Saturday, December 11, 2010

Small Business Server 2008 Reports Event 130 - Expiring Certificate

If you see this error, it’s easy to fix. Just run the Fix My Network wizard and follow the prompts. The link to the wizard is found in the SBS Console. Go to the Network Page and click on the Connectivity tab.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Outlook 2010 NK2 File

We came across this post yesterday on MS SBS MVP Philip Elder’s blog. We’ve always copied the NK2 from a profile to assist users who (as Philip describes) say “they’ve lost their address book”. More information can be found in MS KB article here. Thanks, Philip!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Exchange 2007 Reports Application Error 12017 - Expiring Certificate

Thankfully, we proactively monitor application errors, so we caught this before caused problems. If you see this, open the Exchange PowerShell environment and run this command to see the certificate expiration dates:
get-exchangecertificate | fl
The system will respond with the names of the certificates on the system. Review each one and get the following info:
  • thumbprint of the certificate that’s about to expire
  • the services assigned
  • the certificate domains
Then, create a new certificate and disable the old one with PowerShell as follows:
new-exchangecertificate –confirm –domainname [certificate domains separated by a comma] –keysize 2048 –services [place the assigned services in quotes separated by a comma]
enable-exchangecertificate –thumbprint [thumbprint value] – services none
Want more info? Check out MS TechNet here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Corrupted Update Cache

Problems with an internet connection can corrupt the downloaded Microsoft or Windows Update cache. You’ll see numerous error codes that stall the manual update process.

When this happens, clear the update cache. At the command prompt, enter the following:

  • net stop wuauserv
  • cd \windows
  • rd /s softwaredistribution
  • net start wuauserv

This frequently solves the issue, but may not in all instances – YMMV.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Event ID 7001 Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Errors

Come across this? Check out Microsoft’s knowledgebase article on how to correct it.

And when you do, don’t forget to re-enable VSS when you’re done!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Confusing Error Messages – Hal.dll missing or corrupt

Here’s another misleading message:

Winnt_root\System32\Hal.dll missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

In many instances, reinstalling the file through the Recovery Console doesn’t work. If that’s the case, try rewriting the boot.ini file as follows:

  • Access the Recovery Console command prompt
  • type bootcfg /rebuild (ENTER)
  • You should see the following message:
    • Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
      Enter “Y”
    • Enter Load Identifier:
      This is the OS name. Enter Windows XP Professional or whatever flavor you’re working with,
    • Enter OS Load options:
      Enter /Fastdetect and press Enter.
  • type exit, press enter, remove the CD and Windows should boot properly.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

FTP Transfers Blocked By SonicWall

Here’s a hidden setting in SonicWall units that is meant to protect networks but may cause blocked FTP transfers.

Navigate to the Internal Settings page on the unit (http:/<IP address>/diag,html) and uncheck “FTP bounce attack protection”

We recommend leaving this on unless you find this specifically resolves a FTP transfer issue.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SBS 2008 Reporting Stops Working After WSUS 3 SP2

SBS 2008 queries WSUS for missing updates on the network. If you install WSUS 3 SP2 and your WSUS database has never been purged, the daily SBS reporting may stop working.

The fix? Open up the WSUS console, go to Options and run the Server Cleanup Wizard. However, on the first time, don’t run the wizard with all the options checked. You’ll find it it won’t finish. Run each option independently. The first option, Unused updates and update revisions, will take a long, long time. So be patient. Do it on a weekend.

Once the WSUS cleanup is done, reporting should be back to normal.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mail Enabled Distribution groups in Exchange 2007

Simple concept – create an email address that sends mail to a group of people. It’s easy to set up in Exchange 2007 too:

  • Open Exchange Management Console
  • Click on Recipient Configuration
  • In the Action task panel, click on New Distribution Group to start the wizard
  • On the Introduction page, select New Group and click Next
  • On the Group Information page, select Distribution. Then, type the name of the group under the Name and click Next
  • Click New and then Finish to complete the wizard.
  • Right click on the new group and select properties and select the Members tab
  • Add the desired users to the group and click Apply.

