WSUS 3.0, SQL 2005 and Memory Hog, Oh My!

I ran the Cleanup Wizard that comes with WSUS 3.0 on a server today, and watched Task Manager as the SQL 2005 server app kept using more and more memory and CPU resources. By the time it finished, the SQLServr.exe task had grabbed 671,212K of memory!

I knew of Susan’s blog for adjusting the SQL resources for SQL 2000 and have used it on my other SBS servers. But I did not know if it would work with SQL 2005. Well, I stumbled across Jesper’s blog where he had the same issue and question. Apparently, the command line sequence that Susan posted seemed to work for Jesper. And it appears to have done the trick for me as well.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn>osql -E -S <server name>\MICROSOFT##SSEE
1> sp_configure ‘show advanced options’, 1;
2> reconfigure;
3> go
Configuration option ‘show advanced options’ changed from 0 to 1. Run the RECONFIGURE statement to install.
1> sp_configure ‘max server memory’, 256;
2> reconfigure;
3> go
Configuration option ‘max server memory (MB)’ changed from 2147483647 to 256. Run the RECONFIGURE statement to install.
1> exit

Thanks, Jesper!

Multiple IMF Updates showing up?

On my SBS 2003 R2 server I recently started getting the yellow ballon popup on my server telling me I have updates to approve. But when I look, it’s for two outdated IMF updates, one from late 2006 and the other from early 2007. I checked with some other SBS’ers and found that several of them have also encountered this issue, but since they didn’t know how to fix it, they were simply ignoring these unwanted IMF update requests.

So how does oneI get rid of them?

In my case, I have WSUS 3.0 installed on my server, and rely on the SBS management console to interact with WSUS. In order to clear up this issue and remove the old IMF entries, I had to go into the standard WSUS3 console (Administrative Tools > Microsoft WSUS 3.0) and then drill down Computers > All Computers > Update Services Server computers, and then clicked on the Status Report link located on the far right frame.

Page 2 of the Status Report report will show the updates that are waiting to be installed. In my case, I had seven (7) different IMF updates that, for some reason, were still there. Once I changed the approval status from ‘install’ to ‘not approved’, the irritating little Yellow balloon telling me I have updates
waiting to be approved disappeared!

Now, what caused this to happen in the first place? It’s only a guess on my part, but it seems to me I did not see this issue until sometime after doing the WSUS “mowing the grass” process for reducing the size of the WSUS database. It’s just a guess, but perhaps someone can confirm or refute this.

In either case, I hope this helps someone!


Upgrade your MS Paint!

I recently was directed to Paint.Net, and I would suggest you take a look at it. It started as an undergrad project back in 2004, and completed in 10 weeks. It’s now on version 3.08 and runs nicely on Vista. I like software like this. Sure it’s free, but if you really like it, throw a few $$$ their way!


Free Tools for the I.T. Needy Professional

The other day I posted about Gliffy, a simple and free drawing tool that one can do network or floor diagrams with. Here’s a few others that may catch your fancy:

Free Conference Calls: come on, we’ve all been in a situation where we needed to get 3 or 4 people on a phone conference call in short order. FreeConference may be your answer! Both their reservationless and web-scheduled services are free; the participants simply dial an assigned long distance number. If you want a toll-free option, you can set that up for once ten cents a minute per caller.

Free Secure Screen Sharing: just yesterday I received a call while driving from someone in Florida who wanted me to do a 1-on-1 demo to someone in North Carolina. I wasn’t near the office, nor home. But I did have a laptop with the software on it. That’s when I remembered about CrossLoop. I fired up CrossLoop on my end, clicked on the ‘Host’ tab which generates a 12 digit random security code. I had the person on the other end go to the CroosLoop web site, download and run the free program, and then enter the previously generated security code. Voila, they could see my screen.

Until now I had not said anything about CrossTalk, because it was missing two important features: the ability to restrict the other person to “view” only, and the ability to do file transfers. Both of those features are included in their 1.1 release of CrossLoop, which is in final beta testing. Thomas, a Microsoft Technical Writer, also blogged about his experience with CrossLoop.

Although CrossTalk is based on the TightVNC code, it operates differently in that it requires a person to be on the remote end. I like that feature!


Need a quick drawing tool?

I use Visio a lot at the office, but at times I need to do a quick diagram — either of a floor plan, or a flowchart, or even a network – when I’m out of the office or don’t have my laptop with me.

Recently I stumbled across Gliffy, which is a free web app for doing drawings. It includes version history, and allows you to let other users share and collaborate on your drawing. Here’s a sample of what it can do:


Office 2007 with a 2003 toolbar

Yep, a fellow Microsoft MVP, Patrick Schmid, has a product called RibbonCustomizer – which includes a set of UI interfaces for Office 2007 that emulates the menus and toolbars of Office 2003. This should help ease the transition of your “I don’t want to learn anything new” users to Office 2007.

Read more here: and under Features Tour, click on Part 3: Classic UI Tabs.



Vista, SBS2003 and the 4th of July

I’ve been getting a little annoyed at the posts in the various newsgroups bashing Vista. But I realized that I could not really respond since I was not using Vista myself on a daily basis. Sure, I’ve had the various beta and RC versions of Vistas running on a workstation for nearly a year here in my office. But the truth to be told, it was mostly sitting there idle.

So this past weekend I decided to do the switch. I reformed that workstation, and installed the production copy of Vista Ultimate on it. I installed all the primary applications that I use on a daily basis, including Quicken 2007, and tested each application out thoroughly.

This evening I powered off and disconnected my old, reliable, trusty XP Workstation, and moved the new Vista workstation into its place.

My initial thoughts? I like it. It certainly boots faster tham my XP workstation. I definitely do NOT miss the long wait at “Applying computer settings”. All the applications, including several  3rd party industry specific ones all seem to work justy fine. I don’t even have a big hangup with the UAC popups.

What does this have to do with the 4th of July?

Simply this — just as the American wanted to break their ties with British, I have broken my ties with my XP workstation. I’ll leave it powered up for awhile, as I do have a zillion digital images I need to move off it. But then I will be formatting that system and moving it into our guest bedroom.


Easy Man’s Snag It

I have used the screen capture utility SnagIt (from Techsmith) for many years, and I love it. However, there are times, especially when using a different computer, I have a need to do a full or partial screen snapshot. Well, one solution that I found that fits my needs (= free & easy) is called Cropper.

It installs quickly (even on Vista), and allows you to select the size of the screen you wish to capture. The captured snapshot can be saved to your clipboard, as a graphics file to your disk, attached to an email,

Give it a shot. As the man says, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

Verizon Iobi and Vista

Today’s challenge was to get Verizon’s IOBI voice mail client working on my Vista workstation that’s part of my SBS 2003 network. Downloading and installing the software went smoothly. But the software kept crashing when I tried to start it up and sign in.

Solution is to run the program in “Compatibility Mode”. Right click on the IOBI client icon, select Properties > Compatibility, and then click on the checkbox to run it in compatibility Mode (I left it default to Windows XP SP2 mode).

Hope this helps someone!