Fixing up the Dual Scan problem

On August 7, 2017, in news, by susan

For those of you (like me) who just recently updated to 1703, we will need to wait until September  until we can squash a bug in the interaction between WSUS and Microsoft update.  If you configure any of the “Windows update for business” settings AND have WSUS installed, you will see your machines going to both WSUS and MU for their updates.  In the August updates out tomorrow, the 1607 release get a new group policy setting that will allow you to stop the machines from going out to MU and WSUS at the same time.

1703’s will have to wait a bit before we get the fix.

Improving Dual Scan on 1607

 

Are we in a “serverless” environment?

On August 7, 2017, in news, by susan

Microsoft is positioning that small businesses are in a serverless world.  Put data in onenote, have hosted email and that will work for some businesses.  But not all.  I don’t think we’re quite there for all small businesses.  Cloud based applications still need some time and age to mature to match premises software.  Hosted solutions are really not “serverless”, the server is just located in another geographic location.

But what I do know that right now buying the small business licensing is still messy.

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2017/08/01/windows-enterprise-subscriptions.aspx

I’ve attempted to buy Windows 10 E5 subscription from CDW and pretty much failed in the process.  It took Amy Babinchak and her techdata contacts before I was successful in purchasing the low numbers I wanted to purchase.

This points out a key requirement in the current world – having good vendor relationships and finding ways to get your clients the licenses they need.

Do you have a “goto” vendor?

 

So Microsoft? You serious about Small Business?

On August 2, 2017, in news, by susan

Dear Microsoft:  I think we need to talk.  I don’t think you are as serious about small business as you say you are.  Why do I say that?  Because the server and server role you say is all about Small business isn’t officially supported to have Azure AD connect installed on it.  Yet you are building more and more subscriptions and Windows 10 features on using Azure AD connect.

Microsoft knows that https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/connect/active-directory-aadconnect-prerequisites “Azure AD Connect cannot be installed on Small Business Server or Windows Server Essentials. ” this statement is a mere support statement.  They don’t want us to try to do the Office 365 wizard AND the Azure AD connect at the same time because obviously the two wizards/technology will fight one another on syncing passwords.  But if you are really serious about small business – no current server sku should be blocked from having Azure AD connect installed.

So Microsoft?  How about you get serious.  Either allow Essentials to have the Azure AD connect code installed or be honest with all of us and stop building Essentials.

I for one, want Microsoft to still build Essentials and the Essentials role. Why?  Because I want to have Microsoft to still have a stake in small business in the server section.

So pardon me as I go give feedback in the Server 2016 insider edition.

 

On to the cloud

On July 23, 2017, in news, by susan

If you look at the latest numbers from Microsoft, they are now touting that they sell more Office 365 subscriptions than normal Office licenses.  So the new normal is 365.  But I am finding that it really depends on how and where you purchase your 365 licenses as to the options you have for adding services later on.

Purchase Office 365/email from Godaddy and I’m having a heck of a time purchasing a Windows E5 license to add to the mix.  Because godaddy puts in their own authentication piece, it won’t let me add the E5 license to my godaddy office 365 mix.

So if you don’t plan to add any additional things like Advanced threat protection, Windows enterprise licenses and what not, godaddy’s site may work for you.  If you think you might add more cloud pieces later on, a “wrapper” site like godaddy may not work for you.

 

Today’s PSA: Rebuild your brand new Thecus

On July 23, 2017, in news, by susan

So here at home where I noticed that my old Home server wasn’t backing up my workstations consistently, and taking the advice of the Blog site (more about that later), I decided to find a Thecus Storage server model.  For home, my budget doesn’t include a $800 windows server license, on top of server hardware.  I haven’t seen any vendor selling an Essentials 2016 sku included on hardware so I decided to find a supply of the older 2012 r2 Thecus model.

However, I have learned the hard way that it’s pretty clear that the Thecus stock has pretty dried up and it appears that the only thing left are the original units that Thecus built that had the faulty image.  If when you turn on any Thecus Windows storage server Essentials server you buy from an online source, see if it has an Orcsweb icon on the desktop.  If it doesn’t download the image from the Thecus website and reinstall it.  In fact you may wish to download the image and store it somewhere if you have sold these units in the past.

If you attempt to use the image that came with these faulty units, they won’t load up the restore code needed to reinstall the client workstations.

Now as to the SBS blog site – I will slightly disagree with their opinion that “This means that Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for the Home Server-specific components that make up Windows Home Server 2011”.  The Windows lifecycle is very clear that Microsoft will provide patches for security for 10 years after the release of the product.  What they won’t provide is fix up patches when the unit is in extended support mode.  So for example — https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3216737/office-365-integration-fails-in-windows-server-2012-essentials  Take that KB as an example of what happens in extended support mode:

The operating system will continue to get patches for security.  But clearly Microsoft has shut the door on fixing up non security issues “To work around this issue, upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016.”

So here at home, I have a rebuilt Thecus that is now behaving as it should.  AFTER I reinstalled the operating system.

 

Getting 1703 on systems – another way

On July 17, 2017, in news, by susan

Next way to get 1703 on systems – again go back to that download page https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and use the download tool to make the iso/media.  Park the iso on a network share and expand it out.

Next use the command switches noted in this blog post – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/home_is_where_i_lay_my_head/2015/09/14/windows-10-setup-command-line-switches/

Specifically you want to ensure that you do not trigger a clean install but an upgrade.

 

Getting 1703 on systems

On July 17, 2017, in news, by susan

At my office I’ll be testing out some various ways to get 1703 on machines…..but not through WSUS or through Windows update but when I want it on boxes.

Way one:  Go to the Windows 10 history page and about mid way down is a link to get creator’s update.  Click there – https://support.microsoft.com/instantanswers/d4efb316-79f0-1aa1-9ef3-dcada78f3fa0 and then from there go to the download page – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 

Now comes way one to get the 1703 on systems.  Way one is to download the file – Windows10Upgrade9252.exe and then put in the following script:

Windows10Upgrade.exe /QuietInstall /SkipEULA

At the end of the process it will demand a reboot.

 

Starting to move to 1703

On June 25, 2017, in news, by susan

At the office I recently purchased two Windows 10 machines and they both came with 1703.  While the rest in the fleet are on 1607, I’m glad that this is pushing me to ensure that we’re ready for 1703.  There are some side effects I’m tracking that I’m hoping are fixed soon (see my known issues post) but so far I’m not finding major show stoppers like the new file folder/indexing bug we hit with 1607.

Coming up in the NEXT major release, Microsoft is removing SMBv1 (see this link)  on clean install versions to proactively prevent more ransomware issues like the recent ones that infected machines using SMBv1 vulnerabilities.

It probably is wise now to start an investigation into your clients networks on how much they depend on SMBv1.  It won’t disable smbv1 on existing updated machines, but will on clean/new installed Windows 10 in the future.

 

 

Looking for migration advice?

On May 15, 2017, in news, by susan

There’s a couple of sources you can look to:

Mariette’s site at https://www.server-essentials.com/migration-guides

Robert Pearman’s guide to moving from SBS 2011 to server 2016 – https://windowsserveressentials.com/2017/03/28/migrate-sbs-2011-standard-to-windows-server-2016/

 

What about the media pack?

On May 15, 2017, in news, by susan

Got a question the other day asking about the media pack availability for Server 2016 essentials. To be honest with you I had totally forgotten about  that.

In talking to the folks (Cliff in particular) that still run media servers at home they recommended installing Plex or  Kodi

Downloads

https://kodi.tv/download