SBS2003 SP1 Beta has been launched

Wayne blogged about the SBS2003 SP1 beta launch already but I figured I post some more details.

This is the word from Microsoft…

The beta has been launched in English and German only at this time. Key goals include:

  • Maintain the OEM 15 minute install experience – personally I don’t like this one as I feel it’s going to give misleading perceptions to end users, however it’s a great marketing story. The truth here is the 15 minutes is for the OEM install where you get to the To Do list and from here the real work starts in terms of creating users, computers, setting up shares, Internet connectivity etc etc. For the record I never use this though as I don’t like all the components to be on the one partition with the operating system so I ALWAYS start from scratch. YMMV but most of the other SBS-MVPs concur with this line of thought.
  • Provide latest service packs and updates for our beloved SBS servers
  • Provide and support ISA2004 for SBS2003 Premium users

Whilst testing this beta, we’ll get to see the integration between Windows Server 2003 SP1, Exchange Server 2003 SP1, Sharepoint SP1 and Outlook SP1. The Exchange IMF will still need to be installed separately if you don’t already have it (I believe).

I hope to be able to download a copy of SP1 over the weekend and play with it a bit – I feel like it’s Christmas all over again :) I plan to post back feedback on the beta – as much as I’m allowed to anyway without breaking my NDA.

Plus, I’d like to present this beta to the Adelaide SBS Users Group (see last post) at our February meeting (again I’ll need to check with MS on this to make sure I’m allowed to show it).

Congratulations to the SBS dev team for a great product so far, which can only get better with this latest update when it’s officially released. SBS Rocks!!

February Adelaide SBS Users Group Meeting

The next meeting for the Adelaide SBS Users Group will be held Monday Feb 21 at 6:30pm.

We’ll be meeting at Enterprise House (Business SA), 136 Greenhill Road, Unley. We’ll be in room 6 on the first floor.

Parking is available on-site.

I’m looking for suggestions for topics to present, however at the moment I’ll probably discuss new tips around ISA 2000 configuration and group policy. However, read my next blog entry on SBS SP1 which might come in as the winning topic to discuss.

Please RSVP your intention to attend to Attendance is free.

When “connectcomputer” doesn’t…

Here’s a new one I found the other night.

I was rebuilding an SBS2k3 from scratch for a community group. They have about 15 clients (XPP) on the network all with wireless NICs and a couple of access points to service them. I took them off the old domain, changed the local admin password and installed & ran MSAS beta to find & nuke any bugs. I disconnected the APs from the switch whilst the server was being built and until it was patched and AV’d just to be safe.

When the server was ready to roll the APs were reconnected and the PCs (sitting in a workgroup called “workgroup”) picked up their new IPs from the server and we proceeded to run the connectcomputer wizard. The computer name accounts and user accounts had all been created on the server and in fact the names for the computers were the same as they had in the workgroup mode.

The wizard appeared to run OK with the double reboots going fine, although the APs were beavering away with all the traffic (802.11g). Some of the machines, when it came time to log in for the first time as the designated driver, reported an error that the domain was not available even though it was listed in the domain options at the logon screen.

I checked on the server and the account was still there but I was getting error messages in the server logs that the trust relationship with the computer COMPUTER2$ had problems (can’t remember exactly). Hmm – still had connectivity (log into local admin account and ping server is OK, and can manually map a drive to the server so NBT is working). OK – I removed from domain, changed the PC name to something different and removed & recreated the computer account on the server and ran the wizard again.

This time I was getting errors about can’t change the computer name and join to a domain at the same time!! It had been a long day already and this is not what I wanted to see. Again the same sorts of errors in the logs. Admittedly the wireless had been hammered a bit but had mostly stood up to things (this had been recommened and sold to them by another reseller).

The end result with all this was I removed the PC from the domain, removed & recreated the computer account, had the computer set at the name it was going to be and then joined it to the domain the non-wizard way (still remembered how to do that!). This worked – just had to add the user back into the local admins group etc etc.

After the reboot the assigned apps started to install (although I did install XPSP2 locally to save dragging all that across the wireless).

So, after all that, my question is – has anyone else found times where the connectcomputer wizard appeared to run but didn’t actually connect the PC properly? I’m suspecting the wireless was being so hammered that some essential comms couldn’t complete (couldn’t even log into PC as domain admin – which I know is a no no but I was testing theories). Could it be the wireless or are there other conditions under which this may be a problem?