Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sean @ World Wide Partner Conference


If you’re headed to World Wide Partner Conference 2009, I’ll be seeing you there.  I’ll be in town from Sunday at 6pm until super early Friday morning.  Additionally you’ll be able to find me at the WSSG Booth (#621) at the following times:

  • Tuesday 7/14 from 3pm-6pm
  • Wednesday 7/15 from 12:30pm-3pm
  • Thursday 7/16 from 12:30pm-3pm

I’ll be Tweeting before and after while I’m in town using the #WPC09 hash-tag.

For other SBS team information, make sure to follow the Official SBS Team Blog.

Following Me


Folks, a quick post to let you know a minor change in how I communicate.  My blog will remain unchanged, and I will update it with SBS and WHS information that I obtain, etc.  I have now unlocked my Twitter account, and plan to use this to update with all sorts of technical information I find.  Feel free to follow me if the content suits you.

Facebook I will be keeping for my closer friends (do not be offended if I don’t friend you!).  If you wish to connect with me, feel free to use Twitter, my blog or Linked-In.  And as always, if you have a blog idea that will benefit others, you can always email me.

Finally, because engaging with the community is my secondary job, if responses are delayed, please be understanding. I’m doing as much as feasibly possible!

I look forward to connecting with you!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Re-Creating the Forefront Security for Exchange Scheduled Tasks

If you’re using Forefront Security for Exchange with Small Business Server 2008, and you somehow managed to erase all of the scheduled tasks, you may also notice that Forefront never updates itself automatically, this is because the scheduled tasks kick off the updates.

Before you do anything, you should make sure follow the Forefront Security for Exchange Repair Document.  If that still fails, you can re-import the Forefront scheduled tasks by downloading this ZIP file of XML tasks that were exported from a working SBS 2008 Server.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Un-Zip the files to the desktop of the server
  2. Click Start and then point at Administrative Tools and click Task Scheduler.
  3. Agree to the UAC prompt
  4. Ensure Task Scheduler Library is selected in the left tree view and then right-click in the white space of the list view and choose Import Task …
  5. In the window that opens, select the the first XML file on the desktop and click Open.
  6. Verify the Settings in the Create Task dialog that opens and click OK. Task Scheduler Create Task
  7. Repeat for all 11 Tasks

Now you should receive updates automatically for Forefront Security for Exchange.  Thanks to a Canadian SBS Partner, Andrew, for figuring this out!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pre-Order Windows 7 at a Discount!

From the sounds of it, it looks like Windows 7 is going to be available for pre-order from the Microsoft Store! But you’re going to have to be quick, quantities are limited!

The offer begins tomorrow (June 26th, 2009), and continues while supplies last, or July 11, 2009, whichever comes first.

When you pre-order, you’ll get your copy quickly after it’s available (October 22nd! for General Availability), and you’ll get it fast and save while doing that! Pre-order a Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade for $49 or a Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for $99 at Microsoft Store.   That's about half off the estimated retail prices.

More information is available at the Windows team blog.

Windows Live Writer Crashes in Tools/Options

Since the release of Windows Live Writer, I have been using it to update my blog.  It allows me to update my blog offline as well as speeds up the adding of blog posts (such as this one) to my blog.

A little while ago, Windows Live Writer started crashing when I was adding hyper-links into my post.  It didn’t matter if I used CTRL+K, or the menus.  I wanted to check out if I had a failing plug-in installed, but going to Options would also crash Writer.

Searching on the Internet, I discovered that Windows Live Writer has issues with a corrupted Glossary.  Essentially it boils down to the glossary XML file having a bad format.  I still haven’t determined *how* this happened, because I’m not updating it manually, I only use Writer to update it.

Anyways, if you check out the Writer Log file (which is at c:\users\<username>\AppData\Local\Windows Live Writer\Windows Live Writer.log), you’ll notice the following:

System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. ---> System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'WindowsLive.Writer.HtmlEditor.Linking.GlossaryManager' threw an exception. ---> System.Xml.XmlException: The 'entry' start tag on line 3 does not match the end tag of 'glossary'. Line 76, position 3.

