Saturday, December 26, 2009

Unmountable Boot Volume

The infamous “Blue Screen of Death” message - it’s often a device driver issue, but it could also signal a hardware problem or even an incorrect BIOS setting.

When the message refers to a disk problem and there were no recent hardware changes, get into the Recovery Console and run chkdsk/r. Exit and Windows should start normally. On rare occasions, chkdsk/r can cause problems, requiring a restore from your backup, so make sure you've got a good one.

Still not working? Check the hard drive cable for damage; also see if it’s the correct cable for the drive (40-conductor cable used on a Ultra-DMA drive which requires a 80-conductor cable). Another show stopper would be an overly aggressive drive data transfer rates.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Department MFP Printer Driver Installation Causes Windows Installer Error

During a recent install of a multi-function printer driver for a dozen desktops, one of the software components decided not to cooperate and threw a Windows Installer error. Since another printer from the same manufacturer had been installed previously, remnants of the that installation may have been the cause.

Nonetheless, we downloaded and installed the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, found the offending software in the list and removed the entry. Afterwards, the driver installed without issues.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Update for MS XML Core Services SP2 Offered Repeatedly

Coincidentally, we came across this issue on several XP PCs this week – Windows or Microsoft Update keeps updates MS07-042 or MS08-069 in the update queue as if they were never installed.

As it turns out, Microsoft knows about it and issued KB 941729, which describes the fix. Just rename an out of date or corrupt dynamic link library file and run the update one more time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hardware Drivers from Windows/Microsoft Update

When our unmanaged clients install their own updates from Microsoft’s Update site, they sometimes opt for a “custom” rather than an “express” installation. In most instances, this does not create a problem however every once in a while, a client installs everything that’s offered. When hardware drivers are involved, problems can arise.

We’ve now seen two incidents in the past week where shaky or corrupt hardware drivers installed during the Microsoft Update process either crashed or froze a workstation. While I appreciate the effort to stay current on updates, sometimes it’s best to leave drivers alone if all is OK.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Corrupted Windows Update Downloads

Due to poor internet connections or other reasons, downloads for Windows or Microsoft Update may become corrupted. When that occurs, remove the software cache and download the update files again as follows:

  • Start a command prompt by clicking Start –> Run. Enter "cmd" and click OK.
  • Enter "net stop wuauserv" to stop the Windows Automatic Update Service.
  • Enter “rd /s c:\windows\softwaredistribution”. This removes the update software download cache.
  • Enter “net start wuauserv” to restart the Windows Automatic Update Service.

The update service will download the update files again from Microsoft’s server.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Office 2010 Beta Released

The beta release of Office 2010 was released to the general public this week during Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. We’ve been working with the Technical Preview and for the most part, it’s been quite solid. We’re looking forward to checking out the latest release over the coming weeks.

Download and install the beta version and check it out on a non-production machine for yourself.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Phantom NICs in Converted HyperV VMs

Susan Bradley blogged about it here. If you convert a physical machine to virtual, the OS will complain about the NIC still being installed. Worse yet, you can’t see it in the Device Manager.

So, open up a command prompt and tell the system you really want to see it in the Device Manager:

SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1

Now open up the Device Manager and you can delete that phantom NIC.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Re-register VSS Writers

On occasion, we see VSS throw errors when a snapshots are taken. In some instances, a reboot corrects the issue. You can check the status as follows:

From an admin command prompt, enter

vssadmin list writers

If there are any errors, try re-registering the associated DLLs as follows:

net stop "System Event Notification"
net stop "COM+ Event System"
net stop "Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider "
net stop "Volume Shadow Copy"
cd /d %windir%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /s Vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
net start "COM+ Event System"

Restart the server for the changes to take effect.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

SQL 2005 SP3 install error x80070643

A client needed SP3 installed for their line of business app. For some reason, the service pack failed and would not install. We found the solution in Microsoft’s forums as follows:

  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\Setup
  • Locate the "Resume" REG_DWORD and change the decimal value from 1 to 0
  • Reboot

This permitted the service pack to install properly.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Increasing Rule Limits in Exchange

If you’re a heavy user of rules in Outlook, you may have hit Exchange 2003’s 32K quota limit. In Exchange 2007, the quota was increased to 64K as a default but can be changed to 256K.

