Thursday, April 30, 2009

SBS 2008 Updated Roll-up 2 (KB960911) Released


The Official SBS Blog has a new blog post on SBS 2008 Update Rollup 2.  This update fixes a few known issues discovered by our test team, as well as the general SBS community.  These issues are:

  • Issue 1
    • After you configure Windows Small Business Server 2008, you manually change the Favorites and Links setting for Internet Explorer in the default domain group policy by using the Group Policy Management console. When you run the Internet Address Management Wizard, the wizard exits unexpectedly.
  • Issue 2
    • You may receive the "HTTP ERROR 401.1" error when you visit the following Web site from Windows Small Business Server 2008: http://companyweb
  • Issue 3
    • In the Add a New User Account Wizard, the order of the Last Name field and the First Name field is reversed. This problem occurs in the following language versions of Windows Small Business Server 2008:
      • Chinese (Simplified)
      • Chinese (Traditional)
      • Japanese
      • Korean
  • Issue 4
    • In the Italian versions of Windows Small Business Server 2008, when you click Connect to a Computer in the Remote Web Workplace, you navigate to an invalid Web page.
  • Issue 5
    • The Windows SBS Console may stops responding if duplicate entries of Anti-Virus programs were reported in client WMI database.
  • Issue 6
    • The Windows SBS Console may report "unknown" for some firewall applications that are installed on client computers.
  • You can read and download the update manual by going to KB960911 directly.  This update also includes Update Roll-up 1 (KB958715).

    UPDATE: The SBS Official Blog has posted what they know about the failure to date.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Connect to the Internet Wizard Won't Finish in SBS 2008


    I got forwarded an issue the other day where in Windows Small Business Server 2008, the Connect to the Internet Wizard will take longer than 5 minutes to finish.  5 minutes is about the maximum this wizard should take (although there are rare cases when it takes longer), but this customer had waited 20 or 30 minutes for the wizard to finish.  The wizard just sits at this page:


    If it is taking a long time, and you kill the wizard and check out the log file at c:\program files\windows small business server\logs\ctiw.log, and see the following:

    [6208] 090421.222228.6798: CoreNet: New random IPv6 Address is fe80::51db:7007:45d6:ada1
    [6208] 090421.222228.6798: CoreNet: Checking the IP conflicts for new address.
    [6208] 090421.222233.6803: CoreNet: New random IPv6 Address is fe80::8e85:4dd0:e65d:e1d6
    [6208] 090421.222233.6803: CoreNet: Checking the IP conflicts for new address.

    The IPv6 network discovery on your network is not working.  This could be a number of items, including networking components you have on your network.  A nice work around is to choose one of the IPv6 addresses recommended in the log file, and ping it to verify it’s not in use, then if it’s not in use, simply set it as a static IP address and re-run the Connect to the Internet Wizard.

    Don’t disable IPv6, there are definitely issues with that as well.

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Using OpenDNS with Windows Home Server




    I recently started using OpenDNS on my networks, because I like to track DNS stats, and prevent bad sites from resolving.  OpenDNS has cataloged over 5 million sites into buckets, and you can either block a specific site, like, or block a group of sites, like “P2P file sharing” sites.  I also love that you can add and customize multiple networks, so I can have my grandfather’s network more locked down than my site.

    Once I made this adjustment on my network, I noticed that my Home Server stopped responding to the home server client when I wanted to connect to the server.  It showed the error:

    This computer cannot connect to your home server. Check your network connection and make sure your home server is powered on. If your home server has recently restarted, try again in a few minutes.

    The problem is that the router is passing every name resolution to the DNS servers.  With normal DNS servers, they ignore single hosts such as “SERVER”.  With Open DNS, they go ahead and slap the ISPs domain name on it and resolve it for you (e.g., and of course your console wouldn’t connect to that.

    You can simply work around this issue by making your internal LAN a “VPN” network.  The OpenDNS community asked the question, which pointed me OpenDNS KB Article.  The steps are simple:

    1. On your client computer, run ipconfig /all, and copy down the domain name
    2. Sign in to your Open DNS account.
    3. Add a network, if you haven't already.
    4. Go to the Settings tab.
    5. Click Advanced Settings.
    6. Click Manage under Manage VPN Exceptions in the Domain Typos section.
    7. Add your internal domain(s) to this list, which was copied down in the first step
    8. Wait 3 minutes (worst case) and all should be well.

    That’s all there is to it.  Home Server starts acting like a Home Server again.

