Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Rory has BAWLZ

    This week, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’m at the Microsoft “TechReady” conference in Seattle.  We’re having some great technical training and informational sessions, as well as some inspiring keynote addresses. 

    To the moon, Alice!

    Yesterday, during the Q&A session with Kevin Turner (COO) and Steve Balmer (CEO), my friend, coworker, and uber-blogger Rory Blyth asked Steve a very direct question about the state of the browser and upcoming versions. 

    Out of respect for Rory, I won’t tell you specifically what his question was or what Steve’s answer was.  I’ll leave it to him (Rory OR Steve) to post it on his own blog if he chooses.  (And I’ll let them link to MY blog.. because only in my wildest dreams could I maintain the readership that Rory’s blog enjoys.)

    Here’s a picture of Rory,


    and a picture of the Q&A panel.

    Firing Squad


  • By the way.. Happy New Year!

    XBOX 360

    Yeah… I’ve been rather delinquent in my blog postings of late.  I really enjoyed some scaled-back work-time over the holidays.  No… I didn’t take vacation.  But I did spend more time with my family.  I spent my working hours working on content for this new quarter of TechNet Events, and what time I may have given to blogging was spent playing with kids and assembling their new toys. 

    “Why the XBOX logo?  Did you break down and get your kids the Xbox 360?”

    Well… I said I wasn’t going to – mainly because I didn’t think they wanted one so bad until the day before they went on sale.  So I was resigned to the fact that it would be nearly impossible to find one, and I told the kids that they shouldn’t expect one because of that.  However… thanks to a spouse’s cousin’s eldest son who happens to work at a major electronics merchandiser across town, I was able to get one of a shipment of five that happened to arrive the week before Christmas.  (Thanks again, Terry!) 

    “So what are you doing now?”


    Well.. we’ve got some great content coming to you in our live events, so I’m excited about that.  And I’ll be doing a couple of webcasts on Securing your Exchange Servers in a couple of weeks.  But tomorrow I get on a plane and head to Seattle for a week of “TechReady”, which is an employee-only training conference for technical people like me “in the field” for Microsoft.  I’m excited to get in-depth with what’s coming in Exchange 12, Office 12, Vista, and who knows what other new stuff coming even farther into the future. 

    By the way… do you like my new interactive photo on the left? 
    Yep.  Kevin’s been getting fancy with the HTML! 


  • You should already know about this...

    And if you don’t know about it, and you consider yourself an “IT Pro”, then shame on you for not being connected and informed in areas of Security that are CRITICAL to your job, bozo.

    IT Pro who isn't keeping informed

    “What’s up?”

    Recently a vulnerability was found in the way Windows works with .WMF formatted files – particularly in a function that can be exploited.  Originally it was determined that there were few enough examples of this exploit “in the wild” that the fix could wait and be rolled out on the next “Super Patch Tuesday” (which is this coming Tuesday, January 10th). 

    The fact that we (Microsoft) were going to wait to roll out the fix was taken in various ways by the techno-pundits out there… most using it as an excuse to drive readership to their rags by making negative statements and falsely accusing Microsoft of delaying something that should be fixed right away.

    Here are a couple of things for you to consider:

    As I understand it, the normal cycle for fixing and testing the fix properly before it is available to be rolled out is around 6 weeks.  Consider all the permutations of the files that need to be tweaked, and all the different language versions that have to be tested.  It’s mind-blowing.  Now.. consider that in this case, we’ve had 2 weeks to do 6 weeks worth of work.  Yes friends, there are people working around the clock on this one; guaranteed.

    Also consider what happens if we DO roll out the patch to something that really isn’t all that widespread of a problem – or when there are simple workarounds that can be applied while waiting for the patch to be fully tested.  Rolling out a patch is a BIG DEAL to most IT workers, because it means testing it themselves, and rolling it out.  It may mean re-booting servers (and when you’re running 24x7, you KNOW that this can’t be taken lightly).  Microsoft has heard loud-and-clear that we need to be more predictable in our patch release cycles, which is why we now make the 2nd Tuesday of the month such and important day.  And IT workers appreciate that.  (In fact, I’ve read recently where a number of non-Microsoft people are even saying that we should go every other month now, because we’ve had months recently with no patches.)  So even if it has been sufficiently tested, it’s a burden to our customers.  And if it’s NOT sufficiently tested… well, many of us (myself included) have been burned in the past by applying patches that screwed something up.  Microsoft definitely will NOT make that mistake again if they can help it.  And customers appreciate that the patches recently have been pretty-much rock-solid.