To do this, open the Exchange Management Shell. To increase the quota for all users, enter the following:

get-mailbox | set-mailbox –rulesquota 256kb

To verify the setting for a mailbox, enter the following:

get-mailbox al | fl rulesquota

The response should indicate the quota for the user.

Thanks to Simon Page.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Using Machine Names With Windows’ VPN – Revisited

Back in March, we posted about how machine names do not work over a Windows SBS 2008 VPN.

Evidently, we were not alone. This post from Nicholas Piasecki’s blog describes a work around:

  • Click Start > Administrative Tools > Routing and Remote Access.
  • In the tree view, drill down past the server name to IPV4 > General. Right-click the General option and choose “New Routing Protocol” and choose DHCP Relay Agent.
  • Now right-click the newly appended “DHCP Relay Agent” node and choose Properties. Add the IP address of your DHCP server (which is probably your SBS server itself), and click OK. Then click it again and choose “New Interface” and add the “Internal” interface.
  • Now if you connect through VPN, an ipconfig /all should show your domain name as a “Connection-specific DNS suffix” and pinging machines by their suffix-less computer names should work. (If it doesn’t, make sure your DHCP server is using that 015 DNS Domain Name option, which the SBS 2008 wizards set up by default.)

    Thanks, Nicholas!

  • Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode RTM’ed

    For those of you with TechNet and MSDN subscriptions, you can begin working with the RTM (release to manufacturing) versions of the new Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode products.

    A few weeks ago, we posted about these companion products for Windows 7; they provide an excellent way for businesses to maintain Windows XP compatibility when moving up to a new PC with Windows 7.

    While we found no issues with older software, we ran into a few hardware driver issues with the prerelease version of XP Mode. We’re looking forward to testing this latest version and we’ll report back with our results.

    Saturday, October 3, 2009

    Cleaning Up Old IIS Log Files

    Older SBS servers with separate system partitions tend to run low on space when they’re not maintained regularly. A quick cleanup is to delete old IIS log files.

    Here’s a great script for keeping things tidy.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Windows 7 Libraries

    When you open up Windows Explorer in Windows 7, you’ll notice the new “libraries” groups. Libraries are another way to group your data together and it can be much more useful than a drive letter or a Favorite. It’s a “super-folder” that shows you several folders at once.

    Windows 7 ships with several libraries predefined for documents, music, pictures and videos. These are great to give you an idea how they are used. image

    Although each library is a collection of folders, it can be used in  file operations such as save and open file dialog boxes. The library has a default “save location” that’s referenced when saving a file to library location. The save location is defined in the library properties.

    At this point, network drives can only be included if the folder is available offline or indexed using Windows Search 4 or later. There are, however, workarounds others have published that describe how to get around this.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Confusion Between Business and Consumer Class Peripherals

    Every once in a while, one of our clients sees a computer peripheral that catches their eye. Slick packaging, strong promises of performance and a great price.

    Once it’s purchased, the disappointment starts. Expensive consumables, short warranties and consumer oriented support from the manufacturer.

    This week, one of our clients discovered this the hard way. The peripheral would no longer function properly due to security updates for Windows XP. Driver updates were no longer being produced as the item had been discontinued after a few short years.

    We frequently ask our clients to speak with us regarding their equipment needs before making a purchase. Consumer class devices don’t work well in most business environments. They’re not built for amount of work businesses generate. And they lack the business class support you may need over the life of the unit.

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    SharePoint “Open with Windows Explorer” view stops working

    After SBS 2008 rollup update 2, SharePoint experienced a few issues. One caused docs to open in read only mode, the other caused the Windows Explorer integration and other features to disappear. The SBS support team blogged about it here. The fix is easy to do:

    1. Open SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.
    2. On the Central Administration home page, click Application Management.
    3. On the Application Management page, in the Application Security section,
    click Authentication providers.
    4. On the Authentication Providers section, click on Default (or relevant)
    zone.
    5. Under Client Integration, change option to Enable Client Integration to
    Yes and click Save.

