SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2008 – the prep



So you want to install SharePoint Foundation 2010 onto SBS 2008 eh? We’ll I’m here to tell you that you need to do your prep work or else you are going to end up in a horrible mess. This post will take you through the steps you should complete prior to any upgrade. Future posts will cover the upgrade process.


Let’s assume that you have decided that you really want to install SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2008. The most compelling reasons are the ability to run Office Web Apps and allow document co-authoring with Office 2010. The first question to ask is whether you are planning to migrate your existing Companyweb data or start fresh? If you want to migrate your data (which the most likely option) then you are going to need to ensure that it is backed up.


I’d always recommend that you backup your SharePoint data a number of different ways just in case you need to roll back. So the first suggested way is to do a normal full backup or image of your system using the inbuilt SBS backup or imaging software. Ensure that you have all the SharePoint databases on that backup. By default the WSS v3 databases on SBS 2008 live in

c:\windows\sysmsi\ssee\mssql.2005\mssql\data (although they can be relocated manually or via the SBS 2008 wizards).


Next I’d do a command line stsadm backup via:


stsadm –o backup –url http://companyweb –filename drive:\directory\filename -overwrite


This will create a single file backup of your WSS v3 site. Why this? It is much easier in my books to create a new clean WSS v3 site somewhere (say on a virtual PC) and then restore a full WSS v3 backup using the above command. This form of backup is probably the most easily transportable there is  for WSS v3.


While still at the command line I’d also do:


stsadm –o export –url http://companyweb –filename drive:\directory\filename1 –includeusersecurity –overwrite


Why this extra command you ask? The difference is that the –export command allows me to import the data into an existing WSS v3 site, whereas the –backup command overwrites what is there. Thus, maybe I want to import the data to a sub area of another site for testing or maybe recovery. Like I said the more options the better in my books.


With that complete and still at the command type the following:


stsadm –o preupgradecheck


What that will do is run a check to see whether there are any obvious deal breakers to prevent an upgrade from WSS v3 to SharePoint Foundation 2010. That command will produce a file you can study at your leisure and see if something untoward might pop out during the upgrade process.


If all that looks good then you are probably ready to commence the upgrade but here’s where I’d ask you to stop and think. What is your fall back procedure? What happens if it all goes belly up and you need to roll back to the original WSS v3? What happens if you need to reinstall WSS v3? Have you ever tried that? Do you know where to find the documentation for that? I’ll tell you now that there ain’t any install wizard to get Companyweb back up and running on SBS 2008 if things go pear shaped so I strongly recommend you understand how to do a full disaster recovery of WSS v3 on SBS 2008 before you go any further.


With that in mind, and with you hopefully scurrying off to do some research I’ll let you know that you can’t simply upgrade WSS v3 Companyweb on SBS 2008 to Companyweb on SharePoint Foundation 2010. You will have to uninstall WSS v3 completely from SBS 2008 before attempting to install SharePoint Foundation 2010. Yep, you read that right, totally remove WSS v3 from SBS 2008.


Now even before you install SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2008 you are going to need to install a swag of prerequisites. Do you know what these are? Will they affect anything that is already on the server? Will they interfere with any third party apps installed on the server (like AV produces say). Hopefully, you now understand my point about making sure you have a fall back plan in case problems do arise.


Next consider what database version you are going to use with SharePoint Foundation 2010. By default SharePoint Foundation 2010 comes with SQL Express 2008. Great you say but remember that SQL Express 2008 has a 4GB database limit. WSS v3 came with SQL Server Embedded Edition 2005 (SSEE) which has no database limit. So if your existing Companyweb databases are greater than that, or likely to grow beyond 4GB you have some thinking to do. The easiest and cheapest option is to go with SQL Express 2008 R2 which now has a 10GB database limit and remains a free download. Maybe you want to go full SQL Server 2008 as a license is included with SBS 2008 Premium if you have it. See, not as straight forward as you think.


Now SharePoint Foundation 2010 is going to need to have a version of SQL Server 2008 at least to operate installed prior to the installation of SharePoint Foundation 2010. There is already SQL Server 2005 on SBS 2008 that is used for WSUS amongst other things. What conflicts might that cause? What compatibility issues might that raise? Well for starters SQL Server 2008 generally can’t be installed if SQL Server 2005 Management tools are already installed so these will have to come off before SQL Server 2008 goes on. Do you know how to do this? Have you every installed SQL Server onto a SBS 2008 server? Do you know the correct procedure for getting it working? In some cases when you go to install some versions of SQL Server 2008 onto Windows 2008 it says that it won’t work on that version of the operating system. As I have blogged here before you may need to install an SQL Server 2008 Service pack first, then SQL Server 2008 then the Service Pack again. Simple eh?


I hope that you can at least begin to appreciate the complexities involved in getting SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2008  operational. I agree there are plenty of benefits but in my experience there is also plenty of pain. Stayed tuned to future posts where I’ll run through the steps of actually getting SharePoint Foundation 2010 running on SBS 2008. But for now do your backups, run the upgrade check and make sure you have a recovery plan.

