Category Archives: 5889

SBS 2008 joins Social Media


Microsoft need your help….  In FY10 they are adopting a social media strategy that includes not only their own assets such as blogs, forums and newsgroups, but also third party social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  In part due to the high adoption of IT pros of both Twitter and Facebook, and the low cost awareness these types of assets can create.

Facebook recently announced a vanity url program, but in order to qualify as a page we need to have 100 fans.  From today we need to get to 100 fans as quickly as possible.  Our goal is to meet this requirement before WPC in two weeks.   Here is where I need your help;

Can you please become a fan by going here so we can push towards the magic 100.

Secondly, they’re soft launching our official SBS twitter feed in the next few days.  please begin following as we’ll be announcing different items here as we ramp over the next few days and begin driving other awareness at WPC. 

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 3/07/2009 9:18 AM

Free Guide “Getting Started with Companyweb”


Robert Crane – a local Sydney SharePoint Guru has released a free guide that gives a brief walkthrough on just what Companyweb is and what you can do with it.  Robert  is a wealth of knowledge on SharePoint particularly in the SBS / SMB space and his experience shows through in this guide.

SBS 2008 has built within it a very deep collaboration system based around Windows SharePoint Services which is a little brother to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. WSS can do some amazing things for your business in terms of it’s ability to centrally store and manage massive amounts of disparate information.

You can get a free copy of his guide here

You can also subscribe to his in-depth all questions answered Windows SharePoint Services Operations Guide here

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 2/07/2009 8:11 AM

SBS Migration to SBS 2008 – Experiences today


Doing a migration tonight and thought that I’d document some of the experiences for those that are interested.  This is not a complete list, just some things that I see people falling over.  This post is NOT A SUBSTITUTE for reading the excellent documentation that Microsoft have provided.

Run the SBS 2003 BPA and fix EVERYTHING listed – even the caution items.  I had the following issues to address. 


The first one is ok – the C: drive is 100GB in size and there is 6GB free.

The second one is due to the broadcom network driver being dated 11 March 2008 – ok – updated to a more recent driver and I’m good to go.

The third one is easy to fix too – ok – did as instructed and it’s sorted.

The fourth one – now that’s a concern. This relates to Active Directory and in particular the SYSVOL share.  Any server in a journal wrap condition NEEDS TO BE FIXED BEFORE you install SBS 2008.  I resolved this issue on my server and then was on my way.

Ok – then reading through the document, you verify all the bits on SBS2003 are at the right levels.

You get to the bit that talks about running the Source tool. The first screen you get is this one below.


That tick box – don’t tick it UNLESS YOU MEAN IT.  Make very sure you have a good AD / System State backup separate to your normal backup – just in case!  So far the issues I’ve seen most people have with SBS migrations all relate to not having a good solid Active Directory in the first place.  A system state backup will help recovery if things go wrong from this point forward, so don’t underestimate it!

If you have a failure at this point it will point you to a log file which you can review and determine the cause of the problem.  The most common failure I’ve had so far is where I use a newly created domain admin account and then forget to add the new account to the Enterprise Admins and Schema Admins groups.  Easily fixed!

The last part of the Source Migration tool takes a while as it updates the Active Directory Schema – have patience and spend the time reading the next few pages of the SBS 2008 Migration documents 🙂  After about 20 minutes you will get the screen below.


Ok – after the reboot, you will be tempted to get stuck right into installing SBS 2008.  I suggest however that you DO NOT.  Instead take a moment and do another system state backup to an external USB drive. This is your last known good point in case things go wrong.

Installing SBS 2008

Before you install SBS 2008 you need to create the migration answer file.  Read the documentation and do this. My one big tip here is that there is a check box when you create the file that allows you to run the entire SBS 2008 setup in unattended mode.  Do yourself a favour and remove that check box as it will then allow you to read and confirm each of the installation screens during the SBS 2008 installation.  This is your LAST chance to get it right.  Once the SBS 2008 installation starts, you can tell it’s in Migration mode because you will get the screen below (assuming you took my advice above that is and NOT allowed it to run in unattended mode).


You are asked to confirm that yes you have backed up the source SBS 2003 server and that YES you have READ the Migration Guide. It’s amazing how many people are not doing that at all.

The next part will be where the SBS 2008 server runs through the installation process. This takes around an hour or so dependant on your hardware.  Hey – what a great time to READ the SBS Migration documentation!  That way you’ll be able to really understand what you are doing over the next few steps.

Ok – so if you did all your homework then at the end you will get this screen below.  Congratulations.  SBS 2008 is installed in Migration mode. The 21  day counter starts now.  Yes – that’s right – you now have 21 days to have the SBS Migration completed and totally remove the old SBS 2003 server from the domain.  If you don’t then your SBS 2003 server will shutdown every 2 hours.  And no – there’s nothing you can do about it either.


Your SBS Migration is part way complete.  Now for the really hard work 🙂  More on that another day – for now – I’m outta here!

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 21/05/2009 11:16 PM

When does a rollup become a service pack?


I note with interest that today Microsoft released Update Rollup 8 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1.  Basically this is a collection of fixes since they released Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 and can be applied to a server without the need to apply the previous rollup packages.  The question comes to mind though, is when is a service pack now different to a rollup? 

