Thursday, March 7th, 2013
I recently had to reinstall WSUS 3.0 SP2 onto an SBS 2008 server which became horribly messed up. I followed the SBS 2008 Repair guide and some notes of my own here and then applied WSUS 3.0 SP2 over the top of it. That was great, but then I had issues with the existing clients not being able to check in to the SBS 2008 server. They all gave error 800B0001 when you tried to do an update. That issue is covered of with a Microsoft Update available MS KB 2720211 here – but wait – don’t go downloading that just yet. You see – this SBS 2008 server now has a Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 machine in the network as well – so you will need to apply this update MS KB 2734608 you can download it here. Now THAT is the update you want to get as it includes the MS KB 2720211 as well.
Installing it is simple – apply MS KB 2734608 and reboot the server. Then you are good to go. If you have Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 servers that were reporting into the WSUS server BEFORE you installed the update then you will also need to do the following;
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
I saw this message over the course of this week coming into my mailbox. No one else in the company was affected just me. I saw it on an Exchange 2007 server that was running on SBS 2008.
It also came back in a number of other formats including
Synchronization with your WP failed for 3 items
Synchronization with your iPad failed for 3 items
Synchronization with your WindowsMail failed for 3 items
The body of the message went on to show
as well as the appointments it had failed to synchronise.
I could not figure out what it was at first and then realised that the appointments in question all had a new status of “Working Elsewhere” which is new to Office 2013. All this started when I upgraded to Office 2013 and then started to use these new status to describe that I was working on a customer site vs just out of the office.
I figured that these devices or ActiveSync does not know how to handle the new status and therefore it gives the error. Once I reverted my appointments back to Out of office, it worked just fine.
Friday, June 29th, 2012
I’m sure you’ve had clients servers disks fill up on a regular basis right? Here’s a cool tool that is free that you can use to quickly figure out where it’s all gone. TreeSize Free from JAM Software is a free tool, you can download it here but I’ve also paid for the Professional Version for my own systems.
As an example – here’s an example of a servers hard drive that filled up on one client today.
I then ran my disk cleanup script which you can download from here and did a refresh on the tool above and suddenly my disk is not so full anymore
Monday, April 16th, 2012
By default when the VPN configuration for SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 Standard allows only 5 users to VPN at once. This is often not enough for the larger network environments. The question that comes is “How can I increase VPN to allow more than 5 users”. Fortunately it’s pretty simple.
First up, start with configuring VPN via the SBS console. To do that, go to the Network Tab and select the Connectivity sub tab. Then run the “Configure a Virtual Private Network” wizard from the task pane on the right.
Select “Allow users to connect to the server by using a VPN” and the VPN wizard will run.
It will configure the Routing and Remote Access services to provide the VPN functionality and if your router has uPnP allowed, it will also configure port 1723 to pass through the router to the SBS server itself.
Now that you’ve configured the VPN, you may feel free to test it from outside your network so that you know it works right now.
In order to increase the number of available ports for your remote access / VPN users, you need to open the Routing and Remote Access console. It’s under the Administrative Tools menu on the Start > Program menu
If you select the Ports node from the menu above, you will see it display that it’s already allocated the 5 ports that is the default for the SBS VPN wizard as you can see below.
Right select on the Ports node and then select Properties. You should get the screen below showing you the number of ports defined for the various protocols.
Select the WAN Miniport (PPTP) entry and then select the Configure button at the bottom.
You can then change the number of ports to the maximum number of VPN users you will expect. In the screen below, I’ve changed it to 20
Select OK on this screen and then OK again to take you back to the main Routing and Remote Access console. You should see the number of ports has increased as the screen below shows.
Voila – you’ve done it – nothing more to do except sit back and enjoy the 20 users remotely accessing your network now.
Oh – one final word, if you even run the SBS VPN wizard again to disable and then enable VPN, it will reset the ports back to 5.
Friday, April 13th, 2012
This is one I’ve heard a lot before and it’s easy to solve.
When you add Desktop or Notebook computers to SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 via the http://connect wizard, they get added in and put by default into the Client Computers OU inside Active Directory. The SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 Standard console displays any computers in that OU under the Client Computers section on the console itself. The screenshot below show you how this looks.
When you add servers to the SBS 2008 or SBS 2011 Standard network, there is no wizard to follow. As such you add them to the domain in the normal manner.
SBS is configured by default to add any new computer to the domain in the SBSComputers OU as you can see below.
The solution is therefore quite simple. Once you add your Server to the SBS 2008 or SBS 2011 Standard domain, you need to move them into the SBSServers OU using Active Directory Users and Computers. Run ADUC from the Administrative tools group. Select the computers you wish to move and drag them into the SBSServers OU as you can see I’m doing below. You will get a warning also as below – select Yes to continue.
