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  • Blog Post: How to Virtualize Active Directory Domain Controllers (Part 2)

    Hello everyone, this is Shravan from the Active Directory team and Jason from the System Center VMM team here at Microsoft. This is part 2 of the blog series where we discuss how to migrate Active Directory domain controllers to a virtualized system. Last time we discussed how to plan for moving the...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Newfie from the Grave Edition

    Heya, Ned here again. Since this another of those catch up mail sacks, there’s plenty of interesting stuff to discuss. Today we talk NSPI, DFSR, USMT, NT 4.0 (!!!), Win2008/R2 AD upgrades, Black Hat 2010, and Irish people who live on icebergs. Faith and Begorrah! NSPI max sessions per...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Saturday Edition

    Ned here. As you may have noticed, it is not Friday. You may also have noticed that this post is awesome and packed with many weeks of delayed content goodness. This notice may extend to the fact that I have no life. You notice a lot, don’t you smarty? I cannot imagine someone looking...
  • Blog Post: Using LDIFDE to Perform Post-Migration Clean-up Tasks

    Hi, Rusty here to discuss a recent problem that we resolved using the export and import features of Ldifde.exe . During the usability testing phase of an inter-forest migration to a new forest of the same name, our customer discovered that smart card users in the new forest could not logon. They were...
  • Blog Post: Configuring DFSR to a Static Port - The rest of the story

    Ned-san here again. Customers frequently call us about configuring their servers to listen over specific network ports. This is usually to satisfy firewall rules – more on this later. A port in TCP/IP is simply an endpoint to communication between computers. Some are reserved, some are well-known...
  • Blog Post: Reminder: End of Life for Service Pack 1 in Windows Server 2003 Coming Soon

    Ned here again with a quick reminder: Support for computers running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 ends on April 14th, 2009. Yes, that's just under a month from now. After that point there will be no hotfixes, security updates, or support for computers that do not have SP2 installed. If you don...
  • Blog Post: New DNS and AD DS BPA’s released (or: the most accurate list of DNS recommendations you will ever find from Microsoft)

    Hi folks, Ned here again. We’ve released another wave of Best Practices Analyzer rules for Windows Server 2008 / R2, and if you care about Directory Services you care about these: AD DS rules update Info: Update for the AD DS Best Practices Analyzer rules in Windows Server 2008 R2 Download...
  • Blog Post: Documenting Active Directory Infrastructure the Easy Way

    Hi, Ned here. From time to time customers ask us what their options are to document their Active Directory environments – site topologies, domains and trusts, where group policies are linked and what their settings are. Until recently we didn’t have an easy way to do this and they were forced...
  • Blog Post: The Windows Server division wants your feedback

    Ned here. The Windows Server division is looking for your feedback. A snippet from their post: From our research we have identified 5 areas where our customers have expressed increased concerns: Enabling an increasingly mobile workforce Working within the constraints of tightening...
  • Blog Post: So You Want to Upgrade to Windows 2008 Domain Controllers (ADPREP)

    Hi all, Rob Newhouse here and today I am talking about upgrading your domain to Windows Server 2008 and what you may see in the process, plus a couple of tips to make your transition a smooth one. This post will show the proper use of ADPREP and what to expect when you are running it. ADPREP is broken...
  • Blog Post: Are you backing up ADAM?

    Hi, it's Adam Conkle from the Microsoft Directory Services team. I recently encountered a disaster recovery situation with an ADAM instance where objects were accidentally deleted, and the customer required help performing the restore of those objects from backup. We ran into a major problem that I feel...
  • Blog Post: Throw Away Your Mouse! A List of Windows Snap-ins and Applets

    Hi. This is Jim from Directory Services. I spend a great deal of time working through remote Easy Assist / Live Meeting sessions, sometimes with client machines half way round the globe and the latency can be excruciating. In my experience I have found that using the CMD line as well as START - RUN...
  • Blog Post: It’s our turn to ask you a question

