Friday, August 31, 2007

Our own YouTube Channel

So we have finally gotten around to setting up a dedicated YouTube channel for all our videos.
 
Now to access all the stuff we create simply go to :
 
 
Feel free to leave any comments and feedback. Hopefully in the future we'll start building up the content in this channel to make it a worthwhile resource.

YAYTV ! (Yet another YouTube Video)

We have just posted another video on YouTube. This one provides a general overview of the installation and operation of the Trend Micro CSM Suite for SMB client software. The video takes you through the installation of the software on a desktop workstation as well as some basic controls of that software from the Trend Management Console on the server.
 
The direct link to the video is :
 
 
and as always we welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have about our videos. You'll find our complete list of videos by clicking here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here's an interesting site

In a World of exploding "social networking" websites here's one that I thought was rather interesting. Basically you put a small software agent on your workstation and it keeps track (no its not spyware) if there are any updates to that software available.
 
More that that the agent keeps track of what software you use and how long you use it for. It then stores that information in an online profile. That profile can then be viewed by others so see what software you are using. This can alert people the fact that you've found a new piece of software and you are using it extensively.
 
Finally, all the program usage statistics are cumulated by application so you can exactly how much programs like Firefox and IE are being used.
 
Interesting concept isn't it?
 

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Handy Trend site

Here's a handy Trend Micro site to assist with issues on CSM Suite 3.6 :
 
 
Frequently asked questions, procedures and issues in Client Server Messaging Security for SMB (CSM) 3.6

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thanks for that

Just like to acknowledge David Mackie, a fellow SBS'er that I met a few years ago at TechEd who wrote some nice things about me in his blog. Click here for the full post.
 
It is nice at least once in a while to get SOME recognition for the contribution that is made to the "community". Sure I know there are plenty of other who do a heap more than I do but... it is still nice.
 
I find it interesting that after having some of my YouTube SBS videos viewed over 17,000 times I have only ever received a handful of acknowledgements. I've done these as a free offering and although it would be nice to receive a donation, no matter how small. I will continue to create these videos for free, however I am becoming more circumspect about how often I do them.
 
The major issue I have is that I have been contacted by people seeking support on SBS who aren't willing to provide anything in return - not even a thank you! Now, I am happy to help out where I can but after a recent reality check I have discovered that my help is being "abused". People are just taking, taking, taking and stupid me was just giving, giving, giving. So now, the free contributions that I will continue to make are determined by the thanks and donations I receive in return. If I don't get much then any new contributions will be few are far between.
 
Why? Well, once I thought about it rationally, why am I spending all this time and effort to create free content when I getting ZERO in return (not even much thanks)? I should perhaps be spending more time developing Saturn Alliance where I stand a far better chance of making money. Selfish? Not if I want to survive, I'm sorry.
 
So, for a change I am tickled pink at David's kind words, unfortunately from what I have seen they are few and far between in this "community".

Monday, August 27, 2007

Microsoft Steadystate

Sick of having all these changes made on your Windows XP machine at hom eor the office? Well Microsoft has just released a new tool called SteadyState.

Windows SteadyState, successor to the Shared Computer Toolkit, is designed to make life easier for people who set up and maintain shared computers.
     
An easy way to manage multiple users

You can manage whole groups of users as single user accounts. The new Windows SteadyState console makes it easier than ever to create and modify user profiles.

 
 
A locked-down platform for stable shared computing

Not every computer user should have access to every software capability. Your system can be more stable and consistent when you limit user access to control panel functions, network resources, and other sensitive areas.

 
     
Set it and forget it

Once you have everything set up the way you want it, you can share the computer and rest easy. Any changes a user might make to the configuration or hard disk can be undone by simply restarting the machine.

Interesting to see how well it works in an SBS environment, but if it does then it could be very handy.
For more info about SteadyState see :

The most vulnerable part of your PC may not be Windows

Recent surveys have shown that the greatest number of vulnerabilities that exist on user systems these days are related to all the add on programs that are installed.
 
Applications like iTunes, Flash and Acrobat to name but a few are rarely updated once they are installed yet they continue to be used on a regular basis. The problem for most users is how do they keep up with all the updates that maybe required on their systems? Not easy.
 
Here at least is a web site that wil tell you what is not up to date :
 
 
Microsoft Windows Update is used to determine if your system is missing security updates from Microsoft.

The Secunia Software Inspector covers the most common/popular end user applications:
* Internet browsers
* Internet browser plugins
* Instant messaging clients
* Email clients
* Media players
* Operating systems

Windows Server SP2 issues

Here are some articles from Microsoft about issues that may arise once you install Windows Server Service Pack 2 onto your system :
 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936594/ You may experience network-related problems after you install Windows Server 2003 SP2 or the Scalable Networking Pack.

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939421 Best practices and known issues when you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 on a Windows Small Business Server 2003-based computer.

