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.  

David Overton's Blog

  • Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 60 day trial (download)

    Microsoft Office system - Office Small Business 2007 English 60 Day trial (Not to US - [ed - makes a change for it to be excluding US rather than only US]) (download it) Source: Microsoft Office Online Technorati tags: Office 2007 , Office Small Business , Office Live , Trial
  • Office Accounting Professional 2008 ships in the UK ... download the free Express version, buy or try the Professional version for extra features (Multi user, SQL support, sales order, purchase order etc) and also sign up for online services (Paypal, BACS

    Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2008 It is finally here!! There are 2 major versions - the free version and the paid for version, plus a number of add-on services you might want to buy too. You can get lots of information at http://www.msofficeaccounting.co.uk/default.aspx and if you are an accountant then the Microsoft Professional Accounting Network is for you ( http://accounting.microsoft.com/mpanuk.aspx ). You can download the Express Version here: You can Download Free Trial here It says about itself: Microsoft® Office Accounting Professional is an easy to use, comprehensive accounting package that works with other Office applications you already know. Easy to learn and use Works just like Word, Excel and Outlook Get started in minutes with wizards that import your data Save time managing everyday tasks Share and reuse data across Word, Excel and Outlook Manage customers, suppliers, employees and stock Pay bills, track expenses, send invoices and bank online Get a complete view of your business Run...
  • How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista

    My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it appeared to be that the .Net Framework had been corrupted. We did all the usual things of looking in "Add/Remove Programs" etc, adding service packs etc all to no avail. I then came across this blog entry and a fix started to come to light How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to try to resolve various bugs. As I previously described here , the 2.0 and 3.0 versions are installed as OS components on Windows Vista and do not appear in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel. Many of the customers I have heard from have tried to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool , but it does not list the .NET Framework 2.0 as a valid removal option when it is run on Windows Vista. This is by design - the cleanup tool does...
  • 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...
  • Help and Support Service not working / there after Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is applied to a machine

    I had some apps fail on my machine yesterday after I got back from the TechNet event, so off I went to diagnose. It was then that I discovered that the help and support service had gone. Vanished, Vamoosh. I did find this little baby in the event log though: Event Type: Error Event Source: HELPSVC Event Category: None Event ID: 16387 Date: 14/03/2007 Time: 11:44:31 User: N/A Computer: SERVER Description: Service could not be deleted Being of a speedy nature I fired a mail off internally only to be told "yep, we know about and are investigating and we have already blogged about it" - http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/03/20/help-and-support-service-missing-after-installing-windows-2003-service-pack-2.aspx There is a fix there, which I used, works and is great, so no harm done, just a small panic.
  • SBS 2008 now available for download on MSDN

    Hi there folks, so following on from my recent post on the fact that SBS 2008 has released to manufacturing (which means it will be in the shops soon), I saw today that SBS 2008 is now available to download from MSDN : I did notice that there is currently a slight mis-print in that it appears there are two disks for the x86 Windows Server 2008 disk, where as the 2nd one is actually the x64 disk (as noted in the ISO number).   It is also worth stating that for SBS 2008, to remove any issues around “Compatibility”, for those applications that are fussy, simply run them on the premium server which is Server 2008, so runs anything that you could run on Server 2008.   Go grab if you can’t wait to get it any other way … note that you only need disk 1 to install, but the rest to understand recovery and Premium solutions.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBSC , SBS , Small Business Server 2008 , Small Business , Developer , MSDN , Partners , Microsoft , Download , SBS 2008
  • Are you finding Outlook Web Access (OWA or e-mail from Remote Web Workplace) is showing errors or "image not found" red crosses when accessed from Vista? Another catch by Kevin at Neoblog

    I'm beginning to think I need a subscription from Neoblog to appear higher in my list. I have not tested this, so let me know if there are any issues, but here is the information he has posted. OWA and Vista Posted on February 14th, 2007 by Kevin Higerty If you use Outlook Web Access and have recently upgraded to Vista you will find that you can’t reply or do any action on an email, typically the edit area shows a ‘image not found’ red x in the corner. This is because Windows Vista no longer includes support for the ActiveX control that is used for HTML editing in Outlook Web Access, you need to apply a hotfix to Exchange. Source, more details and the link to the fix: neoblog » OWA and Vista ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Exchange 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBS 2003 , Small Business Server 2003 , Outlook Web Access , OWA
  • 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
  • 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 use the Windows Anytime Upgrade tools