    Saturday, September 5, 2009

    Viewing SBS faxes in Windows Server 2008

    We came across this problem way back in 2008 with Vista where fax pages are forced into landscape orientation. On Vista, the answer was to install Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI) and use that viewer instead of the Windows Fax and Scan applet.

    In a Windows Server 2008 terminal server environment, MODI doesn’t work reliably. We’ve heard that installing Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 resolves the problem, but that’s a much greater undertaking.

    We’ve started installing Brava Reader to view the TIFF files produced by SBS fax. This quickly resolves the issue.

    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview Released

    Also new is the Office 2010 Technical Preview. We’ve been testing this as well to understand the impact it will have on our clients when it’s released in the next few months.

    Most notable is the inclusion of the Office ribbon or “fluent” user interface in Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, SharePoint Designer and Visio. All of the applications have undergone refinement and we are finding the changes useful and well thought out. We especially appreciate the updates in Outlook 2010.

    More on Office 2010 in the coming weeks.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode

    One of the interesting features in Windows 7 is the new Virtual PC and companion XP Mode products. Microsoft posted release candidates of both these products in early August.

    Virtual PC has been around for quite some time, however this new version has a number of interesting features that take advantage of the new processor virtualization capabilities.

    What’s very new is the companion Windows XP Mode add that’s also been released. Microsoft has provided a fully licensed version of XP Pro that runs only with the new Virtual PC. By using XP Mode , it’s possible to run legacy line of business apps on Windows 7. Even better, the app appears in the start menu and runs in a window instead of the usual “desktop within a desktop” that’s confused many users in the past. Clicking on the start menu shortcut runs the app in a virtual XP session without revealing all the compatibility “gymnastics” going on behind the scenes.

    We’ve been testing this mode for the past week and there’s some great parts about it and some not so great things. The not so great could be due to the fact that it’s still not released or because we’re not completely knowledgeable about it. We’ll fill you in as we learn more about our experiences with it.

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Windows 7 RTM released to Microsoft Certified Partners as well as TechNet and MSDN subscribers

    On 8/6/2009, Microsoft released Windows 7 for testing by TechNet and MSDN members. Just like Windows XP and Vista, there are many versions released for different markets. Also like XP and Vista, 32 and 64-bit versions were released.

    Microsoft is encouraging adoption of the 64-bit version as it works with more memory and is much more secure. We’re working with 64-bit Windows 7 and have found only a few issues with certain scanners and printers. Since the OS hasn’t been released to the general public there’s still time for the vendors to address this.

    There’s quite a lot to like about this version; it’s very fast and solid and eliminates the odd Explorer quirks in Vista. We’ll be posting about our experiences over the next several weeks.

    Inbound Faxes Not Routing To SharePoint

    Sometimes we overlook simple things thinking there’s a highly technical issue causing a problem.

    Last week, we saw errors in a SBS daily report indicating inbound faxes were not routed properly to SharePoint. After checking three or four possibilities, it turned out the problem was due to a missing destination folder. As soon as the SharePoint folder was restored, the problem was resolved.

    A quick change of permissions will prevent this from recurring.

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Vista PCs Can’t Create, Edit or Forward Emails in Outlook Web Access 2003

    Found the fix here. MS changed the editing technology in OWA from an ActiveX control to iFrame.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Critical Windows Vulnerability

    Microsoft published a Security Advisory this week and asked all of its partners to help their clients update their machines as soon as possible.

    The advisory, published here, details an issue with the Active Template Library used by developers. If the vulnerability is maliciously leveraged, users of Internet Explorer could be affected by having their system security breached.

    If your PC is not managed by your service provider, just run Windows Update and install the updates offered for your PC. If that’s not appropriate for some reason, apply the patch individually using the download from Microsoft.

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    How To Set Message Size Limits in Exchange 2007

    Message size limitations are set in one of five places in Exchange 2007. For a great explanation of where it’s set and how to change it, check out this great blog post at Exchange-Genie.com.

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Intermediate Certificate Missing Causing Active Sync Error Code 0x80072F0D

    Certain devices supporting ActiveSync (such as Windows Mobile 5) won’t install a SSL certificate properly. This is especially true when your certificate uses an intermediate certificate such as GoDaddy. You’ll need to install the intermediate cert manually on the device in order to sync with Exchange properly.

