Jul 1, 2013 - Exchange, General    No Comments

How can I stop Outlook 2010 from automatically mapping all my full-access mailboxes ?

In Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Exchange introduced a feature that allows Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 clients to automatically map to any mailbox to which a user has Full Access permissions. If a user is granted Full Access permissions to another user’s mailbox or to a shared mailbox, Outlook automatically loads all mailboxes to which the user has full access.

This is a great time saver for help-desks, as in the past they had to constantly advise users how to add additional mailboxes to their profiles.

However, if you do have full access to a large number of shared / team mailboxes, this can cause performance issues with Outlook, especially during boot up.

In Exchange 2010 SP1, there was no way to turn this feature off. However, in Exchange 2010 SP2, you can use the Shell to disable this feature:

Add-MailboxPermission -Identity BillG -User ‘Ali Butt’ -AccessRight FullAccess -InheritanceType All -Automapping $false


This example grants me full access permission to BillG mailbox and disables the auto-mapping feature.




Jun 22, 2013 - Exchange    No Comments

Exchange 2010 servers constantly showing Event ID 1069 and 1558.

If you are getting events 1558 and 1069 stating “The cluster service detected a problem with the witness resource” every 15 minutes, there is now an official fix from Microsoft. I noticed an issue like this at a previous client who had a 6 node Exchange 2010 fail over cluster with 1 file share witness.

Log Name: System

Source: Microsoft-Windows-FailoverClustering

Event ID: 1069

Task Category: Resource Control Manager

Level: Error

User: SYSTEM

Computer: node01.ali-lab.com

Description: Cluster resource ‘File Share Witness (\\node02.ali-lab.com\DAG.ali-lab.com)’ in clustered service or application ‘Cluster Group’ failed. Read more »

May 19, 2013 - General, Hyper-V, Networking, VMWare    No Comments

How can I remove hidden network adapters from my Hyper-V / VMware Windows Virtual Machine

When using Windows based virtual machines, especially those deployed from templates, you may occasionally receive the notification “The IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter”

This issue occurs if a network adapter with the same IP address is in the Windows registry but is hidden in the Device Manager (My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager). This hidden adapter is called a ghosted network adapte

This can easily be removed by opening the command prompt with administrative access and typing the following command:

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
start devmgmt.msc

This will start the Device Manager. It is important to start the Device Manager from the same command prompt, since it will lose the setting to show the non present devices. If you open the Device Manager from the Control panel, the hidden devices will not show.

When the Device Manager loads, from the File menu, expand the View and select the Show Hidden Devices option. This will enable and show any old un-used devices in the window. From here, expand the Network Adapters node and you can right click on the devices which are extra and delete them accordingly.

I have seen this issue on both VMware created machines and Hyper-V

 

May 9, 2013 - Exchange    No Comments

Top 5 admin tools for Exchange Deployments and Migrations

Time to dig out some favourites from my browser and share the top Exchange admin tools / sites …

Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator – Helps you properly design Mailbox servers for your environment,
http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2009/11/09/3408737.aspx

Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (ExRCA) – Provides a test system for administrators to use to validate external connectivity to Exchange. Essential for testing your activesync / autodiscover deployments !
https://www.TestExchangeConnectivity.com

Microsoft Active Directory Topology Mapper – Reads Active Directory configuration using LDAP, and automatically generates a Visio diagram of your Active Directory and/or Exchange topology,
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=13380

Exchange Server Deployment Assistant (ExDeploy) – Generates custom instructions for moving your organization to Exchange 2010 or Office 365,
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/jj657516

Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator – Helps you predict network bandwidth requirements for a specific set of clients,
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Exchange-Client-Network-8af1bf00

 

I know I said 5, but this one is too good to ignore !…

Microsoft Active Directory Topology Mapper – Reads Active Directory configuration using LDAP, and automatically generates a Visio diagram of your Active Directory and/or Exchange topology,
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=13380

Apr 28, 2013 - General, Powershell, Scripting    1 Comment

How can I create / name a folder with today’s date?

This is very handy if you are using scripts to generate daily logs and would like to put them in a folder with the current date. You can, of course, tweak the commands to suit your requirements:

 

for /F “tokens=1-4 delims=/ ” %%A in (‘date /t’) do (
set DateDay=%%A
set DateMonth=%%B
set DateYear=%%C
)

set CurrentDate=%DateDay%-%DateMonth%-%DateYear%

md %CurrentDate%

This will give you a newly created folder with today’s date, in the format of DD-MM-YY

How can I search for all users that have the “Network Policy” set to false using PowerShell ?

If you need to search Active Directory to find users who currently have the “Network Access Permission” set to “Deny Access” on the Dial-in tab of their user account

Dial-in

run this Powershell command:

Get-ADUser -Filter {(mail -like “*”) -and (ObjectClass -eq “user”)} -Properties msNPAllowDialin | Where { $_.msNPAllowDialin -match “False” } | fl Name, msNPAllowDialin

You need to ensure you start Powershell with the AD modules installed.

Why does my Windows 2008 server keep loosing its gateway IP?

I have come across this issue and it seems most common in virtual machines. The fix I found is:

  1. Logon to the server (using ILO or virtual console)
  2. NIC settings (and write down all settings)
  3. Open a CMD prompt with elevated permissions (“Run as Administrator”)
  4. Run the command:
    netsh int ip reset
  5. Reboot the server
  6. Logon again
  7. Set the correct NIC settings
  8. Reboot the server
Feb 4, 2013 - General, Windows 2012    No Comments

How can I clean the WinSXS folder on Windows Server 2012?

WinSXS folder is the component store of Windows vista and later operating systems. Windows OS stores all its core components to WinSXS directory. The WinSXS folder is the only location that the core system components found on the system and all the system files you see in their usual locations, in the windows directory structure, are hard linked back to the WinSXS folder. WinSXS folder is the only location that OS stores its components; everything else are just hard links. To prove the later point you can use the fsutil to check the hardlinks of a system file:

So, WinSXS starts large! But why is growing larger? The answer is updates. Every time a binary updates, a new version of the whole component is released and the old version is retained for reliability reasons in the component store. The updated version of a component is projected to the system (hardlinked) but the old version is retained with no hardlinks. This is the reason an update can be safely uninstalled from the system. If you uninstall an update from the system the next higher version of the component is used and other component changes may also be triggered as a result of dependencies.

Read more »

Nov 9, 2012 - General, Windows 8    2 Comments

How can I reset my Windows 8 Administrator Password without using a 3rd party utility?

If you have forgotten your administrator password or any local account password on your machine, follow these quick steps to regain access to your machine. This process also works for Vista and Windows 7.

The only thing required is a CD/DVD/USB of your Windows Vista/7/8 ISO.

Start your computer with the above USB/DVD attached and ensure you press a key when prompted “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” :

Once your ISO has booted up (here I am using a Windows 7 ISO), click on Next :

Then click on “Repair your computer”:

 

Read more »

May 17, 2012 - Windows 7    8 Comments

How can I tell if a Windows 7 disk is 32bit or 64bit?

Sometimes you have a USB boot of Windows 7 or you have a Windows 7 DVD, but how do you actually identify if its a 32bit install or 64bit!

After searching around, I have found these 3 ways of doing it:

  1. Check the total size of the folders. 32bit Windows 7 is around 2.3GB, whereas 64bit Windows 7 is closer to 3GB
  2. Look for a file called bootmgr.efi in the root of the drive / volume. If you find it then you know its a 64bit install media
  3. The autorun.inf for 32bit install contains:

    The autorun.inf for 64bit install contains:

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