You’d think that would be it, however there’s a catch. This only creates an internal distribution list. In order for it to work externally, there’s more:

  • In the Group Properties dialog box that’s open, select the Mail Flow Settings tab
  • Highlight Message Delivery Restrictions and press the Properties button.
  • Uncheck the “Require that all senders are authenticated” box and click Apply.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Confusing Error Messages – IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

This is one of the dreaded “blue screen of death” messages. Do a web search, and you’ll find it’s usually caused by a bad device driver. MS TechNet has a list of things to try here.

Our fast method for getting the box back on it’s feet is to run the System Restore utility in Safe Mode. Then you can easily reinstall or update the faulty driver.

However, what if nothing has been installed and this doesn’t resolve the issue? Try running the chkdsk/r command. In many instances, a slightly tweaked disk will bring the system to a halt with this message. Chkdsk can take a while, but this usually corrects a problem that System Restore won’t. If you find chkdsk takes a very long time, read the TechNet article and try their recommendations.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Access Based Enumeration

This is a great file system feature “borrowed” from NetWare. If you’ve ever come across the need to hide files and folders a user does not have access to, simply turn this on. Here’s a great blog post (thanks, Aaron!) that explains how to do it in Server 2003 and 2008.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security 6 reports “excessive policy violation of behavior monitoring”

One of the servers we support started reporting behavior monitoring policy violations on all of the workstations. A colleague let us know about a service bulletin published that same day from Trend addressing the issue. We installed SP3 on the server and that resolved the problem. Thanks, Steve!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Disable Outlook Business Contact Manager Setup Wizard

Occasionally, a client will want to keep BCM installed and complete the setup later. Rather than uninstalling BCM, disable the setup prompt by following the steps outlined in this MS Knowledgebase article. It’s a simple regedit entry.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security 6 SP3 may cause BSOD error

We installed service pack 3 for Trend’s Worry Free Business Security on one of the SBS 2003 servers we support. Within a few hours, the server threw a blue screen of death, wrote a memory dump file and restarted. We analyzed the dump file and determined the cause was due to TMEVTMGR.SYS driver.

Trend’s support team already had a hot fix for the issue. If you’re impacted by this, give them a call to receive download information as the fix has not yet been released for wide distribution.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Broken TIF, TIFF and MDI Office 2003 File Association Hotfix

Office 2003 SP3 and certain subsequent updates can break the association of Microsoft Office Document Imaging with TIFF and MDI files. While it’s easy to fix, MS has released a hotfix to automate the process for you. It’s not available for direct downloading; you must request it here from Microsoft.

Thanks to the SBS Diva for the heads up.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Confusing Error Messages – Ntoskrnl.exe missing

It can be confusing when an error message does not clearly describe a problem. We’ve seen this with all types of software, not just Microsoft or Apple products. Here’s an example we came across recently:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

Winnt_root\System32\Ntoskrnl.exe

Please reinstall a copy of the above file.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is usually the result of a missing or corrupt boot.ini file. The Ntoskrnl.exe file is most likely on the disk, however the system can’t see it because it can’t find the hard disk during the boot up process.

The fix is to boot the PC into the Recovery Console and do the following:

  • Type bootcfg/rebuild (enter)
  • When asked “Add installation to boot list? (yes/no/all), type y
  • When asked to “Enter Load Identifier:”, enter the name of the OS, such as Windows XP Professional
  • When asked to “Enter OS Load options:”, press enter and restart the computer.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Terminal Service Gateway may randomly disconnect machines

This MS knowledge base article was brought to our attention by Susan Bradley's excellent blog. If you're experiencing this issue, you may want to try the tweaks recommended in the post.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not Enough Memory Available Message When Opening Outlook PST

After successfully repairing a large PST file, we saw this message appear in Outlook 2007. The folks at Microsoft PSS helped us troubleshoot this with the following suggestions:

- Check the permissions of the PST file; ensure the user has full permission of the file

- Configure the antivirus software not to scan PST files

- Check the amount of available disk space on the computer

- Check the file on another client PC; if the file opens properly, rerun scanpst.exe on the PST file

We found the amount of disk space was extremely low, preventing Windows from creating the virtual memory needed to proceed. Once we freed up disk space, we were able to open the PST file again.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Remote Desktop Client Changes Default Printer in Terminal Server and Remote Desktop Server

The Remote Desktop Client redirects the local printers by default. This is done so the user can send a print job from the Remote Desktop Server or Terminal Services Server to a printer connected to their PC. When the user logs in, the default printer is automatically changed so the user’s redirected printer is now the default.

