Exchange 2010 Queue Viewer Error

Customer is running Exchange 2010 SP3 on a Windows 2012 Server. Email is running fine. But whenever I open up Queue Viewer and try to drill down to a message detail, I get the following popup error message:

Cannot process argument transformation on parameter ‘BookmarkObject’. Cannot convert the “Microsoft.Exchange.Data.QueueViewer.PropertyBagBasedMessageInfo” value of type “Deserialized.Microsoft.Exchange.Data.QueueViewer.PrpopertyBagBasedMessageInfo” to type “Microsoft.Exchange.Data.QueueViewer.ExtensibleMessageInfo”.

image

It appears that others have been encountering this same error for over a year (see this thread from Microsoft forum). The very last post in this thread offers a “resolution” to the issue, if you wish to call  it a resolution.

image

In KB2931150, Microsoft says that this error is a known bug, and instead of using the Queue Viewer utility from EMC, you should use the Exchange power shell “Get-Queue” command.

So let’s open up the EMC Power Shell and try a couple of commands!

To get a list of queued messages, type get-queue and press enter.

image

To get details on a particular message, first take note of a specific message identity you wish to view. Then type get-queue –identity exchangeserver\messageid | fl and press enter

image

For a full list of options with the Get-Queue command, type get-help get-queue and press enter

image

 

Open up the EMC Shell, and type “get-queue” and press Enter. A list of queued messages will display

te

Microsoft Security Essentials Crashing on XP

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Microsoft’s free anti-virus program for personal use, and for businesses with 10 or less computers. Microsoft has indicated that is you already have MSE installed on Windows XP, then it will be supported and updated for another year, given that XP is no longer a supported platform.

To my surprise, I was at a client’s office on Wed April 16th and powered up two XP workstations. Both of them hung for the longest time right after logging in. Once they did come up, I was presented with various error messages about MSE. With no time to investigate, I went ahead and uninstalled MSE and then installed a different anti-virus program.

Today, I heard that the a bad definition file might have been the cause.

IT Camp: Windows 8 in Tampa

Microsoft will be hosting a Windows 8.1 IT Camp on Friday May 9, 2014 from 9am-4pm. The day long session is titled “Empowering People-Centric IT with Windows 8.1 for Professionals”. The audience for this hands-on event is geared for IT Decision Makers and IT Managers.

image

This event takes place at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida. The address is: 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609

Click here to register

Windows XP End of Support coming this Tuesday

In case you have missed it, Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system will not receive any new security updates beginning Tuesday April 8th.  

image

Yes, this is a true statement. So, how does this impact you?

WINDOWS XP

Keep in mind that Windows XP will continue to run after Tuesday. It just means that Microsoft will not be pushing out any new security updates for the product after this date. Nor will Microsoft provide technical assistance. This could be an issue for people using Windows XP in regulated industries, such as legal, financial or medical. Microsoft, of course, is recommending that you to move to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Microsoft’s free anti-virus software. If your XP computer has MSE installed, you may already have seen popup windows warning you support for the XP operating system is ending. These warnings may lead you to believe that MSE will stop working on April 8th and that your computer will not be protected. But that is a false assumption.

If you already have MSE installed, Microsoft will continue to upgrade anti-virus definitions for that product for another year! However, after Tuesday, if you have Windows XP, and you try to install MSE, you will be blocked from doing so.

THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE

Since Windows XP will no longer be a “supported” operating system after Tuesday, it is possible that various third party software companies may also choose sometime in the future to stop supporting or selling their product on Windows XP. If you have a specific concern about a particular product, you should contact the vendor of your software.

SHOULD I UPGRADE?

Eventually, yes.

Windows XP was released 14 years ago. A lot has changed in that time. Look at it this way: perhaps you have a 14 year old TV or car or washing machine. Not only does it still work, but you’ve grown to accept and understand it’s little quirks. It’s become familiar to you, and you would like to keep it for as long as you can.