CIAOPS BPOS Portal now live



You are looking at the homepage of the new CIAOPS BPOS Portal. The portal is a SharePoint site containing everything you’ll need to know about Microsoft Business Productivity Online (BPOS). In there you’ll find links to media stories on BPOS, documents from Telstra and Microsoft, a calendar of webcasts and other BPOS events, marketing material, tutorial videos, templates, links, software download and more all in one place.


The best thing about the portal is that subscribers can also contribute information and have it published to the site. This means that the volume of information on the site will continue to grow as the number of subscribers grows. Combined with the ability of everything on the site to be searchable it makes finding the information you need about BPOS simple. The portal is supported and maintained by the CIAOPS as well.


Here’s a screen shot of some of the existing knowledge based articles.




So what’s the cost? For people who already subscribe to the Windows SharePoint Operations Guide ( it is a free addition. For those who aren’t the portal only costs $10 per month.


So how do you subscribe? You make a payment via credit card or by contacting me ( to arrange other payment methods.


If you are interested in Microsoft BPOS and want a central location for information then go no further than the new CIAOPS BPOS portal, you may also learn how powerful SharePoint is a collaboration tool!


One of the things that they ‘teach’ people about sales is that you need to A.B.C., that is Always Be Closing. It is the stuff of legendary sales people as these videos demonstrate:

Glengarry Glen Ross –

Boiler room –


However, I believe that what a successful business or person does is A.B.D., that is Always Be Delivering.


I can’t tell you the number of people who I come across that are always promising this and promising that but basically never deliver. Many are serial offenders to a point now where their reputation (at least with me) is totally shot. I hate unreliable people because it means that if I need their input on something, typically their inability to deliver the goods reflects poorly on me and that I won’t stand for. I can certainly understand something happening occasionally to prevent this but when it happens constantly they leave me no option but to shy away from asking them for anything.


They however remain constantly ‘selling’ me on what they can offer. They constantly believe they are ‘closing’ me but I can tell you that failing to deliver just doesn’t cut it. I’ll believe your pitch once but I’m certainly unlikely to be as foolish twice if you fail to deliver.


Better that you concentrate on ‘delivering’ on your promises and demonstrating that you can produce the results. If I want something I don’t usually care how it gets done I just care that it gets done. I just care that what you promised is delivered. If it isn’t then I am going to be let down and disappointed. As a result of this, not only am I unlikely to believe you again I am going to tell quite a few people (by maybe writing a blog post like this).


Good businesses and people are all about delivering not just closing. I can assure you that the deal isn’t complete until the other party has what they asked and maybe paid for. So forget talking big about always closing, refocus on actually delivering on what you promise. That earns you a hell of a lot more respect from the people who pay your bills – the customer. It tells them that you respect them and their business enough to provide what they asked for.

No hope

The trusty old multifunction (print, scan, fax) Hewlett Packard Officejet I had set up for someone at their home recently decided to constantly keep clicking like it was trying loading documents. After performing the standard IT verification that it was knackered (leaving it powered off for a day, pulling everything out of it and finally whacking it around a bit) it was decided a new one was in order. Since this one had performed so well for so many years I decided that I’d go with another HP.


Off I went to the local office supply shop and bought an Officejet 8500. The best thing about this one was that it could be networked, where the old one was USB only. Whacko, this would work well on the home network I was planning to install it on. After stuffing the printer in my car (is it just me or do these printers just seem to be getting bigger and bigger? Even an ink jet printer like this proved a struggle to get into a standard car) I returned to complete the install.


I hooked up the printer to an ethernet cable and installed the HP software on the workstation. After a bit of configuration (setting the IP address for a start) I managed to print. However, all did not seem right. Everything seem very slows to respond. When I tried to configure the printer I kept getting a disconnected message. The worse problem was when I tried to do a scan the whole network would lock up and I couldn’t even get to the Internet.


Next step was to drop into standard troubleshooting mode. Check all the cables, power off, power on but still no good. Ok next step, update all the software. To do this I had to unplug the Officejet from the network and download 220MB of updates. After I reinstalled the software things were better but it still wouldn’t scan. Damm, why is this so hard?


My troubleshooting continued over the next few days, after hours mind you, as I tried the other most obvious things I could think of. Then I decided to browse to the IP address of the Officejet from a machine on the network. Luckily, the Officejet has its own internal web server from which you can see all the settings. As I worked my way through all of these I suddenly came across a setting that showed IPv6 and IPv4 were on concurrently. Hmmmm… I wonder. I changed the setting to IPv4 only and voila everything seems fine now, scanning works like a dream.


This raises two points. Firstly, if you have purchased a HP Officejet 8500 and are having issues getting it working on a networked connection then browse to the printer IP address and select IPv4 only. Secondly, how the hell were the new owners of the Officejet ever going to figure that out? If they didn’t have access to my free labour they would have had to call someone in to have a look who would have probably done the same things I did and spent the same amount of time I did but would have charged them. After only an hour of so that charge would have been greater than the cost of the printer. Let’s say that this IT person couldn’t find the problem, this would mean these people would have been stuck with a marginally functioning printer and a big bill!


