Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
I was helping one of our techs out when he was deploying SBS 2011 Essentials for a client this week. He had a couple of computers that crashed with errors when the Client Connector Installation was going through. I commenced to dig into the log files and also put together a blog post when I hit a problem I didn’t know about. I turned to Google and low and behold, I found this excellent article from fellow MVP Rob Pearman on Troubleshooting Client Connecter Installation problems. Not being one to reinvent the wheel unless I can do it better, I figured I’d help get some awareness of the things he’s done. So if you are having issues with Client Connector Installation Failures on SBS 2011 Essentials, then check out Robs post above.
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
I’ve been getting quite a few reports back from people that after installing the latest Update Rollup 2 (UR2) on SBS 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, that the client computers have appeared offline and the backups have failed. I blogged about the release of UR2 earlier this month here. One of the things that I observed during the installation of the update on the server was the way in which it will force upgrade the client agent on the machines. It shows a small bubble popup indicating that the client machine needs to be rebooted as you can see below.
What happens under the covers, is that once the client agent has been upgrade, it can’t communicate with the server UNTIL after a reboot – therefore causing the client machine to appear offline in the console and causing backup to fail. The solution is simple. Reboot all your client computers after the agent has upgrade and then everything works fine. Your clients will appear online and backups will succeed once more.
Friday, February 24th, 2012
Since I installed the latest BPA on my Western Digital DX 4000 which has Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials on it, I’ve had the alerting pop up with a Computer Monitoring Error as you can see in the screen shot below. This alert pops up on all the client machines that are connected to the server. I’m not the only one to have seen this however, a number of fellow MVPs have seen this too. Together we’ve figured out that the latest Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) is the culprit and that removing it from the server has “resolved” this issue for the moment. Microsoft are aware of the issue and are investigating it at the moment.
This error also occurs on other servers that use the same Best Practice Analyzer including SBS 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.
I’ll report back here once I know of a solution – for now, I suggest that you install the BPA and then after you’ve run it to determine the health of your server and rectified anything that needs to be fixed, remove the BPA.
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
The Best Practice Analyzer is designed to review your server for any known issues that the Microsoft Support Team are aware of and to show you how to resolve those issues. This FAQ shows you how to install and run the BPA for the first time.
The information in this FAQ pertains to Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.
1. Download the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0 first from Microsoft here
2. Install it onto your server directly. No reboot is needed.
3. Download the Windows Server Solutions Best Practices Analyzer 1.0 from Microsoft here
6. Click on the icon to download and install the update install the update
7. Once you’ve installed the update, you will need to restart the BPA in order for it to run.
8. Select the option to scan your computer
9.Review the report
10. Select one of the options to expand the warning and it will show you what you need to do to resolve that issue.
All in all – it’s a very simple tool to run and will help you quickly evaluate common issues on these servers.
UPDATE: 24th Feb 2012 – it’s come to light that there may be an issue with the BPA with the that causes Client Alert notifications. See this post for more information
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Well the tool was called the SBS Best Practices Analyser (Analyzer for the US guys) but it’s been called the Windows Server Solutions BPA since it was re-released for the SBS 2011 platform.
Microsoft have released an update for this just this week. They announced it here. The BPA works on SBS 2011 Standard Edition, SBS 2011 Essentials, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and Windows MultiPoint Server 2011.
It’s 100% best practice to run this tool over any new installation that we do as well as any new site we inherit as it really helps to see if there are issues that we can solve quickly that Microsoft already know about. Get the update now and check it out.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Microsoft have today released via Windows Update and WSUS, the 2nd rollup of patches for the family of products including SBS 2011 Essentials, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and Windows Home Server 2011 Premium. The individual patches are listed below for the relevant products.
2630429 Update Rollup 2 for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials is available
2630434 Update Rollup 2 for Windows Home Server 2011 is available
2630436 Update Rollup 2 for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is available
The update can be seen in Windows Update as you can see from the screenshot below. It takes less than 5 minutes to apply this update and reboot the computer.
There is also a series of fixes for the client side of the above products and Microsoft have detailed the KB article below. You don’t need to deploy anything specific however to the clients as the clients will automatically update once the server side update is in place.
2630445 The client-side package for Update Rollup 2 for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, for Windows Home Server 2011, and for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is available
Below you can see the client machine automatically installing the updates.
There are some updates that will require the restart of any client machine – and the alert below shows you this. very clearly.
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
SBS 2011 only supports a single Network Card by design. Many of the HP servers that we sell our clients come with multiple network cards installed in them. Most people will simply connect one of the cards and then leave the other disconnected. The downside with this is that it can cause problems with poluting the DNS with nonsense IPs and that in itself can cause many things from slow logon to slow bootup of the server. Below you can see a screenshot of a server with two NICs. Local Area Connection is the primary NIC being used and as you can see is plugged into a switch. Local Area Connection 2 is NOT used but is left enabled. You can also see the binding order of the Network Cards with Local Area Connection 2 being above Local Area Connection. This is not a good situation nor is it best practice.
Solution is simple.
Disable any NICs you are not using – disable it in Network Control Panel. Furthermore – for good practice, I always ensure that the primary NIC is at the top of the binding order. This has given me more reliable servers than leaving the secondary NIC both enabled and at the top of the binding order. I recommend you make this your best practice too.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
SBS 2011 Essentials is a bit different from all other Microsoft servers in the past. Traditional network design calls for the Domain Controllers to have a FIXED IP address within your network. Well in SBS 2011 Essentials, Microsoft understood that most clients could not figure out how to disable the DHCP on their routers and therefore they redesigned SBS 2011 Essentials to work with a DHCP assigned IP address.
This creates unique problems however for the domain joined computers as they need to point to the DNS for the Domain Controller to work correctly. Microsoft’s John Bay explains more about how this works here in todays blog post on the SBS support blog. Hope this helps explain it.
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
Last week, Microsoft quietly released the final version of the Office 365 Integration Module for SBS 2011 Essentials. They did this not with a lot of fanfare, but a simple blog post here. They seem to have forgotten to notify the beta testers as well in their rush to make the holiday season. Never mind though – we’ll forgive them this time.
Long story short, this module provides some great integration between SBS 2011 Essentials and Office 365. It will allow you to easily do a number of things that would normally require you to flip between the SBS 2011 Essentials console and the Office 365 web page.
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!