The thought of getting a new TV or Washer or car may be frightening to you because all these new items have all sorts of fancy new features and gadgets that you’re not sure of. Moving from Windows XP to Windows 7/8 will be a similar challenge.

Yes, it is possible to install Windows 7/8 onto your current Windows XP computer, and not lose any data. However, if your XP computer is more than 3-4 years old, I would NOT recommend doing so. It’s like putting new wine into an old wine skin. That old wine skin is apt to break sooner than later!

The other issue is to determine whether the various software programs you are using on your XP workstation will run under Windows 7/8. To help you in this process, Microsoft does provide a Windows Upgrade Compatibility tool that will check all your software and hardware, and let you know which will work and which may need to be replaced or upgraded if you move to Windows 7/8.

Read more from Microsoft:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

If you have questions, please contact me and we can determine the best solution for you.

WHS 2011 and UEFI GPT Partitions

Yes, this info is a year old, but I’m just getting around to having customers by Windows 8.1 computers Smile

One of my customers is using a Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 system to backup his office computers. He just obtained a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop. I install the WHS connector, and attempt to backup the laptop, and it died sitting at 1%. I rebooted both the laptop and the server, with the same result. Both systems are current on patches.

Then I discover that there is a Microsoft hotfix for the WHS server that is required to properly backup computers with UEFI/GPT disk partitions.

image

There are plenty of web sites posting this information, but none fully address the process, which I will do. What the KB article does NOT tell you is that after installing the hotfix, the workstation will need to apply an update to the Launchpad before the backup will function properly.

Part 1 – from the WHS Server

  1. Login to the WHS system, and go to the Microsoft KB2781272 link and click on the button “Hotfix Download Available –>”
  2. You will be offered three versions of the hotfix. the first version listed is the most recent one.
  3. Select it, and fill in your email address. Microsoft will send you an email with a link to download the file
  4. Look for the email, download the file and move it over to a temp directory on the WHS server. I created a temp folder labeled “UEFI-Hotfix” under the Downloads folder.
  5. Double click on the file, which is a self-executing zip file, and it will expand out the contents to your temp directory. If you are not able to do so, right click on the file and look to see if the file has been “blocked”. If so click on the Block button.
  6. You will be prompted to select a folder to unzip the file. Use the “Browse” button and go to the temp folder you created.
  7. Locate the actual hotfix file (labeled Windows6.1-KB2781272-x64.msu, double click and install it.
  8. You will be prompted to reboot the server

Part 2 – from the Windows 8.1 computer

  1. From the computer in question, startup the WHS Launchpad. Note: you don’t need to sign in, just start it up.
  2. You should then see a task activity button indicating that an update to the LaunchPad is being installed.
  3. Once that is finished, you should be able to successfully create a backup.

Windows 2012 No Remote Desktop License Servers Available

Customer site is running Windows Server 2012 Essentials and a Windows 2012 Terminal Server. User contacts me to report that she was unable to connect into the Terminal Server from Remote Web Access (RWA). I tried, and got the same error message when I tried to access the Terminal Server:

The remote session was disconnected because there are no Remote Desktop License Servers available to provide a license. Please contact the server administrator

I knew it was not an RWA issue because I could RWA into the 2012 Essentials server. A quick search and I found a post that indicates that there is a bug with 2012 RDS session hosts where they will not look to the licensing server for CALs when the grace period ends. Although I would like a permanent fix, the following solution resolved the crisis at hand.

The solution is to delete a specific registry key relating to the grace period, and then reboot the server.

  1. Open up the registry editor on the Terminal Server
  2. Browse down to: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM
  3. Make a backup copy of the GracePeriod registry key
  4. Then you can Delete the GracePeriod registry key
    image
  5. Note: if you are not able to delete the key, you need to give yourself permission:
    Right click on the GracePeriod key and assign ‘full control’ permission to the administrator account.
    You should then be able to delete the key.
    image
  6. Reboot the server and check it out.

Ballad of a WiFi Hero

I don’t normally post a video on this site, but anyone who has helped a parent or grandparent or friend with an Internet issue at home will get a good laugh over this very clever animated video. Enjoy!

