Friday, October 28th, 2011
When you restore a ShadowProtect image to a new computer, there is often confusion about the right settings to chose for the boot partition. Jack Alsop from StorageCraft here in Australia recommends the following options.
Restore MBR is needed – and Jack recommends you restore an Original Windows MBR unless the disk subsystems is 100% identical to avoid issues.
Restore Disk Signature is needed for a few reasons… the primary one being that if you want the ShadowProtect jobs to continue to run without needing to do a new base image then you want to ensure that you Restore Disk Signature. In addition to that some software uses the disk signature for copy protection and it might need to be reactivated.
Restore Disk Hidden Track is also recommended as again some software stores information on this track for copy protection. Without restoring this you might run into issues with activation of third party software.
Hope this helps.
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
I attended the training today in Sydney on StorageCrafts most current product releases. During the training I decided to remotely upgrade 2 of my ImageManager 4 Installations to the newer version now called ShadowControl 5. I’d love to say that the installation went without flaw, but sadly that’s not the case. In the two installation I’ve upgraded so far, both of them lost the settings that were there entirely.
One of my installations also had some activated licenses for the FTP replication function, and I had to reactivate those – that didn’t bother me to be honest, and I expected that something like that would likely happen. What bothered me the most is that all the Agent settings, Email Settings, and the managed folders all disappeared. I was left with a screen like you see below.
Ok – lucky for me, these systems are two of my low use production systems, and not one of my high use system. I talked to Jack Alsop about it after the event and his comment was that he had not seen this himself, but it was possible given the change in name of the product. Jack suggested I might poke around in the Registry and try to export the old keys and import them into the new ones. Fair enough I thought – I can do that.
Below you see the registry entries for the older version – note that it’s under ControlSet002 – not CurrentControlSet
Below you can see the entries for the new upgraded version – note that this is under CurrentControlSet and note that the product name for the registry entry has changed.
Before exporting and importing though I thought I’d take a look at one of the systems I reconfigured from scratch and found the structure is different enough for me not to want to try messing with it. I’ll be digging into this with StorageCraft but for now wanted to post my findings so that others would be aware of the issue that I’ve seen and at least take a few moments to document the settings you have in case things don’t go according to plan.
Ok StorageCraft – I really hoped you would handle this better you know… I mean you know that I’m running a previous version – if you are going to lose the settings then at least provide me a way to back them up. I’m a little nervous to be honest about messing with the registry like this and for now – I’m waiting till I can get assurances from StorageCraft that this issue has been fixed. I don’t fancy having to reconfigure some of our clients systems with a dozen managed folders manually.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
If you’ve already passed your SBS 2008 Exam then this one should not be a problem for you. You should bear in mind however that now that the SBS 2011 Exam is out, your SBS 2008 credentials are invalid as pertains to your SBSC status, so you’ll need to sit this one pretty quickly.
Microsoft list the overview for this exam here – it’s the 70-169 SBS 2011 Exam.
It focuses on SBS 2011 Standard, so you won’t need to know anything about SBS 2011 Essentials to pass this exam.
Tim Barrett has a blog post of Free Online Microsoft SBS 2011 training that can help as well here – although the competition he mentions has passed, you can still do the training courses.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
I stumbled across this gem last week and thought I’d share it with you. Using the tables listed here you can figure out what version of Exchange Server you are running.
You can use the Get-ExchangeServer powershell command to find the Exchange 2010 and 2007 versions, but you will need to use the GUI in Exchange 2003.
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Dana Epp has released his first video on how to bypass the password on the HP iLo systems. This is pretty useful for when you forget the password for your iLo or you take over a customer site and you don’t know the password at all. The process Dana recommends is very simple and takes moments. Check out his video here
Monday, October 24th, 2011
It’s easy to lose track of how long you’ve taken to do a migration, particularly if you have multiple projects running at the same time. Lucky for us in SBS 2011 Standard, Microsoft have an easy way to know how many days left you have to do the migration before the SBS 2003 or SBS 2008 server will shutdown automatically.
Firstly – you need to know that you have a maximum of 21 days to do the migration from the point at which the SBS 2011 server is built into the existing SBS network. Once that limit is reached, your SBS 2003 or SBS 2008 server will shutdown automatically to prevent you from violating the license agreement.
To see how many days left you have in the migration, you can do the following.
“You must finish the migration within X days of beginning the installation. After X days, the source server shuts down, and it continues to shut down after about an hour each time you restart it.”
X of course will be the number of days you have left to finish the migration.
What happens if you have problems with the migration and need more than the 21 days Microsoft have allowed? Well legally there is no way around this. If you are having issues completing the migration within 21 days, then you need to contact Microsoft for assistance on fixing whatever problem you are having that is preventing you from getting it done in time.
Friday, October 21st, 2011
Microsoft this week have released an update for the SBS 2011 Migration tool that ships on the SBS 2011 DVDs. This tool takes into account more then a dozen additional checks that need to be done prior to a migration to ensure that the smooth migration form SBS 2003 or SBS 2008 to SBS 2011 Standard. It’s quick and easy to get the update, when you run the Migration Tool on your SBS 2003 or SBS 2008 server before you commence the migration, simply allow it to check for updates and the tool will bring the updates down and then perform the checks on your machine.
The SBS team has a blog post about the tool here
You can also find out more information about the specific checks done by the tool and the corrective actions needed here
This update is a MUST for any migration you are doing as well as reading the SBS Team blog – you can use this link to quickly check the Migration category for migration issues on SBS 2011 migrations.
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
We ran a training session at Correct Solutions last night for the team and today I’m in the office running on my laptop and wanting to produce the video that I recorded via Camtasia. The only problem is that doing this makes my laptop non responsive while the video is being produced – not an ideal situation. Naturally I want to have my cake and eat it too – so I decided to alter the task producing the video to a lower CPU priority so I can do that.
To change a tasks CPU priority, open task manager, locate the task and right click on it. Then change the Set Priority from Normal in this case, to Low as you can see below.
My CPU is still running at 100%, but all my other tasks such as outlook are running just fine so I can write this blog post and do other work and be productive still!
Warning – Changing a processes priority may have unexpected side effects, so I’d not advise you doing this on a server without serious understanding of what is going on.
Friday, October 14th, 2011
Back in the days when I did my TCP/IP for NT4 training, you had to be able to understand subnets and decide on them manually. Now further down the track, there’s a lot more use of TCP/IP as it’s the foundation of life, the universe and everything. One of my guys in the office showed me this cool website that you can use to do all the basic calculations for you for subnetting an IP network. You can check out the website here
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Many people have asked after my recent article on passwords, about how they can crack their own passwords. There are many ways to do this and I am by no means an expert on it. One person who is an expert on security is Dana Epp – an Enterprise Security MVP who runs Scorpion Software. Dana announced at SMBNation about a new site and video series he is launching – called Crack the Creds, Dana is planning to highlight to us all how truly insecure many of the things we do today really are. Dana’s knowledge of the area is unchallenged, he is a true professional and I’d highly suggest you sign up for his new site ASAP so you can be alerted to when new episodes are launched. Check out the site here