MVP Roadshow in Tampa

On Monday Sept. 22, 2014, Microsoft and Microsoft MVPs will be sponsoring a half day free seminar entitled “Transforming the Datacenter MVP Roadshow” at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida.

Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow

But don’t let the title dissuade you from attending. Topics for this session will include:

  • Migrating from Windows Server 2003
  • Comparing public, private and hybrid cloud approaches
  • New features in Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Understanding Microsoft Azure service offerings
  • Getting started with moving data, apps and services to the cloud
  • And much more!

We know that you have busy schedules, and so we have planned this morning’s event to be packed full of information. We will start with breakfast at 9am, with three sessions, followed by lunch during a final Q&A session. We plan to have things wrapped up by 1:15pm.

Register for the event now! and read more details on this free seminar.
Please note: when registering, you can skip the field labeled invitation referral code.

  • Date: Monday September 22, 2014
  • Time: 9am to 1:15pm
  • Location: Microsoft Office. 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609

Windows Update Advisory

Last week Microsoft rolled out a large set of updates that cover both the Windows operating system and Microsoft Outlook. In my testing, the updates have installed fine. However, Microsoft has indicated that they have since removed some of the Windows OS updates from distribution on Friday – based on early feedback from users that they may cause a “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD) situation.

The most sever case is with MS14-045. For details on the updates in question, check out this ZDNet article.

For I.T. personnel, Ed Langley (Naked PowerShell) has written a  series of PowerShell scripts (click here) to determine if any of the relevant updates are installed on a system.

  1. If you, tend to periodically run Windows Updates on your own workstations, I would advise against doing so until I hear more from Microsoft.
  2. The Microsoft Office updates are not involved, and can be applied as desired.
  3. Finally, it’s because of situations like these that I recommend that servers are NOT configured to have updates automatically applied.

There is nothing you need to do as a response to this email. This is simply an advisory – unless of course you have encountered a workstation that has had a BSOD.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms14-045.aspx

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2982791

Windows 8.1 August Update Rollup

Microsoft released the August 2014 update rollup (KB 2975719) on Tuesday August 12, 2014. This is an optional update, but does provide two new feature enhancements:

  • Precision touch pad improvements
  • More information on the Windows Update tab in PC Settings

Although these don’t seem to be significant at first reading, they are certainly improvements that I have been waiting for.

More importantly, this appears to indicate a change in how new features are released. Until now, new update rollups might come out a couple of times a year, containing a slew of new features and enhancements. But, it looks as if Microsoft will release new features and enhancements on a monthly basis, in smaller chunks.

I like that!

If you want to read more about the August update rollup, check out Ed Bott’s writeup on ZDNet.

Fix for Windows Server Essentials 2012R2 and Multi-DC released

Microsoft released an update (KB 2974308) today to address the issue where integrating Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 with Microsoft Office 365 or Windows Azure Active Directory is blocked when you are in a multiple domain controller environment.

Until now, you could only integrate Windows Server Essentials with O365/Azure AD in a single domain controller environment.

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Attempting to run the integration in a multiple DC environment would fail:

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I’m proud of the work that our MVP group did in identifying this issue soon after the release of Essentials 2012 R2 last year.

Netgear Backup Appliance using StorageCraft ShadowProtect

imageStorageCraft and Netgear are teaming up to release a new set of products called ReadyRECOVER Backup Appliance. It’s designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and leverages the legendary reliability of StorageCraft ShadowProtect to simplify backup and recovery of Windows systems.

With ReadyRECOVER, incremental snapshots, taken as often as every 15 minutes, generate full backups instantly.  Each point in time backup is ready to quickly and reliably recover Windows systems, including Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers, into production mode on any platform – physical or virtual.  Each backup is also ready for fast, simple recovery of files or folders.

Cloud-based Web Protection from GFI now available

imageGFI recently rolled out their new Web Protection solution allowing KW Support & Consulting to deliver web security, web filtering and web bandwidth monitoring to its clients. Web Protection is integrated into the GFI RemoteManagement dashboard and is based on GFI’s award-winning GFI WebMonitor product.

