Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays from the SBS team!

Hi Folks,

Just a quick note to say Happy Holiday's, and a grand New Year. From Small Business Server Product team to our valued partners and customers, all the best in the new year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Using Outlook to Schedule Clients

So one of the most interesting requests that has been emailed to me as of late is how to use Outlook to schedule clients. In this particular case, SBS 2003 and Outlook were used to schedule a photographers time to take pictures of clients coming in to have their family pictures taken. The problem this particular small business was having was the calls were coming in too quickly and free/busy wouldn't be as up-to-date and clients would get double booked.

Outlook 2003, and Exchange 2003, free/busy information is all published through public folders on the server, and each client has to go get the free/busy information, which happens on a schedule basis. Outlook 2007 against Exchange 2007 has an "instant" view of the data retrieved on the scheduling tab, so this problem will disappear with the release of SBS 2008.

... But it's 2006 (at least for 11 more days)

KB Article 197088, expains how to speed up replication of Outlook 2003 clients to the server to make things faster than every 15 minutes (Which is the default).

In addition to speeding up the process, you may want to reference KB Article 291616 how to direct book resources, in this case a photographer (or even a camera).

The Exchange team did a blog post on how free/busy is generated which will explain more how things happen in the background.

Hope this helps with your resource scheduling, and no, Exchange 2007 will not be available for SBS 2003, you'll have to wait until SBS 2008.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Having trouble with Free/Busy?

Here's a tip for Office 2007.

Close outlook down (ensure it's closed in the task manager), and then launch Outlook 2007 with the command line:
outlook.exe /cleanfreebusy

Takes a while to load, but it'll re-download all the free/busy data. If that doesn't work, you'll get to rebuild your offline storage file.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Vista ISA 2004 Firewall Client Update

Wow, I've had an overwelming comments or emails from my Vista Update for SBS 2003 about when the ISA 2004 Firewall client will release.

Asking around internally, you guys are in luck! The Vista Firewall Client is targetted to ship around the same time as the consumer Vista's and the Small Business Server Vista Update. So, come January sometime, you'll have all three in your happy little hands. :)

Hope this helps with your planning, now you can at least target a date!

Oh, and just for completeness, here is the Updated Firewall client for 32 and 64 bit hardware running on Windows XP.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Microsoft's new Reality TV show?

Poking around on, I found an interesting article about Carolyn, The Donald's peer in the TV series The Apprentice was recently hired as a judge on Microsoft's reality TV show.

According to This Article, Microsoft is using the competition to promote a new version of its Microsoft Office Accounting software and services for small businesses.

I wonder if my idea to sell server solutions into small business will ever take off?

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Vista Update for SBS 2003

I've had a lot of questions about the Vista update that's coming to fix client deployment to work for Vista clients. Everyone by now has seen the How to run Vista RC1 on SBS. This post applies to Vista RTM (The final release bits) as well.

Unfortunately, the Vista Update for SBS 2003 (code named "RipCurl") won't be ready until Vista ships to consumer customers. Yes, I'm aware that Vista RTM is available to MSDN and other package subscribers today. In addition, volume license customers (enterprises, etc) will be able to get it within the week (November 30th is the date I've heard rumors of, no holding me to it though!). And In Jan/Feb of next year is when Vista and the Vista Update for SBS 2003 will be available to all customers.

I appologize for those SUPER early adopters (hey, because you're exactly like myself!).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wanna Run Windows SharePoint Services v3 on SBS 2003?

Tomorrow Windows SharePoint Services version 3 will be available. If you're a geek and have to have the latest, then this one's for you, or if you think you could use some of these features, you might want to install it at your small business

My two favourite features are:

  • A recycle bin. A what? Recycle bin! You mean I can actually un-delete stuff? Oh yeah!

  • Offline folder storage (requires Outlook 2007)

Well, the Small Business Server Business Productivity feature team has been working their butts off to help you get this up and running, side by side with your existing SharePoint version 2 site.

To get started, you'll need the following:

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How to "White List" the Senders to a Distribution Group

I run a jokes list through my home server. I mean really? what is the Internet for? work! buh! Jokes is where it's at!

Unfortunately the email address of the DL got out to our neighbourhood spammers, and now folks are getting more spam than jokes on this list. I had to do something, and I wasn't going to let a spammer force me to change the email address, so I created a whitelist of email addresses that could send to that Distribution list.

Here's how

  1. On the server, click Start, Server Management, and select Distribution Groups

  2. Right-click the group on the right you wish to add a sender white-list to and choose Properties

  3. Switch to the Exchange General tab

  4. Select Only From in the Message Restrictions section, and choose the Add button as many times as neccessary to add all the people who can send from this list.

The cool part here, is you can also add Contact objects into this white list. Since I already had contact objects for each person on my Distribution list, I just added them all in.

Now any email that comes to that Distribution List is checked against that list of email addresses, and rejected with the error:

You do not have permission to send to this recipient. For assistance, contact your system administrator.

(i.e. the sender gets an NDR, and the message is not sent to the DL)

In addition, you can create a Black List by simply inverting the "only from" to "From Everyone Except".

And while I realize this isn't optimal for groups that change frequently, it's perfect for groups that don't.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Cry for help from Centro

I personally have a fondness for Small Business Server, but I understand that businesses grow (heck, if I had one, I'd want it to grow). So now is the time for you to step up and help out.

Kevin, the SBS and Centro community lead, is calling out all stops to get some Centro Beta Testers.

We are looking for a few good testers to help influence the direction of this new Microsoft® Windows Server Solutions Product. Do you have three 64 bit machines that you can spare to test some of the most exciting technology Microsoft is working on? I know the system requirements are a daunting one, but this is the only way we can test "Centro". So, if you are already on the Longhorn Beta or the Exchange Beta, then you are already two thirds of the way there.

If you are interested in joining the "Centro" Beta please go to click on Invitations sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID) and enter the following invite ID; Extr-GHBC-JCJM. You will be asked to take a short Survey. Once you complete the survey look for an email from If you don't already trust this address, please add it to your trusted email addresses.

Microsoft MVPs:
Please contact me directly about this techbeta. I have a different invite ID to the Beta for you.

If you are really serious and would like to do the TAP, here is a message from Mike van de Merwe who is running the TAP for Centro:

You know you want to be more involved in Centro. You even want to start using it to run your business! Techbeta doesn’t let you do that but TAP does! We are looking for more people to nominate themselves for the Centro Technology Adoption Program to do exactly what you want to do: run Centro in your production environments. Why would you do something like this? You get access to product support once you deploy Centro in production; you will have an assigned program manager from Microsoft who will work with you to mitigate risks in deploying and maintaining Centro; and you will be invited to participate in 1-2 onsite training sessions in Redmond.

If you have any questions what so ever, please post a comment here or send me an email direct, Kevin.

Centro Press Release

Monday, October 23, 2006

Troubleshooting Mobility - Another reason why it won't sync...

This weekend I went to the seahawks game, and it was about as depressing as my ActiveSync on my phone. Friday night it was working perfectly, Saturday morning, it wouldn't sync. Usually my phone is the first thing to tell me that the server is down.

I saunter out of bed. OWA works, what's up with that? My phone won't sync. One of the messages in my inbox was "Mailbox is over it's size limit". Being the administrator, I could easily go in and give myself a bigger mailbox, but what kind of corporate citizen would I be if I did that?!

So, to make a long post short, if your phone is having trouble syncing to the server, make sure you're not over your quota limit on the server.

I'm off to delete more email so this doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Running Vista with SBS Premium (i.e. w/ ISA?)

