Friday, July 22nd, 2011
PowerShell is certainly one of the next big things that Microsoft are putting out there. We’ve been told that things like the Exchange System Manager are built AFTER the PowerShell commands are written. Indeed using Exchange 2010 as an example, there are some things that have no GUI equivalent and you are forced to run PowerShell instead. The noise around PowerShell is getting louder and louder with every server product now having PowerShell as a way to manage and automate tasks going to it. Is it going too far though? Is it going so far that they are compromising the value of the product by NOT writing GUI components for the same PowerShell command?
A thought that crossed my mind this week…. going back to the late 70s – command line driven operating systems were the big thing. Moving forwards, Microsoft wrote and release Windows because everyone was demanding it. Now it seems we are approaching full circle with PowerShell being the next big thing. One wonders if in the next 5-10 years if we will still have a Windows GUI to manage our networks and be back at the start once more with just a PowerShell command list to go from.
What do you think?
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
No – this is not a test to see how fast a Toshiba can reboot vs a Porsche 911, but a story from Jeff Wilson from VelocIT Business Systems and a member of the SMB IT Professionals organisation in Australia. Jeff tells the story of an urgent call he had from a customer over a weekend where the customer needed him to look at something urgently – ie before Monday. Being a customer focused professional, of course Jeff went to help out. When he got there he found that the client has “accidentally” run his Porsche 911 over the laptop… see the pictures below!
The screen still opened up
And of course – compare the good with the bad.
What is interesting from this is that the hard drive on these is stored under the keyboard palm rest area and it appears that this was not harmed – therefore the users data was still safe. The laptop though was of course totally dead. Jeff moved the hard drive over to the spare that the customer had and got them running quickly.
Now – aside from being some funny pictures of a laptop accident – it brings a few other thoughts to mind.
What are you doing for backups of your users mobile devices? Are you backing up the entire laptop and if so, how often and using what software?
Personally I’m using Trend Micro SafeSync on my laptop to sync all the user changed data – word documents, Excel, PowerPoint and the like up to the cloud and then from the cloud, down to my desktop PC in the office. This ensures that my user data is safe and sound.
In terms of the laptops operating system and applications, I’m using ShadowProtect to backup to a USB hard drive while I travel, or to my NAS in the office. I’m also using the Client PC Backup technology from Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials to do a backup of the laptops while in the office as a 2nd approach.
What do you do?
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
I’m using SafeSync to access my company files while I’m on the go and sync them back to my office desktop computer. It’s working pretty well for me for the most part.
For some reason, in the last few days, I’ve been getting “Unable to open file – File format not supported” whenever I attempt to open a file. I did some digging but it appears that I’m the only one so far to get this on my iPad. I could not figure it out initially, but in the end I decided to remove and reinstall it on the iPad.
How do you remove and reinstall an app on the iPad?
To reinstall the app to the iPad
This fixed my problem – really not sure what caused it but the solution was quite simple.
Monday, July 18th, 2011
Ok – so over the next three weeks, you might find my postings on the site to be a little light on. You see – I’m going to be spending this week at Microsoft in Redmond playing with some great cool, upcoming Microsoft products that I can’t talk about. I’m sure you could guess at what they might be, but I cannot confirm anything due to the heavy NDA.
The following two weeks will be a little R&R for me. I’m heading up to Alaska to enjoy some time hiking and maybe even some camping in Denali National Park. There will be photos yes – but I’m not expecting to be online much at all during that time as I take some time out to refocus on life the universe and everything.
This trip is all about sharpening the saw as they say – many SMB resellers don’t take enough time to do that and as a result end up working so very ineffectively. I’m so very guilty of this over the past 15 years of running my own business, and over the last few years have started to take control of things once more. It’s an empowering feeling really to be able to climb that hill of problems and stand on the top of it. It allows you a clarify of view that gives you the ability to see far around you in so many ways. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “Sharpening the saw” then check out this link here and this one too. As Stephen Covey says…
Feeling good doesn’t just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything. You can pamper yourself mentally and spiritually. Or you can go through life oblivious to your well-being. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of good health and exercise. You can revitalize yourself and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of apathy because your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone. Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity for renewal–a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill.
I’m tired of telling people that I’m too busy. I’m tired of being tired. I’m taking control and doing something about it. Have you got the same determination or will you continue to slave away at your business without taking time to sharpen the saw?
There will be a regular stream of posts on the site though thanks to WordPress’s ability to schedule things for release into the future. I hope you find them worthwhile. If you email me during this time, i might well be slower to respond. See you in August!
Friday, July 15th, 2011
Robert Crane – famed Aussie Sharepoint Guru and President of the SMB IT Professionals – Sydney group has launched his Office 365 Bootcamp series. The first event is on 17th August in Sydney, and he is looking to also produce this as a number of webcasts to those that wish to partake in it. Details on it are on Roberts website here
Without a doubt, Robert has been playing with Office 365 longer than anyone I know outside of Microsoft – so if he does not know it – it’s probably not happened.
