Sometimes it’s nice to see Microsoft add my information to their knowledge base.

This morning I was working on a Sites and Services issue for a client and part of the troubleshooting process was to run the Best Practice Analyzer on the domain controller. One of the results was to enable client fallback to the local netlogon and sysvol share after the local domain controller comes back online again. This reduces traffic across the network. I’m not quite sure why this is not enabled by default.

The BPA points to the technet article DFS-N: Client failback should be enabled for the Netlogon and SYSVOL folders on domain controllers.  Scrolling through the page I was pleasantly surprised to see my avatar at the bottom with a comment on improving the documentation with the actual registry keys that needed changing. Not only was my comment on the page, the original web page had been updated to include the information.

It’s nice to see content updated based on user feedback. It’s not nice to see that I had this problem 3 years ago 😉

Fixed:MDOP download on Technet

One of the advantages of a Technet subscription is access to the (MDOP Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack) software including the Diagnostics And Repair Toolkit (DART). Unfortunately it took me a while to find it under the downloads today as MDOP does not appear under the list of downloads. However searching for Desktop Optimization Pack finds it. (You need to log into the Subscriber Downloads for this link to work). You’d be surprised how inaccurate the Google results for MDOP download on Technet results are.

SQL2008 installation failed to install with 0x84b30001

I got the 0x84b30001 error when trying to install the latest Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool (MAP) this evening. Taking a look through the error logs gave me the message “A network error occurred while attempting to read from the file: c:\e….0\x86\setup\x86\sqlncli10.msi”, each time the directory name was different. I tried running the SQL2008 express installation manually and got the same message. However double clicking on the sqlncli10.msi file from the log file would work – or seem to. Trying to do a repair gave me the same message. I then chose to delete the 2008 native client installation (the sqlncli10.msi package) as I knew that a successful installation would result in the client being installed again. The uninstall was successful so I then reran the sql2008 installation with no problems.  MAP then installed successfully. I posted a note on the technet forums here in case anyone else has some follow up comments/questions.  Now that I’m home I can’t actually run the assessment tool, but I’ll be able to do this tomorrow – hopefully it will give me the results I am after.

Exchange 2007 Migration is almost done.

Day 50 - Too late!The migration from NT4 and Exchange 5.5 to Exchange2007 and Windows 2003 is almost done. This weekend was the installation of Exchange 2007 and the move of mailboxes. Unfortunately it did not go to plan. Upromote worked great on the first server that needed the software and after two or three reboots it was acting as a member server. The second server however did not go well. Instead the server bluescreened in the middle of the process and I was left with a server that was neither in a domain or in a workgroup.  The logon box did not include the domain option but the local SAM was corrupted and wouldn’t let me login. As the machine was out of the domain I couldn’t connect to it remotely apart from ping activity. After struggling for a long time with a multitude of recovery tools we ended up with a parallel installation of NT4 on the machine so that we could access the data on the drives. This was not without hassles – the RAID controller drivers would not recognise the disk in NT4 – you would have thought that downloading the drivers for the raid controller that appears in the BIOS boot would work but nope – we had to use different drivers!  I tried to access the machine using Microsoft’s Dart Tool – the rebranded ERD commander, but this tool doesn’t support NT – in the end I had to go back to ERD Commander 2002 to get a version that worked with NT4 (although it didn’t actually help). The parallel installation of NT also needed SQL 7 reinstalling but this needed ie4 installed (and where do you get *that* from?)  Fortunately it would also accept IE6 too.

Installing the Exchange2007 sp1 was not a fun experience either – the process stopped half way through with an error saying that a file was in use and that I needed to reboot the server to continue. When I did so, the installation would not continue as all of the Exchange services and several other essential windows services had been set to disabled by the previous installation and the upgrade needs the Information Store to be running. As the other services were stopped the machine acted like it was behind a firewall – you were not able to ping out or into it. Setting all the services to automatic and then starting them got through this problem – I had to boot up my Virtual Exchange 2007 server to see which disabled services should normally be running though. I actually had to try the upgrade about 3 times before I got through with no errors but the whole experience made SQL2005 look stable.

Now I am having major trouble getting the remote outlook clients to connect through to the exchange 2007 server using RPC over HTTPS – it worked great with the Exchange 2003 server but just will not work with Exchange 2007 – if you have any bright ideas then let me know – tomorrow I’ll be logging a call with Microsoft for some assistance.

At the end of the weekend I felt like I had installed every piece of Microsoft software just to get Exchange migrated onto new servers. I have got some great ideas for future migrations and I know that I don’t want to repeat the process sometime soon!

Then to top it all off, the advert shown in this blog post arrived stuck to the front cover of my Technet magazine today – talk about bad timing.  Having said that, I have received the white paper and I don’t think we’d use their services as it sounds expensive. The advice was pretty basic but did include the steps of removing old mailboxes and cleaning up the database. One REALLY annoying thing to see when you are moving mailboxes on a weekend without pay is a lot of “moving 1 of 3654 spam messages” and “moving 3 of 12876 deleted items”.  I had told the users to delete these items before the upgrade but this hadn’t been done.  I think next time I will include a step of telling the users to delete their spam, junk and deleted items BEFORE the upgrade as it will be done as part of the upgrade “automatically” (and if anyone has a tool that will walk through a message store deleting items in the spam, junk and deleted items then let me know)

Technet offer

If you read this blog then hopefully you are aware of the $100 off a new Technet subscription. I’ve been toying around the idea with getting one of these – but it would still be $250! However from reading Keith’s blog it looks like Microsoft are offering 40% off Technet subscriptions if you attend one of the Windows/Visual Studio 2008 launch events. My nearest one is in Columbus on March 20th so I will probably be taking advantage of this at that point – the price for the Technet Plus direct works out at about $209.
PS if you are a student then you can get Office 2007 Ultimate for $60 which is a bargain!

Technet content search

Technet has an offline content search on disk1 I have discovered this morning. This enables you to pop disk1 in and then work out which disk you need to get the file/content without installing the technet viewer itself. Useful when trying to work out which cd has Windows2000 service pack 4 on. Its not on any of the 6 cd’s labelled “Service Pack CD 1” etc, but instead its on Augusts Download CD1. Sensible place!