Hey Folks,

A little while back, I posted the Looking to run Vista RC1 on SBS 2003? blog post. Those step didn't include how to configure the network if ISA 2004 was involved.

Becky has provided me again with more steps, here they are:

Add this after the section for “Create your user and computer account on the SBS Server”

Before joining a client if ISA Server is running

  1. Ensure your Small Business Server has the ISA 2004 SP2 installed and running

  2. If you have x64 Vista clients, install the ISA 2004 hotfix from KB 917902. As stated in the KB, you need to call PSS to obtain this hotfix. (note, there isn’t a charge for the PSS incident to get this hotfix)

Note, if you are running the Premium version of SBS w/ ISA 2004, the ISA Firewall Client currently has compatibility issues w/ Vista. See KB article 911077.
  • Several of our most excellent SBS MVPs (thanks Cris and Susan!) have suggested running ISA Firewall Client in XP compatibility mode. It’s not a perfect solution, but does give you a temporary workaround. See Susan’s blog post for more info.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vista Tip - Copy as Path!

So this is pretty cool. In some cases, it's important for me to copy the path of a file into a program, like the command prompt. Vista has a new feature where you can Copy As Path, which will copy the fully qualified path to the file into the clipboard, but not the file itself.

To do this simply:

  • Click on the file once

  • Hold the shiftkey down and right-click on the file

  • Choose the Copy As Path from the list

  • Paste anywhere you like, and the fully qualified path will be pasted

Pretty neat. And yes, this is my first Vista tip with many more to come as I install Vista on all my PCs.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

5 Years Today

Today is October 1st, 2006. It was exactly 5 years ago today that I walked into NEO (New Employee Orientation) at Microsoft. At the time we were in the beginning development phases of Small Business Server 2003. Since then I've owned feature areas such as:

  • The Import Files Wizard

  • The Fax Configuration Wizard

  • The Backup feature area (wizard and functionality)

  • The Service Pack 1 XP SP2 Firewall Changes

  • ... and now, core networking

It's been quite a ride here at Microsoft, where I've gone from my own window office as an intern, to a doubled up internal office as a full time employee (shows you how many people Microsoft has hired in the past 5 years :o) ). I'm looking forward to the next 5!

Friday, September 29, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you Tampa!

My departure from Tampa ended the 2006 Small Business Server User Group Tour. I've had a great time travelling down the coast and talking to all of you. We really do appreciate the attendance levels we've hit. I hope you've enjoyed checking out the latest Vista and Office demos, learning about the "ribbon" and full text search. I also hope you've learned something about how Small Business Server 2003 R2 works. Again, if I can answer any questions, please feel free to drop me a comment on my blog, I'll reply to your comment with an answer (usually within a few days).

Let's see if I can recall some of the questions the Tampa croud asked:

Q: Can Vista's new Meeting Space be used from the Internet?
A: I don't believe so, it has to be the same network. We believe it will work over a VPN connection, although performance may very here.

Q: Can you revert back to the old toolbar in Office 2007?
A: Unfortunately, not. Although we believe the new ribbon will be more intuitive than the previous tool bars, and education will most likely only be needed for saving.

Q: Where did the Run command go from the start menu in Vista? How do we launch the command prompt?
A: you can simply type "command" or "cmd" into the search bar and it will run the command, or search the start menu and show you the link. You can also still press WIN+R to pop-up the old fashioned run dialog.

So now the tour is over, I can share with those of you who didn't attend, some of the great things you missed.

Office 2007

  • A new navigation toolbar called "the ribbon" helps you use more features in Word/Excel/PowerPoint without having to search forever to find them.

  • What you see *before* you get it, mousing over features changes the actual item on the page prior to you clicking so you can get the right formatting/feature everytime

  • The hover menu. Save mouse movement by having common text tasks show up next to highlighted text in Word.

  • Improved pictures/Graphics. No longer neccessary to import graphics to get a professional look and feel

  • Integration with SharePoint v3. Link document libraries to Sharepoint for offline access, documents will sync up when you're back online. Overlay calendars and pick free/busy time, edit sharepoint calendars simply from within Outlook.
  • SharePoint v3 - templates! Version Tracking! Recycle bins!

  • Sharepoint Designer, a vastly improved environment for editing SharePoint replacing Frontpage

Windows Vista

  • Full text search, everything

  • Enhanced security using bitlocker

  • ReadyBoost to speed up your system with common tasks using a simple flash disk

  • Aero "glass" UI, and the WIN+TAB 3D task switcher

  • The transparent sidebar with endless gadgets

Small Business Server 2003 R2

  • Updated Server Status reports -- no more scrolling!

  • Simplified patch management, critical patches are automatically approved!

  • Customizable update management, reboot your PCs when it's convenient for you!

  • Ehanced security and performance around Mobility

  • Expanded CAL rights, use SBS CALs to cover additional SQL/Exchange boxes in the network

  • File System Resource Manager. Get reports on disk usage, block file types (*.mp3, *.wma) from being stored on the server, directory level quota management

... and much much more

Remember, if you're not an SBSC, it's definately something to consider. I believe for a short time, contact your user group lead for discounts on obtaining this qualification.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you Charlotte!

Well, we're past the half way point of the last leg of the SBS User Group Tour. I wanted to give a quick shout out to the folks in Charlotte for making me fell so welcome (especially MVPs Grey, Andy & the User Group lead, Marc)! If you're not a member of a user group, the Charlotte User Group is great bunch of guys n' gals.

So let's see if I can recall some of the questions we talked about last night:
Q:I use the SBS 2003 backup wizard, what's its deficiencies?
A: The SBS backup wizard was designed primarily for a single box backup solution. If you have additional servers in your network that you wish to backup, another solution may be in order. In addition, the Restore to new hardware, while it works if the hardware is similar (i.e. Dell-->Dell, HP-->HP) if you're moving to completely different hardware, the restore process is not optimized for this. Another solution was mentioned, but I can't recall it.

Q: Does SBS Backup use compression?
A: SBS backup is configured to use hardware compression. If the device the backup is going to supports it, the data will be compressed. In most cases, this means that the tape backup is compressed, but the hard drive backup is not.

Q:Are there any plans to include DFS (Distributed File System) in SBS for branch offices?
A: No. SBS is designed for smaller businesses, you'll want to keep your eye on Microsoft's Mid Market Solution, Codename: Centro. I can't disclose any more information at this time.

Q:Is there a way to upgrade my Windows Mobile 2003 device to Windows Mobile 2005?
A: You should check the website of the manufacturer, or the website of your cellular service provider, if an update is not provided for your device on these sites, chances are one is not available.

Q:Can I Upgrade to R2 and not upgrade SQL 2000?
A: No, all components must be upgraded, it's in the Microsoft SBS FAQ. For a little bit of more information, I started a thread with our marketing folk to see why this was the case.

That's all I can remember, again, thanks to all who attended, the SBSC private sessions as well as the actual event. And thanks to Grey who went out of his way to drive me around! (PS. Grey actually has a voice, I don't think I've heard him say more than 5 words at a time before! ;o) )

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you New York!

We just wrapped up the NYC event, I think it was a great success! Thanks to "Jonny Cash" for hosting the event in his user group. Thanks to the Microsoft folk who helped present and facilitate. Here are some of the questions we had in the room.

Q: When is R2 going to be available?
A: I thought it was, but I've heard this now in multiple places, so I went back to our release management for the story. R2 will be in the October Action Pack, it's available via open license today, Retail it varies by distributor, and there are no guaruntees as to when it will be available, and major OEMs are distributing it already.

Q: Does R2 have the ability to purchase 1 CAL at a time?
A: Single CAL is available only through a bundled offering for Open Value licensing (ie. a purchase of XP, Office, and SBS together). Everyone who knows *how* you can get this is off traveling around the world. I'll try to update this post when I get the answser, if someone knows, please reply to this post for the benefit of others.

