SBS 2011 Standard: Add a PSConfig Email Alert

sbsstdA client called me today to say ‘we cant get on the internet’, I asked what happened when they loaded up the browser, and they got a 503 Service Unavailable.

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Quick Fix: SBS Essentials Client Backup – Drive Offline?

sbsessI recently added my Laptop to my Essentials server, so it would be backed up.

At the time i had 2 partitions a C and a D partition. Whilst reconfiguring my laptop to dual boot Windows 2008 R2 I decided, following a conversation with Tim Barrett, to boot the Windows 2008 install from a VHD, rather than a partition. So i decided to remove that D partition.

After doing this, the Backups kept failing.

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SBS 2011 Essentials : PowerShell Cmdlets

sbse-conPowerShell is pretty cool. There does not seem to be much you can’t find out with it, or configure with it.

Not being a developer i struggle to build complex PowerShell scripts

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Quick Fix: SBS 2008 ‘Sites’ Self Signed Certificate Expired

SBS2008Please note this article is not for renewing expired certificates used with remote web access!

I had a call today from a partner IT firm who we work with sometimes that had an issue on an SBS 2008 Server. One of the default SSL Certificates had expired, and in turn knocked out Sage 200 that was installed and running on this server. Sage links into the Default website and some of its operations require an SSL certificate. I wont pretend to understand what or why or even how because what i know about Sage can be written on top of a pin head with a power drill.

However, i did manage to help said partner replace his SSL Certificate and make Sage a happy bunny again.

Firstly i found that on my own SBS 2008 server,

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Quick Fix : Did I Update or Did I Not Update, that is the question!

powershell2xa4I currently have a number of books on my desk that i use for reference, you may have heard of them, read them, bought them, stolen them, sorry, borrowed them etc, Anyway they wont be a new idea to you, i don’t mean books in general i mean these particular books. I am of course referring to the Administrators Pocket Consultant series from Microsoft Press.

All of them unnervingly seem to be written by the same person, Mr William R Stanek. Anyway there is a point to this.

I have been answering questions in the forum recently and i find myself asking the OP, hey do you have XYZ update installed?

They usually reply, how do i check?

Of course i refer them to their Administration journal, which clearly shows the date and time any update had passed testing and was approved for installation, the name of the tech who logged onto the server, the colour of his socks he had on whilst he installed it. Of course it could have been a her.

Knowing many of you don’t keep such a journal only saddens me, i like to know what colour socks i had on, on a given day and i frequently go back and check.

I turned of course to my PowerShell Administrators Companion, and found the following command.

Never again shall you be left red faced by the question, do you have XYZ update installed? Not only will you be able to answer with confidence, you will be able to give all sorts of other detail that will really impress me.

Loading up PowerShell, you can simply type…

Get-Hotfix

get-hotfix

This will list all of the Updates, Hotfixes and Service Packs that have been installed onto the system, it will also list the date, and who installed them.

But how does that help you find a specific update? Simply add the KB number you are looking for.

Get-Hotfix –id <KB Number>

For example if i want to know if i have installed SBS Essentials Update Rollup 1, i can type..

Get-Hotfix –id KB2554629

get-hotfix-ur1

If the hotfix is not installed you will get an error.

get-hotfix-err

As easy as that.

By the way, I’m not selling these books nor do i earn commission out of their sale, but i have one of these books for pretty much every Microsoft Server/Client OS i support. They are cheap and are just full of brilliant tips such like the one i just ripped off and turned into a blog post.

SBS 2011 Standard & iPhone

sbsstdI’ve noticed a lot of people are hitting my blog with search terms like SBS2011 iPhone or words to that effect. I got to thinking that maybe some people are not interested in the technical detail in my previous posts about iPhones or iPads, and maybe they just wanted to know how to add their Exchange email to their device.

If you want to know how to configure your iPhone with Office 365 look here.

If you are looking for information on the iPhone Configuration Utility, look here.

If you are looking for information on the iPhone and AutoDiscover, look here.

If you just want me to shut up and tell you what settings you need to make your iDevice work with your new Exchange Server, read on!

Add your email to your iPhone

First from the Home screen, go to Settings.

iPhone home screen and settings

Then go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars

iPhone settings mail contacts calendars

Choose Add an Account.

iPhone add an account

Choose Microsoft Exchange

Add Microsoft Exchange

You are then asked for 5 pieces of information.

    • Email
    • Domain
    • Username
    • Password
    • Description

 iPhone exchange account details

Email

This is your email address

Domain

Your servers internal domain name. For example, ‘sbs.local’ could be your internal domain name. You can just enter ‘sbs’

Username

This is the username you use when you logon to your computer in the office.

