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Random Musings on Exchange and Virtualization

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  • Blog Post: Windows Update Fail – 0xC80003F3

    This is the case of one of those bizarre and very annoying issues to tack down. The server in question is one of my lab servers where an automated build was used to create it. It is a Windows 2008 R2 SP1 based server which has TMG 2010 SP2 installed as a reverse proxy. Said server has been a little “squirrely”...
  • Blog Post: Remote Desktop Connection Manager Download (RDCMan) 2.7

    The venerable Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) 2.2 was starting to show its age. After a slight hiatus, RDCMan 2.7 is now available. Please say thank you to Julian Burger for the early Christmas present. Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) is a great tool to consolidate multiple RDP...
  • Blog Post: Windows 10 Poor Graphics Performance

    Since there will be a good few folks running Windows 10 who subscribe to the RSS feed, I though it would worthwhile sharing a recent issue I had with my Windows 10 laptop. This is a Lenovo W530 with ample CPU, SSD and video card performance. It should run like a beast, but the recently the graphics performance...
  • Blog Post: Doh! Windows Update Has Navigation Tabs

    Windows Update is a very important feature in the newer builds of the OS. If we think back to the NT 3.5/4.0 days the process to obtain updates was very different. Just to obtain a hotfix you needed to call in, provide credit card details and then obtain the update. How times have changed! And for the...
  • Blog Post: Windows 10 Preview - VMs Missing In Hyper-V Manager

    After updating my Windows 8.1 machine to the Windows 10 preview, some of my VMs were no longer visible in the Hyper-V Manager.  Prior to powering on some VMs, all of them were visible.  After powering on, some VMs disappeared in the Hyper-V Manager console.  In the screen shot below, there...
  • Blog Post: How To Check Exchange Autodiscover SRV Record Using Nslookup

    Generally the Exchange external Autodiscover DNS entity is configured as a regular A record. Sometimes a service record (SRV) is used instead. Since I have the habit of forgetting the syntax of quickly querying for the SRV record, this is one of those shared bookmark posts! Nslookup is the tool of...
  • Blog Post: Importing Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V VM Into Server 2012

    A virtual machine from Windows Server 2012 R2 cannot be directly imported into Windows Server 2012. This is discussed in this previous post along with the import error 32784 . There will be times when we want to take a 2012 R2 VM and import it into 2012, this happened to me recently when setting up...
  • Blog Post: Hyper-V Did Not Find Virtual Machines to Import - Error 32784

    When importing a VM into Windows Server 2012 that was exported from Windows 2012 R2 you will be unable to import the VM. If you import the VM using PowerShell’s Import-VM cmdlet the error message is not very descriptive – “ The operation cannot be performed because the object is not in a valid state...
  • Blog Post: Retrieving Packets Received Discarded Perfmon Counter From Multiple Servers

    Whilst working on a customer’s Exchange 2010 DAG issue, I wrote a quick script to quickly grab some performance monitor counters from all of their Exchange servers. The issue that we were investigating was related to discarded packets when the VM was running on a certain hypervisor host. The customer...
  • Blog Post: Quick Tip - Event Viewer Filtering

    I was recently reminded of a simple yet effective Event Viewer filtering tip.  If you have thousands of event entries that are pollution/flooding the log it becomes very difficult to see the actual real issues.  For example this tip has proved very useful when the application event log is full...
  • Blog Post: Outlook 2013 Distorted Display Issues

    After a recent video driver update, my corporate Outlook client started to do some strange things. Within Office 2013, the screen output would be distorted. Menu bars were not painted properly until I mouse-over them again, or moved Office programs around. Other times the display would look corrupted...
  • Blog Post: Exchange and AntiVirus Exclusions – A Critical Conversation

    Scanning Exchange databases with file system antivirus is a recipe for disaster.  This really should not come as a surprise for admins running Exchange services within the enterprise, since this has been the field requirement for a long time.  The documentation provided by Microsoft is very...
  • Blog Post: Exchange and AntiVirus Exclusions – Still A Critical Conversation

    In a previous post we saw the Microsoft requirements for the exclusions that must be added to file system AV on Exchange servers. In a recent CritSit, basically an uber urgent support request where the customer is down or as good as down, I also got to examine some of the other causes for file system...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell Pipeline Perversion

    Every so often I see folks run into issues with scripts/one-liners that they obtained from a blog or crafted themselves. One common issue is when they think the command is perfect and then when they go to dump the output to a file, the content is mince . ** Imagine your surprise when you open up the...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell Input Output Escapades

    After using various types, architectures and generations of computers over the years there is always the habit of “you go to what you know!” In other words once you figure out a solution to an issue, you then use that repeatedly in the future as you know the process/steps involved. This adroitly describes...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Scripting Agent - The Power Of Script

    Exchange 2010 introduced a very interesting feature – the Scripting Agent. The intent for this component is to provide extensibility to the base management tools and ensure consistency for the execution of cmdlets in the environment. The feature is not enabled by default and you must manually enable...
  • Blog Post: How To Request Certificate Without Using IIS or Exchange

    The blog post on how to integrate Office 365 with Windows 2012 R2 ADFS raised an interesting question from a reader (Hi Eric!) on how should he request a certificate for the ADFS instance since there is no longer an IIS dependency.  This means that there is no longer an IIS console to generate a...
  • Blog Post: Sharing the Registry Editor Favourites Love

    In the previous post on the topic of the Registry Editor’s favourites menu , Andrew Higginbotham was kind enough to point out that there was also an easy way to export the favourites from one machine and import to another. Since its always good to show how to arrive at a solution, let’s breakdown...
  • Blog Post: How To Disable Remote Desktop Printer Mapping

    After doing Exchange Risk Assessment ( ExRAP ) and Exchange Risk Assessment As A Service for almost four years, one thing continues to irritate my OCD personality! When I look at the event logs on an Exchange server, the logs should be a sea of blue. That is there should be no errors as that indicates...
  • Blog Post: Registry Editor Favourites - Who Knew?

    When I was in Seattle for some internal training in January, one of the chaps delivering a demo used a feature that I wish I’d known about previously. When he was demonstrating some of the update mechanics for Office Pro Plus he immediately skipped to the correct portion of the registry by using...
  • Blog Post: How To Hide Server Manager At Logon

    Since some of my test machines are a touch low on resources, having to wait for the server manager process to finish loading can be a little bit painful. There are group policy and local policy options to suppress this in addition to editing the registry. There is always the option to disable it...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 76 To 93

    The other Exchange 2013 tips of the day posts can be found here: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 1 To 25 Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 26 To 50 Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 51 To 75 To obtain the listing below, the following command was used: $Int = 76;While ($Int...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 51 To 75

    The other Exchange 2013 tips of the day posts can be found here: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 1 To 25 Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 26 To 50 Exchange 2013 Tip of The Day – 76 To 93 To obtain the listing below, the following command was used: $Int = 51;While ($Int -le 75){Get-Tip $Int; Write-Host;...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 26 To 50

    The other Exchange 2013 tips of the day posts can be found here: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 1 To 25 Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 51 To 75 Exchange 2013 Tip of The Day – 76 To 93 To obtain the listing below, the following command was used: $Int = 26;While ($Int -le 50){Get-Tip $Int; Write-Host;...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2013 Tip Of The Day – 1 To 25

    The Exchange Management Shell helps us discover the amazing capabilities of PowerShell. One way it does this is by displaying a tip of the day so that we are introduced to concepts and topics that inevitably will come in handy one day! The other Exchange 2013 tips of the day posts can be found here:...