Essentially this will point you to the fact that your Glossary Manager is having problems.  Your glossary XML file is at “c:\users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Windows Live Writer\LinkGlossary\linkglossary.xml"

I took a different approach to fixing the problem than my source, I ended up renaming the file to linkglossary-old.xml, and then re-opening Writer.  Writer will create a new file for you.  I opened the new file in Notepad and noticed that it only contained a single <glossary> tag.  I hit enter and added a </ glossary> tag, then copied one by one all the "<entry></entry>” blocks out of the old file into the new file.  Once I found one that didn’t work, I just deleted it (since I can always re-create it if I want).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Using the POP3 Connector to download Windows Live E-Mail

[This post courtesy of Vita Xiao]

If you haven’t heard, Windows Live Mail has recently made access to your mail via POP3 a standard account, instead of a premium paid account feature!  This means that you can configure your Small Business Server 2008 POP3 Connector to download mail directly from Windows Live Mail, making a transition from Windows Live Mail to Small Business Server and Exchange even easier!  You can do this for all your @hotmail.com, @live.com and @msn.com email addresses!

Simply use the following settings in your POP3 Connector UI:

  • POP3 Server: pop3.live.com
  • Port: 995
  • Require SSL
  • Logon Type: BASIC
  • Provide your LiveID credentials

The UI will look like this:


While you’ll also notice you can send mail via Windows Live via their SMTP server (smtp.live.com, port 25), Live requires that you send as the LiveID you authenticate as, so while it might be tempting that you use Windows Live as your smart host, you won’t want to because all of your company email will come from one email address.  Furthermore, when you send mail through the Live Mail service, you are sending on behalf of that particular user.  If you send too many pieces of email, or too many NDRs, that particular user can be classified as a spammer, and limited in their ability to use their account.  So stay away from using this as a smart-host!

Enjoy your seamless transition to Exchange from Hotmail.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials Beta


Looks like Microsoft’s new Anti-Malware software is available for download in beta.  I’ve been running the Alpha for a while now on my Acer Aspire One Netbook.  I like it because the Acer has limited resources. I’m running Windows 7 RC on the Acer, the Live Essentials for email, messenger, and I wanted to protect the laptop because it jumps between networks often.

I like MSE because:

  1. It’s invisible.  I’ve opened the UI twice, once to see what it looked like, and once to perform a scan because it hadn’t been on for a few days, but even that was superfluous, as you can just click “yes” from the Action Center
  2. It provides “hero” statistics when I want to go and see them (ie, opening the UI), but otherwise, it’s completely invisible, just silently protecting the Netbook
  3. It uses very little RAM and processor power, essential for my Netbook
  4. It’s Free, Once this is RTM, I can toss out the OneCare yearly fee I pay for my grandfather, my sister, my parents, and even my cousins! (yes that’s right, it’s easier for me to pay than it is for me to explain the value in them paying).

So if you wanted to try out the new Security Essentials, you can today!

Windows 7 Beta will Start Rebooting July 1st!

If you’re checking out Windows 7 Beta and you haven’t yet switched to the release candidate, now is the time to do that.  Starting on July 1st, the Beta will reboot every 2 hours and expire on August 1st!  You can still download the release candidate up to August 15th from here.

When using the release candidate, Microsoft is still interested in your feedback, you can do that using Microsoft’s Input website.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Preventing Reply-All without DRM E-Mail

[This post courtesy of Becky Ochs]

I'm back from vacation, and all rested up and it's time to continue with the tips that have built up!  This one is great.  Have you ever been on a "Me Too!" e-mail thread?  You know those ones that people won't stop replying-all to save your life.  It's tough for the mail server to handle with large distribution lists (although with Exchange 2007, roughly 15.5 million email messages were delivered in the span of an hour, as seen in the link above), but mostly irritating for people on the mail list.

With the introduction of DRM (Distributed Rights Management), once configured your users can click a button and not allow “reply-all” as an option to the message.  However, this does lace DRM meta-data around the message such that you need to connect to your corporations “rights-management” server to actually open the message.  It also means that on mobile devices, you have to ensure the device is enabled for DRM, and then download the entire message just to decrypt and read it. 

Well, there is an easier way with Office 2007!

  1. On the open e-mail message, select the Options tab on the ribbon and then click on Direct Replies To button: image
  2. Once the property window opens ensure that the Have replies sent to… is selected and your email address (or multiple email addresses if you’re working a team) is in the box next to it: image
  3. Close the message options window

That’s all there is to it.  Now when someone hits reply or reply-all, the message goes to whomever you specify in that list.  Thus if the whole alias is back on the mail when you get it back, you know that person explicitly wanted to send to that alias, and there are no issues when trying to open it on a smartphone, or without Internet access (like on a plane).

Now DRM still has it’s uses, such as preventing forwarding, or copy/paste out of the email, so choose your technology wisely!