Replacing NICs on an SBS server

This topic comes up from time to time. In times past, the method of choice to replacing a NIC was to use the loopback connector approach, which went something like this:

  • Install the MS Loopback Adapter

  • Uninstall the real NIC, but don’t shutdown.

  • Configure loopback to same IP as real. Don’t forget to check your binding order. When you throw in the loopback you want it at the top of the list.

  • Shutdown, remove original, install new.

  • Install new drivers.

  • Remove loopback.

  • Configure real to original IP

  • Restart. Don’t forget to check your binding order. The new NIC goes at the top when you change from the loopback.

But with SBS 2003, it turns out we can do it sans the loopback connector. We have two variations, one by Charlie Russell, and the other by Les Connors.

Here is Charlie Russell’s approach:

  • Disconnect from all networks by pulling the plug(s)

  • Disable the old NICs. If they’re built in, disable them in Device Manager as well.

  • Shutdown

  • Remove the NICs, if you can, or disable them in the BIOS if they’re built in.

  • Insert the new NICs.

  • Power Up.

  • Log in. It’ll probably complain, but should let you in to the 500 account. If not, do safe mode.

  • Let Windows find the new NICs

  • Assign fixed IP address(s) to the NIC(s)

  • Run the CEICW (really only required if replacing the external WAN Nic)

  • Reboot

Les Connors has an even simpler process that he uses:

  • I prefer to power down, install new nic(s), power up and detect.

  • Disable old nic(s), transfer settings to new.

  • Run CEICW.

Les says that this avoids the usual very lengthy restart when things can’t bind to the NICs. Disabling the on-board nics in BIOS is optional, but does prevent
accidentally enabling them from the OS later.

I didn’t mention the cleanup ;-). It’s likely that the bios disabled nics remain in device manager as ghosted nics, and this can cause some later issues. They should be removed by showing non-present devices and show hidden devices, and removed. The advantage to the loopback adapters is that services don’t balk, keeping the event log red bangs to a minimum. They are also useful if doing a forklift to new hardware (or virtualizing a physical server). But for a simple nic swap, I agree – loopbacks don’t offer a huge advantage.


Change Office 2007 Default File Extensions using GPO

By default, Office 2007 saves files in the new XML format (.docx, .xlsx,. pptx, etc.).

But these new formats cannot be immediately opened by someone running an earlier version of Office. Microsoft does provide an Office 2007 Compatibility Pack which will allow users of Office XP or Office 2003 (but not Office 2000 or earlier) to open, edit and save documents in the new 2007 XML formats

Of course, someone who is using the new Office 2007 apps can also select ‘File Save As’ option and save an individual document in an earlier format (97-2003).

But, if you are in the midst of converting, training and testing users with the new Office 2007 package, you may be wondering if there’s a way to force the Office 2007 apps to default to the older file format when saving files. And the answer is: Yes — using Group Policy

You will first need to download the Microsoft Office 2007 Administrative Templates

Then follow these instructions to using Group Policy to set defaulty file save options: Technet Office 2007 Group Policy

Clearing up Event Id 1030

I was getting lots of Event Id 1030 errors on a workstation — “Windows cannot query for the list of Group Policy objects”. I know I am not the only one to have seen these errors in their event logs. Microsoft CSS posted the following reg edit patch which cleared up the Event 1030 errors on my workstation:

Remove Bad Stored Credentials from the Credential Manager:

1. Run Regedit
2. Drill down to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa
3. In the right pane locate the disabledomaincreds key
4. Change the disabledomaincreds value to 1 to stop store domain credentials.

2006-12-31 "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"

I’ve been negligent in posting a “song of the week” for quite some time. But, with Christmas a day away, I thought it would be a good time to dust off my lyrical brainpower to give everyone some holiday joy. There are so many Christmas songs I could choose from … but what would fit this newsgroup? And then it came to me — Dr. Elmo’s hit song from 1979:


Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

aka: Bill Gates Got Run Over By His Software

YouTube version of the song:



Bill Gates got run over by his software
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there’s no such thing as Linux,
But as for me and Ballmer, we believe.

Verse 1:

He’d been drinking too much eggnog,
And we begged him not to go.
But then he forgot his thumbdrive, and he
Staggered out the door into the snow.
When we found him Christmas morning,
At the scene of the attack,
He had WGA stamped on his forehead,
And product keys recorded on his back.



Bill Gates got run over by his software
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there’s no such thing as Linux,
But as for me and Ballmer, we believe.

Verse 2:

Now we’re all so proud of Ballmer,
He’s been taking this so well.
We saw him in there with his X-Box,
Drinking Kool-aid and
chumming with Linus Torvalds.
It’s not Christmas without Bill Gates,
All the family’s dressed in black
And we just can’t help but wonder:
Should we open up his Linux gift box,
Or send it back?


Bill Gates got run over by his software
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there’s no such thing as Linux,
But as for me and Ballmer, we believe.

Verse 3:

Now Window’s Vista’s on the table
And the Office beta is complete
All we need now is new hardware
To get it up and running will be a feat.
I’ve warned all my friends and neighbors
Better watch out for your house,
They should never give a license
To a man who talks with penguins

and plays with a mouse



Bill Gates got run over by his software
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there’s no such thing as Linux,
But as for me and Ballmer, we believe.

Kevin Weilbacher [SBS-MVP]
“The days pass by so quickly now, the nights are seldom long”



Faster Banana Hack

Do you have a Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) PC you bought, but haven’t been able to add it to your SBS domain. Until now, the Banana Hack was the only suggested way of doing it (without reformatting and reloading MCE from scratch).

But, if you’re like me, the Banana Hack, for whatever reasons, did not work.

Kudos to James Barrett for posting a much easier method of joining MCE’s to a domain, and to Frank McCallister for finding these instructions. I used my BartPE CD to make the changes and it appears to have work as prescribed. Here are the instructions as posted by Mr. Barrett:

 For those trying to join MCE’s to the domain I found this process works
just fine and saves several steps.

1. Boot into Windows using a WinPE CD/DVD
2. Start Registry Editor, click on HKEY_Local_Machine
3. Click on File, Load Hive
4. Select c:\Windows\System32\Config\System file
5. Give it a name: MCE
6. Browse to HKEY_Local_Machine\MCE\WPA\MedCtrUpg
7. Change IsLegacyMCE to 1 (ONE)
8. Browse to HKEY_Local_Machine\MCE
9. Click File, Unload Hive
10. Reboot the PC