    So that brings us to today…

    Unfortunately, the spread of this exploit has grown to the point where Microsoft has upped the severity, and has rolled out the patch “out of band”.  Meaning – you probably already see it showing up as Automatic Updates. 

    “What should I do, Kevin?”

    There are a lot of resources available to you. 

    For this particularly vulnerability, check out this bulletin.  It contains a summary of the issue, plus links for where to go if you’re a consumer, or an IT Pro. 

    And if you ARE one of those who is learning of this for the first time from this blog posting, please please PLEASE at the very least sign up for the Microsoft Security Notification Service

    Stay informed!  Stay safe!  …and let’s be careful out there!

    What do you think? Should we have rolled out the patch sooner in this situation?  Should we go to an every-other-month patch release day?

  • Security Updates as .ISO Disk Images

    Security Updates

    I saw this on Barnaby’s blog and didn’t realize we were doing this now.  For the IT Pro who needs to update many machines with security updates, but isn’t using WSUS or simply enforcing/allowing automatic updates, we’re now making the monthly security updates available as a download-able .ISO file.  I think that’s pretty cool.

    For example, the download to the January updates is available here.

    “What’s an .ISO file?”

    An ISO file is essentially a disk image.  You can take that image and quickly burn it to a CD using CD Burner software.  (Any worthwhile CD burning software includes this capability.  I use Roxio, but there are others too.)

  • Best of Q&A from Webcast: Implementing Exchange Server 2003 Security (Part 1 of 2)


    Below I’ve pasted an edited and cleaned up copy of most of the Q&A from today’s webcast on Implementing Exchange Server 2003 Security (Part 1 of 2).  BIG thank you to Harold Wong and Blain Barton for handling the Q&A on the backend, and who’s work this really represents.


    Questions and Answers:

    “Is it recommended to implement sp2 now, or wait for a period of time? (sorry, this question is not specifically to Security)”

    The timing for this right now is good, don't wait.


    “I did not un-install IMF first. What procedure should I follow to correct? What is the impact of not un-installing first?”

    You can check out the hardening guide, and here is some more info on IMF,


    “How can you tell if you have IMF installed?”

    Go to Control Panel -> Add / Remove Programs and see if Microsoft Exchange IMF is listed.  NOTE that it will only show up in the list if you are currently logged in with the account that installed it.


    “IMF is listed in my Add or Remove Programs. Does this only refer to v1? If I remove, do I need to reinstall Exch SP2?”

    If it is listed in Add / Remove Programs, then this is version 1.


    “If IMF v1 not un-installed and then Exch SP2 installed, do I first use Add or Remove to uninstall IMF v1, then redo Exch SP2?”

    The latest Intelligent Message Filter updates can be uninstalled by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. If you uninstall the latest Intelligent Message Filter update, the files from the corresponding subfolder in the MSCFV2 folder are removed. Additionally, the registry entry under the following subkey is removed: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Exchange Server 2003\SP3\KB907747. Check out the article for this


    “In order to security our Exchange infrastructure, we plan to install SP2 on the passive node Exchange cluster. Is there a problem for sp1 and sp2 co-exist in Exchange Clustering environment for some time?(if fail-over occur)”

    This shouldn't be a problem if a fail-over should occur to the passive node. The challenge may come in where you try to fail-back to the original node if that node has not been updated to SP2.


    “How do you go about limiting the IE to administrators only?”

    Take precautions, check out:


    “Was it recommended that ExBPA NOT be run on an Exchange server?”

    No… I didn’t make that recommendation specifically.  But if you want to avoid impacting performance on one of your Exchange Servers, you could run it on a separate machine (even one of your XP boxes) and target the Exchange installation from there.


    “The exchange server analyzer tool should not be run on SBS2003,  correct?”

    The ExBPA does understand SBS 2003 and could be run on it, but to minimize impact on what is probably already a busy server, I’d recommend running it from some other workstation.


    “Does MBSA work with SBS2003?”



    “What’s the link to Part 2 (of 2) of this webcast series?”


    “I cannot uninstall IMF v.1. I read in order to do it you have to login using the account that was used to install it, then try to uninstall it thru Add/Remove Programs? it is that a true statement?”

