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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  • Server line-up for small businesses (and home) is increasing in options (or complexity for some) - SBS 2008, Home, Foundation, Windows Standard Server or BPOS - how do you choose?

    This is a long running question that people ask me - how to position the various server options from Microsoft for small businesses. The more choice Microsoft offers, the more complex it can become if you do not have a starting point to find the right product for a customer. So, Home Server, Foundation Server and SBS - what is it all about, especially when you look at something like Windows 7 or BPOS too? N.B. To get a detailed feature comparison between SBS 2003 and SBS 2008 have a look at the excellent work of Sean at http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/08/what-different-between-sbs-2003-and-sbs.html . Well, in the home or the smaller sized business market (think sweet spot of 1-7 users IMHO) there are a number of MS products that could fit the bill… Windows Client PC as a server (don't do this for businesses) Windows Home Server Foundation server Windows Server Small Business Server Online solution Server Options I suspect people know the options here, but here is a very short run-down on each and why...
  • Internet Explorer security vulnerability fix now available – think of it as an early Christmas present… now about Firefox’s 3 issues this week…

    I think everyone knows that an urgent security issue has arisen in IE this week and Microsoft has taken the (wise) decision to publish a fix outside the normal 2nd Tuesday release cycle. Some have said switch browser because of this issue, but not only can that be complex, but most browsers suffer security issues so once again the only real protection is to wrap in cotton wool and hide. Or, use the built in features of Vista and IE7/8 which means protected mode and NOT running as admin. You might ask why a Christmas present? Well, if this continued un-patched then your information is seriously at risk and that would make for a very bad Christmas if your credit card information was stolen!! Either way, if you have IE on your systems then you will need to update your systems urgently. Of course, my Hyper-V server (or Windows Core for that matter) don’t have IE, so no updates for them!!! Just for completeness, here is the information from the Technet newsletter Internet Explorer Security Update I wanted to...
  • Virtualisation Adoption Survey - if you are using virtualisation (from anyone), tell Virtualisation.info

    A Quick note - there has been lots of comments recently on who's virtualisation has what share of the market. I've just installed Microsoft Hyper-V server up and running with 3 VMs inside it (HomeServer, SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2003) and I expect a couple of small desktops too before long. Anyway, rather than just guessing, why not fill in Virtualization.info's survey? It took me about 45 seconds to complete at virtualization.info's Virtualization Adoption Surveys . I'll post on how I got everything working after I've got the next chapter of the book done. Should be 4 chapters done by the end of this weekend, although I'm behind a few pictures :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Virtualisation , Virtualization , SBS 2008 , Survey , virtualization.info
  • Important Microsoft security update – update your machines now!

    DavidOverton.com rebooted today due to an emergency security update – an “out of band” release from the normal “patch Tuesday” process.  It is worth considering updating and reboot your computers and servers asap.   More information on this can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS08-067.mspx .  Impacted systems below:   Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Service Pack 3 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Remote...
  • 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...
  • How to get DNS and DHCP working on a Windows Server from behind the Windows Firewall

    I have a Windows Home Server at home and I decided I wanted it to be responsible for handing out DHCP and DNS addresses in the house. All very good, but when I set up the services none of it worked because of the built in Windows Firewall. While I could have just turned off the Firewall I decided to learn how to put the holes into the firewall to make it work with the firewall, thus maintaining better security. A quick search of the web showed me many settings, but it did not seem to cover the whole picture – then I came across the MS site Windows Firewall Settings which has things broken down into these four handy sections that shall for ever more be my guides to ports and firewalls in the Microsoft world. What is more, as you will see later, the tips in here as to how to get things working, getting over common hurdles is quite stunning too: Windows Firewall Settings: Optional Components Windows Firewall Settings: Remote Administration Tools Windows Firewall Settings: Server Roles Windows Firewall Settings: Services...
  • 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...
  • How does Home Server do Remote Access, Media Sharing, Drive Extending (Raid without Raid), Backup of desktop machines and networking without a domain

    For those who need to know: If you haven't seen them yet, there are now 5 technical briefs available on the Windows Home Server web site. They are: Remote Access Media Sharing Drive Extender Home Computer Backup Home Networking Windows Home Server Team Blog : More tech briefs ttfn David Technorati Tags: WHS , Windows Home Server
  • 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...
  • How to get DRM protected media on one PC to play on another (eg stored on a Windows Home Server, playing on a Xbox or another PC)