Features include:

  • Web security – stop client’s end-users from accidentally visiting malicious sites pushing malware, phishing, proxies, spyware, adware, botnets, etc.
  • Web filtering – help end-suers stay productive with common-sense web browsing policies designed for the workplace. Protects the business from legal liability and reduce the risk of a security breach through proactive internet access controls.
  • Bandwidth Monitoring – automatic alerts when excessive bandwidth activity on a network is identified, so you can remediate quickly and maintain productivity.

With Web Protection integrated into the GFI RemoteManagement platform, there is no software to install at the client site, no DNS name records to create or modify, and all settings and policies are managed right from the RMM dashboard.

If a user goes to a malicious web site, this is the type of warning screen they will receive:

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Download Microsoft free eBooks (nearly 300 are available)

For the past two year Eric Ligman, Micorosoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager, has been making various Microsoft eBooks available for free download. These books are available in PDF, EPub and MOBI formats. He announced yesterday the availability of another 130 free eBooks for download, bringing the total number of free eBooks to nearly 300!

These books cover Windows (8.1,8,7), Office (365, 2013, 2010), Sharepoint, Lync, Exchange, PowerShell, Azure Cloud, SQL and many more.

Click here to go to Eric’s Microsoft blog page for download links

 

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How to fix WinMail.dat attachment issues with Exchange

From time to time I will encounter an Exchange Server where the customer reports that attachments to emails they send out are being received as WinMail.dat files by some recipients. This hold true whether it’s an image file, a PDF file, etc.

The cause is quite simple: The Exchange server has an option to define whether or not to send attachments in “rich-text format”. If this option is enabled, this will cause attachments to be converted by some email clients into a WinMail.dat file. This is due to a methodology called “Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format” (TNEF) for sending messages across the Internet.

The solution is also quite simple: we just need to set the option on Exchange to “never use”. No rebooting of Exchange or the server is required after making this change.

Here are the detail steps (based on Exchange 2010):

  • Open up Exchange Management Console (EMC)
  • Drill down Organization Configuration –> Hub Transport
  • Click (to select) the Remote Domains tab
  • Right-click on Default, then click Properties
  • Click  (to select) the Message Format tab.
  • Under Exchange rich-text format section, click (to select) Never use
  • Click Apply and OK

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Server NIC icon shows yellow triangle with exclamation

Customer has a Windows Server 2012 system, and calls me to say that the NIC icon in the taskbar has a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark. This would normally indicate that there is no network/Internet connection.

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And, when I opened up Network and Sharing Center, it reports that there is no Internet connection.

But, Internet is working just fine. So, what gives?

This situation will often occur when you have a server with multiple NIC adapters, but only one of them is active, and the others are disabled. And this was exactly the case with this custoer.

The solution is two-fold:

  1. You need to change the binding order to put the active NIC first
  2. And then you need to restart Network Location Awareness and change its default startup condition.

Step 1: Change binding order of NICs

  • Unfortunately, finding out where to change the binding order is not always intuitive. These steps were for the 2012 Server I was working on
  • Locate the network icon in your right taskbar, right click on the icon, and select ‘Open Network and Sharing Center’
  • In the new window that displays, along the left side, click ‘Change adapter settings’
  • A window displays listing your network adapters. Here comes the “tricky part”.
  • Press the ALT key, and a new command menu bar will appear, like this:
    image
  • Click on Advanced, then click Advanced Settings
  • If the active NIC is not listed first, then click to highlight it, and use the arrow keys to the right to move it up.
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  • For more information on changing the network protocol bindings, view this Microsoft article

Step 2: Reset Network Location Awareness service

  • Open up Services control panel (Run –> services.msc)
  • Find the Network Location Awareness service, click to select it, and then select Restart
  • After the service has been restarted, right click on the service, and click Properties.and select to restart it.
  • Go to Startup Type, and change it to ‘Automatic (Delayed Start)’
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  • Click OK and then close the Services windows

Microsoft fixes OWA Premium issue when using IE11

My fellow MVP’er, Oliver Sommer, posted on his blog site yesterday (6-25-2014) that Microsoft quietly resolved an outstanding issue (KB 2866064) with Internet Explorer 11 and Outlook Web Access (OWA), where it would only display the “lite” version of OWA instead of the full “premium” version.

The fix is included in the following rollups:

Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 Rollup 13

Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 Update Rollup 3

Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 3