In certain instances, you may want not want the redirected printer as the default. To change this behavior, enable the Group Policy “Do not set default client printer to be default printer in a session” under Computer Configuration – Policies – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Terminal Services – Terminal Server – Printer Redirection.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Small Business Server Products Coming from Microsoft

Microsoft announced two (!) new products for the Small Business Server family at the Worldwide Partner Conference this month. As expected, an updated version of Small Business Server 2008, code named “Small Business Server 7” will have updated components and updated integration elements. Specifically, Windows Server 2008 will be replaced with 2008 R2, Exchange 2007 will be replaced with 2010, Windows SharePoint Services 3 will be replaced with SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SQL Server 2008 will be updated with 2008 R2. The Remote Web Workplace portal has been updated as well as components that provide server management. Windows Software Update Services 3 remains unchanged. Also unchanged is the maximum number of users supported which is 75.

The big surprise was the product code named “Aurora”. Aimed at businesses without a server, this product uses architecture elements from Microsoft’s Home Server product and SBS 2008 products. From Home Server, comes workstation backup and simple software RAID. From SBS, comes robust domain security and Remote Web Workplace. New to any Microsoft server offering is explicit integration and support for Microsoft’s hosted Exchange and SharePoint products. Aurora will support up to 25 users.

We plan on testing both products in our lab so we’ll be ready to offer and support these products upon release.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SonicWall Global VPN Client connection issues

SonicWall’s VPN client won’t connect without adjustment to the default Group VPN policy. A quick check of the client software’s log will display "Failed to find MAC address 00:60:73:xx:xx:xx in the system interfaces table".

What’s happening is VPN client is connecting to the SonicWall but not receiving an IP address from the destination network. While there are numerous other workarounds on SonicWall’s website, we found none of these worked for us. We found the answer in the Group VPN policy settings. The Virtual Adapter setting (found on the Client tab) was set to None preventing connectivity. Setting this to DHCP Lease or DHCP Lease or Manual Configuration corrected the problem.

Oddly enough, we found "none" to be a default setting in the units we manage.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No Internet Connectivity on SBS 2008

One of our clients lost internet connectivity on their SBS 2008 server this week. Since the business relies on a hosted line of business app, this was a critical issue. Internal networking was all OK, just no internet access.

We first checked internet connectivity from the ISP and there was no problem. Then we checked the UTM device, also no problem. We connected a notebook PC to the UTM and got out to the internet immediately.

We’ve had several problems in the past with Broadcom NICs in Dell servers, so we looked for the problematic settings but everything was configured properly. After downloading and updating the NIC drivers and firmware, we restarted server but still no luck.

This lead us to believe there might be a DNS problem. Rather than checking the settings, we tried the SBS Fix My Network wizard. Oddly enough, it would not run. The SBS Console just froze. Still thinking DNS, we checked the settings. All OK.

Next, we went to a workstation and entered the ISP’s DNS settings, bypassing the server DNS. That didn’t work either and it should have. We then reset the gigabit switch and internet connectivity was restored. Once the internet connectivity was restored, the SBS Fix My Network wizard worked too. This issue was rather odd, especially since internal networking was not affected.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fake Antivirus Software Scams

Viruses have changed dramatically over the past few years; instead of just wreaking havoc with your system, these software threats have become quite sophisticated. The most common problem we see is fake antivirus software claiming a problem exists on a system. This, of course, is completely unfounded as the problem is the fake antivirus software itself.

In most instances, the user is confused by the message and clicks on prompts to install the software. It’s easy to do as the messages have the “look and feel” of antivirus software. Once the threat is installed, quick action can usually deactivate the program. We usually restart the system in safe mode and use System Restore to bring the system settings back to proper working order. With another restart, we then run the trusted antivirus solution to clean the deactivated threat off of the system.