    Yes, that is true. See;en-us;867633#XSLTH3140121123120121120120


    “What if I do not know which account was used? Any administrator account including local admin should be able to do it. Is there a way to know which account was used?”

    THAT is a good question... and I don't know the answer to it.  (Anyone?...  Anyone?...  Bueller?...)  I'm looking into that one and will update this entry if/when I find the answer.




  • Are you a script-wizard? Do you want to be one?

    Scripting is not for the faint-hearted.I think this is kinda cool…

    The Community-Submitted Script Center is open for business.

    Are you proud of a script you’ve written?  Share it with the world!  This is a place where you can upload and share your scripts.  And if you’re not a scripter, but you’d like to see what others have done, then you can browse and download them from here, too.

    “What’s in it for me?”

    Ah… well, if you upload a script between now and February 28th, 2006, and it meets the criteria for being published, you’ll be sent an access code for a free online e-learning course offered by Microsoft E-Learning.  (See the script center for a link to the selection criteria.)

    “Are there many scripts there yet?”

    No.. actually at the time of this blogging there are none there.  So now’s your chance to be the first!

    “How did you learn about this?”

    Well..  I subscribe to the TechNet Flash email newsletter.  If you’re an IT Pro, I think you should do the same.

    UPDATE: Tom Shinder commented about wanting resources for how to start scripting.  Silly me for forgetting to add a link to the Microsoft TechNet Script Center.  There you'll find links to many many resources, as well as to main "LearnIt" page.

    Additionally some scripting guys who call themselves "The Scripting Guys" have done some wonderful, very highly-rated webcasts and series', and post daily "Hey, Scripting Guy!" articles, too.

  • Those MS Research folks are so darn clever!

    Check this out.

    MS Research has made their experimental “Group Shot” photo editing tool available for people to play with. 


    Okay… let me explain what it does.  Let’s say you’re at your brother Carl’s wedding in San Francisco last November, and someone has used your brother Paul’s really really nice digital camera to take several photos of your three families plus Grandma and Grandpa.  Problem: Your little niece, who ordinarily is adorable and agreeable in every way, decides that she’s not going to be in the mood for a photo at this very given once-in-a-lifetime moment.  In fact, here are the various shades-of-niece we had to deal with:

    Elle Elle Elle Elle Elle

    Now.. suppose you could take the best of those and easily include it in a composite photo… and even other bits as well.  Example: Grandpa’s smile was just a little better in this one than that one, etc…  It would be nice to have a tool that would easily and quickly let you build this composite from various regions of “good photo”, and leave off the “bad photo” bits.

    GroupShot does that.  Download it from here.

    “Kevin, what were your results with the group shots taken at your brother’s wedding?”

    I’m glad you asked.  Here is the result. Click on the photo to see the full picture.

    Remde Family Group Shot

    Note: If the photos or the areas being merged aren’t similar in enough ways, you may have some items not work.  I actually have added several faces here… many worked quite well. However…

    My poor niece now has three legs.

    Oh well.  Serves her right. 


    Have you tried out this tool yet?  Try it out and comment here to let us know what you thought.  Personally, I thought the interface was a little vague at first.  And I would have liked to have a bigger real-time view of the current composite, rather than having to save it to a separate file to view it. 

  • Exchange Server 2003 SP2 on Small Business Server 2003?

    SBS 2003I had an e-mailed follow-up question from the Exchange Security Part 2 webcast I got done delivering a few minutes ago.. and it’s a question I’m sure many people have.

    I’m sure of that because I didn’t know the answer right away.  That’s the true test of a “good” question. 

    Q: Is Exchange Server 2003 SP2 supported on Windows Small Business Server 2003?

    A: Yes! 

    The best answer is an easy answer.

    Oh.. if you don’t believe me.. I found the answer on the SBS Frequently Asked Questions page.

  • Microsoft goes to school!

    Microsoft Campus Connection site is now live!

    I’m one of those “TechHeads” mentioned in the flash animation on the site; speaking at several of these college events.  And I’m excited to do it!  It will be a lot of fun!

    Bellevue University BruinsThis Monday (January 30th) I’m teaming up with Jacob Cynamon, and we’re speaking at Bellevue University (Go Bruins!).  We’ll be talking about Windows Vista, IT Pro Resources, Visual Web Developer Express, and whatever else happens to pop into our little heads.

