Category Archives: 859

SBS Technical Training now in Canberra

Nick’s just blogged this:


http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmayhew/archive/2007/09/14/sbs-partner-training-now-with-a-date-in-canberra.aspx


This follows on from my last post about the training for SBSers. If you’re in Canberra please take advantage of this offer.


It’s a simple matter of economics that if Microsoft can see the numbers in Canberra for these events then they’ll continue to offer them there. If attendance is routinely low (and this is really for any place an event is run) then they won’t be offered there in the future.


So – support yourself and your local community by attending these events and reap the rewards.

Microsoft SBS technical training for Australia

I’ve received an email from Microsoft with the following information in it regarding the next round of technical training sessions coming up. If you’re working with Small Business Server then make sure you register for these events being held through September.


This technical training focuses on the Small Business Server 2003 Release 2 and will be delivered in two sessions, with each session focusing on a different aspect of SBS Server 2003 R2. The sessions will run for approximately three (3) hours with a lunch break in between the sessions. The session’s outlines are:

 Session 1 – Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 – Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003 SP2 Features

 This session introduces the new features on SBS 2003 R2 in regards to Exchange 2003 SP2 and Outlook 2003 SP2. After completing this course, you will be able to:

·         Describe the new flexible client licensing in SBS 2003 R2. ·         Identify ways to increase mobile security and efficiency through new Windows Mobile 5.0 policies and Direct Push technology. ·         Provide increased message hygiene by using the Open SPF standard as well as an improved Intelligent Message Filter. ·         Show how to allow for more storage with an increased mailbox size limit of 75GB.Session 2 – Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 – Windows SharePoint Services V2.0\V3.0 Features 

This session will introduce WSS v2.0, however it will be mainly focused on WSS V3.0. Students will learn the advantages of using Windows SharePoint services in their SBS 2003 R2 environment. After completing this course, you will be able to:

 ·           Describe the benefits of using SharePoint as an information sharing tool.·           Show the advantages of using WSS V3.0 in their environment.·           Preparing for and upgrading to WSS V3.0.·           Integrate WSS V3.0 into Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 environment. ·           Utilizing advanced WSS V3.0 features to enhance the current environment.

Register now at https://www.local.microsoft.com.au/australia/events/register/home.aspx?levent=400723&linvitation


Spread the word with your workmates, associates and anyone else you come across. I expect all Small Business Specialists to be there too [:D]

Calling all network manager type people

Put this onto your radar:


http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/essentials/default.mspx


Had a meeting with some bodies here at the MS Australian partner conference just a while ago, in particular the lovely Frederique Dennison (Product Marketing Manager, Secfurity and Management) where we were discussing network management tools and processes.


Microsoft is certainly ramping things up for the SME end of town and if you work in this space then you need to start getting familiar with System Center Essentials (SCE) before the guy up the road does. It’s going to change the way networks are maintained moving forward – making things easier, more visible, more pro-active rather than reactive (aka waiting for the phone to ring).


You can download a VHD of SCE to play with so you’re not installing it into your production environment to begin with, and being a virtual machine you could even play with it whilst flying home from the conference [8-|]


Hint: SCE is part of the wave hitting a network near you next year (http://msmvps.com/blogs/calvert/archive/2007/08/31/aussies-add-this-to-your-rss-feed.aspx), so get your board waxed and ready ahead of time.


 

LegacyDN to the rescue

Continuing with the swing migration from the last post, all continued to go exceptionally well with the process. We kicked off an Exchange backup remotly prior to heading to site so there was less waiting around. (I use RDP to manage servers just about everyday and I am still extremely impressed with how it has made my job so much easier).


The data transfer went a treat, in fact it was all going very well until it came time to mount the Exchange databases. The databases and log files were all in the right location but when mounting the databases we got error “ID No: c1041724” which I’d seen before.


Due to not seeing this error everyday I had to rummage through my notes and do some searching online, plus referred to Jeff’s swing migration notes. The usual checks against file system permissions, database integrity etc didn’t yield any change.


It was getting late and the client wanted to go home so I said I would keep working on this remotely for them to get it going (there’s that wonderful RDP again).


One of the things about this site is the DNS domain name is VERY long such that the NETBIOS name has been truncated. Add to this the fact the original IT support person/people hadn’t done things the SBS way and we have a rather interesting environment to move from. I figured there were some naming issues at play here and looked into using LegacyDN to resolve things.


Fortunately I’d brought their old server home with me just in case (Dell 400SC with 512Mb RAM and 2 IDE hard drives!) and so fired it up to use LegacyDN to check the Exchange organisation name details. Cross checking this against the new server showed there was a mismatch.


You should refer to http://support.microsoft.com/?id=324606 for details on how to use LegacyDN and the tool itself can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5ef7786b-a699-4aad-b104-bf9de3f473e5&displaylang=en.


