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 11, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
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
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
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
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
Saturday, November 6, 2010
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 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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
Thanks to the SBS Diva for the heads up.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
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:
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
Saturday, August 14, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday, June 19, 2010
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
Saturday, June 5, 2010
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
Saturday, February 27, 2010
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
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.
As it turns out, the issue with the KB977165 patch was due to a W32/Alureon rootkit infection.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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.