It’s interesting to note that we never see these issues in the businesses we work with as we always deploy a UTM (universal threat management) solution at the internet’s point of entry. We only see this on machines that are outside of the networks we support.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Installing KB983444 may cause issues

So, instead of just blasting this one out, you may want to do some additional testing first. The SBS Support Team in Las Colinas has information here in the event SharePoint is unavailable after the patch.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Changing Message Size Limits in Exchange 2007

It’s done in three places using PowerShell. Check out the SBS Team’s blog post for details.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Windows Server restarts without warning

We’ve been investigating an interesting issue for the past several weeks. One of the servers we manage has been restarting without warning every other Sunday morning. Thankfully, no one is on the system, no files are open and nothing is taking place. No VSS snapshots, no backup – nothing.

What’s been so odd about it is there’s been nothing in any of the system logs. And no memory dump either. Just a reboot out of nowhere.

We took a look at the UPS and didn’t see any problems, but once we opened up its web console, we found the answer. The UPS had a self test scheduled for that time. And none of the tests were logged since the problem started. We ran the self-test manually and immediately discovered the self test cycle was resetting the power to the UPS and bringing down the server.

The manual self-test also triggered a bad battery alarm, so we immediately ordered a new battery and replaced it, resolving the problem.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

SharePoint 2010 video

SharePoint 2010 is out and it has the Office ribbon too. Take a look at this YouTube video demonstrating the new UI.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Trend CSA installation on x64 fails with WFBS 6 SP2

Trend has a hotfix for it, so load it up on the server before you install the client on a x64 machine and you won’t have a problem.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PeachTree can’t remember window positions

PeachTree often insists on opening windows full screen and won’t allow any adjustments whatsoever. This is very inconvenient when you’re trying to get work done.

To correct it, backup of the registry first. Open Regedit and go to this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\PEACHTREE\<PEACHTREE PRODUCT>\<VERSION NUMBER>

Highlight the “Positions” folder and delete it. This resets all Peachtree windows to their default.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Removing TS/RD Licenses from a workstation

In some instances, Terminal Server or Remote Desktop client access licenses are not validated properly by the server. The user may see the following message:

“The remote computer disconnected the session decease of an error in the licensing protocol. Please try connecting to the remote computer again, or contact your server administrator.”

In most cases, removing the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSLicensing key and its subkeys solves the problem. However on Vista and Windows 7 clients, the problem may persist.

In that instance, right click the RDP shortcut and select Run as Administrator when starting the session. This allows the registry keys to be correctly re-written. For more info, click here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

VSS Errors and ShadowProtect

Although ShadowProtect 4 is out, StorageCraft published maintenance release 3.5.2 to resolve VSS errors such as event ID 12301 and 12293. It installs over the existing version and resolves these issues.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

File/Folder Being Used By Another Person or Program

We’ve all seen this at some point when attempting to delete a file or a folder. Here’s a great tool to help you past this when trying to get work done.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

IPSec service won’t start

When this happens, all TCP/IP traffic stops. If you try to restart the service, you may receive this message:

Error 10048: Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted.

If you look in the Event Log, you’ll see that IPSec has entered block mode. The recommendation is to disable IPSec services and restart the server. Don’t follow that advice.

To get everyone working quickly, stop the DNS Server service. Then start the IPSec service start. Restart the DNS Server service and everything should be back to normal – at least for now.

This behavior is due to a problem after installing update MS08-037 which addressed DNS vulnerabilities.

To avoid the problem in the future, you’ll need to edit the registry key that lists the DNS port reservations. Check out the details here for more info.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

.NET Framework Corruption Issues

When a .NET Framework becomes corrupt, correcting the problem can be time consuming. Specifically, if .NET 1.1 is corrupt, all subsequent .NET Frameworks releases installed must also be removed. If just version 3.5 has an issue, the earlier releases can be left alone if there’s no problem.

We came across a .NET problem that prevented the removal of two of the four Framework releases. Aaron Steiner’s .NET Framework Cleanup Tool easily removed all corrupted remnants and permitted us to reinstall everything quickly.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Using Printers With Remote Desktop Protocol

The updates to the Terminal Services and Remote Desktop Protocol printing functionality in Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 has been great in our experience. However, on occasion, it’s not always as seamless as you would hope.