    Hey… while I’m on the subject… are you a college student?  Would you like to help coordinate an event like this at your campus for your Computer Science students and faculty?  If so, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with our MCC folks.




  • Joel is right!

    Joel On SoftwareA coworker of mine, Anand Iyer (, pointed us to a really good article / opinion-piece by Joel Spolsky.  Joel rants on the “Perils of JavaSchools”.

    Now, you have to indulge me a bit here.  Yes, I’m an IT Pro.  But my upbringing into my career was with a CompSci degree at the University of Minnesota, where I was trained in Computer Science and Software Design/Engineering using FORTRAN, Pascal, C, and LISP.  Following that I spent many fulfilling years as a Software Engineer, writing in C and C++, and cranking out some (what I thought were) elegant uses of pointers, funky-recursions, etc.  Stuff that, quite frankly, would make YOUR head explode.  <heh>  So I know and can relate full-well to what Joel is talking about.  And while I’d like to disagree with his brief statements about how far Microsoft is behind Google in massively-parallel computing (we’ll save that for another day), I really loved Joel’s take on the state of computer science programs and what/who the schools are churning out.  

    It’s well worth the read for any of you that have a similar CompSci background, or are considering going into it.

  • "Exchange 12" beta will be in TechNet March Shipments!

    Exchange FaceBig news for TechNet Subscribers!

    I just now (a minute ago) learned that the March disc shipments will include a special treat: a special beta release of the upcoming version of Exchange Server code-named “Exchange 12”. 

    This came straight from the mouth of the TechNet Subscription Program Manager to us in the room full of world-wide IT Pro Evangelists today.

    So.. if you’re not a subscriber, get over to !

  • More on the Security Update

    Mike Nash

    Mike Nash has written a really good description up on the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

    The MSRC Blog is yet another resource you can use to stay informed.  Use an RSS Reader and subscribe to it.

    For those of you who don’t know, Mike Nash is the Corporate Vice President responsible for security at Microsoft.

  • This is simply addictive fun...

    Set aside some time for this.  It’s addictive!

    (Saw on Chris Avis’ blog.)


  • Trick out your XBOX 360

    Faceplates for the 360 are for sale from Microsoft and others, but my good friend and coworker Michael J. Murphy (“Brother Murphy”) found this really cool site that allows you to create your own custom faceplate:


    And they’re only $9.99 (plus S&H).

    (I’m sure my boys will be begging me for one now…)

    On a related note – you really should check out Michael’s blog; particularly his marvelous podcast series, “IT Heros – Stories from the Trenches”.  Outstanding stuff!

  • Dude! Where'd you git that BLOG t-shirt?!

    Blog_lg2I’ve been asked by a couple people where I got that “The Blog” shirt. 

    Here's a link to that very shirt at the place I bought it from:

    I also own this “You have the right to remain silent” one on a black T-shirt:

  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 040

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 040

    Data Data Data

    This one is just for fun and nostalgia value.  It’s a copy of Microsoft SQL Server 1.1 running as a Virtual Machine under Microsoft Virtual PC.

    Thanks Andrew Dugdell!

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • The January/February TechNet Magazine is now ONLINE!


    The complete content from the January • February 2006 issue of TechNet Magazine is now available online at

    Details and other good content are available at the TechNet Magazine Blog. 
    See blog post:

    A couple of my team mates, Kai Axford and John Baker, are sometime-contributors to those rags. 

  • A Conference for Web-Heads

    mix 06I heard about this conference just the other day.  I wish I could go, because

          1. It’s about all the new, cool stuff in web development
          2. It’s in sunny Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel.

     This week in Seattle “yep, it’s still raining” Washington at the Microsoft TechReady2 conference, we have seen some amazing new tools and technologies.  Some of the demos were of really cool ways to blur-the-lines between a web client and server.  Amazing amounts of data that just seem like they’ve always been sitting in the browser waiting to be manipulated.  Awesome.  And this conference will be all about that.

    It’s being held March 20–22.

  • Karaoke Photos

    <chuckle> I bet that blog post title has a few of my teammates nervous this morning!


    Last night at the all-attendee party at Microsoft TechReady2, the Karaoke area was jumping pretty good.  I and several of my teammates were up their singing (and quite well, I might add) the night away.  Many photos and even some videos were taken, but I’ll share them only with the individuals involved.


