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Showing posts from 2009

Upgrading Exchange 2007 Clusters to SP2 – Workaround

I posted last month about a problem delegating installs of Exchange 2007 SP2. Delegated Admins will receive an error message stating the following…You must be a member of the 'Exchange Organization Administrators' or 'Enterprise Administrators' group to continue.Have been looking into the issue and have had a case open with Microsoft. Turns out that you only get this issue on a fully patched server. If you try upgrading or installing as a delegated admin on a fresh install of either server 2008 or 2003 you don’t see the problem either with Exchange SP1 or SP2. I haven’t had time to identify exactly what patch causes this yet, if I’ll bother at all.If you have patched your server though, MS came up with this workaround.Disable update checking for the BPA by heading into the registry and HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\ExBPA and either creating or modifying a DWORD named “VersionCheckAlways” and set it to ‘0’Copy the installation files to a local drive and replace Setup…

Geographically Dispersed CCR Cluster

I recently had the opportunity to install a geographically dispersed CCR Exchange 2007 cluster. Server 2008’s cluster features can now handle clusters on separate subnet’s making the fact that the only data centres available were operating on Layer 3 wasn’t a problem. I didn’t need to stretch a VLAN across physical sites.Configuring the networking for the cluster went slightly against the grain for me. Essentially the Private networking element has gone for these types of clusters, because all traffic, heartbeat and all has to go over the public network. That said, it was a simple process. I configured the networking using four NIC’s, three were teamed and another was on its own but it was set not to register in DNS. I didn’t want client traffic coming over the single NIC.When you set up the cluster you simply enter two IP addresses that the cluster can use, and on failover, one, the one that’s not on the subnet the active node is in, will stay offline, sounds nice doesn’t it, but wai…

Duplicate legacyExchangeDN Properties

Had a case recently that wasn’t immediately obvious to resolve.We had reports of a user that no one was able to e-mail due to duplicate addressing. At first look there was no duplicate addresses on the object. We were receiving the following NDR’sThere is a problem with the recipient's e-mail system. More than one user has this e-mail address. The recipient's system administrator will have to fix this. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator and then try resending the message after the problem has been resolved.IMCEAEX-_O=ORGNAME_OU=EXCHANGE+20ADMINISTRATIVE+20GROUP+20+28FYDIBOHF23SPDLT+29_CN=RECIPIENTS_CN=NAME+2ESURNAME@DOMAIN.SUFFIX
#550 5.1.4 RESOLVER.ADR.Ambiguous; ambiguous address ##Further investigations showed that there was a problem with the way that the user was shown in the Exchange Address Books. It seemed as though the object was being confused with another …

Upgrading Exchange 2007 Clusters to SP2

In the Exchange Organisation I look after at work, we have quite a few Exchange Clusters. We have SCR & SCC clusters across multiple sites and ran by different subordinate administrators.With the release of SP2 for Exchange 2007 we went about testing implementing SP2 and getting it rolled out. Unfortunately, our test lab doesn’t include any clusters, something we’ll have to address now, but I digress.We installed SP2 on the Exchange servers we manage ourselves without issue, again, no clusters.When it came time for the local admins to install SP2, they hit a problem on their Exchange Clusters. Following the steps described in this Technet Article - the attempts failed with the following error…You must be a member of the 'Exchange Organization Administrators' or 'Enterprise Administrators' group to continue.on inspection of the ExchangeSetup.log the prerequisites check failed with the following error.[ERROR] T…

83-640 Exam “Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring”

I passed 83-640 “Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring”  today. The exam is a replacement of 70-640 with exactly the same tested skills. This was my first Microsoft exam with with a simulated testing environment so I thought I’d write a bit about it.The exam itself is split into three parts, two Virtual Labs followed by the more familiar multiple choice questions, there were thirty questions.The VM labs, in my case were identical, and most of the tasks are fairly simple to complete. I got caught out on a CA question that I couldn’t remember a command for. Things like adjusting the dataset of the Global Catalog, configuring site replication and bulk update of AD objects should all be fairly common place for most administrators.The multiple choice questions posed no major difficulty. There were the odd one that I wasn’t familiar with, but some of the answers were obvious.My main problem with the test was the speed of Virtual Labs. The machines are somewhere on the internet, …

SharePoint 2003 Restore Problem

I’ve blogged about this before, but I managed to loose the document from my server. I’ve had lots of emails requesting the document. So I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.I encountered a problem when restoring a SharePoint 2003 portal to a newly built server.All three SharePoint databases were stored on a SQL cluster and we relied upon backups of the SQL server for disaster recovery.A failure on the SharePoint server required us to re-build another server and restore the SharePoint portal. We’d done this a number of times before with no problems, but on this occasion, we received the error “Unable to find entry for Portal Site” when restoring.As this was a newly built server we instantly thought there was corruption in the SQL Databases. We restored them from a backup before the failure occurred with no success. We then moved backward to a weekly backup from five days before the failure, still with no success. We had earlier backups but didn’t roll back further because the data in …

Dan Brown’s the Lost Symbol

Last night I finished reading Dan Brown’s latest. One of the longest books I’ve read in a while, but that’s more of a slur on my book reading habits than the book itself.I’ve read all four of Dan Brown’s other books, and enjoyed each one. Angels & Demons being my favourite, closely followed by The Davinci Code. One thing I noticed during the previous for books, was there was a pattern shared between them all. A serious problem followed by a string of clues, codes or events that would get in the way, not always overcome, but resulting in a relatively happy ending. I think the lost Symbol throws in some surprises.When your reading the first half of the book, you set expectations on what you think the ending of the book will revolve around. My initial expectations were were quickly resolved by half way through the book. At the half way point, the book takes a turn to tradition. Clues, puzzles and codes all with a pressing time limit and lives hanging in the balance. Even an ongoing h…