Those are teh questions that I recalled, if there was one (or another one) that you wanted answering, please feel free to post it as a comment, it will get answered.

Monday, September 25, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you New England!

Well, Just finished wrapping up the New England User Group event. Thanks for hosting! I had a great time presenting, and believe the content of the whole night went really well.

So, as promised here are the questions that popped in my head as questions that were asked that I wanted to make sure the world got answers for:

Q: If I run SBS at work, and SBS at home, how can my laptop be used on both networks? do I use the http://homeserver/connectcomputer wizard?
A: No, if you have more than one domain, pick the domain you want the computer to spend the most of it's time in. This domain will manage that computer with patches, software, policies, security etc. Every other domain you acquire an IP address from is considered a "public" network to that laptop. When wishing to access resources on that other domain (provided you have access to it) you need to cache your credentials in your domain profile for your work network. To do this you can access \\homeserver\users and click "remember my password", or you can do it the more robust way, by going into Control Pannel, Users Accounts, Advanced Tab, Manage Passwords button. In here you can add the domain account for your 2nd or 3rd domain to automatically pass these credentials for access to these sites.

Q: How come Outlook 2003 has to be running in order for Exchange 2003 SP2 IMF to filter junk email?
It doesn't. My guess as to what's happening is the Exchange IMF filters are set lowers than Outlook 2003's filters. There is a relationship between the SCL index of Exchange and the SCL (High/Medium/Low) of Outlook 2003. On my home server, I have EXTREMELY rare false positives with 7 to permanently delete and 3 to move to junk email. I probably get two peices of junk in my inbox a month, and one real peice of email in my junk email box a month, pretty good levels if you ask me. As I mentioned tonight, an SCL of 3 or 4 on Exchange, works out to a HIGH in Outlook, so plan accordingly and adjust these numbers over time! Don't make drastic changes!

Those are the two that stood out in my mind, if there are others New England, drop me a comment and I will answer them.

New York, see you tomorrow night!

Windows Mobile + Feature Pack Rules!

I'm out here in Boston for the SBS User Group Tour, and we have a little panic. Apparently now I'm supposed to be doing the presentations for Vista and Office above and beyond SBS R2. Hrm, problem, because I don't have the hardware/software combo to demo it (laptop needs to be XP, because Vista RC1 has a driver bug for this specific video card on outputting to the external monitor... kinda needed for presentations).

My User Group Lead, Scott, says "Oh, we'll just call Blah Blah" at the Microsoft office here in Redmond, she'll hook us up, oh wait, I don't have her phone number here".

Out comes my shiny Windows Mobile Phone, I click Contacts, then Find Online, type in her last name and click Find.

.... At *blazing* edge speeds, her contact information comes directly down to my phone, I open it, click on the work number and the phone is ringing!

Did you hear me? It's ringing! No 411, no Operator, no "call to the buddy back at the office", it's just ringing!

I leave a voice mail, she calls me back, we had the presenter mixed up and I'm off the hook. I still had to bost about Windows Mobile 5 with the Feature Pack.

Rock on!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mobilizing the Microsoft Stack - Mobility Road Tour

Hey Folks,

Starting on 10/2, the Microsoft TS2 group will be showing off some of the latest gadgets, plus have reps from Verizon, Brightpoint, and Palm at many of the sessions. For the first 40 Microsoft Partners, there will be FREE Windows Mobile devices (The catch is that they have to deploy a Windows Mobile solution within 60 days of the event; details are on the invitation link). Apparently, registration is limited, so sign up today!

10/02/06 - Monday, Washington, DC
10/02/06 - Monday, San Francisco, CA
10/03/06 - Tuesday, Downers Grove, IL
10/03/06 - Tuesday, Malvern, PA
10/04/06 - Wednesday, Southfield, MI
10/04/06 - Wednesday, Dallas, TX
10/04/06 - Wednesday, Phoenix, AZ
10/05/06 - Thursday, Tampa, FL
10/16/06 - Monday, Irvine, CA
10/19/06 - Thursday, Waltham, MA
10/25/06 - Wednesday, Raleigh, NC
10/26/06 - Thursday, Iselin, NJ
11/03/06 - Friday, Denver, CO

Just click a link to sign up!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

SBS Usergroup Tour

My week of travel is arriving soon. I'll be heading to the east coast of the US to complete the final leg of the Small Business Server User Group Tour. I'm hoping to use this blog to post the questions and answers that I get from the usergroup tour.

Anyways, it's going to be a fun week. Boston on Monday, New York on Tuesday, Charlotte on Wednesday and Tampa on Thursday, then travel back to Seattle on Friday.

If you're on the east coast, make sure you stop in at one of the events! See you there!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Looking to run Vista RC1 on SBS 2003?

Look no futher!

[Updated to include x64 Vista clients on 9/19]

Our Client Deployment PM, Becky has put together a little guide to help you through the pop-ups, errors and just down-right confusing steps...

With the release of the pre-RC1 32-bit Vista, we thought we’d update you on what the known issues are for joining a Vista client to an SBS 2003 SP1 or SBS R2 network. Of course, if you just want to manually join the Vista client to the SBS domain w/out using our tools, that is also supported. You just won't have the SBS-specific client customizations.

How to join the pre-RC1 32-bit Vista client to SBS
The known issues and workarounds for when you try to deploy applications using the SBS tools and for when you actually join the client to the SBS network using the SBS tools are described. This will not be the user experience once we release an update to our tools.

Create your user and computer account on the SBS Server
At the SBS server, create the user and computer accounts using the SBS tools (eg. run the Add Users and Computers task on the To Do List).

  1. Choose a computer name – if you choose a name different from the existing Vista client name, it will be renamed when it is joined to the domain

  2. Select client applications to deploy

    • Client Operating System Service Packs – this cannot be deselected, but it won’t be installed anyway because it’s for Windows XP and Windows 2000.

    • IE 6.0 – you can deselect since IE 7 is on Vista – leave the Advanced Client Computer Settings for IE selected to have SBS home page and favorites still set

    • Outlook 2003 – deselect if running Office 2007 – leave the Advanced Client Computer Settings for Outlook profiles settings selected to have SBS settings for Outlook 2007 configured

    • Shared Fax Client - you can deselect since Fax client is on Vista – some of the fax settings in the Advanced Client Computer Settings will be configured, but some will not. If you select this, it won't hurt anything, but you'll get an error that it cannot install during the Client Setup Wizard.

  3. Mobile Client and Offline Use page

    • Connection manager – for 32-bit, this will work

    • ActiveSync 3.8 – don’t bother selecting. Vista has a newer version included. If you select this, it won’t hurt anything, but you’ll get an application compatibility error when it tries to deploy and it won’t install.

*Note: If you're running ISA 2004 on your Server, please make sure to read the ISA Specific Blog Post before continuing

Join the Vista client to the SBS network
Until we release an update to our tools, you will need to do several workaround steps to use the SBS tools to join a Vista client to the SBS network.

  1. Connect the network cable for your Vista client to your SBS network

  2. Log on to the local Vista client as the restricted administrator account that was created during Vista Setup.

  3. Find an IE icon, right-click it (eg – there is one on the taskbar), and then click “run as admin” (this is a workaround for a known bug with our ConnectComputer page and IE protected mode)

  4. Accept the User Account Control (UAC) prompt

  5. Browse to http://computername/ConnectComputer

  6. If you haven’t done so already, answer the questions on the IE first-run page about anti-phishing, etc.

  7. Click the intranet information bar (gold bar) prompt and Enable intranet settings. (note – the intranet settings are automatically enabled after you join the domain anyway, but you have to do it now or ConnectComputer won’t work)

  8. Click Connect to the network now

  9. Click Install for the security prompt that appears for if you want to install SBS software.

  10. Complete the SBS Network Configuration Wizard. You cannot select a profile to migrate – this is a known issue.

  11. Accept the prompt to restart (so we can join your computer to the domain). At the logon prompt (ctrl+alt+delete) you may need to switch users and then logon using the account that you just assigned to this computer.