 

Sunday, August 26, 2007

SharePoint course starts this week

Well we have just completed another Introduction to Small Business Server course and now it's time to run one on SharePoint. Here are the details :
 
Thursday 30th of August 2007
Time : 7 - 9pm
Duration : 2 weeks
 
For a link to the College's details about the course see :
 
 
The course will focus on SharePoint V 3.0 and designed for people who are new to SharePoint or want to better understand the technology. The course will involve seminar style presentation and practical hands on work.
 
For enrolments please contact the college directly.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

IP address change failed

We have changed IP addresses on a few SBS servers over the years and never had any real dramas using the Change IP address wizard from the server manager. That was until recently.
 
When we went to change the IP address we received an errors that IP change had failed. We set it back to the original and then tried to change it again. It took a few attempts but finally it did change.
 
We rebooted thinking everything would be fine but soon found errors with the DHCP server. It was working but we couldn't view the DHCP server in the console manager. Also when we tried to do NSLOOKUP from the DNS console we got nothing.
 
The workstations all got their IP addresses correctly and everything seemed ok but we still felt that something was wrong. That night the backup software (Brightstor) failed backing up the Active Directory with Error E3156 EC8007003a. Also, the overnight SBS report was full of Exchange errors. There was definately something still wrong.
 
After extensive investigation as to why the server was still listing the old IP address in places, even after we successfully completed the change IP address wizard, it turns out that there was a manual entry for the server in the HOSTS file! Someone had manually gone into c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and inserted an entry for the servername and the original (old) IP address. Clearly this will cause a problem since the HOSTS file normally takes precedence when doing IP lookups. Not wanting to point the finger at any party but it would appear that the previous IT people had made this entry because they had issues configuring something and thought it would fix their problems. Sure hope it did for them because it caused us no end of grief.
 
Once we removed the old IP entry from the HOSTS file everything started to magically work again (as it should!).
 
Moral of the story? Never, ever set a static IP address in the hosts file.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Volume Shadow Copy on SBS 2003 video

This video will give you the basics on Volume Shadow Copy. When enabled this allows you to restores deleted files as well as previous versions of files. Volume Shadow Copy is a standard part of SBS 2003 and is configure automatically on the data volumes.
 
Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Trend Clients cannot update from the Security Server running on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

 
Problem:

The Client Server Messaging Security for SMB (CSM) clients cannot update from the server, and the IIS logs show a 405 error.

Solution:
     

To resolve the issue, please do the following:

   

1.

Open the IIS Manager.

   

2.

Double-click Web Sites and then right-click the OfficeScan website.

   

3.

Click Properties and then go to the Home Directory tab.

   

4.

In the Execute permissions field, choose Scripts and Executables from the dropdown menu.

   

5.

For the options under Local path, select the following check boxes:

   
 

Read

 

Write

 

Log visits

 

Index this resource

   

6.

Click Apply.

   

7.

When the Inheritance window appears, click Select All > OK.

   

8.

Go to the Windows Services console and restart the following:

   
 

World Wide Web Publishing Service

 

Trend Micro Security Server Master Service

   

9.

Log on to the Security Dashboard.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Flash Demo

Click here to download a flash demo of Windows Mobile 6.

Microsoft Exam insurance

Thinking of taking a Microsoft Certification exam? Maybe an idea to hold off just a little while until they announce their exam insurance for August.
 
 
It would appear that if you take an exam and fail during the period you can take it again without cost. Alternatively, if you pass on your first attempt you'll get a discount towards yoru next exam.
 
No dates have been set but the web site says that it is coming in August. Check the above web site for more information.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Netgear router into modem mode

If you have a Netgear Dg834 you can put it into modem only mode via the following URL :
 
 
Assuming the modem is at IP 192.168.0.1. Now if you attempt to access this page and you get an error then what you will need to do is upgrade the router firmware to the latest version. Once that is installed and router rebooted you should be able to access this page.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Paypal two factor authentication

Did you know that Paypal has a two factor security available if you are a registered PayPal member? Yes, you can order a security key via :
 
 
It now means that when you use your Paypal (or Ebay) account you simply append the number displayed on the key (when you press it) to end of your paypal password to gain access. Next time you want access you again press the key and again append the number displayed to your password. So everytime you now Paypal account it will require a unqiue password! Now that makes it really secure.
 
The cost of the key is only AUD$7.50. So if you use Paypal (or Ebay) extensively and you want to ensure that your account has the highest level of security we think this new security key is cheap, real cheap.

Error 0x8004020f during Internet connection wizard

Working on a SBS system that involved a Sing Migration. On the new machine when we ran the Connect to Internet Wizard we received a failure on the firewall configuration. When we looked at the logs we saw :
 
error 0x8004020f returned from call to sending RUP intro mail()
 
After some searching it appears that error was DNS related.
 
Turns out that we are changing the server from a 2 NIC configuration to a single NIC configuration and there were still some entries for the old external IP address ins some of the DNS zones. Once we removed there and rebooted the wizard ran fine.