    This question was asked internally and I was told this is the answer - I've not been able to test it fully, but it appears to be heading in the right direction!! Q. Why can't I play files that are shared by one computer but located on different computer? A. You can use Windows Media Player 11 to share media files that are located on other computers on your home network. However, additional steps are required so that these remote files will play on the devices you are sharing them with. On the remote computer, the media files must be in shared folders. For information about sharing folders, see Windows Help and Support. On the computer that contains the library you are sharing, you must grant users permission to access remote folders, modify registry key values, and monitor the shared folders located on the remote computer. The information in this section covers only granting permissions and modifying registry values. For information about monitoring folders, see What are monitored folders? There are five...
  • Cool and useful Windows Home Server Disk Management add-in

    if Heineken did Home Server Web sites then We Got Served would be their site. I love reading the information that Terry puts on there and what is really good too is the fact that it is a UK site. Not that I object to anyone being successful in any country, but it is nice to have one on home turf too. Anyway, the latest little ditty is the Disk Management add-in from Sam Wood which shows you the status of your disks (capacity used) and where they are in the box (you have to configure this) Add-In: Windows Home Server Disk Management A new add-in was released by developer Sam Wood today, called WHS Disk Management. The add-in is an extension of the standard WHS Server Storage interface, helping users visually identify the physical disks they’re working with. Here’s how it’s used: Select one of the disks, or expand the columns after the disk ID, to see infomation about the disk. It takes awhile to render, because it’s doing a WMI crawl to find the disk controller. You get SCSI bus/port/LUN, plus disk controller....
  • Developing solutions on Windows Home Server

    Some people have asked why WHS is not available on MSDN. Well, it is largely Windows Server and eval media is easy to obtain, so for most people, this should be excellent for developing solutions. A MSDN link has also been created to get to the developer information easily - http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver Windows Home Server Windows Home Server enables families with multiple PCs to organize, share, and automatically protect documents, photos, music, and videos. Windows Home Server supports third-party applications and enables integration. Below you will find development guidance and additional resources. What is a Windows Home Server software add-in? Add-ins are supplemental programs that extend the functionality of Windows Home Server. These applications can be added to and managed by Windows Home Server via integration into the Windows Home Server Console, running as a web service on Internet Information Server, or operating in a client/server fashion. Step by Step: Developing an Add-in You develop...
  • CES (Computer Electronics Show) is coming and Microsoft will be there. Want to learn more and watch the keynote...

    I love CES. Yes, it is not business oriented, but it is great to see what everyone / anyone is doing in the consumer end of the market. Microsoft have a little silverlight site for people to find out more: This site can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ces/ :-) Notice the areas we will be talking about at the bottom of the screen shot - Windows Vista, Xbox 360, Zune, Office, Windows Live, Windows Mobile and Games for Windows... rock on!! You can find links to more information, more ways to view etc at http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080105/bill-gates-ces-2008-keynote/ ttfn David (still officially on holiday)
  • Mummy, why is there a server in the house (I had to change it for the UK audiences)

    This is a funny campaign from the Home Server team who have been blogging about their new marketing campaign. It made me smile. Have a look at the "book" and the "videos"!! Earlier I posted about our new ad campaign " Stay at Home Servers " and pointed you at the videos (the first of which are getting rave reviews ). Yesterday we posted the full contents of the hit Children's book " Mommy, Why is there a Server in the House? " for your online reading pleasure. Windows Home Server Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: fun , Home Server
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Windows Home Server - Do I need a static IP address to use the "access my photos / music from anywhere on the internet" functionality and how do I set it up anyway?

    I saw this question recently and thought I would publish the answer: "NO, nothing special is needed, although your ISP must allow web port access" Windows Home Server uses a dynamic DNS service to enable access to http://<servername>.homeserver.com , can configure your router to open the appropriate ports (80, 443, and those needed for remote access) and if you share a guest password to your friend/relatives, they will be able to browse your pictures. More information on the domain can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/archive/2007/08/08/homeserver-com.aspx To do it, open the Home Server Console Open the settings page Go to the remote access page Select the change or configure option to get to the main wizard Type in your Windows Live ID details (only 1 domain per ID / server) Choose the domain name you want Confirm the domain is available and press go that is it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Tips , homeserver.com
  • Windows Home Server - 120 evaluation CDs, Why get it and what is it about

    I am sure you have seen me blog about home server before ( Windows Home Server is coming ... What can it do- , Microsoft announces Home Server - ever want something like SBS, but targeted at home users with ) and others: ActiveWin - http://www.activewin.com/awin/comments.asp?HeadlineIndex=41455 Firing Squad - http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=18172 Gizmodo - http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/windows-home-server/the-windows-home-server-nitty-gritty-319130.php Sean Alexander - http://blog.seanalexander.com/2007/11/05/HPMediaSmartServerAvailableForPreorderShippingWin30Days.aspx PC Retail - http://www.pcretailmag.com/news/28935/Windows-Home-Server-to-launch-today Well, you can now obtain a 120 day eval if you want to see what it is all about without spending huge amounts of money (approx £5 for shipping in the UK): Why wait? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit now to protect, connect, and organize your photos, videos, music and more. For those who want to know more, there is the Home...
  • How amazing in Windows Home Server? We Got Served blog shows that Paul Thurrott thinks it is amazing and a sign that innovation is alive and kicking at Microsoft. And no, small businesses should still go for SBS

