David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Upgrade Windows Search to Version 4.0 and improve your PC (for Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003 and 2008)

    If you have have Office 2007 or a Windows Vista or Windows Desktop Search (WDS) then you probably have V2.6 or V3 of this fantastic search product. Version 4 has a wealth of updates, but most importantly, is more stable and faster. One of the things I love about this is that if you put this on a client and server, and then search a network share, if the contents are indexed on the server then WDS uses the remote index to search, making it super fast. It can even be used with SBS 2003 / 2008 to speed up access to the shares there too. Description of Windows Search 4.0 and the Multilingual User Interface Pack for Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0 lets you perform an instant search of your computer. Windows Search 4.0 helps you find and preview documents, e-mail messages, music files, photos, and other items on the computer. The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007. You can use this search engine to index a program's content and to obtain instant results when you search in a particular program. Windows Search 4.0 includes the following improvements: Support for indexing encrypted documents of local file systems Reduced affect on Microsoft Exchange when you index e-mail in online mode, and there is no local cache (.ost) Support for indexing online delegate mailboxes Support for client-to-client remote query to shared indexed locations Improved indexing performance Faster previewer updates for Windows XP Per-user Group Policy settings Windows software updates for Watson errors Support for the following new enterprise Group Policy objects: Computer policies Prevent adding Universal Naming Convention (UNC) locations to index from Control Panel Prevent customizing indexed locations in Control Panel Prevent automatically adding shared folders to the index Allow for indexing of encrypted files Disable indexer back-off Prevent clients from querying the index remotely Allow...
  • Improved searching of Windows Servers (2003, 2008, SBS, Windows Home Server) and Windows desktops (Vista and XP) through the Windows Search 4.0 Preview which improves local and network searching

    There is a feature that I 1st found of Windows Home Server that can be applied to SBS, Windows Server, Windows Vista / XP and any other Windows system with Windows Search 3 or 4 on it. This feature is the ability to search the other machine’s index rather than the files, meaning that you can go to a file share and search 100s of GBs of files in a couple of seconds simply by using the Vista search box. The Search V4 Preview extends this ability to more versions of Windows. That is not all it does – see the note from the Windows Vista Team Blog : Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview that has some information: Windows Search 4.0 introduces several improvements I'd like to call out making search even better in Windows Vista: With Windows Search 4.0, the Windows Search Team has fixed most of the reported bugs causing a majority of distractions users have seen since Windows Vista RTM - many of those bugs were reported by you. Great improvements have been made with regards to performance .Even now as Preview, Windows Search 4.0 has query response time about 33%faster than search queries in Windows Vista RTM. The Windows Search Team has extended Remote Index Discovery for PC-to-PC search to work on every supported version of Windows. This makes finding information on other PCs running Windows Search 4.0 quick and less resource-consuming. Now Windows Search can find information shared on a remote PC by accessing an index on that PC - and you will open files only when relevant to your search. This will also work if the user's profile is redirected. The Windows Search Team has implemented Rollback Recovery where your search index will roll back to the last known good state (this is good in handling disc write errors). If an error occurs, your index isn't rebuilt from scratch; only the newly changed files are added to the index, making recovery from system errors not as disruptive to the machine or the user Being able to find files isn't just important to consumers - it is also important to IT Professionals...
  • More on Microsoft / Yahoo - Board to Decide Fate of Company Today and The options

