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  • Blog Post: ADMT and Server 2008

    Whenever we release a new product or suite of products we at Microsoft want to ease the adoption of it. For that reason we’ve released tools and scripts over the years to help our customers out. We’ve typically given these as free downloads from the internet, and (I know my opinion is skewed here) frankly...
  • Blog Post: ADMT 3.1 Is Now Available for Download!

    There’s been a lot of interest in the next version of our free migration tool and guide. Well, it’s now available. The link below can get you to the new Migration Guide, ADMT itself, and a link to the Password Export Server (PES) 3.1 in both x86 and x64 versions. http://www.microsoft.com...
  • Blog Post: Scary Sounding Errors

    We have a temporary role in CSS where support folks will help out in supporting prerelease (also known as beta) software.   I’ve worked a couple of Windows betas, and it’s a great experience.   I mention this since I remember a few years ago during the beta of a prior Windows release...
  • Blog Post: Loading the Active Directory Database Into RAM

    Here’s another question we get asked occasionally: is there a way to load the entire Active Directory database into RAM? The idea behind this question is that having the sought after data in physical RAM would prevent the delays of seek time and paging which even the fastest hard drives have to...
  • Blog Post: Downgrade "Attack"? A little more info

    I decided that we needed some more detail and to give a walk through scenario on this downgrade attack deal I mentioned a while back in a blog post . As a recap, a customer called in after noticing the events below appearing intermittently but repeatedly-and always in the sequence of one after the other...
  • Blog Post: Group Policy Best Practice Analyzer

    Ever heard of a Best Practice Analyzer , otherwise known as a ‘BPA’? It’s a type of tool that many of our product or support teams have been creating the last few years which can be used to gauge the general health of a component before things go catastrophically wrong. BPA's can also identify problems...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Certificate Web Enrollment Pages - Available!!

    I am very happy to announce that the Certificate Web Enrollment pages from Server 2008 are available as a free download at last. Just click on the links below to get the pages, then follow the steps in the KB article to install them on your Server 2003 certificate server in order to get Vista and Server...
  • Blog Post: So Good We Should Charge For it (But We Don’t)

    If you are like every other IT person I know you are doing a lot of technical support for family and friends over the holiday season. I thought of that last week and decided to write a short blog post detailing one of the least hyped and most useful items in all of the current Microsoft product offerings...
  • Blog Post: ADMT 3.1 Beta!

    For folks who have been interested helping test Active Directory Migration Tool version 3.1 your day has come! The ADMT 3.1 Beta is here! This is a beta , not the finished product, so please test it out in your non-production environment and file bugs when and if you see them. Where do you...
  • Blog Post: Certifiable

    For Customer Services and Support division employees at Microsoft it’s inevitable that, if you talk directly to customers at all, you will be asked whether you are certified. I’ve even heard our customers ask development folks (aka programmers) that question in the past. The question was followed by...
  • Blog Post: Gauging Size Differences in AD Databases

    We occasionally receive support calls which revolve around the topics of “why is the Active Directory database on DC A different in size than that on DC B?”. It’s easy to dismiss the question out of hand but there are real life scenarios where this can be an important question. And there are real life...
  • 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: Troubleshooting a Memory Leak in Lsass.exe

    Although we have a team of engineers who are dedicated to troubleshooting general server performance related problems Microsoft Directory Services specialists are expected to be the “go to” people for Active Directory and domain controller related performance issues. This is especially true when the...
  • Blog Post: How Windows Communication Works

    If you are working in a support or engineering role with Microsoft platform products like the various Windows versions one of the biggest struggles you can have is understanding what to expect in code and on the network when Windows computers communicate to each other and other platforms.  Documentation...
  • Blog Post: Just Another Odd Error

    We get a lot of “huh?” type questions…things that seem so obvious and straightforward that the instant instinctive thought is “well, yeah, of course that won’t work…” Case in point. One of my colleagues received a call where a customer was wanting to specify an arbitrary service principal...
  • Blog Post: Reminder::Daylight Savings Time In the United States

    In order to make sure everyone is prepared if they need to be I wanted to post a reminder about Daylight Saving Time (DST). DST in the United States will be March 9 th 2008 at 2:00 AM. Last year the United States Congress changed DST observance to the second week in March. For any computers (workstations...
  • Blog Post: MaxConcurrentApi Detection in Updated SCOM Management Pack

    The past year and a half have been active for us in support in terms of dealing with MaxConcurrentApi issues. We’ve created a great deal of new documentation , updated existing documentation , successfully advocated some changes in product to help reduce the likelihood of these issues occurring and detect...
  • Blog Post: Watershed Moment: Windows 8 Beta Announcement

    A watershed is where things come together into a single point.  Think of a collection of streams coming down off mountains, coming together at a single body of water, like a river. Bill Laing is Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of the Shared Server and Cloud business.  Bill has a blog post...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Certificate Web Enrollment Pages for Download

    There’s be a lot of demand for the web enrollment pages from Server 2008. For those that have contacted me directly I apologize for the trouble I’ve had getting back to everyone on these. I also know that it some people expressed frustration over having to contact Microsoft Customer Services and Support...