IMPORTANT NOTE: The client connector to connect Windows 10 to Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 is currently being tested and is not yet available.
Once this updated connector is released, a link to download it manually will be posted. Doing a manual download is a known issue that is expected to be resolved in the October 2015 timeframe.
Over the years Microsoft has released a family of server platforms for the home and small business environments – including Small Business Server (SBS), Windows Home Server (WHS), and Server Essentials.
One of the key parts to these products is the “client connector” which is run from a client workstation to properly connect it to the server, include it in the dashboard, setup appropriate security, and, where appropriate, configure the workstation for daily backup.
In advance of the release of Windows 10, the Microsoft support team has released a blog post with a matrix identifying the availability and any restrictions for the client connector for each server platform, against each supported client operating system (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10).
Client Connector availability with Windows Home Server, Small Business Server and Windows Server Essentials for Supported Client OS
Windows 10 for desktops and mobile devices is just around the corner.
That would be July 29th if you’ve been on vacation! –>
And … the next version of Windows Server will be Windows Server 2016.
The current version is Windows Server 2012, which includes a specific (post-SBS) version called Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
So, it is only fair to have people ask: “Will there be also be a Windows Server 2016 Essentials (W2016E for short) released?”
The following public Technet article mentions W2016E by name. So it would be a reasonable conclusion to think that they are planning on a W2016E version.
But — given that Server 2016 will not be rolled out until next year, things can always change.
Aarrgghh – why don’t I remember these things anymore????
I was in the process of firing up a new 2012 R2 VM, and in my rush, I clicked to download and install all updates before heading out to do some errands. When I got back home, I was greeted with the following error message:
We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Don’t turn off the computer.
The thing is — this was a known issue over a year ago! One that my good MVP friend Boon Tee encountered it, and wrote up a blog post at that time for the workaround.
The problem occurs if you are creating a Gen 2 virtual machine (.vhdx) and KB 2920189 is included in the list of updates you are trying to install.
Shutdown VM –> disable Secure Boot from the VM –> Start VM and install updates –> Shutdown VM –> re-enable Secure Boot –> Start VM
You can find the option to enable/disable Secure Boot under the Firmware section of the VM settings.
Warning — the “Undoing changes” can take quite a long time to complete. I decided to delete the VM, and start over from scratch!
The end of an era occurs today when Microsoft officially drops extended support for Windows Server 2003.
This means that Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003, which includes Small Business Server 2003, and Windows Home Server.
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
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.
I recently encountered an issue with an external drive connected to a SBS 2011 server. The backup had errored and the issue was with the external drive.
Finally, I was reminded about the Technet blog post on Windows Small Business Server – External Backup Drives Compatibility List. The post has two parts:
- Guidelines on proper formatting requirements of the external drive, with an explanation of why 512 Bytes sectors are required.
- List of external drives for a variety of vendors, with a rating table that indicates if it works on the various versions of SBS and Essentials 2012/R2.
The post also documents a simple command that you can use to check the sector size of your external drive. Be sure to do it from an elevated command prompt. The command is:
fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo X:
Here’s an example of the results:
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:
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.
This is the first time that I’ve seen this error on any Windows server I manage. This is an SBS 2008 server that has been in production for 6 years. The error was associated with a failed Windows backup of this server last night.
Full error message: Creation of the shared protection point timed out. Detailed Error: The shared protection point operation failed with error 0x81000101.
A quick web search led me to this blog post by David J Steele who encountered the same issue. The solution changes the default timeout from 10 minutes to 20 minutes.
Although his process is correct, there is one error in the information he posted. The value for the registry key should be 1200000 (5 zeroes) and not 12000000 (6 zeroes).
Here are the correct instructions:
- Run regedit.exe on the server
- Navigate to HKLM –> Software –> Microsoft –> windows NT –> CurrentVersion –> SPP
- Create a new registry key (type DWORD) with the name “CreateTimeout”
- Modify the value of the key to decimal 1200000. Be sure to click the radio box for Decimal before entering the value.
I was attempting to install Office 2013 Professional Plus on a new workstation that had already been joined to the SBS 2011 domain. It kept crashing just a few minutes into the intallation with the error message: “Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper has stopped working”.
If you search the Microsoft forums, you will see several recommendations, including:
- Remove all prior installations of Microsoft Office
- Make sure that the Task Scheduler is running
- Try burning the Office .iso to a DVD to do the install
In my case, we were good in all those departments.
Then I came across a forum post that raised the question:
Have you implemented a Cryptolocker group policy at your site?
Oh, my, yes! I quickly logged onto the server, moved the new workstation out of its normal OU. Voila! Office 2013 installed immediately.