That’s not to say that it’s Microsoft’s fault – it’s usually a result of the printer manufacturers. Due to the myriad of drivers available for even a single printer model, printer names get mismatched and sometimes it’s just a few characters like a version number or a dash that causes problems.

For example, a LaserJet 5 could appear as a LaserJet 5 Series, Laserjet 5 Series PCL6, etc. depending on the version of the driver and the exact printer model.

Instead of removing and reinstalling the matching driver, Microsoft has a workaround in this KB. To summarize, you’ll see event ID 1111, 1105 or 1106 in the system logs. Create a registry key and a corresponding .inf file that matches the printer name variations. Works great.

There’s also a Printer Driver Redirection Wizard that automates the creation of the .inf file if you need more help.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

CEICW error on SBS 2003

This week, we saw a SBS server run the following message when running the CEICW:

“This wizard can only be run on a Small Business Server computer.”

Since the wizard only appears on a Small Business Server computer, we were a bit puzzled. As it turns out, this is the result of a missing registry key. MS has posted a hotfix for it and you can request it here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Office 2010 RTM

Microsoft Office 2010 was released to manufacturing last week. If you’ve got a TechNet or MSDN subscription, you can check it out today.

We’ve been working with the Technology Preview and Beta versions since last August. It’s a solid product, so when it’s available for purchase in the coming weeks, there’s no need to hold off.

The addition of the “ribbon” interface to Outlook, Publisher, Project and Visio are excellent.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Office 2007 Professional Activation with Chinese Writing

A friend purchased a new notebook and wanted Microsoft Access. He enlisted a seller on E-Bay to deliver a fresh retail copy of Office Professional for the great price of $150. However, the serial number sticker doesn’t look quite right - it has a fold down the center. Insert the CD, run through the installation and all appears OK until it’s time for activation.

Up comes a dialog with Chinese characters! Click what appears to be the OK button and we’re taken to a Microsoft piracy site suggesting we purchase Office directly from them.

Well, so much for the great deal. Even if the software activated properly, who knows what crud had been placed in the bits on the disk? No thanks.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Trend Micro Discontinues Support for CSM 3.6

Trend is stopping support on 3/31/10, so, it’s time to get all those “servers” who are reluctant to upgrade to get with the program! You’ll want to do it anyway because it works better.

You need to prepare before you do this. Reason being is that the current product, Worry Free Business Security 6 needs more disk space. Older Server 2003 boxes were typically built with small system partitions, so there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Have at least 10 GB or more free, not just for the installation but for normal application operation.
  • Don’t launch the distribution executable from the sysvol. Move it to another drive and use WinRAR to expand it before launching it. Locate setup.exe and run it on that other drive. The distribution executable is appx. 700MB; when you expand it, it uses another 1.1 GB or so. This can save you about 2 GB.
  • Go to Trend Micro’s partner support portal and download the cleanup utility (subscription required).

On a SBS server, the upgrade can take 45 – 90 minutes, so be patient. It works.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Windows Server 2008 Fax Service – Custom Cover Pages

The Fax Service Manager admin tool in Windows Server 2008 does not properly add custom cover pages to the Common Coverpages folder on the server. Since the files in these folders have unique rights, we asked MS PSS for assistance.

In the Common Coverpages folder, you’ll see the four default fax cover pages. There’s also another folder inside, EN-US. The same four cover pages are in that folder as well. In order to add a coverpage and have it available to all users across the network using the shared fax service, we found the custom cover page has to be in both folders with the following permissions:

Administrators – read, execute
System – read, execute
Users – read, execute
TrustedInstaller – full control (cmd line - icacls coverpage01.cov /grant "NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller:(F)")

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another SharePoint 3 Issue

SharePoint Services 3 Search started throwing event ID 2424 almost 200 times in a day. Turns out, this is another quick fix. Check out the SBS Team post here for more info.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

SharePoint 3 Unavailable After Installing SP2

We installed SharePoint 3 Service Pack 2 for a client and the message “cannot connect to the configuration database” was returned when we tried to access the sites.