    [Please also read the Action Pack FAQ on this blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/13/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx ] If you want to electronically upgrade from one version of Vista to another then the Windows Anytime Upgrade tools are for you. To understand what versions you can upgrade from, have a look at Why Windows Vista Home can only be Upgraded to Home Ultimate online, but can upgrade via retail . You then need to go to one of the merchants. Mike P posted about this pointing out: So i notice the upgrade links are now working (www.windowsanytimeupgrade.com/maps and https://emea.windowsanytimeupgradestore.com/WAU_DIRECT/home.aspx ) although I'm a little puzzled as to why it costs £110 PER LICENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! MS has arranged several merchants to provide this upgrade service to consumers (as well as providing it direct throught he urls above). There is a huge discrepancy in the pricing... Comet -> https://comet.windowsanytimeupgrade...
  • How to add Public Folder Contacts to the list of Address Books in Outlook so anyone can send e-mail to a shared contact

    I was recently asked by someone how to do this. Considering the fact that there are pre-defined public folders in SBS, including those for contacts I thought it was worth sharing this with a wider audience. Set this up for a customer using SBS and they can easily share contacts across the whole business. Add the contacts folder to the favourties list and they are also cached offline :-) I found the answer by experimentation, but then this article describes it well too. The magic tab in Office 2007 (and 2003) is pictured below from my system. How to add Public Folder Contacts to the list of Address Books First thing you need to make sure that the public folders has a contact list created. Also, double check the permissions so that your users can view the contact list. To setup the Contact List in the Address Book navigate to your public folder and find the contact list you want to add. Right-click on the Contacts Folder and click properties . Click on the Outlook Address Book tab. Check the box next to “Show...
  • 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...
  • Version 7 of Sync for SkyDrive

    Thank-you for your interest in Sync for SkyDrive. Following all the feedback from version 1, 2 and 6 I’ve finished release 7 (version number 7.0.0.2 in the store) and submitted to the Windows Store where it will be available here: The tool is not free, but it is at the lowest price point I can make for the Windows Store (from the UK). The purpose of the tool is very simple, to enable you to synchronise chosen folders from Microsoft SkyDrive to a Windows RT (or Windows 8) device. While I would like this to be something that happened automatically, the processing time required does not fit into the Microsoft allowed timings for a Windows RT/8 device for battery consumption, so this is still a “user initiated process”. While Windows 8 has a synchronisation tool for the desktop, Windows RT does not, so here is my offering in this space. How does it work The tool scans chosen folders on SkyDrive and the matching folders on your Windows RT device and draws up a list of differences. You can then choose...
  • If the Action Pack changes are annoying you, then it is time to stand up and be counted ... by Microsoft

    I'm going to give you a small insight into the inner workings of Microsoft. It is very simple. We work on numbers - some would say just like any computer ;-) Anyway, one number we monitor is partner satisfaction and one measure of this is by how many people are phoning or mailing us and complaining about things (or saying how great they are). I was recently told that while the feedback from this blog and others is spurring change the impact of the Action Pack is not being seen on our satisfaction scores and that the numbers have been favourable (i.e. less people have been phoning in and complaining). So... If you want Action Pack changed - you need to tell us through an official channel for it to be heard louder. It is as simple as that. If 1,000 partners phone Microsoft to complain about it, that is a stronger message than if 100+ people post comments on the blog. How do you contact Microsoft - click this link and the telephone numbers for all around the world can be found! Link to Contact Microsoft thanks, and...
  • How to start an administrative (or elevated) command prompt and tell if you got it right (in Vista)

    I have had a few people tell me that they have had problems getting an administrative command prompt up and running in Vista. If you have done it correctly then a windows will open just like the one to the left. Notice that it has opened into the X:\windows\system32 directory and that it has the title "Administrator: X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe. Anything else and I would be suspicious. The process is simple - do either of these Click Start , click All Programs , and then click Accessories . Right-click Command Prompt , click Run as administrator or Click Start Type cmd into the search box and wait for Command Prompt or cmd.exe to appear in the list Press CTRL-Shift-Enter Either way, you should get an User Account Control (UAC) prompt appear with a BLUE banner on the top - press Continue here. For more information on User Account Control go to here ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Elevate , run as Administrator , Vista Ultimate , Security
  • SBS 2008 Install process (in pictures)

    Having announced the SBS preview at SBS 2008 RC0 Public Preview I’ve tried to capture the SBS install process in pictures – I don’t think it needs much explanation. If you have an OEM then much of this will be resolved by the Answer kit. To find out about the OEM install process, have a look at TechNet Edge Video- SBS 2008 setup . Other blogger's have covered the release: http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/05/windows-small-business-server-2008_28.html http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/05/28/announcing-small-business-server-2008-rc0-public-preview.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/sbsaustralia/archive/2008/05/29/sbs-2008-public-beta-now-available-come-get-it.aspx SBS 2008 starts with something akin to Windows Server 2008 and / or Vista Setup Once this is completed, there are extra steps that are specific to SBS 2008: It is possible that your system does not meet quite the right specification – mine has less than 4GB of RAM, while not a blocker, is a warning! You need to set...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Was Vista's arrival a surprises to anyone? No? Then how come so many people were unprepared - hardware vendors, ISVs, even Microsoft to an extent

