WinInstall LE, MSI Creator and Configuration Builder

This article explains the advantages of tool WinInstall LE (a tool from Veritas software, which ships with Windows Server CD) and how to use this tool to convert EXE applications to MSI packages.

About Active Directory and Group Policy

You have, no doubt, heard about Active Directory. Active Directory is Microsoft’s answer to Novell Directory Service. Active Directory is a big repository of objects. It contains objects such as users, groups, shared printer information and network objects. Active Directory was first introduced in Windows 2000.

There is a tool or snap-in called Group Policy. Group Policy is meant for administrators who want to have a better control over systems running in network. Group Policy is used to control the behaviour of desktop computers and member servers from a central location. There are couple of settings you can deploy using Group Policy on remote computers. Group Policy comes with pre-defined administrative templates. Administrative Templates are the configuration unit as shown in Figure 1. You use them to control the behaviour of a specific setting, such as Start Menu and Taskbar, Internet Explorer Options settings, Registry Keys, Services and so on.

Read more here…

Tip – How does Windows Server 2008 resolve Domain Controller Load Balancing problems?

This article discusses a new Group Policy setting which solves the Load Balancing issues with the domain controllers.

The DC Locator Service has been re-designed in Windows Server 2008 to include a new mechanism. When a client computer finds a preferred domain controller, it sticks to this domain controller unless that domain controller stops responding or the client computer is restarted. This is generally called Domain Controller Stickiness.

Read more here…

Tip – A Quick Tip to configure Group Policy settings in Workgroup Security Model.

This article will show how you can quickly configure Group Policy in Workgroup Security Model. This article applies to Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 2003.

The Group Policy can also be deployed in Workgroup security model but there is no central tool available to configure all computers in one go. For example, you have 20 computers in your network. You need to configure the same Group Policy settings on 20 computers.

Read more here…

Inside Exchange Cluster Setup and Troubleshooting Tips (Part 5)

Today we continue our walk through the internals of the Exchange Cluster setup installation. We look at the cluster specific modules. How these are installed, the important role they play in a cluster environment and more troubleshooting tips.

    Exchange Cluster Installation Process

    After setup detected that it is going to install the Exchange in a cluster environment, it executes theScSetupExchangeVirtualServer function as shown in figure B.15. The cluster setup process for Exchange starts from here. The procedure contains a set of functions that are used to make an Exchange Server cluster ready.

    Setup Entering into ScSetupExchangeVirtualServer procedure

    FIGURE B.15 – Setup Entering into ScSetupExchangeVirtualServer procedure.

    It executes and sets the install type to cluster. Setup copies the binary files from x:\Setup\Roles and X:\Setup\Common directories as shown in the main figure B.

    Read more here…

    Tip – Command Line Tips, Windows Server 2008 Server Core

    Microsoft has released Windows Server 2008 in various editions. One of them is Server Core. There is no GUI included in the Server Core. You must perform all the commands by using the command-line tools supplied with the Server Core. Here are few important ones.

    Read more here…

    Tip – A Quick Tip To Enable Terminal Services Access For Previous Versions of Windows

    Allow previous versions of Windows to access Windows Server 2008 Server Core using Terminal Services.

    Windows Server 2008 runs in higher security level. By default, Windows Server 2008 does not allow previous versions of Windows computers to access the Server Core via Terminal Services. You must turn off the higher security level to allow them to access via Terminal Services

    Read more here…

    Tip – DFS Offers New Functionality in Windows Server 2008

    DFS in Windows Server 2008 has been improved. The DFSR, a service running in Windows Server 2008, can now be used to replicate SYSVOL contents. Previously, we had to use FRS for SYSVOL. In Windows Server 2008, the DFS has the following new features added:

    Read more here…

    Tip – ‘GlobalNames’ Zone, A DNS Feature in Windows Server 2008

    Many Microsoft customers are still using WINS in their networks. WINS is often used as a secondary name resolution protocol for NetBIOS names. WINS uses NetBIOS Over TCP/IP (NBT) for name resolution. Organizations still use WINS because they like having the static names for their enterprise servers.

    Read more here…