    Chris Avis posted about a Karaoke outing earlier in the week that I also attended, and I thought I’d share a couple photos from that evening.

    “Did you sing, Kevin?”

    Does Vista include desktop search?  Does IE 7 do tabbed browsing better than Firefox?  Of course!

    Chris Avis  John and Matt with Cari and Becky  John

    And if anyone was wondering… Yes, I did get some really good photos last night.  Blackmail emails soon to follow. 

  • Resources for Webcast - MOM 2005 for Active Directory Management

    Happy MOM User

    Here are some resources relating to the webcast topic presented.  I hope you find them useful.



    Management Webcast Series


    MOM Sizer Tool


    MOM Case Study – Homeloan Management Limited


    Getting Started with MOM (“MOM for Beginners”)


    DEMO: Monitoring with MOM Consoles


    Management Packs for MOM


    MOM Virtual Labs


    Microsoft TechNet


    Live TechNet Events


    Microsoft Events page:

  • Resource Page for TechNet Webcast: Implementing Exchange Server Security (Parts 1 and 2)

    Resource Page for Webcasts:

    TechNet Webcast: Implementing Exchange Server 2003 Security (Part 1 of 2): Securing Services and Messaging Protocols (Level 200)
    Monday, January 16, 2006 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Pacific Time


    TechNet Webcast: Implementing Exchange Server 2003 Security (Part 2 of 2): Protecting Against Unwanted E-Mail (Level 200)
    Monday, January 23, 2006
    - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time

    Here are some resources relating to both parts 1 and 2 of the TechNet webcasts presented on January 16 and 23rd, 2006.  I hope you find them useful.



    Exchange Server 2003 Security Enhancements white paper:


    Planning an Exchange Server 2003 Messaging System


    Microsoft does not support installing Exchange Server components and Outlook on the same computer:


    Configuration and Security Update Recommendations for Exchange Server 2003


    Security Content Overview


    Windows Server 2003 Security Guide


    Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide


    URLScan Security Tool


    Fine-tuning and known issues when you use the URLScan utility in an Exchange 2003 environment


    Large number of connections established on front-end servers that are running Exchange 2000 Server


    Front-End Servers Establish Large Number of Connections to Themselves


    How to help protect SMTP communication by using the Transport Layer Security protocol in Exchange Server


    Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer


    Exchange Best Practice Analyzer (and other analyzer tools)


    Exchange BPA Webcast


    How to configure connection filtering to use Real-Time Block Lists;en-us;823866

    Exchange Intelligent Message Filter

    How to update the Intelligent Message Filter version 2 in Exchange Server 2003 SP2

    IMF Archive Manager: Workspace Home

    Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Anti Spam Framework (from the Exchange Server Team Blog, "You Had Me At EHLO...")


    Intelligent Message Filter Updates (from the Exchange Server Team Blog, "You Had Me At EHLO...")


    Sender ID Resources


    Signup for Security Communications


    Additional e-Learning Clinics


    Microsoft Events page:


    LIVE and IN PERSON TechNet Events


    Mission Impossible

  • Jan-March 2006 - TechNet Event Resources

    Kevin’s Technet “Fuel”
    Event Resources - January-March, 2006


    E-mail Technical Questions: Kevin Remde –


    Kevin’s Blog “Full of I.T.” – Additional Resources and Discussion


    Feedback E-mail to my boss: Melanie


    Future Live, In-Person Event Information



    Microsoft Across America:


    TechNet Events Bloggers -

    (Add your blog, or subscribe to IT Pro focused blog postings)


    Microsoft Learning - Training Resources


    Microsoft TechNet


    TechNet Community Site


    How to update the Intelligent Message Filter version 2 in Exchange Server 2003 SP2


    Print management step-by-step guide


    Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)


    Storage Management for SANs


    File Server Resource Manager


    TechNet Content Pages

    Windows Server 2003 R2 Technical Overview :

    UNIX Interoperability in Windows Server 2003 R2:


    Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 (MOM)


    Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2006 (DPM)


    Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)


    Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2


    Top 10 Reasons to Install Exchange Server 2003 SP2


    Microsoft Windows Mobile


    Windows Mobile Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP)


    Sender ID Framework SPF Record Wizard (for building your DNS text SPF record)


  • Here I am.. on the road again...