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Trend Micro Unauthorized Change Prevention Service Does Not Auto Start on SBS 2003

    Out of nowhere, the Unauthorized Change Prevention Service in Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security 5.1 would no longer auto start on SBS 2003. We tried restarting the service manually, but no luck.

    We contacted Trend, and they recommended we download and install patch 1 to resolve the issue. However, that did not work, so they asked us to remove and reinstall the client portion, ensuring it was completely gone per this KB. Once that was done, that did the trick.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Installing KB963707 Fails

    A few workstations could not install this update delivered through WSUS. We investigated and found this MS KB describing what to do.

    However, we didn’t have much luck uninstalling the two .NET redistributables on the systems. So, we downloaded the .NET automatic cleanup tool which also reported errors.

    We did reinstall both versions of .NET successfully and was able to install all subsequent updates delivered to us including 963707.

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Server 2008, Receive-Side Scaling and Dell Broadcom NICs

    We recently resolved a particularly tricky issue relating to instability with both the Small Business Server and Standard editions of the Windows 2008.

    In each instance, the server would be stable for quite sometime and then networking would stop. Sometimes, the server would freeze requiring a cold restart.

    We had help from many sources on this; Microsoft posted two hotfixes (here and here), Trend issued updates for WFBS as well, but none of these resolved the issue. Other third party software partners also lent a hand to research this.

    The engineers at Dell determined that the Receive-Side Scaling feature in Windows 2008 was not working reliably with embedded Broadcom NICs. It appeared to be driver related rather than a problem with Microsoft’s software.

    We disabled the Receive-Side Scaling feature in the NIC and reliability was restored to the servers.

    Obtaining Keys for SBS 2003 Purchased With a SBS 2008 Volume License

    When you purchase SBS 2008 along with Client Access Licenses (CALs) but need to downgrade it to SBS 2003 due to a business requirement, you won’t be able to log onto EOpen to download your media and keys.

    In order to get the SBS media, you’ll need to contact Microsoft’s Volume License Fulfillment Center at (800) 336-0098 to order the disks. The installation key is included with the disk.

    Need the key to install the CALs on SBS 2003? Contact Microsoft’s Volume License center at (888) 352-7140 and have your volume license order confirmation handy. They will issue your installation keys over the phone.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    KB 960082 and SBS 2003

    We recently received error 0X2C24 when we attempted to install install update 960082 via Microsoft Update on Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 with Service Pack 2. We researched the issue and found KB 967092 addressing the issue, but when we attempted to install the update manually, we still received an error preventing the installation.

    We resolved the issue by completing the setup for the Small Business Server internal monitoring and reporting database, which uses WMSDE (it’s based on SQL 2000). Once that was complete, we were able to install update 960082.

    We discovered that we need to complete all of SBS 2003’s To-Do List before switching from Windows Update to Microsoft Update. The To-Do List suggests running Windows Update ASAP after completing the CEICW, however we were a bit anxious and flipped it to Microsoft Update on the first update pass.

    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Adding the Fax and Scan applet for a Windows 2008 Terminal Server

    When you use the SBS Shared Fax printer driver with a Windows 2008 Terminal Server, you need to have the Fax and Scan applet installed. Without it, you’ll see a “Windows cannot find sysOCMgr.exe" error when you try to send a fax.

    Installing the applet is not the same as in Vista. For Server 2008, open the Server Manager and add the Fax Server role. This also installs the Fax and Scan applet.

    It’s also necessary to have the Desktop Experience Feature installed as well.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Dymo Lableler Outlook Add-In

    Dymo’s Label Software includes add-ins for Microsoft Outlook and other popular Windows applications.

    We came across an issue that required us to remove the Outlook add-in. As we couldn't find a way to disable it from the installation program or from the add in itself, we contacted Dymo tech support. They explained the following key needs to be removed from the registry to disable the Outlook plug-in:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\DymoOfficeAddIn.LabelWriterAddIn

    YMMV, so back up your registry before doing this.