You can get the Update Rollup 8 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 packages from here

No news yet on if this helps anything SBS 2008 related, I’ll admit that I plan to apply this to my servers over the weekend.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 20/05/2009 1:21 PM

SBS 2008 Reports – slow to generate and deliver


image I’ve found that on my SBS 2008 sites, that the reports coming from the system do not always come at the scheduled time. Furthermore I’ve done some investigation and found that they are not being generated on time. Often the reports are many hours late (my record so far is 12hrs + late).  A few of my fellow MVPs have also seen this problem and Microsoft are investigating this with a view to understand the underlying issues.  If you have had issues with this, then please contact me – and I can link you up with the relevant Microsoft team members so they can get some log files from you.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 6/05/2009 7:57 AM

Cannot connect to Remote Web Workplace on SBS 2008


If you’ve gotten the message below on your SBS 2008 server, then be sure that you have installed the Hotfix from Microsoft that you can get from this link.

I blogged about this some months back but I forgot to install the patch myself on a client machine and it gave the error below which I did not expect.



Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 20/04/2009 10:40 AM

SBS 2008 Migration Tool – Group Converter


Microsoft have just released a tool to help us migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008. This latest tool will remove some of the manual steps that need to be done during the conversion process from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008.  If you follow the current migration documents (v2.0) you need to use ADSIEdit to manually modify some of the attributes of the existing security groups so that they appear in the SBS 2008 console and can be modified by the SBS 2008 wizards.

You can download the new tool from here


The MS KB that refers to this tool has not been published as yet, so it will take a while.  Fortunately it’s dead easy to use. Install the tool onto your SBS 2008 server. Then run the icon it leaves on the desktop – which you can see at the right.


It will open up a wizard where you can easily pick the security groups and distribution groups that you wish to convert over to SBS 2008 standards. Select the groups and next/next/finish through the wizard and you are all done.


image Limitations – well – it will only convert groups in the Security Groups and Distribution Groups OU’s under the My Business OU.  Therefore if you have mistakenly created groups using Active Directory and Computers and put them in any other OU or container then it won’t find them.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 9/03/2009 9:43 PM

He came… He saw… He listened – Thanks Nick!


Last Wednesday was the last SMB iT Professional meeting that Nick King and I had the chance to do last week.  Sydney finished off a whirlwind 3 day tour of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Nick’s visit to Australia was something he personally asked to do as he wanted to get a good feel on what we as Aussies needed from Microsoft.  Being a Kiwi, Nick knows all too well how us Aussies can be so very direct in our feedback.  That attitude and understanding meant that the people that attended these meetings were able to be very open as to what they thought was good and bad about everything SBS and EBS related (some even tried to give feedback on Windows 7).

Some of the things Nick was involved in this week included…

1. He took heavy “feedback” on the SBS and EBS Hands on labs that were presented around Australia by Excomm in November last year. Nick was very open in revealing that they made changes based on the feedback given and that the revised content which will be available in the coming months should be far more relevant to us all.

2. Nick held open sessions on most any topic related to SBS and EBS and attendees found out how some of the inner workings of SBS and EBS worked to a greater degree.

3. Nick also presented free form sessions on Migration, Virtualisation and the EBS Preparation and Planning Wizard which lead on to other topics that people wanted to know more about.

I’ll be posting later this week additional information that Nick promised us – I’m flying around Australia this week and next doing a Licensing/Hyper-V session with Microsoft Australia.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 25/02/2009 9:23 AM

SBS 2008 R2 – I want it now!


SBS2008R2FAKE Funny you know – SBS 2008 was released in November last year, and we all know that it’s based on Windows Server 2008 which was released in February 2008.  Given that many people have still not made the move to SBS 2008 nor understand it’s features and configuration properly, I find it amusing to hear that people are wanting SBS 2008 R2.  Microsoft have not even announced if there will be an SBS 2008 R2 or when it will be available and yet people are assuming that it will be and that it will contain everything in Windows Server 2008 R2.  May I remind you that when Microsoft released SBS 2003 R2, they did NOT put all the features of Windows Server 2003 R2 into it.  Instead they focused on other pain points that the SMB customers needed resolved – the primary one being patch management and in that they totally automated the deployment of client side patches and eased the burden on the administrator all round.  Why then are people wanting “the next big thing” when they don’t even have a decent grasp on the current product?

Many of the features of Windows Server 2008 R2 rely on having Vista Enterprise deployed.  Given that the majority of SMB clients purchase their workstation OS with their desktop and this is Vista Business, I fail to see how they will pony up the extra $$$ to move up scale.

Guy – for my part, I’m focusing on what is here and now.  I’m focusing on playing with the products we have and seeing how I can get the best out of them for my customers.  Once I’ve had them installed for 12 months in my customer base and I’ve taught myself all I can about them, then I’ll look at the next versions for use in my customer base.  My advice for what it’s worth is to do the same.  With the current financial times we are in, focus on what you can deliver now.  Focus on doing the best job for your clients. Focus on getting referral business from those clients and not try to sell the next bright shiny object that passes by.

And yes the box shot above is my lame impression of what SBS 2008 R2 might look like… maybe I’ll create something cool for April 1st… <evil grin>

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 21/02/2009 12:39 PM

Trend WFBS 5.1 on SBS 2008


Microsoft has been investigating an issue that affects all Windows Server 2008 products, but is shown up more so by things like Trend WFBS 5.1 and other antivirus software.  The issue is that anything that uses the common firewall driver in 2008 will be affected.  SBS2008 servers may start to have Active Directory errors, issues accessing the server via RDP and a variety of other errors.  All this will start after 5 to 7 days.  The only workaround so far has been to schedule a reboot of the affected server every 5 to 7 days.

It’s important to note that the issue is NOT to do with TrendMicro products as it happens also with other AV vendors as well.  It’s a Microsoft issue and they have been working hard on resolving the issue.  Microsoft have now released a hotfix for this which you can obtain from the URL below. The MS KB 961775 is not available just yet but should be out shortly.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 12/02/2009 8:30 AM