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  • Blog Post: These are the Updates You Are Looking For

    In this blog post we’re going to go over a few techniques that are a bit old school but will come in handy for understanding how things work even if you ultimately use a great monitoring suite like MOM. Now, there are great articles here and here that describe good general ways to start checking your...
  • Blog Post: A Complicated Scenario Regarding DNS and the DC Locator SRVs

    When we do initial interviewing of a candidate for a job here in the CSS Directory Services team a question we’ll often start with is “how important is DNS to Active Directory?”. The person’s answer-if the correct answer of very important is given- is a great place to start with more detailed DNS questions...
  • Blog Post: The Goodness that is Repadmin.exe

    For the first technical post I thought it would be best to lay the groundwork and mention a tool which can be used in a wide variety of AD replication scenarios. We'll talk about one of the useful features in this post, and follow up with one other for the next post before we move onto another topic...
  • Blog Post: Get the Lowdown on your Replication

    There are other utilities out in the wild that can be used to give a comprehensive test of AD replication, but few are as definitive as REPADMIN /SHOWREPL command in the CSV format. I'm willing to bet there are some folks who just read that statement and are thinking that it sounds pretty silly...
  • Blog Post: DCs and Network Address Translation

    A lot of planning goes into the features and capabilities of each Windows release. Over the years I’ve noticed that there is not a great deal of awareness out in the general public for just how much work and labor goes into a new version of Windows. We’ll most often hear someone say something...
  • Blog Post: Active Directory in Longhorn...Feature Feedback Requested

    One of the most time consuming, aggravating and emotionally draining issues our customers can go through is a disaster recovery issue. The general gyst of this type of thing is: -Accidental deletion of <insert terrifyingly large number here> users, groups or other objects in AD -Mad scramble...
  • Blog Post: Follow up on "The Goodness that is Repadmin.exe"

    I had some really good questions after the previous post and so I wanted to post the replies so all could see. Also, stay tuned for next week's post on the usage of /SHOWREPL before we move on to other topics. Thanks to Matheeshta and IanCurtis for these questions. ************ 1. How...
  • Blog Post: Adroitly Sidestepping Initial Synchronization Requirements

    One of my pet peeves is when I don’t recall every detail of a troubleshooting step or technique and can’t immediately find a document that explains it. It’s like when I misplace a book I’ve been reading-I wander around the house in circles looking for it until I find it. It’s maddening. Case in...
  • Blog Post: Monitor AD Replication Much?

    I want to point out an excellent resource for an administrator out there who is responsible for Active Directory replication in their environment. The resource is a comprehensive and detailed article solely on using Repadmin.exe. The article goes over what Repadmin.exe can do, adds explanations for the...
  • Blog Post: Conflict Resolution, Lingering Objects, Printers

    I was recently asked to help out on an issue with a similar theme to other cases we have seen over the years. The topic has never been one that has generated a high number of calls to us but the calls we have received are not easy ones to get an initial handle on. I was very surprised that I couldn...
  • Blog Post: Bulking Up an ADAM Test Instance

    This week I’ve had the need to do some testing around ADAM (also known by it’s shiny new name of Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services or AD LDS).  The tests themselves are not directly relevant to this blog post, but in order for the tests to have some validity the ADAM instance needed...
  • Blog Post: All The Logging In The World

    There’s normal troubleshooting and then there’s the stuff you do when the basic troubleshooting doesn’t get things resolved. Normal troubleshooting can be things like selecting “last known good” on a reboot after installing a new driver and having a blue screen. Or perhaps uninstalling and then reinstalling...
  • Blog Post: Lingering Objects, Like Weekend Guests Who Won't Leave, But for AD

    It struck me the other day what a statistical improbability it was that I haven’t really talked much about lingering object problems in AD yet in this blog. They are one hot topic to support people, even if they are not our most common problem. The hot topic part comes from the epic pain in the nether...
  • Blog Post: Active Directory in Longhorn Server

    Recently I posted saying that I’d give a preview of Longhorn Server Active Directory. Well, here it is. I will caution all who read this to take into account that we are still in a beta production phase, so some or all of these items could change (or perhaps not make it in the product if they don’t meet...
  • Blog Post: Tabula Rasa

    I was well and truly stumped a few months ago. I joke that once a year I am flat out wrong, and rarely do I have nothing to say on a subject. The 'once a year I may be flat out wrong' statement may be true simply because after 15 years in the IT industry I’ve learned to avoid letting broad definitive...