    ..there I am, up on the stage.. “

    Yeah!  I’m currently in Omaha, about to do my first live TechNet Events of the new year, and I am excited about the content we’re bringing you this time around.

    We start the day off with an “Up Close and Personal” look at Windows Server 2003 R2 and all that it can do for you.  We’ll talk about where it fits in with your Windows investments, what it can do for you in simplifying branch office management, how you can leverage Active Directory Federation Services to build more easily managed, secure authentication between you and your partner businesses, and some new and powerful storage management capabilities.  (Can R2 manage LUNs?  You bet!)

    And that’s just the first part of the morning!

    In the second half of the morning, we’ll “Enrich your IT Toolbox”.  I’m going to show you some valuable resources and tips for troubleshooting.  And in doing so, I’ll be briefly showing off some benefits of additional management tools in the process, such as MOM 2005 in managing Exchange, the new Data Protection Manager 2006 product, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and Exchange Server 2003 SP2.   (I’ll even show you how cool SP2 is when combined with the new Windows Mobile 5 and the Windows Mobile Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP).  (Can you say, “Direct push e-mail”?  Yeah.  I knew you could.)

    “Cool stuff, Kevin!  Where are you heading this week?”

    Well, my first event is today, (January 31) in Omaha.  Then Thursday (February 2) we’re in St. Louis (Hazelwood), MO.  We’ve got huge registration numbers, so these are going to be GREAT events!

    Watch for me in February and March as I go to Tennessee and Michigan, too.

    See you there? I hope so!



  • Best of Q&A from Webcast: Implementing Exchange Server 2003 Security (Part 2 of 2)


    Below I’ve pasted an edited and cleaned up copy of most of the Q&A from today’s webcast on Implementing Exchange Server 2003 Security (Part 2 of 2)

    BIG thank you to Chris Avis for handling the Q&A on the backend, and who’s work this really represents.


    Questions and Answers:

    “Can I win one of those MP3 players today?”

    You are entered into the drawing by attending, and filling out the survey. Stick around until the end of the webcast, and I will post the Survey slide.

    “If I'm requiring SSL on my SMTP protocol of Exchange 2003 will I be able to receive e-mail from other servers from beyond my organization?”

    It depends on where the certificate comes from.  If you use an internal Certificate authority that is not available to the general public, then you will have to get the certificates to any SMTP mail server that you wish to allow to connect.  If you get the certificate from a public CA,  the connecting SMTP server can request the certificate from the public CA and make the connections. It is generally not recommended to secure SMTP with SSL except for internal Server to Server communications - See the Following: and

    “The IMF are just available on SP2?”

    No. There is a Version 1.0 of the IMF that you can load to a Pre-Exchange SP2 system. Exchange SP2 introduces and update to the IMF features and requires you remove IMF v1.0 before Install.

    “IMF still doesn't support Clustering, huh?  So, how do enterprise customers wanted to implement that feature?”

    You would utilize a FE/BE Exchange Environment and implement the IMF on a FE Server.  Remember, the SCL assigned at the gateway is now attached to and follows the message. 

    Evan Dodds has a good article on his blog about where/how to configure IMF.  But yes, unfortunately the initial IMF tagging of the SCL can’t happen on a clustered server.

    “Is IMF installed by default after SP2 installation, or should we install it separately?”

    It is installed by default but you still have to configure and enable it manually.

    “If you install IMF v1 and get it set up, when you install SP2 I know you have to uninstall IMF. Will this remove your settings?”

    Chris Answered: Yes it will.

    I’m gonna have to disagree with Chris, though.  I didn’t lose my gateway / mailbox threshold settings when I moved to SP2.  So, the filter was configured.  However, I did have to re-apply that filter to my SMTP Virtual Server.

    “So the only way to secure communication while using pop3 clients to send and receive email is to enable ssl on my clients is that right?  This is the only way that the passwords of my users will not be sent as clear text, right?”

    You can use Transport Layer Security as well.  For securing Client to Server Communications, please see the following --

    “FE to BE communication, is IPSec the best way to secure?”

    It is the most secure method. Whether it is "best" or not depends on your scale and implementation. See the following as an example --

    “Could you provide a few Good RBLs so that we can implement one of them.  Kevin's Demo is a good concept, but add no good to implement it in the real environment. Wish to know which RBL Microsoft is using. Thx”

    Use your favorite search engine [MSN] and look for -- DNS BLOCK LIST

    “How do u eval the perf of IMF if there are million of messengs coming into our FE?”