Password

The password you use when you logon to your computer in the office.

Description

This is just a memorable name so you can distinguish between multiple email accounts on your device.

Once you have filled out this information, click on Next. Notice the device now says ‘Verifying’

iPhone Exchange email verifying account

You may be presented with a warning message regarding ‘verification of the server identity’ Click on continue.

for more info on why this happens follow my link above regarding autodiscover.

iPhone Exchange Email Autodiscover

In most cases you will now see a new box appear, called Server.

 

Server

This is the public name for your SBS Server.

iPhone Exchange Email Server Address

The default for SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 is ‘remote.company.com’

(where company.com is your email domain)

Type this in and click next. Again the phone will show as Verifying.

iPhone Exchange Email Server Address

The next page will ask if you which items you want to sync to your phone.

Click on Save when you are happy with your selection.

iPhone Exchange Email choose items to sync

Your items will now start to sync to your phone.

iPhone Exchange Email Syncd

Default Behaviour

By default the iPhone will only sync the last 3 days of content, so don’t get freaked out if all of your email is ‘missing’.

You can change the behaviour in the settings of the account.

Under, Settings, Mail, Contact, Calendars, find your account by its description. Inside here you can change the sync behaviour.

iPhone Exchange Email Account Settings

Troubleshooting Client Connector Install : SBS2011 Essentials

sbse-conThere are countless reports of problems installing the Client Connector on SBS Essentials and WHS. I’ll not mention WSSE as i don’t think anyone has even bought one yet Smile with tongue out

(that’s not true i do know people who have already deployed it)

Far more common at least, is for it to be an issue with SBSe or WHS2011.

I wanted to put together a resource for people who are struggling to get this installed, not built by me, but a collation of forum posts, solutions and tips that should either fix the issues, or point you in the right direction.

So first off, you might want to have a quick read through of this, which is my own post on how the process should work. It also gives some guidance on what to do if the profile move doesn’t work.

You may also be interested to know where the log files are for the Connector Install..

Windows XP

Log File Location, C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs

This is a hidden folder.

Windows Vista / 7

Log file location, C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs

This is a hidden folder

Did you know about the SBS 2011 Log Collector Tool?  You can read about that here

Troubleshooting the Installation

I thought it might be good to run through an install and try to monitor the logs and find out which log is most useful at which time.

The first log file, is Computerconnector.log, this shows a very high level progress indicator of the first steps of the install.

1

If you are a bit sad like me, and you do monitor the logs folder during a connector install, you will see the second log file to be generated is CSetup.log, which gives us a more detailed view of the early setup stages, for example when .NET 4 is installed.

csetup.log

You can also see that the CSetup.log file is 10kb, as opposed to Computerconnector.log 3kb.

3

When we get to the stage where you are prompted to enter your network username and password, we have a third log file. ClientDeploy.log, 

This log file picks up from CSetup.log

4

You can follow the progress of the next stage of deployment through this log file. You can see things like the tasks to locate the SBS Server, configuration of the local NIC DNS settings, and you can also spot errors and problems.

For example…

6

The log shows it has found a duplicate machine name, so it pauses the Join Domain task, to give you a chance, in the GUI to confirm you want to continue

5

And now i have hit a problem.

7

8

What you can see from the log here is that there is an Access Denied condition when trying to join the domain.

Why would that be?

In this instance, as mentioned above, a machine already existed in the domain with this name. Therefore, to join this current machine with the same name, i would need certain Active Directory (AD) permissions, which a normal network user account doesn’t have.

So how come a normal user can add a computer to the domain usually?

Whilst i don’t have the full technical answer to that question, i imagine it is something to do with certain settings have been set so that ANY account has the right to join a computer to the domain, but only the Domain Admin has the permissions to reset a machine account password, remove a machine from the domain, or overwrite a machine account in AD.

So, the solution here to get a clean join, would be to ensure any duplicate machine names have been removed from the server, either by the dashboard or through AD directly. Or simply rename the computer.

That being said, you can work around this issue by installing the connector using the Domain Admin credentials, and that will work in this situation, but doing so has it’s own caveats described here.

You might say, well i haven’t had a complete install on this PC yet so how can it possibly have a duplicate name.

To that i would say – maybe the first time you tried it, it failed on a different error? You fixed that and now attempt it again, but didn’t know to remove the account from the dashboard?

On this client, i removed the computer from the Dashboard, and re ran the connect software, using the same, NON ADMIN credentials.