    Saturday, May 30, 2009

    Changes for MS Financing

    Going forward, any deals with MS Financing must contain at least 35% Microsoft products in order to be considered.

    Karl Palachuk's blog reported this change earlier in the week and I confirmed the change with my MS manager.

    I agree with Karl’s post – why in earth would they do this when the recovery is starting to gain traction? I see it as counter productive, don’t you? Perhaps it was their financing partner that insisted on the change.

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    Accessing Documents in Outlook Web Access 2007

    We got this tip from one of our colleagues; it activates server access using the “Documents” button on Outlook Web Access.

    image

    First, configure Remote File Access in Exchange 2007 in the Exchange 2007 MMC. It's described here.

    To specify the servers users have access to, go to Server Configuration –> Client Access. In the Actions panel on the right side of the window, click on properties below OWA.

    Next, click on the Remote File Servers tab and click the Allow button. Enter the server name to be accessed and click the Add button. If desired enter the SharePoint server name as well. For any server name entry, just enter the name of the server (no FQDN, no slashes).

    Click OK, click Apply and then OK and close the Exchange MMC.

    In OWA, open the location using the format file://server/ or for SharePoint, use http://sharepointservername/documentlibraryname. Once the files are displayed, you may want to save the location in the Favorites list on the OWA Documents page.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    HP Issues Driver Alert for LaserJet Series

    Drivers for certain HP LaserJet printers have a known problem in Terminal Server environments. HP has published a series of workarounds in this bulletin.

    Saturday, May 9, 2009

    MS Office 2007 SP2 Installation Errors

    We’ve seen a few Vista boxes fail when attempting to load Office 2007. In Windows Update, the error code was 8007066f.

    Using the MS links in WU, we didn’t get much help, so we tried installing the service pack outside WU and received a new error - “the detection failed, this can be due to a corrupted installation database.”

    MS suggested we completely uninstall all MS Office products (including Project, SharePoint Designer and Visio). We saw another recommendation which was to rename the “patch” key on all MS Office 2007 related entries in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\000021x…

    This worked, but proceed carefully. Back up the registry and check each key to see that it relates to Office 2007 before you do this. We changed about 20 or so keys and restarted the system before attempting to install Office 2007 SP2.

    Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Office 2007 SP2 Released 4/28

    MS released Office 2007 Service Pack 2 this week. While there were many suite-wide improvements and fixes, there were numerous changes made to each of the individual applications. For more info, look here.

    Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Released

    Service Pack 2 for Vista and Server 2008 was released this week to TechNet and MSDN. The main release will be in May. We’ve begun testing it on some of our internal systems here in the office. We’ll let you know what we find in a subsequent post.

    Saturday, April 25, 2009

    Disk Imaging Restore Issues – part 2

    Last week’s post referenced Philip Elder’s blog post on issues his team has experienced with third party imaging tools and the Vista/2008 platform.

    Although we’ve done this in the past, we crashed a few more test boxes this week and could not replicate the same issue. We were able to restore individual volumes and complete disks without any startup problems and without the changes to the boot configuration data  files he recommended.

    So, YMMV.

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Disk Imaging Restore Issues

    MS SBS MVP Philip Elder has a very informative post about issues encountered when restoring Vista and Windows 2008 volumes using third party disk imaging tools.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Certificate Services Client task fails

    We’ve been seeing this error on our SBS 2008 servers regularly:

    TaskScheduler    101    MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS PM    1
    Event Details:   
    Task Scheduler failed to start
    "\Microsoft\Windows\CertificateServicesClient\UserTask" task for user
    "Domain\Admin". Additional Data: Error Value: 2147942402.

    TaskScheduler    311    MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS PM    1
    Event Details:   
    Task Scheduler failed to start Task Engine "" process due to an error occurring in "LUAIsElevatedToken" . Command="taskeng.exe" . Additional Data: Error Value: 2147942402.

    We did some research and didn’t find anything conclusive, so we asked MS PSS about it and there’s a hotfix for it. PSS states that the issue can occur if the "Stop if the computer ceases to be idle option" is not saved for the task.

    However, PSS recommends holding off on the hotfix unless the error is causing problems. They say the error can be safely ignored and will be corrected once the hotfix is officially released.