    Two more articles that I liked - I have highlighted a couple of items, but it is very much worth reading the full articles: Yahoo Board to Decide Fate of Company Today Sources have indicated to us that Yahoo has scheduled a special board of directors meeting on Friday to determine, effectively, the fate of the company. After a week of hectic negotiating, it’s clear that no one is going to step in with a competing acquisition offer to what Microsoft put on the table last Friday - $31 per share . Softbank, the last real chance for a competing bid, bowed out today and said they would not be challenging the Microsoft offer. There are only two options left. Accept the offer in principal, and try to increase the price with no negotiating leverage at all, or do a deal with Google to outsource search advertising and, likely, search itself. <snipped> A Google Deal - Short Term Independence/Long Term Nightmare If Yahoo were to outsource search to Google, the immediate upside would be 25% or so to Yahoo’s cash flow in the form of increased revenues (revenue per search query would likely jump to 9 cents from 4 cents today), and cost savings from operations (servers) and headcount reduction. That may add $7 billion or so in immediate valuation, or around $5 per share, say some experts we’ve talked to (less than half the premium Microsoft is offering). Nearly a third of Yahoo employees would be shown the door, though. Estimates are that Yahoo employees 1,500 or so people in each of search, the search advertising platform, and advertising sales and operations. All of those employees would likely be fired, unless Yahoo chose to retain its core algorithmic search product. Experts say, however, that good search and the ad platform go hand in hand. Without data from the search advertising side of the business, search itself is hobbled. It’s likely, therefore, that Yahoo would shed all of those jobs to and simply outsource all of search and search marketing to Google. Yahoo has a little over 13,000 employees today (taking into...
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  • How to get Windows Desktop Search, SharePoint, Windows Home Server, Search Server, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2005/2008 to see Office 2007 documents in their search filters

    If you use Windows XP and need WDS to index Office 2007 files, or SharePoint, Search Server or any other product that used IFilters then this is the KB article and download for you. This obviously includes Windows Home Server which uses WDS to enable you to quickly search for a file on a file share from Vista This download will install and register IFilters with the Windows Indexing Service. These IFilters are used by Microsoft Search products to index the contents of specific document formats. This Filter Pack includes IFilters for the following formats: .docx, .docm, .pptx, .pptm, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .zip, .one, .vdx, .vsd, .vss, .vst, .vdx, .vsx, and .vtx. Because Windows Desktop Search (WDS) consumes IFilters from Windows Indexing Service, the IFilters will be automatically registered and available for use by WDS. To register these IFilters with a specific Search product, please see the associated KB article below: Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Office SharePoint Server 2007 registration steps Search Server 2008 - Search Server 2008 registration steps SharePoint Portal Server 2003 - SharePoint Portal Server 2003 registration steps Windows SharePoint Services v3.0 - Windows SharePoint Services v3.0 registration steps Exchange Server 2007 - Exchange Server 2007 registration steps SQL Server 2005 - SQL Server 2005 registration steps SQL Server 2008 - SQL Server 2008 registration steps Download details: Microsoft Filter Pack ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Windows Desktop Search , SharePoint , Windows SharePoint Services , SharePoint Portal Server 2007 , Exchange 2007 , SQL Server , SQL Server 2008 , SQL Server 2005 , Search Server Express Edition 2008
  • WSS v3 Search and Search Server - how to mix the two and fix the error "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service"

    I got this e-mail the other day: Hi David,From your posting "How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server" it seems that you had some similar problems that I am experiencing regarding running wss3 and ssx on the same server. In my case it effectively broke the "search this site" option and I'm trying to find a solution to this do you by any chance now what is my problem? I keep getting the error message: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service . Regards Peter After a bit of research the answer can be found at http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=1256 . While I have not used this, the feedback from Peter was excellent "Thanks a bundle, This was the solution to my problem.", so I feel confident sharing it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Search Server Express Edition 2008 , Search Server , Windows SharePoint Server , WSS , SSX
  • Fixing the last 2 problems with my Search Server Express - DCOM error 10016 (application settings do not grant Activation Permission form COM) and Gather warning 2436 for Search Services on my home server