Once it’s downloaded you need to run it from a command prompt as “legacydn /forcewrite” which runs it in edit mode. Be aware that this is a powerful tool and using it incorrectly can render your Exchange environment completely unusable – you’ve been warned.


I updated the organisation name and saved the settings….now for the big test.


I went to mount the private information store database and got another error message. Dang, what was it now? Ahhh yes – I’d not checked the box to say “this database can be overwritten by a restore”. Checked the box and tried mounting again – this time it was successful. Same for the public information store.


We’ve had migrations where the database just mounted seamlessly but there are the odd times where we have to resort to additional steps. Next week we swing from SBS2000 to SBS2003 so I’m sure there will be some other issues to work with but in the case it was simply the organisation name that required massaging.


So there are several lessons here.


Firstly – the server should have been setup using the wizards in the first place. Get with the program folks – don’t go playing with building servers if you don’t know what you’re doing!


Secondly – in future I’m going to run LegacyDN as a matter of course to at least document the organisation name settings. If nothing else this saves me from having to take away the old server for reference.


Thirdly – make sure you set the right perception for the client when performing work. I always make sure I let the client know there can be issues and problems that have to be worked out with anything involving server changes. Don’t over promise or set false expectations.


Fourth – make sure you adjust the mailbox quotas to what they were before (or as agreed with the client) before you start the SMTP service. I missed doing this and they had some mail bounce before I worked out what was happening [:O]


Fifth – always, always, always make sure when making a server changeover that you have a way of connecting to the Internet for searching, IMing for help, downloading additional tools etc. SBS can be the gateway for the whole network and if it’s not fully operational such that Internet access if not available then you can get very stuck. I fortunately had my 3G card with me so my notebook had a connection, plus I tend to carry a heap of resources with me but it’s worth noting this anyway.



Perhaps it’s time I starting writing a Tips & Tricks book?

Is your SWING not being TRUSTED?

We all know that SBS cannot have a trust relationship with another domain – that’s a given. But SBS sometimes doesn’t seem to know this.


We encountered this just now in performing a swing migration for a client.


The FSMO roles had been seized over and all was looking fine, afterall we’ve done plenty of swing migrations.


Anyway upon kicking off the SBS setup process we got an error message telling us we had a trust relationship that this was a show stopper.


We double checked the FSMO role assignments, ensured there were no phantom domain controllers or other funny things lurking around. A restart didn’t yield any improvement either so it was off to search the ‘net for an answer (since Jeff seemed to be sleeping too).


I found a newsgroup thread where someone else had received a similar message and had resorted to calling Microsoft PSS. I figured it was worth a try giving his posted solution a go.


So if you encounter this error here’s what you do:


Click Start/Run and enter %temp% then hit OK. This opens up the temporary files folder for the account. In there you’ll most likely find a folder called something like “SIT17477.tmp”. In there is a file called SETUP.SDB.


Edit this file in notepad and look for the line that under the [GUID to Friendly Name Mapping] section that ends with “TrustCheck”.


Delete this line and save the file.


If you have any other SITXXXXX temp folders remove them to be safe then re-run the SBS setup process.


When we did this the process ran fine.


I’m not sure what caused this to be borked up – I guess if someone knows they’ll post a comment back but for now we’ll keep swinging with this server and get another happy customer.


BTW – please don’t try this “hack” to get around the ‘no domain trust’ block in SBS. This is only for the setup process and there’s no telling what mess you’ll be in if you try to do things outside the way SBS is supposed to operate.

Watch your bindings order

Just got back from installing an additional NIC in an ISA2004 firewall. The ole network bindings order gotcha hit me yet again so I thought it was time to write this down to remind me – and hopefully save you from this grief.


When adding a new network interface (phyiscal, wireless, 1394 etc) to a Windows machine (and I’m considering XP & Windows Server 2003 here but the same may well apply to other versions) you need to make sure you set the bindings order for all the network cards correctly in order to maintain proper operation.


For example, in your typical SBS2003 server there are 2 netowrk interface cards (NICs) and the server, when performing operations such as DNS lookups etc, needs to check with the internal NIC first because that’s where things like DNS and WINS are bound first. Get the network card binding order wrong and you’ll find DNS lookups will fail (this is why you ALWAYS USE THE WIZARDS!!! (excuse the shouting)).


Anyway, back to the story at hand. I installed an additional NIC into this firewall, giving it 3 interfaces in total. All appeared to be OK so I left the site. Got a call about 10 minutes later to be told “I can’t browse the Internet from my computer”. After spending some time RDP’d into the server (using my new Telstra Next-G card which totally rocks!!) I thought I’d disable the new NIC for now. Also noticed an error in the event logs about the proxy service not being able to bind to the internal NIC.


It was about this time that I thought of those darn network binding order settings. I checked them and sure enough the new NIC (for the DMZ) was at the top of the list. Moved it down to the bottom, restarted the ISA services but that didn’t fix it.


