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!