Archive for Exchange

Long Live Exchange Public Folders!

Back in 1996, Microsoft introduced Public Folders as a replacement for social aliases, and was “designed from the ground up to enhance group collaboration applications” (per this Lane Severson blog post)

By the time that Exchange 2003 was released (13 years ago!), however,  the rumors that public folders would be discontinued in a future release of Exchange were swirling around. Take for instance this WindowsIT Pro post from 2004:

The handwriting has been on the wall for public folders for a year or two. I first heard a Microsoft speaker strongly discourage use of public folders at the MEC 2002 conference. An administrator who attended the same session was in a state of near panic because her university has thousands of public folders in active use.

In a TechRepublic 2010 post it was declared that public folders would probably be gone by Exchange 2013:

Since before the release of Exchange 2007, Microsoft has been telling us that public folders will eventually be discontinued. This hasn’t happened just yet though. Public folders are alive and well in Exchange 2010. Even so, public folders probably won’t be supported in the next version of Exchange.

So here we are in 2016, and guess what? Not only are public folders still around, Microsoft has decided that “public folders are great” per this Microsoft Technet FAQ:

No. Public folders are great for Outlook integration, simple sharing scenarios, and for allowing large audiences to access the same data.

And on February 1, 2016, Microsoft announced they will be increasing the number of public folder mailboxes in Exchange 2016 from 100 to 1,000!

Happy 20th birthday to Public Folders!

Setup BlackBerry Priv for Exchange Email

I have a customer that still uses Blackberry phone with their SBS 2011 server with Exchange 2010. Their previous BlackBerry 10 connected up with no problems to Exchange and ActiveSync several years ago. The owner recently replaced his BB10 with a newer BB Priv.

When he went to configure his new phone to Exchange, however, it was asking him to install a SSL security certificate, which the previous phone did not require.

Listed below are the steps we took to get his phone connected to Exchange.

Two things to note before we begin:

  • The person with the phone needs to setup up an alternate email (such as GMail) on the phone before proceeding. The reason will become obvious below.
  • You need access to the SBS/Exchange server to export the SSL certificate, and then email the exported certificate file to the user

So, let’s get started

Part 1 – From the SBS/Exchange Server, create an exported PFX certificate file

  1. From the server, open up MMC from an administrator level command prompt
  2. Select to load the Certificates snap-in to the local Computer account.
    (Note: if you do not know how to do this process, see this Microsoft article for detail instructions)
  3. Drill down Certificates –> Personal –> Certificates and locate your SSL certificate from the middle pane
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  4. Right click on the certificate, then select All Tasks –> Export
  5. Click Next –> Click Yes, export Private Key –> verify PFX format is selected
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  6. Enter a password when prompted (keep it short – very short, like ‘abc’)
  7. Click browse to assign a filename and select a location to save the exported file

Part 2 – Send PFX file to user’s alternate mail account

  1. Now, you need to email the PFX certificate file you just created to the user, sending it as an attachment to the user’s alternate email account on his or her phone.
  2. How you do this is up to you – I’m sure you can figure out this step.

Part 3 – User creates Exchange account and installs SSL certificate on the phone

The following instructions are general in nature, and not specific, because I did not do these steps myself. My customer was able to do it, with just a couple of corrections that I was able to walk him through by phone.

  1. First, user should open up the Gmail (or other) account on their phone, locate the email you sent them, and select to save (download) the attachment to the phone. Just download the file, do not try to install it.
  2. Now let’s start creating the Exchange account.
  3. Select Settings –> Accounts –> Add Accounts –> Exchange
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Phone will go out and check things, and should come back asking for more server information.
  6. For your username: enter DOMAINNAME\USERNAME
  7. When prompted, select to install a certificate, and located the file you saved.
  8. For the server name/address, enter the URL you would use to access your OWA account – such as remote.servername.com or mail.servername.com.
  9. Select SSL/TLS (Accept all certificates)

At this point, it should start setting up your email account. Good luck!

Configure Ricoh Aficio MFP to Office 365 for Scan To Email

I recently migrated a customer from SBS 2008/Exchange 2007 to Office 365 with AppRiver and BitTitan’s MigrationWiz tool.

Migration went like a charm … that is, until one of the employees tried to “scan to email” a document from their Ricoh Aficio MP C2500.

A quick search of forums suggested that a lot of people had been down this road before, and with a myriad of possible ways to configure or fix it. Quite often, the suggestion was to use a 3rd party SMTP  service.

I submitted a ticket to AppRiver’s support at 11:57am this morning and received a phone call from their tech support within 15 minutes. A quick remote connect session, and we had everything working within minutes.