I’m a techie at heart and I love technology but I also appreciate how hard it is becoming for the common person to use this stuff. Honestly, wasn’t it all supposed to be getting easier? It must be so intimidating for people to buy some piece of technology and find it doesn’t work and then have to locate someone to assist.


I admit that these people were not running the latest operating systems, routers and so on but really isn’t that most ordinary people? If technology doesn’t help us then what good is it? Surely, it can’t be too hard to ask for technology that is actually easier to use? Surely?

Vote for me

An interesting email arrived here at the fortress of solitude. It would seem that by some unforeseen circumstance I have been:


“recently nominated for the SMB Power 150 by one or more of your peers.”

So to the one person out there who did nominate me (thanks Mum), I guess that I should try to a least double my votes to two by throwing up the URL where you can vote. So if you are into the SMB Power 150 then feel free to vote for me (or anyone else) here:


So what does the top 150 get? According to the email, fame and fortune:


“The 150 nominees receiving the most votes will be recognized at the SMB Nation Fall Conference and in SMB PC Magazine and be profiled on a new SMB150 website.”


Well maybe a little fame I suppose.


I’ve always worked so hard to be a glorious nobody, getting onto this list would sure destroy all that hard work now wouldn’t it! 

What use is technology?

One of the big things that businesses carry on about today is how quickly they can deliver. One of of the big things that courier companies carry on about is the fact that you can use a web site to track deliveries. Let me demonstrate how all of that is absolute bollocks when it comes to improving customer service.


I ordered something from a web site on the weekend and received an email on Sunday night saying that it would be shipped by courier. Now one would expect that something sent my overnight courier would in fact be overnight eh? Making  a big issue of online tracking of deliveries here’s the sequence of events according to the web site:




Ok, so Monday night the package is in Melbourne. No problems, I’d therefore expect to see it Tuesday right?




So this look promising doesn’t it? But hang on what’s this Undelivered (Nil attempt) stuff? I haven’t seen any delivery today, there’s no card to say someone called. What the hell?




Here we are on Wednesday morning. It now appears that the delivery is actually going to happen doesn’t it given the stats reads On for Delivery (in Full)?




Wednesday night rolls around and still no sign of the package. The web site again shows Undelivered (Nil Attempt – whatever that means) and the package is back in the depot!




Now we’re at Thursday morning and joy of joy it has been sorted for delivery! Wasn’t that supposed to be done back on Tuesday night?


Bottom line, I’m still sitting here with no package, chewing up my valuable time because I have to sign for the stupid thing. In the meantime the packages that were sent to me via normal snail mail arrives Tuesday morning.


My point here is not to sound off (but I can do that also) but how did the track and track stuff on the web site help me to understand at all what the hell was happening with my package? In reality it caused me more frustration because it seemed to indicate that it was going to be delivered. In the end, if technology doesn’t help why use it?

Australian SharePoint Conference – Day 2

The day started with a session on using Visio 2010 to create SharePoint workflows. Very interesting I must say and something that I’m going to have to spend some time investigating more. However, the highlight of the day was probably the next presentation from Neil Hadlee of Dark Blue Duck on the integration of scanning technologies and SharePoint. As Neil says, paper is still here to say but you can certainly make it easier to manage with some of the technology he demonstrated.

Finally it was time for my presentation and it was disappointing to see a low turn out. Admittedly, I didn’t really expect many people to attend given the session was based around small business and SharePoint Foundation server (not the full SharePoint Server). However, I certainly hope that those who attended got value from the session. I’ve posted the slides of the presentation up at:

where you can view and download them.

All in all I enjoyed the conference. I would have liked to have seen some stuff for SMB but I certainly understand why I didn’t. Hopefully as SharePoint and Office 2010 penetration increases and features like Office Web Apps and Office co-authoring increase there will be a bigger uptake at that end of the market. Hopefully there might be enough demand next year for me to offer a similar session. Fingers crossed.

Australian SharePoint Conference – Day 1

Well, I got myself along to the Hilton Hotel in the heart of Sydney to partake in the Australian SharePoint Conference. After the keynote the conference was divided into four tracks – Business, Tech 1, Tech 2 and Voice of the Customer. I attended at least one session from each but would have to highlight “Why you need to be more social” by Daniel McPherson.

It reinforced once again the importance of social networking and how many of these ideas have found their way into SharePoint 2010 Server (not SharePoint Foundation 2010 Server unfortunately). Daniel demonstrated a number of ways that you could modify SharePoint 2010 to include popular features from high profile networks such as I am really disappointed that many of the inbuilt social features of SharePoint didn’t make it into SharePoint Foundation 2010 but I’m sure with a little thought something can be integrated.

So tomorrow I’m back again for the final Day on which I’m giving my Windows SharePoint and SBS presentation (just after lunch in Ballroom B if you are interested). I haven’t seen many SMB guys around but that is kinda of expected so I wonder how few people will turn up to a session on SMB? I will be very interested too see. I believe that much of the information I have to share has relevance across all SharePoint platforms, alas others may not see it that way.

I’ll post up the slide deck on some time after the event so anyone can get access to it if they want. Stay tuned for another update tomorrow.