    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    RDP Printing Error

    One of our clients using Windows XP SP3 kept receiving this error when using a redirected printer in Remote Desktop:

    "Windows Presentation Foundation Terminal Server Print W has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on might be lost. Please tell Microsoft about this problem."

    We located a few solutions, however we resolved the issue by installing the hot fix from KB 946411. Please note, you may need to call MS for this one as it was not available for download from the web site.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009

    WSUS Update Problems

    WSUS not updating? Got a SonicWall with gateway anti-virus? Open the SonicWall web admin and change the URL to .../diag.html. On the page that displays, accept the disclaimer and look towards the bottom for "Enable HTTP Byte-Range requests with Gateway AV". Place a check mark next to it, save the settings and the problem should be solved.

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Can't View The Event Log in Vista

    When attempting to view the Event Log on Vista workstations with PeachTree installed, the following error message is displayed:

    MMC could not create the snap-in.
    The snap-in might not have been installed correctly
    Name: Event Viewer
    CLSID: FX:{b05566ad-fe9c-4363-be05-7a4cbb7cb510}

    We've heard that this error also occurs on Server 2008 machines as well. There's several reasons for this error, however on boxes with PeachTree installed, load .NET 3.5 SP1 or perform a repair installation from the Programs applet in the Control Panel.

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    STSADM for Windows

    STSADM is a command line utility that's frequently used with SharePoint. Here's a GUI shell for it posted over at Ronalus' MSDN blog.

    Saturday, March 7, 2009

    Using Machine Names With Windows' VPN

    Here's another little change with SBS 2008 that surprised us. In our SBS 2003 installations, we've always been able to open a VPN connection and connect using the only internal machine name without any problems.

    With SBS 2008, we found it wouldn't work. After some troubleshooting and help from our friends at MS PSS, we found that you need to use the internal fully qualified domain name (FQDN) to connect to a specific machine.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    IP6 and SBS

    I've read numerous posts where people who mean well recommend disabling the IP 6 stack in SBS 2008 as a troubleshooting measure.

    If you're considering a move like that, don't do it unless you really know what you're doing. The Microsoft SBS Support Team in Las Colinas has a great post explaining why you should not turn it off.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Adding a Windows 2008 shared fax printer driver on a Vista or 2008 terminal server client

    It's not the same as with Server 2003 and XP.

    In the Control Panel, click on Printers, then Add Printer. From the dialog that appears, click  "The printer I want isn't listed".

    Click on "Select a shared printer by name" and type the UNC (i. e., \\server\fax) for the shared fax modem or click the browse button and navigate to it. Click next.

    Select the "Set as the default printer" box check as desired and click next and click Finish.

    Open a file to be faxed. Select print, select the shared fax driver and click on Print.

    The Fax Setup wizard will appear. In the Choose Fax Server or Modem field, select "Connect to a fax server on my network".

    In the Type the Fax Server Location field, type the server's UNC (i.e., \\server) and click Next. (We made the mistake of entering the complete UNC path to the fax.)

    In the Type a Name That Will Help You Identify This Server When Sending a Fax field, type a useful name to identify the fax server (i.e., Fax). Click Done.

    The Windows Fax and Scan applet will appear. Complete the cover page, fax recipient number and subject fields and click on Send. The outbound fax may be monitored in the Windows Fax and Scan Outbox folder.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Lost Network Connectivity with SBS 2008

    The SBS Support Team in Las Colinas announced that SBS servers may lose connectivity with a SBS 2008 server when a driver that uses TDI has been installed. TDI (transport driver interface) is being phased out, but is still used in third party security products such as Trend Micro's server product.

    MS has a hotfix, but it has not been regression tested so only install it if this directly affects you. Download the patch here. Per MS, use the Vista 64-bit version for SBS 2008. For the SBS Team's complete article , click here.

    Mapping Drives With Group Policy

    The Group Policy Team at Microsoft has a great post describing how to map drives using group policy instead of a login script. Check it out here.