In this screen shot i highlighted in Blue, where we started in the last screen shot ‘Calling Join Domain’ and ended in Red on the ‘JoinNetwork Tasks Task Status’ in Red.

9

The GUI of the wizard now shows us we need to reboot.

image

After the reboot, it is a little trickier to keep track of the logs because ‘Explorer.exe’ is not loaded up yet and we have no way to browse the logs folder.

11

So, if you want to, hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and go into task manager.

12

From task manager, click File, New Task, and then you can type in the folder path to the logs folder. (you may need to put it into quotes)

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs

13

At this point we still have just our 3 log files.

Computerconnector.log

CSetup.log

ClientDeploy.log

Looking at ClientDeploy.log again, we can see in Red where we left off, and then where the process continued, and finally in Green the reboot.

15

Let’s move on through the GUI and see what happens to the logs. I am going to leave all of the options on their defaults.

We can see the profile is migrated.

16

In the GUI i am setting to wake the computer for backup and I am setting that i want to participate in the Customer Experience program.

When clicking next in the GUI on the Customer Experience program page, the GUI will display ‘Connecting this Computer to the network’ with a nice progress indicator.

17

At this point our ClientDeploy.log file is finished up, and we can now see a new Log File appears, ClientCoreX86.msi.log

After a few minutes, you will see a whole host of new log files appears.

18

With any luck in the GUI you will then see this..

19

I’m guessing you may not have done, which is why you are reading this… So let’s go and have a quick look through the ClientCoreX86.msi.log,

We now have 19 Log files by the way… and i am slowly starting to regret getting into this. Anyway..

20

We know that ClientDeploy.log finished, and ClientCoreX86.msi.log took over. That then spawned all of these other logs, but looking at the size of ClientDeploy.log i would say that also had some more info appended.

Switching to details view, we can see in what order these logs were written to.

21

In the first stages of ClientCoreX86.msi.log we can see that UR1 for SBS Essentials is referenced, and installed.

22

Moving on you can follow a huge amount of detail in this log – far too much for me to interpret or comment on, but this will be the place to look if you get errors in your install at this point.

You may notice a reference to the other Colorado products..

23a

(Cropped here to enlarge)

24

So NAS = Windows Storage Server 2008 R2… Nice.

You can follow the log file all the way though the installation of the Launchpad program and the setting up of things like allowing remote desktop to the machine. The other logs show the progress of individual tasks like adding of scheduled tasks or installing a backup driver. (not applicable on Windows XP)

When you have finished the installation, you will total 25 log files. The key ones for the installation have already been mentioned.

26

I hope that may of been some use to anyone struggling to find a reason why their connector may not install. If it doesn’t answer the question it may at least shed some light on where you can look for the answer. Of course failing that I have Susan Bradleys home address if you need it :p

Have a look at the links below if you need more specific help.

Client Connector Installation failures :  links to forums and known solutions

Please feel free to send me any solutions i don’t have, i want to have as many as possible!

These links, have been highlighted as answering the issues in the OP, i am not making any guarantee they will solve your issue, this is just somewhere to link them all together.

Microsoft’s Official Troubleshooting Resource For SBSE Connector

Microsoft Online Help

Pending File Rename

Susan Bradleys blog post

Trust Relationship (Time Zone Error / Certificate Policy)

TechNet forum post (Time Zone)

WeGotServed forum post

Microsoft Support KB Article 278381

TechNet forum post (Certificate Policy)

Username and Password Error

TechNet forum post (Username and Password)

Installation Cancelled

TechNet forum post (Installation Cancelled)

WeGotServed forum post

TitleRequired.com Quick Fix: Installation Cancelled

Cannot Find ‘Temp Client’

WeGotServed forum post

Task Scheduler

Susan Bradleys blog post

Wiki Links

Official SBS Wiki for Client Deployment

SBS MVPs wiki for Client Deployment

General Tips

Check the system time of both the server and the client. Check the Time Zone matches as well.

You shouldn’t need to use a static IP on the client machine, but it might help during troubleshooting.

Check for the overall health of your client PC. You don’t need a client to be fully patched, nor does it need the latest browser (examples above are all from IE6) but you do need a ‘healthy’ client. If you are having problems, take a backup, use tools like CCleaner, MalwareBytes, Look for issues on the client that stop it running normally rather than an issue with the Connector itself. A good example of that is from Eriq Neale, who had an issue with a machine installing the connector, which he traced back to a screwed up Task Manager.

Tips for a Migration

I have also seen some success on migrated computers, which are already in the domain but won’t install the connector, by creating a new local user, making that account a local admin, and then running the connect installer as that person.

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