Windows 8.1 Update May Arrive April 8:,26187.html

“The latest rumor surrounding Windows 8.1 Update 1 is that Microsoft plans to release the upgrade on April 8 to consumers, the same day Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows XP.”


If that’s true, here’s my ask for anyone who manages or maintains Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 machines:

This week make sure any Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 machine has a good backup.  A GOOD backup.  For any consumer workstation this means MORE than just the file history.  I would recommend if they do not have a backup provided by an image based backup (Essentials server client backup, Storagecraft, or other image based backup) that they need either buy the consumer version of Acronis  or ensure that they backup using the full System image.
(see instructions here :   )

An external usb harddrive is cheap and a full backup image is just good to have and will always let you be the hero.

Microsoft to Live Stream the Launch of Windows 8.1 Update:

Another thing you’ll see when there is an 8.1 or a Server 2012 R2 in your network is this error:

EVENT # 3279
SOURCE Microsoft-Windows-DNS-Client
DATE / TIME   3/29/2014 10:43:44 PM

The system failed to register host (A or AAAA) resource records (RRs) for network adapter
with settings:

Adapter Name : {2228D0D8-DFEC-4673-B8E3-C8913948C8FD}
Host Name : TPDF
Primary Domain Suffix : domain.lan
DNS server list :
Sent update to server : <?>
IP Address(es) :

The reason the system could not register these RRs was because the DNS server contacted refused the update request. The reasons for this might be (a) you are not allowed to update the specified DNS domain name, or (b) because the DNS server authoritative for this name does not support the DNS dynamic update protocol.

To register the DNS host (A or AAAA) resource records using the specific DNS domain name and IP addresses for this adapter, contact your DNS server or network systems administrator.

I have yet to figure out what exactly triggers this.. .but it’s another “ignore this until I track down why it’s doing this” error

Event ID 157 “Disk # has been surprise removed” – Ntdebugging Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs:

it’s my removable usb external hard drive I’m using for backup.

EVENT # 2238
DATE / TIME   3/27/2014 9:03:40 PM
MESSAGE Disk 5 has been surprise removed.
BINARY DATA   0000: 00 00 00 00 02 00 30 00 00 00 00 00 9D 00 04 80
0010: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  


On a recently deployed 2012 R2 system it looks like these warnings were generated during (or immediately after) a “Windows Server Backup”. I noticed that the backups are stored in VHD’s. Also, the disk numbers the error refers to (2 and 3) do not exist when I examine the Disk Manager. I assume this is normal behavior and can be ignored, correct???

[This message may be generated with a VHD is removed.  We are aware of customer feedback regarding this message and it’s applicability for VHDs.]

I’m getting this just as the backup starts.  I think there’s a bug that hasn’t been squashed on.  Anyone else seeing this and what hardware are you running it on?

So before I get back to our SMBKitchen project, here’s what I did to my Gen8 Microserver:

1.  Forget the intelligent provisioning.  The 1.5 version will not autoupdate to 1.6.  While 1.6 does support 2012 R2, it won’t auto update to that version.

2.  I gave up on the autoprovisioning and just did an install from the operating system and the plain driver. In order to do that I went into the bios and disabled the smart raid adapter and put it back to normal SAS with ACHI setting.  A smart raid may be a good thing for the bigger servers, for this one the drive layout was never what I wanted.  I tried to set the four 2T drives as a Raid 1+0 and it wasn’t giving me a large 4 logical place to then partition out, and when I did two 2T logical drives that also ended up in a weird config.  Bottom line I gave up and went back to the more Gen7 like experience where I let the operating system see merely DRIVES and then I did what I wanted up in the software.  This raid card may work in other servers, it wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do/expected it to do.

3.  I’m still looking for a good balance of encryption with management and remote rebooting.  I bought a TPM module to install and see if I will use bitlocker to encrypt the drive.  I’ll report back once it’s arrived and installed.

4.  The new HP boot up process… you can make yourself a Mountain Dew on the rocks and get a second with the time the bios boots up.  All of those folks that talk about fast ssd drives. honey you won’t even know you have them as it takes forrrreeeeverrr to get past the bios boot screen.  I really wish someone would sit down Meg and tell her engineers to speed up that process because it’s a bit painful and adds boot time.

Bottom line I still like the form factor and size of the Gen8, but I really wish they would go back and revisit the Gen8 bios software.  The current intelligent provisioning process wasted a day for me fitzing around with the server and it not doing what I wanted it to do.

