Frank McCallister – In Memoriam

Frank McCallister passed away this week. Frank was an SBS MVP. He loved to say he was the oldest MVP. But more importantly he was a real friend. His stories would hold your attention, but the real story was Frank. He called himself “the Old Fart”. But that name does not describe all that he did and would do for people. Frank, we will miss you.


In tribute to Frank, I’ve reworked the lyrics of the song “The Gambler”, made famous by Kenny Rogers (YouTube video).


The Old Fart (aka The Gambler)
Dedicated to Frank McCallister

On a warm summer’s evenin’ on a train bound for ‘Bama,
I met up with the old fart; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin’ out the window at the darkness
‘Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.


He said, “Son, I’ve made a life out of readin’ people’s emails,
And knowin’ what their logs showed, by the way they signed their names.
And if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of disk space.
For a taste of your whiskey I’ll give you some advice.”


So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.


You got to know when to defrag, know when to format,
Know when to reinstall, ‘cause I’m the old fart.
You never say you’re thirsty when you’re sittin’ at the console.
There’ll be time enough for drinkin’ when the (MVP) party starts


Ev’ry old fart knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ emails to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry email’s a winner and ev’ry email’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”


And when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the old fart, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.


You got to know when to defrag, know when to format,
Know when to reinstall, ‘cause I’m the old fart.
You never say you’re thirsty when you’re sittin’ at the console.
There’ll be time enough for drinkin’ when the (MVP) party starts


-kw

Hot Fixes for Outlook 2007 Now Available

For those using Outlook2007, two new hotfixes are now available that address specific speed and performance issues as well as a variety of other issues. Hotfixes, by nature, come with some warnings on their use.  Hot fix 961752 and Hot fix 967688


Note #1: If you have never requested a hot fix from Microsoft, or it has been years since you have, you will be pleased to find that the process is quite fast and efficient. No longer do you need to even call Microsoft to request a hot fix!


Simply click on the links above to open up a new window with information on the hot fix. In the upper left of the window will be a clickable link” ‘View and request hotfix downloads’. Click on the link, enter your email address twice plus a security code and within five minutes you will receive an email containing a link to download the hotfix and a required password. The password is only good for a certain number of days (7 days maximum), so it is best that you download the hotfix as soon as you receive the email from Microsoft.

Adding additional email addresses in SBS 2008

Those who have worked with SBS 2000 and SBS 2003 will find that many things are not where you expect them to be in SBS 2008! For example, let’s say you want Sally to receive all email addressed to sales@yourdomain.com (in addition to receiving email as sally@yourdomain.com). In prior versions of SBS, you would go to the SBS console, drill down to Users, go to properies for that user and make the change under the Email Addresses tab.


So, how do you do it with SBS 2008? Glad you asked!


Start up the Exchange 2007 management console, and click on Recipient Configuration > Mailbox. Double click on the desired user, click on the E-Mail Addresses tab, and then click on the green plus (+) tab and enter the additional email address.


Voila! Wasn’t that easy?

Connect Windows 7 to SBS 2008

The SBS offical blog site has an excellent post on how to modify SBS 2008 so that a Windows 7 (Beta) workstation can be joined via http://connect. I have just a couple of observations and suggestions on my part:


  1. If you are joining a laptop, be sure to disable your wireless port(s) and join the server using a wired connection!
  2. When modifying the XML files, I found it best to copy the XML file over to the ‘My Documents’ folder on the server, edit the file there, and then copy/replace it back to the original directory. Obviosuly you would want to make sure you first make a backup copy of the original file (just in case!)

WHS Restore CD and Realtek NIC

I’ve been testing out the Windows 7 beta on one of my laptops this week. And following my own best practices, I made sure I installed the WHS connector on it and made several backups during my testing. So, yesterday I tried (unsuccessfully) to join the Win7 laptop to a SBS2008 domain. (Yes, I’m aware of my changes required on SBS 2008 to allow Windows 7 to join the domain via http://connect). But still, it failed.


So, when I got home I wanted to restore my laptop to its state before my attempt to join it to a domain. Talk about wasting valuable time!


First, I couldn’t find my Restore CD. So, I downloaded the WHS Restore CD (PPK1 version) from Microsoft’s web site. But, in trying to burn the ISO image, I encountered two bad CD’s in a row. Fortunately, the third CD worked. Once I got the CD created, I booted my laptop from it only to find that it could not find my WHS server. Think, Kevin … I told myself … it has to be an issue with the NIC driver. Sure enough, a quick Google (errr, Live Search), and I found instructions on how to grab the drivers from the WHS Backup directory, put them onto a USB stick, and then at the appropriate time request the WHS Restore CD to scan for additional drivers.


No good. Still could not see the server. More searches and I discover that other people had encountered the same issue. Common denominator? A Realtek NIC was involved! I went to the Realtek support site, and download the drivers, and put them onto the USB stick. Still no good! More searches all indicated that grabbing the drivers from the Realtek web site should do the trick. So I went back one more time, and for some reason, the files I download this time from the Realtek site were different than the drivers I had downloaded 20 minutes before. (I later discovered that my original search for Realtek drivers had taken me to an outdated web page on their support site).


I dumped the drivers onto the USB stick and voila! — the WHS Restore CD found my server, and six minutes later I had my laptop restored.