    Customize the Win7 Logon Page

    Windows 7 Beta is out, and the Windows 7 Release Candidate is just around the corner.  I’ve been running Windows 7 for quite a while now, in production on all of my computers.  It’s been pretty rock solid, with no blue-screens, and all of my devices found save for a few, until recently it’s all of them! 

    As I move from build to build, things just keep getting better, and I’m once again inspired to start customizing Windows like I used to have time for in College with Windows 98!  One of the new features of Windows 7 for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) is to change the backdrop on the logon page.  That means, unlike with Vista, you’re not stuck with the same graphic, because it’s easy to change! has the original steps I copied mine from.

    You can easily turn this:

    Original Logon Page

    Into this:

    Customized Logon Page

    (Pictures courtesy of 

    In order to do this, you simply find a JPEG file that you like, ensure that it’s less than 256kb (this part is important, and snagged me at first). Copy it to the appropriate location and flip a registry key.  Here is what I do:

    1. Create the folder c:\windows\system32\oobe\Info\Backgrounds
    2. Copy your file in there and call it “backgroundDefault.jpg
    3. Add a DWORD called OEMBackground to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background

    That’s it!  If the picture doesn’t match the current resolution, the PC will stretch it to match your primary monitor resolution.  The LifeHacker post extends this to ensure each resolution is crisp.

    Now you can be the cool kid on the block, right from the start.  Thanks Life Hacker!

    Update: has come through again with another post on Customizing the Logon Button Set, in case you have a light or dark background, you can make sure your buttons are visible!

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    “Quick Parts” for re-using text

    Using Microsoft Office 2007, Outlook 2007 has a new feature called “Quick Parts”.  Quick Parts allow you to save text you type a lot, allowing you to easily dump that text into a new email without having to re-type it.  I discovered this over at LifeHacker’s Blog on Saving Time with Outlook 2007’s Quick Parts.

    Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery

    Once you save text to the gallery, you can simply go to the Insert tab and drop that text in anywhere in an email.  Use it for signatures, or templates, or any type of repetitive text.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    ISA 2006 with SBS 2008 Whitepaper Available


    If you enjoyed your SBS 2003 with ISA 2004, and you’re hesitant to upgrade to SBS 2008 because ISA 2006 is not included with the product, then there is good news for you. (whoa, that sounds like the welcome email from SBS 2003!) 

    Available today is the white paper on how to Deploy Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server (ISA) 2006 with Windows Small Business Server 2008.

    The whitepaper will appear in the SBS documentation library sometime tonight, specifically in the MVP corner.  This particular whitepaper was written by Eriq Neale, a long standing SBS MVP.  Today you can get the whitepaper directly from the download center.

    The whitepaper covers how to install, configure and deploy ISA 2006 on a Windows Server 2003 server as the edge outside of the SBS network.  You can (currently) downgrade the additional server you obtain with SBS 2008 Premium edition, to Windows Server 2003 and use it as your ISA server, all that’s needed is a copy of ISA 2006. 

    While writing the paper, Eriq worked very closely with both the SBS team (myself included) and the ISA team.  This paper is sanctioned by both of these teams and is very well written.  I’m sure we’ll see more papers from the MVPs as time goes on.  Thanks to Eriq for his hard work bringing this paper to the MVP Corner!

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Windows Server 2008 Foundation Help Documentation

    With the release of Windows Server 2008 Foundation edition, so comes the help documentation for said release.  Oddly enough, you can find this documentation next to the Small Business Server documentation up on Technet, just point your browser here.  Currently the documentation is focused on introducing the new server sku.

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Viewing RSS feeds by Webpage with Windows Live Reader

    I use the Windows Live Mail client (available from Live Downloads) to read all of my RSS feeds.  One of the things that bothers me about RSS is how the feed doesn’t contain the entire item, so you get something like this:

    The strangest thing happened the other day when I combined an olive, a cyclist and a … (read more)

    Now you’re forced to view it online, and you have to open a web browser.  Windows Live Mail has a feature that allows you to view the webpage in the mail reader.

    Edit RSS Feed

    Simply check the “Show articles as web page, instead of summary”.  Now instead of loading in the RSS feed summary, that blog post opens directly in the mail client.  I find this works out great for those short feeds as above, or perhaps as a photo blog where they show their small un-viewable thumbnail in the feed. 

    Where it breaks down is when the post has a lot of comments, they are all loaded as if you were looking at the webpage.  Additionally, I don’t think this works with offline viewing, but it’s a time saver while you’re connected!

    Ask Iain – World Premiere!