    Hi. Russell here. Scott and I are in the pre-production stages for a series of AskDS podcasts and video “How To’s.” We’d like your input on the content that will help you the most. As an example, we’ve been tasked with providing a video demo of Metadata cleanup. I bet you were not aware that there is...
  • Blog Post: Reminder: Windows 2000 Support ends July 13 (and other lifecycle stuff for 2003, XP, SfU)

    Ned here again. If you’ve been under a rock for the past year, here it is one more time: Windows 2000 support ends on July 13, 2010 That is just a week from now. For more info on how to upgrade, migrate, and otherwise remove the last traces of Win2000 from your environment, make sure...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack – I live again edition

    Hello all, Ned here again. After a brief absence, the rocket sled that I use to carry my disembodied head around has brought me back to AskDS headquarters. The coup is over and I have emerged triumphant again. You won’t be hearing from Jonathan until the truth serum wears off. So let’s...
  • Blog Post: Replacing DFSR Member Hardware or OS (Part 4: Disk Swap)

    Hello folks, Ned here again. Previously I covered how to use an N+1 server placement method to migrate an existing DFSR environment to new hardware or operating system. Now I will show you how to replace servers in an existing Replication Group using the disk swap method. Make sure you review the...
  • Blog Post: Getting Over Replmon

    Ned here again. The AD Replication Monitor utility ( Replmon.exe ) was introduced with the Windows Server 2000 Support Tools many years ago as a GUI mechanism for performing certain DC admin tasks. With the release of Window Server 2008 Replmon was not included and we stopped making add-on Support Tools...
  • Blog Post: Deploying Legal Notices to domain computers using Group Policy

    Hi, Mike again. Every so often, I’ll talk with a customer wanting to deploy a legal notice to their workstations using Group Policy. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is actually a little tricky to make the legal notice work correctly. Here is a solution that I share with customers that want to do...
  • Blog Post: Overview of New MPSReports Data Collection Tool

    Here is a nice overview of the new MPSReports and what it collects. Proactively running this before contacting support has been known to greatly reduce time to resolution. :-) http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2009/05/01/two-minute-drill-the-new-mps-reports.aspx
  • Blog Post: Restrictions for Unauthenticated RPC Clients: The group policy that punches your domain in the face

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Around six years ago we released Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003. Like Windows XP SP2, it was a security-focused update. It was the first major server update since the Trustworthy Computing initiative began so there were things like a bootstrapping firewall, Data Execution...
  • Blog Post: Domain Locator Across a Forest Trust

    Rob and Mike here. We're asked, many times, why a user does not authenticate against a local domain controller in the same site when logging on across a forest. We've setup the most common scenario to help explain how domain locator works for user logons across a forest. Scenario Let's explain...
  • Blog Post: Netmon, MPS, RODC's, and that new OS you might have heard about

    Ned here. A few big pieces of news, in case you've been having a busy week: Netmon 3.3 has been released . You can download from here . Read more about the new features (such as autoscroll, frame commenting, experts, WWAN support, and more) right here . MPS Reports . They're back. They work...
  • Blog Post: Hear hear

    Kip Ng gives the sometimes unpopular but ultimately best advice: IT Operations: The Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Be Unique OpsVault is a newish blog by PFE’s talking about operational best practices; some of it is pretty common sense, some not so much. They raise topics that...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: LeBron is not Jordan Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. Today we discuss trusts rules around domain names, attribute uniqueness, the fattest domains we’ve ever seen, USMT data-only migrations, kicking FRS while it’s down, and a few amusing side topics. Scottie, don’t be that way. Go Mavs. Creating trusts...
  • Blog Post: Saving money and power with Group Policy

    Ned here again. A few months ago Mark Aggar, Pat Stemen, and Michael Walsh wrote an excellent TechNet Magazine article on using group policy to save power. This article gives specific examples as well as fully documents all 35 power management settings covered in Vista. I wanted to make sure our ASKDS...