Hope this helps!


-kw

Windows 7 Tips

OK … so I just installed Windows 7 Beta for the first time on Friday, but I already like what I see! The new installation on my Vostro 1510 laptop went smoothly. And already I have discovered several new things that caught my attention, such as:


  • Certainly initial boot up is faster, and Win 7 “seems” more responsive than Vista
  • What used to be called ‘Shared Computer Toolkit’ is now built into Win 7, and called PC Safeguard. This allows you to define a user account for perhaps a training room environment. User logs on, does stuff (creates files, make changes, etc,). But once the user logs off, all changes are discarded and you are back to your pre-established environment for that user!
  • Directly mount Virtual PC VHD files
  • Burn ISO images without relying on a 3rd party tool
  • Press Win+P to switch to an external video output, like a projector
  • I’ve already tested versions of Kaspersky A/V and LogMeIn for Win7

I think I’m going to have fun with Windows 7. This may make me change my mind and encourage people to buy Vista now, so that they can upgrade to Windows 7 once it is release. Cool!

SBS2008 and POP3/IMAP4 Clients

Enabling SBS 2008 to allow remote users to use their email clients (Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.) or phones to pull down email from the SBS2008 server via POP3 or IMAP4 is just slightly more involved than on SBS 2003. For all the step-by-step details and screen shots, visit the Official SBS Blog site which details these steps in two parts (part 1, part 2).


However, you may find it helpful to view the big picture in 5 easy steps, and I will also highligh several GOTCHAS to watch out for!


Step 1: Enabling the appropriate Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 or POP3 services on the server (Start > Run > Services.msc) should be easy enough. GOTCHA #1: Be sure that you change the startup type to Automatic, and then be sure to actually Start the service!


Step 2: Enabling the required ports again should be easy enough. Port 110-POP3, 995=POP3/SSL, 143=IMAP4, 993=IMAP4/SSL.  GOTCHA #2: Remember that you also need to forward port 587 as this is the listener port for SMTP/TLS mail (instead of port 25!).


Step3:  From ESM (click Server Configuration > Client Access > POP3 and IMAP4),  and modify the X509 certificate under the Authentication tab to point to the proper exterNal FQDN of your server (eg., remote.servername.com).


Step 4: While in ESM, move down to  Server Configuration > Hub Transport, and add a new Receive Connector. Name the connector ‘Client’ (short and simple). GOTCHA #3: Be sure to click on the drop down box and change the intended use of the Receive connector form Custom to Client! You can default through the rest of the prompts.


Step 5: Finally we are done with the server setup. The only thing left is to configure your email client and test things out. GOTCHA #4: When setting up your mail client for POP3 or IMAP4, be sure that you specifcy that the outgoing SMTP connection is to be encrypted, and set the port to 587.


Cheers!

DCOM 10016 Event Error

After installing SBS 2008, you may begin to see DCOM 10016 event errors being reported in your SBS Monitoring reports as soon as users begin to use Sharepoint/Companyweb. This error is also identified if you run the SBS 2008 Best Practices Analyzer. There have been several posts on how to fix this error, but the instruction always were vague in one specific step.


First, here is the DCOM error as reported in the event log and within the SBS Monitoring report:

Event Source: DCOM  Event Id: 10016
Event Details: The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {61738644-F196-11D0-9953-00C04FD919C1} to the user NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE SID (S-1-5-20) from address LocalHost (Using LRPC). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.


And here is the error as reported in the SBS BPA report:
Local activation permission to the IIS WAMREG Admin Service required


To fix this issue, perform the following steps:


* From the SBS console, click Administrative Tools > Component Services
(or, if you prefer: click Run > comexp.msc)
* Expand down Component ServicesComputersMy ComputerDCOM Config
* Right click on IIS WAMREG Admin Service, then click Properties
Click on the Security tab
* Click the Edit… button within the Launch and Activation Permissions section
* Click Add and add the user named: ‘Network Service
(NB: this is the step that confuses people. Most instructions simply tell you to add the appropriate user, but do not make it clear which user to add!)
* Click on the checkbox to Allow (enable) the Local Activation rights option for this user
* Click OK twice, and close Component Services
* Finally reboot the server for good measure and to ensure the change takes effect


Hope this helps!

Windows Mobile and DST

I can’t believe it’s 2009 and we still have issues with DST and calendar items! Several of us just discovered (here on Feb-10-2009) that an event we are entering for August 2009 in Outlook 2007 is showing up an hour earlier on our WM6.1 phones. I’ve downloaded the latest WM/DST patch and installed it on my WM6.1 phone, but appointments are still showing up an hour earlier. I tried rebooting the phone, but no change. AFAIK, Outlook and my Exchange/SBS 2003 box are up to snuff with patches.


Very frustrating …

Calyptix and SBS

I’ve been install Calyptix AccessEnforcer units recently in several SBS shops, both SBS 2003 and SBS 2008. The AE is a fully featured network security appliance, and comes in various models to fit different size organizations. What I like about Calyptix is its single price — no extra costs for end user licenses or to enable various features. It interfaces nicely with Active Directory for user level filtering and email quarantine. I plan to do more posts in the future on implementing SBS and Calyptix together.