Archive for May 2013

SBSMonitoring Database is nearing maximum size

Chances are, if you have an SBS 2008 server, it is running very well. But this may lead you to become complacent in managing the server. For example, it is important that you run the SBS 2008 Best Practices Analyzer on your server on a regular basis. Whether that is monthly, or quarterly, run it!

On a recent SBS 2008 server that has been chugging along quite nicely, I discovered that BPA had not been run in quite awhile. When I did, I was greeted with this warning:

The SBSMonitoring database is nearing maximum size
The SBSMonitoring database is currently 3762487296 bytes in size


Wow, that’s nice … except for the fact that the warning message doesn’t tell you what to do to fix it or clean it up. It doesn’t even point you to a KB article.

The rest of this blog post identifies three different solutions to this problem.


Solution 1: KB 981939

If you do your due diligence in searching the web, you will come across Microsoft KB 981939. You can read through the KB article for the details, and you may want to give it a try.

When you run their PowerShell script, you may get an error about the execution of scripts. If so, simply type the following command at the PS> prompt:

Set-executionpolicy remotesigned and press Enter

But, wait — there’s a second solution!


Solution 2: Replace SBSMonitoring Database

If solution 1 fails, and you go back to search the Internet, you will discover a blog post from Third Tier titled: SBS 2008 Monitoring Database Fills to Capacity.

This solution has you replacing the current SBSMonitoring database with a new clean one. Only one problem: how many people keep a clean copy of their Monitoring database around???

No problem, there’s a third solution, which is the best!


Solution 3: Recreate the SBSMonitoring Database

Check out the SBS Blog site for How to Recreate the SBSMonitoring Database.

Simply download the provided zip file, extract the PowerShell script, start up an administrative PowerShell session, and run the script. Voila! It’s finished almost immediately.


All that is left is to rerun the BPA and verify that the warning message no longer appears!


Install Exchange 2010 SP3 on SBS 2011

Carl Gray (“Oxford SBS Guy”) has a very good, step by step blog on installing Exchange 2010 SP3 on SBS2011, including screen shots. So, there’s no need for me to replicate what he has already posted.

However, there are two critical steps he did not include:

    1. Before you start the SP3 upgrade, please go into Services and stop the Windows SBS Manager service.
    2. Please make sure that you DO NOT have Windows Management Framework (WMF) 3.0 installed on the server. Look for KB2506143. You will need to uninstall this patch and then reboot the server before you install the SP3 upgrade.

Susan Bradley has previously posted on both of these issues (see Stop SBS Manager and Uninstall WMF 3.0)

I also offer some additional advice to add to his process, which you may find helpful:

  1. When downloading the Exchange2010-SP3-x64.exe file, put it into an empty temp folder (say ..\Downloads\E2010SP3temp). Then when you double click on the .exe to extract all the files, it will extract the files to this same temp folder. Once the SP3 upgrade is completed, all you need to do for cleanup is to delete this one temp folder.
  2. I highly recommend that you make sure that you have a full, recent backup of your server before you start.
  3. I also recommend that you reboot the server BEFORE starting the upgrade process.
  4. If you are installing SP3 remotely (using RWA), be aware that you will lose your remote connection during this process. DO NOT PANIC. The SP3 upgrade will stop the RDP/Gateway service. Just be patient. Give the upgrade about 30-40 minutes to complete. Eventually you will be able to connect back in via RWA, and when you do, you should find that the upgrade has completed.
  5. If SP3 has been installed successfully, I would suggest rebooting the server again. It doesn’t hurt, and in some cases, it may help!
  6. Finally, Carl says to check that the version of Exchange is correct. Here is how I perform that step:
    1. Open up Exchange Management Shell
    2. Type the following: get-exchangeserver | fl name,edition,admindisplayversion
    3. The build number for Exchange 2010 SP3 is:

Memorial Holiday 2013

I sent the following email to all my business clients and friends today:image

I hope each of you may be able to enjoy time with your family and friends this Memorial weekend. It’s also a time to pause and give thanks to all the men and women who have given their lives to protect us. I feel blessed and honored to know so many who have served in the military. My own father was a WWII veteran, and was there on the initial landing at Iwo Jima. I still cannot fathom their sacrifice.

Please enjoy the weekend and drive safe if you are traveling.

SBS and Essentials Build Docs

For several years the SBS MVP’s have been maintaining several Wiki-type “build” documents for the SBS and Essential server platforms, including SBS 2008, SBS 2011 Standard/Essentials, Windows 2012 Essentials and Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials!


These documents contain a wealth of real-world and time-tested hints and recommendations, collected from MVPs around the world. They contain information you need to know before, during, and after installing SBS or Essentials.

This link below will take you to the main page with links to each individual build document.


Extend Keyboard and Mouse with Synergy

Last August I wrote about a utility called Mouse Without Borders, developed in Microsoft’s “The Garage”, that allows you to use one keyboard and mouse to control multiple computers. And the utility works very great.

That is, unless you also have Linux or Mac OS X computers which you also want to control with a single keyboard and mouse.

So, here comes Synergy which offers to extend your mouse and keyboard to all three environments. And did I say that it is FREE??


I decided to take it for a spin today, and I was quite surprised at how easy it was to install and run it. For this first effort, I only installed it on two Windows computers. At a later date I will post my efforts to include a Linux or Mac workstation.

My scenario: I have a Windows 7 x86 workstation with three monitors, and a Windows 2008R2 x64 server, running Hyper-V.


My mouse and keyboard that I wish to use is on my Win7 workstation. So I first downloaded the Windows 32-bit version of Synergy and installed it. I designate this as my Synergy “server”.


It then asks what type on encryption I wish to use. That’s a really nice feature as it does provide some protection from anyone trying to intercept your keystrokes. You have a choice of four (4) different encryption modes, or you can disable encryption. For purposes of testing, I chose to not enable encryption.

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The only other step to do is to click on the Configure Server… button. You will have a screen where you can describe your setup, indicating in which direction the monitor for each of the other workstation(s) is located.

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In this case, my second workstation (which Synergy refers to as a client) is running Windows Server 2008 R2 x64. I am also running Hyper-V manager on this server, so I decided to install the Synergy client to the Hyper-V parent, so I can control all of my Hyper-V guests.

So I download and install the 64 bit version of Synergy, and install it. This time, when it asks Server or Client, I’ll select “Client”. Then you need to tell the Synergy client the name of the computer that is the “Synergy “server”.

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I thought I was all done, but my mouse would not move over to the monitor attached to my server. At first I thought it was a firewall issue, but turning off the firewall on the W2K8R2 server did not fix it. In fact, if you check the firewall settings, you will find that Synergy had automatically added the proper Inbound TCP and UDP rules.


I then checked Services, and discovered that the Synergy service had not yet been started.


After doing so, I immediately saw that Synergy was communicating between the two computers, and my single mouse and keyboard was now controlling both computers!