Archive for News

Samsung 850 EVO SSD crashes Windows 2012 R2 Server

I have personally used Samsung’s 850 SSD drives in a few workstations, and they appear to work great.

However, there are several recent posts of Windows 2012 R2 and 2012 R2 Essentials servers crashing. The common denominator? Samsung’s 850 EVO SSD drives.

One person wrote that a 2012 R2 Essentials server will produce 100% crashes. Any other 2012 R2 server will crash if the write cache is disabled, which happens when a server is promoted to a DC. Hopefully, it’s a firmware issue with those drives that Samsung can address. Also, the Samsung 840 SSD drives appear to work just fine, and does NOT cause similar crashes.

Here are some links for your further reading pleasure that identify the issues at hand:

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/81c6d52f-578c-44c8-a6ec-18c03a818295/cant-promote-server-2012-r2-to-domain-controller-get-error-0xc000021a?forum=winserverDS

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/ebc71806-37ab-49c4-9218-9964b30d958a/0xc000021a-during-server-2012-r2-essentials-setup?forum=winserveressentials

http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/869314-warning-do-not-use-samsung-850-evo-ssd-with-windows-server-2012-r2

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.

How to Configure a Custom Domain Suffix when Installing Windows 2012 R2 Essentials

For as long as I can remember, Microsoft’s Small Business Server (SBS) and Essentials Server would default to using .local for the internal domain suffix during installation. So, if your company name was Contoso, it would create Contoso.local as your internal domain.

And for me, using .local worked great all these years. The customer would still use .com (such as Contoso.com) for their public web site and for their email address. Contoso.local was strictly for internal DNS purposes.

But SSL Certificate authorities have announced that they will not issue new UCC/SAN SSL certificates that contain non-public local Intranet domain suffixes (such as .local) or IP addresses.

See detail announcements from these vendors: GoDaddy   DigiCert  

So … the question was raised recently within my Microsoft MVP group: how does one install Windows Server 2012R2 Essentials with a custom internal domain suffix, since by default Essentials uses .local?

My good MVP friend, Robert Pearman, took the time to post a solution today on his blog site. He gives step by step instructions, along with screen shots:

http://titlerequired.com/2015/06/27/install-windows-server-essentials-with-a-custom-domain-suffix/

Here is a quick summary of the steps:

  • Perform the pre-install of Essentials 2012 R2
  • When the Essentials Configuration Wizard (ECW) starts up, click CANCEL.
  • From System Properties, change the name of your server
  • Now add Active Directory Domain Services as a server role (Systems Manager > Manage > Add Roles and Features) and use all the defaults.
  • Then run the Post Deployment task and promote the server to a domain controller.
    • Select to create a new forest and enter your root domain name.
    • Note: many now suggest using a subdomain of your public domain name. So if your public domain is Contoso.com, you might use Corp.Contoso.com)
    • After the pre-requisite check, use the defaults to complete the install of the server role.
    • After the server has rebooted, login as the domain admin, and the ECW will start up again.

Quickbooks dbdata11.dll and Vipre/MAV

Friday morning (6-26-2015) I started receiving calls from several of my customers saying that they could not run Quickbooks, and that they were getting an alert that the file “dbdata11.dll” has been quarantined.

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With the help of other members of The ASCII Group, we quickly determined that it was a false positive due to a bad definition file update from Vipre (or the RMM version called MAV).

Soon after, MAXFocus (previously GFI) sent out a service status alert of the issue, and that it had been resolved with definition version 41468 and above. It was recommended to add the file (dbdata11.dll) to the Vipre/MAV exception list, before updating systems with the newer definition file.

Note: make an exception only for the file, and not the folder and file, as the folder name is randomly generated by QuickBooks.

That should have been it. Right? … Wrong!

I received a call from one of my users saying that one of their systems with QuickBooks installed on it had locked up. At about the same time they reported this issue, I received an email alert from the RMM service I use saying that the C: drive of this system had dropped to below 20% free space.

Once we got the system rebooted, I logged in and discovered that there 44,175 folder taking up nearly 62GB of disk space. The location of these folders were in C:\Users\QBDataServiceUser22\appdata\local\temp. Each of these folders contained a single file: dbdata11.dll.

It turns out that every time Vipre/MAV quarantined this file, QuickBooks created a new temp folder with the same file!

So once I had the A/V definition file updated, and we rebooted the system, I went in and safely deleted all 44,175 folders! 

What a fun way to spend a Friday!

Disable Get Windows 10 popup

Microsoft is preparing for the release of Windows 10 on July 29th, and is pushing out an update (KB3035583) which will allow you to register for the free download. It seems to me, not only is this an easy way for Microsoft to broadcast that Windows 10 is coming, but it can provide them with some statistical data on how many people may want to get Windows 10 when it is released, and what kind of systems they are using.

However, if you are just totally annoyed with the prompt, or you do not want to register for Windows 10, or you’re just not interested … you can uninstall KB3035583. Here’s how:

  • Open up Windows Update (Control Panel > System and Security . windows Update)
  • Click on View Update History
  • Click on Installed Updates
  • In the Search box on the top right, type: kb3035583
  • Click on the KB3035583 entry to select it and uninstall it.
  • You will need to reboot your computer when finished

After your system has rebooted, you will need to block/hide KB3035583 from re-installing.

  • Go back to Windows Update
  • Review the list of pending updates
  • right click on KB3035583 and select to Hide this update

World Backup Day

I just found out that March 31st has been designated as World Backup Day!

Click on the image below to go to the World Backup Day website, and take the pledge to backup your data. And, if you need help doing so, let me know!

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Watch Out for Malicious Flashlight Apps

Who would have thought that the flashlight app on your smartphone could be malicious?

According to this cyber-security company, SnoopWall, there are at least ten flashlight apps that are malicious, and can steal and send personal data. They published a threat assessment report back in October, 2014.

If your phone has one of these listed apps, the recommendation is to backup your contacts and personal files from your phone, and then do a factory reset your phone. Deleting the app is not enough, as these apps are storing malicious information  in hidden places on your phone.

Here is a 6 minute video from Fox News interviewing SnoopWall’s CEO, Gary Miliefsky, on this subject.

Why you will love Windows 10

I am still amazed at the number of people, both consumers as well as I.T. professionals, that simply do not like Windows 8.1. Many managed service professionals (MSP) that I know are still installing Windows 7 in their customer base, avoiding windows 8.1 altogether. I’m fine with that, as that’s their choice.

Personally, I like Windows 8.1 (for the most part). And those sites where I have installed 8.1, the reaction of the users quickly go from “Dislike” to “It’s OK”, and in some cases, they move to “I like it!”.

I came across this article from CNN Money website that gives a very nice overview of why people will want to upgrade to Windows 10.

CNN: You’ll love Windows 10

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Trade your old Surface RT/Pro to Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has a trade-in program for any existing model of Microsoft Surface devices – from the original Surface RT,  to the Surface 2 RT  / Surface 2 Pro, and to the current Surface Pro 3. The trade-in value will vary depending on the model of the Surface device.

Note: This offer is only good from February 15, 2015 to March 8, 2015.

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