SBS 2008 updating rebooting loop

SBS 2008 on restarting after Windows updates were installed would show Applying computer settings followed by Applying update 3 of 3.  It would then show a black screen with a flashing cursor in the top left of the screen.

After some time the server would restart and the process would repeat in an endless loop.

To resolve the issue perform the following steps:-

  1. Boot from the SBS installation CD.
  2. When prompted select the Install Language and click Next.
  3. Instead of continuing the installation select the option to Repair windows.
  4. Select the option to open a cmd prompt.
  5. Enter the following command:-
  6. ren c:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml pendingold.xml
  7. Close the cmd prompt and select the option to restart.

The server should now start and allow you to logon.  You’ll now need to determine which update/s caused the issue to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

James Hill.

SBS 2008 loses network gateway IP address after reboot

A server running SBS 2008 lost remote network connectivity after being updated with IBM’s Update Express System Pack.  Upon investigation the cause was found to be that the gateway that was missing from the network settings.

The gateway was re-entered but after a reboot the gateway was missing again.

A quick search revealed that the Gateway key in HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/Tcpip/Parameters/Interfaces for the interface in use had a blank line on the first line with the gateway IP address listed on the second line.

Removing the blank line resolved the issue and the gateway remained after rebooting the server.

It is then necessary to apply this hotfix to prevent the issue from happening again.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;973243

James Hill.

Outlook 2013 display issues

Recently we’ve seen an issue with Outlook 2013 where display corruption occurs.  Some of the issues include:-

  1. The folder list blurs/corrupts visually when scrolling through it.
  2. Menu’s in open emails lose their formatting.

In order to resolve the issue the first thing to try is updating the video card drivers.

If that doesn’t fix the issue you’ll need to disable hardware acceleration for Office applications:-

  1. Start any Office 2013 program.
  2. On the File tab, click Options.
  3. In the Options dialog box, click Advanced.
  4. In the list of available options, click to select the Disable hardware graphics acceleration check box.
  5. Click Ok.

More information can be found in KB 2768648.

James Hill.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V guests lose network connectivity

On a HP Proliant ML310e Gen8 V2 server was installed Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition.  The Hyper-V role was enabled and two guest VM’s were installed.  One was Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition and the other was Windows Server 2008 R2.

Periodically both VM’s would lose network connectivity.  No error showed in the event logs of the Host during this time.  Attempting to ping any network address from the VM failed as did attempting to ping the IP addresses of the VM’s.  During this time the other physical NIC on the host that wasn’t part of the Virtual switch continued to operate and respond as expected.

Disabling and Enabling the NIC on the Host temporarily resolved the issue as did physically removing and reinserting the network cable into the physical NIC on the Host.

The network card on the host server is a Broadcom and was using driver version 16.4.0.1.

There have been issues with Virtual Machine Queuing and Broadcom NIC’s in the past and it would appear that this is still the case on Gen8 HP hardware, at least in this case.

To resolve the issue disable Virtual Machine Queuing (VMQ) on the host for the problematic NIC.

  1. On the host open device manager.
  2. Expand Network Adaptors
  3. Right click on the Network Adaptor that is part of the Hyper-V Virtual switch and select Properties.
  4. Select the Advanced tab.
  5. Under “Property” select Virtual Machine Queue
  6. VMQ
  7. Set the value to “Disable” and click on OK.
  8. Reboot the host.

James Hill.

 

Apple iOS devices – RD Client with Remote Desktop Gateway support

If you have an Apple device (iOS) and use it to connect to Windows devices via Remote desktop you can now download an official Microsoft app from iTunes (and it supports Remote Desktop Gateway)

https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/microsoft-remote-desktop/id714464092?l=en&mt=8

James Hill.

How to download and then install Office 365 Professional Plus

One of the benefits of some of the Office 365 plans is that they include Office 365 Professional Plus.  This can be installed by logging into the Office 365 portal and selecting to install the software.  This starts a streaming installation.

Whilst this is ok for a single install it is very time and bandwidth consuming for multiple installs.

Because of this, Microsoft have provided the ability to download all the installation streaming bits so that multiple installs can be performed without the need to download the bits each time.

You can also download the bits without an Office 365 subscription.  You do however need a subscription (or a product key) to activate the installation.

Step by step to download Office 365 Professional Plus

  1. Create a folder on the computer that you wish to have the bits downloaded to.  For the example we will create a folder called office365pro. Then create a share for that folder.  For the example we are using the same name as the folder for the share, office365pro.  This may be on a server that the clients (that will have Office 365 Pro Plus installed) have access to.
  2. Take note of the share path. Example:-  \\servername\office365pro
  3. Download the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run
  4. Run officedeploymenttool.exe and select where to extract the files.
  5. Once extracted you will have two files.  Setup.exe and configuration.xml
  6. Open the configuration.xml file in notepad.
  7. Modify the Sourcepath to match the path you noted in step 2.
  8. If you don’t want Visio, remove the Visio section.
  9. Remove the <!– from the very first configuration line.  This uncomments the line so that it now looks like this:-
  10. <Add SourcePath=”\\servername\office365pro\Office\” OfficeClientEdition=”32″ >
  11. Note the other sections in the file that can be uncommented to perform silent installs, specify logging, enable updates and set activation.  For detailed information refer to the Reference for Click-to-Run configuration.xml file.
  12. I’ve created a preconfigured configuration.xml –> configuration  It is configured to download the 32bit version of Office 365 Pro Plus but not Visio Pro.  The other options are left commented out except for logging.  All you will need to modify is \\Server\Share to \\yourservername\yourshare
  13. In order to proceed to the next step you must be using a system that meets the Office 365 system requirements.  So if necessary copy setup.exe and your modified configuration.xml to a system that meets the requirements. If you attempt to do the next step on any other system (for example, Windows XP, SBS 2008, Server 2008 etc) you will receive the error setup.exe is not a valid Win32 application.
  14. Open an elevated cmd prompt on a system that meets the requirements and change to the directory that contains the setup.exe and configuration.xml files.
  15. Enter this command setup.exe /download configuration.xml
  16. This will now download the installation bits to the share specified.  Note: You must have permission etc to the share where you are attempting to download the bits to.
  17. This process will take some time depending on your internet speed.  All bits will be downloaded into a folder called office within the share.  The path will be \\servername\office365pro\office\office which will contain a Data folder and other files.Officeprodownload
  18. This process can be troublesome and not successfully download all of the required files.  We will verify that in the next section, installing.
  19. Once the download is complete, place the setup.exe and configuration.xml into \\servername\office365pro\office  This is so we can run the setup.exe from the share when installing in the next section.