    • Click Switch User, and then click Other User

    • Enter username and password for SBS user just assigned to the computer

    • Accept the UAC prompt for the SBS client setup (there is a WSBS window minimized and flashing that is a UAC prompt).

      Note – if you don’t accept the LUA prompt before a timeout period, the application returns an error that it has timed out. If that happens, you’ll need to log off and then log back on.

  12. x64 Vista clients have to do these additional steps. non-x64 clients can skip this step.

    • UAC will ask for an account name. You need to click the LOCAL admin account and then enter the password. As soon as you enter this, you’ll need to enter your domain credentials for the user account that you are adding to the computer (the SBS domain admin account works fine too).

    • Click OK to the warning that the Client Setup Wizard couldn’t delete a special account created to migrate user settings.

    • Click the Pearl button (the new name for the Start button), point to Computer, and then right-click and click Manage.

    • At the UAC prompt, click the LOCAL admin account and then enter the password.

    • Double-click Local Users and Group and then click Groups. Double-click Administrators. Click Add, and then enter the name of the SBS domain account(s) that you are adding to the computer. You’ll then need to enter the Network Password for the domain user account that you are joining to the domain (the SBS domain admin account works fine too).

    • Click Users, and then delete the _sbs_netsetup_ account.

    • Log off and then log back on using the user account assigned to that computer.

    • The computer does another reboot and then you need to log on again.

  13. Click Start now to start the Client Setup Wizard – depending on what you selected for the client applications to deploy and depending on the applications, some applications will install/configure

    Note - If you selected to install a printer that requires a driver, you’ll need to accept the UAC prompt.

Post-SBS Client Setup tasks
We have a few of our custom client settings that won’t get configured. Here are a few workarounds.

  1. Manually set a few Windows Firewall settings

    • Start, search for Firewall, and then click Windows Firewall

    • Click Change Settings and then accept the UAC prompt

    • Click Exceptions and then enable both Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop

      Note – there are some other Group Policy settings from the SBS domain that aren’t being applied, but you can still work.

  2. Using OWA – you’ll need to install the hotfix for KB article 911829 on the SBS server.

  3. If you’re using Outlook 2003, you’ll need to accept the prompt for making Outlook the default mail client.

  4. If you are using Fax on your SBS server and use the new Vista Windows Fax and Scan, you’ll need to set the fax server the first time that you send a fax.

  5. Turn off the logon script for your user account if you don’t want the UAC prompt every time you log on. Basically, at each logon we are resetting some SBS custom client settings which results in a UAC prompt to allow us to do this (yes, we’ll fix this). If it annoys you, turn off the logon script for the user account that you are using to logon to the Vista client.
Note, if you are running the Premium version of SBS w/ ISA 2004, the ISA Firewall Client currently has compatibility issues w/ Vista. See KB article 911077.

Non-joined Vista clients accessing SBS
If the Vista client isn’t joined to your SBS domain, but you want to use Vista with either Outlook over the Internet (aka RPC over HTTP) or Remote Web Workplace (aka RWW) and you have a self-signed certificate, you’ll need to add the cert to the client as follows: Find an IE icon, right-click it (eg – there is one on the taskbar), and then click “run as admin”. Browse to RWW and install the cert in the trusted store.

That's all there is to it!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Many T-Shirts of Leszek

When your solving networking problems, it's always good to have a little relax/fun time. And what better thing to do than make a YouTube Video. This one's a classic! hits the road!

That's right, I'm heading to the east coast of the US to "walk the line" down the water ...

For more information, check out this really cool video. Dates are included. I'll personally be doing the dates from September 25th and beyond, which include: Boston, New York, Charlotte, Tampa.

Hope to see you the Usergroups!

Friday, July 28, 2006

R2 recalled :(

Yes, it's true, R2 is recalled today

cnet reports it.

But in the end, it is infact the best thing for our customers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

... To Answer a Diva's Questions

I thought I'd take a moment out of my evening to answer Susan's Questions. She was kind enough to ask, so I will answer.

1. Has the Mrs. parked her domain yet?

That would be a no. Where the Internet is concerned, she lives vicariously through me. :) I'm the wild Internet man. :)

2. so.. what mean thing did your co-workers do to your office?

About that office decoration thing... You see, about 2 months before I left, an office mate (by the name of Marc) moved into my office. Then about 3 weeks before I left, the glorious server (known as Catfood) moved into my office. Options were limited, but creativity was high.

... The decorations continued, let me explain the specifics.

Exhibit 1

As you can see, everything "Canadian" was removed from my office (including my Canadian flag), and replaced with U.S.A flags and pictures. The "prison" door was placed over my window (Side note: this door was used on my manager's office when he got married, I can't really say who built it, but if you want the blueprints, let me konw). You can also see that my really sweet LCD is missing, which you get a better view of in the next Exhibit.

Exhibit 2

As you can see, the widescreen LCD is replaced by an overly deep 21" CRT monitor, and my Windows Vista Beta 2 desktop was attached to a super high (*cough*) quality 12" CRT, with courtesy prison bars on it.

Onward and Upward ...
Exhibit 3

You can clearly see the Windows Vista logon screen here, spanning a solid 12" monitor. Ok, maybe it's not clear, but it's working!

Finally, Exhibit 4
What office fun would be complete without...

... the replaced picture of the new wife with the stick drawing (quite a good replica of the actual picture I might add).

As you can see, the office decorations didn't imped on my co-worker Marc, nor did they prevent the function of our proud Catfood server. For those Canadian's out there, I did get my flag back in time for Canada Day.

Susan, you asked, hopefully this answers.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How to point your Windows Media Center to SBS R2 Update Services

So you are one of the first to hop onto the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 band-wagon, but you have a Media Center PC and still have to manually reboot and manage it.

Well, wait no longer! There are some simple steps to follow on your Media Center PC to have it manually sign-up for automatic updates and reboots.

On your Media Center PC, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, then Run and type in gpedit.msc and press enter, or click ok

  2. Expand Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and click on Windows Update.

  3. Make the following updates to the right hand pannel:
    • Allow Automatic Updates Immediate Installation - ENABLED

    • Allow non-administrators to receive update notifications - ENABLED

    • Automatic Updates detection frequency - 1 Hour

    • Configure Automatic Updates - 2-Notify for downloads and install

    • Delay Restart for Scheduled Installations - 5 minutes

    • No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates - DISABLED

    • Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations - 10 Minutes

    • Reschedule Automatic Updates scheduled installations - Enabled (Wait 1 minute)

    • Specify intranet Microsoft update service location - http://SERVERNAME:8530

  4. close gpedit.msc

  5. Click Start and then Run and type in cmd and press enter or hit OK

  6. From the command prompt, type in gpupdate /force

That's all there is to it! Next time you look at the Update Services snap-in on the server, you'll notice your Media center PC is listed, and now managed by SBS R2 Update Services!

One less thing to worry about.

I took a month off, now I'm back..

Hey Folks,

It's been over a month since my last post, and I can't appologize. :) Yes, the rumours are true, I got hitched while I was out, then spent a glorious two weeks in Maui, Hawaii!

