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.  

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  • Getting my Nokia Lumia 800 to work with Virgin Mobile UK MMS settings (and trimming the SIM too)

    I recently fell of the back of a boat which resulted in my faithful Samsung Omnia being written off.  Since this was a personal phone, I decided to upgrade to a Nokia Lumia 800 as it looked like a fab phone.  I have so far not been disappointed, however I hit two problems. The first was that my SIM was not a micro-sim. I contacted Virgin who told me they were very soon to launch a micro-sim, but not yet.  I bought a 30-day sim from Vodafone in the short term, but then discovered that I could trim the current SIM to fit by following the detailed instructions at http://www.solutios.com/simcutting/ .  All has been happy until my wife asked about sending MMS pictures from her phone.  When I tried to do it from mine, I discovered that it kept on failing with an error and asking me to try again.  This has been the second challenge that I have had with the phone! Searching the web found many frustrated people, some who had resorted to resetting their phones to factory defaults to get things...
  • Turn off Ctrl-Alt-Del in Windows 8

    This is a very quick one.  I saw the videos and saw that Ctrl-Alt-Del was turned off in Windows 8.  While this can be done by setting the local security policy, it can also be done via command prompt.  This is no different to other versions of Windows. If you search for cmd and then right click it to select Run as Administrator Then once cmd is running, use this command (it is all one line) to turn off C-A-D as a requirement: REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableCAD /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f To turn it back on, use this command: REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableCAD /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f   That is it.   ttfn   David
  • My Top Tips for Windows 8 so far–closing windows, dual booting, using the keyboard and mouse

    Hi, I loaded Windows 8 Consumer Preview with some concerns about how the new interface would impact me.  As a keyboard user, the Developer Preview just didn’t do enough for me, however Windows 8 is now my primary home OS and I’m loving it.  What is more, my daughter is once again asking to have it (as she wants “Snap”) for her applications. So my top tips are: How to close a Metro Application There are two ways to do this – dragging the open application from the top of the screen to the bottom – you will see something like the screen below (top half is once it is grabbed and the bottom half is as it is dragged to the bottom of the screen). The second way to do this is to hover in the top left corner and one Metro application will show.  However if we now scroll down the left edge the other open applications will show.  We can now right click on one of those and select close. It is also worth noting that we can also snap the application to the left or right hand side of the screen too. Of course...
  • Loading SP1 beta onto a Hyper-V R2 system

    I was keen to play with the Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 features, so I decided to download and install it, however I could not find anything that was not for Windows 7 or Windows Server (as opposed to Hyper-V Server).  After asking internally I was pointed to what I needed.  The process was fairly simple:   Download the SP1 beta from the Microsoft site and ensure you answer the questions correctly as an IT Pro to ensure you get the opportunity to download.  You will need to update both your Windows 7 / Windows Server client to manage the system as well as the Hyper-V Server, so you might need to download both the x86 and x64 versions as Hyper-V Server is x64 only. Remove the language packs that are not supported by the beta from the Hyper-V Server. To do this you will need to log into the console and run the LPKSETUP.exe program and remove anything that is not as part of the download package (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) Run the SP1 update on the Hyper-V Server Run the SP1...
  • How to put Windows 7 (either purchased ISO or DVD) onto a USB stick for faster installation or installation onto a Netbook without a DVD drive

    I've had to tell a few people about this recently, so I thought I should actually write a blog post on this.  The options are very simple and easy. Buy Windows 7 on DVD and use or buy a 4GB (or larger) USB Stick and then make a USB stick bootable and copy the files to the stick.  Details on how to make it bootable can be found here - http://www.techmixer.com/install-windows-vista-from-bootable-usb-flash-memory-drive/ .  You literally copy all the files from the DVD to the USB stick for this to work. To do this, enter this command into the run box (press Windows-Key + R) or a command prompt window - robocopy d:\ e:\ /s - this assumes that the DVD drive is D: and that the USB stick is E: - change them as required. Buy Windows 7 as an ISO from the Microsoft store ( http://emea.microsoftstore.com/uk/ ) and use the Microsoft tool from http://store.microsoft.com/Help/ISO-Tool to copy this to a USB stick (as mentioned above) buy a USB DVD Drive (not my preferred option) I hope this helps.   David...
  • What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing

    I’m often told that Microsoft licensing is complex, but what I actually find are that this either translates to “I have too many choices - ahhhh!” or “I can’t license in the way I want to” or “I can’t find the information I want to”. Option 1 is always going to happen – the more choice, the more complexity in making the right choice. Option 2 is often “I don’t want to buy lose licenses, why do I have to..” and Option 3 is poor communications on the part of Microsoft. To help with the Option 3 situation there is a new guide on the Microsoft Partner portal that explains one of the areas I’m often asked about – i.e. Windows client licensing. It is really simple. Here are the rules in summary (non-legally binding and please read the guide for full details): A PC has to licensed with a Full retail product (FPP, bought from a shop) or supplied with an OEM license (the OEM option can’t be used after the PC has been bought...
  • 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"...
  • How to copy or archive files by year using the command line and robocopy

    I got this question via e-mail and decided I would post the answer here in a blog. (Updated 16th Feb 2017 with a typo correction) I want transfer all files created in Office Word 2003 by year (annual batchs - ex: 2005, 2006, etc.) to external HD. How can to do this? I will appreciate your answer. Edgar To do this via the command line you can use Robocopy which is present in Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you have Windows XP download the Server 2003 Resource Toolkit and install it. Robocopy will be part of the install and found in the install directory. The actual command would look like this and would need to be entered into a command prompt: for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do robocopy source destination \%x *.doc? /maxage:%x0101 /minage:%x1231 /s To break it down a bit.. for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do This creates a counter from 2009 up in steps of -1 (or down in steps of 1) until 2000 is reached. Each time the counter changes it is set into %x, so %x will become 2009, 2008 and so on. It then executes the command...
  • 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
  • The PowerPoint Team Blog : A Picture + 1000 Words…

