.
         o Bugfixes for EXDI targets.
   * New and updated Tools
         o Kdsrv now automatically uses IPv4 or IPv6.
         o Updates for AutoDump Plus.
         o Convertstore: converts a two tier symbol store to a three
           tier symbol store.

Group Policy logon scripts may not run you log on to a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer for the first time:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=934642
The Spooler service may crash frequently on a Windows Server 2003-based server:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=934703
The Print Spooler service may stop sending print jobs to a printer that uses the standard port monitor on a Windows Server 2003-based computer:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=934885
Error message when you try to automatically install a printer that has an unknown printer driver in Windows Vista: “STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION (0xc0000005)”:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932206
Windows Vista may stop responding when you install software that adds legacy network drivers:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=934611

From Milly Staples – Outlook MVP 


Some common reasons why Outlook will not shut down completely when you click either the X or Exit:


1.  PDA synchronization software with your PDA in the cradle.
2.  WinFax Pro (especially 10.02 in Outlook 2003) – contact their support for an alleged fix.
3.  Franklin-Covey Plan Plus!
4.  COM Add-ins.
5.  Mail reminder add-ins that keep a stub of Outlook open in the background to check for new mail and fire reminders.
6.  Anti-virus/firewall programs that are set to scan incoming and outgoing mail.


Milly Staples [MVP – Outlook]


From Diane —


Microsoft Outlook: Outlook.exe won’t exit:
http://www.slipstick.com/problems/close.htm

I’m trying to break a server and I’m not having any luck tonight…. how am I trying to break it?


By installing SP2 for Windows 2003 before any other patch and seeing if I can still install the “rest” of the five part SBS 2003 sp1 patch bundle (Sharepoint, Exchange, XP sp2 and the specific final SBS fix up patch) and not break anything.


 


Oh sure.. you need to make sure you follow the SBS blog and the networking issues that SP2 causes …but on a new build I can’t get help and support to break…and believe it or not… you CAN install Windows 2003 sp2, then Sharepoint sp2, then Exchange sp2, then the XP sp2 upgrade and THEN put on the final patch SBS 2003 sp1 specific parts


http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/downloads/sp1/default.mspx


Granted you sort of have to know your SBS parts if you are installing from RTM to fully patched (without R2) and only after you get past Exchange 2003 sp2 is everything begin to be MU-able… but if you built a RTM box and blondely went to Microsoft update and pulled down Windows 2003 sp2 that got offered up to you, don’t panic.


I’m proof positive that a new box will survive the patch journey.


Once you get it past that stage of Exchange 2003 sp2, Microsoft Update will take you the rest of the journey.

Got this via the blog today and thought it was interesting….. 

Attention SBS admins, partners & integrators: would you like a simple way to migrate profiles from a local account to a new domain account?  Or, for that matter, take any profile on a disk, and with two clicks, assign it for any other user on your network (local or domain) to use? Introducing the IT Partners ProfileTool.ProfileTool lets you take a Windows 2000 or XP user’s profile and assign it to a different user, without having to copy any files or perform any manual procedures.  It automates the somewhat arduous procedure of changing of permissions on the registry hive and files on the diskThis is a very common task for people who are taking a network of PCs that have not been on a domain, and joining them all to one; or if you replace a domain controller without keeping security information, which is sometimes done on sites upgrading from a badly installed SBS 2000 installation to a nicely installed SBS 2003 installation.It also has useful features for deleting a profile off the disk/from the registry, and changing profiles from roaming to local, replicating the features of the User Profiles capplet.ProfileTool is written in C# and uses the .NET 1.1 framework, which was selected as it is more likely to be on your users PCs than newer versions. It comes as a simple installer which installs the program locally to avoid CLR security exceptions. Source code is available under the Mozilla Public License, with the implication of “Do what you like with this code, but if you improve it, I’d love your changes to come back to me!”.Download the program and/or the source here: http://www.itpartners.co.nz/profiletool/ This is only a BETA and should be treated as such – it has worked well for me in testing and I am looking for other people who would like a utility such as this to test it so I can fix any outstanding bugs and make a “1.0” release.  Standard “no warranty” applies – it might eat your data, but I’m pretty happy that it will only do that if you hit the “Eat my data” button.Comments, suggestions, and bug reports are welcome – the contact address is on the ProfileTool information page.Craig

http://craig.dubculture.co.nz/blog/