My wedding day was great (as you can see), and Maui is definately a great place to visit. As it turns out, the cost of living in Hotels at Hawaii is even higher than the Seattle Area!! So now I return.

R2 shipped just after I left, and I hope you've all upgraded. I upgraded my home networking to R2 prior to leaving, and manually pointed my Media Center PC to SBS R2 for it's upgrades. It all works flawlessly! All the critical security upgrades were applied and all the machines rebooted, while I was sitting on a beach somewhere (now that's what I call being a great IT person! :o) ). I simply got the text messages that my server was rebooting. How easy is that?

Well, I'm back now, finally caught up on email and ready to roll.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In Seattle for a while? Here are some things to do!

So this is funny, I was in my office and one of our Interns stopped by to talk about something, so naturally, I stalled "What are you doing this weekend?" He had no idea. I built a list of things to do in Seattle that are somewhat interesting and sent it to him. For the past month, I've been trying to find that mail, and send it to a number of Interns or people coming into town. So I figured I'd post it here, it makes finding it much easier ... For those that there isn't enough information for, a simple MSN Search or Google Search will help out there....

General Sites
A great overall site on the internet is the Seattle's City Search website, although sometimes I find it hard to find the cool stuff, but you can find upcoming events, etc there.
  • Market Street

  • Houghton Point

  • Kirkland Avenue Pub - a younger croud


  • XXX Rootbeer - no, not a strip joint, great burgers and on some Sunday's, car shows!

South of Seattle

Local Hikes
  • Mt. Si - 4 miles up, but a great view from the top. On a clear day you can see the City and Mt. Rainer. Dare to climb the Haystack on the top!

  • Wallace Falls - Much easier of a hike, and very beautiful. You can get to the lower falls pretty easily, but keep going for a final reward

Tourist Sites
  • Snoqualmie Falls - Pretty damn high falls, if you have the time, it's fun to hike down the side and down to the river, but it's not required to enjoy yourself

  • The Museum of Flight has a ton of information on old planes, it's a really cool museum that talks about old planes, space travel, etc.

Down Town Seattle
  • Pike Place market - Really cool public market right down town, go in the summer if you can!

  • Bill Speidel's Underground Tour - Learn about the history of Seattle, in a fun commical way. Oh, and walk underground while doing it.

  • Pioneer Square - Visit the original part of downtown seattle

  • Woodland Park Zoo - Apparently the first Zoo on the 'net (according to the URL!), but it's a really cool place to go and check out some animals, Much more exciting if you go when it's cool out, so the animals are somewhat active

  • Seattle Science Center - Since Microsoft pumps cash into here, you can imagine that it's pretty high tech. In addition, there is an IMAX theatre that shows cool Hollywood movies!

  • The Seattle Center - Games, theme park, you name it, they have it

  • Experience Music Project(EMP) - If you like music, and the history of music, and well, pretty much anything about music, you should visit the EMP and prepare to spend a day or so there.

  • Science Fiction Museum - Check out the history of Sci-Fi from the beginning through to the present!

  • Space Needle - Somewhat of a let down after the CN Tower back home, but still something you can do to be "Sleepless in Seattle". I'd recommend going at dusk, so you can see the city, then watch the sunset, then see the lights of the city, it's the biggest bang for your buck.

  • Seattle Aquarium - Another great museum of fish, really fun if you've got some time to kill, there is an IMAX theatre here too, although it typically shows nature shows instead of real Hollywood movies

  • Pike Place Pub - I always like eating here, it's pretty good, not too expensive, and they have pretty good beer

  • The Pyramid Alehouse is located across from the two stadiums, if you're waiting for a game, totally go in here and grab a beer before the game!

  • The Freemont Market is kind of cool to see.

  • And while you're in Freemont, make sure you check out the troll under the 99th bridge (39th Street under 99/Aurora Road)

  • Also. If you're up for a little bit of history, and a huge park, check out Gas Works Park.

  • One of my favourite sit down pubs is in Freemont, check out the Red Door.

A little further to the sound than Freemon is Ballard, an Industrial part of Seattle gone touristy. Some places to head to include:

  • The somewhat pricey, but very romantic restaurant called Ray's Boathouse.

  • In addition, the Ballard Locks are pretty interesting to go and see. They are in a park and if you cross the damn you can see a fish ladder, which is great!

Queen Ann
Queen Ann is part of Seattle, but it over looks the down-town core. In fact, if you're looking for a great picture of the city with Mt. Rainer in the background. Kerry Park is a great place to take it.

Capitol Hill
Again, Capitol Hill is part of Seattle, but not the down-town core. Capitol hill is a little more "free", but there still are some good places to visit like:

  • The Garage, which has bowling, pool and is a bar as well.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Today marks a special day in the blog-o-sphere

Susan Knows it

Do you?

Kevin Beares, our community lead has taken a big step into the future and started blogging. Boy, I remember My first post, it was short compared to Kevin's.

I know we all look forward to seeing what Kevin has to say on his blog, so fire up your RSS feeders and stay on top of the news from the SBS product team.

For your convenience, I have linked to it from the SBS Team blogs on the right hand side of this blog.

Using Smigrate to dump SharePoint to a .CAB file

Dean's presentation to the Puget Sound Users Group had yet another nugget of information on SharePoint. Did you know that sharepoint comes with another admin tool other than sbsadm.exe. It comes with...

smigrate.exe !!

So what can it do?

  • Works with sites based on WMSDE

  • Size is unlimited

  • Requires Admin Access

  • Pick and choose site content

  • Pick and choose sites

  • Allows you to migrate between WSS versions

So what can't it do?

  • Does not preserve customization or security

  • Will not overwrite existing sites

So what does it do? well, run it! It's located %Program Files%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\BIN\

Here is the help for smigrate (acquired by typing "smigrate /?"
Backs up or restores a SharePoint Web site.

Usage (backup): smigrate -w -f [-e] [-y]
Usage (restore): smigrate -r -w -f [-x]

Operations and Parameters:
-f Backup filename - required. Specify a filename with the extension .fwp.
-e Exclude subsites during backup - optional. No parameters.
-r Restore - optional. No parameters.
-w Website URL - required. Valid URL to a SharePoint Web site.
-x Exclude security during restore - optional. No parameters.
-y Confirm that you want to overwrite an existing backup file.
-u Administrator username.
-pw Administrator password.
Specify * as the password to be prompted for a password.

Example backup:
smigrate -w http://server -f backup.fwp
smigrate -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp
smigrate -w http://server -f \\share\folder\backup.fwp
smigrate -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp -e -y

Example restore:
smigrate -r -w http://server -f backup.fwp
smigrate -r -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp
smigrate -r -w http://server -f \\share\folder\backup.fwp
smigrate -r -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp -x
Now here's the fancy thing: rename .fwp to .cab, then crack the file open with windows explorer. Surprise, there's all your files.

Have fun with this one. :)

Monday, May 22, 2006

How to Setup a Recycle Bin for Windows SharePoint Services

Two weekends ago, Dean did a presentation for the Puget Sound Small Business Server Users Group. The presentation was on a number of nice little tips and tricks, specifically with Windows SharePoint Services.

One of the major topics that Dean covered was how you can create a recycle bin for SharePoint. The recycle bin is actually really cool. A user deletes a file, and it's removed from the site and shows up in a place in the filesystem.

The tool is a 3rd party tool posted over on the GotDotNet website at SharePoint Tools: Workspace Home.

In order to get the instructions and the files, you have to sign-in at the site and look in the lower right hand quadrant. you want to download the two files marked RecylceBin Installation Manual Build 24, and RecycleBin 1.1 (Build 24).