Thank goodness for the SBS Support Team in Las Colinas, TX. They knew about the error and had a simple fix posted here on their blog. Fire up the command line, enter the command described and you should be good to go.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adobe Reader PDF Preview Handler and Windows 7 64-bit

A preview handler is a plug in that allows you to view a file in Windows Explorer (Vista and Windows 7) and in Outlook (2007 and 2010).

For well over two years, the installation routine for Adobe Reader has had an error which prevents the preview handler from being properly installed in 64-bit systems. We came across this site that published an installer to correct the error. Works great – thanks!

It’s hard to understand why Adobe doesn’t fix the error. Very strange.

MS Update Causes BSoD on Some XP Systems - Revisited

As it turns out, the issue with the KB977165 patch was due to a W32/Alureon rootkit infection.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Journal Wrap Error on Server Volumes

When your server reports Journal Wrap Error – event ID 13568 on a restart, try this:

  • Create a DWORD registry key named "Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore" under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\SERVICES\NTFRS\Parameters and set it to 1.
  • Restart the NTFRS service
  • Change the registry key value to 0

You should be all set, however YMMV. See more info on this here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BlackBerry Desktop/Roxio Media Manager Installer Issue

We’ve seen this numerous times – after installing BlackBerry Desktop, the Roxio Media Manager insists on initializing Windows Installer long after it’s been successfully installed. It’s a simple fix; download the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility and blast away the Roxio Media Manager. It’s not needed to get music on your BlackBerry.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Outlook Toolbar Disappears

One of the users we support discovered he could no longer apply bold, underline or other formatting options to a new HTML formatted email message. After researching the issue, we determined the problem is resolved by renaming the outcmd.dat file, which is located in D&S\appdata\microsoft\outlook. The file is recreated when Outlook is restarted.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

PeachTree 2010 and 64-bit environments

I’m always amazed when critical information is not passed on for something as important as an accounting software upgrade. This week, we upgraded PeachTree on a SBS 2008 box after carefully reviewing the upgrade requirements and comments provided by Sage.

The server install almost went without a hitch when we saw an app error from a printer driver component, which was unrelated. We noted it and the upgrade continued. It completed, notifying us it was successful.

However it was not. We discovered this the hard way when the first workstation we updated coughed and wheezed at the thought of the new code.

After a 55-minute wait on Sage/PeachTree’s tech support line (and yes, the client has a contract for a lower wait times), our front line tech informed us that this was not a PeachTree issue. It had to be handled by a local PeachTree consultant.

We vigorously disagreed and after another 10-minute wait, we received a callback from a level two tech. We were in for some more surprises.

Interestingly enough, he informed us PeachTree 2010 and its database component cannot muster up enough smarts to store its data outside of the system volume in a 64-bit environment. This, of course, is absurd and not documented anywhere and not communicated during the installation process.

After ripping out registry keys on both machines, pulling references out of the Windows Installer, moving the data to the system volume and raising the local user rights to Admin levels (all undocumented tasks), the upgrade on these two machines was done after four hours. We then completed the install on the remaining workstations without problems.

C’mon, 64-bit environments have been around for quite awhile – especially in servers. The initial attempt by tech support to hand this off to a third party was deplorable. The methods to deploy this are far from what’s considered in the industry as best practices. But more importantly, the lack of communication to the client and lack of appropriate testing before release is highly unprofessional. This resulted in a significant disruption to the client’s business that could have been avoided.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Time to Start Working on Exchange 2007 SP2 in SBS 2008

Exchange 2007 SP2 has been a tough update for SBS 2008 installations. MS posted a lengthy KB discussing the issues presented by the service pack. Since some of the issues were due to MS’ Forefront antivirus products, MS published a tool to help install the SP without going through the numerous steps documented in the KB.

Get the tool here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Missing Toshiba notebook drivers

We came across a nasty trojan that rewrote the permissions on multiple registry keys. In order to be safe and secure, we performed a complete reinstall of the operating system. However, some of the drivers were not on the US Toshiba site which is odd since the machine is barely four years old.

Thankfully, we found the appropriate drivers at Toshiba’s European support site and the notebook is healthy once again.