We restarted the server and this proved the winner as everything was then able to start up & bind appropriately.


So, the lesson here is when installing an additional NIC into anything, in particular a server, check the bindings order. “Where is that?” I hear you ask?


Open your network connections folder and select the “Advanced” menu item. Click on “Advanced Settings…”.


Check the list of connections for the order of the network cards – make sure the internal NIC (the one things are bound to) is the top one. {and one of these days I’ll work out how to attach images to this thing so I can show you what to look for}.


Remembering this would have saved me from sitting on the side of the road for 25 minutes and let my client get out of the office a bit ealier.


 

Stymied by RWW & RDP 6?

We’ve had a few cases where RWW won’t work on machines where they’ve had RDP 6 installed. The resolution when this happens is to uninstall RDP 6 as it appears there is a problem between the full RDP 6 client and the RDP 5.2 ActiveX component that RWW uses.


Whilst I’ve not personally tested this (I know – but it takes time!!) our “fix” in the meantime is to remove the RDP 6 client. Go to Add/Remove Programs, click the show updates checkbox at the top of the list and uninstall update KB925876. This takes you back to RDP 5.2 (in Windows XP).


Guess I’ll do some trawling around to see if there are other articles about this anywhere but for the moment this is what we’ll do.


If you know another “fix” that doesn’t require removal of RDP 6 please let me know.

Stop that BUS…I mean USB…

There have been issues reported around the place about problems when using USB drives as backup devices on SBS2003. Simply unplugging the drive to switch over to another one so the latest backup can be taken off site yields error messages from the server complaining about volumes with no disk space left.


The best way to avoid these errors is to stop the device before unplugging it from the server. But what if you want to do this without having someone first log onto the server? There are some tools around that allow you to script a “USB stop” to run as a scheduled task but it would appear this too is not always the fix (if you want a copy of a tool that can be used with the scheduled task let me know).


Graham from the Adelaide SBS user group was having a problem with USB drives where the server would simply lock up and using the utility for stopping the USB device was simply not successful. A call to Microsoft’s PSS and they were able to provide him with a fix – albeit not one from the public knowledge base articles.


It’s tied in to “USB device selective suspend”. Use this ONLY if you really need to.


<in here goes all the typical warnings about editing the registry>


Create a DWORD key called “DisableSelectiveSuspend” under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CCS\Services\usb


Give it a value of 1 to disable selective suspend.


Once again – use this ONLY if you’re having system lockups where using USB drives as backup devices and make sure you’ve got a complete backup of the system beforehand (kind of makes it hard to ensure you’ve got a backup in advance though doesn’t it!!).


Be interested to get feedback on this one too…

SBS2003 SP1 was successful – ultimately

The days between Christmas and new year were going to be the days I caught up with a heap of things in the office that had not received the attention they deserved through the rest of the year. Instead I was busy by a few clients that simply refused to take some time off 🙂


Anyway, I did manage to get SP1 finally applied to our own server, in readiness for CRM 3.0 (see previous post). Overall the installation when fine, apart from the ISA2004 upgrade. Now don’t get me wrong, our SBS2003 server is not overly customised – we built our own server the same way we build them for our clients. Makes it easier to support overall.


So each time I went to install ISA2004 as an upgrade from ISA2000 it would complain and roll back the installation. I ended up manually uninstalling ISA2000 (remembering to export the self-signed certificates first) but still had problems. Evertime I went tp stop the IISADMIN service and its dependant services it would start up again.


To make a long story short, I had to change the recovery settings for the service. It was set to restart on first & second failures and on subsequent failures to run “iisreset”. I changed all of these to “no action” and tried again – this time I was successful. (I remembered to set the recovery options back afterward).


So if you’re rolling out SBS2003 SP1, or even just upgrading ISA2000 to ISA2004, watch for the service recovery options on IISADMIN. Hopefully this will serve to save you a little grief.

Packing the podcast

I’m just packing my bag for the brief trip to Perth tomorrow for the first leg of the Microsoft for Partners Roadshow.


Toothbrush – check


Shirts – check


Socks – check


Podcasts – check


Shaver – check


“What???” I hear you ask? “Podcasts?” Why yes, of course. Time in the air, or waiting for a flight, or sitting in a taxi is a great time to catch up on the SBS podcasts. With my little trusty Creative Labs MP3 player and Sennheiser PCX-250 noise cancelling headphones I’m all set.


Check out the podcasts. The latest installment from Vlad Mazek, Chris Rue & Susanne Dansey is available at http://www.vladville.com/sbsshow/ and you can get the podcasts from the Official SBS Support group at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/default.aspx


I figure I’ve got the flight covered at least, plus some taxi time. Much more workable than trying to open my notebook in the confined spaces of the 737 I’ll be on tomorrow.


And for when the gizmos need to be turned off, I’ve got my latest book to read – more on that later.