Once they are moved it will look like this.
If you refresh the SBS console then it will all appear like it should as you can see below.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Last night, I was patching a server for a new client. The server was built with SBS 2008, but had not been properly patched at all and as a result had given them no end of problems. I began the installation of Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2) onto the SBS 2008 server. Up until this point, the server had performed quite well. Naturally, I was doing this after hours, and given this is a client that works until 10:30pm, I was not able to start until after that. I was doing this remotely as the client is a 2 hour drive from home.
Anyway – the installation of SP2 normally takes around 45 minutes including the required reboots. The first 30 minutes or so of the installation went fine. After the reboot, the screen displayed “Installing service pack: Stage 3 of 3 – 65% complete" and it sat there. It sat there for another 30 minutes. By this time it was getting close to midnight and I was getting somewhat concerned as to why it was doing this. I started to review my fallback plans in case I needed to use them. Did I have a good backup? Of course – I did one just before installing the Service Pack using ShadowProtect. Did I disable the Antivirus software before installing SP2? Yes – given the scope of files being changed, I always aim to do this. I then started to look at the what if’s for the next morning. I figured that if there were issues, that I’d need to be onsite to resolve them – that would put a major dent in the day, but if things went wrong, what else could you do?
It was at this point that I stopped. I stood back from the problem and did some digging. I found reference on the Internet to someone who had experienced a similar issue. His server also stalled at 65% complete, and it was only while he was looking for his SBS 2008 DVD’s that it moved to 70%. I reasoned that given the server had given me no problems at all until this point, that it was likely that it was just slow for some reason. By this time however, it was well after midnight and the server had been at 65% for well over an hour. I decided to do the best thing I could do… and that was to leave it alone and go to bed. I figured I’d get up in the morning and see what the situation was and go from there. I knew I had backups. I knew I could restore the server if need be. I knew I could get the customer running in a few hours and there was no point in losing more sleep over it right now. So I went to bed. As it happened, the cat decided to wake me around 4am (bloody cat…grrr…) so I took advantaged of it to check on the server. Sure enough it had finished without an error.
The morale to the story is don’t rush things. Don’t go second guessing yourself. If you’ve done the preparation first with backups and the like, then you are well prepared for something to go wrong. Had I interrupted the system when it was stuck at 65%, it might well have turned out to be a recovery situation.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 Standard both have some very cool features in them. One of them is the reporting functions that provide the ability for the server to send you daily reports on it’s status. Part of those reports includes a listing of all critical errors in the servers event logs. Now on face value this is pretty good because you get to see what’s up with your server. The flip side however is that “some” critical errors are in fact not classified by the Microsoft SBS Development team as critical as they don’t cause any functional impairment to the SBS server itself. Personally I’d love it if they could give us information on how to resolve the errors, so that they did not appear in the event logs.
The SBS Support Team however look at things differently. Whilst they don’t directly have the ability to recode the SBS product itself, they can and do often produce some very cool tools to help “fine tune” the SBS product after it’s been released. This week they released another of those tools. Announced here on the Official SBS Blog, they’ve created a tool that will allow you to remove a number of “critical” errors from appearing in the daily reports. The key aim of this is to reduce the noise and therefore hopefully ONLY show you errors that they do NOT know about and these are the ones you really want to fix.
Anyway – check out their blog post and see what the utility can do. I think it’s a must do for all SBS installations.
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
One of the things you should do before migration is to ensure that you set your DSRM password to something that you know. The quickest way to do this is to use NTDSUtil to synchronise it with the current SBS 2008 or SBS 2011 Network Administrators password.
To do this is easy – use the following procedure.
You can see below where I’ve configured my SBS 2008 server to sync with the account SBSADMIN
Of course, the next thing before you need to use it in a DR scenario is to test it of course!
Monday, November 7th, 2011
Yes – I had this happen on my SBS 2008 server myself. Instead of taking the normal route to try and resolve it however, I decided to mess with a few SQL commands and try to dig under the covers to see if I could delete data that was too old. I thought that this might allow me to reduce the content of the database so that I could not go through the hassle of replacing it. Sadly my SQL skills are not that good and I ended up making the database log files all that much more bigger to the point that I nearly ran out of disk space.
Oh well – I tried it on my system and not a customers system.
End result however is that if your SBS 2008 Monitoring Database grows beyond the 4GB limit, you’ve got no real choice but to replace it with an empty one. Best place to get one is from a new customer server – or if you don’t have one of those, then you can download a fresh one from here (Thanks Lyle for the link).
Once you have your empty database, the procedure is quite simple.
To configure SBS 2008 Alert Notifications do the following;
To configure SBS 2008 Reports do the following;
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.