If you have heavy sharepoint users, this is a great tool that you should definately install on your server to protect the files on your site.

Want to give the Small Business Server Product Team Feedback?


Microsoft has a new program called Connect that will help us get feedback from you, the SBS community. Here's the details:
The Small Business Server Product Team would like to hear from the SBS User Community. This direct anonymous survey of the SBS User Community is brought to you by the SBS Product Team.

You are invited to participate in the Windows Small Business Server Community program on the Microsoft Connect Web site at This Site has been set up to directly gather feedback anonymously from you, SBS User Community.
Your role in the SBS Community is important to us. Microsoft Connect enables you to connect with Microsoft developers, product managers, and other development team members to help us make our products the best they can be.

To accept this invitation and become a member of this program, please follow these steps:

  1. Use your Internet connection to visit our Web site at

  2. Click on "Invitations" on the left-side menu.

  3. You will need to sign in using a valid Passport and before you can continue to the "Invitations" page.

  4. Enter your Invitation ID in the blank. Your invitation ID is: COMM-GKXK-WJKV

  5. Click "Go."

  6. If you have not previously registered with Microsoft Connect, you may be required to register before continuing with the invitation process. This a light registration and we will not use any information that you provide to contact you later unless you tell us otherwise.

Now, please follow the steps shown to you by that program to become an active participant. Once you complete the steps, you will be automatically approved. From that point forward you should be able to log into this site using your passport account and take any surveys that are available to you.

Here is the link to the survey: SBS Community Survey. You will find this link on the main page of the site under Small Business Server Community Site.

Join the Feedback community! Voice your opinions, tell us what we should think?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Customizing Outlook Views

Just the other day, I realized I hadn't shared this great tip with you. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but Outlook has multiple views on different things such as Contacts or Tasks.

On the right you'll see what I'm talking about with different views. This may surprise you, but this list is not static!

You can add things to this list simply by

  • clicking on the menu View

  • then mousing over Arrange By..., Current View, then clicking on Define Views

  • on the next dialog, simply click on the New button and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can add as many custom views as you want. Don't forget that you can create views that filter on Categories.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Small Business Server R2 Reached Release Candidate Status Today!

Today was an exciting day in Redmond: because today the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 was signed off as a release candidate. What does this mean? It means SBS R2 is coming close to hitting the market. Those of you who have signed up to receive R2 and help find bugs should be receiving CDs in a week or so.

I will be the first to admit, when I looked at what was going to be placed in R2 about a year ago, I wasn't excited. Now I'm dying to place it up on for the patching, the new server status report, storage resource manager plus a few others. What's stopping me? I need a new hard drive first.

I'm sure once it does gets to all of you guys, you will really enjoy what we've done with R2, and may your SBS boxes have the green check forever!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Finally getting my hands on Exchange's new IMF

So you guys probably think us Microsoft folks have all the angles worked out. Well, if it makes you feel any better. I installed the Exchange Service Pack 2 without reading the release notes.

So, now I ended up in this funky state where I had IMF v1 installed on my home Small Business Server, with Exchange Service Pack 2. If you had read the Release Notes, you would know you're supposed to un-install the IMF v1 before installing Exchange Service Pack 2.

Luckily there was an easy fix.

  1. First Un-install the Exchange IMF v1 from A/R programs.

  2. Second, Re-apply Exchange Service Pack 2 to the machine

  3. Finally, to get the best experience, you should configure your server to get updates bi-weekly on the IMF v2 by simply following KB 907747 - How to update the Intelligent Message Filter version 2 in Exchange Server 2003 SP2

Now you're back to getting updates and have the latest IMF installed on your server.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The "Chico" Smartphone Theme - Free Download!

Warning: This download is provided "as is" and confers no rights, warranties, and comes with no support.

Ok, got the juicy disclaimer out of the way. Now to the good stuff.

So I've created a couple of themes. I know I promised an SBS Theme, but I couldn't just get it working exactly the way I wanted. I figured you guys 'n gals out there had waiting long enough for your free download.

As you can probably tell it involves a picture of my dog, Chico. So let me take this opportunity to introduce you to the little furry critter at the top of this website. His name is Chico, but he also answers to "9 lbs of FURY!".

So, I present you with the Chico Theme.

Ok, so what do you have to do to install this?

  • Connect your device to the desktop you downloaded the theme to

  • Uncompress the theme to a known folder on your desktop

  • Open Explorer and navigate to Mobile Device, My Mobile Device, Application Data, Home.

  • Copy the two files in the zip file into this file on the mobile device

  • On the device, open up the Settings, choose Home Screen.

  • In the Home Screen Layout, select Chico and click Done.

I'm currently running this theme on my WM5+feature pack device (SMT 5600), and haven't really tested it on any other devices/versions. So use at your own risk.

Enjoy my little buddy Chico!

PS. The picture might be close to exact size!! ;o)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Meet the Team!

And so it begins. Over on the Official SBS Team Blog we're starting a series of "meet the team" video. Taking a lesson learned from the Channel 9 dev folks, we're using home videos to introduce you to the SBS product team.

Yes, that means you can ask us about our favourite food at the next event we attend.

Currently our Group Program Manager, Tracy has the first video. Other videos are in the making!

Check out what Tracy's favourite feature of SBS is, or his dream vacation. :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Changing the Storage Location of your E-Mail and Attachments on your Windows Mobile Device

As you can probably imagine, here at Microsoft, we get a little bit of mail. Let's just say if my rules break, I get roughly an e-mail every 10 seconds. With my rules in place, it's more like an email every five minutes. That's a fair bit of mail.

Now I'm the type to stay somewhat on top of my mailbox, perhaps I don't have as many meetings as others, or perhaps I'm just a junky. Plus, I'm a fan of keeping the inbox clean. However, some folks keep their inbox far less clean than mine. It's not wrong, it's just how they choose to work.

The problem is that Windows Mobile Devices, by default store all this email and attachements in the main memory of the device unit. That means those 2GB miniSD cards are of no use to you, except to store your massive mp3 collection.

Well, Mike Poulson tells us how to Modify the registry to store email and attachments on the MiniSD card. The steps are copied here for completeness:

I have my 2125 (aka HTC Tornado, aka HTC Faraday, running Windows Mobile 5) and one of the things I needed to do was to store my email messages and attachments on my Mini-SD card.

I posted about an app that one could install that would do this a few weeks ago. But that app is broken (sets the wrong reg key).

So I thought I would just post the reg Keys that one needs to change to get outlook mail to store on their mini-sd


AttachPath String “\storage card\\mail\\attachments” (no quotes)

PropertyPath string “\storage card\\mail” (no quotes)

Now you can store that massive inbox on your device and keep more mail!

Thanks Mike!

(Old but) New Official SBS Blog!

Kevin, your SBS community Program Manager has been working extra hard with our Customer Support Services, and the Product Group (my team) to bring you the The Official SBS Blog!. Mark has been running this site as the Official support blog in the past and has been doing such a fantastic job, we turned in into the official SBS blog. Check out the Old but new re-launch post.

I've updated my link on the side-bar on this website, and I hope you'll all subscribe to this blog for the official Small Business Server information.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 gets a new look!

My First Blog Post was back on the 4th of October.... 2004!!! That's over a year that this blog has been in existance. And with this being the 234th post (I know, Susan does that in a day) I finally exit the 90's look and feel and push forward into the present day UI.

Yep, Square edges are out and Rounded corners are all the rave.

So, rounded corners you shall have. So, for all you RSS feeders out there, be sure to click on the track back for this one and check out the new look and feel. I still have some kinks to iron out (Google is right, I can't remove the search bar at the top... CURSES!), and I've got some painting issues (yes, painting is a dev term. It's the one you used to swear at when the Exchange server went down and Outlook 2000 just stared you blankly in the face, with a huge white square in the middle of it's UI. I can't say I miss those days)) to work out.