Problems installing a CCR CMS Exchange 2007

I’ve been meaning to Blog About this for a while, before Exchange 2010 comes out. So here goes…I had pre provisioned five exchange objects, two for servers meant to hold the HUB/CAS roles, two for the CCR Cluster Nodes and one for the CMS. The delegated local admin had installed the HUB/CAS servers with no issues, but hit a problem after installing the mailbox role on the first node, the CMS creation failed with the following message.Clustered Mailbox Server ......................... FAILED
The computer account 'Server' was created on the domain controller
'\\fsmoholder.domain.suffix', but has not replicated to the desired domain
controller (localdc.domain.suffix) after waiting approximately 60 seconds
. Please wait for the account to replicate and re-run setup /newcms.
The Exchange Server Setup operation did not complete. For more information, visit and enter the Error ID.
Exchange Server setup encountered an …

Creating a Windows PE 3 Bootable USB device

I’ve used Windows PE for a long time. And I’ve grown to love it. It’s an extremely useful tool, not just for OS installation, but for diagnostics.Since there’s a version of WinPe for x64 & x86 (& itanium) I like to keep both x64 & x86 on my USB stick. Essentially copying the each version to the root of the USB stick as needed. Meaning at any one time I have three copies of WinPE on my USB stick. Other applications I copy directly to my USB stick, so that I don’t have to remount the image every time i need another application added.Shortly after Windows 7 was released came a new version of WinPE, WinPE 3.0 on the Windows Automated Installation Kit.Preparing the USB stick. You’ll need to prepare the USB stick. To do this open a command prompt using Run As Administrator and use the following commands.diskpart
list disk
select disk 7
create partition primary
select partition 1
format quick fs=fat32
exitMake sure…

Samsung NC10, a 6 cell battery & Windows 7

I’ve had my NC10 for a few days now and you can read about some of the things I've done to maintain the battery runtime XP delivered, but with Windows 7 in my previous posts.I got my 6-cell batter delivered and wanted to let you guys know how I got on. With the three cell battery I managed to reproduce XP’s 2.5 hour life on Windows 7 after a bit poking around with services and drivers etc.I charged up the new battery and run it from fully charged, just browsing the web. until it switched itself off. 7.25 hours it lasted. I was impressed. This battery had not been conditioned properly and it was already producing comparable run times to the advertised life.The interesting thing here is that the batter life achieved with a 3-cell battery is not anywhere near half of what you get with a 6-cell battery. I’m sure there’ll be a scientific explanation about why this is, due to load sharing etc, but for now, I’m just happy that I’ve got a very portable machine that can last a full work d…

My General Theme for Windows 7

As in my previous post for Netbooks, I’ve compiled a theme for Windows 7 for my PC. The theme contains 25 nice images I’ve compiled with a resolution of 1280 by 1024. I thought I’d share this theme also.Download it here [20Mb]

Scavenging Battery Life with Windows 7

Since I installed Windows 7 on my NC10 I’ve been trying to find ways of getting the battery performance on a par with Windows XP. I’ve gone through Windows 7 Power settings with a fine toothcomb, I’ve gone through application settings to try and reduce requirements and am now looking at disabling unnecessary services.As an aside, I previously mentioned that I like Google Chrome on the device. One tip that seems to reduce hard drive & Wi-Fi activity is to disable DNS pre-fetching. This actually saves you time, but produces activity while the browser resolves any domains that are present in links on each page you visit. Only a small overhead but I think it helps a little.Back on topic, I started looking at the services that were started on my installation of 7 Home Premium. I then Googled for anyone that had done similar. I found someone had gone through the services and documented what ones he’d turned off.Charles Sparks ‘BlackViper’ – Windows 7 Service ConfigurationI did’t disable…

Google Chrome on Netbooks

An Internet Browser is what I use most on my Netbook, so I sent some time looking at different browsers. They all do pretty much the same, rendering speed arguments aside. It was the interface that mattered to me. I tried all the big browsers, IE8, Firefox, Opera, Chrome.In the end I settled on Chrome. The main reason I liked it, was because the toolbar area was the smallest of all the browsers. Allowing me to see more of the page. I know some of you will tell me about full screen modes etc, but I don’t like it. I prefer to have the Start Bar and the IE toolbar visible.I’ve tried Chrome on my PC before, but I didn’t quite like it on systems with larger screens. But for Netbooks, Chrome is my browser of choice.One thing I’m looking forward to is Google Chrome OS. The combination of this browser and Google’s work with Android will be something that I think will push Windows 7 aside on Netbooks.

Windows 7 Theme for Samsung NC10

I’ve spent some time compiling some nice images that are 1024 by 600 for the Samsung NC10. There are 25 images in total. Thought I’d share for others to enjoy.Download the Windows 7 Theme for Devices with 1024x600 screens.

Samsung NC10 with Window 7

I got my hands on a Samsung NC10 this week. Call it a birthday present to myself. I’ve read so much about this Netbook that I’ve been refraining myself from purchasing one for a while. But I gave in when I had some disposable birthday cash. Just after ordering, I placed another order for a 2Gb memory DIMM. I think 1Gb isn’t realistic for anything anymore, even a Netbook running XP. The first thing i did when I got my hands on the unit, was pop in the memory upgrade. There’s a nice access panel specifically for you to do this, it’s even labeled ‘Memory’, so it wasn’t a problem.The next thing I did was boot to my newly created Windows PE 3 USB stick and install Windows 7. All the hardware was detected during the installation, but some operated better with a driver update. I was happy for example to just update the Graphics, Audio Drivers and Touchpad driver. Of the Samsung suite of tools, the only tool I installed was the Easy Display Manager. This tool reactivated some of the function …