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.