But for now, the look is new, it's fresh, and according to the Internet "Cool" squad, it's got rounded corners. 21st Century, here I come!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

OneCare in SBS?

At Microsoft, we're encouraged to try as much as we can of our fellow teams products, even if it doesn't directly relate to our working area. Admittedly most people don't need encouragement to try new things. :)

One of our newest products is Windows Live One Care. Some folks have been wondering if it works in SBS environments. Of course it does! I'm actually running it on my client at work, which is joined to our server, and low and behold, I have the green check.

I was able to use or disable the client backup (I disabled it because everything on that client is re-directed to the server and it would have been redundant). My firewall is up and running and my automatic updates (provided to me by WSUS) show nothing but a green check.

So have fun, check it out and enjoy the safety!

Monday, March 13, 2006

ISA 2006 Beta!? Sweet, let's SBS'ize it.... or not.

Dear Early Adopters,

It has come to my attention that ISA 2006 Beta is available. Furthermore, it has come to my attention that people are antsy to get this installed on the Small Business Server 2003 boxes (hopefully not the production ones).

While I don't normally post "future" things on this blog, I figured now would be a good exception to that rule. I hope to continue to break this rule in the future, of course, within reason.

Anyways, back to the ISA 2006 topic. I'm not sure why Small Business Early Adopters are trying to install ISA 2006 on SBS as the feature set is limited for Small Businesses. As noted on the ISA 2006 website, most features are targeted towards large or enterprise customers and have no functionality or need in a small business: but as an early adopter myself, I know there are you guys 'n gals out there who just want to be first.

Well, I beat you. :o)

ISA 2006 cannot be configured by the Small Business Server tools. Those tools include:

  • Configure Email and Internet Connection Wizard - yes, the "fix everything wizard" will not work.

  • Remote Access Configuration Wizard

  • Change IP

These tools error out as they are not configured to work against the new API set provided by the ISA team.

Bottom line is the Beta of ISA 2006 does not work on SBS 2003. More information will be posted on the Windows Small Business Server 2003 F.A.Q. later this month on how much support will be provided for ISA 2006 on SBS.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Making Calendar Requests More Visible in your inboxes

I personally like to keep no more than 30 messages in my inbox, it's somewhat of a todo list for me. However, I know this is only one school of thought.

Some folks like to keep tons of messages in their inbox, or perhaps they get so much mail, they can't possibly keep up with everything that comes into their inbox.

So, a lot of folks around here are using Outlook Search Folders to make sure they don't miss meetings with their overly busy inboxes. So, we're creating search folders to keep those calendar requests visible!

Here's how

  1. In Outlook, right click on Search Folders and choose New Search Folder

  2. Scroll to the bottom and choose Create a Custom Search Folder and choose Choose to define the custom criteria

  3. Give the search folder a friendly name, like Calendar Requests.

  4. Choose the Criteria by selecting Criteria

    • Select the Advanced tab.

    • Drop the Field dialog down, mouse over Mail Fields, and select Message Class.

    • Change Condition to is (exactly).

    • For Value type in IPM.Schedule.Meeting.Request

    • Choose OK, and OK again to add it to the list of criteria

  5. Click OK until you're back in Outlook

Great, so now you have a Search Folder, next you'll want to drag it into your Favorite Folders so you can see it easily.

Finally, your goal should be to keep this folder empty (aka, you have no outstanding meeting requests in your inbox, and they are all on your calendar). Thus you need to right click on the Calendar Requests folder and choose Properties. On the General tab make sure you select the Show total number of items, to make sure you always know if there is a calendar request, read or not.

Great! that's all there is to it, now you'll always appear on top of meetings and be the first to reply.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Whitepaper: Deploying Windows Mobile 5.0 with Windows Small Business Server 2003

Yep, a second one today, The SBS/Mobility UA team rocks!

If you've got your hands on a Windows Mobile 5.0 device and your having problems getting it to work against your SBS 2003 server, you'll want to check out the Deploying Windows Mobile 5.0 with Windows Small Business Server 2003 whitepaper.

I've been told that one of our great MVPs also helped out with this document. Thanks Michael!

Enjoy the reading

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Using the Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool on SBS

By now you probably have a fleet of Windows Mobile 5.0 devices in the field, and you've been reading up on all the new security benefits that WM5.0 provides to your business, or your clients business. You get excited (as any good person would about solid security) and install the Using the Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool.

And that's when things seem to go wrong.

Not to worry! There is a solution for you!

First, open the IIS manager and ensure you still only have one default website. If you have two, then you should probably

  1. Un-install the web tool

  2. Copy down the IP address settings for the default website, and change them to All Unassigned

  3. Re-install the web tool

  4. Revert the IP address settings to what you had copied down before

Next, you'll want to check the ExAdmin virtual directory.

  1. Open IIS manager again (unless you never closed it)

  2. Check out the Directory Security in the Secure Communications tab, edit it and clear the Require secure channel (SSL) box.

Finally, we need to ensure the MobileAdmin virtual directory is running in the Exchange Application Pool

  1. Again in IIS Manager, expand default website and open the properties of the MobileAdmin virtual directory

  2. On the Virtual Directory tab, in Application Pool, select ExchangeApplicationPool

Phew! After all that you're good to go with mobile administration. Now you can again celebrate the best in mobile security using your SBS server as the centerpoint of that security.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sync Errors from Mobile Devices in your Server Status Report

Ok, new tip for you. When you're the person that gets the Server Status Reports from the Small Business Server, and you notice a critical error that your boss (or person who pays your salary/bills) can't sync his mobile phone to the server, you may want to jump on it a little faster than I did.

Sure, I didn't get in trouble because I was actually doing the rest of my job, but it would have made his life easier.

What am I talking about? Daily I have seen the following exerpt from the Server Status Report on our Catfood server here at the office:

Now finally getting the chance to take a peak, I looked at the IIS logs located in %windir%\logfiles\w3svc I was able to determine that the phone was indeed logging into the server, but failing to synch. So the password wasn't an issue.

The goal was to get it fixed as quickly as possible. So we took the approach to remove the inbox from the server sync schedule, sync the phone, and then add the inbox back in, essentially resetting the inbox sync with the server. Problem solved, the phone now sync's perfectly, and there aren't any ugly red X's on my server status report.

... Now if I can just get people on the team to stop typing their password incorrectly, I might get a clean server status report!

Whoops, I just realized that the error above is a picture, so MSN and Google won't be able to find this post if you search for it. The error is "Unexpected Exchange mailbox Server error: Server: [] User: [] HTTP status code: [409]. Verify that the Exchange mailbox Server is working correctly."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My First Swing Migration

This weekend was my first Swing Migration. I have to say that I'm impressed with the process. It's kind of nice not to have to touch all the clients after a migration.

We had a few minor snags, and didn't optomize the process as much as we could have, but we got through it and things are in good working shape again. If you haven't checked out the Swing Migration process, you should, it's worth the time, and along the way during the migration, you might actually learn something: I did.

So what problems did we have? Well, the first problem was we hit a replication problem from the production SBS server to the temporary DC. It must have been something in the steps that we missed, because after fighting for 5 hours to try to get it to work, we started over with a restored VPC image of the Temporary DC and things went much according to plan. In Jeff's first version of his documents he says to watch the event log to tell when replication is done. In speaking with Jeff and actually doing it myself, we discovered to use the command net share from a command prompt to look for the SYSVOL and NETLOGON shares to appear, some rebooting may be required. We can probably also blame the slow replication on the old server, it was fairly slow and had some hardware issues slowing it down even more! (Yes, it was definitely time to migrate!)