    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    DCOM Error 10009 on SBS 2008

    We came across a Vista SP-1 workstation that threw this DCOM error hundreds of times every day:

    DCOM 10009 MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS AM 884

    Event Details: DCOM was unable to communicate with the computer XXXXX.xxxxx.local using any of the configured protocols.

    When we checked with MS PSS, they told us it's was a local firewall issue. Allowing Windows Remote Management through resolved the issue.

    Saturday, January 31, 2009

    DCOM Error 10016 on SBS 2008

    We've found SBS 2008 servers report this error as soon as clients begin accessing CompanyWeb:

    DCOM    10016    MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS AM 24
    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.

    Our friends at MS PSS provided the fix:

    This event can occur if DCOM permission settings are not correct for the application.

    CLSID {61738644-F196-11D0-9953-00C04FD919C1} refers to the IIS WAMREG admin Service. To prevent this event, grant Local Activation permission
    to NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE account as follows:

    • In Administrative tools, open Component Services and expand Component Services, Computers, My Computer, DCOM Config
    • Look for the IIS WAMREG Admin Service
    • Right click and select Properties and then select the Security tab
    • Click Edit under Launch and Activation Permissions
    • Add the Network Service user
    • Add Local Activation rights
    • Click OK twice
    • Close Component Services

    You may need to restart the server to have this take effect.

    Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Windows login hangs at "Applying Internet Explorer Branding Policy"

    A problem with group policy can cause Windows to prevent a user from logging in to the system. This issue is documented under KB 941158 as a fix for a 20 second login delay issue. The hotfix is included in XP SP3, Vista SP1 and Server 2008 SP1, however, it's not turned on by default according to our friends at MS PSS.

    You'll need to boot in safe mode and tweak the registry in order to have the fix take hold. Take a look at the MS' knowledge base article for specific details.

    Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Seagate Drive Failures

    Woops! Looks like Seagate has a little problem on their hands. Certain drive models, including some in their Barracuda and DiamondMax lines have a firmware bug that can cause data loss.

    You can download a utility to see exactly what drive you have and then look here to see if it's in their list. If it is, contact Seagate for the appropriate firmware update.

    According to the Register, Seagate is offering free data recovery services in certain circumstances.

    It's probably a good time to make sure your backup is working.

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Forwarding Exchange 2007 Mail To An External Address

    This tip comes from Daniel Anderson's blog. Thanks for your help!

    First, create a new mail contact in Exchange 2007:

    • Using the Exchange Management Console, click on Recipient Configuration.
    • From the Actions pane on the right, select “New Mail Contact”. 
    • From the New Mail Contact wizard, select New Contact and click next.
    • Either accept the default Organizational Unit for the contact or change it as needed.
    • Complete the contact information and then press the Edit button at the end of the External e-mail address field.
    • Enter in the SMTP Address of the external email address, click Next and then click Finish.

    Now we can forward incoming Exchange  2007 mail to the new contact:

    • In the Exchange Management Console go to Recipient Configuration and expand the tree to display the Mailbox branch.
    • Right click on the mail box you want to use and select properties.
    • Click on the Mail Flow Settings tab, select Delivery Options and then Properties.
    • Check the “Forward To” box and then click Browse.
    • Locate the Mail Contact that you created and click OK.
    • If desired, select the “Deliver message to both forwarding address and mailbox” option. 
    • Click OK and you’re done.

    Saturday, January 3, 2009

    Adding a Terminal Server to Remote Web Workplace in Small Business Server 2008

    We couldn't find where Microsoft documents how a terminal server is added to Small Business Server 2008's Remote Web Workplace. Charlie Russel graciously provides the details on how it's done:

    • Make sure that the Terminal Server is in the SBSServers OU (the default will put it in the SBSComputers OU).
      • Open dsa.msc, navigate to MyBusiness->Computers container to find the SBSServers and SBSComputers OUs.
      • Drag the TS into the SBSServers OU. Ignore the warning.
    • Open Regedit, and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusiness.If there is a RemoteUserPortal key, open it. If it doesn't exist, create it.
    • Create a new multi-string value (REG_MULTI_SZ) called TsServerNames.
    • Edit the multi-string value, adding the exact server names of your terminal servers, each on its own line.
    • Close regedit, and stop and restart RWW.