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
Microsoft have pulled the above mentioned Update Rollup due to a number of issues seen in the field . So much so that Microsoft have taken action to remove it from the update site. Their blog post here talks about how there is the potential for data loss if the Public Folders are moved from within Outlook. Whilst the risk is minor they have pulled the update and will leave it until August to fix when they release Update Rollup 5 for Exchange 2010 SP1.
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
Working on site over the past few weeks for a larger client and I needed to remove Exchange 2010 from a server that we needed to continue to use – that is to say – I had to make it a clean removal
After following the bouncing ball and removing Exchange 2010 from the server, we had an enormous amount of errors in the event logs every few seconds.
In the System log we had
Log Name: System
Date: 13/07/2011 10:19:52 AM
Event ID: 5139
Task Category: None
A listener channel for protocol ‘http’ in worker process ‘6504′ serving application pool ‘WsusPool’ reported a listener channel failure. The data field contains the error number.
Log Name: Application
And in the Application event log we had
Date: 13/07/2011 10:31:10 AM
Event ID: 2280
Task Category: None
The Module DLL C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Bin\kerbauth.dll failed to load. The data is the error.
After a bit of investigation, I found that for some reason the kerbauth.dll was still in the IIS configuration file. To fix this, follow the procedure below.
1. Locate the applicationhost.config file in the C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config folder and open it with Notepad.
2. Find the “Kerbauth” reference in the globalModules section as highlighted below and remove the entire line.
3. Save the file and close notepad.
4. Open and administrative command prompt and run an iisreset.
Give it a moment and your event logs should be clear of these errors.
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
I was writing this blog post over the weekend and downloading Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 and could not help but notice, that Microsoft is now pushing Office 365 to you even when you go to patch your Exchange server. They really are desperate to get you to move to the cloud even if it’s not the right thing for your business. See the screenshot below for the advert for Office 365.
Monday, July 11th, 2011
Microsoft last week released the latest Update Rollup for Exchange 2007 SP3. This is Rollup 4 for Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and contains a host of fixes that have been released since SP3 for Exchange 2007 was released. Microsoft made the announcement here. The complete list of fixes for the patch is available here. Microsoft also advised that they will be releasing Update Rollup 5 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 in August 2011 which is good guidance for when you need to apply this next.
Ok – so how do we apply Rollup 4 for Exchange 2007 SP3 on SBS 2008? Well first up – I’ve applied this to my test server first – and from what I can see there’s been no side effects. The next test for me is to apply it to my production environment, and then later in the week I’ll apply it to customer environment.
To install Rollup 4 for Exchange 2007 SP3, you must of course have Service Pack 3 for Exchange 2007 installed first. If you don’t then check out this blog post I did a while back on this subject.
Next you need to download Update Rollup 4 from Microsoft – the direct download link is here – of course you will want the x64 version. Download it and save it to the desktop.
Once on the desktop – make sure that your users are disconnected from the server – I normally do my patches on a Sunday night if I can – that way I’m ready to assist on Monday morning should there be any issues.
Make sure you have done a backup of the server before you apply the patch and also I normally disable any Antivirus Software as well so that it can’t get in the way.
Right click on the download and select Apply.
You will get the GUI that does some pre-requisite checking first – nothing to do here except wait for it to do it’s thing.
Opps – forgot I needed to run this from an administrative command prompt. Select OK to clear this box
Start a Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges and then run the Update Rollup from that prompt.
Ok –so it’s running better this time…
Select Next to continue.
Yes – you really mist accept the license terms and then select Next to continue.
Now the fun part… in the past, Exchange waits until after it’s gotten everything done then it stops the services and compiles the .NET assemblies – this means that users are off the air for longer than they need to be. Starting with this Rollup, the Exchange Team now have the update do the compilation of the .NET assemblies BEFORE it goes to stop the services etc. This should result in less downtime for the users…. I say it SHOULD result in less downtime Nothing to do at this point but wait… and wait… oh and wait.
Ok – that took about 8 minutes on my production Hyper-V server – but it’s done with that. Select Next to continue.
Now it’s busy stopping services – at this point your users may notice emails queuing in their outbox and the Outlook client will go into it’s disconnected state – that is to be expected.
Ok – we’re copying files now… good progress.
Now it’s doing more compiling – the thing I like about this screen is that it SHOWS what it’s doing – note the name of the DLL it’s working on – I’m sure that will make life easier should it stall during the installation. Well done Exchange Team.
Almost done now – and I guess it’s a good sign!
Woohoo – all done. All up it took around 40 minutes on my virtualised SBS 2008 server to apply this.
Now of course for the obligatory restart of the server
Once it’s back up – of course you are going to test it out to ensure that everything is working fine (which it was on my server).
Friday, July 8th, 2011
Have you ever had a call like that where the caller rings to say “I’m ringing to confirm our appointment for next Monday.” You’ve never heard of the person before, you’ve never spoken to the company and you really are not interested? Why do sales people think that this tactic will work? Are we so busy in todays world that enough people think they’ve made a mistake and go ahead and take the appointment just out of guilt?
I’m sorry – but this is just plain wrong. If you have enough time to call people like this and execute a “strategy” like this then you really are in need of serious help. Both at a business level and at a morals level.
Ok – my rant is over – surely there are better ways to get an appointment than to try to guilt someone into it?