    Iain McDonald, the General Manager of Windows Server at Microsoft has started a new “Ask Iain”.  Iain dedicates this first episode of Ask Iain to Windows Server 2008 Foundation Edition, a newly released server sku from Microsoft.  This was released yesterday, but it is not an April Fool’s joke, as Iain comments

    <a href="" target="_new" title="Ask Iain World Premiere">Video: Ask Iain World Premiere</a>

    You can find the full post here on the Windows Server Division Weblog.

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009

    My Favorite Digital April Fools Joke

    Tom’s Hardware put on my favorite April Fool’s Joke this year, threatening to switch to all Apple news. At the end, it turns out to be an elaborate April Fool’s joke.  However, I found the sarcasm throughout the post to be absolutely hilarious, and somewhat true.  I’ll repost the news article here.

    Tom's to Transition to All Apple News

    6:01 AM - April 1, 2009 by Tuan Nguyen

    We at Tom's Hardware have been covering hardware and technology from all aspects of the industry for years. However, there was always one big gap.

    Going forward, Tom's Hardware will focus primarily on covering more Apple news. Apple is a huge player in the industry now, no longer the one in the corner. Several factors have contributed to this decision. Here are our top 10 reasons for transitioning to all Apple content.

    1. Built to order - Who wants to build computers these days? Building your own computer is old school. Going out and buying a pre-built Mac? That's what's in these days. Especially if you get one that's not upgradeable. You will be the envy of others.

    2. Upgrades -Upgrade your hardware? Who wants that? No one.  Don't upgrade. This is too costly. It's better to invest heavily into a Mac, and then toss it out and buy a new one not too far into the future.

    3. Choice. It's better to be told what you need, and have decisions made for you - There are just too many good choices in hardware to choose from when looking at PCs. Tom's Hardware will eliminate the confusion. Everyday, we'll come up with new reasons for you to look at 3 desktop machines, and 4 main lines of laptops.

    Desktops: Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro
    Laptops: MacBook, MacBook Pro 15-inch, MacBook Pro 17-inch and MacBook Air

    All in all, a fantastic selection. We realize they're all cut from the same hardware that are available in more affordable PCs, but you simply cannot ignore the aluminum chassis, severely glossy laptop screens, and new Display Port in the Apple laptop that don't really offer support anywhere yet. But fear not, Apple has a Display Port LCD panel ready for purchase.

    4. Cool-factor - Realistically, it's all about the "cool," style, and looks.  Looks go a long way in computing. When you're cool, you work better, and play better. Who doesn't want to be cool? I can't find any logical reasons for number 4, but Apple says so--so that's the way it is.

    5. Reliability - My MacBook Pro has a white blotch on the inside of the LCD screen on the left side of the laptop, and despite having an extended warranty, Apple refused to fix it, saying it was my fault--so it must be true. Besides, it's just a big annoying blotch that's always white. I can live with it because the aluminum chassis is really pretty.

    6. Compatibility - Who says Macs aren't compatible? I can run Windows XP or Vista on my Mac. And when it comes to hardware? I can attach any USB keyboard or mouse to my Mac no problems--and I'll get more than 1 button for my mouse. What about high performance video cards for gaming? The Nvidia GeForce GT 120 that comes with the Mac Pro is great. I don't need to have SLI or anything fancy to play the latest games--since they're not available for Mac anyway. Problem solved!

    7. Macs hold roughly 10-percent of the market - Collaboration is key. All my friends use Macs. Actually, no, they all use home built PCs that cost less. But their quad-core, SLI, fully customized systems that can play the latest games can't hold a candle to the aluminum chassis of my iMac.

    8. Cutting edge hardware - Apple always puts the latest gear in its computers. Don't think the GeForce GT 120 is the latest in graphics hardware? Just cut back on all the latest games. With the savings you get on not being able to play the latest games, you can put that back into upgrading to not just two, but four GeForce GT 120's for the Mac Pro! You can't SLI them, so it's a total waste of money, but you can play older games and manage pictures in iPhoto, create a neat website in iWeb and talk to your buddies using iChat--all at the same time. Do that with Call of Duty 2 maximized.

    9. It just works - When you buy a Mac, everything just works--right out of the box. Even though my first MacBook Pro had both internal fans die on me in a month and I had to have it repaired, it really did work when I got it...

    10. Price. We're in a recession - It's time to help out by spending more than necessary. $1100 for 8 GB of RAM? Now we're talking economic stimulus.

    April fools. We'll be back to our regular news programming shortly.