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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.  

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  • How to get SBS 2008 to "fix" managing WSUS after you have manually upset it

    Today's post covers what to do when SBS says it no longer can change the WSUS settings from the console.  The exact message is "Windows Small Business Server Update Service is not running because it automatically turns off if you customize Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)". One way round this problem is to manually change all the settings in the WSUS console (from Administrator Tools, select Microsoft Windows Update Services 3.0 SP1) and change the settings as per instructions found at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/07/13/441594.aspx .  I'm a sort of "quick fix" kind of guy, so the easier way is to go to the same tool, but then run the wizard.  The steps are: Start the Wizard   Click through the first two screens and set the updates to come from Microsoft Update Configure the proxy if required and press next.  Then press Start Connecting.  When done, press Next again. Select the language(s) you want to download Make sure "All Products"...
  • Migrating SBS 2000 to Windows SBS 2008 - download document now available

    Should you have a SBS 2000 system that you wish to move to SBS 2008 there is now a documented process on how to do this. Migrating Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 to Windows Small Business Server 2008 Outlines the steps necessary to migrate settings and data from an existing server running Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 to a new computer running Windows SBS 2008. File Name: Migrating_SBS2000_to_SBS2008.doc Date Published: 5/1/2009 Download Size:96 KB Download details: Migrating SBS 2000 to Windows SBS 2008 Note that Exchange is not migrated in itself, so PST backups of all mail folders is required using the process documented in the KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/196492 . Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , SBS 2000 , Migration , Microsoft
  • SBS 2008, Installing, migrating and configuring BOOK now available to pre-order

    [updated 2nd May 2009] Hi everyone. My SBS 2008 book is in now available to order. Details below. If you want to ask questions once you have the book, go to http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?13 . To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration David Overton Set up and run your small business server making it deliver big business impact · Step-by-step guidance through the installation and configuration process with numerous pictures · Successfully install SBS 2008 into your business, either as a new installation or by migrating from SBS 2003 · Configure hosted web sites for public and secure information exchange using Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces · An illustrative book for people with basic technical skills and no SBS background In More Detail Available April 2009. Order now! Cover price £24.99 Packt Special Offer £22.49 save 10% Multi-buy Discount £20.49...
  • SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success from the Official SBS Blog

    I started to write about this at SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues and Active Directory Health Checks , but after some discussion with the SBS team at Microsoft we now have much more: The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success The purpose of this post is to help you complete your SBS 2003 migrations to SBS 2008 successfully on the first attempt. ……………… much, much more Use this information if you have a non-standard implementation or are concerned about the success of a migration. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2003 , SBS 2008 , Migration , SBSC , Small Business Server 2008
  • How to create a VPN on Windows Vista to connect to a Windows Server, such as SBS 2008

    I was going to include this in the book, but decided it was not quite the right subject matter, so I've decided to post it on the blog. SBS 2003 had a pre-defined tool for VPNs. The tool exists in SBS 2008 to produce the same tool, but you have to configure it by hand. This is covered in this blog entry here . If you are on a client machine and you need create a VPN connection, or you are a user and want to create a VPN on Windows Vista, follow this guide. Start at the Start menu . Press the Connect To button to start the process. You will be told that you are already connected to a network, but you will need to create a new connection. Do this by selecting the Set up a connection or Network option and press Connect . In the Choose a connection option screen, select the Connect to a workplace option and press Next . Now select Use my Internet connection (VPN) . The Internet address is that for your remote server. If you are using Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) this will likely be "remote."...
  • Active Directory Health Check - Make sure your AD is healthy before you migrate SBS 2003 to SBS 2008