    Lets start off by saying this is a RANT. If you don't like rants, look away now. I saw this in CRN and it made me laugh and cry. We have seen news that iTunes has undisclosed issues with Vista (even after being fixed ), poor drivers from nVidia and others and even enough to stop a BBC reporter from getting it going , yet from the list below, most are down to 3rd parties. I have only a little sympathy for hardware partners who didn't get drivers out - I was at WinHEC 3 and 2 years ago when the need to build drivers was hammered home. I have seen the offers of help to ISVs to get their applications working. I have seen the large amount of online training available for partners of all sizes to understand the benefits of the products. However, I have also seen the difficulties people have in when to bet on Vista and deploy the resources - I think its success has taken a few people by surprise! Microsoft is certainly happy with the launch . If like me, when you have 2 years to solve a problem it is always tomorrows...
  • Action Pack Subscribers get Full Windows Vista DVDs - not upgrades and they also get a copy of Ultimate too, plus a stack of materials to sell the product

    Full, not Upgrade Vista product Well anyone who says we don't listen is just talking rubbish!! What am I talking about - I'm talking about the Action Pack and Windows. We moved to non OEM media and boy did it cause a stink, but that has changed again. According to Important changes for Action Pack Subscribers regarding Windows Vista while you are still required to have a legal license for a machine (FPP or OEM) you can now apply full copies (i.e. do a bare metal install) without having to do a double install. There are also a stack of sales materials coming too (I've copied some of the points from the link below): Partner feedback has enabled Microsoft to make the Windows Vista operating system even better. Now you can reap the benefits. Sell more with hardware, software and services built around Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1). And learn how we're making it easier than ever for you to learn, use and sell Windows Vista. Based on partner feedback, we've taken action to improve the partner...
  • Sync for SkyDrive–version 2 for Windows RT and Windows 8

    Version 2 of Sync for SkyDrive [9th March 2013] A new version of the application is now in the Windows Store. You can find details of it here . Thank-you for your interest in Sync for SkyDrive. Following all the feedback from version 1, I’ve finished version 2 and submitted to the Windows Store. When it is released I will update this with store location. The tool is not free, but it is at the lowest price point I can make for the Windows Store (from the UK). The purpose of the tool is very simple, to enable you to synchronise chosen folders from Microsoft SkyDrive to a Windows RT (or Windows 8) device. While I would like this to be something that happened automatically, the processing time required does not fit into the Microsoft allowed timings for a Windows RT/8 device for battery consumption, so this is still a “user initiated process”. While Windows 8 has a synchronisation tool for the desktop, Windows RT does not, so here is my offering in this space. How does it work The tool scans chosen...
  • 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...
  • Upgrading from Windows Vista Home to Vista Business or Vista Ultimate

    Sometimes some people end up with a copy of Windows Vista Home on a machine that they want to use in a business environment. The Windows Anytime Upgrade provides for people moving to Ultimate, but if you just want to move to Business, then this is what you need to know. Windows Vista Home SKUs qualify to use VUP FPP media As the home SKUs have some features that are not present in the business SKU, you have to do a clean install, the same as for Action Pack Upgrades (see How to do a clean install using upgrade media ). You can however do an in-place upgrade to Ultimate. The only media you can use to perform the home to business upgrade is retail upgrade media To preserve the settings that apply and documents etc, you can export your files and settings and then re-import them on the new system using the Easy Transfer Wizard, although things such as parental controls etc would not be there, so no longer work thanks David Technorati tags: Upgrades , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Setting up Yahoo Mail Plus (the paid for service) for Pop3 download into Outlook 2007

    I have had someone ask me about POP3 mail and Outlook 2007 wiht Yahoo mail, so here is a walk through. Go to the tools menu and select Account Settings. press New selected the top option filled in my details and clicked next let it finish processing job done Going back to Account settings screen I see that the settings are not quite the same as the details at http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/original/mailplus/pop/pop-36.html Clicking More Settings the last tab needed some changing from the screen on the left to the screen on the right that is it - SSL based login and e-mail working ttfn David Technorati tags: yahoo mail , Outlook 2007
  • Windows Essential Business Server announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the Essential Business Server 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . <snipped> Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for Midsize Companies Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is designed for the needs of midsize organizations with up to 250 desktops, helping IT professionals take control of their systems, reduce time spent “fighting fires” and focus more on strategic efforts to drive business growth. The solution includes built...
< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next > ... Last »

(c)David Overton 2006-20