Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 Reaches RC1

If you haven’t already got IE8 installed, it’s well worth it, with tabbed browsing and all the like.  With Accelerators that quickly jump you to a map or a translation, you can browse a lot faster.

If you aren’t running Windows 7 yet, you can get it from here.  If you are, you’ll have to wait for a new Beta build of Windows 7.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Has Downadup, Conficker, or Kido got you?

Looks like another worm has poked it’s nasty head above water, time to double check and make sure your Anti-viruses are up to date.  The Worm jumps from PCs to PCs on the local network by brute force guessing passwords, installing an HTTP server and download malware onto the system. I mean really, don’t these computer “geniuses” (also known as hackers) have anything better to do with their time.  Imagine if they wrote productive software! has an article that you can learn about it’s infection of 8 Million Business PCs in 1 week.  But what you really need to know, is that Microsoft has released a patch for this already, and a security bulletin.  Ideally, you should make sure that MS08-67 is installed to prevent a Vulnerability in a service to allow remote code execution.

Get your worm shot.

Small Business Server 2008 Update Roll-up 1 Released Today!

Folks, as you saw over on the Official SBS Blog, the Update Roll-up 1 Released today!

This update has a few things included with it.  First, the security tab incorrectly displayed the spyware/malware status of clients with Vista SP1.  This is largely due to an API change that happened, and depending on the 3rd party solution you’re using for this, you may or may not have gotten correct status.  Now it should be fixed 100% of the time!  The second issue is not a security issue.  It’s when the Internet Address Management Wizard unexpectedly exists.  The problem here was a race condition when setting up the server for browsing to domain name providers website.

The update will be available on Microsoft Update, most likely starting tomorrow, if not, shortly there after.  It’s also noted as KB 958715.

Huge thanks to the SBS Sustained Engineering team for pushing this one through

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More Troubleshooting & Repair documentation Live

The User Assistance folk are continuing to crank out some great documentation.  Live today are some additional repair documentation available on the Technet Website here.

Much more documentation is planned to go live as soon as it’s ready, so keep your eye on this location.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Recovering SBS 2003 data to SBS 2008

Once you make the jump to SBS 2008, you’ll wonder if those old .BAK files from NTBackup can be read.  I mean what if you want to recover some files from your 2003 backups to your 2008 server?

Never fear, the Windows NTBackup Restore Utility is here!  Yes it works for Small Business Server.

Brief Description

Utility for restoring backups made on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to computers running Windows Vista and Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Windows 7 Beta & Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta!

Looks like the public beta for Windows 7 has finally arrived, announced at CES yesterday.  The Windows 7 Public beta should be available for download tomorrow from the Windows 7 product page.

If you’re more into servers, like me, you’ll be happy to know that the Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta is here.  The 2008 R2 server product page is here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Going Green and Paperless in Small Businesses

In today’s global economy, tied together with the pressure to stay green, what are the options for a paperless, more efficient, green office?  Is using technology greener that not using technology?  Sure each server or client PC you run increases your carbon footprint, at least according to an article on MSN called Green My Blog.  But also mentioned here is that using hosted services means you share that carbon footprint with the 1,000’s or 10,000’s of others using those servers.

For the past 4 years now, I have been on a mission to reduce the amount of paper that I use, and conserve as much as I can.  I am doing this at home, and at the office. Going green at the office is not only good for the environment, but it will save the business a lot of money!  This doesn’t just stop with paper, it rolls into saving money on power, and making employees more effective, saving you on payroll!  In fact, the CBS Early Show talks about saving money with green technology by cutting down on your power consumption, paper consumption and making employees more effective:

Windows Small Business Server can help you go green at the office by consolidating services.  And with a Dell PowerEdge Server, with the AMD Opteron Processor; you get a very eco-friendly server (using 25% less energy) to do so.  Windows Small Business Server can lessen power and paper usage with fax, by having the server answer the fax and email the fax to a fax secretary, lessening the need to keep a fax machine on as well as a server, and reducing paper usage in the office.  A standard fax machine is on 24x7, and uses paper for every outbound or inbound fax.  Or document printing to share with co-workers is a huge waste of paper (According to their study, an office worker on average uses 10,000 sheets of paper in a year! That’s 2 lbs of paper a day!).
Further, with Small Business Server, you can easily share files and store them securely, reducing the amount of file cabinets and folders needed around the office, saving space, and time for employees to find the data that they need.  Small Business Server provides SharePoint technology and file shares for the store method you need.  Additionally, easy to use backup and recovery technology keeps the data safe.
When on the road, there is no need to print out or bring pieces of paper, or a calendar with you, Windows Mobile seamlessly keeps updating with the server to bring you the latest email, calendar items and contacts.
So an investment in green technologies can and will save energy, money and make employees at a business more effective.
Why wait on going green at the office?  Think about saving money by investing in the right set of technology for your business.
What about at home?  Turn off, or sleep that PC when it’s not in use and store your files on the tiny, power friendly,  MediaSmart server from HP, running Windows Home Server.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Windows SBS 2008, Windows Media Center and the XBox 360

[This post courtesy of efforts by Matt Clapham and Adam DePue]

First of all, Happy 2009!  I trust the holiday season was fun for everyone.  It certainly was for Matt who finally got his XBox 360 working with his Media Center and SBS 2008 server at his house over the holiday’s.  We wanted to share his experiences to benefit the community.  While Windows Home Server is designed for this scenario, and no work-arounds are required, Small Business Server doesn’t expect a media center or XBox in a work environment. 

None the less, it will work should you choose to either run SBS 2008 in your home, or have a Media Center or XBox in the office.

Step 1: Ensuring the XBox 360 Extender can connect to the Media Center PC

To ensure that the XBox 360 can extend media from the media center edition for content *on* the media center itself, you need the media center to be classified as a server on the network.  To do this the media center must be located in the Server’s OU within the Active Directory.  This changes the group policies that apply to that machine, allowing the XBox to connect to the Media Center PC.  To make this change:

  1. Click Start, Administrative Tools, and open Active Directory Users and Computers, and agree to the UAC prompt.
  2. Expand <domain>, My Business, Computers, and click on SBSComputers.image
  3. Find the Media Center computer in the list of domain joined PCs (note, Vista Media Centers can be domain joined, but XP Media Centers cannot) and drag it from the SBSComputers OU into the SBSServers OU.
  4. To make changes take effect immediately, on the Media Center PC, run gpupdate /force.

At this point, your XBox extender should be able to access the media center, and play content from the Media Center PC.  This work around was also discussed on The Green Button.

Enabling the XBox 360 Extender to access content on the SBS 2008 server

Due to the fact that the XBox extender software creates new accounts on the media center (“MCX”), these accounts do not have access to the SBS 2008 server.  As a result, the XBox will fail to access content stored on the server.  While you could create these accounts in the domain, there is no hope to make the passwords match, because the MCX password is a randomly generated long password known only to the XBox and and the Media Center.  Instead, you have to create a logon script for these MCX accounts to map drives to the SBS server using a domain user account which has access to the content you want to access from the XBox.

To create the logon script for the MCX account, you’ll want to create a batch file with the following contents:

net use * /d /y

net use x: \\SBS\Shared_Videos /user:SBS-Domain\AccountA "Password"

Where “SBS” is the server name, “Shared_Videos” is an example share name, “SBS-Domain” is your SBS domain name, “AccountA” is the domian user account name and “Password” is the password for AccountA.  Once you’ve created this script, you need to edit the user account on the Media Center to tell it to run that script on logon.  The script would of course add the “net use” line multiple times for different shares you want to connect to.  For more detailed steps, see my previous post on this issue.