 

Roboform for Windows 8 Phone

I’ve used Roboform on my main desktop for years to store and manage my logins and passwords to web sites. So, when I purchased my Windows 8 Phone (Lumia 920) back in November 2012, I was disappointed (to say the least) when I discovered that Roboform did not have an app for my phone.

Lo and behold, after waiting for more than a year, Roboform finally released version 1.0 of their Windows 8 Phone app. I will let you read all the complaints and criticisms from people about this first release.

For me, it installed and worked without a hitch. Intuitive? No, but if I can figure out how to make it work, I’m sure you can. Here are some actual screenshots of my first attempt at using the new Roboform app v1.0:

Step 1

Go to the Windows Store on your phone, and search for Roboform and download the app.

wp_ss_20140309_0001  wp_ss_20140309_0002

Step 2

Next, login using your Roboform login name and password. The settings page is pretty sparse, and I did not change them from the default.

wp_ss_20140309_0003  wp_ss_20140309_0004

Step 3

For my first attempt, I decided to see if I could access my Twitter web page, which I hardly do. Type in the Twitter URL, and it then takes me to the mobile version of their login page.

wp_ss_20140309_0005  wp_ss_20140309_0006

Step 4

Look down at the bottom of the screen, and when I press the left icon (highlighted by the arrow), it displays for me the two Twitter login accounts that I have previously saved in Roboform from my desktop.

wp_ss_20140309_0007a  wp_ss_20140309_0008

Free eBook on Migrating and Managing Office 365

imageThe folks at apress have made available as a free download the eBook titled “Office 365: Migrating and Managing Your Business in the Cloud”. The book is jammed-pack with information, including a hands-on tutorial of Office 365, and covers in-depth what you need to do to migrate to Office 365/

This 680 page book is available in EPUB, MOBI and PDF format.

Here is a partial list of chapter titles:

  imageimage

Outlook 2010 displays Autodiscover Security Certificate Alert window at startup

I had a customer with an SBS 2008 server who called this past week to say that they were getting the following popup alert when starting up Outlook 2010:

The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site

SNAGHTML17ae3bd2

I ran the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer to test Autodiscover for this customer. And sure enough, it was failing the test to validate the server name.

Certificate name validation failed. Host name xxx.com doesn’t match any name found on the server certificate.

The first article I reviewed was KB 940726. Although the title of this KB article indicates that it was written for Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007, it is also applicable to Outlook 2010 and Exchange 2010. It covers how to change the internal URL for the Autodiscover service stored inside Exchange via Exchange PowerShell commands.

However, in my case, the PowerShell command get-ClientAccessServer | fl was showing that the AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri field was showing the correct URL.

SNAGHTML17bae007

In talking with other MVPs, it appears that the issue may have to do with someone making changes to the domain name “A” or “cName”. I am still tracking that down.

But meanwhile, I was looking for a quick solution to at least suppress those popup alerts on a short-term basis, as I was going to be traveling for the next several days.

More research lead me to this blog post from Tipst3r titled: “Turn off Autodiscover for Outlook”, which was a recommendation for adding a registry key called “Exclude ScpLookup”. I gave it a try, but it did not appear to work. Also, I wanted more information as to what this registry key did, and why.

So, on further searching, I found Microsoft’s KB 2212902 titled: “Unexpected Autodiscover behavior when you have registry settings under the \Autodiscover key”. This article listed seven different optional registry settings that one might create and use.

I started working with these options, and found that using the following three options (setting them to a value of “1”) would disable the “security certificate is invalid or does not match” popup window from appearing:

  • ExcludeScpLookup
  • ExcludeHttpsAutoDiscoverDomain
  • ExcludeSrvRecord

image

I’m not one to generally implement a workaround. So part of this was just a desire to understand more what was going on “under the covers”, so to speak. I will be testing out making the recommended changes to the domain records later, but since I will be gone for a week, I did not want to make such changes at this time.