    Obviously when I wrote the last blog entry on installing search server , not quite everything was working, although I did not realise it until a few errors appeared in the event log. The errors appear below - one is a DCOM permissions error and the other is a Gather error. The DCOM error Event Type: Error Event Source: DCOM Event Category: None Event ID: 10016 Date: 09/11/2007 Time: 06:35:26 User: NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE Computer: HOMESERVER Description: The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {61738644-F196-11D0-9953-00C04FD919C1} to the user NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE SID (S-1-5-20). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool. For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. Fixing the DCOM error is all about setting permissions in the DCOM system. The magical application was IIS WAMREG admin Service. I worked this out by following the instructions in the KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920783 . The Gatherer error Event Type: Warning Event Source: Windows SharePoint Services 3 Search Event Category: Gatherer Event ID: 2436 Date: 09/11/2007 Time: 06:50:19 User: N/A Computer: HOMESERVER Description: The start address <sts3://homeserver/contentdbid={d067c159-4b98-4bb4-85d9-0d440121788b}> cannot be crawled. Context: Application 'Search index file on the search server', Catalog 'Search' Details: The object was not found. (0x80041201) For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. This error relates to the fact that we have removed the search from http://<servername> and added a different virtual server name. If you look at http://www.kevincornwell.com/blog/index.php/windows-sharepoint-services-wss-30-search-setup-notes/ then you will see that you need to also change the Alternate Access Mappings. Do this and your event viewer errors will go!...
  • How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server

    I wrote about the search products the other day, but I then decided to take it for a spin. The easiest server for me to install on was a Windows Home Server, so here is the process. Download the software and run the setup program and run the preparation tool: Now run the installation tool. For me, I don't want much installed on the C drive, but I do have some drives known as E and F. Once this is done, now go via the web to configure it. I asked for it to crawl my file shares, web sites and more I then did a test search and it all worked :-) Now, when I went back to the WHS sites, things were not so good. I discovered that the new site that Search Express clashed. There was 2 things I needed to do. One was to change the host header for the search site so that it did not clash with the default site. This is done in IIS admin and if you need instructions on how to do this, just drop a comment for me to know. Anyway, do this, but that was not enough. It enabled the default web site to start, but now search was broken. To fix that I had to set up SharePoint so that it knew about the new name for the site. The place that documents this is http://store.bamboosolutions.com/kb/article.aspx?id=10460 . Use the information to create a new site for "SharePoint - 80". Use the new host header you put in for the site and don't forget to add an entry to the DNS if needed! That was it, Search installed and WHS back to normal. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Search Express Edition 2008
  • Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express is available as a release candidate and will be free when it releases. This is all the power of SharePoint search engine integrated into 1 web page

    I have only just been able to start playing with this, but it is looking good. I'm told that it does NOT YET load on SBS, but that the issue is being looked at (the auto config tools that make it so easy clash with the pre-defined IIS settings for SBS) and the plan is to support SBS too. I will look at how to hack it on SBS yet :-) More info can be found at Enterprise Search from Microsoft . So what is it? (basically, web, share and application search capability with lots of abilities, but some important ones picked out below). Familiar Search Experience Empower your users to quickly find the information they need through a familiar Search Center interface Pinpoint the most relevant information you need with recommended best bets , authoritative sources , term definitions , hit highlighting , and query correction . Retrieve concise and clear search results with duplicate collapsing , allowing you to quickly review a wide variety of relevant information. Stay on top of new information relevant to your work by subscribing to update notifications of your search results using e-mail and RSS alerts . Build upon a familiar user interface and application platform that lets you customize your search experience and the actions you can take on your search results. Search Center. Empower your people to quickly find the information they need through a familiar, web-style search interface and easy-to-use query syntax. Re-configure the layout of Search Center elements without writing any code. Content Summaries. Quickly browse textual summaries of content that appears in the context of your search terms. Hit Highlighting. Quickly spot where your search terms appear in search results and content summaries. Best Bets and Definitions. Highlights editorialized sites or definitions for common search terms likely to have a single authoritative answer. Query Correction. Receive helpful "Did you mean?" suggestions for misspelled queries. Duplicate Collapsing. Find the content you're looking for faster using more concise...

(c)David Overton 2006-13