    Use Performance Monitor. In fact, you’ll want to use PerfMon when establishing the baseline for your SCL ratings anyway. This is detailed in the IMF docs included in the V1.0 Download or in the Exchange SP2 Release notes.

    “I don't see the Intelligent Message Filtering tab. We are running E2K3 SP2. Do I need to enable it somewhere else so that tab shows up?”

    You need to verify you are running Exch SP2 - View the properties of the Server name in the Exchange Server Manager.

    “Is it recommended to implement IMF, instead of Outlook junk email filters? or, shall we depend on IMF and totally keep Outlook spam filter un-configured?”

    It is recommended to use both actually. The IMF can help determine the actions of the Outlook Spam filter.  The Outlook filter really compliments the IMF by giving more individual control over specific email addresses or domains that you personally would accept or reject.

    “Last presentation you mentioned a link to the slide deck would be available the next day, though I didn't see it, will one be available tomorrow for today's presentation, and will we be emailed the link or can you point us towards it?”

    There have been several reports of the links not being sent yet. We are investigatiing and you should still see the emails in a day or so.

    “Do you have an article on BE IPSec in non-clustered environments?”

    See the following --

    “Is there an article that has more information regarding the ContentFilterState reg key?”

    See the following --

    “Is there Micorosft official document, how to configure Exchange with SP2 working with Windows Mobile 5.0 (there is problem with certificate)?”

    This would be a part of the SP2 Docs.

    “So the 75GB [mailbox store limit increase in SP2] is for the Standard version or Enterprise?”


    “How do you exempt a message from checking by the IMF? By IP address? By sender? By recipient?”

    Please see the following for exempting messages from the IMF --

    “Thanks for those fast and perfect answers.. :)”

    Yeah.. thanks Chris!  J

    “Is there an article describing how to implement cache mode feature of SP2?”

    Cached Excahnge Mode is primarily implemented via the Outlook 2003 Client - See the Following --

    “Is it possible to use other antispam products together with IMF?”

    In most cases, yes....

    “Does Exchange SP1 have to be installed for SP2 to be installed?”

    No. Exchange SP2 includes Sp1 fixes.

    “Do we need to do something on registry to increase exchange database?”

    Yes – Sorry I didn’t make that clear in the webcast.
    See the following --

    “Does SP2 also support the 75GB mailbox size for Enterprise edition as well as Standard?”

    See the release notes for this informatiion --

    “Could you elaborate about the smtp sp2 on exchange running on windows server 2003 without sp1; I heard that smtp may not work.”

    Not aware of this issue.  Sorry.

    “I did check the properties of the E2K3 server and it's shows Build 7638.2: Service Pack 2. I see the Sender tab, Receipient Filtering tab, Connection Filtering tab, etc...but not IMF tab. We did not have IMF v1.0 enabled when we're were at E2K3 SP1.”

    I suggest hitting the Exchange Newsgroups first and then making a call to Product support if you can't get it resolved in the newsgroups.

    “Someone mentioned that they couldn't find the IMF tab in Exchange. I had the same issue, but released that the System Manager on my Exchange server worked fine, but the one on my DC still has the old Exchange snap-in (still need to upgrade it to sp2 too!).”

    Ah!  Thanks for sharing that!

    “I would like to catch all e-mail coming into my organization is it possible? of course without disturbing regular email delivery to users' inboxes.”

    Well.. it's possible a number of ways.. either through external SMTP gateways, ISA Server 2004, or Exchange as a front end server. What you do on those gateways is really up to you and to the tools and their capabilities.

    “What is the risk in turning on recipient filtering. I have seen warnings regarding this. Can the feature be used and the adverse affects stopped? I enabled this feature with one client I support and it greatly reduced SPAM.”

    It reduced spam? That's odd. I say that because recipient filtering is typically just blocking email from coming to someone internally. So.. that user probably saw a dramatic drop in spam (or really ANY) email coming into his/her mailbox from the outside.


  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 041

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 041

    Data Data Data

    I always like reading up on how Microsoft “does IT”.  And I recently saw on the main TechNet page that we have a nice write-up on how Microsoft rolled out SQL Server 2005 internally.

    Check it out.

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment here, or contact me.