    [updated 29/9/12 with new link] Given the recent comments about AD validation I thought I would share this excellent document on verifying your AD before you begin a migration (or at any other time) Active Directory Health Check - Active Directory This document outlines a basic procedure for validating the health of your domain and is a good practice for iterative maintenance and an excellent pre-check before doing any potentially dangerous domain operations I would add a couple of extra tests to the list in this document, which would be placed after the 1st DCDIAG test, also perform: DCDIAG /test:DNS /DNSALL /e /v DCDIAG /test:DcPromo /e /v DCDIAG /test:RegisterInDNS If you system passes these tests then it is a good indication of health. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , Windows Server 2008 , Active Directory , migration , Microsoft , SBSC , Partners
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false...
  • How to size the hardware required for SBS 2008

    This question has been asked many times and was once again asked today on an internal forum.  It is hard to come up with an explicit answer, but I feel I can give you some (personal, non-binding, your mileage may vary, please take with a pinch of salt and don’t sue me) opinions.  For SBS 2003 the non-scientific sizing appeared to go like this: “between 2 & 4GB of RAM, depending on number of users”.  I often saw a machine for around 25 users with 4GB of RAM and there was headroom. Disk – don’t buy 1.5TB disks, but don’t by 30GB either.  Buy largish and try to size data before you make the decision 1 CPU or 2, or perhaps more importantly, a box that can take 1 CPU or 2? The the time SBS 2008 arrived the difference in cost of a 2GB or 4GB box was trivial.  Now SBS 2008, if you want to be scientific about it would look something like this: Minimum specs are found at http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/system-requirements.aspx Think Windows Server 2008 for x users, plus Exchange sizing for...
  • SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 forklift upgrade resulted in 50% cpu utilisation (& resolution) – aka SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 SQL Application Move

    I’ve recently moved the database behind DavidOverton.com (also uksbsguy.com) from a Windows Server 2003 system with SQL 2005 to Windows Server 2008 with SQL 2008.  This would be the same process if you were potentially performing a migration from SBS 2003 with SQL 2005 to SBS 2008 Premium with SQL 2008 (or SQL 2005, but the performance issue only happens with SQL 2008). The process was amazingly simple: Stop the database on the Windows 2003 system Copy the datafiles, errorlogs, logs etc to the new system Install SQL 2008 on the new system, creating an instance by the same name Modify the registry to point to my new files (details here ) Start SQL 2008 Obviously I had to do some IIS stuff (create a new site) and install and redirect my logging software (WhosOn), but overall it went very well. Or so I thought until I noticed that my normally nominal CPU utilisation had gone bananas.  One of the SQL 2008 new and improved features is the Server Activity History which makes it very easy to pinpoint problems...
  • Invalid certificate issued to localhost.localdomain when remotely access SBS 2008 from a Windows PC

    This is another question I was recently asked. One particular user noticed that the certificate they saw when accessing their server from the internet did not match that when accessing from the LAN. The certificate looked something like this: This was a little strange as when the system was accessed from the intranet, all things appeared fine. The culprit for them was the SBS 2003 self signed certificate on the same machine. By removing the certificate and then installing the correct new one things got better. To remove the old certificate, start MMC.exe and accept the UAC prompt. Now press Ctrl+M to add a new snap-in and select Certificates and when asked, add for the user account . The do the same again, but select Certificates and Computer Account and hit OK to accept the current computer. Now expand out Personal Certificates and remove any SBS 2003 self signed certificates. To load the new certificates open a browser inside your SBS 2008 network and point to http://companyweb/Lists/Announcements/DispForm.aspx...
  • Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too

    [updated with “roll your own” information and how to make a 32-bit version of the exe file] I love it when people challenge me to solve a question and today’s prize goes to Simon (thank-you for the questions Simon) who asked me where Connection Manager was on SBS 2008? You remember Connection Manager right, to auto configure the VPNs… Well, the instructions in SBS 2008 are a little less simple. Rather than downloading a pre-configured tool you now need to roll your own. The reasoning, which is quite sound, is that you can access almost everything via the Remote Web Workplace, but for some things, you want a VPN and the way to get it can be found here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc513974.aspx If you want to create a Connection Manager Install for SBS 2008 you need to add the CMAK to the SBS 2008 install. Go to Server Manager and click to add a feature. Install the CMAK by pressing Next. To start the kit, go to the Start Menu, Administrator Tools and then select Connection...
  • SBS 2008 systems limitations and functions are the same as Windows Server 2008