I’ll be blogging about the encryption I’ll be doing It later on… in the meantime back to my proof of concept migration series.

and if this is that intelligent of provisioning, why then do I have to go to Program files/HP/HPSSA/Bin and enable the ability for the storage controller configuration to show up in the HP management console?

Anyway make sure you click on that enable otherwise you open up the management console and go… uh…?

To get a 2012 R2 version of Windows on a Gen8 server you’ll need to install the 1.6 intelligent provisioning software.  If you attempt to do so with the shipped 1.5 it will blue screen on you.

You can’t even get the unit to download the 1.5 from inside the server intelligent provisioning update process.  It appears the only way this works is to manually download the iso and flash the system.

Downloading the iso now and I’ll let you know how this goes.  It doesn’t want to use the Win7iso burner tool.

(As an aside another way to do this is to do the plain Windows 2012 r2 and use the Server 2008 driver (not the 2008 r2 or 2012) and it works.

Now trying this tool:

Using that tool worked. 

Once you get 1.6 on there, and make it find the usb that has the Windows OS

Once there it then picks up the Windows r2 operating system


But bottom line you’ll need the 1.6, a usb flash drive or dvd, and a bit of patience as this is a less than great installation experience.

Next up I patched the 2012 R2 server and then downloaded Exchange 2013 sp1.

Note at this time it has a slight bug… which you need to fix with a KB script and it won’t be fixed until the next update rollup.

No warning about patch required for Exchange 2013 SP1 | Tony Redmond’s Exchange Unwashed Blog:

Then you need to download –

Download Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) from Official Microsoft Download Center:

And you’ll need

Third-party transport agents cannot be loaded correctly in Exchange Server 2013:

Download Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime from Official Microsoft Download Center:

Download Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Packs from Official Microsoft Download Center:

Download Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack (KB2687447) 64-Bit Edition from Official Microsoft Download Center:


Planning and migrating a small organization from Exchange 2007 to 2013 (Part 8) :: Migration & Deployment :: Exchange 2013 Articles :: Articles & Tutorials ::

Now we’re back to where we are installing our base.  This time instead of Windows 2012 I’m going to use Windows 2012 R2.

Obviously this is NOT optimal but just a proof of concept.

in the meantime read this and understand we can get away with only two SSL certs.


Planning and migrating a small organization from Exchange 2007 to 2013 (Part 8) :: Migration & Deployment :: Exchange 2013 Articles :: Articles & Tutorials ::

Next up is to prepare our Exchange 2007 for the upcoming migration to Exchange 2013.

Go into Server configuration, mailbox, check the mailbox database properties.  (Right mouse click on properties)

Check the client settings tab and check to see if there is a default offline address book.  There should be.

You shouldn’t need the below PowerShell command:

Get-MailboxDatabase | Where {$_.OfflineAddressBook -eq $null} | Set-MailboxDatabase -OfflineAddressBook (Get-OfflineAddressBook | Where {$_.IsDefault -eq $True})

If you see no offline address book there, I’d say step back and see what else is screwed up in this Exchange deployment because it honestly should be there.

Next up we need to raise the domain functional level in AD

Raise Domain Functional Level:

For Exchange 2013 sp1 we need to be at least Windows 2003:

Ensure that there are no Windows 2000 servers around in the domain.

Go into Administrative tools, then into active directory users and computers. 

Right mouse click on the domain name, then raise functional level.

When you are done you should be at a server 2003 functional level


Remember this is the time to make sure we’ve updated our Outlook clients:

To recap, the update levels we’ll need to achieve are as follows:

  • Outlook 2010 Service Pack 1 with at least the November 2012 update (Build 14.0.6126.5000 or higher)
  • Outlook 2007 Service Pack 3 with at least the November 2012 update (Build 12.0.6665.5000 or higher)

No Outlook 2003 is supported on Exchange 2013.

Next confirm our IIS is set to go.  Launch the IIS manager and scroll to the SBS Web applications.  Now click on RPC.  Windows authentication should be enabled and ready to go.

Again, if any of these settings are not already there, you may want to step back a bit and review if this setup is healthy.

Lastly before we are ready again to deploy Exchange 2013 sp1 on 2012 R2, let’s see if there are any other third party software we need or is not yet ready to support our deployment.

BES server?  Yes or no?

Exchange disclaimer software?  (I use policy patrol from RedEarth software –

Antivirus?  Support Exchange 2013 sp1 yet?

Blogging my way (starting over) through a proof of concept migration from SBS 2008 to Essentials 2012 R2 series will be a SMB kitchen project whitepaper.  More about the SMBKitchen project at –  and check out our new project the ASP