    Want to know how to create amazing work in PowerPoint – look at the PowerPoint team blog! The PowerPoint Team Blog : A Picture + 1000 Words… We learn best by examples. And the better the example, the better the results. That’s why its a pleasure to point you to a new group of PowerPoint examples that are stunning, inventive, evocative… simply beautiful. Nice enough if it stops there, but each and every one of these examples includes very detailed instructions on how you can reconstruct the design, and learn how to apply the technique to your own work. Animation for graphics and text, static text effects, photographic effects, new background techniques, Smart Art and transition effects… this is a holiday present come early for PowerPoint users. And they’re free! Get them here . Here’s a small sample, which of course does not include the amazing animated designs. And in case you’re wondering, this is the work of PowerPoint MVP Julie Terberg of Terberg Design . Julie...
  • 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."...
  • vLite detail screenshots for producing a Lite install of Vista – For Windows Vista Magazine

    I recently built a Lite version of Vista using vLite . While most of the settings are simple enough to understand I’ve put up the screen shots that I used to build my slimed down Vista. First you need to select the compatibility options Then you need to step through the settings. Items ticked are REMOVED from the install of Vista. The rest is up for you to choose again. Have fun David
  • 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...
  • Hyper-V Management console stops working after a month or so with error “Cannot connect to the RPC service on Computer ‘xxx’. Make sure your RPC service is running.

    [updated with net accounts command 20/2/2009] This can help diagnose and resolve the issue if like me, it was running fine and then it suddenly stops about 4-5 weeks after it all got started. My initial thought was that some update had changed things as the blog post here documented the initial setup where the same error was seen. The error once again looked like this: However checking all the same firewall and other settings revealed nothing. Finally I discovered that the user I had created had a password setting that meant the password had expired. Simple, yet checking from the command line is a right royal pain. To fix, these were the commands I used: net user <username> “<new or existing passsword>” /active:yes /expires:never /passwordchg:no net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited Simple, yet the cause of so much time trying to fix. Hopefully this will solve it for you too. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Hyper-V , Error , User , Password
  • 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...
  • Two more SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 issues fixed - Provider=SQLNCLI – Provider cannot be found error and Property Owner is not available for database

    So these are really quick snippets.  I hit an error where my Gateway monitoring software could not connect to the database.  All the errors were along the lines of “Provider cannot be found” and when I looked in the Connection String it stated “Provider=SQLNCLI” which is the SQL Native Client connector software. The fix that worked for me was very simple, to change the “Provider=SQLNCLI …..” to “Provider=SQLNCLI10 …..”.   The second issue was nothing that came about from the SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 conversion, but became an issue when I could not see the properties for the database.  The error I would see was that “Property Owner is not available for database”.  The fix can be found here - http://blog.dampee.be/post/2008/06/22/MSSQL-2005-error-message-quot3bProperty-Owner-is-not-available-for-Database-databaseNamequot3b.aspx .   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SQL Server , SQL Server 2008 , Tips
  • 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...
  • How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V, how to install RAID Management tools and how to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD

    Once I had built my Hyper-V Server I still had a few to resolve.  I thought I had better document the solutions I found to my 3 disk related problems from this entry . So the 3 issues covered are: How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V How to install RAID Management tools How to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V (called a pass-through disk) Just to give you some background, I was moving a non-VM OS inside a Hyper-V system.  I had created the VM, but I could not get it to just “boot” from the old boot disk – the disk was not showing.  I’d read that this type of disk was a pass-through (or pass-thru) disk, but I could not find out how to configure it easily.  The solution turned out to be very simple.  Run DISKPART on the Hyper-V server, identify the disk and mark it offline.  It would then appear in the list of disks that could be installed.  What is more, if I ran out of disks I could install a SCSI controller...
  • How to change where SQL Server looks for it’s master datafiles (master.mdf)

    I’ve found myself moving datafiles around or backing up to new locations before enough that I need to change SQL to point to the new locations before it will start for me to do further work.  The process to get it up and running is to find the SQL instance in the registry and change 3 values. The magical location is: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10. <instance> \MSSQLServer\Parameters” Under here you will file 3 arguments.  Notice the double backslashes “\\” which is required for each single backslash you want.  For example, for my site, I have changed them from the default instance pointers to: "SQLArg0"="-dD:\\databases\\Community Server\\master.mdf" "SQLArg1"="-eD:\\databases\\Community Server\\ERRORLOG" "SQLArg2"="-lD:\\database_logs\\Community Server\\mastlog.ldf" Change these to the location of your datafiles.  The “-d” is for the master database datafile, “–e” for the Error Log and finally...
  • 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...
  • How to resolve errors like "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running" with Hyper-V Server and Hyper-V Manager

    In my last post on installing Hyper-V for my home setup I said I had a number of issues.  One was that the Hyper-V Manager kept on showing the error "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running".  This turned out to be several issues. To start with my Hyper-V box is in a workgroup, so security is manually configured.  Then there is the connection ID security - by hand and finally there is the client setup too.  I spent a long time with John Howard's blog which got me the following commands for the Hyper-V server: netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)" new enable=yes netsh advfirewall firewall set rule  name="Remote Administration (RPC-EPMAP)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Administration (NP-In)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall...
  • 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...
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(c)David Overton 2006-17