    I just love the extract that Terry has pulled out at Paul Thurrott Reviews Windows Home Server | We Got Served . It shows that the SBS team who produced Windows Home Server (WHS) are a very good bunch at delivering solution oriented servers. Paul Thurrott Reviews Windows Home Server Posted by: Terry Walsh If you remain to be convinced by Windows Home Server, Paul Thurrott’s review offers an enthusiastic, yet balanced view of its strengths and weaknesses… thanks for the shout-out, Paul. Overall, WHS is a wonderful solution for problems you never knew you had. But make no mistake, these are very real problems that need to be addressed, and WHS does so in spectacular fashion. I’m looking forward to what the Home Server team does next, but even now in this initial release, they’ve spun some magic. Anyone who doubts whether innovation is alive and well at Microsoft simply needs to take a look at this product. Highly recommended Some people have asked me if WHS should go into small businesses and most of the time the...
  • Back from holiday, blog site mails and comments being processed today / tonight. 1st step of upgrades done, Windows Home Server to serve pictures

    I'm Back!! I have a stack of e-mails, posts and comments to respond to (434 e-mails that require a response left). I hope to do this today / tonight. I upgraded my Windows Home Server from Evaluation to RTM over the weekend which was the cause of the planned downtime. I also took the time to write the process of moving the blog from one machine to another, so I am now fully prepared should I have to do that again. Holiday was fab as was the location. I have uploaded a few photos to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1167.aspx and to show off the home server and a add-in called Whiist - http://overton.homeserver.com/lakes07 Unlike last year where Lizzy meant that I did a bit of sleeping (see the UKSBSGUY site logo), it was nice to get out. You can see the how nice the scenery was: Nice walks with the family Anyway, that is a quick extra add-in for Home Server and a few piccies from my week off. Now, back to those e-mails. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Personal , Windows Home Server
  • And another great thing about Windows Home Server - Vista gives instant searches on all files on the home server shares

    Someone asked today why Windows Home Server has the Windows Desktop Search tool on the box and the reply that came back I thought was worth of a blog entry. When you connect to a share on Windows Home Server (eg \\homeserver\music ) and do a search in the top right corner, then your Vista PC will search the WDS index and not the actual files, meaning that I can search by 400 albums for anything related to Disney in about 1/4 of a second :-) Nice! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Vista , Windows Desktop Search
  • Windows Home Server to be made available on MSDN?

    I have to admit that this is not what I had been told, but Some think Windows Home Server will not be made available on MSDN .. if it is hurray, if not, then it will be back to an eval copy or god forbid... buying one!! Windows Home Server to be made available on MSDN? October 9th, 2007 — Philip Churchill It has been announced on the MSDN Subscriptions Weblog that their acquisitions team is working with the product group to include Windows Home Server in the MSDN offering. The WebLog which is run by the managers of the online and offline MSDN Subscription program stated that they expect WHS will be offered, but do not have an estimate of availability. Windows Home Server to be made available on MSDN? « MS Windows Home Server ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , MSDN
  • deFrag That Windows Home Server! « Ramblings of a Home Server User

    Data on disks needs defragging. This is an age old wise saying associated with PCs. Windows Home Server is no different, however traditional defrag tools will struggle with the disk layout of Windows Home Server. To this end, WHS specific tools are beginning to ship and Tom has provided some details on his blog. deFrag That Windows Home Server! Posted on September 21, 2007 by Tom Two new defragmentation products are hitting the market for Windows Home Server. 1. Raxco PerfectDisk 8.0 for Windows Home Server The Power of PerfectDisk PerfectDisk 8 for Windows Home Server brings the power of PerfectDisk 8 to the Windows Home Server environment. Complete single-pass disk defragmentation and optimization, along with PerfectDisk’s exclusive Space Restoration Technology’s free space consolidation are easily available to the Windows Home Server drives. Download Evaluation Edition | Purchase Diskeeper for Windows Home Server 2. Diskeeper 2008 for Windows Home Server Diskeeper 2007 for Windows Home Server will not be available...
  • Do you want to write code for Windows Home Server? Do you want intellisense to make it easier?

    I came across this and thought I would share it. Microsoft have released the SDK for Windows Home Server, but you don't get intellisense with it. The SDK can be found at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa496121.aspx . HomeServerControls Documentation for Developers If intellisense, public classes and methods mean absolutely anything to you, then Brendan Grant is your man. Due to the lack of intellisense documentation, he has compiled an XML file and an accompanying help file explaining what some of the public classes and methods exposed by HomeServerControls do. More information and the downloads are on Brendan’s blog and also on the accompanying thread on the Windows Home Server forums. HomeServerControls Documentation for Developers « MS Windows Home Server ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Windows Home Server , Intellisense
  • Windows Home Server is coming ... What can it do?

    Unless you have been living under a stone it is probable that you know that Windows Home Server is coming to a shop near you very soon. Home Server is priced very keenly and offers a number of great facilities, but also has some restrictions on it. So, what does Home Server do: Centralised Unlimited Storage Sharing via folders, a web site that can be accesses from any internet connection, with PCs, game consoles and more Protection against failure of your connect PCs, your precious data (photos etc) any disk including the system disk in the home server and against unpatched PCs A platform for add-ins That is it - it is a great file and media home server that has amazing remote access and backup capability. It is still a Windows Server, built by the same team that deliver SBS, but it has some restrictions: It is not designed to be a Domain Controller It is often sold by OEMs as a headless (no monitor or keyboard to set it up) device with no requirement to ever use a keyboard or mouse Some server software might...

(c)David Overton 2006-18