 Installing Office 365 Professional Plus from a downloaded source.

This section describes how to manually install Office 365 Pro Plus.  The cmd in Step 4 below can be used to automate the installation via script, Group Policy, SCCM etc.  For an automated install you will need to modify the configuration.xml to suit your requirements.

  1. On the client/computer that you wish to install Office 365 Pro Plus open an elevated cmd prompt.
  2. Map a drive to the share.  For example net use K: \\servername\office365pro
  3. Change the directory to K:\Office\Office.
  4. Issue the following command setup.exe /configure configuration.xml
  5. If an error occurs check the Officesetup.txt log in %temp% on the client.  If no error occurs proceed to step 6.  I have seen errors due to some files missing from the source.  If this occurs repeat step 15 in the downloading section above.
  6. Enter in the email address of the user who has an Office 365 subscription and will be using Office 365 Pro Plus on this computer and click Next.  Alternatively you can click on the Enter a product key instead option if you wish to activate it with a product key.
  7. O365proactivate
  8. You can actually close the window at this stage and the install will complete.  It just won’t be activated.  You will be prompted to activate whenever an Office Pro Plus application is launched.
  9. Have fun going through “Welcome to your new Office”.
  10. Start using Office 365 Professional Plus.

James Hill.

 

 

HTTP Error 500.19 – Internal Server Error after installing WSUS

Windows 2012 server with an existing IIS install and a couple of websites.  WSUS was then installed on this server using the custom site option.

WSUS and all of the other sites except one functioned correctly after the install.

When attempting to browse to the non working site a HTTP Error 500.19 error was displayed with the error source being DynamicCompressionModule.

It would appear that the installation of WSUS enabled this compression scheme and one of the sites was not compatible with this compression.

To turn off the compression scheme use the following command from an elevated command prompt on the server:-

%windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe set config -section:system.webServer/httpCompression /-[name='xpress']

Note: Compression schemes are registered globally so this command will turn it off for all sites on the server.  If you need to re-enable the scheme use this command:-

%windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe set config -section:system.webServer/httpCompression /+[name='xpress',doStaticCompression='false',dll='%windir%\system32\inetsrv\suscomp.dll']

Thanks to anilr at http://forums.iis.net/t/1149768.aspx for this information.

James.

Unable to open TrendMicro WFBS 8 Console – Service Unavailable

When attempting to open the TrendMicro WFBS 8 Console you receive a service is unavailable message.  HTTP Error 503.  The service is unavailable.

To resolve this issue:-

  1. On the TrendMicro server open IIS Manager
  2. Expand SERVERNAME
  3. Select Application Pools
  4. The OsceAppPool will be stopped.  Attempting to start the pool results in a start and stop.
  5. Right click on OsceAppPool and select Advanced Settings.
  6. Scroll down to Process Model.
  7. Select the options for Identity
  8. Change to “Built-in account” and select Local SystemTrendLocalsys
  9. Click on Ok x 2.
  10. Right click on OsceAppPool and select Start
  11. Attempt to access the TrendMicro console.

If this does not resolve the issue you may need to create a new Application Pool which is documented in this TrendMicro article.

James Hill

Comparing Microsoft Office 2013 licensing options (with cost calculator)

With the push by Microsoft (and almost everyone in the industry) to use Cloud services and therefore subscriptions it has become increasingly more difficult to determine the best method to license Microsoft Office 2013 for businesses.

Options available today include:-

  1. Purchase a Retail box (Full Packaged Product)
  2. Volume Licensing
  3. Office 365

Each option has its features and limitations which impact the decision making process.

I’ve created a spreadsheet to assist with calculating the cost of each licensing option with totals at the 3 and 5 year mark.  It also includes the major differences between the options. Only 2 of the Microsoft Open volume licensing options have been listed but feel free to download the spreadsheet and modify it however you like.

The pricing that has been entered is Australian.  Enter pricing for your region and adjust the tax rate if necessary.

It is a work in progress so if you find it of use you may like to check back here again in the future.

Licensing Office

James Hill.

Export all Exchange 2007 mailboxes to PST files

Many SMB’s are moving from in-house Exchange on their SBS servers to Office 365. 

If you have migrated to Office 365 and are planning to remove the on-premise Exchange Server you may like to still have a copy of each users mailbox from that exchange server just in case you need find an old email that wasn’t migrated to Office 365. This was important in this particular case as some emails were unable to be migrated to Office 365 due to its 25MB size restriction.

This TechNet blog covers the basics for exporting one mailbox at a time from Exchange 2007 using the Export-Mailbox powershell cmd.  However, if you want to export all of the mailboxes use the following cmd in the Exchange shell.

get-mailbox | export-mailbox -PSTFolderPath C:\PST

As is often the case with Powershell, one line can achieve a great deal!

James Hill.