    With SBS 2003 R2, some of the Windows Server 2003 R2 features were not included. I asked today where we were with SBS 2008 and the CPU, Memory and feature lists are, so I am told, the same. On the page http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/compare-specs.aspx it talks about the max number of procs, memory etc for Windows Server 2008 Standard. You should use these to represent SBS 2008, however, note SBS 2008 has it’s own minimum requirements. See below for the important points KEY: = Not Available = Available Specification Standard Enterprise X64 Sockets 4 8 X64 RAM 32 GB 2 TB Failover Cluster Nodes (Nodes) 16 Fault Tolerant Memory Sync Cross-File Replication (DFS-R) Network Access Connections (RRAS) 250 Unlimited Network Access Connections (IAS) 50 Unlimited Terminal Services Gateway 250 Unlimited Virtual Image Use Rights 1 4 The features of Windows Server 2008 that are in Standard Edition can be found here - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/differentiated-features.aspx which should...
  • Configuring OneCare for Servers in SBS 2008

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. OneCare for Servers provide anti-malware capabilities and is an important part of the system integrity. SBS 2008 comes with a trial of OneCare and so far I’ve found it very effective. Setup today requires two updates that it downloads and applies itself: Notice that the initial configuration immediately informs you that you need to update Start the process, tell OneCare which country you are in and and accept the EULA. The download starts, updates and finishes If you have an activation key, or wish to purchase one you carry on through the process, switching to a web site to complete the process Note, DO NOT try to activate your trial in the Technical Preview unless you have already been provided with a key If you have been going through the Console in order then this is it baring the enabling of Office Live. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton...
  • Set up Microsoft Office Live Small Business Web sites

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. One of the options is for a spit personality Office Live for Small Businesses solution. Why split, well the e-mail items are held on the SBS 2008 Exchange server, as will the report site services, but the public web site and WSS external collaboration sites will be hosted on the Office Live servers. This means that things like DNS need a bit more management, but that can all be handled for you. This is how I configured mine: Start the process from the console and say I want a new site. Since SBS 2008 already knows the external address of the SBS box, it offers to enable the DNS to be redirected to Office Live for the www.mydomain.com address We then get into the Office Live sign-up process via the web. One word of note here, I had installed the box as a US system, not a UK system, so it took me to the US site. If you change the language settings in the browser (Tools/Options...
  • EBS 2208 and SBS 2008 Upgrades & Migrations from SBS 2003 and SBS / EBS 2008

    I saw over on Nicholas's blog post - Nicholas King : EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations that he has started to answer some of the questions around system upgrades and migrations. Below are some snippets of key information he has shared. Read his blog post for more. However, key thoughts for me are: 1) no in box SBS 2003 -> SBS 2008 upgrades. This is a box to box migration process. If you have SA or FPP copies of SBS 2003 then you can potentially do a P2V and then migrate from the virtual image. If not, I would consider running a VM of Windows Server to enable you to move the domain at least 2) Moving from one box to another (eg hardware upgrades in the future) are now supported. This can potentially be used to go from a RC0 build to RTM, but it is not tested or supported, however that does not mean it will not work!! 3) There is a GREAT document linked below that describes a migration in glorious detail EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations Recently I had several people ask me whether it is possible or supported...
  • How to configure server backup in SBS 2008

