From the mail bag….

The SBS 2008 best practices state that the server itself should be the main DHCP server on the network. I’ve encountered situations that, for whatever reason, someone disabled the dhcp server on the server and enabled it on a gateway device or something else. In these cases, even if the workstation was assigned the server’s IP as the dns or if you set it statically, DNS resolution seems to not work as expected. There are certain resources that I cannot access. Mainly the “http://connect” site. To fix this issue, I always reconfigure those networks to have the sbs server as the main DHCP server, and I always perform my server installations in this way,  but I’ve always wondered why this happens.

I understand that that when a host leases an IP from the server. The server registers the IP and hostname in DNS, and that this doesn’t happen if the server does not assign an ip address.

But if the workstation is configured with the server’s IP as its dns server, shouldn’t the workstation be able to resolve http://connect regardless if the workstation leased its IP from the server or not?

So why does finding the domain work when the server is handing out the DHCP, but not necessarily when the DHCP is on the router?

It’s all because of the DHCP scope options that are in there.

That’s the “why” and why we say having the Server hand out the DHCP is the best for SBS 2011 standard.

So you go to do a SBS 2003 to 2011 migration and you can’t get the MBCA to run?

Uninstall it and reinstall it.  Seriously.  I’ve seen situations where the MBCA doesn’t do it’s thing for whatever reason and uninstalling and reinstalling does the trick.

Strange but true.!/view.aspx?cid=C756C44362CD94AD&resid=C756C44362CD94AD%21808  Other weird tips in that document.

Coming Soon! A New and Improved Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) -Volume Licensing – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:  

I don’t mean to be doom and gloom with respect to upgrades to the Microsoft Volume licensing Center, but … they don’t have the greatest track record with upgrades. So you may want to proactively download some things if you were waiting to do them for later.  Hopefully nothing bad will happen, but then again I thought our Congressmen and women would have come together way before now… not to start down the politics mind you.

Two new articles published in the Wiki to help you troubleshoot Certificates and Client Deployment – Windows Small Business Server Documentation – Site Home – MSDN Blogs:

Keep in mind these are wikis so if you find there are fixes you found that work for you, you can edit them.

Got word from the SMBMVPTour Gnome that he spotted Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 premium (aka the domain join version) on the action pack today.

MultiPoint server is now on Action pack | MVP Tour:

TechSoup has it as well.

Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is a special version of the Windows Server operating system that allows multiple users to simultaneously share one computer. Each user station, typically consisting of a monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected to a station hub, provides an independent Windows desktop environment. The station hubs connect to the single host computer through USB or video cables and use the host computer’s processing capabilities.

Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 Premium Edition supports up to 20 simultaneously connected user stations. The host computer also can be used as a station to support one additional user. The Premium edition also supports joining an Active Directory domain if needed, providing users with access to network services.

MultiPoint Server can be useful for organizations or libraries with computer labs, classrooms, or other collaborative environments where using just one computer for several users can save energy, simplify maintenance, and lower expenses. The ability to share a monitor in splitscreen view between two independent users and to connect older machines as stations over a local area network (LAN) provides further cost- and energy-saving options.

MultiPoint Server includes MultiPoint Manager, which allows the primary user to monitor and manage MultiPoint Server user stations. Primary users can create accounts for an unlimited number of standard users, who can access their customized desktop and settings by logging into any station. Primary users also can view full screens of individual users or thumbnail screens of all active users, allowing them to monitor user activity without leaving their station. They can suspend all stations at once or broadcast the desktop of their own or any user’s computer to all other connected user stations.

Other capabilities include the following:

  • Software programs installed on the host computer can be accessed from any connected station, without separately installing the software for each user. (Note that Microsoft Office and other Microsoft programs available through Volume Licensing require a separate license for each user station in a MultiPoint Server environment. Other software manufacturers may have their own licensing requirements for shared computing environments.)
  • Public Documents folders allow users to share information and collaborate on projects, while users’ private folders can be accessed only by the user or the administrator.
  • Traditional desktops, laptops, and thin clients also can act as stations by connecting to the host computer using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) over a local area network (LAN). This allows an organization to use existing and possibly older computers as stations without removing those computers’ ability to operate independently (devices connecting over LAN must be licensed in the same manner as other user stations).

This product includes a MultiPoint Server 2011 Premium Edition server license. Each user station that connects to MultiPoint Server must have two types of client access licenses (CALs): a MultiPoint Server CAL and a Windows Server CAL. These two CALs, licensed per device (a user station), are available as a single donation through TechSoup (see Related Products below). If the host computer is used as a user station and not just for administration, organizations must acquire both a MultiPoint Server CAL and a Windows Server CAL for it as well.

Individual MultiPoint Server device CALs are also available through TechSoup for users with valid Windows Server CALs. MultiPoint Server user CALs, as opposed to device CALs, are not available through TechSoup since this kind of licensing would be more costly in a typical MultiPoint Server setup than licensing per device. For example, a setup with 10 user stations would require just 10 device CALs for any number of users. If licensed per user, the same setup would require each user to have a separate license.

At the Volume Licensing Service Center, the product key for Windows MultiPoint Server will be listed as Windows Server 2008 R2.

64-Bit Only

MultiPoint Server 2011 requires a 64-bit processor with at least two cores. See System Requirements below for more information.

Software Assurance

Under the Software Assurance program, you have the right to install any new release of products covered in the agreement during the term of your coverage.

Amy blogs about an issue I’ve seen a couple of times with SharePoint — a “503” error.

So here’s the setup… I’ve seen two issues with SharePoint – the first has to do with Patching.  As you should know by now when you install updates on SharePoint they don’t automatically run the psconfig command anymore.  The reason is that SharePoint 2010 products as a rule do not do this as they expect their SharePoint admins to manually run that command.  That’s why I’m not convinced that I want to ask the SBS team to ask for an automatic routine that runs that command.  We already know how many times that didn’t work for prior versions of SharePoint.  So I’m not sure I want the risk of running that command.  So make sure after all SharePoint updates and after Service Pack 1 that you run the psconfig command.

Now for the other issue that I’m seeing in SOME not all SBS.  Behind the scenes in SharePoint is a routine that kicks password changes in SharePoint for the managed accounts like spfarm.  There have been times that I’ve seen someone report that they are seeing an error 503 when they open up SharePoint and the issue was not caused by patching, in fact they couldn’t figure out exactly why it happened.  If they reset the passwords, then SharePoint works.  So something is happening with the routine that syncs up the password changes.

But it’s the why that we need to get to the bottom of.

So here’s my ask of you.  And keep in mind there are two separate issues.  One is the lack of people psconfig-ing after SharePoint sp1.  Already documented, already blogged.

The other is the “503” Error.  If you suddenly see a SharePoint in this condition, ping me at as I’ll need to see if the resolution Amy posted works for you (it should) and then to get log files from you to investigate why.  Not everyone will hit this.  There’s a specific fact pattern/trigger of cause.

As in any investigation to prove without a doubt, additional data points are needed.

Well someone is working on the download site.  Now when you go to “all Downloads”  on it automatically changes to search for t* (just that) and then sort by date.

Richard from has updated his rss feed to match that sort.  So far in my tests I think it’s finding the downloads now.  I’ll keep an eye out to confirm if there’s anything missing.

So if you put that in your favorite RSS reader you too can keep track of what is (hopefully) everything that gets posted to the download site.