Here are my notes for future reference:

First, the solution we followed

Second, gather the following information

  • Your public IP address to your office. You can use WhatIsMyIp.com if you don’t know it)
  • Your Office 365 MX record. It should look something like this: Contoso-com.mail.protection.outlook.com

Next, setup the Exchange connector within Office 365

  • Login to your O365 Admin Center portal (http://portal.office.com)
  • Click Exchange –> Mail Flow –> Connectors
    • Create a new connector with this information
    • Enter a name for your connector, such as “Ricoh Copier On Prem”
    • From: select Your Organization’s Email Server
    • To: select Office 365
    • Description: enter something like this: This is the connector that will allow traffic from the SMTP services for Ricoh
    • Enable the option Retain Internal Exchange Email Headers
    • IP Address: enter your public IP address

Next, let’s go to the Ricoh web portal to finish things up:

  • Go to your Ricoh’s web portal (local IP address, such as 192.168.1.xxx)
  • Click to login as the administrator.
    If you don’t know the login/password, here’s a web site that may help you:
    https://default-password.info/ricoh/
  • Click Configuration => E-mail (under Device Settings)
  • Enter the following information as appropriate:
    • Your Admin O365 email address
    • Protocol: SMTP
    • SMTP Server Name: your O365 MX name you looked up previously
      (such as Contoso-com.mail.protection.outlook.com)
    • Port: 25
    • SMTP Authentication: OFF
    • SMTP Authentication Email/Username/Password: your O365 Admin email address
    • SMTP Authentication Encryption: DISABLE

That’s all we did. Hope it works for you!

Exchange 2007 SP3 Rollup 17 Released

The Microsoft’s Exchange Team released Rollup 17 for Exchange 2007 SP3 (KB 3056710) on June 16, 2015

This release provide minor improvements and fixes for customer reported issues.

Download Update Rollup 17 for Exchange Server 2007 SP3

Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 10 Released

The Microsoft’s Exchange Team released Rollup 10 for Exchange 2010 SP3 (KB 3049853) on June 16, 2015

This release provide minor improvements and fixes for customer reported issues. Update Rollup 10 is the last scheduled release for Exchange Server 2010. Exchange Server 2010 is in extended support and will receive security and time zone fixes on-demand on a go-forward basis.

Download Update Rollup 10 for Exchange Server 2010 SP3 (KB3049853)

Note: although RU10 is labeled as the last scheduled release for Exchange 2010, they indicate that a future update (RU11) will be required in order to support upgrading to Exchange 2016. But as no release date for Exchange 2016 has been announced, this information is subject to change.

PowerShell for O365 Now Available!

Microsoft announced yesterday (June 30, 2015) the availability of the PowerShell for Office 365 for IT administrators.

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I would suggest that you first read their blog post on Getting Started with PowerShell for O365.

PowerShell for O365 is not intended to replace the O365 Admin Center, but rather it provides complementary tools for such scenarios as:

  • Adding or editing a large number of users
  • Using multiple filters when sorting data
  • Exporting data such as user lists and groups
  • And more …

The web site includes sample scripts, scenarios, and community interaction. Check it out!

Microsoft Announces New Support Policy for Repaired Exchange Databases

On May 1, 2015 Microsoft announced a new support policy for repaired Exchange databases. The details are in this blog post from the Exchange team.
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Simply put — if the Exchange database has previously been repaired (repair count greater zero), then the contents of that database needs to be moved to a new Exchange database.

The question will be asked: how can I determine the repair count of an Exchange database?

The suggested way is to use the ESEUTIL utility with the MH option:
eseutil /mh <exchange_mailbox_filename.edb>

Running this command does not modify or update Exchange. It simply displays information about the Exchange database. But be sure to dismount your Exchange database before running the command.

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Finally, for the record books: back in August, 2006 I wrote a blog post titled: Defragging Exchange in 4 Easy Steps. This was written in the Exchange 2003 era.

Do not install Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 yet

On Thursday Dec 11, 2014 Microsoft released new updates for Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013. Read more here.

However, an issue has been identified in the Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8. The update has been recalled and is no longer available on the download center pending a new RU8 release. Customers should not proceed with deployments of this update until the new RU8 version is made available. Customers who have already started deployment of RU8 should rollback this update.

The issue impacts the ability of Outlook to connect to Exchange.

Please note: this issue only impacts the Exchange Server 2010 SP3 RU8 update, the other updates remain valid and customers can continue with deployment of these packages.

Tool to Analyze Message Headers

Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a great resource tool for testing and running diagnostics against Exchange, ActiveSync, OWA, POP3/IMAP, Lync, and Office 365. It also includes Message Analyzer, which is an SMTP header analysis tool and makes reading email headers less painful.

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Microsoft’s Exchange Team has a good blog post on how to use the Message Analyzer feature.

For grins and giggles, I sent myself and email from my Gmail account to my business email account, and then processed the message header through the Message Analyzer.

  1. Open up the Message Analyzer tab of Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer in a browser window.
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  2. Open up your email client and access/view the message header. Select and copy the complete contents of the message header.
    I have a separate post that explains how to view email message headers from Outlook 2010/2013.
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  3. Flip back to your browser, and paste the message header into the Message Header Analyzer area.
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  4. Click Analyze Header and you will get a Summary report, plus a list of Received Headers and other headers.
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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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