Once we got past this hurdle, it was smooth sailing, the replication from the temporary DC to the new SBS server was a snap! Following that install of SBS, followed by the SP1 and the premium CD, then the Todo list, Trend Micro AV.

Last but not least, we had the Exchange Fork-Lift and data migration. In order to leave the previous SBS server exactly intact, we decided to move the data through other means than the network, that being a USB disk. We copied the MDBDATA folder from the old server to the USB disk in 10 minutes, then there must have been only USB 1.0 on the new server (odd yes) but it took upwards of an hour!!! Once that was done, we copied the files over and the mount failed!!!.

Luckily, reading Jeff's documentation we realized that we needed to have the databases and log files in exactly the same position as they were on the old production server. Fixing this the store mounted immediately.

Finally (and still currently pending) is the restore of the use data to the new server from the same USB disk. Of course we have to do this around the Seattle SeaHawks in the SUPERBOWL!!!!, but that's ok, the restore will probably take 9 hours!

Let me tell you what I find most impressive about this process.

  • On the first reboot of the new production SBS server, we checked out the eventlogs, only to see a failure of the Folder Redirection. After the installation of all the SBS 2003 parts, this error went away, and the folder of the server was actually already redirected, exactly as it was in the old domain!

  • After we finished the ForkLift of Exchange, we quickly browsed to https://localhost/exchange and logged in as a user of the system, the mailbox already contained over 6000 email messages! How is that for cool!

So there you have it. If you've got the extra hardware for a Swing Migration, you should definately give it a shot, if you're having trouble, just check out the You Can Swing That - SBS Migration website for updated documentation.

Using your Smartphone/PPC as a gateway to the Internet over Blue Tooth

You give a Dev a laptop and a smartphone, and you end up with really cool links in your inbox. This particular one I want to share.

Last week I was asking myself how much I actually spent on my Internet access. It came out to a pretty heafty sum because of the amount of money I pay for my SmartPhone to get access. I was wondering how I could use that same internet access on my cellphone for more and more uses. Then my trusty dev Leszek, pointed me to a site on how to connect your bluetooth SmartPhone or PPC to your Laptop wirelessly to create a gateway to the Internet for use on your laptop! Especially handy when you don't want to pay for internet access at your local Starbucks.

If you're interested, check out the instructions over at

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ISA SP2 is released!

Well, The ISA Service Pack 2 is available for you few, but passionate folks who are running SBS Premium with ISA 2004 installed.

The service pack comes with a roll-up of all the hotfixes currently released, and a few new features. Don't get all excited just yet. The features are primarily focused at Enterprise solutions including BITS Caching, HTTP Compression and Traffic prioritization.

As The SBS Diva mentions, make sure you install this from in front of the physical box. During the install, the box enters lock-down mode in which case you won't have any traffic flowing inside and outside of the network. Oh yes, and another thing, this means that your folks won't be browsing the Internet during the upgrade also.

So choose your Install time wisely ....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Christmas Lights ....

Just a fun bit of trivia for you. The awesome Christmas Light Show to the Song of Wizards of Winter, was actually orchestrated using Windows! The software and hardware used is available at Light-o-Rama (although apparently there are others D-Light and Animated Lighting).

Instructions and the how-to and details of what he did are available at A website his friend runs.

Windows Rocks!

Taking Group Photos?

If you don't know, I'm a big photography enthusiast. I carry a camera at all times, and have a larger more effective camera that I take to places I know I'll be taking good photos.

Anyways, over the holiday, I was taking photos of all my cousins kids, who don't have the time or patience to help me capture a great photo of them. A new tool from Microsoft Research called Group Shot is now available for such problems. I'm going to be checking it out soon on those photos I took of my cousins kids to see if I can't get a good composite!

Monday, January 16, 2006

XBOX Support Rules!!

Ok, I know that I posted already today (hopefully you don't consider this overwelming), and I know that I work for Microsoft, but I gotta give these guys credit.

Stepping back for a second, let me start at the beginning. I didn't pre-order my XBOX 360, I thought perhaps from the first launch of the original XBOX, there were plenty left over, why pre-order? Well, come November 22nd, 2005, I was outside CompUSA at 3am in the dark with some other keen fellows. I was pretty happy with myself, I had gotten some sleep, and I was #22 in line! Sweet!

Five hours later, I was discouraged to find that only 16 XBOXes had arrived at this location and I was, for lack of better terms, SOL. My desperate hunt for a 360 (no we can't just buy them at the company store) managed to land me an XBOX on December 21st. I thought I had one from Gamestop, but it turns out they were hacked, and someone put their 360 webpage online without their knowledge. Finally, Circuit City came through. Then Fed-Ex lost the package, only managing to find it one day before I left for the holidays! I was done!

However, on the holiday's I started to quickly realize that there was a problem. Any 360 game I placed in the console reported a very nice animated graphic "Place this game into an xbox 360 in order to play it". Hrm, it was reading the games as a DVD, not a game.

Let me explain the process here, this is where I get REALLY impressed! I call 1-800-4-MY-XBOX, I get the tech after two or three pushes of buttons, the tech asked if I had a discrepancy between PAL and NTSC games and console. I did not.

Two days later, I had a box at my doorstep, with pre-paid shipping & packing instructions, I dropped it off at the local DHL and over-nighted to Microsoft (and no, it wasn't the Microsoft in my same state). This was Wednesady of last week. Tonight I was going to call to find out the status, but instead, I was greeted by a box on my doorstep and a note that says "Because we know you love your xbox, we've replaced it so you can get to playing it!" Sweet! I put it back in its place fire it up and bingo! I'm up and running again. Even the content I purchased from XBOX Live is readily available for me to download again!!!

Naturally, you're going to ask what about my saved games? I managed to transfer everything but my Perfect Dark Zero to my memory card, so I barely lost anything, and I was planning on finishing PDZ again anyways.

Well, you can call this gloating, but this post is meant to the folks at XBOX support, and Microsoft support in general. You guys Rock! Keep up the good work!

Windows Mobile 5.0 and Self-Signed Certificates

Happy New Year. I know, I know, the posting isn't as often these days, but when you're heads down on things that you can't speak about, it's a little hard to have other time to investigate cool stuff. And yes, for those of you interested, I'm still working on the steps for hosting multiple websites via ISA, I think that's my only outstanding request.

Anyways, now that Windows Mobile 5.0 is available, I'm allowed to discuss this particular topic. It's becoming known that the self-signed certificate that is created as part of running the CEICW (Configure E-Mail and Internet Connection Wizard) doesn't install on devices running the latest version of Windows Mobile. Well, the good news is, that's because we've made the device much more secure. As a result, your device is much more robust to threats from the outside world. However, it does unfortunately cause a slight headache for our SBS customers.

If you have an i-mate (typically the Audiovox SMT5600) you might not be completely out of luck, as over at Club I-Mate once you register your device (which yes, requires making an account) there is a device that can install such certificates on your device. Depending on how locked down your provider makes your phone this could be an option.

The quickest, most efficient way to get Over the Air Synch against the Exchange server to happen is to install a trusted certificate. But be careful! Not all certificates are created equal. Windows, and by the transitive property, Internet Explorer, trust far more root certificates than Windows Mobile based devices. When you're purchasing your certificate, if you plan to use a Windows Mobile based device against your SBS server, make sure the certificate chains up to one of the core root certificates: VeriSign, Cybertrust, Thawte, Entrust, GlobalSign and Equifax. Without this, to the mobile device, it just looks like a self-signed certificate...

Good luck!