Category Archives: Windows

Renewing your Self-Signed certificate in SBS 2008

If, like me, you’ve used a self-signed certificate for an SBS 2008 server there might be a time where you wonder: “How do I renew that certificate?” Maybe might is the wrong word, as your certificate will expire at some point.

The internet offers a lot of options to renew your certificate, but none of them seemed to work for me. The solution that DID work, was surprisingly simple.

  • Open the SBS Console

  • Open Network then click the Connectivity tab.

  • Start the Fix my Network Wizard; you can find this to the right side under Connectivity Tasks.

The Wizard will detect that your certificate is expired and it will issue a new certificate, replacing the expired one.

*Note: If you’re in the market for a “real” certificate, give Namecheap a try.

Windows Live Essentials 2011 requires SP2

 

At some point in my blogging career, I had created one blog too many.  It was no longer convenient to update my WordPress.com / Blogger blogs by logging in and writing my posts in the back-end.  So, I started to look for a solution, and I found a “fix” in Windows Live Essentials.

I quickly fell in love with Windows Live Writer.  It’s the best blogging tool out there.  Compatible with WordPress(.com), Blogger, Typepad, Sharepoint(!) and Joomla(!!!) it’s hard to find blog software that isn’t compatible with WLW.  It allowed me to update my blogs from a easy to use program.  What more could I want? 

Of course, there are other programs in the WLE package that are interesting.  Windows Live Messenger, for example, or Windows Live Mail – a free e-mail client which works great with the “big” e-mail providers out there. 

So, when Windows Live Essentials 2011 came out, of course I had to try it.  I first installed it at work; which went smoothly.  All my settings (and, most importantly all configured blogs) were still there.  But back at home, I was less lucky.

As it turns out, Windows Live Essentials is a picky eater.  The software requires you to run Windows Vista with SP2 – anything else isn’t good enough.  Of course, Windows 7 is supported as well.  On top of that, Windows Vista users must download an updated “platform”. 

So you’ve been warned.  If you’re planning to install Windows Live Essentials (remember: best blogging tool on the block!) make sure your OS is up to date. 

  • Running Windows 7?  You’re set.
  • Running Windows Vista?  Make sure that those service packs are installed!
  • Windows XP?  I guess you’re out of luck.  There’s no support for this – let’s admit it – outdated OS.  But you’re still free to use the “old” version of Live Essentials. Hey, live goes on.  Technology advances.  Get with it Knipogende emoticon

Full mailbox rights for administrator

This article explains how you can grant Full Mailbox rights (to an administrator) when running Exchange 2003 / SBS 2003
Doing the same is easier when running SBS 2008; we’ll do an article on that later.

If, for whatever reasons you might have, you need Full Mailbox rights to a user mailbox when running Exchange 2003 you might be out of luck if you’re using the Administrator account.  By default, these rights are explicitly denied by group policies / Exchange policies.

If you don’t feel like doing lots of work, there’s an easy fix to get access to the mailbox:  Create an account that isn’t the domain administrator (Or assign the rights to any other user).

Instructions

  1. Create a new user or simply select an existing user.
  2. If you chose to create a new user, make sure to create a mailbox for him – just to be safe.  It’s possible that this works without creating one, though.
  3. Open Active Directory: Computers & Users, and then select the user you want to give Full Mailbox rights.
  4. Right-click, and choose ‘Settings’.
  5. On the Exchange Advanced tab, click the ‘Mailbox Rights’ button.
  6. Click ‘Add’, and select the user.
  7. Check all check boxes, except the last one.  (If you check the ‘deny’ boxes as well after reading this, maybe you admin rights should be stripped forever😉 )
  8. Click Ok.
  9. You can now log into the mailbox by going to http://urltointernalsite/exchange/<<username>&gt;  and entering YOUR username and password instead of the ones of the user.

And voilà!  You can now read everyone’s private mails do whatever it was you wanted to do.

Trend Micro issues when creating Hyper-V VM

When you are creating a new virtual machine in Hyper-V, you might see an error resembling this:

“Microsoft Synthetic Ethernet controller couldn’t be used”. 

(Note: you might run into a bunch of other errors that are related, as well)

If you see this error, it basically means “game over” as your VM will be “broken” before you’ve even started it.

One evildoer that causes this error is Trend Micro.  I first read about it at Technet; and verified it myself: Trend Micro can cause this problem.

How to fix the problem:

Fixing this problem is pretty simple:

1)  Disable all Trend Micro Services  OR temporarily unload the Trend Micro Client Agent on your Hyper-V server

2) Attempt creating the virtual machine again.  It should now work fine.

3) Once the virtual machine is created, restart the services / load the client agent again.    

Should you disable IPV6 on my SBS server? No!

Today, I learned something the hard way.  While most post on this blog are the result of research to meet an interesting challenge, today’s entry is the result of frustration.  I was troubleshooting my SBS 2008 server, and while running a self test in Exchange 2007 I saw an error with IPV6. 

I made the mistake not to do some research first.  I was in a hurry to fix any problems present – last week, I’ve seen more computer / server / software probems than in the past 3 months – so I thought it would be a smart move to disable the protocol on our NIC.  What damage could it do?  I’ve yet to see IPV6 in action, so I assumed that if it wouldn’t help, it wouldn’t hurt either. 

Don’t make that same mistake, my friends.  Shortly after I disabled the IPV6 protocol, all hell broke loose.  The Active Directory Services were failing; Exchange started failing, OWA started failing… I made another mistake by searching the solution in the wrong direction, and rebooted the server during the process. 

Big mistake.  The server got stuck during booting, on “Applying Computer Settings”.  Apparently, that’s what an SBS Server does when you kill some of it’s most critical services.  I quickly learned that disabling IPV6 on an SBS 2008 server is extremely dangerous.

Stopping IPV6 leads to multiple failing services, and will cause your server to hang during booting as a result

The solution
 

so, I had to re-enable IPV6.  The fastest – and probably only – way was to boot the server into Safe Mode with networking services enabled.  It’ll allow you to re-enable the protocol.  Start the server again, and give it some time.  Booting will take a few minutes longer than usual, but all your problems caused by disabling IPV6 should be fixed now. 

Can you disable IPV6?  Yes.  Should you? Absolutely NOT

I’m kind of dissapointed in MS on this one.  You’ve got to confirm every stupid action on your SBS 2008 server (“Do you REALLY want to add a printer?”), yet you can disable a crucial protocol with a single click, without being questioned.  Ugh.