    [updated due to Vlad's link] - to see the rest of the articles on SBS 2008 click here SBS 2008, like SBS 2003, comes with a server backup tool. Unlike SBS 2003, this one supports USB drives as a great removable solution,but does not support tapes. Tapes are not really required unless you need good archival solutions as keeping a rotation of tapes in a warehouse for 10 years would be more cost effective than keeping a stack of USB drives. The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. As you work down the list in the console you will come to backup. The process to enable this is all quite simple: The 1st time I ran the tool I did not have a removable drive attached to the system, so it failed to start the process properly I then attached my 500GB external drive and started again. I picked my device and gave it a name: Chose what got backed up (note that everything from the system drive gets backed up!), when and then...
  • How to configure a Smart Host for Internet e-mail in SBS 2008

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. Once the internet facing services are set up you might have to enable “Smart Hosts” – which basically means that your e-mail is sent out via your ISPs mail server. This is a simple process which I have documented below: Since I am using NTL / Virgin media as my provider, I had to send via mail.ntlworld.com. Do this and and hit next and then the system will send mail this way. That is it. One again that is it for this stage. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , E-mail , Smart hosts
  • Setting up services for the internet in SBS 2008 console (domain name, web site, Remote web workplace, e-mail)

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. Once the internet settings are completed, the next big steps is setting up the internet facing services. This is the process I followed: 1) The 1st time I had to create a domain for my server 2) I chose to do this using the provided tools (this then provides DNS management of www.domain.com going to Office Live, but remote.domain.com going to this server and the MX record pointing to the SBS box too. 3) Once you have chosen your provider you go off to a web page to purchase the domain 4) Then you enter your login details It you already have a domain then the process looks like this: 1) Enter your domain and provider details 2) confirm the details and enter them as per step 4 above Continue the process from above as the tool configures the system. Note that if your router does not accept UPnP (or it is turned off, as per mine), then you will get the warning and errors shown...
  • Setting up your internet connection in SBS 2008 console

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. One of the first steps is setting up the internet connection. This is the process I followed: The routines automatically detected the router IP address – I had not set it anywhere Then finished off The process of enabling others to communicate with SBS and setting up firewall etc can be found here . Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , Connect to the internet
  • Simple items in the SBS 2008 Console setup

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) has a few items that are just one or two screens, so rather than dedicating a separate post to them, here they are by themselves: There are then the following steps that took me about 20-mins to complete: 1. Read the document on how to use the SBS console 3. Accept the Customer feedback option 5. Adding a trust certificate (I don’t have one, but I’ll show you the screen shot) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console
  • Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console

    [updated 5th June 2008 - as last 2 sections now online] I saw Vijays’s post on SBS 2008 RC0 Installation Walkthrough (which points to this post – walkthrough ) and while this article has much good information, I had grabbed the install process in screen shot again :-) There were a few interesting points that I thought I would share too: Once the install has finished, you need to do the post install configuration: If you have done it right you will see a screen like this: If you have had a number of problems in the install then you will see something like this: and then . I got this by hitting the power button on the keyboard while the setup was running and while I said “no” to the “do you want to shutdown” prompt, it appears it killed the setup process in the background. If you get this sort of setup, I spent a few hours trying to resolve and while I did re-install exchange and then load ForeFront, it was easier to just re-format and start again. OK, so if it is working the console should look like this: There...
  • How to change spam settings on Exchange 2007 / SBS 2008 to enable some / all / more spam to be delivered to an account for analysis

    One of the settings I wanted to change in SBS 2008 was the spam filter settings – some mails that I was receiving were being deleted without any option for me to review them. Since I had to go and read the manual on this, I thought I would share the answer on this. Open the Exchange Management Console Select the Organization Configuration and then Hub Transport Select the Anti-spam and look at Content Filtering By default the “Reject messages” SCL rating is set to 7. I change this to 8, enable "Quarantining messages” for messages above a level of 6 Finally, you need to enter the e-mail of a mailbox to receive the quarantined e-mail You can see how this impacted the e-mails themselves in the daily report – notice the number of mails still rejected / quarantined: That is it. See all the other SBS 2008 items at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS , SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Exchange 2007 , Tips , Spam , Content Filtering

(c)David Overton 2006-21